Mid-Contour Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bayou_Brawler, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Let me know if this makes sense to anyone.

    I play a 800RB GK and a 1x15 GK RBH and a fender jazz.

    When i am standing right in front of my amp and i engage the mid contour setting this sounds better to me. when it is engaged and i am hearing it first hand it sounds warmer and thicker to me. on the other hand when i am standing right in front of my amp with no filter setting on it sounds thinner and harsher to me.

    now i was listening to some sessions we recorded and i found it to be very different hearing it on tape. the mid contour filter setting sounded kinda bland on tape where the unfiltered setting sounded rich with a really nice tone.

    what gives? any insight or comments?
  2. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Sure thing. Mids get cut with a mid contour. This sounds nice, for sure, but in a band setting, mids are what cut your sound through, and support the band. They are what "connects" you with the rest of the sound, if you will. Its the relationship with the rest of the band that is making your bass sound like it does on the tape, not the tape itself. It is really easy to get into a big "smiley face" EQ (the same thing as your contour switch does) which sounds cool and groovy on your own, but when you play with a band, it just gets lost in the mix. Grab an old fender, set your amp near flat, and play with your band some, and tell me it doesnt sound great. Sure, on its own, you might not like the sound, but boy, with some guitars and drums.....mmm mmm good.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    (William Shatner voice "ON"):

    . . . Fifteen inch speaker . . . sounds different . . . every few feet . . . right in front . . . six feet away . . . sound changing . . . Spock!

    (Sorry, I watched too much late night classic trek last night). :D
  4. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    The GK 800RB DI out sounds great. I did a bunch of studio stuff with one of them.

    IIRC it's pre-EQ and not effected by the contour switch or any other controls. At the same time it wasn't flat either and did color the sound of the instrument.

    So, if you were using the DI you got a sound that was different from either of the front panel choices.

    If you're talking about live mic's and ambient sounds...it could be a thousand things
  5. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    I've played with GKs and 15"s a lot and smiled when I saw your post. The countour will enable to to feel the lows better when you are standing a few feet (or inches) from the amp. But out front it can turn it to mud city, especially through a 15. The mids that are cut by the countour control are essential for my bass tone to cut through in a rock, blues, or jazz setting. For slapping the contour is very nice but for fingerstyle I need those mids.
  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    While I will TYPICALLY agree with this, it is not always the case. Here's an example:

    I used to play with a band where the guitar player's tone was literally all mids. His bass frequencies were completely cut as were his treble frequencies (excusing the obvious frequency overlaps at the very low and very high ends of the mid spectrum). That was how he liked his guitar to sound. Now, I normally EQ in a decent amount of mids, typically just enough to get my sound to cut through in a mix (as you put it). However, in this situation a mid scooped EQ allowed me to cut through very effectively while the mid frequencies in my EQ would tend to be covered up by his frequencies.

    I would say that your recommendation would work in 9 out of 10 scenarios (give or take), but in this one it simply did not.
  7. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    blah. i tried playing with the mid contour off this week and hated the way it sounded. it just sounds so thin to me. i need to play around with the settings more i guess.
  8. Try starting off with the amp set flat and then slowly boost the lows to help with that thin sound.

    If you're working to get a great sound with the band,... the trick is to only play around with the settings while playing with the band. It might sound bad when playing on your own but that's not the idea.
  9. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    i already have my lows 3/4 of the way up :bassist:

    does the mid-contour setting bypass the eq? i wonder if i have that set and then try turning up my mids????

    is the mid-contour setting the same thing as me just turning my mids all the way down on my eq?
  10. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    GK eq according to Daniel Elliot in May ’04 (new models for sure, maybe old ones too):

    Contour All the way up, it's +2db at 50hz, -10db at 500hz, and +3db at 7kHz
    Presence is 10K
    Treble is 7k
    High Mid is 1k
    Low Mid is 250hz
    Bass is 60hz
  11. The only difference is the treble on the 800RB is 4k. Contour works the same. The contour creates a V shape where if you left the contour out and cut the hi and low mid, it would create a W shape.
  12. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    so basically the mid contour does more than just cut the mids???? the mid contour engaged is not the same as having it disingaged and cutting the mids????

    what is happening if i engaged the mid contour and then boosted the mids 3/4ths of the way up? would that give me more cut through?
  13. With the mid contour engaged, you would have a -12db cut at 500hz with a +3db boost in the bass and treble frequencies. I forget exactly where. The high mid boosts at 1k and the low mid boosts at 250 so you would essentially get a shape that looks like the top of a heart or like the way you would draw a seagull. Forget all that and just go with your ears. It's good to know how different frequencies effect your tone, but in the end you need to go with what sounds best to you.
  14. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    i guess i need to get someone to play my bass at practice and i'll stand back and listen.

    without the mid contour on it just sounds REALLY harsh to me....which drives me nuts ha ha. :crying:

    i want a smooth thick tone that cuts through........ :bassist:
  15. My eq more often than not ends up looking like a frown :(
  16. Nigel


    Sep 16, 2004
    I play a 700RB and though it's not the same amp i've had similar problems. I also thought it sounded thin, harsh(-ish)....
    I found myself rolling of my tone (passive control) on my bass to remove the high end. I also used a lot of contour and boosted bass and used the 5-string button.
    From my experience the following might help you:

    Don't use contour, and try this equalisation (o'clocks). Treble 9-10, Hi-mid 10, Low-mid 1, Bass 12-1. Removing some Highs and hi-mids really sounds a lot better than cranking the bass-knob.
    I also keep the boost-knob above 12 which saturates the tone a bit, and I no longer roll of my tone on the bass.

    Try tweaking your sound in a band setting rather when playing by yourself. I too think it sounds cool with a lot of contour when playing by myself especially at low volume levels, but with the band it sounds muddy.

    Also if you have active pickups try a bass with passive pickups. I like passives better with my gk 'cause they have less highs

    I like my gk much better now. Hope you will come to appreciate yours as well.