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My amp/sound reality check

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by secretdonkey, Feb 12, 2003.


  1. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I always jump at the chance to let a others play through my equipment (preferably with my own bass) in a full band setting, so I can hear an aproximation of how I sound to the house. Got my first opportunity to do that with my latest toy, an SWR SM-900.

    One of my bandmates hosts an open mic night, which I seldom attend, but last night was his birthday, and he wanted the band to be there. Well, I was pretty well pleased with what I heard - hooray!

    The amp's got two EQ channels - one I setup for fingerstyle and the other is set for a fatter sound for slap/pop stuff. Interestingly, all three other bassists present that night chose the fatter slap channel, although none of them slapped. I had to ask one of them to play my bass through my fingerstyle channel - and yup, it sounded better for fingerstyle, despite the apparent consensus for the thicker tone. I don't think my fingerstyle tone is exactly thin, either - bass knob at 2 o'clock, treble at 1 o'clock, tweeter attenuator at 11 o'clock, slight boost at 150 Hz, moderate cut at 800 Hz.). Bass is an EMG equipped J with fresh Fat Beam strings. Cab is a single Goliath III.

    Never sounds quite as good as you imagine it in your head, but I didn't immediately find anything I wanted to change, except to move the tweeter attenuator from 11 to 12 o'clock.

    :D
     
  2. watspan

    watspan Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    From my own experience, when others have played my bass through my amp they still don't sound like me! although you're doing an aplle/apple thing theoretically, I think you need to record yourself and play it back. This does seem to support the "Tone is in the fingers" concept, though!
     
  3. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I totally agree with you that it's an imperfect comparison, when someone else plays your rig - I don't agree with you on recording, though, since it's practically impossible to accurately capture and then reproduce the way the low end feels in the room. Also, the benefit of getting to hear how you sound at various distances/positions from the stage would be hard to do with a recording.

    Thanks for sharing the thought. :)
     
  4. watspan

    watspan Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    maybe the thing to try is a really long cord or wirless system so could get out in front of the stage in a sound check or something.

    BTW--is that a Gov't Mule?;)
     
  5. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, I wouldn't mind having a wireless system for that sole reason.

    Heh - it does kinda look like a mule, but I stole the image from a bonafide donkey breeder's website :D

    My classic rock cover band covers a couple of Mule tunes, though ;)
    - Worried Down With the Blues, Drivin' Rain, and a bunch of Allmans stuff like Good Clean Fun, Whipping Post, Statesboro, One Way Out... some others I forget because I'm not really a huge fan of either band - just stuck in a classic rock cover band. :(

    One of our vocalists/guitarists is a big fan - Accordingly, the band is named 'Rockin' Horse' :D
     
  6. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've got a wireless. The first thing you notice when U walk out front is that your bass sounds comparitively softer than when you were standing on stage. This is understandable coz you're not standing near your amp any more, but it does give you an initial shock.

    After a few minutes your ears adjust and you realise that the front mix is usually fine. You really need to give yourself enough time out front before you start analysing your sound.