Need bass suggestions for a big, boomy warehouse-Church...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Godswarrior31, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. Godswarrior31


    Nov 22, 2016
    Ventura CA
    I play at my church primarily, and we are in a large, converted warehouse. Concrete floors, the ceiling is several stories up from the floor. Bottom line, it's big, boomy, and the sound quality is uneven throughout the warehouse. I've played customs, jazz knockoffs, and Rickenbackers. A sound guy once told me the Ric sounded better in the house than the others, but I'm not sure how much stock to put into that since, like all church peeps, he was a volunteer.

    Any thoughts on EQ'ing my rig or even switching to something with less low end and more "cut-through-the-mix" bite? I currently play a 6 string Ibanez J style. Wondering if maybe I should look into something more traditional like a P-bass since sound engineers seem to have an easier time mixing those. Any thoughts?

    FYI the monitor is a 4x10 combo aimed at me, but DI split so sound guy can put bass in the house.
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Play whatever you like, whatever sounds good to you on stage.
    Let the sound guy worry about the room. Changing basses won't change the fact that the room is a nightmare, and I doubt different basses would be able to affect the FOH mix much anyway.
    cdef and Dr. Cheese like this.
  3. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    This is about as good of advice as you are going to get. If the FOH guy doesn't know how to cut down the boominess, it doesn't matter what you play.
    Onward and Dr. Cheese like this.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Mr. Ogle and Mdogs said what I was going to say. You have a PA, not a bass problem. The church should get carpeted and hang curtains too. That would get rid of a lot of boom.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
    Onward likes this.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    What they said.
  6. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Not to beat a dead horse but...yeah. What they said. It's not the bass.
  7. Gnal


    Apr 22, 2014
    If you can, check what the other instrumentalists are doing that can help too. At my church we have a Taylor acoustic with the expression system (preamp has volume, bass & treble boosts); some players (and some sound volunteers) will max all three controls causing boom to come from the guitar. Unfortunately when that happens we suffer since bass gets cut in an attempt to control the acoustics boom.

    Our guys understand it now but there was some trouble shooting involved. Also, if you can get to know the sound guys and what they do, you can get to learn how they want to hear bass. Sometimes to get more 'bass' they boost the low frequencies which also creates extra boom.

    The volunteers I've worked with have been willing to learn and you can suggest reigning in the lows and boosting low-mids to hear if there is a difference.

    The bass you play shouldn't have too much impact, like the others have said, it's how the PA is mixed. Just be aware that boom doesn't always come from us, but we are the easiest to blame since that is typically our sonic territory.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  8. Onward


    Jul 2, 2016
    "Concrete floors, the ceiling is several stories up from the floor."

    It's probably a combination of the building and the sound system leaning more towards the building.

    Plus being an old warehouse probably with metal walls is an acoustical nightmare because believe it or not, those low frequency tones if enough wattage from the amps are present actually "flex" the metal panels and they slightly vibrate and rattle. Plus, they werent designed for acoustics. Worse is a rainy day or a hot summer day with high humidity. For some reason, humidity enhances bass tones especially in those types of buildings and it is nearly impossible to counteract. Believe it or not, in church activity buildings and gymns, they usually save costs by undersizing HVAC systems to and including eliminating humidity control options available in those systems.

    My church is very similar in construction except that it is the "multipurpose activities building" of another church. We share the parking lot on Sunday morning.
    Here is what we did to help out your type of problem.

    Built a wooden stage 2 feet off the concrete and carpeted the stage with low shag commercial grade carpet.

    Draped the metal back wall behind the stage with thick fabric.

    Carpeted the front and aisles.

    Purchased drop ceiling panels that were also functioned as acoustic dampeners and cut them to fit in cheap large picture frames and hung them on the side metal walls like art and randomly in the overhead roof trusses. Basically made our own cheap acoustic panels.

    Improved sound quality and took out some natural reverb and echo from the building. Then tweaked the sound system. We hired an acoustics company afterwards to spectrum analyze the building using white and pink noise and sampling microphones and received a recommended graphics eq setup report and went from there. That helped us.

    I remember Peavey in the early nineties made a digital equalizer that came with a microphone and white/ pink noise generators built in that would digitally set your eq up based on their analysis.

    I bet your drummer loves the building because it is cavernous and allows his tone to shine. That is the Neil Peart DW Drum era recording secret. Studios with open areas and high ceilings. Did not have to over muffle his tone losing color and character and allowed the cymbals to dissipate more without dampening them losing ring and sparkle.

    Since ricky basses are slightly more treblely by nature, i would take a little stock in that statement. I can see that happening.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  9. Trouztrouz


    Feb 6, 2013
    Do you also worship the god of surplus good? I thought I was the only one!

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