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Need bassic help with settings (amp & eq)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CzarMike, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. I need some help with some basic bass settings. I've been playing for about two years and still just can't find really good settings. I'm totally self taught (I learn everything from my role models on tape), so I don't have a mentor or someone to help out with basic problems like this. I can tell my band has gotten frustrated with my constant messing around with bass settings, so I need to clear this up once and for all.
    First I'll list my gear:
    • Fretless Jazz w/Dimarzio model J's
      Squier (yuck) P-bass w/EMG selects (sound nice)
      Marshall 3540 Head (400 watts, pretty cool)
      2 traynor 2x12 cabs
      Rogue Bass EQ Pedal
    The marshall has a nice EQ (5 band) and the rogue pedal can catch everything else.
    I guess I need to know which frequencies to boost and which not to. I don't play slap and like a more rounded, somewhat electric bass sound (my favorite tone ever is Ron Wood on Maggie May). Needless to say I've never achieved this, even though I have a great Jazz Bass. I play in a rock band, and it's hard to fit in with the rest of the band, it seems like the only thing that you can ever hear is just the complete bottom end.
    I'll make my question easier:
    1. Which frequencies work best on a fretless jazz?
    2. Which frequencies work best on a P Bass?

    We'll go from there.

    I really love this place, and I appreciate any help from real bass players that I can get.
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    All of the following is personal opinion based on this thread and reading your band's biog. So please use or ignore what I am about to say (type).

    I think that you have some basic problems and some potential solutions. Please note that a solution is one possible answer not necessarily the right one.

    Problem 1

    You play in a rock band with two other guitarists both with Gibsons. Yes one has a Strat but I bet my Cartman boxers he prefers the Gibson (or should do in that setting). Anyway whatever guitars they use, they will be dominating the mids and the upper mids. There's probably a wall of distortion to get through.

    Problem 2

    In conjunction with the above you use passive basses and cabs with 12's. It could be worse you could be using 15's.

    Problem 3

    One of the guitarists has a 2x15 cab.

    Problem 4

    You have a Rogue EQ pedal and I bet that it has a buffered bypass with the 'tonesucking' phenomenon.


    4 Ditch the pedal and use quality leads, get yourself a George L. Ignore the others, these leads have a better top end response than any other except Monster. They are cheaper than Monster and solderless so can be fixed with a screwdriver and pliers/penknife.

    3 Convince the guitarist to ditch the cab. Whilst we are on the subject of others hogging your frequencies take a butchers at their amps. 2:1 favorite that at least one of them has scooped the mids. Check for the bass and treble frequencies maxed and the mids if any reduced. If this is the case get them to re- eq using a flatter setting.

    2 Set your EQ flat and play the P with volume and tone on full. Play nearer the bridge. Now many will shudder here but consider playing with a pick, many great P bass tones were achieved this way. BTW Geddy Lee would often imitate pick sounds with his nails so if you don’t bite them use them. Now get the Jazz and set all the controls on full. Try boosting the mids a bit on your amp. Keep swapping the two basses and make slight alterations so both basses sound 'good'. I would personally the fretless for lighter moments.

    For anyone else reading yes you can play a fretless for anything but it's a passive bass in a rock scenario and its my opinion.

    1 Boosting the mids on your amp should help but here is another trick to get through the wall of sound. You have the luxury of two cabs so position one under the amp and the other one is your personal private monitor. Rest it on the floor/wall at 45 degrees or stick in on a chair/table (use objects to angle it-books are good my bandleader uses an active DI box, don’t tell the sound guy). Speakers are directional so angle some of them at your head. This method can enable all of you to turn down a bit (and sound engineers will love you for it). If your drummer is using anything heavier than 5a's get him some.

    Hope this helps please pick and choose and let us know what happens.
  3. Wow, that is great advice, thank you so much!. I guess I should have known that if the lead guitarist is using that 15" that it would put him right in the middle of my sounds.
    You pinned the needle on the donkey about the gibsons, they both prefer to use them most of the time.
    Holy crap, it's like you are looking at their amps! They both have bass + treble at full and mids slightly reduced. This next practice will be a war!

    I'll ditch that pedal right away, I was only really using it as a boost anyways, which I can do with my amp.

    I will fist fight the guitarists to get them to work with my needs better.

    I'll definately try out your advice on the guitar/amp settings, what frequencies exactly make up "mids". 800hz or is it higher up?
    I use the fretless for only about a quarter of our set (the "softer" songs), and I use the p for all rocking purposes. I already use picks with the p and somtimes even with the fretless, I didn't want to admit that here, I thought I'd get my head bitten off.

    I'll also try using one cab as a monitor, that just makes sense now that I think about it.

    You have been a lifesaver with this advice, I can't thank you enough
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    You are welcome. I'm glad my guesses were near the mark.

    RE 800hz that's probably low mids but you can try goosing it a little bit and if that dont work go a little higher.

    RE the fist fight try eqing all three amps together so you are working on the band sound together.

    If you get any crap play them a CD on a hifi at lo and hi volume with the loudness control in and out. The loudness button simulates loud by boosting bass and treble. You dont need it in when the music is loud. You dont need a scooped sound at band levels.

    Glad to be of help and see you around the boards