Needing different Sounds Live/Remaining Consistant

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by jd_watt, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Hi Everyone,

    I've noticed a reoccurring issue I've been having in my band: our set consists of all originals, and nearly all of them have some sort of stylistic/sonic variation. Many times, each song seems to call for a different bass tone, but I'm hesitant, as I like to get one ballpark consistent tone (especially live). I was just wondering what some other players thought of this and how you might deal with it. Do you try to keep a relatively consistent tone through one gig? Do you use eq, effects, tone adjustments on the instrument, etc? I've also come to realize that sometimes my preferred tone isn't complimentary to certain songs in our set. That's been under careful consideration too. What do you think?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    If I change tones, I at least try to maintain some consistency. I set my pedals to not jump out louder than my clean sound in a mix (except when I'm boosting for solos or something similar), if I switch pickups or change tonal settings on my basses, I keep them the same volume, things like that. But there's nothing at all wrong with having one good sound all night long. It definitely requires less work and thought and usually works just fine.
  3. JeffLieby


    Dec 25, 2007
    Orange, TX
    I often vary my tone with slight adjustments of my tone knob or altering my right hand position/technique. Once set, rarely would I adjust my onboard or amps eq or make any volume adjustment. I like to get it right the first time, and leave it alone. If the song warrants a different feel or sound, like I said, a slight tweak to the tone control or right hand adjustment does the trick. I can accomplish a wealth of different tones by doing so, and it keeps soundmen happy because I am not constantly tweaking things.
  4. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    Like Jimmy said, getting the sounds consistent in volume is important, but it will seemingly vary (psychoacoustics) depending on how loud things are, as well as location dynamics (standing waves and the like). You might need two copies of the patches, one for practice at reasonable volumes, then another with the levels or EQs tweaked for playing at gig volumes. You might also find that the level of effect that sounds good in practice might be overpowering live which is another reason to have two sets of patches. Hopefully then you can tweak things for a particular venue with amp EQ (if you have a reasonable number of bands on offer), and send a pre-EQ version to FOH if you have PA support.
  5. I use a Zoom B3 pedal and use the various amp models and EQ controls on them to get the tone I'm looking for for each song. If the song calls for a different tone part way through, I'll either choose a graphic eq as one of the available B3 effects or set up another patch...I make sure that the relative volume of each patch is where I want it to be and compensate up or down as needed so my volume is consistent whatever the tone.

    When I get the gig set list I use the Zoom library software on my laptop to drag and drop the patches into set list order (the names of the patches are the same as the song).

    When I get to the gig, I leave the patches alone, and just run my core tone and go through a few of the other patches. I then use the EQ on my ART Prochannel to EQ for the room and make sure the patches I'm checking out sound like I want them to in that room with the band playing, then it's done...I can then step through each patch, song by song, and they all come up sounding like I expected
  6. RedMoses


    Jul 4, 2012
    If you have the Luxury of using your own Rig at every show i would look into a Genz-Benz GBE series, i have one and althouhg i dont use it they come with a foot pedal that allows you to switch between 2 independant channels, Tube and a SOlid state Pre with the options to mix the two (so you can have 3 distinct tones), It also has 3 filter switches for Low /Mid /High so you can really carve out a specific sound and switch between them quickly, that is MANY different tone permutations...

    If you cant count on your head your goig to have to get a few powerful pre amp pedals, i have a Radial Tone Bone, very powerful and versitile but you basically get 2 distinct tones out of it so you will need more Pre's for more tones...

    Yes, adjusting your playing style and using your tone knob will help but only so much, if you trying to go from Motown to Gurnge and back to Hair Bands your going to need a few power tools.
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