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Slap volume vs fingerstyle volume

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Papersen, May 3, 2004.

  1. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    Hi there. When I play my Cirrus (and my other basses too) I have a substantial
    difference in the output signal. I record most of my jam sessions at home and gets pretty obvious when I check the levels in the digital file.

    I`m not a "hard" slapper, and try to accomodate the technique to make the volume even to fingerstyle, but it`s hard to achieve. I suppose I have the same problem during my gigs.

    I wonder if a decent compressor is the solution :(

    I`d like to hear some advice.
  2. Which is louder? Slapping or fingerstyle? The post wasn't very clear.

    It might be technique, but if you feel your technique is fine then IMHO I say just adjust the volume knob when changing styles. I do this when changing between pick and fingerstyle. Pick is noticeably louder than fingers for me, so I just adjust my volume to compensate.

    - Chris
  3. It's a good thing most basses come equipped with a high tech device called a volume pot... ;)

    If you're looking for quick volume changes though, you could always get a pedal for it.... if nothing else, get and EQ pedal and lower the gain, stomp it on for slap, off for Fingers...

    Dag, Yo.
  4. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH

    I play a 4-string Cirrus.

    Great bass, but I have the same output level problem between fingerstyle and slap. Since I almost never slap, I haven't really addressed the problem.
  5. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002

    Well, I don`t care about the "pingy" sound of the Cirrus coz a fix it tweaking the knobs a bit.
    I mean, slap sound maybe 40% - 50% louder than fingerstyle. I`ve tried attacking
    the strings harder, with no results.

    Thanks for the help.
  6. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I'm no slapper, but my guess is that increasing fingerstyle volume is not the best approach to solve the output level problems.

    Usually, a light touch seems best for fingerstyle.
  7. Uh....a compressor, anyone?
  8. Hello everyone, I'm new here.

    Anyway, I find this to be an interesting problem. I keep hearing that slapping is louder, but I've never experienced that myself. I suppose I may just pluck harder than some guys (I know I do some of the time), but I'm not really aware of it.
  9. Sounds like a heavy hand when slap/pop and a light defined technique with fingerstyle. I have troubles sometimes also with a good balance between techniques. Lotta right hand calibration :)

    If there's no way to do it with hand techniques, a good compressor can help. Rack or stomp, try a couple out.
  10. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I'd say it depends on the bass too. Some basses sound louder when they're slapped, but some sound quieter. Currently I'm borrowing a MusicMan StingRay 5 from my buddy, and one of the things that's really impressive about it is the consistency of the volume as you move between slap and fingerstyle. IMO it has something to do with that wierd midrangey MusicMan thing, but if you set the unusualness (is that a word?) aside, and just concentrate on making the bass sing, it's a pretty darn nice instrument.

    In my experience, it's very unusual to find a bass that's consistent that way. Most of the ones I've played go one way or the other, either they're substantially louder when they're slapped (mostly those are the ones with a strong low midrange), or they're quieter (scooped midrange). My recent experience with the StingRay has confirmed my opinion that this phenomenon has mostly to do with the midrange balance in the pickups and electronics.

    But, I wouldn't go modifying my bass for that reason, or let's say, only as a last resort. First I'd try some outboard EQ, like maybe a good parametric. That assumes that the bass is rich in the right frequencies to begin with. But I'll bet if you play around with the EQ a little, you can find a setting that will even out the dramatic difference in volume between the two playing styles.
  11. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Hey, yeh this is interesting cos ive had the same problem, at a gig when ur playing fingerstyle and then u go too slap and the volume cuts down on the bass.. i thought it was my pickups, but i guess not.. cheers for the info on here, ill just use my ODB3 to boost my slapping when needed.

  12. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    I had this problem going from slapping to tapping... I couldn't just turn the volume knob because it was a fast change. The tapping was always so quiet. Grrrr.