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slapping being drowned out...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by vic_6, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. vic_6


    Dec 19, 2004
    Manila, Philippines
    ok, so i hae no idea where to put this, so im just putting it here...

    i play in a somewhat funk rock band with two guitarists. and well, my problem, as the title suggests, is that i seem to get drowned out when i start slapping in some parts of our originals. especially when im slapping at around the 7th fret...

    i use a stingray by the way, which SHOULD cut right through prettyt damn well...

    but anyway, there. i dunno whether to just raise my volume level real high or get something to enhance the sound or volume just for my slap parts...

    any suggestions?

  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Add mids?
  3. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    In all honesty, and someone else posted this in a thread long ago, slapping is a style that can get drowned out no matter what bass you use. Adding mids will help, but many TB'ers say that cutting the mids is the ideal slap sound and adding mids makes it muddy.

    Just think of RHCP, as soon as Flea starts to slap, he gets a bit lost in the mix, once he starts fingerstyle or pickstyle again all of a sudden he is much more audible.

    Maube you should dial in more neck PUP to get the low end to help you.
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    There are a number of options. One is to boost the signal when you start slapping - eg. jump on a pedal or, when playing finger style, keep the volume knob turned down a bit. Another is to make your fingerstyle playing lighter so that your slap work keeps up with it without having to adjust the volume (although you'll need to run your set up a bit louder all the time to compensate). Or you could use a compressor, which will even out the volume peaks and troughs of your sound.

    Actually, one of the best approaches, perhaps combined with some of the above, is for the whole band to understand how the volume of the bass varies. When you're slapping, the rest of the band might need to lay back a bit, in just the same way as keeping things down a bit so that a vocal line doesn't get drowned out.

  5. vic_6


    Dec 19, 2004
    Manila, Philippines
    ras: i use a single pup ray...so no neck pup.

    wulf: hmmm... ill try those. hopefully my soon to arrive punch factory can help.
  6. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I can hardly read properly at the best of times, let alone after being awake for 14 hours. :crying: Shame on me...

    How low is your action? i noticed that the lower the action, the more pronounced the slap sound gets. it seems to have a longer attack. I'm assuming that being a stingray the action is low already... so try boosting the treble also. Your tone might get slightly harsher, but if you think of Marcus Miller's tone or Victor Wooten's tone, both of them have really bright tones. And they're probably the current slap kings.
  7. vic_6


    Dec 19, 2004
    Manila, Philippines
    oh i forgot to mention. i have an '80 pre EB. so it might just need a refret already... since there are two frets that get quite some buzz..(and it's not my truss rod since it's set up pretty nice already))

    yeah my action's pretty low already.
    and i have tried boosting my treble. it's at the point that if i push it even a wee bit more, it'd be too harsh already...
  8. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    As you say a stingray should do the job. My suggestion is to look at the arrangement of your songs. Your gear, technique etc could be fine but poor arrangements could still make you struggle. Record yourselves and see what's working and what isn't. You say it's mainly a problem in your originals, is everyone simply getting too excited and turning it to mush?
  9. vic_6


    Dec 19, 2004
    Manila, Philippines
    oh. well, naw. the arrangements are fine. i guess it was kinda useless mentioning that i slapped on originals since we dont cover any songs with slaps...sorry for misleading. that wasnt my intention.
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Try recording one of your bass parts on it's own. Listening back, how much does the volume seem to change when you slap? If it doesn't sound too drastically different, the problem is that the different timbre (sound characteristics) of slap bass are getting lost in the mix.

    You'll probably find that a different arrangement - changing what people are playing or at least the volume they're playing at - makes a world of difference. There's a lot more to the art of arrangment than just what order the verses and choruses go in and where you stick the bridge!

  11. Compressor with a slow attack?
  12. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    I use a carl martin compressor & boost the highs a bit.

    I also boost my low-mids a little...Its not the ideal smooth jazz slap sound, but it cuts.
  13. Flanders


    Oct 30, 2002
    Reno, NV
    My friend is a slap monster/fingerstyle guy. He kicks on an EQ pedal when slapping. It still has mids cut but the overall level of everything is boosted up.
  14. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    What sounds like a good tone solo may not be a good tone in a band setting (I've said this elsewhere). If you want to make tonal adjustments, do them while rehearsing with your band, not all alone. If you want to try another solution you could always get some kind of clean boost pedal, or perhaps an EQ pedal, or a compressor of some kind. All of these might work out for you. But whatever you do, make sure you're testing it out in a band setting.
  15. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    errr dont slap.......

    seriously though in a live band/performance context as soon as you start slapping the arse falls out of the band...plus, 9 times out of 10 it sounds woeful and besides its meaningless to the average punter at the gig...I used to gig with a rock band where when it came time for solos I used to do the machine gun triplet..stu hamm/mark king slapping thing...died a death, then one time I just played the 7 nation army riff instead...crowd went nuts :rolleyes: :smug:

    In my 20 years of gigging and going to gigs I have yet to hear live slap sound good (or for that matter be audible)..yes it'll sound great on the "live" album after much post production tweaking...but at the gig? very..very tricky.

    Level 42s Mark King is an absolute animal when it comes to slap bass..but in live performances he uses a synth bass to hold down the low end.