Small mix desk as bass preamp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rockin John, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. I wondered if anyone had considered / done this before: the bass goes into the desk which then feeds the bass power amp and speakers. Please note that I am NOT considering feeding the bass into the PA.

    I thought a small 4 channel mixer appears to be ideal. Such as:-

    I could then, in theory, set up the EQ for the fretless and fretted on two chans. It would make a useful tool for a bit of mix experimentation at home, and would be ideal for a simple PA set up outside the band.

    Is there any wisdom on such a proposal, please?


  2. I've never tried it but I guess it would sound OK, as long as you are using good souding basses to start with; as I doubt that a cheap mixer will do anything nice for your sound. Also the eq bands on the mixer might not match too well with bass frequencies that are typically played with. Thats my guess.

    By the way, how's you hand? Getting better yet?
  3. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    We used to run multiple keyboards through mixers for this very reason. The bassmaniac has a point about quality of sound. Ime Behringer is a little lacking low sound reinforcement. but it's worth a shot.
  4. jawzzz


    May 23, 2003
    Denver Colorado
    I just did this the other day. I have a Behringer UB 1002 mixer and I ran my bass through it to my crown CE 1000 then to my Ampeg 610 hlf. It did not sound bad at all. I also have a Behringer ultra graph in the mix too. I used my bass preamp to control the overall tone. So the anwer is yes, it can be done.:)
  5. I've been thinking about this too, mainly because it allows me to have complete control over my rig, especially when I come to add to it later. I don't have to start from scratch, I can just send the Aux. Outputs into power mixers into cabs.

    I strongly suggest you run into a separate preamp first, then into a mixing desk. The Soundcraft Notepad is a good choice, but I'm not sure how easy to obtain they are outside of the UK...
  6. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I do this at home but run my bass preamps, drum machine, guitar amp modeler and even a microphone through the mixer (also a Behringer) into my power amp and cabinets. I chose a 4 bus mixer so that if I wanted to use this setup live, I could plug all of my basses into the board, send a submix to the preamps, then mix the preamp signals before they reach the poweramp and cabinets.

    If you are happy with the EQ that the mixer affords you, it will work just fine.

    I've seen Victor Wooten live a couple of times and he has a mixing board on top of his rack and runs all of his basses in there first. If it's good enough for Vic...
  7. I've had very good luck using a Behringer PMX2000 powered mixer for bass in medium-to-high volume rock/funk groups. There is a bit of hiss which is easily drowned out, but overall the sound is clear and tight. Great bang-for-the-buck.
  8. dirk


    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    I have a mixer I bought for recording projects, and I've been thinking of adding a keyboard to my rig for synth bass stuff, and in the event I did this, I would run the preamp and module into different channels in the mixer and then out to my power amp and cabs.

  9. Yes. Interesting.

    For bass, I'm pretty much a natural sound player. I hardly use the EQs on an amp (setting them to off / zero) preferring to get my tones from the controls on the bass. Even on the passive fretless I work like that.

    I was concerned about the signal levels not being high enough and that's something I'll perhaps get chance to try tonight @ rehersal (we use a higher model Behringer for PA).

    I've got a sneaking suspicion that, as a general concept, this idea might work quite well albeit that (as noted) the EQs are not really designed for bass.

    The big draw, is that something like this Behringer is cheap (I can buy for about £55) and, more importantly, it could be the start of a really decent and flexible setup.

  10. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    It may be good as the start of a flexible setup, but my experience has been that the sound lacked considerably.

    I tried a mini-mixer so I could personally switch from keyboard to bass to guitar in a live setup. I ran my instruments with DIs to the mixer and then into a Samson Servo550, then into my pair of SVT2x10pros. It did work. I could manage the instrument swaps well and had decent control, but the sound compared to my bass head into the same cabinets paled considerably.

    I think it's a great idea for the start of a flexible system, but the bass preamp seems like it has to be there eventually.
  11. junglebike

    junglebike Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I've found the behringer pres don't do a good job with magnetic pickups -- it'd do you a world of good to put a DI of some sort before the board to provide some impedence matching better than the mixing board can provide...

    just my experience from A/B tests of active and passive basses direct into a behringer 6-input cheapie vs. buffered with a de-activated Sansamp BDDI (i.e. no tone shaping, just the impedance matching.) Pretty significant difference in clarity.