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So what does "punch" mean, anyway?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by darwin-bass, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    We have so many terms to describe bass sound but I suspect that few of us really have clear definitions of them. We think we're clearly communicating but I suspect often we not even speaking the same language.

    I'd love to have some definitions in terms of volume & frequency. No fair using the term to define the term ("Smooth, you know - when it sounds smooth like a gentle breeze").
    • Growly
    • In-Your-Face
    • Hi-Fi
    • Vintage
    • Full
    • Smooth
    • Bite
    • Bark
    • Burp
    • Fart (sorry, but I'm not making these up)
    • Thud
    • Thump
    And the one that leaves me the most confused:
    • Punch
  2. P A U L

    P A U L

    Oct 18, 2015
    Los Angeles
    you've never heard speaker fart?
  3. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    It can be amp fart, too.
  4. Punch to me means hi-mid presence
    Phalex, RissKippery, TrevorR and 15 others like this.
  5. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"...

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    When I think of “punch” I think of relatively fast attack, mid presence, strong fundamental and a bit of compression.
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Aqualung60 and retslock like this.
  7. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    As well as minds.
  8. Drifter8230


    Sep 4, 2020
    From the wiki:

    Strong lows/mids that produce a pronounced Dull initial Attack - muted/padded kick drum-like in character (Reflective artist: Berry Oakley)
  9. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    These are a couple of the punchiest bass tracks I can think of. There are tons. Mid range yes, and middle upper register. Some basses have that woody resonance or sweet spots on the neck. Also in these cases the articulation and attack enhance the sound cutting through.

    bluemonk, nbsipics and Vinny_G like this.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Tight, focused lows and plenty of mids.

    You can have punch with or without highs... but I prefer with (some).
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  11. Punch to me means...

    It cuts and punches right thru the mix. Every note heard.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  12. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016

    See the TalkBass Tone Glossary Wiki page.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    When I fart, I blame the drummer.
    Fialka, McTred, Aqualung60 and 9 others like this.
  14. Drifter8230


    Sep 4, 2020
    G-Dog likes this.
  15. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    So, punch is when the sound has plenty of lows, mids, and highs. Enough punch, and you’re clearly heard in the mix.

    I use another word for that:

  16. tenor.gif
  17. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    80-120 hz
    Doug4321, ElMon, oaklandthumb and 2 others like this.
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Vinny_G, ruju, DrMole and 1 other person like this.
  19. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    Ya see there we are. To me punch is emphasizing the heart of the sound from say 160hz to about 400hz. Others are saying upper midrange.
  20. marchone

    marchone Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    My benchmark is an acoustic double bass in a symphonic setting. The ‘51 Precision with one single coil pickup running at 60hz was the first step away with an amplified and decidedly electrified sound. Split coils changed the sound more in an attempt to resolve feedback. Active electronics brought the “modern” sound. Punch, bite and growl is now part of a modern player’s lexicon when once a Jazz Bass with roundwound strings and 100w Marshall stacks only hinted at what is available today with active instruments and solid state mega watt amps.
    mikewalker likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Dec 3, 2020

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