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Sound problem - advice needed...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by addylewis, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Hey guys

    Did a gig a couple weeks ago and my bass was being a real pain...y'know when your doing a gig then you hit an open A (you know what this is gonna be...) and its 3 times as loud as every other note on the bass (EXCEPT A)

    We all messed with the EQ for a good 10 minutes (even turning the bass down to zero) and couldn't do ANYTHING with it whatsoever...that one note was just so LOUD and BASSY - it was awkward coz I wasn't going through the P.A. - just had to hit every A note really softly so they balanced with the rest of the notes...

    How can I avoid it happening again (I KNOW its ultimately down to the room but...surely theres something which'll at least help?)

    I was thinking maybe a compressor or limiter pedal...could that help the problem if not cure it?
  2. catdetector79

    catdetector79 Guest

    Jan 13, 2009
    I think that not only is it the room, but where your cab is in the room. I had the very same "A" problem in a practice space on one side of the room, but not on the opposite side. Same EQ settings, same rig, same bass.
  3. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    +1. If it only happened on that one gig, chances are there was something about that room that was making that frequency louder.

    Moving the amp/cab around may have helped. Was it in a corner, is your amp rear ported? Was it on a hollow wooden floor? Could have been any number of things. If it happens again at the same venue, enlist a couple of band mates to move your amp (very carefully), even elevate it, whilst you're playing to tune the offending frequency out and find the sweet spot.

    I don't think a compressor would help, as it compresses all of the sound going into the amp. The room was reacting to the sound coming out of the amp, so it would have sounded just as loud on that note.

    However, what would work would be a parametric EQ as it will affect only a portion of the sound coming out of the amp by honing in on the offending frequency and reducing it's volume. Luckily you know which note it is, so you should be able to find the corresponding frequency. Or just boost the gain on the eq, sweep the freq knob through whilst playing till it jump out at you, and then reduce till it sits better with the other notes. If you have a 'Q' or width control, you can really hone in tightly on the offending frequency without affecting the other notes. This is more or less the same process used to reduce feedback, and in mastering.

    The eq really shouldn't be necessary though, but it's a viable solution if moving the amp isn't an option.
  4. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    In this case A=440 Hz, or multiples thereof, e.g. 110Hz, 220Hz, 440Hz, 880Hz, etc. Notching out one of those with a very narrow Q using a parametric EQ should help. But each room would have a different resonant frequency so it wouldn't work for all venues.

    Maybe an isolation pad like the Auralex Gramma would help if the stage coupling was increasing the boominess.

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