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Soundmen keep telling me bass is muddy and loud!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by rappa29, Jun 21, 2007.


  1. Bass: Fender PJ with DiMarzio DP126 pups
    Rig: GK700RBII, Avatar B210, Ashdown Mini Mag 15
    Setup: GK DI out to FOH, PRE EQ, Output around 9:00.

    Lately soundmen and knowledgeable friends at gigs (i.e. musicians), have been telling me my bass is muddy in the FOH mix. The first few times I discovered it was because I was sending them POST EQ from my head with HI, HI MID, LOW MID at noon and the Bass was dialed in approx 1:00-2:00. So now I send PRE EQ (straight bass sound uncolored by GK EQ) and still get some complaints!?:mad:

    So once they get me EQ’d to their taste in the mix, I get complaints that I’m too loud out front and to turn down!? Cripes, the DI Out is set at 9:00! I don’t have far to go before I’m not sending any signal to the house!! :rolleyes:

    Shoot my Master is set at 9:00ish also on stage! Any lower and our guitar players Marshall stack and our other guitar player’s 4X12 is gonna completely drown me out!:rollno:

    Is there something I need to fix\adjust or am I just dealing with soundmen that don’t know how to EQ my signal and adjust faders\gain on a mixing board??

    Any tips from you veteran giggers would be great! TIA!
     
  2. What about the pots on your bass? Are you running flat?

    In general I'd say take some low end out and boost the mids. This should reduce the mud for clarity and be perceived as louder by the ear at the same time.
     
  3. When they tell me I'm too loud, it's usually because the lows are resonating too much on stage. So rather than actually turning down my volume, I roll off the lows', sometimes quite a bit. Then I push up the mids just a bit (usually a curve peaking around 300Hz).

    This tends to give more "perceptable" stage volume.


    edit: good answer baba!!! you beat me to it.
     
  4. They're asking you to turn your master volume down, not the DI out. Turn your amp down until they get the FOH dialed in, then bring it up to a reasonable level (for you and them).

    Also set your eq flat and go from there. What sounds good on stage can often translate to muddy and too loud out front. If you boost anything, boost the mids a tad.

    The other thing you probably want to do is back your gain down. I know what the manual says to do, but it's wrong. Back it off to well before the clip LED comes on and it will sound better.
     
  5. another important point to cure this. Decouple your bass cab from the stage. Bring one of those gamma pads or a stand, but get it off the floor - especially if the stage is hollow.
     
  6. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    What style of music are you playing?

    I find that an almost excessively mid oriented tone always sits better in the mix, even though it might sound a hair harsh when you play by yourself.

    Maybe roll back your lows a bit, push the mids or low mids a little more.

    Generally I like rolling down the lows and cranking the master a little more. The lows will be there, but it'll mix with some nice presence.
     
  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Good advice here..

    I use the GK 700RBII. I always run the high-mids control way-up at like 3:30, and the lows just a tad down. My highs are down a little; at 10:30 - but I'm runnin' a big'ol PA horn on my rig.

    Yeah: You probably shouldn't mess with your send level, once the soundguy has his channel gains set!

    I also always use compression!

    Joe
     
  8. "What about the pots on your bass? Are you running flat?" - It's passive, but I have the VVT dimed.

    "What style of music are you playing?" - Rock - classic, current, southern, etc. with 2 guitars and drums.

    Thanks for all the EQ tips, but since I'm sending FOH a PRE EQ signal, doesn't that mean it shouldn't matter what my on stage EQ is? They pretty much have me at their mercy EQing from the board for FOH.

    I have my Gain at 12:00. I don't do it like the manual says (i.e. watch for the Clip light) I just set it at noon b\c it's plenty from there and no where near clipping. I have Master at 9:00. I'll start at turning down the Master and flavor to taste from there.

    "Decouple your bass cab from the stage. Bring one of those gamma pads or a stand, but get it off the floor - especially if the stage is hollow." - Hm...never thought to do this. I will give it a try!

    Thanks for all the tips!
     
  9. RADUB1

    RADUB1

    May 11, 2006
    Grand Rapids, MI
    +10000 on decoupling!
     
  10. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    How old are your strings?
     
  11. "How old are your strings?" - I dunno. 3 months or so. I just changed them last night for our gig Sat.
     
  12. Hi, rappa29

    Some venues with SR depend the front row of the audience to hear the music from the backline/side fills. On those places the backline has to be in perfect balance to work satisfactorily.

    If their sound system is set up correctly for wide dispersion, almost any excess "noise" ;) coming from the stage/backline muddies things up pretty quickly regardless of the instrument. Wavelenghts from (A1-A2) 55Hz / 6.27 m - 110 Hz/ 3,14 m are among the worst.

    The best over all solution I've found is to use the backline more like side fills, so the possibility of phase cancellation and standing waves is reduced to minimum.

    The best is to rely entirely on monitors, but I've yet to see that happening with rock music. It's possible, but extremely expensive.

    IMHO the bottom line is: Listen to the sound person, (s)he is there to serve the audience and You. If there's something you don't get, ask politely, thats where the porofessionalism is weighed. They should give an explanation that makes everyone happy.

    BTW. AFAIK there's no DI that can't handle/send any level of signal. Within reasonable limits and ratio of course.

    Just my 0.02€
    Sam
     
  13. Your e.q. will affect only your stage rig, but if that is too deep and too loud, that will affect the sound in the room as well.

    I think you're confusing issues here. Whether you're in the house mix or not, your stage rig will be bleeding into the sound out front. I think that's what they're having issues with, not the sound they're getting from the DI. Keeping stage volume, i.e. personal amps/drums/monitors, down will solve 90% of the problems with a FOH mix. That's why I always tell kids just starting out they're better with smaller/better amps than the big cheap rigs. If a guitarist has $700 to spend on a rig, get a Fender 1-12 combo instead of a Behringer half stack. Mic it, and it will sound tons better out front. Your rig is a nice rig, but you need to keep the volume and bass frequencies under control or it will kill the FOH mix.
     
  14. "I think you're confusing issues here. Whether you're in the house mix or not, your stage rig will be bleeding into the sound out front. I think that's what they're having issues with, not the sound they're getting from the DI. "

    Ahhhh...I get it! I'll have to work on tweaking my stage volume and EQ then. Am very anxious to try the decoupling idea also!

    We have a gig this Saturday so I'll have the chance to apply all these tips right away!

    You guys rock! Thanks! :bassist:
     
  15. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    My amp has casters, I find that helps a lot in decoupling, also, don't place your amp in a corner.
    When I soundcheck I leave my master volume off while the bass in dialed in in the mains, when the soundman is happy I turn up my amp volume enuff to hear but I let the PA do the work of carrying the bass to the audience.
    Also, having a low stage volume gives the soundman more control of the overall sound, and it's easier to hear my vocals in the monitor.
     
  16. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    My amp has casters, I find that helps a lot in decoupling, also, don't place your amp in a corner.
    When I soundcheck I leave my master volume off while the bass in dialed in in the mains, when the soundman is happy I turn up my amp volume enuff to hear but I let the PA do the work of carrying the bass to the audience.
    Also, having a low stage volume gives the soundman more control of the overall sound, and it's easier to hear my vocals in the monitor.
     
  17. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I would invest in a separate passive DI box. Send them a clean signal that they can do what they want to eq wise for FOH. If your band is extremely loud onstage, it defeats the whole purpose of the PA in the first place. Decoupling will do wonders as well.
     
  18. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    +1

    My guitarist and I both side-wash the stage with our cabinets. I honestly don't know why more bands don't do it. We can hear each other great without monitor support or having volume wars, and we don't overpower the FOH.
     
  19. +1 on the sidefill with the amps above. It really lets the FOH do its job while still providing you with the sound you love. Also +1 on the de-coupling mentioned above. And +1 on letting your FOH engineer dial in a direct sound and bringing your stage volume up after that. Something else worth mentioning; if your FOH guy doesn't set his main EQ correctly it's also going to be boomy as hell, especially if he's got the smiley face EQ setting "that sounds great on my iPod!". There's nothing you can do about that without pissing off your FOH guy, unless you know him very well and can make suggestions that will be taken as contructive critisism (sp?). I keep a spare 1/3 octave ready to patch to any insert point on my board just for problems such as this. No cure for too much volume other than- well you know! Good Luck!
     
  20. Depending on how hot your pickups' outputs are, with the Volume and Master (Woofer) settings you describe, if you've got any Boost dialed up at all (say, anywhere near noon on the dial), you're likely to be getting a slightly overdriven sound (lightly distorted). If this is happening, and it's your intention, then fine. But this could be perceived by others as lack of definition in your sound, depending on the type of music you're playing, and as already mentioned, what your intended sound is. Just another factor to take into consideration.
     
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    Jan 16, 2021

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