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Stopping Feedback in LOUD Settings

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by rnilson, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. rnilson


    Mar 8, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    Hey Everybody
    I just played my first gig in a Loud electronic dance music jam band type setting. (With and upright?, I know). I am running my bass through a realist into a electro harmonix looper into a mixing amp which goes to the house pa. Due to the type of music it was scream at friend to talk loud. My upright feedback sooo bad I couldn't use it. If I turned up the gain enough on the looper to be heard in the mix i would instantly get bawwoooo feedback that I couldn't even mute with my hand on the strings. So I had to play BG all night:bawl:.
    What can I do?
    I was thinking underwood pickup into a fishman EQ-pro bass?
    I know it is possible to do this, Chris Wood plays really loud with mmw.:help:
  2. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Check out the feedback eliminators. They really work.
    They only notch the frequencies they have to, and only as deep as they have to.
    Keeps the bass tone - only louder.
  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Out of curiosity, how deep / wide do the notches tend to be?
  4. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    The body of an acoustic bass is perfectly designed to generate feedback when amplified at high volume. Feedback eliminators can help, but the frequency they remove is usually crucial to the "acoustic" sound. The laws of physics are pretty hard to get around. A good EUB will ultimately sound better for what you're doing.
    Zbysek likes this.
  5. jmceachern36

    jmceachern36 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA
    I play in a Ska/Reggae band and used my upright for a while. I did 2 things (not at the same time). I put foam in the f holes and rolled up under the bridge (with a fishman pickup). Worked very well. The sound was a bit muffled though. Then I bought a magnetic pickup (custom one from a guy here on TB). Seemed to be the better option. No feedback at all! The sound however was closer to an electric bass. Still a great sound though. It also cut though the mix much better.
  6. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    For what it's worth, I use an Underwood via a Fishman Pro EQ into a variety of amps according to the gig (and my mood!). There is a phase switch on the PEQ that helps a bit. However my fall back is to take the treble back. It does not compromise the sound unduly and enables me to play very loud if I need to.
    Another trick is to go to the front of the stage for a solo. You can turn the vol right up and you even get noticed: it's good presentation. Make sure you have a longish lead or you will pull the rig over and get even more noticed.
  7. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    One fix for loud gigs is to use a velcro strap around the strings between bridge and tailpiece. A piece of dense foam between tailpiece and top also helps.

    Phase switch and notch filter are the other key parts of the solution. With my Clarus (series 3), I used the notch plus the phase switch (to reverse the phase back from the notch's reverse) and HPF on fdeck's preamp and it worked well.
  8. rnilson


    Mar 8, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    Ok, I like the magnetic pickup idea. In this situation I am willing to sacrifice some natural sound for not having to deal with feed back. So what pick up should I get and where?
  9. Also, check the setup of your bass, eg how well the bridge fits the top. Any air gaps at all, and you will get more feedback.

    Stadium rockers (Living End, Stray Cats) use magnetic pickups. Personally, I'd rather get a Jazz Bass and be done with it!
  10. mellowgerman


    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I don't know how this would work with an upright but I've heard that when you cover the f holes on semi and full hollow electrics it kills at least some of the feedback.
  11. And of course there's the knee clamp.

    Winoman and DB Slidefunk like this.
  12. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Oh, is that what it's called? :D
  13. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I don't know that much about magnetic p/u's for DB. But I do know there's this. The thread starts off DIY but if work your way to the end you can simply order one from jflojazz.

    And I think maybe the Schaller as seen here is (or was) the de facto standard. But I could be wrong about that.

    I've also seen posts about strapping a P-bass pickup or the like to the end of the FB. I think that's discussed somewhere in this forum too.
  14. OK, I'll bite- what the heck is the knee clamp? Is that the Avishai Cohen 'looks like he's humpin' the bass' thing? (My girlfriend blushed when she him do that...)
  15. That's it, squeeze the bass between your knees between songs (or heck even during songs) to stop feedback at high volume.

  16. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    Parametric eq. Playing live with Patricia Barber I have to play REAL loud sometimes. A notch filter is a parametric eq with variable "q" or the width of the eq'd frequencies. I'm an endorser for EA and they (finally) sent me a working Micro 300. This little puppy is the s*#t.
    I played a LOUD gig and it was fabulous. I have a single rack space 5 band parametric that I love. But with the Micro, I wanted something smaller. So I just lucked out that on Ebay someone was selling a new Fishman Dual Parametric Direct Box/ Pedal. ( now discontinued--hard to find) I snatched it up. My bass, when pushed feeds back badly on the open (or closed) D. And the D is a lot louder than other notes. With the parametric, I can bring down the volume of the D and eliminate the feedback caused by it. And if I do it correctly, I can't tell a thing. Just that my instrument sounds even and doesn't feed back. Badda bing, badda boom----done.
    Zbysek likes this.
  17. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I have never been able to use a Realist in high volume situations. The Full Circle has a far more usable sound in high volume contexts.

    The more resonant and loud your instrument is the harder it will be to amplify. The best orchestral basses just don't respond well to playing amplified loud. Good sounding but quieter tighter basses will amplify loud easier. Poorly set up basses won't amplify loud well either. Any deficiencies in setup will be magnified under amplification.

    I have played ridiculously loud in small and large venues with huge rock bands using my plywood New Standard Cleveland bass with a Full Circle pickup into an AI Focus 2RIII and Euphonic Audio VL208. It manages to still sound like a string bass too.

    Several Considerations;
    1. The onstage bass volume should be low, feel the low end and presence of the bass through the PA.
    2. Use the onstage system with mids and highs only as a personal monitor to stay in tune.
    3. Dial in the front of house sound without any on stage sound whatsoever and then turn up your rig just enough to play in tune when everything else kicks in.
    4. Try to get whatever personal monitors you use up off the floor near your ear and away from the body of the bass.
    5. Stay well behind the main speakers and well away from the subs.
    6. Keep the bass out of the floor wedges and stay as far away from any on stage speakers as you can.
    7. Use the rubber stopper on the endpin and don't stick the pin directly into the floor.
    8. Experiment with phase reversal on the preamp.
    9. Experiment with high pass filters on the preamp. (try the fdeck preamp!)
    10. Stay away from compressors in your rig or on your channel in the mains.
    11. Place a foam wedge or towel between the body of the bass and the tailpiece if you still have feedback.
    12. Weave a strip of velcro through the afterlength of the strings between the bridge and tail piece.
    13. If there is no PA and you are trying to get your rig as loud as you can put it in front of you pointing out at the crowd. You'll hear it just fine and it won't feed back near as much as if it's behind you or beside you.
    TalHaz, Winoman, Jason Hollar and 3 others like this.
  18. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    A mag pickup is the ultimate solution IME if you're willing to sound pretty much like an EB. I've had a Pierre Joseph's for about 10 years and it's been trouble-free when I've been in your situation. I just keep it in the bass bag and the velcro stays under the fingerboard, ready if needed in about 30 seconds. Keep in mind that you'll need to use steel strings, not synthetic core like Obligatos.
    But if you want to sound like a URB, that was a great list of tips that was posted before this.
  19. Most Excellent T .... I think you should win a Grammy in the category of "Preservation of Double Bass Sound in Ridiculously Loud Settings" for that list :D . I think it's the first time I've seen such a succinct list of things to try. Thanks abunch ... Real helpful.
  20. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I second that.

    Mods ... Can you turn a single post into a sticky on the newbie page? He's done this before, and I imagine he's tired of typing it.

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