Sub-30 Hz / deep deep bass

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Father Fred, May 22, 2017.

  1. Father Fred

    Father Fred

    May 22, 2017
    I am working on some ideas for a potential musical project which is likely to feature sequenced drums, plus live guitars and a bit of keys. Definitely guitar music but heavily influenced by bass-heavy dance music. For the bass I am looking at either -

    (1) Extreme sub-bass, potentially inaudible, using sub-octave pedal (POG 2, using 2 octaves down only?), sub-woofer and no cab producing mids, AND second bass doing a more orthodox bass role.


    (2) Extreme sub-bass, potentially inaudible, using sub-octave pedal, sub-woofer, AND also running into a cab producing mids. In this case it is less likely that a second bass would be needed, but I'm still not writing a second bass off entirely.

    I have been looking into PA sub-woofers to use as a bass cab, trying to get my head around the technical side of things.

    Has anyone done anything similar? Did it go well? Any tips, suggestions etc?
  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Initially I would try to split the signal and do it all yourself. Yes, your idea is a little "out there" but it's your idea. Likely no other bassist will buy into it as much as you do. So at least start that way. Then if you gain some success, see if you can find another bassist to get on board.

    On the technical end, it can be done. I would think a crossover or LPF/HPF combination would get it done. The easiest way to transport it would be a couple powered PA subs. That way you wouldn't have to haul an amp rack. Of course, a used power amp and a couple passive subs would likely be cheaper. Then carry a "regular" bass rig for the mids and highs.
    jthisdell likes this.
  3. Father Fred

    Father Fred

    May 22, 2017
    My imagination probably! Hopefully a 100 capacity pub back-room with a decent pa but the pa would not be relied upon for the sub-bass. Then Stadiums in due course of course ;-)
  4. Father Fred

    Father Fred

    May 22, 2017
    Two fingers - thank you for your reply... I'm sure you're right about doing it all myself at first... perhaps more than you think. I'm actually more of a guitarist than bassist, and potentially I am looking at hauling a sub-woofer simply to amplify one and two note looped bass-lines.

    Thank you for re-assuring me that I am not totally mad, albeit I acknowledge it is a bit out-there and may well not work! I need to do some thinking and googling before I know whether I have any follow-up questions.
  5. Daedraziel


    Aug 19, 2013
    Toms River NJ
    Im curious to know what type of gear would be needed for this. A crossover and frequency filters are a must Id think...but What sub do you know of that can handle anything under 30hz? I think my JBL subs only go as low as 35hz. At that point Id like to know how the other things you normally put through them (kick/bass) would sound battling with such a low frequency.

    Im interested.
  6. Father Fred

    Father Fred

    May 22, 2017
    I will reply briefly, but (obviously) to a large extent I am looking for the answers to these questions myself.

    I have only just started looking into sub-woofers and many will not do the job, not sure which if any can.

    I am perhaps looking at a a 'normal' backline, 'normal' pa with sub-woofers, plus a separate sub-woofer used as bass cab solely for this very specific role and not going through the pa - it won't need to besides I'm assuming the pa won't handle what I want to do to it! I have no idea whether anyone does it off the shelf, or whether the best option might be getting something custom built by someone who normally puts together insane in-car systems.

    I am also actually someone who likes sounds quite distinct in the mix... do not assume the sequenced drums will feature bass / kick drums at all... maybe, but maybe not... could try to keep them well out of the way of the sub-bass.
  7. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    Grab a DOD MEATBOX, known as the speaker killer, DOD is making a limited run with the old chips, grab one before they sell out.
    Grumry likes this.
  8. Father Fred

    Father Fred

    May 22, 2017
    Thx... been researching and looking at pedals for a while and the TC elctronic Sub n up and the POG 2 are high on the list... but I knew I'd seen and forgotten another highly recommended one. Thx for the Meatbox reminder.
    bass40hz likes this.
  9. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    @Azure Skies aka Josh Broughton makes a combined hpf/lpf (in addition to separate lpf's and hpf's) that are very useful and I think would be needed for this sort of thing. There was a used one in the classified recently.

    I think this would get you started using your current bass cabs to figure out where you want to go without jumping out and buying subs, etc. (Obviously your cab is still going to need a very good low end.)
  10. on 6-string doing electronic improv, i've gotten cell-vibrating lows with the 2-octave-down setting on the Whammy and 2 18" subs. way way below what the band was doing, so it had its own territory. really room shaking.
    HolmeBass likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I second doing it all yourself. A second bassist would create problems unless every single part is sorted out and you both play super tight. Otherwise, the low frequencies would clash and create a rumble that would not be musical. I also second the Meatbox suggestion. And I think any PA with good subs would do it. I don't think subs going down to 30Hz vs. 35Hz would make any huge difference.
    scuzzy and bass40hz like this.
  12. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    Sweetweater has a few left, I'm not affiliated with them, I got one from them.
    Agree on all counts.
  13. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    If you're gonna sequence drum couldn't you also sequence insanely low, sub freq bass parts? That way your sonic vision is fulfilled and the on stage bass can play a more traditional role, or work with crazy fx but through a more traditional amplifier so the parts will have presence in the mix.
    superheavyfunk and pbass2 like this.
  14. Father Fred

    Father Fred

    May 22, 2017
    So much for me to research and think about... but FWIW... (1) I am thinking about trying to match if not beat the bass on the most bass-heavy dance music ever. I'm not planning on playing around with some fairly deep bass, I want to take it to places that are either brilliant or leave people shaking their heads and running for the doors. (2) I am much more thinking along the lines of one and two note rumbles, not 'proper basslines'.

    Think heavy, heavy psychedelia influenced by dub, techno, sludge and doom.
    svtb15 likes this.
  15. Father Fred

    Father Fred

    May 22, 2017
    Yes - "sequence insanely low, sub freq bass parts" is on the agenda as a possibility as well. If I went down that route I'd still want it to go through my own sub-woofer that sits in the back-line. And presumably if I had said sub-woofer I could plug my bass into it as an alternative.

    I suppose my alternative opening question could have been something like "spec me an amp and cab(s) that will work in a hundred capacity venue and go lower than most pa's in 100 capacity venues. Inaudibly deep being absolutely fine if not preferable!"
  16. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I hazard to say that any decent bass amp that will carry 100 person venue - assuming no sub - will go that low.. but you need to get a signal at that frequency into it. That will be challenging even with detuning a 5-str bass.
    Sequenced bass (as suggested above) would work.. or keys generated ??
    I'm guessing, you will need a fair amount of power to generate those low frequencies..
  17. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    Maybe you can find one of those huge subs the military uses to make people crap their pants
  18. Nickweissmusic

    Nickweissmusic Knows all intervals from one Fred, to Juan octave Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I teach lessons and perform live music in and around San Diego CA. Sometimes I even make money doing it!
    Bag End has the Infrasub series that can integrate with their instrument cabs, down to 8 Hz. Yes, 8. They had their old ELF system at a store I worked at decades ago; it was insane. I am a big fan of their gear overall, there's not much else like it on the market at anything resembling consumer prices unless you just go for straight PA equipment. I'll tell you what, a BOSE L1 Model2 with 2 B2 subs would be quite the experience, just one sub is already pretty nuts, but "only" down to 40Hz.

    Keep in mind in a "proper" mix the bass drum fits below bass guitar; so what you're doing sounds like fun, but be ready for some mixing issues when you take the show on the road.
    BassManKK, joe vegas and bassfran like this.
  19. Father Fred

    Father Fred

    May 22, 2017
    I wasn't looking to go quite that far! I've just done a bit of googling to remind myself. Human hearing starts at 20 Hz... pa's often start at around 35 Hz... I'd like something that get's down towards 20 if not a bit further. Basically take the thought process of those nutters who spend thousands on sound sytems for their cars into guitar music.
    Rabidhamster likes this.
  20. 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.

    May 25, 2022

Share This Page