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This Fill-In Gig is Bad For My Cabs!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jasper383, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    I am filling in in a band for a couple gigs. The band leader wants a bottomless, reggae kind of sound.

    The songs we are playing are his songs. There is no PA for bass.

    Problem is, I'm running a LMII into two Bag End S15 cabs, and they don't really do that very well. The sound he wants really makes these cabs wheeze, and I'm afraid of blowing something. :)

    We seem to be incompatible. I don't want to upset him, and I would like him to think of me the next time he needs a bassist.

    How do you handle this sort of disagreement? Generally, I just eq the bass the way I want, and everyone I play with seems okay with it. But not here.
  2. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    I have never thought that a midrangey sound could blow something. Not on a bass cab.
    Bottom line is: are you being well paid?
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I think what Jasper means is that in order to achieve a good sub-bass reggae tone with his Bag Ends, he has to EQ a lot of deep bass into them that they were probably not designed to handle - thus potentially blowing the speakers.

    If it sounds as if the drivers are in distress, they probably are... :meh:

  4. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Not having fun? Time to walk. There is probably a reason why you are filling in...
  5. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Talk to him, explain the limitations of your rig, explain that you'll be happy to do this gig, but if he wants a particular sound that your rig cannot do, he's got 3 options.

    1. Settle for the sound you can provide.
    2. Provide the capability to produce the sound he wants, i.e. rent or purchase a powered subwoofer or two to dedicate to bass.
    3. Get another bass guitarist that can provide the sound he wants.

    If you are inclined to do so with your earnings, AND the gig pays you well enough that you can afford to rent or purchase the necessary gear, then maybe that is an approach you might consider.

    But blowing up your gear just is not an option. If you do damage your stuff, you won't be playing for anyone at all.

    Just be professional, and straightforward. If he's not professional about it, you probably don't really want his business in the long run.
  6. These places you are playing at don't have PA support?
  7. bassy7


    Jan 29, 2010
    As its a fill in gig, let him know you'd be happy to play with that sound, but your gear can't do it. If there is another more permanent bassist in the band that you are filling for-- ask the bandleader if he can get a hold of that bassists cabs to use, or to compliment yours. Or suggest the use of some rental cabs- if that sound is really important to him then he might be willing to do that for you.

    "We seem to be incompatible. I don't want to upset him, and I would like him to think of me the next time he needs a bassist."
    If you are only imcompatible with regards to the limitations to your gear (and make sure he knows that is the problem), and you think this gig could be good for you, or just pays well............. then maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to have a few cabs in your gear collection that can provide such a sound.

    I played in a band for about 5 years that always wanted my bass to be louder and lower- so I've been through something similiar. However, I was a band member and bought bass cab after cab after cab (with my money), and some better PA gear for band use with band money.
  8. If he is incompatible now, I doubt he will change much. My tolerance for non-professionals is low. I once smacked a guitar player so hard he flew across the room for touching my settings. Then quit...mid-gig. I'm much more restrained, now, but still have low tolerance for anyone telling me how to EQ my gear. If this guy wants to supply equipment, I would consider that, but otherwise, he is buying me for what I bring, and really, you are doing him a favor. Who asked who, and why?
  9. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    simple solution would be a pedal that can emulate the sound he's looking for. your cabs will sound louder & bigger at the same power output. gl.
  10. bassy7


    Jan 29, 2010
    "My tolerance for non-professionals is low. I once smacked a guitar player so hard he flew across the room for touching my settings. Then quit...mid-gig. I'm much more restrained, now, but still have low tolerance for anyone telling me how to EQ my gear"

    I'm trying to get into something with you on a personal level, but if you respond so irrationally to a situation- I wouldn't consider you a "professional" in the acts appropriate, reliable, hard working manner in which we usually mean professional.
    I would never condone messing with someone else's EQ or amp settings without their consent. I like to think I know how to EQ for the tone I want in a given situation, but I know enough to know that I should be open to criticism and suggestions.


    Good luck to you -- its really all about how much you want or need the gig
  11. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Yeah, I wouldn't explain the "limitations" of your rig to the leader. You might be considered unusable.

    Try reducing your highs and mids w/just a very slight bass boost for more headroom.
  12. DOD FX25 envelope filter set so the filter doesn't open -- i.e. it doesn't go "wah." It's the old Bill Laswell Instant Dub Bass trick.
  13. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Banned

    Nov 8, 2007
    +1. Set the sensitivity all the way to the left to do this.

    Alternatively, you could pick up a Low Pass Filter to dial out the highs.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    reduce all your highs, boost the low end slightly, and turn up to a point where you're sure you won't damage your cabs. that's all you can do with your rig. i would never buy a bigger rig for it, and i wouldn't turn the gig down if it pays, so just show up, say nothing about your gear, do the gig as good as you can, keep your gear safe, and if they don't like it, remind them that you're a sub and you're doing the best you can to work with them but you're not going to blow up your gear over a sub gig.

    and then maybe i'd look for an 810 on the cheap so it never happens again ;)
  15. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    Maybe rent or borrow a pair if 18" loaded cabs or a 810.
  16. unlined4string

    unlined4string Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Baltimore County, Md.
    The VLE (vintage loudspeaker emulator) control on your MarkBass head is a low pass filter. Have you tried experimenting with that?
  17. the reggae dub bass thing isnt about 30hz subwoofers. It's more about CV style 18" bins that sound low but only hit 60hz on a good day. Not being familiar with your amp, is it possible to cut the low lows and bring up the low mid? Also roll off anything above mid that you can get away with. sometimes thsi can sound too indistinct though.
    consider your challenge easy, its much harder to make a bass heard thru downtuned, overamped guitars using heavy guage strings. Sometimes I want to reccomend they just get basses and we can be an all bass band!
  18. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    I hear all these people talking about renting equipment or buying something that will do the gig, but if after you spend your money on renting something you don't have any money left then you just wasted you time. I do a lot of sub gigs where they need someone, and I am a pro about it, but when you call me you get what I have to bring, unless you are paying me really well I play with my sound, i'll play less, or softer if asked, but you know what you get when you call me. Someone suggested that you ask about using the other bass players cabinets to help get the sound they want,. that sounds good to me. They called you they must hear something in your playing that they like or they would call someone else. MAN UP, hahahaha just f@#$ with ya.

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