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Trouble Cutting Through?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Gord, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Gord


    Jan 10, 2004
    BC, Canada
    Hi guys :)
    I hope this is the correct area. If not, I'm sorry!

    My melodic rock band has a show coming up, and the thing I've been noticing at jam is that it's very hard for me to cut through.

    I love deep booming bass, and that's exactly what this band needs. That huge umph to kind of echo the power of the drums. I play a Fender Aerodyne jazz, with the P/J combo. I know this setup is fairly good for being heard, so that must not be the problem.

    Amps -
    Ampeg SVP-Pro preamp into a Firebass. Not the ideal setup, but I need to be loud. All of this into an Eden 410. Right now I'm going through a Sans Amp, as we were recommended that we bring a DI for the bass for our next show.

    Now, the settings I have right now aren't doing anything. The E string is nice and low, A is right up there, then the lower D and G just completely disappear. When I bring the treble up too much, I get this really annoying clicky sound and all of a sudden my bass doesn't sound very.. bassy. So, let's say my Ampeg and my Sans Amp are clean slates now. What would be the best way to get a nice deep, agressive rock tone that's even across all strings? (Sounds too good to be true, I know)

    thanks so much guys.
  2. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Turn down the bass EQ and boost the mids.
  3. Jeffrey A-Bomb

    Jeffrey A-Bomb Drink Coffee & Destroy Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    Silver Spring, MD
  4. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    Flat. You're mistaking goosing the low end for umph. Umph resides in the mids, and by setting your preamp flat, you don't overwhelm your mids with low and high end.
  5. All the EQ pointers are a great start. Also look into seeing where the guitarists have their settings at.

    I play with a drummer, 2 guitars and keys. The keyboard player and the guitars LOVE to walk all over MY sonic space.

    Guitarists are notorious for boosting the lowend and low mids, and kinda kills your sound. And key players love fiddling around on the low end, which kinda kills our sound too.

    So in conjunction with adjusting your eq, you may need to adjust the mindset of eq for your other band mates.

    EQ......smiley faces are BAD. :)
  6. dreadheadbass


    Dec 17, 2007
    agreed with all of the above

    although i do set my treble high as i like the clanky sound its the mids that fire the bass through pushing the bass up too high makes things a little muddy
  7. I've also heard that the more you push the bass up the harder it is to get "headroom/volume" for the other EQ parts to come through... ie cutting back on bass a bit and adding mids allows you to push a slightly higher db level?

    I always thought smiley face was awesome,... then I had a band practice and spent the whole time boosting mids!
  8. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    +1 on everybody's advice about "frowny face" EQ, plus another point. If I understand your post correctly, you are using a Sansamp AND an SVT preamp AND a Firebass, is that correct? If so, that is a lot of different variables and tone controls that could interact with each other in strange ways. Why not start with the simplest possible setup (which would probably be just the Firebass), using the EQ advice people have given you, and then slowly add the other pieces to the puzzle one at a time, if you still feel they are needed.
  10. Kennethfaria

    Kennethfaria Banned

    Mar 12, 2008
    yeah what they said, if you go to the techniques forum theres a sticky on metal. There, it talks about being heard. In order to be heard you shouldn't boost your treble or bass all the way. Those frequencies are taken up by the drum kit and the guitars.
  11. Yup, yup. Booming low competes with the kick instead of complementing it. Proper EQ is about finding your space in the mix.
  12. makaky


    Mar 26, 2004
    Montreal Canada
    EQing doesnt solve everything.

    You can try to play a little closer to the bridge and use the bridge PU a bit more in your balancing. Assuming you dont play a Pbass.

    You will get more mids, more attack and a more staccato sound. This should help you cut trough the mix.
  13. The Eden D410-XLT has a well-earned reputation as a "cut-through" cabinet.

    Measurements of the Eden show the classic "frownie face" response curve. The D410-XLT has a steady rising bottom end up to 465 Hz, where it starts to roll down hill as the frequency increases.

    It's all in the mids.
  14. jtc_hunter


    Feb 16, 2007
    I agree w/ everything stated so far. But one thing that hasnt been suggested is: Is the bass guitars action really setup correctly. I had a similar situation where practicing at home, my jazz bass sounded fine, but in a band situation, my D and G string got lost. I lowered those two strings just a bit, and raised the E and A a tiny bit. All my strings cut thru evenly after that.
  15. Liten


    Jan 26, 2007
    I had the same problem with my last setup and the studio we reherse in.. the place is kinda small for the big drumset / dual guitar cabs.. and my Sunn 300T with 2x410's wasen't getting me through even when I pushed both graphic eq mids up aswell as the volume... the cab's are kind of dated in terms of spl/sens...
    Granted the overall volume was and still is way to loud for my preference but the music we play tend to stretch the drummer out and he really lets it rip 90% of the time..

    So I faced up to reality.. change band/studio or change gear.. love the 300T.. but once I tested my current setup.. I was never to turn back..

    So.. if boosting mids on the amp doesn't do it, changing pickups to something more middy doesn't do it.. try to A/B test your Eden with a new head.. or to a diffrent cab.. there are more MID-voiced cab's out there.. ;) though Eden is a class A cab 4 sure..
  16. Boosting the crap out of lows sounds like a good idea but it isn't. Like others have mentioned start flat and boost/cut frequencies you like/don't like. I play in very loud metal band and have to compete with two scooped very loud guitars and a very very loud drummer. I have found that the best way for me to cut through is by boost my low mids(+9db @ about 250hz) and a tiny low boost(+3db) and a very tiny treble boost(+1 or 2db). I see you have a firebass and so do I. I don't have the preamps that you have but this is how I set my firebass. Also turn the dang contour knob to zero and possibly glue it there.
  17. There are a number of factors that come into play of course, but settings that integrate your tone with the rest of the music seems like a good place to start. For that matter, balancing pickups or altering your string attack position certainly qualifies as coarse EQ, and that's what I'm talking about. The OP assumed that a heavy low end was needed, only to discover that it got lost once everything else kicked in. Find your place in the space...
  18. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Something to think about: We had a new drummer come in to sub one practice, playing the exact same drum kit, all other things exactly the same. His style of playing, especially his kick drum, made my bass sound/cut-through way better and I was able to turn down. It was very dramatic.
  19. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Another thing to do is to leave some "white space" between the notes. The timing on when you stop a note is as important as that of the attack.
  20. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Another thing to look at is if you are going through the Sans Amp first in you signal chain.If you have the drive control turned up all the way like they recommend in the manual this give the highs and the lows a boost and burys the mids.The drive should be set about 12 oclock plus or minus a little,this gives you mids that you need to cut through like everybody else is telling you.The mids are where it's at.

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