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unscientfic

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Marc Piane, Apr 3, 2009.


  1. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    OK. So in celebrating all the focused work I did on my taxes over the past few days I decided to goof around today.

    So...

    ...I recorded sound samples of the various amplification devices I take to gigs and set up a silly website showcasing them.

    This was really more for my edification but I figured I'd share.

    The playing is rough so please don't critique.

    Here You Go


    I stood off axis from the mic behind a baffle so there should be minimum acoustic bleed.


    As we know there are SO many variables at play here. What works in my basement on the 3rd of April 2009 might not at my gig later today.

    Enjoy
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I like the "Acoustic" one best.
     
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Seriously, of all those sampled, i think the GX with the extension cab sounds the most natural. I'm not a Realist fan, and can't get one to sound good through an AI. I like the FC through the AI, but it sounds like poopy through the GK. Oy...
     
  4. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    Marc,

    thanks so much for doing the work and documenting.

    The latter two were my faves for the amped sound; the AI with GK extension had a little more of the attack ( and maybe a midscoop? ) to my ears.

    The AI with EA cabinet was smoother and still had plenty of attack.

    the difference were kind of subtle though, and I wonder if it's because the Sansamp is dominating the sound here.

    . . . or maybe it's because I'm listening through crappy computer speakers.

    I like Chris' comment though, about the acoustic one being his fav.

    Ten years ago when I could bench 300lbs I used to intimidate drummers into playing more quietly. haha.

    maybe i should start lifting again . . .

    edit: for selfish reasons I didn't even listen to the GK with the extension cab until I read Chris' 2nd post. Selfish being I don't bench anymore and wouldn't consider carrying an extension cab! that one does sound nice, and more natural in the mids than the AI + EA cab to my ears. Surprisingly better than the GK combo alone.
     
  5. dar512

    dar512

    Mar 25, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Nice idea, Fingers. I like the AI/Wizzy sound.

    In your experience what is the best combination in your basement and what is the best at your average gig?
     
  6. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago

    Ah, yes. Maybe I need to get to the point where I can bench 300lbs and scare some restraint into some drummers.

    Truth be told though I don't mind if a drummer is loud as long as what they are playing is hip.

    A note on eq. I didn't mess with eq settings at all. I wanted as 'neutral' of a sound (cause each one has its character) as possible. There is some shaping that I would do to all the amplified sounds. I didn't 'cause these are all situation dependent and are often compromises between what sounds good solo and what sounds good in the ensemble.

    As far as my favorite... it depends. Right now I am digging the AI/MBX. It has a more headroom than the combo. I also really like the GK and Ext. I feel like it sounds similar no matter what room I am in. It also has a very small footprint and stacked up the combo is closer to your ear so it is easier to hear. I can also still 'one trip' the combo and the ext since I have my bass on a wheel, shoulder bag for the combo, and the ext cab is light.

    Because of the schlep factor the EA stays at home most of the time. After this test though it does have its merits and will make some more appearances I think.

    Lastly, in many situations, your sound is a mixture of the acoustic sound of your bass and your amplified sound. I purposely shielded myself from the mic so I could get only amp but most of my gigs are not at such a loud volume that the acoustic sound is totally out of the mix.

    Thanks for listening and keep those thoughts coming.
     
  7. +1 If you rolled off some of the highs it would be very near to your acoustic sound.
     
  8. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    You know, one of the loudest drummers I heard was Jeff Tain Watts -- hip and loud! -- but Eric Revis could be heard through the mele, coming only through the house PA system.

    None the less, you produce a nice acoustic sound, and that is fundamentally the place to start. All the samples sound like you, so bravo for that.
     
  9. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    Marc...I kind of agree with you. I'm digging the AI/MBX tone. It sounds a little more rounded to my ears than the others. How it would fit in a mix is another story. For that, perhaps the GK/MBX would cut better. Very cool idea though. Wish I had a Mac. I'm not sure how to do this on a PC.
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    How it sits in the mix....Aye, there's the rub. :meh: I was kind of surprised when I recorded the soundfiles comparing different combinations of mic & pickup with and without EQ for the first issue of BG magazine (link). The combination and EQ that I actually use all the time on gigs and which sounds great in the mix sounds a little harsh and middy on those clips when that's the only sound going. It's pretty difficult to tell how an amplified sound is going to work on the gig without taking it to the gig(s).
     
  11. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    Right now Branford's group is #1 on my list. I've been listening to the new record since it came out a week and a half ago. Eric has maybe become the biggest influence on my playing right now. That's why, for my bigger gigs, I really try to have my amp be nothing more than a stage monitor and send a mic signal to the PA for general consumption.

    +1. It also depends on the room and your location in it, the crowd noise, etc. What prevailing frequencies are you competing with? A shaker, crowd chatter, a blender, etc. What is the tone of the drummer's bass drum? Also, every room has a frequency. The acoustics of that room will bring out some things and mask others. Certain sounds will be great and one room, thin and brittle in the next, and boomy in a third.

    Lastly it depends on where you want to sit in the mix. I want to punch people in the gut with my sound. I play on the lower end most of the time cause to me those notes have more "pulse power". The thing that the recordings don't really show about the Realist is it really transmits that low-mid pulse.
     
  12. bassnutj

    bassnutj

    Dec 26, 2007
    I like your acoustic sound.
    That said, I liked the Fishman into the GK best (no ex. cab). The ex. cab was ok, but....
    The last 2 sounded not so good to me.

    Because they're not going to work in a mix.
     
  13. bassnutj

    bassnutj

    Dec 26, 2007
    What mic did you use going into what recording device?
     
  14. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    Audio Technica AT2020. Kind of a medium diaphram condenser. Recorded through a Presonus Firepod into Cubase on my Mac.
     
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Agreed. But there's a basic sound in each rig, and a basic range of EQ options to help compensate for the the differences in environment, with the HP filter being the most important (IMO). There's also where you set the amp in relation to floors and walls that can come into play.

    True. OTOH, a good amplified sound should be just an extension of your regular sound, and should be as devoid of unnatural electronic humps and artifacts as possible so you can control the amplified sound with as much finesse and range as the amplified sound. But yeah, I know what you're saying. For me, it's about hearing intonation, which I think of as a part of time keeping in the big picture. The low mids can sometimes mask intonation to my ears, so I'm very careful with them.
     
  16. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    Which is why I did very little eq in my unscientific test. My only real caveat about the AI stuff, and I know it has been bitched about at length here, is the eq is pretty lame. The Sansamp has a pretty powerful eq but the controls are 'Treble', 'Bass' and 'Presence'. No dedicated mid however the other controls change the contour of the mids and the 'Blend' knob also has a significant impact. Just not your usual eq. Truthfully I am not crazy about mids in my amplified sound. While higher mids can help with hearing intonation they can also contribute to the 'honkyness'.


    Ah, and therein lies the rub. Without the presence of a mic we are doing everything unnatural and electronic to the sound and trying to then mask THAT. Even with a mic if we are plugging into an amp we still dealing with a device with a contoured response. Compound that with the fact that there might be an electronic piano, amplified and effected guitar, etc on the hit. That's why I say (and you too) that sometimes we need to make compromises in our amplified tone to make the bass speak in the mix and be able to hear ourselves.
     
  17. Thanks for sharing the test!
    Great acoustic sound! Next I like the GK samples (especially the one without the extra cab). The GK sound (also thanks to the Realist) is deep and raw, which reminds me the acoustic sound.
    Both AI samples I find too middy and artificial.
    IMO
     
  18. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    Thanks Jaromir.

    Interesting, there has been at least one vote for each of the setups. I'm sure it's partially influenced by peoples listening environments but I'd bet there are some different tastes at play here too.
     
  19. You are welcome!
    Yes, I agree absolutelly, people have different tastes and while we all agree that we prefer the "my bass only louder" thing, the actual desired (and achieved) tone is different. Which is a good news, I think, otherwise we all tend to sound the same...
     
  20. I thought they all sounded good. Usually when I'm experimenting with different set ups, there is a huge difference between different sets of equipment. All of the way from some that would be ennobled by the word "poopy" to sounding really good. While there were definitely differences in the sounds, none were unusable in my opinion. Which one you pick really comes down to which one better reflects what you hear in your head. Nice work.

    mark
     

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