What makes a bass sound shake the floor without booming?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SwamiRob, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. This is something that has been bothering me for a while, I love a massive bass sound which has loads of power, but hate it when it involves making my sound muddy and boomy to also make the earth shake.

    There's been a handful of amazing gigs I've either played or seen where the bass from the pa just seems to have that gut thumping weight to it, but you can't hear the horrible residue of the low frequencies masking everything else. But I have no idea what it is that keeps everything so tight but so huge at the same time.

    I remember one of the best bottom ends in terms of feel I've come across, were some fairly naff surround headphones (which completely suck by the way, thanks Creative for destroying the development of 2 channel surround in the early 00s apparently according to my computer nerd brother...) which had a "rumble" feature on them, the bottom end itself wasn't that prevalent, but the feel of it every time something blew up or whatever made it seem very bassy.

    I've got a dual band compressor which I squeeze my bottom end pretty full on with, and that's helped a little, as well as to even out bass response string to string because it becomes very apparent if it's not even with lots of low end obviously. I've also found that alot of boom seems to come from higher bass frequencies, but cutting there too much kills punch, and also there's still a plenty of audible bottom end going on even if it doesn't boom.

    Wasn't quite sure which bit of the forums this was best suited to, but amps seemed a good shout as it seems like it's probably an EQ or speaker issue mainly.
  2. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    Figure the resonance frequancy of the floor and then hit the resonance with a highish Q bigger than number 2 of a bandpass filter and you'll get what you want.
  3. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Robroy, PDGood and petrus61 like this.
  4. 80 hz makes your chest rumble. This is actually documented.
    lomo, Jazz Ad, Johnny Crab and 2 others like this.
  5. You are probably focused on too low of a frequency.
  6. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Lots of factors here. What you are describing could be a boost in the 30hz to 50hz zone with a cut in the 100hz to 200hz zone. Possibly the bass was cut out of other frequencies to emphasize the effect. It's all about finding a place for the bass tone, sucking out the clashing frequencies, and spotlighting what you can hear. Frequency Slotting - it's why you hear the bass really well on some albums and other albums you can't hear a damn thing being played.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
    murphy likes this.
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Some stages are spongy and it affects the sound, energy is transferred to the stage. If this is the case, try putting the cab on an Aurelex pad.

    Auralex Acoustics | GreatGRAMMA™ v2
    SpruceApple, Rich Fiscus and G RICH 5 like this.
  8. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I agree, but using a variable HPF across different rooms has shown me that it's a crap shoot.
    jbd5015, TrevorOfDoom and And I like this.
  9. Low mids are your friend. Very low bass is not.
  10. It doesn't take very low tones or frequencies to do this. All the greatest bass tones, in my opinion, stay fairly well balanced across the spectrum with, if anything, just some tapering on the top and bottom ends to get rid of jangles and clanks, and to tame the indecipherable thrum of low frequencies. You want those low frequencies to be felt, but not necessarily heard. What people should hear is more of the mid range frequencies that the ear easily distinguishes and which don't completely suck all the other sound out of the air. Physics is fascinating by the way: Constructive and destructive interference and all that.
    El Apestoso and murphy like this.
  11. Gizmot


    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    One of the problems that everyone deals with is the acoustics of the space you're playing in. Low frequencies are omnidirectional in the horizontal plane and 180 degrees in the vertical plane. When those long wavelengths hit the walls and floors, certain frequencies are reinforced or sucked out. Getting the sound you're looking for is a balance of having gear that will actually go low enough and getting lucky enough to position it to make the most of boundary reinforcement from the walls and floors. It's damned hard to do that in different places
    Zero Cash and Mugre like this.
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I've found that 80-150 hz (see edit) is that sweet spot area where you get the chest thump but not boom. This is why I love the SVT 810e...it cuts the mud frequencies out for the most part, and gives you the chest thump.

    EDIT: Sorry...meant to type 60-150 hz. Zoned out last night.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  13. Lots of sorta overweight people dancing their ass off to the deep groove you're laying under your band. Especially on wood floors . . . . happened to me on occasion. Silly me, I thought it was the 15's pushing the bottles around the back bar . . . . .
  14. As others noted... a variable HPF is quite a good tool. It's amazing how high you can set the cut without losing "bassiness", and when you remove the very low end you end up with a stronger bass sound.
    scf4003 and And I like this.
  15. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    Back in the later 60's or very early 70's (prior to 1973) the French found the frequency that vibrated the spleen. They built a sound system into a bread truck and would park it in a riot and run. At first the spleen would vibrate and feel uncomfortable, then as time progressed more uncomfortable, then eventually bruising started and it was very painful. Continued exposure caused the spleen to rupture. There was an article in Guitar Player magazine about the system in a discussion about frequencies.
    JGbassman likes this.
  16. Low mids, as stated before
  17. MTN.bass72

    MTN.bass72 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Blue Ridge, Ga
    This is where I was going as well..
    Cut low lows, boost low mids.. throat punch every time
  18. Hydron


    May 11, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    which freq would you push and which would you cut

    my eq is 30,64,100,125,250,500,1k,2k,3k,5k,8k,10k
    how much cut and boost

  19. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    LOL< this will also blow your speakers...similar to the DOD Meatbox, it is nicknamed "the speaker killer" as it is a sub harmonic gen @ 30hz. Proceed with caution!
  20. dheafey


    Jul 22, 2012
    Cow Hampshire
    Any modifications done to bass EQ without taking into consideration the kick drum and other sub frequency creating weapons is a crap shoot. Most sound engineers worth their salt know how to give bass and kick their own space without them stomping all over each other; this is the first place to start.

    Here's a good article on helping your bass and kick co-exist.
    BassWaffle and klokker like this.
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