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Your got to have tool for tweaking your live sound

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by tshapiro, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. tshapiro

    tshapiro Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    I’ve been a professional musician for more than 30 years. As a pro, I’ve played Keyboards, Guitar, Bass and Drums. While it took years to perfect the sound of each rig live, bass is by far the one that takes the most knowledge and skill to get a great sound with live. I say this because of my own experience and the fact that I hear so many good bass players who have a blah sound live. I attribute this to the fact that bass eq is complex compounded by the fact it is highly affected by the natural ambience of the room. While there are endless aspects to making up the bass sound, the one I’ve come to rely on most is my compressor - that’s the one I couldn’t live without. What’s your gotta have tool for tweaking your live sound? Doesn’t have to be a pedal. Could be settings or anything that works for you.
  2. You hit it right on the head. Compressor. I like to start off with a frowning graphic EQ setting, a fairly hard knee on the comp, and just enough overdrive to give the notes warmth. I don't crank the volume on the bass, rather start with it low and blend the pickups until they sound balanced and smooth. By not cranking the volume on the bass, the attack isn't as strong and consequently doesn't react as harshly to the compression. That is the key to avoiding the mushy sound. Even the Ric has a smooth attack with the volumes low and the amp doing the heavy lifting. I use a solid state head and a tube preamp. That combination yields a wide variety of tones.
    tshapiro likes this.
  3. EQ and pickup blend for me, but I’m not a pedal guy.
  4. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Right index and middle finger+ tone controls on amp.
    jamro217, jchrisk1 and Wisebass like this.
  5. I know this is something overly simplistic but a tuner is a must. Nothing sounds crappier try than out the of tune instruments.
    jamro217, salcott and Lofreck like this.
  6. Highpass filter.
    JKos, Wisebass and old spice like this.
  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Volume control. The more I turn my amp down so it doesn't fight with the PA, the better job the audio tech can do making the bass sound good in the house. It seems a lot of bass players gig with the goal of getting people to tell them to turn down...I try to get people to tell me to turn up. In order to use this approach I like to get my speakers up close to my ears and/or use full range flat response speakers with a wide dispersion pattern.
  8. ClusterFlux


    Apr 11, 2018
    At the risk of complicating your inquiry, I have questions rather than answers ;)

    By "blah," are you thinking of something specific (e.g. muddy sound, not distinct, etc)? Or do you mean a variety of problems?

    Is the issue with the bass player's amp, and/or what you hear through the PA monitor, and/or what the audience hears?

    Is there a particular type of sound or sounds you're trying to produce as a player?
    tshapiro likes this.
  9. guitarflinger

    guitarflinger Not all who wander are lost Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Front Range, Colorado
    Radial J48 DI box

    My sound guy and I both love it.
  10. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    hi tshapiro :)

    EQ and a beer crate! :D

    And I have GAS for HPF!!!!

    tshapiro likes this.
  11. Jmac222


    May 7, 2011
    I use my sans amp as a preamp and bypass the preamps of whatever amplifier I have to use by plugging into the power amp in, or effects return. I’m usually able to get the same sound every time using this strategy(You have to play allot of rigs that aren’t yours at small shows in the Brooklyn and New York area). I try and find a reasonable volume but listen carefully to the cabinets ability to maintain the tone I want at that volume. I’ve found that if the outputs too high a speaker can’t physically maintain the tone you hear when your playing casually by your self. I also mute the E and A strings when I’m playing something that requires articulation. I feel that it cuts through better and also allows the speaker to catch up with the signal. I can’t afford an eq or compressor and even if I could it would take me years to figure them out.
    Stumbo and tshapiro like this.
  12. Im still torn between getting one of these or a jdi all of my basses are either active or push pull but my Rick. The Jensen tranformer in the jdi is tempting but I dont want my passive stuff sounding weak.
    tshapiro likes this.
  13. tshapiro

    tshapiro Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    I recently succumb to the lour of a HPF...
    View attachment 2995697

    Attached Files:

    Wisebass likes this.
  14. tshapiro

    tshapiro Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    Blah - We’ll, let’s start with slapping. Nothing worse than than having someone who loses the low end and pokes your ears out with with honky mids. Or players who have an under-responsive setup and play so hard they lose their dynamics. Or someone who just overloads or distorts the speakers. Or someone who doesn’t know how to cut thru with mids and just keeps turning up until the low end is drowning out everything but their annoying strings-against-pickup clack. Or a sound of some who goes direct but doesn’t understand compression or gain stages and sounds thin and lifeless. I think those are some examples of a blah sound by my thinking.
    Rompin Roddy likes this.
  15. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Bergantino B amp
  16. Fdeck HPF
    Changing Speaker Cab position
    Learning about EQ
    Asking others to turn down/play quieter :help:
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
    Wisebass likes this.
  17. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Speaker cab position, including getting shorter cabs up, closer to ear level.

    Also, when you put a cab up or a pad underneath, it disconnects it from any stage interactions.
    Wisebass and Groove Doctor like this.
  18. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    :hyper::hyper::hyper: Okay I' ll send you the beers!


    Great to get the cab closer to the ears
    and a must on hollow wooden stages in small bars,
    when I don 't show up with the tower! :D



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