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Author Topic: bass guitar boomy  (Read 12120 times)

Guy Luckert

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Re: bass guitar boomy
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2011, 09:45:43 pm »

I'm a bassist who uses a few effects pedals. I route my post-effects/pre-EQ signal into a Countryman DI, which splits the signal between FOH and my on-stage rig. If I tweak the EQ on my amp, it doesn't affect FOH. I elevate or tilt my small on-stage cabinet so I can hear myself clearly without playing any louder than necessary. I've never had a complaint from a soundman.

That is good.

I don't have a problem with adjusting eq for the room; I just thought that with all the combined audio genius here that I'd get more a more technical explanation than "learn to get along with it"


Physics.


Yep
Boomy=TFL
Well, what the hell - I'll give it a shot.

Physics.

Sound is a wave moving through the air, and low frequencies have large wavelengths.

Some quick-and-dirty Googling says that the low E string on a bass is approx 41 Hertz, and 41 Hertz has a wavelength of 27.5 feet.

So I'd say what's happening is that you are "used to" the sound of a rehearsal space - you set your tone & volume appropriately for a relatively small space, and then as you go to larger performance spaces, the low frequencies actually have room for the full wavelength to develop, and then to reflect off of walls that are further away than you're used to, so you get the full wavelength coming back at you, which meets more low frequencies coming from your amp, and as these various sound waves meet each other, some frequencies will combine and become louder, others will interfere with each other and become softer.

Then add a PA system to the equation, with subs with 18" speakers and probably more power behind them than your bass rig, and you've got even more low end being created in the room.

Or to put it another way, what your bass sounds like live is really what your bass sounds like - you just can't hear it in the physically smaller space of a rehearsal or recording studio.

I hope this is clear - maybe explaining physics after a couple of glasses of Knob Creek isn't the best idea . . .  ::)


To add to this.
The lower you go in freq. the less directional sound waves are. With the main pa in front of you the lows from it are wrapping around to reach you. You hear the lows from the PA but not the highs. This makes you hear just the "Mud" in the 400 to 120hz range as well as the freq. below this. As stated above some freq. will be combined while others subtract from each other. Depending on where you are on stage and your on stage bass rig is compared to the subs this could be a major problem for you.

As a part of the sound check. If the sound operator doesn't do this already have them try the Phase/Polarity button at the desk and see if it improves or makes worse the sound on stage for you. You may fine one way or the other makes your stage sound better for you and maybe even better for the person doing the mix.

Douglas R. Allen
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Marty McCann

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Re: bass guitar boomy
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2011, 12:28:08 pm »

A lot of the boomy build-up is due to the large wavelengths arriving relatively in-phase at multiple vocal and even drum mics.

Now is does amze me the number of Bass players who have not idea how to even adjust the tone controls that they do have to get a balanced sound.

If you play scales on the instrument, each note should be as loud as the previous or next.  If the composition or arrangement calls for a note to be emphasized, then the bass player can play it louder as necessary.   But if the scales are not balanced in the first place, how can it be balanced in the FOH system.

The bass player should have his notes balanced in his rig first.  Then during sound check, the sound person should insure that it is likewise balanced in the FOH.

If you can  not get a balanced sound out of your bass rig, the keyboard player can do it with his left hand.
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Paul Dershem

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Re: bass guitar boomy
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2011, 03:23:17 pm »

<SNIP> If you play scales on the instrument, each note should be as loud as the previous or next.  If the composition or arrangement calls for a note to be emphasized, then the bass player can play it louder as necessary.   But if the scales are not balanced in the first place, how can it be balanced in the FOH system.

The bass player should have his notes balanced in his rig first.  Then during sound check, the sound person should insure that it is likewise balanced in the FOH.

If you can  not get a balanced sound out of your bass rig, the keyboard player can do it with his left hand.

I am continually amazed at the number of soundmen who either do not understand this concept, or willingly violate it when they EQ the mix, and by cranking subs much louder than required for an even, balanced, sound.

Two days ago I heard Blood Sweat & Tears at a venue that had the sub levels so mismatched that the bassist's "B" and "E" strings were at least 6dB louder than his "A" "D" and "G" strings; with a soundman like that, there's darned little a humble bassist can do from stage.

To make matters worse, the kick drum was so overemphasized that its thud blanketed every other sound in the bass and lower mid-range, making the notes indistinct and unintelligible.
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Mike Reilly

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Re: bass guitar boomy
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2011, 07:30:49 pm »

Two days ago I heard Blood Sweat & Tears at a venue that had the sub levels so mismatched that the bassist's "B" and "E" strings were at least 6dB louder than his "A" "D" and "G" strings; with a soundman like that, there's darned little a humble bassist can do from stage.

Of course, you could easily reverse your statement - "with a bassist like that, there's darned little a humble soundman can do."  ;)

I mean, I've worked with a metric ton of bass players (at ALL levels) that put a big ol' smiley face EQ on their amps and/or out of their active pickups because that's what sounds good to them thru their 1500-watt 4x10 1x15 rig onstage, and then I run 'em thru 6 18's with 5000 watts, and . . . .

Marty's right - "The bass player should have his notes balanced in his rig first" - but the bass player needs to work with the soundguy to also get his notes balanced in the sound system.
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Paul Dershem

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Re: bass guitar boomy
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2011, 07:47:49 pm »

Two days ago I heard Blood Sweat & Tears at a venue that had the sub levels so mismatched that the bassist's "B" and "E" strings were at least 6dB louder than his "A" "D" and "G" strings; with a soundman like that, there's darned little a humble bassist can do from stage.

Of course, you could easily reverse your statement - "with a bassist like that, there's darned little a humble soundman can do."  ;)

I mean, I've worked with a metric ton of bass players (at ALL levels) that put a big ol' smiley face EQ on their amps and/or out of their active pickups because that's what sounds good to them thru their 1500-watt 4x10 1x15 rig onstage, and then I run 'em thru 6 18's with 5000 watts, and . . . .

Marty's right - "The bass player should have his notes balanced in his rig first" - but the bass player needs to work with the soundguy to also get his notes balanced in the sound system.

I completely agree with the necessity of a bassist having his act together. In this case, the bass player definitely has his act together (I was there for sound check); it was the soundman who messed things up BIG TIME.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: bass guitar boomy
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2011, 07:47:49 pm »


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