Question for bassplayers about EQ?

Mapleg4

Senior member
Messages
491
What do you set the eq on your amp or bass to? Do you just set it flat in order to get the "same" frequency as the kick drum like some bassplayers do? Do you use more bass/low mids when you play with one guitarist and set it more flat when you play with two guitarists?
 

ByteFrenzy

Senior member
Messages
1,177
I normally leave both the bass and the amp controls flat and the PU blend in the middle. Depending on the song I'll use the slap contour switch on the SD preamp to give some bass boost/mid cut for the gentler pieces where I want a more string bass like sound or deactivate it and add a bit more bridge PU for the livelier ones. The only exception is that sometimes I'll do some treble cut if I know I'm going to be all over the neck and I want to cut back on the noises.
 

AndyG

Senior member
Messages
562
Obviously it depends on the tone you want ... and on the situation.

For recording, I personally like to have the bass fill an sonic area between the kick and the guitars.  Works great for most types of rock music, not so much for funk, jazz, or reggae, where the bass should hold down the fort.

Metal players will generally scoop all the mids, although my personal favorite bass tone was from Queensryche's "Operation Mindcrime", on which Jackson actually had a really nice midrange growl.

I set my bass EQ to work in concert with my amp EQ.  I'm not a slap player, so I don't need that particular contour.  I kinda like the idea of a "one size fits all" tone, to which I will add overdrive, chorus, or wah depending on the song.
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
EQ for me totally depends on which amp rig I'm using (each has a different frequency placement on the eq controls - my WT800 is significantly more flexible than my old Ampeg flip top) and what room I'm playing in.

my desire is never to "cut through the mix" because I am not the lead solo instrument in any of the groups I've played with. instead I aim to find a tone that supports the instrumentation of the group du jour while also providing the needed voicing to allow each note to be discernable. this could be significantly different for a 3-piece prog group than it is for a 5-piece R&B group with a horn section, ya know

beyond EQ, the choice of an instrument is just as important - a P-bass sounds different than a J-bass sounds different than a MusicMan sounds different than a Darkstar ifin ya know what I mean. choosing the right instrument for the gig is just as important as setting your EQ


I also EQ slightly different for fretless than I do fretted

all the best,

R
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
my desire is never to "cut through the mix" because I am not the lead solo instrument in any of the groups I've played with.

I love to play guitar, and I love to play bass, but they're not the same instrument.  It's nice that Michael Manring & Jaco & Stanley were able to make a living, but it's not what I want from an arrangement.... Dave LaRue, Robertino Pagliari, now that's arranging. J.S. Bach - yeah, he had it together....

P.S. I "arranged" your typeface out to 14 points..... :hello2:
 

Wyliee

Senior member
Messages
1,931
Mapleg4 said:
What do you set the eq on your amp or bass to? Do you just set it flat in order to get the "same" frequency as the kick drum like some bassplayers do? Do you use more bass/low mids when you play with one guitarist and set it more flat when you play with two guitarists?

What style(s) of music?  Speaking as a FOH engineer, I don't treat the drum kit or bass the same in every style or listening environment.  I certainly don't EQ the kick and bass the same.  If anything, I carve a bit out of the kick to give the bass its own little sonic space.  When played together, the instruments work together and blend nicely.  They don't turn to mush.  When played separately, the kick sounds like the kick and the bass sounds like the bass.

A place for everything and everything in its place. :sign13:
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
stubhead said:
my desire is never to "cut through the mix" because I am not the lead solo instrument in any of the groups I've played with.

I love to play guitar, and I love to play bass, but they're not the same instrument.  It's nice that Michael Manring & Jaco & Stanley were able to make a living, but it's not what I want from an arrangement.... Dave LaRue, Robertino Pagliari, now that's arranging. J.S. Bach - yeah, he had it together....

P.S. I "arranged" your typeface out to 14 points..... :hello2:

  :icon_thumright:

exactly - Dave and Jaco were the lead solo instrument in some of their gigs .... but listen to what they do/did when they were playing in their full support role.


on a similar path of thought: metal head guitar crunchers - you are NOT the bassist. there is NO need for you to EQ your wall of sound with EQ boosting down to 40Hz. remember - you're the "thin string" player who gets totally annoyed when a bassist plays over you in your instrument's lower range. stop muddying up the bottom with your EQ clutter

(a similar note can be shared with our keyboard playing friends)

like Eric just said - A place for everything and everything in its place.

all the best,

R
 

Mapleg4

Senior member
Messages
491
AndyG said:
Obviously it depends on the tone you want ... and on the situation.

For recording, I personally like to have the bass fill an sonic area between the kick and the guitars.  Works great for most types of rock music, not so much for funk, jazz, or reggae, where the bass should hold down the fort.

Metal players will generally scoop all the mids, although my personal favorite bass tone was from Queensryche's "Operation Mindcrime", on which Jackson actually had a really nice midrange growl.

I set my bass EQ to work in concert with my amp EQ.  I'm not a slap player, so I don't need that particular contour.  I kinda like the idea of a "one size fits all" tone, to which I will add overdrive, chorus, or wah depending on the song.


I like boosting the low mids when I play. I think it sounds better with the kicks and gives a little contrast.
 

Mapleg4

Senior member
Messages
491
Wyliee said:
Mapleg4 said:
What do you set the eq on your amp or bass to? Do you just set it flat in order to get the "same" frequency as the kick drum like some bassplayers do? Do you use more bass/low mids when you play with one guitarist and set it more flat when you play with two guitarists?

What style(s) of music?  Speaking as a FOH engineer, I don't treat the drum kit or bass the same in every style or listening environment.  I certainly don't EQ the kick and bass the same.  If anything, I carve a bit out of the kick to give the bass its own little sonic space.  When played together, the instruments work together and blend nicely.  They don't turn to mush.  When played separately, the kick sounds like the kick and the bass sounds like the bass.

A place for everything and everything in its place. :sign13:

Prog/death metal with 2 guitars and a keyboard.
 

Mapleg4

Senior member
Messages
491
SkuttleFunk said:
stubhead said:
my desire is never to "cut through the mix" because I am not the lead solo instrument in any of the groups I've played with.

I love to play guitar, and I love to play bass, but they're not the same instrument.  It's nice that Michael Manring & Jaco & Stanley were able to make a living, but it's not what I want from an arrangement.... Dave LaRue, Robertino Pagliari, now that's arranging. J.S. Bach - yeah, he had it together....

P.S. I "arranged" your typeface out to 14 points..... :hello2:

  :icon_thumright:

exactly - Dave and Jaco were the lead solo instrument in some of their gigs .... but listen to what they do/did when they were playing in their full support role.


on a similar path of thought: metal head guitar crunchers - you are NOT the bassist. there is NO need for you to EQ your wall of sound with EQ boosting down to 40Hz. remember - you're the "thin string" player who gets totally annoyed when a bassist plays over you in your instrument's lower range. stop muddying up the bottom with your EQ clutter

(a similar note can be shared with our keyboard playing friends)

like Eric just said - A place for everything and everything in its place.

all the best,

R

I've read that Jason Newsted used to boost his mids when he played with Metallica. I actually love his tone.
 

Wyliee

Senior member
Messages
1,931
Mapleg4 said:
I like boosting the low mids when I play. I think it sounds better with the kicks and gives a little contrast.

Be more specific when you say mids.  Are you talking 400Hz, 600Hz ??  Upper mids around 700Hz?  The specific frequency range as well as how wide you're sweeping can make a big difference.

Prog/death metal with drums, bass, 2 gtrs, and keys??  Good chance you're all in each other's sonic space.  Then again, maybe that's what you want for the genre.
 

AndyG

Senior member
Messages
562
Wyliee said:
Mapleg4 said:
I like boosting the low mids when I play. I think it sounds better with the kicks and gives a little contrast.

Be more specific when you say mids.  Are you talking 400Hz, 600Hz ??  Upper mids around 700Hz?  The specific frequency range as well as how wide you're sweeping can make a big difference.

Prog/death metal with drums, bass, 2 gtrs, and keys??  Good chance you're all in each other's sonic space.  Then again, maybe that's what you want for the genre.

Most people usually mean the "MID" knob on their amp when they say midrange, and yes, depending on the amp, that can be a wide range of frequencies.  Amps that have a graphic, or a sweepable mid have a lot more variety.  Tha "midrange growl" I refered to earlier would be a boost at about 1 - 2 kHz ... upper mids.

Now, I am not the biggest fan of prog/death metal, but the good bands in that genre are tighter than a fly's fanny ... so the drums, bass and guitar HAVE to agree with each other sonically ... otherwise it becomes mud.
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
Mapleg4 said:
I like boosting the low mids when I play. I think it sounds better with the kicks and gives a little contrast.

'better' to you on-stage at your amp?

'better' in the house mix? ahhh! but how has the sound guy corrected your accenting (potential overcompensation) of the mids? have they needed to remove 99% of your added mids to keep everybody from creating mushy midrange mayhem?

'better' on the mixed down recording?  again i would ask what the sound engineer needed to do to compensate for your potentially overblown "midrange enthusiasm"


the truly great players who repeatedly get asked to play the big gigs are those who come without an attitude, send the most neutrally colored signal, and lastly who can hold their ground at a gig. the sooner (younger) you learn these simple principles, the better your chances of 'making it' in the larger world of professional music

all the best,

R
 

Mapleg4

Senior member
Messages
491
Wyliee said:
Mapleg4 said:
I like boosting the low mids when I play. I think it sounds better with the kicks and gives a little contrast.

Be more specific when you say mids.  Are you talking 400Hz, 600Hz ??  Upper mids around 700Hz?  The specific frequency range as well as how wide you're sweeping can make a big difference.

Prog/death metal with drums, bass, 2 gtrs, and keys??  Good chance you're all in each other's sonic space.  Then again, maybe that's what you want for the genre.

I like to use the bass eq knob on my bass and use some of the mids on my amp.
 

Mapleg4

Senior member
Messages
491
SkuttleFunk said:
Mapleg4 said:
I like boosting the low mids when I play. I think it sounds better with the kicks and gives a little contrast.

'better' to you on-stage at your amp?

'better' in the house mix? ahhh! but how has the sound guy corrected your accenting (potential overcompensation) of the mids? have they needed to remove 99% of your added mids to keep everybody from creating mushy midrange mayhem?

'better' on the mixed down recording?  again i would ask what the sound engineer needed to do to compensate for your potentially overblown "midrange enthusiasm"


the truly great players who repeatedly get asked to play the big gigs are those who come without an attitude, send the most neutrally colored signal, and lastly who can hold their ground at a gig. the sooner (younger) you learn these simple principles, the better your chances of 'making it' in the larger world of professional music

all the best,

R

Ok.
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
definitely not a dig at you, M4 ... just something it took me faaaaaaaaaar too long to learn, unfortunately. if I had listened to what a few pro's I knew were trying to teach me, I may just have had a significantly different career path

all the best,

R
 

Mapleg4

Senior member
Messages
491
I'm wondering when I listen to records -- how much of the tone really comes from the body of the bass? :icon_scratch:
 

Wyliee

Senior member
Messages
1,931
Mapleg4 said:
Wyliee said:
Mapleg4 said:
I like boosting the low mids when I play. I think it sounds better with the kicks and gives a little contrast.

Be more specific when you say mids.  Are you talking 400Hz, 600Hz ??  Upper mids around 700Hz?  The specific frequency range as well as how wide you're sweeping can make a big difference.

Prog/death metal with drums, bass, 2 gtrs, and keys??  Good chance you're all in each other's sonic space.  Then again, maybe that's what you want for the genre.

I like to use the bass eq knob on my bass and use some of the mids on my amp.

So at this point, you've got a gradual low end boost.  You could accomplish much the same thing by cutting the highs a bit, not boosting the lows/mids and turning up louder.

Over the years, I've done a fair amount of consulting for FOH sound (part-time, not full-time).  When it comes time to EQ, I'll generally look for things to cut before before I start boosting frequencies.  Get rid of what doesn't need to be there.  Please, give this some thought.  The next time you play, see which instruments are overlapping the most and try cutting something.  They may need to turn up a bit, but give it a try.
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
while the body wood is an element of the overall instrument's sound, it is at the best not even 5%. Pickups, personal playing technique, amp settings, and strings are all in the mix to a far greater extent - but this is all heavily crushed by processing (EQ, compression, high z - low Z transformers) utilized during the recording and mixdown process, and even the perceived 'correctness' for a particular genre

all the best,

R
 

Mapleg4

Senior member
Messages
491
I've been listening to my Black Sabbath albums and I've watched my "Heaven and hell" dvd, Iommi and Geezer have the absolutely best guitar and bass sound in the world. Iommi scoops out a little of his mids, Geezer uses a little low mids, but a lot of that probably comes from playing P-bass-type basses. According to the Laney website, Iommi sets the eq of his amps (I know he has a pretty extreme rig) bass: 7, mids: 5, Treble: 7. Geezer fills that tone out perfectly.
 
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