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Keep bass way down when playing in a band?


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#1 Indianrock2020

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:48 PM

I've heard so often that in a band, you don't want much bass in your patch, so keep bass on amps and effects very low.   Today as I was looking at a number of patches on custom tone and other places like the links below,  I'm seeing bass ( and often mids cranked up ).    Not sure if people are just going for best "tone in the bedroom" or if with a POD, the minimal bass advice doesn't apply to a band situation.

 

 

Google will translate this one into English.

 

http://www.cloudchai...-of-the-demo-1/

 

https://youtu.be/rrP-WXiPlJs


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#2 Ed_Saxman

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:17 AM

 Today as I was looking at a number of patches on custom tone and other places like the links below,  I'm seeing bass ( and often mids cranked up ).    Not sure if people are just going for best "tone in the bedroom" or if with a POD, the minimal bass advice doesn't apply to a band situation.

 

Sure, many people out there using cheapo computer speakers.

 

I usually set the Bass parameter around 20-40%, and never beyond 50.

 

Additionally, I use the global EQ to cut unwanted extremes of the spectrum, the Low Cut cab parameter, and even the Mid Focus EQ, if needed.

 

So yes, these frequencies definitely need to be tamed. As a general rule for elecric guitar, you can safely cut under 100-120Hz to avoid boomyness, and above 6-7Khz to mitigate the shrillness.


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#3 pfsmith0

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:00 AM

+1

Each instrument in a band needs to carve out its space. When you're by yourself do whatever you want to get the full glorious hit-you-in-the-gut impact of your playing, but that just doesn't work well in a band. Derek Trucks mentions this here.


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#4 joel_brown

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:38 AM

I reduce bass quite a bit but that doesn't mean it'll work correctly for you.  It depends on the amp/speaker combination you have.  It also depends on how the rest of the bands tone.  The band I'm in has spent a lot of time making sure our instruments are EQ'd with each other to prevent stepping on each other's frequencies.  Something I wish more bands did.

 

An average band that has great tone will sound great.

A great band with average tone will sound average.

A crap band with great tone will sound average.

 

Moral of the story: Even if you're a great band you're no better than a crap band with good sound.


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#5 Palico

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:45 AM

+1 to all of the above. 

 

I'll add it also depends on the style of the music. 


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#6 cruisinon2

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:34 AM

In other words, there really is no answer...and no objective standard that can be applied. Doesn't matter what number the bass knob is pointing at. It's either too boomy, or it isn't...you're cutting through the mix or you're not.

And as always, Customtone is the worst possible yardstick by which to judge your patches. Doesn't matter what works with someone else's rig/playing situation. The odds of the same thing working for you is essentially zero.
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#7 Indianrock2020

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:41 AM

Yes, you have to tailor your patches to your environment.  "general rules" don't always work.    I play and run sound at our church where we have a lot happening in the band (   piano, keys, bass, acoustic drums, electric guitar and acoustic guitar plus vocals ).  There are only 3 active speakers on stage -- two wedges for the front vocalists and the piano has a built-in speaker ( unfortunately ).  The drums have an ineffective shield in front of them which probably just contributes to back wall reflections.  The drums are mic'd but the sound guy really has no control of them. ( yes I've tried to change all of that -- no progress so far except the purchase of a somewhat quieter kit and cymbals )

 

I noticed yesterday that it takes quite a bit of boost at the board to get the electric guitar to cut through on passages where he should stand out ( electric guitars all use pods direct to PA and 3 of us have our own 500X's  ).   I've been avoiding the volume/expression pedal because I'm kind of awkward with it and use a footswitch to kick on a boost effect or overdrive during those passages.   I now see that it's going to take more volume boost than I thought to cut through all of that, especially if you have 300 people singing out in the seats.     Bass?   I'll probably still not overdo the bass, but  even with bass off it's going to take a boost in level to get heard.

 

I use the faders to do that for the electric guitarists but some of the sound techs run on auto-pilot.


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#8 Palico

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:47 AM

Yes, you have to tailor your patches to your environment.  "general rules" don't always work.    I play and run sound at our church where we have a lot happening in the band (   piano, keys, bass, acoustic drums, electric guitar and acoustic guitar plus vocals ).  There are only 3 active speakers on stage -- two wedges for the front vocalists and the piano has a built-in speaker ( unfortunately ).  The drums have an ineffective shield in front of them which probably just contributes to back wall reflections.  The drums are mic'd but the sound guy really has no control of them. ( yes I've tried to change all of that -- no progress so far except the purchase of a somewhat quieter kit and cymbals )

 

I noticed yesterday that it takes quite a bit of boost at the board to get the electric guitar to cut through on passages where he should stand out ( electric guitars all use pods direct to PA and 3 of us have our own 500X's  ).   I've been avoiding the volume/expression pedal because I'm kind of awkward with it and use a footswitch to kick on a boost effect or overdrive during those passages.   I now see that it's going to take more volume boost than I thought to cut through all of that, especially if you have 300 people singing out in the seats.     Bass?   I'll probably still not overdo the bass, but  even with bass off it's going to take a boost in level to get heard.

 

I use the faders to do that for the electric guitarists but some of the sound techs run on auto-pilot.

 

I would suggest trying a mid boost or a overdrive like the TS that good bit of mids to it. That way you kick up the mids to get the cut, along with some overall volume.


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#9 Indianrock2020

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:58 AM

Good idea Palico.     Where would you put the mid boost or screamer?   Almost all of my patches follow this form:

 

 

Noise Gate>Compressor>Drive effect>Parametric EQ> DUAL AMPS>delay>reverb                

 

Generally the parametric is kicked on with the drive effect so notch out some of the fizzy frequencies.       Practicing with the POD on top of a desk doesn't give me any practice with the expression pedal, but I still like the idea of boosting with an switch controlled effect for a more precise volume boost.


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#10 Palico

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:20 AM

Good idea Palico.     Where would you put the mid boost or screamer?   Almost all of my patches follow this form:

 

 

Noise Gate>Compressor>Drive effect>Parametric EQ> DUAL AMPS>delay>reverb                

 

Generally the parametric is kicked on with the drive effect so notch out some of the fizzy frequencies.       Practicing with the POD on top of a desk doesn't give me any practice with the expression pedal, but I still like the idea of boosting with an switch controlled effect for a more precise volume boost.

 Yep where you have the drive effect. Even if you have one already it works. Just play with the placement a bit. It will hit the front on the amp model a bit harder and give you a bit more gain as well which is usually appropriate for a lead. On the overdrive/boost I usually set the "drive" fairly low and the "output" higher. So it boost more than distorts but you get some gain and a bit of gain from hitting the front of the amp model harder as well. 

On mine I keep an entire patch just for leads which has a bit of boost and some amp volume up just a touch as well.  I uses my patches like you would scenes in Helix or other modelers. Same amp pedal chain etc... just turning multiples on an off with one switch. It works but volume levels doing that way can be a bit of pain to keep in line.


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#11 Palico

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:22 AM

oh and if you want more of clean boost, a compressor usually works well for that with the output a bit higher and not much compression on it.


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#12 Indianrock2020

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:27 AM

 Yep where you have the drive effect. Even if you have one already it works. Just play with the placement a bit. It will hit the front on the amp model a bit harder and give you a bit more gain as well which is usually appropriate for a lead. On the overdrive/boost I usually set the "drive" fairly low and the "output" higher. So it boost more than distorts but you get some gain and a bit of gain from hitting the front of the amp model harder as well. 

On mine I keep an entire patch just for leads which has a bit of boost and some amp volume up just a touch as well.  I uses my patches like you would scenes in Helix or other modelers. Same amp pedal chain etc... just turning multiples on an off with one switch. It works but volume levels doing that way can be a bit of pain to keep in line.

I've been thinking about that, switching patches mid-song rather than hitting an upper-row switch for OD addition within the single patch.  Yes other than keeping volume correct between patches, no harder to switch patches than effects ---- except that if I have 10 patches for a 5 song set, I may have to flip banks so it would be important that two patches for a single song exist in the same bank.


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#13 Palico

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:07 AM

If I was doing patches for each song, I would probably do like you have it set already, just mapping multiple effects on/off to a single foot switch.  For me I use a patches more generically and don't really attempt to nail a patch for say "Cold Shot" or even "SRV" but just "Blues". So I have  bank for "Blues" at a clean, crunch, heavy and lead, One for general "Rock" etc.... But that's all a personal preference thing.


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#14 bjnette

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:26 PM

As a amp'd guitar is a broadband swamping instrument, in the interest of bandmanship it must carve space for

singers and bass and other guitars.

When there are two or more guitars divide up their tonalities as much as possible; one acoustic, one cleaner,

and most of all play with different positions on the neck. Not the same voiced chord and you will sound bigger.


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#15 Indianrock2020

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:59 PM

Yes I do focus on " being different " than the acoustic guitar.  If you want to talk about instruments that swamp the whole frequency spectrum it's piano and keyboard.   Those players usually learn in an environment where they will play recitals etc as the only instrument.  In a band, I've actually seen experts recommend that keys players just use their right hand, or at least jump up a whole octave from where the music says to play.   Generally, they look at me like I'm crazy to suggest those things.

 

It's a real challenge to go from 3-piece rock combos to full bands, especially with volunteer sound techs who either don't get the music or don't like guitar   :-)    Sometimes you feel like you're no more than a stage prop.


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#16 joel_brown

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:21 PM

Usually 'cause every instrument clogs up the lower-mids.  Not that this is a catch all but I've seen it so many times.  Frequencies around 200hz to 500hz are very dominant to human ears and give us a muddy impression of sound. 

 

Two high gain guitars with very similar tone can get along quite well if EVERYTHING is EQ'd properly.  One of the first things I learned in studios was EQ.  Not that I was all that good at it but I tried to learn from the engineers.  They always said work with the EQ to get everything sounding as good as you can before adding anything else to it.  Obviously a good sounding tone coming into the board is just as important, if not more.

 

Good luck and EQ with everyone playing at volume until you get it right.  What sounds the best by yourself at low volumes usually doesn't work at stage volume with other players.


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#17 napynap

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:29 PM

Good idea Palico.     Where would you put the mid boost or screamer?   Almost all of my patches follow this form:

 

 

Noise Gate>Compressor>Drive effect>Parametric EQ> DUAL AMPS>delay>reverb                

 

Generally the parametric is kicked on with the drive effect so notch out some of the fizzy frequencies.       Practicing with the POD on top of a desk doesn't give me any practice with the expression pedal, but I still like the idea of boosting with an switch controlled effect for a more precise volume boost.

I put a Studio EQ at the very end and leave it flat, but just add about 4 to 6 db of gain depending on the tone. Default is set to OFF. I assign it to one of the buttons on the FBV as a boost to turn it on.


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#18 line6bbd

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:05 AM

Good idea Palico.     Where would you put the mid boost or screamer?   Almost all of my patches follow this form:

 

 

Noise Gate>Compressor>Drive effect>Parametric EQ> DUAL AMPS>delay>reverb                

 

Generally the parametric is kicked on with the drive effect so notch out some of the fizzy frequencies.       Practicing with the POD on top of a desk doesn't give me any practice with the expression pedal, but I still like the idea of boosting with an switch controlled effect for a more precise volume boost.

 

Never forget the wonderful Vetta Juice. The level control provides up to 30dB of clean gain ... !

 

Park it at the end, just before the mixer block and assign a FS.

 

It's an inexplicably overlooked tool :)

 

Hope this helps.


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#19 Indianrock2020

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:49 AM

Never forget the wonderful Vetta Juice. The level control provides up to 30dB of clean gain ... !

 

Park it at the end, just before the mixer block and assign a FS.

 

It's an inexplicably overlooked tool :)

 

Hope this helps.

Nice.   Just before mixer, so right after amps in my case, which would put the boost effect before delays and reverb.


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#20 FlyingSquirrel

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 05:03 AM

Nice.   Just before mixer, so right after amps in my case, which would put the boost effect before delays and reverb.

Yup, me too, it "is" my solo boost.


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