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Bass N00b
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As my name suggests, I'm a n00b when it comes to bass.

My question is this: Is it possible to plug an active bass guitar into a PA mixer, and thereby generate a decent sound?

Or would I need an amp, DI box, pedals, or whatever?

I have very little money (and sense!), hence my question.

 

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DI box into a mic pre-amp input is the usual way, some amps have DI outputs that'll do the same thing.

Bass into DI will give the sound of the bass via its pre-amp, an amp will colour the sound, a box like the Line6 Stomp will add modelled amps and cab sounds.

Other boxes are available, Tech 21 Bass driver DI etc. Loads of options.

Depends what kind of sound you want.

Edited by WinterMute
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I recall the Behringer BDI 21 has some suggestions in the instructions as to where to put the knobs to roughly emulate some classic amp styles, helpful if you're new to all this. 

Just set the controls as suggested for an Ampeg SVT and go for it. 

(But by all means fiddle with your knobs to experiment.) 

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1 hour ago, Maude said:

I recall the Behringer BDI 21 has some suggestions in the instructions as to where to put the knobs to roughly emulate some classic amp styles, helpful if you're new to all this. 

Just set the controls as suggested for an Ampeg SVT and go for it. 

(But by all means fiddle with your knobs to experiment.) 

Exactly this. Can’t go wrong initially with the Behringer, then keep it as a spare if you decide to upgrade later. I have two of them, brilliant for the money as well as great units in their own right. 

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If you are just looking to make some noise you can probably get busy with your PA just fine. Many moons ago, before I got to buying a rig, I played at many an open mic with only a passive bass straight into the mixer. Was it the greatest bass sound ever? No. Did it entertain the bar? Yes.

The trick is to not try to get too much low end out of it. Low bass causes the PA speaker to work harder than its design purpose of amplifying voice and higher register instruments like guitars and whatnot.

Edited by Downunderwonder
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I mean, a DI or something is the "right" way to do it, but I've done countless small gigs in bars over the years where I plugged a jack straight in to the desk and got on just fine. 

Would I do it on a proper gig? No. Will it do the job in a pinch? Absolutely. 

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