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Setting Your Tone -Tip


BassAdder27
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After a very helpful chat with Ashdown I’ve learnt something that all bass players should know.

 

The tone sitting / standing in front of your amp / cab doesn’t sound the same 15-20 ft away.

 

The bass sounds fuller and deeper as you move away from the cab which setting up for band use is important as setting it too bass heavy near to amp may initially sound great close up but further away it’s all flub !

 

Im going over to wireless completely to benefit from this and hear the sound “ correctly” out front 

Line 6 G30 incoming plus Levy’s belt / strap pouch 👍

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Thats so true, I despair every time I go to see a band in a pub/club and the bassist has his bass knob at 5'oclock or some extreme smiley face dialled into the graphic because hes stood 2 feet away from his amp when dialling in the sound.

 

Top tip #2 use a looper rather than a long lead or radio to check to sound out front as you also hear your tone differently when not actually playing (try it if you dont believe me - its actually quite shocking how different your tone sounds when your not using half your brain on playing).

Edited by bassman7755
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It’s a very good tip, I found this out by accident some years back after getting a truly great on stage sound at soundcheck, solid lows, the right amount of bite on top end. Went out front to check vocals levels and all I heard was boomy mush. 

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Same applies to dialling in sounds at home as well - they tend to be way too bassy and boomy when out front at gigging volume. Weirdly I've found that sounds dialled in using headphones translate better to a good gig level sound than using my actual amp and speakers at low volume in a small room.

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On 16/10/2021 at 16:00, BassAdder27 said:

After a very helpful chat with Ashdown I’ve learnt something that all bass players should know.

 

The tone sitting / standing in front of your amp / cab doesn’t sound the same 15-20 ft away.

 

👍

Thought this was common knowledge and most do know this 😎.

 

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48 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

Thought this was common knowledge and most do know this 😎.

 

We probably all know it but how many ignore it when tweeking our amp playing live because it doesn’t appear to sound right. Same applies to volume on stage and the battles that happen. 
I guess we have all been guilty of expecting that tone we have in our heads to sound great at home, in the studio or live performance. All very different tones needed to work for the occasion.

I for one was doubting my cabs and believing they should sound deeper when standing close by or maybe 10ft away yet further away they sound very full and deep. The wonders of sound waves !

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Ha, dont get me started on home vs live sounds from a rig. Anything can sound fantastic at home, but for me it needs to preform just as well at volume with a band. Only way to reliably tell is to use it like this, and go as far as you can (or at least on to the dance floor/area ) and hear what the public will hear. Obviously only really needed if backline is providing  FOH as well. 

Ive always used a wireless system and checked my sound and the band mix from out front. 

 

My experience has shown that a few tweaks on stage to help hear myself better doesn't make a huge difference out front, but i never touch the low end, which is where i think it will make an audible difference off stage. 

 

So yeah, totally agree with you. 

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It's common for the low end of a speaker to be hard to hear when standing close to it. Reflections off nearby walls and the ceiling create low frequency null zones. If you're standing in one of those null zones the bass will disappear. When you move away from the null zone the true output of the cab will be heard. This effect gave rise to the myth of wave propagation, that it takes a minimum distance from a source for the bass wave to be heard. But if that was true headphones wouldn't work, nor would car subwoofers.

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1 hour ago, status1 said:

If your not cutting through turn volume down a tad and tweak treble and bass if need be ,that’s the tip I got many years ago by a well known pro,it works

Thats almost the opposite to what i do 😁

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I did know it but it's helpful to be reminded, esp as I got a gig coming up tomoz.  I generally push the low mids when 'in company', always drop the trebles and lows - but then 'my sound' is flats, fretless, P clone, vaguely faux upright.   Another thing is that cheap speakers can sound lovely and subtle in the quiet-ish home environment but honk when turned up to gig levels. IME spending on decent drivers is rarely wasted and still regret shifting my BF Two10. My current Ashdown RM 210s are not bad on this, although cheap. Some years ago I bought two cheap TC BC210s because, well what can go wrong? Nothing in my bedroom, everything on a loud stage. YMMV, IMHE/O.

Edited by lownote
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I think cutting through and sitting in the mix are different goals, but I generally boost the mids slightly to get me heard a bit more. Don’t think I’ve ever boosted the low end.  That’s just me though. 

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On 16/10/2021 at 16:00, BassAdder27 said:

The tone sitting / standing in front of your amp / cab doesn’t sound the same 15-20 ft away.

 

I had the opposite of this last night. Struggling with my sound on stage only to be told that the bass sounded great out front. We were in a corner, one wall of brick and the other was ceiling to floor windows/glass. I couldn't dial out a boom, but out front it was OK, so I put up with it.

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As a teenager I was told, by the boyfriend of my sister who was a sound engineer, that bass soundwaves take a long distance to form, so you can't hear your bass correctly until you're 20 ft from your cab.

 

That means the sound onstage doesn't ever sound like the sound 20 ft away.

 

Harmonica players don't have this problem ☹️

 

What a bummer.

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2 hours ago, gjones said:

As a teenager I was told, by the boyfriend of my sister who was a sound engineer, that bass soundwaves take a long distance to form, so you can't hear your bass correctly until you're 20 ft from your cab.

He may have claimed to be a sound engineer, but he was not. That's the Myth of Wave Propagation, see my previous post above.

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Your gear sounds different if the speaker cabinets are flat on the floor firing in to your legs. One of the best things you can do , especially on a tight stage, is to angle the cabinets to face your ears or raise them up closer to your ears. 

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42 minutes ago, Dood said:

Your gear sounds different if the speaker cabinets are flat on the floor firing in to your legs. One of the best things you can do , especially on a tight stage, is to angle the cabinets to face your ears or raise them up closer to your ears. 

This is where my old Schroeder 1212L and 1210R’s were outstanding. Firing up at my head AND out front at the same time. 

Never struggled to hear myself on stage and so never really had to mess with the EQ that the audience was getting.

 

Edited by dave_bass5
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