Bass Gig

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by fob, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. fob

    fob SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys.

    I’m gonna be auditioning as a bass player for a cover band doing top 40 stuff (more old than current). I have this bass.
    https://www.zzounds.com/item--ESPB206SM?siid=113762&-gnVdRE0CIitWyDrkaAqPsEALw_wcB=

    I haven’t played bass in a while and also this is a new approach to tone for me, so any advice would be appreciated!

    I don’t have a cab or a head. They are able to run D.I.

    I have a Samsamp (standard), a keely compressor and a tuner, as well as a POD HD Pro X, and I’m also familiar with IRs for cabs if that’s better (although I haven’t used them live, only in my home studio.)


    What do you suggest for a tone? I like gospel bass a lot. I like some growly midrange as well. If there’s plugins that are a better route than a POD, or the Sansamp, anything is welcome. Thanks!
     
  2. Screamingdaisy

    Screamingdaisy SS.org Regular

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    Assuming you're talking about the Bass Driver DI, I'd use the SansAmp. It's an industry standard for a reason, and to everyone else it'll sound like a bass since they're commonly used both live and in studios. Amp/cabinet emulation is already built in.

    I don't like using a compressor, and the SansAmp's tube emulation adds compression.... so, that's my opinion on that subject.

    As for tone, I suggest listening to the band and dialling in your sound so that you sit in the mix without overpowering the guitars or vocals.
     
  3. fob

    fob SS.org Regular

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    Thanks! What about EQ shaping? Would it be beneficial to use the Pod for some of the fx such as that?
     
  4. Esp Griffyn

    Esp Griffyn Play more music

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    EQ - set it all flat and boost and cut based on the sound of the venue while sound checking with the band. Avoid extremes of EQ. Remember you're not just playing metal so the notes matter, not just clank and noise.
     
  5. Screamingdaisy

    Screamingdaisy SS.org Regular

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    The SansAmp is all the EQ shaping you need. It's an audition. If it were my band and you spent a lot of time f*cking around with your tone I'd get irritated with you. I want to hear how you play not how your stuff sounds.

    Anyway, the trick to the SansAmp it is that it's two separate parts. The "Dry" part contains the Treble/Bass/Mid, and the distortion part contains the presence/drive.

    My recommendation is to shape your sound with the blend control all the way counter-clockwise, set the drive/presence to 12:00, then slowly increase the blend until you get the amount of edge on your sound that you want.

    If your sound gets too scooped, reduce the blend. If it's not scooped enough, increase the blend.

    Adding/reducing drive will obviously add/reduce distortion, while adding/reducing presence will change how the distortion sits in the mix.

    The manual's a little extreme in that it runs the blend really high in most presets. A lot of people get great results with the blend at 12:00 or less. I run mine at 9:00.
     
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  6. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Play great first, tone will follow.

    Also the sansamp is awesome, but then you also sound like *every other bassist* who runs a sansamp. Definitely use it for now, but you may find other DI options enhance the sound of the band as well as set you apart.
     
  7. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    presence is boost only, so it's flat CCW not at 12:00, also the bass/treble EQ is a baxandall eq, meaning that it also affect the mids : boosting both the bass and treble scoop the mids and cutting them boost the mids.

    IMO for the audition dial a quick tone using only the sansamp and if you get the gig, use the pod as an EQ to further tailor your sound and place yourself in the mix where you want
     
  8. fob

    fob SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I am not concerned about the playing because I still play, but I haven’t played bass live in a while and wanted to see how people run their tones these days. Also this tone is to be prepared in advance... not to show up and figure it out during rehearsal, which is why I’m asking BEFORE and not after I’ve started playing.


    I didn’t know that’s how the Sansamp worked. I’ll definitely try that “start the blend at counter clockwise and slowly go up” thing. That’s good advice.


    So how about the EQ settings on the bass? Is it best to have everything flat, or are their certain guidelines people use in general for certain sounds? I.E. if I was playing guitar I might switch pickups for a part or mess with the tone knob, but with bass I’ve often just find one sound and left it there.


    I should also mention that I like Gospel bass tones a lot. That’s a huge inspiration to my playing and what I would like in my tone.


    Thanks again everyone! I appreciate your replies and advice!
     
  9. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    a lot of bass gigs you just run your bass trough the AP with a DI box, and you get a split signal to your amp for your reference monitor. So no matter how much your "tone" and amp would be 80% of the time you are in the hands of the FOH engineer. Unless you have an amp with DI built into it. Or you are playing small anough gigs that you relly mostly on your amp for sound. Which whatever sounds cool for you on stage got nothing on the sound out there for folks. Also what sounds good at low volumes at your home/practice, is nothing close of what sounds good at high levels with a band

    You have an active EQ bass. So shape your sound on your instrument. Start flat and tweak from there boost/cut to taste
     
  10. fob

    fob SS.org Regular

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    That’s the biggest thing for me with bass is that the tone is so different close to far, drastically more than a guitar is IMO, or at least to my ears anyway. That’s why I wanted to ask for where to start and go from there because my ears might not be right. Fortunately I do have a sub and some nice monitors at home so I can get a full spectrum sound and at least an idea of what it’ll sound like. Obviously room, FOH and other dynamics will have influences on the tone as well, but you guys have helped a lot with a solid starting place.
     
  11. Screamingdaisy

    Screamingdaisy SS.org Regular

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    The problem with having a tone that's prepared in advance is that it may not work well with the band in question (that said, it may also work awesome and be the greatest tone they've ever heard, so take my opinion with a grain of salt). That's not to say you shouldn't develop a couple sounds that you really dig, I'm more trying to say that you should know your gear well enough that you can quickly tweak your sound to fit your playing situation (which is why I recommend simplicity on day one).

    As for your bass' EQ, I'd start with it set flat and make minor adjustments until you get the sound you want. It's always been something I've kind of felt out over time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  12. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    thats when you start messing with the on-board EQ of the active bass.

    but yeh your tone changes a lot once you are on a band context and levels are really up. You ahve no idea how much "bass" your amp produce until you turn it up hehehe.

    But that was my thing on bands. I have to relly on my bass EQ system to tweak the souund so I could fit/cut trough the band. Usually punching more highs that I was used to.

    also a very common problem with guitar players, but one is eassier to identify with the bass. Gutiar players tend to add a lot of low end to their tone as to mimic a full band when at home, when in reality on a mix/recordiing/gig, the guitar has little low end, and the less the easier is for them to cut trough
     
  13. fob

    fob SS.org Regular

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    It’s good to know I should have the expectation that as prepared as I may be, there’s a possibility I will have to EQ tweak in context for various reasons.
     
  14. eyeswide

    eyeswide SS.org Regular

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    Looks like you have everything you need there!
     
  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    My philosophy toward bass (this is subjective, but here's my take):

    1. You are the glue that holds things together. Be consistent.
    2. Don't step on any toes. If playing one note throughout the whole song makes the song sound cooler somehow, then do it, but if people don't think it sounds cool, then it doesn't. :lol:
    3. Basses have tons of tone controls onboard for a reason. Your tone needs to fit the band, and not the other way around. For a new band, I start with everything flat and then try to shape my boosts and cuts to try to fit around the guitar and the drums. If there is a keyboard player, you might find this very difficult. Also, I've noted that the coolest bass tones I find when fidgeting with my amp playing alone never ever work with a full band...

    Playing bass in a cover band such as you described should be a lot of fun. If you already know how to play and you know the songs they do, then there's really not that much work to do on the front end. Just lock in with the drummer most of the time, and alternately lock in with the guitar player when the right time comes to do so and your band will go really far and book lots of gigs. Two years later, you'll probably get violently ill every time you hear "Brown Eyed Girl" or "Jumpin Jack Flash" and have an epiphany that you don't want to do it anymore, since, as the bass player, you are the butt of all of the band's jokes and no one pays attention to you, even though you will probably be the most professional and most musically refined one in the band...but in the mean time, have fun and live it up!
     

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