What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

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FunkyJase
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What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by FunkyJase » 13 Nov 2017, 10:51

Just played a bunch of shows at The Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival over the weekend and whilst Im extremely grateful to have a bass amp supplied for the main show, I just couldnt get the sound I was after! It had a huge bottom end but no real mid definition and brittle highs. It was also a bit under-powered so I felt bad driving it as hard as i did (Older Lab Systems head similar to the 400b i think and a weird looking 210 that I havent seen before. It had a strange grill ). I thought it was a tube amp till I turned around and notice the clip light was permanently on! Sorry to the person that offered their rig for the show!

It had an impact on my playing cos I couldnt hear the nuances and ghost notes that I play a lot. Whats worse, the brittle highs exposed the fact that I sometimes keep time by lightly mute tapping the strings! It was clear as day ha ha...

So anyway - Does anyone have a method they use to make the rig sound the way you like it? I tried my hardest to get it right but new head and no time equals crap tone he he. Im thinking of getting an Empress EQ or even a preamp pedal so i can tailor stuff as I need it... or do you just have to grin and bear it?

Typically, the one time the sound guy doesnt DI the bass before it even gets to the rig, it's a rig I hate ha ha
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by slowlearner » 13 Nov 2017, 11:44

Labby's tend to be clean right up to hurty volumes with a crisp highs and a lot of low lows. You have to pull a lot of both of those out to get mids working well. What bass were you using?
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by BazzBass » 13 Nov 2017, 11:44

find a preamp-DI you like and take it with you as insurance, all you need is a flatish eq on the amp and you'll get your tone .

PS I do the light tap on the strings thing too. Sometimes I tap it harder to sound a ghost note as well
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by vin-tone » 13 Nov 2017, 12:15

More often than not I'll be bringing a head to plug in. Especially with the upright.
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by FunkyJase » 13 Nov 2017, 12:46

slowlearner wrote:
13 Nov 2017, 11:44
Labby's tend to be clean right up to hurty volumes with a crisp highs and a lot of low lows. You have to pull a lot of both of those out to get mids working well. What bass were you using?
A Warwick Streamer $$
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by FunkyJase » 13 Nov 2017, 12:47

BazzBass wrote:
13 Nov 2017, 11:44
find a preamp-DI you like and take it with you as insurance, all you need is a flatish eq on the amp and you'll get your tone .

PS I do the light tap on the strings thing too. Sometimes I tap it harder to sound a ghost note as well
Yeah I think that's the ticket. Time to start lookin'...
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by FunkyJase » 13 Nov 2017, 12:48

vin-tone wrote:
13 Nov 2017, 12:15
More often than not I'll be bringing a head to plug in. Especially with the upright.
Good call. The worst thing was I had my own rig back at the Motel cos I had a gig in Geelong yesterday! I left it there assuming the backline would be cool he he...
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by slowlearner » 13 Nov 2017, 12:54

FunkyJase wrote:
13 Nov 2017, 12:46
A Warwick Streamer $$
Is it usually pretty middy or does it specialize in lots of low and lots of highs?
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by FunkyJase » 13 Nov 2017, 13:21

slowlearner wrote:
13 Nov 2017, 12:54
FunkyJase wrote:
13 Nov 2017, 12:46
A Warwick Streamer $$
Is it usually pretty middy or does it specialize in lots of low and lots of highs?
Hmm depends on the amp. It certainly can do all of those but I usually dont have to EQ to any extremes...
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by maxgroover » 13 Nov 2017, 13:22

I use the amp sims on my Zoom B3 with my own rig and if I'm borrowing someone elses. If possible, I go through the effects return to bypass the borrowed amp's pre section and use it as a power amp only.
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by rodl2005 » 13 Nov 2017, 13:35

I always take my fave (micro) amp. .. and a pleasant 'do you mind if I use my amp. ..the DI is great and I like to use a post eq signal' usually will do the trick.
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by onehandclapping » 13 Nov 2017, 15:13

Always chuck my valve amp and box in the car,just in case,and like Rod always use the post Di,been caught out once too often in the past with crap backline.
Actually last week did a gig and forgot my amp head ,my mate who was playing guitar had a newish GK bass head and lived in the same suburb,so he brought it along,Cripes what a wrestle with the knobs that was,he played with the knobs at 12 o’clock ,that was not even close
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by kat888 » 13 Nov 2017, 19:32

Preamp-DI? Oh look, there's one for sale in the classifieds...
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by bassbass » 13 Nov 2017, 22:36

Personally, I just embrace the chaos. Enjoy the challenge. It'll take a song or two, but by mid set I'm usually OK. I have an EQ pedal in my gig bag as a backup plan, but I rarely use it. I've also been playing an active bass with quite a bit of tone shaping onboard, so that helps.

Last year I played at a remote gig up in the gulf of Carpentaria. When we rocked up, the techs were literally taking the the leads out of their plastic bags and the amps out of cardboard boxes. The whole backline was brand new. That is, except for the bass amp. It was pretty trashed too, and small. You just have to adapt and listen hard, trust your technique and ears.

When I was gigging in the originals scene a lot, there was a lot of amp sharing between the bands on the bill. You really never knew what to expect. Last weekend I sat in with an old mate who was on tour. I just plugged in to his little PA. No foldback. Had to kind of play by echo... :lol:
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Re: What to do when the supplied backline is a bit... meh...

Post by BassLine » 13 Nov 2017, 22:44

1. HPF. Tame the lows.
2. Passive tone knob on bass. Tame the highs.
3. EQ: cut lows, boost mids, cut highs.
4. Grin and bear it.
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