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TEN TIPS FOR GETTING THE BEST STAGE SOUND POSSIBLE FOR YOUR BASS by IGOR SAAVEDRA

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TEN TIPS FOR GETTING THE BEST STAGE SOUND POSSIBLE FOR YOUR BASS by IGOR SAAVEDRA

Hi Folks:

This month’s article will be short but precise and straight to the point…

I will start this article by writing this quote:

“In my opinion, the last thing we have to do on stage if we want to modify the sound of our bass is moving the eq knobs… which, let’s be honest, is the first thing people usually do”.

This list is based on a precise, proposed order… so in this case “The Order of the Factors might alter the Product”.

1) Know your sound

I said this once long time ago on an article named “The Chain of Sound.” Knowing your sound at a mental, abstract and conceptual level is crucial… knowing what you want and knowing which the sound you are looking after is. If you haven’t solved that… the following tips might have no purpose for you….

2) Know where you’ll be playing

This means getting the most possible information about the place you are going to perform… If possible, be there at least one day before the show, get on the stage and scream, whistle and clap your hands and listen to what happens. Look at the walls and the ceiling, the angles they have, the materials of the room, consider the “audience effect” which will “dry” the room adding more bass sound to it. The place where you are playing affects enormously the outcome of your sound.

3) Choose the right amp configuration

Once you know where you’ll be playing, consider the right speaker configuration and the proper Bass Head Handling Power and their entire characteristics so to know what to bring there. As an example, usually a 2×10 cabinet has less low frequency response compared to a 1×15 cabinet. Tube amps are warmer and with less transient, etc.,

4) Earplugs

This advice is really simple… before turning your amp on for the sound check (if you are playing in a large venue with high stage volumes) PLUG IN YOUR EARPLUGS! After a few years of not doing so you’ll regret it. Also, do the whole sound check and modifications to the sound with your earplugs plugged in, because this will be “the real sound in your brain at the concert”, not the one without the earplugs.

5) Height and Angling of your amp

Once you have your amp on stage, “where to place it” and “how to place it” is a crucial action. As the higher you put the cabinet, the less bass content you will hear and quite the opposite if it’s resting on the floor… so take this into account. If there’s no way to place the amp over some rack, case or something like that, consider getting some “object” and angling/tilting the cabinet like a monitor if you want to hear more “Presence” from it. If for some reason the producer needs your amp over some box so to be seen for let’s say “esthetical reasons”, and you don’t like what you hear because you hear more highs than you need or you hear it too loud, the solution is quite simple… “Just move the amp (or you) a little bit to a side so you won’t be standing in front of it”… always remember that higher frequencies tend to be “Unidirectional” and lower frequencies tend to behave “Omnidirectional”… the difference is outstanding…

6) Gain Volume vs Master Volume

You already turned your amp ONALWAYS set the Gain control first right before the clipping led lights, and then go to the Master volume to set the final volume you need.

7) Distance from your amp

Consider that you’ll be able to feel and to hear the lowest frequencies of your amp by increasing your distance from the speakers… if you stand too close to the speakers the length of the low frequency wave won’t complete itself in relation to you and it won’t be felt by your ears… Lower frequencies are quite longer than higher frequencies, so they need more distance to “Express themselves in your ears”.

8) Sound of your Bass varies depending on the volume

It’s very important that you do all your sound checking at almost the exact volume you’ll be performing. The higher the volumes the more bass frequency content on your sound… always consider that!

9) Eq knobs of your amp

If NONE of this advices were enough… well… only then attempt to SLIGHTLY adjust the eq knobs of your amp to add or rest what you need.

10) Stage Monitors

Once you finished the whole process of getting the best sound you could from your Bass amp, only then see if you are going to need any Bass sound in your stage monitor. Avoid this as much as possible… consider that stage monitors are generic and not dedicated, they were designed to “do the best they can” with all the different textures of the sound that is passing through them. that means they have to deal with the Human voice, Drums, Sax, Trumpet, Bass, Keyboard, etc., but were not built specifically for getting the best bass sound possible. Also beware of the Stage monitor’s tweeter, many times they are terribly “un-warm” and can really harm the core of your Bass sound.

See you on the next month my friends!

Bass Videos

Working-Class Zeros: Episode #3 – John Patitucci IG Video, The Summer Festival Gig, iPads on Stage

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WORKING-CLASS ZEROS With Steve Rosati and Shawn Cav

In this episode we cover John Patitucci’s IG video about saying ‘no’ to the gig, the Summer Festival gig, and iPads on stage (sure it’s awesome but is it necessary?)

These stories from the front are with real-life, day-to-day musicians who deal with work life and gigging and how they make it work out. Each month, topics may include… the kind of gigs you get, the money, dealing with less-than-ideal rooms, as well as the gear you need to get the job done… and the list goes on from there.” – Steve the Bass Guy and Shawn Cav

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Curly Hendo

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Interview Wity Bassist Curly Hendo

Bassist Curly Hendo…

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, bassist Curly Hendo has been super busy. Starting with dance from a young age, Curly took up bass shortly after and has been going strong ever since. She has collaborated with numerous acts worldwide and is an in-demand session/touring bassist and musical director.

Join me as we learn about Curly’s musical journey, how she gets her sound, and her plans for a very bright future.

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Latest

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @jermsbass @degierguitars @meridian_guitars @xvector_basses @marleaux_bassguitars @mattissonbass @alesvychodilbasses @gvguitars @thebassplace @xylembassguitar

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Bass CDs

New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at danielbenmortiz.com/

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Gear News

New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Dual Compressor/Effects Loop

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New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Duel Compressor/Effects Loop

Step Into X2C With Phil Jones Bass Dual Compressor/Effects Loop…

Phil Jones Bass latest pedal innovation is the X2C Dual Compressor with Dual Effects Loop for performance and recording. The X2C incorporates advanced compressor circuit technology and provides comprehensive tone control with a dual crossover feature which divides the signal into frequency bands ranging from 100Hz to 500Hz, ensuring exceptional clarity and dynamics in tone refinement. 

With insert jacks on each band, the X2C unlocks limitless creativity, enabling players to use various FX pedals for custom tone sculpting. Additionally, it functions as an electronic crossover, ideal for driving high-performance, 2-way bass rigs.

PJB’s Dual-Band compression design is more flexible than standard single-band compressors and provides a more natural and transparent sound. It also provides greater control over shaping and managing dynamics where standard compressors affect the entire frequency spectrum of an audio signal.  

PJB’s dual compressor enables the player to shape specific frequency ranges of an audio signal which allows for compressing the low frequencies while preserving the high frequencies, or vice-versa. Treating the low-end with a dedicated band also allows for heavy compression without affecting the midrange frequencies, which carry the attack of the sound. 

Effects can be plugged into the insert jacks on the X2C and controlled separately. As an example, the lows can be adjusted separately for an overdrive pedal while the highs can be controlled for a chorus. 

Dividing the audio spectrum into fundamental frequencies and harmonics is also effective in the enrichment of slapping techniques. The low frequencies can be compressed without changing the dynamics of the “slap”. By controlling the low frequencies and focusing the attack on the slap the amplifier will sound louder while avoiding overloading of the amp or speakers. The low band can be compressed without the harmonics being affected. In addition, the send jacks can go to different amplifiers/speakers for a bi-amplification set up.

Compact and potent, the X2C embodies studio-grade excellence, setting a new standard for dynamic processing in an uncompromising, portable pedal. The street price is $359.99.

Visit online at www.pjbworld.com

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