#1
Hi,

I'm not a bassist, I play guitar so I don't know too much about bass. My question/dilema is: The bassist in my band never cuts through the mix. I can hardly ever hear him and when I can it sounds kind of "white noise-y".

The simple answer would be to turn him up, but quite frankly, I don't know how. He never listens to me when I ask him to turn up and I've tried looking at his amp and can't figure it out. It's the Peavey MarkIV head. If anyone could help me to get my bassist to stand out in the mix and just overall sound better it would be appreciated
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#2
if he still can turn it up, then he should be able to be heard if he just cranks his volume. other than that, add some treble and mids, and add a touch of gain. that should do it
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#3
Mids.
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#4
John Entwistle of The Who said the same thing about bassists cutting through. He boosted his mids and particularly his treble controls on his amplifiers and played at deafening volume. He certainly cut through.

If your bassist isn't cutting through and his amplifier is up loud enough, he probably has too much low end and not enough mid and high end in his EQ. A little trial and error knob-turning should fix the problem.
#5
Yeah my main issue is trying to figure out his amp. For some reason he doesn't seem to care about his tone so I have to care for him.

In one place on his amp there's a 6 band EQ, on another theres a treble mid and bass EQ. Theres like nine inputs on the front of his amp and I have no idea which one he plugs into. He left his amp at my house since we practice here and I've been trying to figue it out ever since. There's no master volume as far as I can tell so It's just comfusing me more and more
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#7
Quote by Casketcreep
I think the right answer is to find a new bassist if he really doesn't care.
Or get a gig, and he will embarrass himself enough that he will be forced to sort his stuff out.

I've gigged with him twice before. He doesn't really embarrass himself because no one can hear him! It just sounds kind of empty and makes the whole band look bad.

And I wish I could get a new bassist but there's none really around that are serious about it. And he's best friends with the drummer so they're kinda like a package deal
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#8
Quote by QuantumMechanix
Yeah my main issue is trying to figure out his amp. For some reason he doesn't seem to care about his tone so I have to care for him.


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#9
The Peavey Mark IV isn't as confusing as it looks. There are six jacks on the left side of the amplifier face. The two on the top and the two on the bottom are effects send/return, so ignore them. He's plugging into one of the two middle jacks - one says high gain, and the other says low gain. The low gain is for active/preamp equipped basses. If he doesn't have one of those, then he's probably plugging into the high gain jack.

There should be a Bright switch for each of the two channels. Pushing this might give your bassist enough top end to cut through. If not, the Paramid and Shift controls for the Channel B midrange will best enable you to find a cool tone that also cuts through. As for the Graphic EQ, it is a six-channel version that is very self-explanatory.

Good luck, and if the guy doesn't care enough about his tone and his level to work through it, maybe you need to start auditioning new bassists?
Last edited by FatalGear41 at Oct 30, 2009,
#10
Quote by FatalGear41
The Peavey Mark IV isn't as confusing as it looks. There are six jacks on the left side of the amplifier face. The two on the top and the two on the bottom are effects send/return, so ignore them. He's plugging into one of the two middle jacks - one says high gain, and the other says low gain. The low gain is for active/preamp equipped basses. If he doesn't have one of those, then he's probably plugging into the high gain jack.

There should be a Bright switch for each of the two channels. Pushing this might give your bassist enough top end to cut through. If not, the Paramid and Shift controls for the Channel B midrange will best enable you to find a cool tone that also cuts through. As for the Graphic EQ, it is a six-channel version that is very self-explanatory.

Good luck, and if the guy doesn't care enough about his tone and his level to work through it, maybe you need to start auditioning new bassists?

Thank you for the advice. Two more questions... 1) How do i turn the amps volume up? 2) Are the graphic EQ and the 3 band EQ both in affect at the same time?
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#11
Quote by QuantumMechanix
Thank you for the advice. Two more questions... 1) How do i turn the amps volume up? 2) Are the graphic EQ and the 3 band EQ both in affect at the same time?

1. Have you tried adjusting both the pre and post gain?
2. I believe so, not 100% sure though. Oh, and I think you have to hit the Graphic button to turn it on.
#12
Quote by Alex Vik
1. Have you tried adjusting both the pre and post gain?
2. I believe so, not 100% sure though. Oh, and I think you have to hit the Graphic button to turn it on.

1) I have not. I don't know which channel to adjust. He doesn't have any pedals ect., so idk what channel he plays on and I don't have a bass to plug in and test it out
2) Ok thanks
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#13
Quote by QuantumMechanix
1) I have not. I don't know which channel to adjust. He doesn't have any pedals ect., so idk what channel he plays on and I don't have a bass to plug in and test it out

Just use your guitar and mess around with it. It won't hurt anything.
#14
Quote by Alex Vik
Just use your guitar and mess around with it. It won't hurt anything.

Yeah true. I've just never tried before. I will tonight.

P.s. I've always thought your avatar was Bob Sagat untill just now
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#15
Quote by QuantumMechanix
Thank you for the advice. Two more questions... 1) How do i turn the amps volume up? 2) Are the graphic EQ and the 3 band EQ both in affect at the same time?


Each channel of the Peavey Mark IV Bass Amplifier has a pre gain and a post gain, which is nothing more than a gain control and a master volume control. These will adjust your overall volume. As for the Graphic EQ, each of the two channels has a Graphic EQ button right next to the Post Gain control knob. Push it in, and the Graphic EQ is in effect for that channel. You can have it completely off, working on only one channel, or on for both channels. I found this link for an owner's manual:

http://www.peavey.com/assets/literature/manuals/80370383.pdf

It should take you to the owner's manual for the Mark IV Bass Amplifier.
#17
Hmmm... never really heard about a guitarist caring about a bassist's tone and audibility more than the bassist...kind of sad actually. But, to help alleviate the problem, try boosting mids, lowering the low end, and see how everything is from there.
#18
Quote by edgeyyz
Hmmm... never really heard about a guitarist caring about a bassist's tone and audibility more than the bassist...kind of sad actually. But, to help alleviate the problem, try boosting mids, lowering the low end, and see how everything is from there.


Its awesome!! I wish the guitarists in my band would take more interest in the bass being audible! Sadly, no
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#19
Maybe your bassist is insecure about his playing, and therefore feels more comfortable if he "disappears" in the mix? And yeah, you can plug your guitar into a bass amp. But you should never plug a bass into a guitar amp, cos the vibrations of the bass can seriously damage an amp that isn't meant for that sort of rumbling low input.

And by the way, my bandmates also tell me when they think I should turn up
#20
My lead guitarist is absolutely obssessed with my tone and making sure I stand out in the mix anymore. he always tells me if he hears a little mud or it could use a bit more bass etc.

For another idea I shall post my current settings which give me a pretty thick but not muddy tone through my 4x12.

bass 1:30, mids(set at 400hz) 10:30, treble 12'oclock - 1'oclock depending on situation. i have my presence knob set at about 8'oclock currently and my resonance set at about 7'oclock.

I do play through a 4x12 and 12's will generally pump out mids pretty well, so I've actually got a decently mid boosted tone except for around 400 hz. anywhere between 250-400 or so will be where to dial out mud if you need to.

Resonance makes my sound a little bassier and looser so if he doesn't have this on his head play with the graphic eq in the bass and low mid range area.

Presence generally does the same as it does on a guitar amp so you will probably know what to do there.

BTW I don't cut through extremely well but we alleviate that with the use of the PA system. a little extra mid boost will do the trick though. If i switch to 800hz on my mids and boost it to about 1:30-2o'clock I'm very present in the mix, so just remember to boost around there on the graphic.
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#21
Quote by Revelation
My lead guitarist is absolutely obssessed with my tone and making sure I stand out in the mix anymore. he always tells me if he hears a little mud or it could use a bit more bass etc.

For another idea I shall post my current settings which give me a pretty thick but not muddy tone through my 4x12.

bass 1:30, mids(set at 400hz) 10:30, treble 12'oclock - 1'oclock depending on situation. i have my presence knob set at about 8'oclock currently and my resonance set at about 7'oclock.

I do play through a 4x12 and 12's will generally pump out mids pretty well, so I've actually got a decently mid boosted tone except for around 400 hz. anywhere between 250-400 or so will be where to dial out mud if you need to.

Resonance makes my sound a little bassier and looser so if he doesn't have this on his head play with the graphic eq in the bass and low mid range area.

Presence generally does the same as it does on a guitar amp so you will probably know what to do there.

BTW I don't cut through extremely well but we alleviate that with the use of the PA system. a little extra mid boost will do the trick though. If i switch to 800hz on my mids and boost it to about 1:30-2o'clock I'm very present in the mix, so just remember to boost around there on the graphic.

Thanks alot for all the advice man. It's very much appreciated. I took time at last practice to play with just the bassist and just the drummer. After working on the EQ a bit, I've come to the conclusion that the drummer is the real problem. I don't know what it is about him but when he starts drumming it's just complete noise and confusion and both the bassist and I get lost in the mix
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#22
Quote by QuantumMechanix
Thanks alot for all the advice man. It's very much appreciated. I took time at last practice to play with just the bassist and just the drummer. After working on the EQ a bit, I've come to the conclusion that the drummer is the real problem. I don't know what it is about him but when he starts drumming it's just complete noise and confusion and both the bassist and I get lost in the mix


Does he use a lot of big heavy cymbals all the time?

and is he a hard hitter?

My drummer is a fairly hard hitter, but he has tuned his kit so the skins are slightly looser than usual on his side and a bit tighter on the other. Sounds good, no weird after ping noises.

get him to play softer. use less cymbals, get him to just keep time and/or play softer for at least one song so you can listen to the guitar and bass and work out those two to make sure there is no problems, then get him to play like he would if the problem is back stop and let him know something just isn't quite working.

Remember, a lot of musicians are ego-driven beings, so be gentle.
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
#23
Quote by ZaccB
Does he use a lot of big heavy cymbals all the time?

and is he a hard hitter?

My drummer is a fairly hard hitter, but he has tuned his kit so the skins are slightly looser than usual on his side and a bit tighter on the other. Sounds good, no weird after ping noises.

get him to play softer. use less cymbals, get him to just keep time and/or play softer for at least one song so you can listen to the guitar and bass and work out those two to make sure there is no problems, then get him to play like he would if the problem is back stop and let him know something just isn't quite working.

Remember, a lot of musicians are ego-driven beings, so be gentle.

Yea that describes him pretty well. And at practice he uses my drumset and never brings his little muter ring things so it's full of "after ping". It would be hard to tell him to make changes tho since he started the band and he thinks he's in charge even tho he's probably the least talented out of all of us
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#24
I ALWAYS stand out in the mix, no matter what I'm playing. EQ is KEY! My tone is very high/mid orientated, so I always am audible above guitarists and drummers. I'd say get bass @ 11, mids @ 3 and trebble @ 2.
#25
I'm not sure if anyone has said this but fresh strings can help a bundle if you want bass to be heard. A nice clear tone has a lot more presence than a muddy one.

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