#1
im used to my 4-string which has only one pickup in the middle (this bass btw is GREAT for slap-bass), but my 6-string bass has 2 pickups, and a volume knob for each one. what would be the best setting for slap bass?

just the bridge pickup, just the neck pickup, both, or some combination, etc.

im guessing more towards bridge since its more trebly
#2
I favor the bridge pickup and roll off the neck pickup a bit or I leave them both full on for a scooped sound. It comes down to preference and/or what sounds good as a whole with the band.
#3
Try them and see which position you prefer. There's no one right answer to the question. I don't really like the bridge pickup on its own, at least on my bass.

If you like the slap tone of your single pickup bass and want a similar sound, just use the neck pickup. The pickup positions are there to give you a variety of sounds so just try them. It may be that one song works better with both pickups on and another song works better with just the neck pickup on.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#5
Lateley I've been digging the neck pickup soloed for slap. I also bosst the bass and treble on my onboard eq which helps.
#6
idk if its really important at all, but it also has the typical tone knob, as well as a bass boost

pretty sure i should just keep them both up, since turning off the bass boost basically lops the balls off my tone, and the tone knob backed up makes it muddy

or am i wrong?
#8
Quote by pAWNlol
idk if its really important at all, but it also has the typical tone knob, as well as a bass boost

pretty sure i should just keep them both up, since turning off the bass boost basically lops the balls off my tone, and the tone knob backed up makes it muddy

or am i wrong?

Well, yeah, if that's what happens, have them at full. Just use your ears. If you like the sound, use it. And if something doesn't sound right, change your settings. It's your tone and people have different preferences. Just experiment.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#9
A volume know for both pickups is really useful. But does it have a tone knob for each pickup or is it one for both pickups.

It depends what kind of slap you want.

If you want that metalish slap / percussive slap sound crank the volume on the neck pickup and slap without the bridge pickup. Gradually increase the volume on the bridge pickup until you think it sounds good. For this you want to keep the tone control up.

If you just want to slap for the feeling and want a cleaner sound similar to picking or fingering, turn up the bridge and turn down the neck pickup, then increase the volume. Turn the tone control down for this, you'll want a deep sound.

Now the tone depends to the number of tone controls you have. If you have tone controls for both pickups you'll have to experiment with it. On my bass I got a different knob layout so I can't really help you. But if you play live, turn the tone controls up to about 90%, adjust the sound ( on the amp and mixers ) with both volume knobs about 85% , then do the fine tuning with the knobs. You'll want to have a tech which will change some stuff while you play, but find somebody who has exp with that.
#10
Quote by realsmoky
A volume know for both pickups is really useful. But does it have a tone knob for each pickup or is it one for both pickups.

It depends what kind of slap you want.

If you want that metalish slap / percussive slap sound crank the volume on the neck pickup and slap without the bridge pickup. Gradually increase the volume on the bridge pickup until you think it sounds good. For this you want to keep the tone control up.

If you just want to slap for the feeling and want a cleaner sound similar to picking or fingering, turn up the bridge and turn down the neck pickup, then increase the volume. Turn the tone control down for this, you'll want a deep sound.

Now the tone depends to the number of tone controls you have. If you have tone controls for both pickups you'll have to experiment with it. On my bass I got a different knob layout so I can't really help you. But if you play live, turn the tone controls up to about 90%, adjust the sound ( on the amp and mixers ) with both volume knobs about 85% , then do the fine tuning with the knobs. You'll want to have a tech which will change some stuff while you play, but find somebody who has exp with that.

well when i said "the" typical tone knob, i meant just one

and yes, i am looking for a more "metal/percussive" tone. so i guess ill stick with the neck pickup
#11
ryan martinie uses a 5 string thumb bass with 2 pickups right up by the bridge. its gonna be difficult to get 'close' but bridge pickup is going to be the way if you ask me.
for my tastes i like to keep the pickups balanced for slap. i like the deeper sounding neck pickup but also the attacky twang nearer the bridge.
DONT RISK IT, BUY A BASS AMP
#12
Quote by pAWNlol
well when i said "the" typical tone knob, i meant just one

and yes, i am looking for a more "metal/percussive" tone. so i guess ill stick with the neck pickup


Tone knob goes up then. Maybe not to the max, it depends on your amp settings, but you'll be fine.

If you're using a pedal, put the tone to the max and adjust the tone with the pedal.
#13
Quote by realsmoky
Tone knob goes up then. Maybe not to the max, it depends on your amp settings, but you'll be fine.

If you're using a pedal, put the tone to the max and adjust the tone with the pedal.

no efx, im a naturalist. unless you count my bass compression pedal

in the future, i MAY use a miniscule amount of distortion to add to the punch of the bass, but more than likely i wont
#14
I always have my bass tone and volume at full, no matter what I play. Well, my bass is passive so it doesn't have any EQ controls, other than the normal tone knob. But yeah, I think turning down the tone just makes the tone a bit muddy and dull. And turning down the volume IMO just makes the tone lose its edge.

But as I said, it's all personal preference. If you think the bass sounds muddy without tone maxed, keep it maxed. And if the bass boost maxed makes it sound better, keep the bass boost maxed. It's your tone.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 21, 2013,
#15
yeah, i always keep my guitar volume at full. it messes with the tone when you turn it down. but based off of what ive been hearing from you guys, i should probably keep the neck pickup on full, and maybe up the bridge a little, as well as leaving the tone and bass boost knobs alone

btw, thanks for all the help guys!
#16
Wait, you have a tone and bass boost?

That's probably more like treble and bass , right?

Keep the bass boost up at all times. If you're slapping you need the extra bass, if you don't keep that up you'll just get the percussive sound.

At least, that is my experience.
#17
Quote by realsmoky
Wait, you have a tone and bass boost?

That's probably more like treble and bass , right?

Keep the bass boost up at all times. If you're slapping you need the extra bass, if you don't keep that up you'll just get the percussive sound.

At least, that is my experience.

yeah, but like i said, i keep the bass boost on at all times because without it, my bass has zero balls
#18
What's the eq like on your amp? Low mids would be your friend going off what you say.
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#19
Quote by consecutive e
What's the eq like on your amp? Low mids would be your friend going off what you say.

my amp is a fender rumble 150; each of the tone knobs goes from -15 to 15, and at the moment, this is the EQ: bass 5, low mids -5, high mids 0, treble 10

currently my amp's EQ was set up for my 4 string, which like i said, is a fantastic bass for slap/pop style (great playability, great strings, great tone, etc.), and sounds fantastic when i have the 4 string plugged in
#20
Quote by pAWNlol
my amp is a fender rumble 150; each of the tone knobs goes from -15 to 15, and at the moment, this is the EQ: bass 5, low mids -5, high mids 0, treble 10


Here's your testicle problem. Trust me, I'm a doctor. Crank those low mids a bit because this will give your low end a lot more depth. Turn your treble down some because its drowning out your bass probably.

This is my unprofessional advice. Personally I like the bass cranked to give my tone some power and drive, then raised mids so give the tone that scooped character and help it stand out from the other sounds (guitar, kick drum). Also I usually slap with the pickup balance at the dead middle between the bridge and neck pickup because for the sexy scoop unless I think my tone needs more umph for a song
#21
Quote by FUT55
Here's your testicle problem. Trust me, I'm a doctor. Crank those low mids a bit because this will give your low end a lot more depth. Turn your treble down some because its drowning out your bass probably.

This is my unprofessional advice. Personally I like the bass cranked to give my tone some power and drive, then raised mids so give the tone that scooped character and help it stand out from the other sounds (guitar, kick drum). Also I usually slap with the pickup balance at the dead middle between the bridge and neck pickup because for the sexy scoop unless I think my tone needs more umph for a song

but, did you see the part where i said it sounds fantastic with my 4-string?

or what about the part where i said the thing that "lops the balls off of my tone" is the bass boost knob on my 6-string bass guitar. my amp shouldnt have anything to do with it?
#22
There's a lot of advice in here I can't really echo. Cutting higher mids is a terrible idea for slapping, in my opinion. Upper mids are where are all the growl and aggression is. However, you need to cut mids for that tight slap tone; that leaves lower mids. And that's where I've personally always had the best success. Leaving the bottom end and the top end wide open, scooping out a bit of lower mid and boosting some higher mid. It isn't the thickest tone you've ever heard, in isolation, but that just brings us back to the old "what sounds good by itself and what sounds good with other musicians are two different things" deal. A big thick/meaty/bottom-heavy tone for slap is going to sound dreadful with other musicians, unless you have an extremely quiet drummer and a clean/minimal guitarist. I'm guessing not.

It's important to remember that it's very easy to credit tonal qualities to frequency ranges that actually have nothing to do with it. You don't need plenty of low end for a good bass tone. The magic is all in the mids and the top end; they're the frequencies that give context to the lower, slower frequencies, and are largely responsible for defining "tone" as they're responsible for how we hear the transients, and generally the dynamics of the instrument. Even a tone that might sound really thick and bottom-heavy, something like James Jamerson for example, has a surprising amount of higher frequencies when heard in isolation. In the mix, you don't consciously hear them as much (they're fighting over a barrage of noise from drums, guitars and anything else). Take them away though, and suddenly the lower frequencies lose their context, lose their definition and their place in the mix.

Regarding pick-up panning, I'd tend to opt for an equal blend, or a little in favour of the bridge pickup if it needs a little extra "cut". There aren't a great many applications where the neck pick-up is favourable.
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Last edited by Ziphoblat at Nov 29, 2013,