Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dear SNR: Turn Up The Bass

I got a call the other day from one of my fellow Brethren of the Knob and Fader wanting to know the best way to beat an old bass amp into shape for pulling dual duty on a Fender P-Bass and an upright with a piezo pickup.  Control was pretty minimal with just Bass and Treble knobs and a somewhat dubious "Deep" button by one of the inputs.

While adjusting the level of low end is critical on any bass instrument, where the rubber really meets the road is in the low mids. Some instruments develop a throaty sound and being able to regulate that around 500 Hz or so can really make or break a sound.  But, without any control at that point, the mission is to set the bass knob so that the bottom end doesn't obscure the mids and highs of each instrument. 

During the performance things needed to be pretty much plug and play, so my suggestion was to spend some time in the room before hand, hopefully with a friend to help out.  My man Evan has a pretty good ear so with a buddy playing each instrument in turn, I had him venture out into the house and instruct the player on different settings to try. With some good information about whether or not to use the Deep button, and where the best spot for the bass and treble knobs was for each instrument the changeovers on stage should be pretty easy. Plug in, twist knobs according to notes taken earlier, pluck a note or two just to make sure and the player should be ready to go when the conductor raises his baton.

Evan Stoddard is my primary audio henchman at the church where I'm the Audio & Lighting Director. I frequently call on him to assist with system maintenance and he handles three children's services a week as well as mixing for the odd wedding or funeral with the utmost care, style, and sensitivity. He occasionally needs to be doused with cold water.  -Jon D.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You're the Scotty to our Kirk