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  #1  
Old 11-24-2015, 01:31 AM
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mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
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Default Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

We recently got a new bass player in our band and compared to the last guy, this new guy is a genius. However, when he's playing I can feel the sound vibrations in my feet through my pedals. He's cranked and he's going for it. I'm finding it hard to hear myself when we're playing.

I don't have a lot of experience with many bassists so I was just sort of wondering.
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:35 AM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

Either mic up your kit or tell him that you want to explore dynamics with the band more. I mean really explore, you know?
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:38 AM
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2015, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

have you mentioned any of this to him?
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

Some people have issues with volume that no one can get through to them. Let's hope this guy isn't one of them. I was in a whole band that was like that. It was unacceptable, I hated it. Luckily I got fired lol.
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:52 AM
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mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

He's a really good bass player and I didn't mind hearing him. With our last bassist, you were barely aware of his presence. One hell of a guy, but too quiet in the bottom end department.

So, I don't think this will be a problem (only played with him once), I just needed some advice.

On a positive side note, our last practice was much louder than normal - I liked that!! We usually practice at "coffee shop volume." That's a killer for a drummer, especially when I'm playing an awesome groove!!
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:57 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmulcahy1 View Post
I don't have a lot of experience with many bassists so I was just sort of wondering.
As a loud guitarist:

There are some things that are hard to convey when below a certain volume. And while I understand this gent's desire to play loud, I understand your desire to hear yourself. The first course of action would be to simply move the bass cab.

The bass cab needs to be pointed at the bassist's head, and needs to be pointed away from you and the other musicians. Simply turning and tilting the cabinet can have a dramatic effect. I use one of these for my AC30 & JMP50. It allows me to reduce the volume by a fair bit and still hear myself.


If it's still too loud, intervene. Hearing loss is no joke.
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

If it's bothering you just have a friendly word and hopefully problem solved once and for all.
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2015, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
The first course of action would be to simply move the bass cab.

[...]

The bass cab needs to be pointed at the bassist's head, and needs to be pointed away from you and the other musicians. Simply turning and tilting the cabinet can have a dramatic effect.

Yup, both of these. If the bass player is playing through a half-stack or an amp that's basically pointed at his knees, he has no idea. One thing that I used to do is during practice, I'd change places (just for kicks) with the guitar player who was incredibly loud. I would play his guitar and he would try to play drums and he would always comment as to how loud he is.

I'm a fan of loud music, but dude if you are playing drums and can't hear them, something needs to be done.
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2015, 03:58 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

I mostly play with acoustic/upright bassists, so I'm always weirded out by electric bass anyways, there's just too much clarity and punch for my liking. Any ways, I started playing with a middle-easternish jazz group and they had a guy on baritone guitar, which had a similar problem. I never said anything, but the piano player told him that he was too loud. As it turns out the angle his amp was at sounded really loud to us, but where he was standing he wasn't getting as much of the sound. Once he angled his amp differently, he was able to figure it out... Might be something similar in your case.
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2015, 06:13 PM
calan calan is offline
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

Another possibility is that he isn't actually any louder, or maybe only marginally; but his gear produces a more robust sound in certain frequencies which gives the perception of being louder.

It's more than likely a combination of everything mentioned in the thread: speaker directionality, volume, and EQ. It shouldn't take much for you both to find a way to get a sound that works.
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2015, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

I'm in a two piece metal band with a guitarist/singer that uses two stacks and at practice they're both 4 feet behind me. Last time we practiced he had them cranked so loud I couldn't hear my kick or my snare, when he went to the bathroom I turned them both down a good amount and he didn't even notice!
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2015, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

How far in front of his cab does he stand (besides the fact it may be pointed at his knees)? Bass does not always sound that loud 6-8 feet in front of the cab, but out in the audience it can be overwhelming. Back in high school, our bass player had one of those refrigerator-sized Acoustic rigs (the one John Paul Jones used sometimes on tour -- an 18" back-firing woofer in a folded enclosure with a God-only-knows-how-many-watts head). On stage it didn't sound that loud, but sometimes out in the audience it could literally shake your internal organs. A good player should recognize this phenomena and adjust his volume accordingly.
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2015, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

I would discuss it with him right away. My bass player is one of those guys who thinks louder is better and if its too loud, you're too old, rock-n-roll bull crap.
He relented to our constant comments on how he is too loud by buying a Fender Rumble 200. He is still too loud and now he says "but I got a smaller setup". This combo amp is just as loud as his Hartke stack was. We tried to tell him its not the amp its the volume knob.
When we play a small room, his bass nearly knocks me off my chair. My tambourine is vibrating even though I am not hitting it. Cant hear my bass drum, etc,etc....
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2015, 06:20 AM
markdrum markdrum is offline
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

This is the difference between a player and a musician. This guys sounds like he's a player. He has no concept of blending in and trying to make his part contribute to the song. I've always found it good to record the band and then play it back. If one of the players, myself included, is playing too loud or too busy it usually comes through on the recording. There's always going to be someone who thinks that their track is the most important, or only important, one on the song. It's usually best to get rid of this person if they won't adjust. The people listening to your music don't want to hear just one instrument. Sure, people like Hendrix deserved attention, but I don't think that even he could have held the public's interest by himself. He always had an ensemble supporting cast behind him. If he's the only one on stage then sure, have at it, but if it's supposed to be a group up there then he'd better play nice with the other kids.
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2015, 03:48 AM
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mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
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Default Re: Should I be Competing with the Bass Player?

Update:

At our last practice, the bass was at a great level. Nice and clear while pumping out the bottom end and everyone else could be heard as well.

I think were on the right track!
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