Author Topic: Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?  (Read 3766 times)

Offline Milan Medic

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« on: September 14, 2011, 04:42:23 PM »
Hi all

At many occasions my bass would sound muddy and unclear. I hate this and other band members do too. There are all like, can you make you bass sound more sharp and clear... and I am like yeah I want that too.
I go trough WT550 to markbass 210 and I play jazz bass deluxV with sadowsky preamp installed on the bass.
Could it be the rooms we are playing in, is it my gear or my fingers ;)
What can I do to make my bass sound sharp, punchy clear without that muddy floating sound.

Thanks

WT550,212XLT4,MarkBass 102HF,Jazz bass delux American V,

Offline Gruntollio Basswall

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 06:05:20 PM »
Room dynamics can affect how your tone in perceived. With your cab sitting flat on the floor you get what is called "coupling" which can give you a bit more boominess which may be contributing to your mud sound. Without knowing what your settings are like it's hard to pinpoint but I'm assuming this is affecting you when you play live more than during rehearsal? What are your settings? How do you set-up your rig?

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Offline TobiasMan

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 10:33:27 PM »
What does your EQ look like?  Enhance boosted? Lows boosted?

Cranking in too much lows does not make bass clean, crisp or clear, and can simply "muddy the waters".  I find that the tones that punch through are those in the 200 to 500hz range and ensuring the very lows are flat, or perhaps even cut a click or two, with a couple of clicks added in the 200-500 range can really make the bass tone clear, crisp and punchy.

I find the Enhance to be a good "bedroom practice" setting, which boosts the lows and highs while cutting the mids.  While that is great for practicing at low volumes but almost the opposite of what you want in a live band setting.  I sometimes use it in my very occasional solo bits, but never in a live band setting.
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Offline Sonic-umph

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 10:17:53 AM »
I own a markbass 610 and power it with a 330....markbass sometimes gets that type of tone but the mids cut very well live or recording.

Try my setup on the 550- bass @ 30hz- 2 clicks positive, mids at 2.2k flat, treble flat, enhance 2-3 clicks from off, compression light only blinks on the low E

As for the bass with the sadowsky pre- bass I add 4-6db, mids are kneed at 250hz for meatier tone,550 for vintage and give it + (3-6 db) and leave treble flat

As for bass balance- give it a little bit of bridge bias.  

Try standing the markbass on its side too... If you dont eq  it like stated above you will sound thin and lose a good meaty finger tone.

Also Your strings make a huge difference... If you want clean clean clean fodera is great but if you do pop Dean markley will lee s2000's are the most agressive and clean string ive played,  if you want focus for precieved clearity yet have allot of overtones like my sugested eqing, try DR fat beams...fat beams sound amazing with the markmass 10's and the above eq settings!
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 10:21:20 AM by Sonic-umph »
 

Offline Bass Mayhem

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 02:31:24 PM »
...meaning you have some 9-12 dB boost in the lows, enhance (=scooped out mids), some added(!) mids and a LOT of rolled off highs...

Back off everything, start from scratch. A nice round bass tone on your own will sound s**t in a band context. You need some ugly cardboard mid honk/duck quack to get through. (I'm so tired of "cutting through the mix"...) Power is in the low mids, not in the very lows. Leave everything flat except the 250 Hz, that is slightly boosted (perfect for Jazz bass) and/or 800 Hz (that makes a P-bass more P-bass...) Start from there when you play with the band. Do final tweaking to your liking.
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Offline Sonic-umph

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 03:41:28 PM »
Hey dont knock me..im sharing my secrets for the best finger tone out there IMHO, thats 20 years of nerotically tweeking(which to some is allot ..to others it ist long) there is only so many ways you can sound straight into a head and out to a cab and this is it if you got a p bass, jazz bass or MM.

and not really - between the lakland and the 330....7db lows @ 30hz,   5db at 250 or 550, head eq activated @ 2.2k instead of 550 set flat ( even thought the mid on the 330 is flat their is a slight tonal difference between having the 550 engaged vs the 2.2k engaged...just a little more top cut due to each circuit path has a difference- even flat...the eq bypass sounds a dead middle third way) treble flat, enhance @ 2 clicks which is a next to flat curve.

Its deep thick meaty aggressive articulate with the right amount of highs   sweet highs


ps. according to Dan the man Lakin - to get your jazz bass sounding like a p-bass you are to boost 6db bass @ 30hz, boost 550hz 6-5db ( not 800hz) and the treble is flat or cut being up to you...it simulates the tone knob....neck pickup on 100% ..bridge pickup off( though you get a nice hollow body tone if you go 75% neck, 25% bridge
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 04:03:35 PM by Sonic-umph »
 

Offline Milan Medic

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 04:02:50 PM »
Thank you guys for your suggestions, ok this is what i set it up like.

Everything is flat when i start off playing, lows mids and highs all flat, treble falt, bass flat, and my enhance knob push in at 9 oclock.

As for my bass sadowsky preamp is in the giutar so iam not sure about dB.. but i do go the bridge side a bit with the balance knob, bass flat and bit of treble.

I do put my markbass 210 upright.

When you talk about dB's is that one click on the knob one d

I will try your suggestions guys at my next rehersal, thanks a lot.

WT550,212XLT4,MarkBass 102HF,Jazz bass delux American V,

Offline Rip Van Dan

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 08:18:04 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Milan Medic

Thank you guys for your suggestions, ok this is what i set it up like.

Everything is flat when i start off playing, lows mids and highs all flat, treble falt, bass flat, and my enhance knob push in at 9 oclock.

As for my bass sadowsky preamp is in the giutar so iam not sure about dB.. but i do go the bridge side a bit with the balance knob, bass flat and bit of treble.

I do put my markbass 210 upright.

When you talk about dB's is that one click on the knob one d

I will try your suggestions guys at my next rehersal, thanks a lot.


WT550,212XLT4,MarkBass 102HF,Jazz bass delux American V,



Hey Milan,

I going to add some confusion to the mix.  It was mentioned earlier about the effects of coupling reinforcement of the low frequencies.  On the floor boosts  3db, against the wall boosts another 3 db; and in the corner adds another 3 db to your low lows.  That's a full 9 db of low frequency boost.  There are other room anomalies that can make your set up sound bad in a particular room.  Basically that's the room acoustics that are emphasizing some frequencies and perhaps absorbing others.  You'll need to compensate for that if you want to sound good.

If you're sounding too boomy, the first thing I would do is get your amp away from the wall and away from the corner.  Then use your semi-parametric EQ to find the offending frequencies and compensate for them.  Here's how you do that:

Start with the lowest frequency range semi-parametric EQ and work left to right, lowest to highest frequencies.  I'm going to presume you have already set the gain correctly, all the  EQ settings are flat (12 o'clock) and the enhance is turned off entirely.  Turn the Low semi-parametric all the way to the left (lowest frequency), set the boost/cut to 3 o'clock, which is a lot of boost.  Then start playing and have a buddy slowly turn the frequency selector knob clockwise.  Ideally you are at least 20-feet away from your amp.

When the frequency selector knob hits the offending frequency, the sound of it will jump right out at you. At that point, get your hands off the frequency knob; move the boost/cut knob to flat; and then start moving it counterclockwise until that frequency no longer pops out at you.  Repeat the same thing with the next two semi-parametric control pairs.

Now, once you've gone through all the semi-parametrics, your EQ settings have compensated for the room acoustics and the sound is basically flat, regardless of the cut or boost you've dialed in.  From this point you make any minor adjustments you deem necessary to shape "your sound", but at least you're not fighting the room acoustics anymore. Be very careful when you start boosting or cutting from this point. These controls can boost or cut the selected frequency by 15 db in each direction, and 2-clicks of boost or cut makes a very noticeable difference in your sound.

It's best to set this up and then, once the group is playing a song for your sound check, get out and listen to how your bass is sitting in the total sound.  If you are getting lost, do as Roger suggested and boost the low mids up a bit.  That usually won't sound very good playing by yourself, but will give a solid foundation and nice presence to the sound of your bass in the mix.

Good luck!
Dan
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 04:36:15 PM by Rip Van Dan »
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Offline Sonic-umph

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 08:31:45 PM »
Nicely said Dan...That should have been included with Dave's manual :)
 

Offline Bass Mayhem

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2011, 09:24:33 AM »
The audible difference in volume for an average ear is 3 dB. When you hear the increase = 3 dB up. That means also two times the power from the amp. Every 3 dB raise is doubling the effect from the amp OR doubling the speaker cone area.

Example:
95 db @ 50 W
98 dB @ 100 W
101 dB @ 200 W etc...

Or:
95 dB with one woofer
98 dB with two woofers
101 dB with four woofers etc...

The more you crank up the lows on your bass or amp, the sooner you'll hit the "roof" and your amp/speaker starts sound like crap. Better using effective speaker cabs that go low so you don't have to do the crank up thing. Then you'll have clarity AND VOLUME...
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Offline Milan Medic

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2011, 07:02:38 PM »
Guys thanks for replys, i will defently try those steps and see what happens, dB theory confuses me a bit but its ok. Do you guys think commpresor can help in any way, not the one on the wt550, but maybe markbass one?

WT550,212XLT4,MarkBass 102HF,Jazz bass delux American V,

Offline vince a

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2011, 09:59:29 PM »
Major difference between WT550's internal vs external compressor . . . EBS also builds a good one!

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Offline Sonic-umph

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2011, 12:58:42 PM »
The db thing is:  +3db is when you add double the wattage of what you were putting out previously..double that again and you add another +3db..   3db (by doubling your heads output) is barely noticed by humans.

If your head doesnt have double the juice to add 3db's  you can get the same result by adding a cab that is identical to what your were running... such as a 106db@1w/1m 410xlt and adding another 410xlt of the same ohms to draw balanced wattage.... or a 210 to a 210 etc....  You will add only 1.5db if you add a 210 to a 410 because its not a cab of identical value.


If you wanted to double your volume..you would have to add 10db which is allot of watts.

 

Offline Rip Van Dan

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2011, 08:49:48 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by Milan Medic

Guys thanks for replys, i will defently try those steps and see what happens, dB theory confuses me a bit but its ok. Do you guys think commpresor can help in any way, not the one on the wt550, but maybe markbass one?


WT550,212XLT4,MarkBass 102HF,Jazz bass delux American V,



You can either double the wattage of your amp (400 watts up to 800 watts) to get a 3db increase in SPL or double the surface area of your speakers (210+210 or 410+410) to get the same 3db increase.  Minimum ohms load capability of your amp limits how many speaker cabinets you can hook up to it.

Dan
Rip Van Dan
Dan Gracia
'78 US-made Fender Jazz Bass with maple neck
5-string Rogue LX405 Pro (Surprisingly good "no-name" bass)
WT500/800 Highwayman (signature model)
GK 115 cabinet
acoustic B410 cabinet
Line6 X2-XDS
=========
spares:
Eden RS400, GK BK250, Yamaha BX15 combo, Sunn Beta 202 (212 cab)

Offline Milan Medic

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Muddy sound, how do i get rid of it?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2011, 10:35:48 PM »
hey guys i did pay with frequencies and it did help alot, i clicked back on lows and gained a bit on mids and i had prety good sound.
The only thing i noticed the B note on E string has a lot of sustain...?? Couldnt get rid of that, maybe its just the bass.
Anyone with the same problem?

Again thanks for help with the mix

WT550,212XLT4,MarkBass 102HF,Jazz bass delux American V,