Bass is tricky for on-stage sound. How do you avoid getting lost in the mix?
Let’s define it… What does it feel like to be lost in the mix?
- It feels like waking up in the middle of the night to make a PB&J sandwich but you forget to turn on the light switch
- Just enough information feeding back to get through, but it may not be the best PB&J anyone’s ever had
- To me, this is some mix of volume and tone
- It can be loud but if the tone is bad, still lost… same way, if tone is great but everything’s too loud, lost!
So how do we solve it?
- Crank it
- How does your volume compare to the rest of the band?
- Compare bass to kick in terms of volume
- Angle it
- Where is your amp pointing on stage horizontally?
- What about vertically? How does your amp target your ears while you’re playing?
- Kick the low end
- Assuming the music allows (genre, feel)
- Who holds the low end information in the band on stage?
- Keyboards vs. bass, that relationship is important, people and instruments
- Boost the mids
- Sometimes a boomy stage means lows just rumble/rattle with no definition
- Some mids may get you the definition of the note
- Careful of low mids 150-250Hz range… can end up muddy, high mids maybe?
- Tell the others to dial it back (who’s playing in what range?)
- Who’s sticking out?
- Are they having problems hearing? Can that be fixed?
- Use monitors to your advantage
- Trust the sound guy and deal with your monitor
- If the amp is your monitor, careful to make sure it’s going direct post EQ
- Don’t be afraid to ask if they can throw you in the monitor
Photo by Riccardo Fissore on Unsplash