Getting a punchy low end

  • Hey bass players,

    I was wondering how you dial in a bass guitar tone with a clear, mighty and punchy low end.

    This is how I tried:

    I play a 4 string Warwick Corvette RB and use the "Kammschott Superbass" profile from rig exchange, which I can highly recommend.

    First, I turned off the EQ section and the cabinet. Then, in stomp A, I added the studio equalizer, put low gain on +12db and slowly increased the low frequencies until I got a decent low end sound around 60Hz. Then I decreased low gain back to +6db, added an Easy Reverb in the Effects section and added the EQ from the Stack section again with +2.5db on Bass.

    This is how it sounds:…21fXu_ZRhHNxR5lFg32_c578Z

    I like the result, but I want more. Maybe it's a limitation of my bass guitar. But maybe some of you come up with more ideas to tweak my sound...



  • Do you have an example of what you want to sound like? What do you mean by getting a punchier low end? Usually, for me, a tighter low end means using a high pass filter between 45 hz to 60 hz. Or, just playing harder would reduce low end and make things sound punchier, same goes for having fresh strings. Amps are going to have a lot of differing opinions but maybe try something with an Ampeg 810 cabinet

  • Perhaps try compression, or bandwidth-limited compression to "even out" all 4 strings? I'm not a bass player, though I own one, but my understanding has always been that bass guitar is pretty heavily compressed to even out the volume from each string... particularly for players that favor their fingers over a pick. Just a thought.

  • I always record bass with an almost imperceptible amount of compression on it. It levels things out, keeps it punchy, and actually improves my performance.

    Good strings and a nice bass are really important as well, IMO.

    Nice even pressure with the fretting hand, just up next to the fret helps prevent the rattle of the string as you release the note and sounds cleaner and punchier.

  • Ah, well that changes things, somewhat. I'd still use the compression techniques, obviously using the compressor in the Kemper to achieve this type of thing. Application of compression and some studio EQ to punch up certain freqs should help dial things in to be more "punchy"... at least that's my $0.02, as I'm not a live player... and barely a bedroom player, lately. :)

  • One note of warning, the built-in compressor of the Kemper is based on a vintage stomp style compressor and does not have the traditional parameters one would expect based on a typical rack or studio compressor. Pulling from the manual (Page 158):

     Intensity

    Controls the amount of compression applied to your instrument. At zero position, there is no compression. In the first half of the Intensity range the effect will be fairly subtle, as the compressor will only cut the loud attacks of your instrument. Then, as you increase “Intensity” past halfway, you will start to hear the soft notes getting boosted as well.

     Attack

    Adjusts the reaction time of the compressor. The higher the “Attack” value, the longer it takes for the compressor to kick in. This will let the first peak of the signal pass unaffected when you hit a string, thus increasing the percussiveness of your pick.

     Squash

    This gives you control over the dynamic behavior of the compression. At the center position the compressor will work as you expect. When you turn “Squash” towards zero, the compressor will emphasize the first phase of the strings’ decay, resulting in less squash. When you turn it more to the right, the first phase of the strings´ decay gets squashed, and the volume sags. You will notice that the compressor recovers from squashing when you let the strings decay further - even boosting the sound a little, compared to when you hit the strings. Now, the compressor becomes noticeable!

    “Squash” does not change the compression ratio, as this is always infinite on vintage stomp compressors.


  • Application of compression and some studio EQ to punch up certain freqs should help dial things in to be more "punchy"...

    Right. And can you or anyone else give advice about the best compressor and EQ settings for my purpose? Playing around with compressors I had the feeling that I'm rather losing than gaining a more defined low end.

    Now I just added +6db on Mid 1 Gain at 125Hz and a compressor with 5.0 Intensity and 3.5 Attack, 0 Squash.

    Here's another sample, but please note that the volume sample is louder than my first one:…qoGFjLp008wGkOJuGoULjXCkT