As much as we’d like things to be simple where bass amps are concerned, there are different elements to grasp to run these devices smoothly. Those who aren’t too familiar with bass amps may need a small bass amp guide for crafting a good tone on their device. We hope this beginner’s guide to using your bass amp lets you utilize yours to its fullest potential.
Using Your Bass Amp: Things To Get Right
Some of the most crucial aspects never to overlook when using your bass amp include:
Bass frequencies are omnidirectional, making bass amp positioning crucial to getting the right tone or any tone at all. Positioning amps incorrectly may have their frequencies disrupted or canceled often.
Beginners tend to place their instruments in the most obvious places, the most common being the center of a room or studio. That’s a rookie mistake to avoid. Instead, you’ll want to position your bass amps close to walls. Doing this reduces reflection from the wall behind it and extends the space between the one fronting it.
A beginner bass amp user would do well to independently test out each prospective model. Bands should be disabled to bring out each device’s specific subtleties. Thus, you’ll know if it’s capable of producing the kind of tone you like that fits your music.
When you eventually test the bands, start from the lowest and move up. Also, make sure to adjust the knob per band and watch for any signal changes. Doing this gives you an idea of the uniqueness of each band.
Input Gain and Output Volume
To acquire a good bass setting, beginners are advised to correctly adjust the output volume and gain control of their instruments. These two controls are key to enhancing the amp’s “attacking power.” These are bass amps, after all, and you want them to deliver the kind of tone that “comes at you” rather than one that retreats or falls into the background.
The gain control regulates the amp’s output level while the “master” determines the output volume. Thus, it is necessary to achieve a good gain control setup before considering the unit’s final volume.
Excellent sounds happen when the “master” must surpass the “gain.” Furthermore, the “gain” should be pushed beyond the “master” to acquire quality distortion.
Focus on Your Settings
It can be tempting to model your bass amp’s settings after another’s, but that doesn’t work nearly as often as it should. When you try and make your player sound like another, it ends up sounding either like a poor version of the original or something completely different.
That’s because you can never exactly copy the settings of another amp. When recreating sounds, the best solution is to listen keenly to the bands and understand the subtleties of each. Furthermore, simply copying an amp’s sounds hardly contributes to one’s music skills. One should operate an amp in the same way they understand music.
Consider what your other bandmates sound and try to integrate a version of your own sound that fits harmoniously. Aim for a signal that stands out on its own without obstructing the other elements of the music.
Boost and Cut Accordingly
Use supplementary filters like boost and cut as sparingly as possible. These features can be helpful when necessary, but they tend to leave a lot desired when it comes to accuracy. Their lack of in-between characteristics means they bring an “extreme” touch to your settings, which so often leads to undesirable sounds.
Another area where boost and cut can be useful is in the venue’s acoustic properties. Acoustic elements such as the walls, floors, and the number of people in the audience may need toning down to achieve the right sound.
Bass Amp Equalizer
An equalizer’s primary function is to fill voids created by a person or an instrument. Hence, it’s vital to understand how your amp plays to implement the correct measures for covering its inadequacies. It allows you to eliminate both over-the-top and subtle silence in your output. Turn the knobs until you get the desired sound enhancement.
It’s normal for beginners to take some time to learn this aspect of the bass amp. More than any other setting, the equalizer has more complexities and doesn’t have a straightforward operation. So, don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get this part right from the get-go. New users have problems with it more often than not.
How To Start Using Your Bass Amp: The Takeaway
You can achieve your desired sound when you implement the above tips. However, remember that these are merely the first steps to using your instrument. When you eventually get the hang of your device, you’ll realize there’s more in store for improving and enhancing your sound. Furthermore, there are other bass amps for achieving more complex and unique sounds to graduate to.