Slap not cutting through

The Bass Player's Toolbox
Post Reply
implandnoises
Bronze Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:25 am

Slap not cutting through

Post by implandnoises » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:07 am

I am having an issue with the volume of my slapping and popping compared to my finger style playing. It just doesn't cut through as well. I am needing to turn my gain up in order to get the required volume for a song which involves more slap than others, but I have to reduce it again if I want to play finger style.

I am thinking a big part of the problem may be that my horn is blown...

I play a six string Washburn Bantam XB through a Eden Traveler WT550 and SWR 4X10 Goliath III (with no horn).

I will replace the horn as soon as I can, but I can't afford it right now. However, I think there is more to this than just the horn, as I need the slapped lows to be boosted too. Perhaps it is that my technique in slapping has gotten lighter over the years on my six string to ensure the higher accuracy needed to hit the strings clearly. The Washburn has fairly close string spacing over the pickups.

What are your suggestions?
Last edited by implandnoises on Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
beagle
Site Admin
Posts: 2300
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:59 pm
Bands / Groups: Bands: Rebel without Applause, The Hot Mess, Bamboozle, DTP Trio
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by beagle » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:55 am

Hmm... I have the opposite problem (too much gain) and my cabinet doesn't have a horn... so I'm retraining myself to play lighter.
Welcome to the site 8)
Musicman Sterling, Fender Jazz, GK 800RB, 400RB, Neo412, Neo112, 410T

User avatar
john
Gold Member
Posts: 2309
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: wellington

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by john » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:21 am

hi. you could use a compressor but then you may loose dynamics, or an eq peddle that you just punch in when you slap. or a volume peddle

User avatar
beagle
Site Admin
Posts: 2300
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:59 pm
Bands / Groups: Bands: Rebel without Applause, The Hot Mess, Bamboozle, DTP Trio
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by beagle » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:36 am

john wrote:could use a compressor but then you may loose dynamics, or an eq peddle that you just punch in when you slap. or a volume peddle
Those are my backup plans.

implandnoises; Could the simplest option be to use a volume or EQ pedal as John is suggesting to give the boost when needed?
Musicman Sterling, Fender Jazz, GK 800RB, 400RB, Neo412, Neo112, 410T

implandnoises
Bronze Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:25 am

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by implandnoises » Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:24 pm

If I bought one of those products then yes, that would work. But I can't afford anything right now and I think my problem is kind of unusual - as Beagle said, slap is usually louder than other techniques. So I thought maybe I was screwing up something fundamentally. I don't know. The odd thing is that I do have a compressor on my amp but still the problem happens even though everything is compressed. Maybe I have to play around with my tone, get my horn replaced and possibly get a fifteen inch speaker in the long run?

User avatar
beagle
Site Admin
Posts: 2300
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:59 pm
Bands / Groups: Bands: Rebel without Applause, The Hot Mess, Bamboozle, DTP Trio
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by beagle » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:00 am

Yeah that is kind of unusual unless you really do have a very light technique. :?
hmm... here are a few easy things that I'd try first if you think it's an equipment problem...
1) change the 9V battery on your bass (if it has one)
2) try a different guitar cable
3) try a different amp to speaker cable
I'd recommend you then take in your bass and amp to your local music shop. Play your bass through their amps and if you still have the problem, try a similar bass to yours and see what happens.
In my opinion... I don't think that the horn will make much difference. Also... 15" speakers are not necessarily better for a good slap sound although it's 'potential' for reaching lower frequencies is probibly greater. My good quality 4x 10" speaker cabinet is great for slap, fast moving, punchy and it's frequency range is just as low as a budget 15" cabinet that I have.
Musicman Sterling, Fender Jazz, GK 800RB, 400RB, Neo412, Neo112, 410T

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by timi » Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:46 pm

Far too easy: don't slap!

hehehe....

I highly recommend some slight compression when using a solid state amp, especially for slapping.
A broken horn is natures way of telling you that horns are bad 8)

Welcome by the way!
I'm the guy who will tell you not to slap, not to have more than 4 strings, not to have an active bass, and not to have a solid state amp.
Probably best to ignore me :mrgreen:

User avatar
beagle
Site Admin
Posts: 2300
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:59 pm
Bands / Groups: Bands: Rebel without Applause, The Hot Mess, Bamboozle, DTP Trio
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by beagle » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:08 pm

LOL!! :lol:
Musicman Sterling, Fender Jazz, GK 800RB, 400RB, Neo412, Neo112, 410T

implandnoises
Bronze Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:25 am

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by implandnoises » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:58 pm

Cheers guys. I took this question to the Eden forum and found two others with the same amp and the same issue. They fixed it by turning the amp's compressor off. For some reason it seems to cut it in a way that can sometimes bring the slap sounds back too much. One of them suggested I could keep the compression on and just boost the appropriate eq settings on the amp. So I have a few things to try out.

And thanks for reminding me to change my battery Beagle. I don't think it is flat, but I have a gig tomorrow so better safe than sorry.

And um, hi timi....

Hey you should come to Bodega tomorrow and get offended by my slapping on active six string played through a solid state amp! Oh yeah and I jump around the stage lots - is that bad? Also sometimes use a pick! Hahaha. You'll love it. I do have my strap nice and high though, I would hope you approve of that.

And I do miss my horn....

User avatar
beagle
Site Admin
Posts: 2300
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:59 pm
Bands / Groups: Bands: Rebel without Applause, The Hot Mess, Bamboozle, DTP Trio
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by beagle » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:26 pm

Good to hear you worked it out.
Timi... I don't think he likes you :lol:
Musicman Sterling, Fender Jazz, GK 800RB, 400RB, Neo412, Neo112, 410T

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by timi » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:28 pm

haha, I can see you imagining me as some 50 year old grumpy bass player with my bass resting on my belly....

I actually play with a pick 99% of the time, and often wear my bass quite low and jump around, although I've been finding myself putting it higher the past few weeks....

What band are you in dude?
I've got lots of uni assignments to do and I'm quite sick at the moment to probably can't make it anyway....

Strange that turning the compressor off fixed it, but sweet you got it sorted.
You should talk to Livesound in Auckland regarding your broken horn if the cab isn't under warranty.

User avatar
john
Gold Member
Posts: 2309
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: wellington

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by john » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:10 pm

yeah what band? you to timi?
yeah compressors once they hit the threshold can cut the signal way below the threshold depending how they are set and compressors on bass amps dont usually have the options you really need. i.e threshold ,attack,release... so that makes sense i think. have a good gig

implandnoises
Bronze Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:25 am

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by implandnoises » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:14 pm

Riverblind is the name of my band. Bodega Wednesday and Adelaide Thursday. Long set at Bodega and short opening set at Adelaide.

I probably won't go to Auckland to fix my horn as I am here in Wellington, but as soon as I have the cash I will probably just order a new one on Ebay.

By the way - anyone want to buy an effects unit with crap loads of options? ART SGX Nightbass Studio Edition. I reckon Timi might like it :D And put your strap up! You'll play better and then you won't have to use that silly pick all the time! hahaha

You Wellington guys in bands? Which ones?

ryla
Gold Member
Posts: 491
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:36 am
Location: auckland

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by ryla » Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:47 am

i hear viagra is good for broken horns :roll: anyhow i have the opposite problem i lose volume when slapping, but i only do that about 3 times a gig so its not that crucial - its a work in progress like alot of my playing problems, and timi - not all 50 year old bass players are grumpy and rest their basses on their bellys, - a great spiel in the june? bass player mag in the soapbox section on old bass players - a damn good read - experience counts for lots on the band stand, y'all be there one day.

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: Slap not cutting through

Post by timi » Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:29 pm

I play in a band called Mechano. We hardly ever play in Wellington though.
http://www.myspace.com/mechanomusic

I also play in another band for a bit of a laugh, its called Universe. None of us have had much time to work on it recently though.
http://www.myspace.com/universeonearth

Post Reply