Hi! I recently just bought a musicman stingray (4str) and it is really awesome. I play in the praise and worship team every sunday and the one thing they ask me is to get a good tone. These good tone they want is not having too trebly and gives more low frequency. I already tried many eq settings but when I cut highs, I can't hear the D and G strings when I play them.


I am thinking of buying a flatwound strings so I can get more mellow sound and smoother highs. What can brand can you recommend? Do you think I need an effect pedal like compressor and limiter?


Thank You!


My equipment is ampeg BA112 and musicman stingray

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it depends on what sound your looking for, I've been playing for 25 years and a few things I've learned are, Low- mids are the key to cutting thru a mix ,our team is a 12 piece ,horns ,3 guitars,piano, keyboards, drums ,congos so that leaves me with a very small window of real estate to fit in, rule 1. just because your bass has "pretty tone" doesn't mean anything "pretty tone" gets lost, Flatwound strings are great at "Siting in the mix" but can get muddy without a good amp, I like nickel strings on my stingray with highs rolled back, its all about finding your space above the kick below the guitars and snare.
Do you guys have any recommendations on eq settings? Like songs from chris tomlin, paul baloche, hillsong, and many more praise and worship songs. Like for styles in country, rock, acoustic, contemporary, and many others but mostly I want to get recommendations on setting up the eq for a warmer tone with smooth highs because our worship leader does not like my bass being trebly. thanks
This is really going to depend on your bass and your amp. Each combination is different. You could try running your mids higher with the bass running a bit higher than your treble, but lower than the mids. Also, try running the neck part of the pickup more than the bridge. The one thing I've found about Ampegs (personally not my favorite) is that it can take some time fiddling with them to get the sound you want. The other thing is that the BA112 is really a practice amp more than a "live" amp. With it's small size and low power, it will have a tendency to be more "trebly" than a full size rig. In my opinion bass amps need at least 100 watts for any kind of live use. You need that "headroom" to deliver an accurate tone.
Unfortunately that is the bass amp in our church. I think they should have bought the BA115 instead and it would only cost $50-$100 more depending on a sales event but they should have told me that they would buy one so I could have tried out different amps. We do have a Hartke kickback 12 and I love getting the tone in that rig but for some reason it got broken thats why they bought the BA112. I really don't like ampegs for some reason too but thanks for the comment. It will take some time but I will keep trying on getting the good sound that everyone wants. God Bless!
Strings are important - keep trying different stuff, read reviews, etc. Nickels and roundwounds are definitely more mellow.

On your question about EQ settings, here are some ideas that worked for us at our church:

- The sound wave length on a bass's low freq's (low B and E strings) can be 20-40 ft (that's FEET) long. You may hear very little bass standing next to your wedge monitor or amp, while your sound guys in the back of the room are geting pasted by low end growl. Low frequency EQ is really a challenge, even for professional sound techs. Check out this article, pass it to your sound guys, and discuss how your own setup might be affected:

Importantly, just because it's a challenge is no excuse to just shut you off. You have to work at getting a warm, punchy, velvet feel sound. And it's a team effort.

There are lots of places in the soundpath that affect your EQ:

- The bass guitar itself (tone control, front/back pickups, volume)
- Your amp head or DI box (tone controls, distortion, volume, compression)
- Any pedals or effects you're using
- The EQ, gain, and low freq cutoff settings on the bass channel at your mixing board (input side)
- The EQ/volume settings for the house and monitor (output side)
- Any EQ or volume settings on the back of your monitors/speakers themselves
- Size of the room, placement of speakers, and other room "mechanics" that affect propagation.
- Other mics picking up the sound (vocal mics, piano, drum mics)

What to do? The solution is dedicate some time (before or after a rehearsal, Saturday a.m.) to figure out your EQ and volume. Suggest you start with everything flat. Begin working your way down the food chain to get the best sound you can regardless of where you are in the room. Add your drummer after that so you can match volume/EQ with the other half of the rhythm section.

Truth is you can't just show up, plug in, and make it work. Take a leadership attitude as the bass player. Get with your sound guys and worship leaders and make them work out the bugs with you.

How do you do that? Let them know you want to be that root sound for leading the whole congregation into God's presence through worship, and that you need their help to make that happen.

Memory verse for you: "The God of glory thundereth..." (Ps 29:3).

Grace and peace,
Excellent article, Bull. Thanks for sharing it! Plus, I like the idea of a bass guy actually working on his sound with the tech - not many people bother to take the time.

In my experience, it's often the worship leader who is left trying to make everything sound good, along with convincing the rest of the team (and sometimes the sound tech) that it matters. And it all happens in the middle of practice when you should really be doing other things...
"nickel and round wounds..." doh" ! Meant flat wounds, not round...


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