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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I use the D'Addario Half-Rounds which are round wound string ground down nearly flat, for that very reason. They used to be stainless steel, but now they are nickel and sound much better. With true flat wounds you will get more low bass, but you will lose most of your percussive "punch".

As far as not hearing the D and the G string when you cut the highs, you might need a pick up height adjustment, because that shouldn't happen.

As far as a limiter/compressor goes, it won't affect the frequencies in any way. A compressor boosts the the low volume note, and squashes the high volume notes - great when you're loud, but you end up fighting it when you try to play quietly. I use the Boss LMB-3 limiter pedal, but only when I slap (with the high tones EQ'd down) to keep things even. Overall, compression and limiters should be used sparingly live, and more in the studio.

Hope that helps,

I'm a bit curious about this. How long have you been playing bass? Have you developed your own sound yet?

Really, it sounds to me like what your worship leader is looking for is more of a Fender Precision Bass sound. The MusicMan and it's big humbucker is really more designed for a mid range growl and bite. The other thing, in my opinion is that many worship leaders and/or soundguys don't really understand the role of the bass. They think of it more as that boom and rumble below everything. But if you listen to a lot of music style including groups like Hillsong, you hear the bass as well as feel it. It's the treble that makes the notes you play stand out. Without it, all your notes just rumble together and there's no definition.

My recommendation, if your worship leader is insistent on this particular tone, and you only plan on playing with them, sell your MusicMan and buy a Fender Precision and put flatwounds on it, and start learning how to play with your thumb. Otherwise, you have a bass that is inherently growly and biting. It's designed to be able to cut through the mix and show it's presence in a band.
I have been playing for about a year now and I am somewhat there in terms of developing my own sound. I think that you are right on the spot that the my worship leader doesn't really understand the role of the bass. I do listen to a lot of music styles like hillsongs and I want to have treble on it and there even comes a time when i already cut my treble all the way down and my worship leader still wants to cut it. I do use my musicman in youth bands where its more of hillsong style of music from time to time so I don't want to really sell it plus its awesome in growling. I guess I might have to start playing by thumb more often. Thanks for the comments. God Bless
You are running into an issue that many bass players have. I have been playing in a worship setting for 9 years, and have had the same issue almost the entire time. The only time was when I was playing with the Youth Group. I have been, many times, told to turn down, only to completely lose my sound in the mains. And this is not just me. I have watched some amazing bass players in church play great lines up the neck. I say watched, because you couldn't hear a thing they were doing. It seems that either the sound guy or worship leader only sees the bass as that boom. I've been told "I can hear the bass over everything." But when I step out in front of the mains (a great reason to have a wireless system for your bass), there's nothing there. It's really bad if I'm playing my fretless to get that cello-style accent (which is mostly mid and treb) only to have it buried behind the acoustic guitars and keyboard.

Good luck on this my friend. Maybe try talking with your leader. Express to him how you are feeling.
Sad to say, but it's very true. I keep trying to get the sound man to turn up my bass player, to put some energy into the room, but they keep saying it's too loud. Oh, for someone who understands that there is a setting somewhere between cranked and off...they just need to experiment and find it. (better still, come down from the booth in the sky and hear what's going on in the room).

Oh...did I say that out loud? :)
The problem seems to be sound techs that aren't musicians.
Painfully true...although they could argue that most worship leaders aren't sound techs...also true.

Whenever I go to a worship conference, I always try to sit in one or two sound classes...understanding that world is really important to a worship leader. Then once you begin to understand it, you need to learn how to communicate with your tech in a non-threatening way. Praise God, it can be done!
I guess that I could also argue that most church sound techs,aren't really sound techs, they're people who volunteered. I know that's the case with every church I've ever played in. I'm pretty sure that the most training they had was the day they stepped behind the board and maybe someone gave them a rundown of what the main knobs and sliders do. How many spend the time polishing their "craft" in the way most musicians do?

And the biggest thing is that the sound person is supposed to be working with the musician to represent what they are doing. They basically are working for the musician, not the other way around.

Anyway, enough of the sound vs bass player rant.

The biggest thing we, as bass players need to do, is communicate with the sound person and worship leader. If you are having issues, don't keep it to yourself. It will only build resentment and tear apart the team.
I would also add that I agree with Rick, all worship team members should develop an understanding of how the sound system works. It would give them a better idea of how to ask for what they need, what they can realistically expect, and how to communicate better with the sound techs. I personally have had the "privilege" of plugging my bass straight into the board so I could play and run sound at the same time. It's rather hectic, but quite the learning experience.
I wonder if sometimes inexperienced sound guys confuse the low tones of us bass
players with other low frequencies in the mix. For example, the low end of the
keyboard or even bass drum, then he turns down the bass player's channel!
I, personally, can't understand how some sound guys can mix the way they do, unless they only listen to music through clock radios and/or cheap headphones. And I've been told to turn down, or been turned down even when we had no drums or keyboard. At my church, I think that the sound guy must be a drummer, because the drums are always mixed perfectly. You can hear each piece of the kit clearly, but the bass is buried and hidden behind the rhythm guitar and vocals.

You mentioned:

"...I've been told "I can hear the bass over everything." But when I step out in front of the mains, there's nothing there..."


A lot of Worship Teams have a problem with the guitars, keyboards and piano all playing in a low register on their instrument - the end result being that there is a whole lot of MUD in the overall sound, even before the bass player plays a note.  Probably it is that thick MUD your sound guy is hearing.  Good luck trying to convince your fellow teammates to stay out of the bass range!  


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