Thursday, October 2, 2014

FEEDBACK! How Do You Stop It?

Last week at my big band class, I started getting feedback from the amplifier.  There was a loud hum, then chairs and music stands began falling over and dust fell from the ceiling.  The other musicians all got under their chairs, fearing an earthquake.  But it was just my bass, feeding back.

How do you stop feedback?  It is a common problem with an amplified double bass!  As soon as I find out how to fix the problem, I'll get back to you.

UPDATE:  I stopped my feedback by reinstalling my Realist Copper pickup, securing the pickup bracket through the G string eye hole.  I had to take off the G string and then run it through the bracket holes, but the trouble was worth it.  Oh yes, and I didn't reinstall it on my practice bass, where it was originally.  I reinstalled it on my carved bass.

At big band class tonight, the tone and volume of the bass were quite nice, easily heard over the sea of horns.  And no feedback!  The band leader said the difference was like night and day, a big improvement over last week.

This fixed my immediate problem, but I think the feedback demon needs greater analysis.  I use a practice amplifier (for bass guitar) to amplify my double bass.  Bass guitar amps were not really made for an acoustic bass with its feedback problems.  There are amplifiers specifically made for double bass, and worth your consideration.

On some of the bass forums, they talk about amplifiers with "notches," a means of electronically eliminating feedback.  I need to research the best amplifiers specifically designed for double bass.  One that I have my eye on:  the Contra bass amp from Acoustic Image.

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