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Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

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Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

Postby George-S » Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:30 am

I've decided to venture forth into becoming more proficient in both playing the bass and also singing. I already have my bass and some mp3s, but don't know how to add my singing into the mix. This is why I am here.

In an attempt to keep costs down (I hope I am going about this in the right way) I was looking for a combo amp that has three inputs:
- Bass Guitar
- Music (.mp3, etc.)
- Mic

This way (I was thinking), I could (1) play songs, (2) play bass with, and (3) sing along with the mp3s.

In normal practice situations (i.e. at home, in an apartment complex) I could adjust each input level and direct all 3 inputs into my headphones. As I get better and start playing with others, I could play out of the amp.

Am I looking at this issue in the right way?
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Re: Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:58 am

You probably need a small mixer and a powered PA type speaker. The mixer will allow you to practice silently with headphones and the powered speaker will serve when you start playing with or want to be heard by others. For the mixer look at the Beheringer Xenyx range and for the speaker Berry, Alto and a few others do moderately priced speakers that offer good value for money (I'd suggest a speaker with a 10" LF driver is probably the sweet spot).

Ultimately you'll probably want a 'proper' bass amp when you start gigging and, with the mixer, a small bass combo would serve in place of the PA speaker, it would be less suited to vocals or tracks but could be an option.

Any combo with the three inputs you suggest is probably optimised for guitar and will, most likely, be unsuitable for bass guitar, a PA speaker alone could get the job done but, usually, at the cost of not having any eq on the mic and instrument inputs.
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Re: Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

Postby CS70 » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:46 pm

George-S wrote:I've decided to venture forth into becoming more proficient in both playing the bass and also singing. I already have my bass and some mp3s, but don't know how to add my singing into the mix. This is why I am here.

In an attempt to keep costs down (I hope I am going about this in the right way) I was looking for a combo amp that has three inputs:
- Bass Guitar
- Music (.mp3, etc.)
- Mic

This way (I was thinking), I could (1) play songs, (2) play bass with, and (3) sing along with the mp3s.

In normal practice situations (i.e. at home, in an apartment complex) I could adjust each input level and direct all 3 inputs into my headphones. As I get better and start playing with others, I could play out of the amp.

Am I looking at this issue in the right way?

If I were restricted to one speaker I would go differently, using a regular PA or FRFR speaker, an emulator as bass amplifier (one which has also cabinet emulation, but most do) and a little mixer to get everything together (or an interface with at least three channels if you run things from a computer). The little mixer (assuming you are computerless) will likely also give you a little reverb and delay which work well with the vocal.

That way, the speaker will render your voice and your background music well and with good fidelity, while the bass amp emulation will apply speaker emulation to produce a convincing bass sound.
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Re: Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:58 pm

I'd just add that when I was doing live sound I routinely took a DI from the bass ahead of the bass amp and used that, with just a little desk eq, for FOH. Can't recall ever having a complaint. Most bass amps are pretty much FRFR anyway these days and colour the sound much less than guitar amps do.
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Re: Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

Postby Wonks » Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:10 pm

Though the cheaper end bass amps have piezo tweeters which can sound quite nasty for for music and vocals. The better bass amps have nicer sounding compression or small cone drivers for the HF.
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Re: Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:22 pm

Wonks wrote:Though the cheaper end bass amps have piezo tweeters which can sound quite nasty for for music and vocals. The better bass amps have nicer sounding compression or small cone drivers for the HF.

Yup, Piezo tweeters do sound cr@p...
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Re: Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

Postby ronmac » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:25 pm

Lots of folks use a good quality powered speaker coupled to a small mixer for your purpose.

Another good option is to try a Roland keyboard amp. Choose the one that has the power and inputs you need.
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Re: Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

Postby rockydennis » Tue May 05, 2020 5:37 pm

How about a Line 6 Pod?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_6_(company)#POD_product_history

The Pod X3 and later models have mic inputs. The HD and the Helix add phantom power. Though the Pod is mainly guitar, they have some bass amp models too. You can find a used Pod X3 bean for $100. Then add whatever lowest priced option you can find of frfr speaker, keyboard amp, or studio monitors.
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Re: Which amp to play bass, music, and sing through

Postby rockydennis » Tue May 05, 2020 5:50 pm

Oops. I missed the mp3 part in my last post. The Pod X3 bean doesn't have an aux in, but the X3 floor unit has one in addition to the mic input. So basically, check out the Pods and see if they fit what you're looking for is what I'm saying.
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