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Is It Really All About That Bass?


This summer, one of the biggest hits was Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”, which got us thinking...

Is it really all about that bass? (Yes, we know she’s not really talking about music, but here at London Disco Hire we are all about the music for sure!)

So let’s start with the basics: what is bass? Put simply, bass refers to tones of low frequency or range. In musical compositions, bass notes can provide a counterpoint to the melody, a harmonic to outline or juxtapose with the progression of the chords, or it can be used alongside the percussion to underline the rhythm of the piece. In popular music, the bass usually provides both harmonic and rhythmic support; often stressing the stronger beats of the piece and playing the root or fifth of the chord. Common bass instruments include the double bass, the bass guitar, the bassoon and the tuba.

 double_bass.jpg  bass_guitar.jpg

Bass is often also used to refer to a type of singing voice – it’s a classical male vocal range, the lowest used, generally classified as extending from around the second E below middle C to the E above middle C.

If you need to broadcast sound through a loudspeaker, you need to be able to balance the different frequency ranges to get the right effect. The balance you’re looking for will depend on what you’re broadcasting – drum ‘n’ bass, for example, will naturally have a much stronger emphasis on the bass – but you will almost always need to get a good balance across the whole audio range.

Small speakers, like the ones found on computers and radios, often don’t cover the entire audio range, leaving you struggling to hear the bass and sometimes the high treble too. If you’ve ever tried listening to something on small speakers and thought that it sounded tinny, that was probably because you weren’t getting the effect of the bass.

Even when it comes to PA systems, different speakers will provide you with different balances across the audio range, so the kind of speakers you choose will depend on what you’re looking to broadcast. In cases where it really is all about the bass – drum ‘n’ bass music springs to mind – you can add subwoofers to your speaker setup – these are speakers which are specifically designed for the bass range, giving your sound some extra oomph.

So, in summary, we reckon that it’s not all about that bass – but the bass is a vital part of the audio range.

Of course, if you are really all about that bass, you might enjoy this alternate version of Meghan Trainor’s hit – sung by natural bass vocalist Avi Kaplan!

Here at London Disco Hire, if you’re looking for PA speaker hire in London or any other kind of sound, lighting or DJ equipment, we offer a great range of affordable equipment to suit your needs. For more information, contact us on 020 3333 4444.

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