April 19, 2016
I was thirteen years old the first time I ever heard a Carvin Audio speaker. I was at a classmate’s house, a kid I knew from history class at school, who had invited me over to his house to jam after hearing through mutual friends I played the bass. He sang and played guitar, and wasn’t that good at it. But he had gear, and a lot more than other kids our age. In the tiny attic we played in, he had a full drum kit, a mixer, a couple of combo amps, and a PA speaker: it was a Carvin Audio 1540. He would shout into the mic in a frenzy of pre-pubescent rebellion. And man, it was loud. Once, one of his neighbors came knocking on the door, complaining that his singing was too loud. To this day that has been the only time I’ve ever heard anyone complain that the vocals were too loud.
A few weeks later, we started playing with a drummer. He was a little bit older than us and had a reputation for being a heavy hitting drummer. He had been in a metal band previously, and they had played a couple of talent shows. When he showed up to practice with us that first day, I figured that the vocal clarity and volume that I had gotten used to would be a thing of the past. But sure enough, as we all played together, a weird mix of metal and pop-punk, I could still hear the vocals loud and clear. I thought that maybe the vocals were so present because the room was so small, and the combo amps we were using couldn’t put out much volume. We booked our first show shortly after that, at a coffee shop that did not have a PA system for us to use. We brought the 1540 along and sure enough, it had plenty of volume there, too. Over the next few years, that garage band saw many lineup changes, but a constant member was that Carvin Audio 1540. As we grew into teenagers, we wanted to play as loud and fast as possible. We did, but just didn’t play all that well. But that trusty 1540 never once gave us any trouble. For any size gig or for any practice volume, the 1540 kept us going.
After high school, I took a break from music to go to college, but halfway through my sophomore year, I felt the itch to play the bass again. I hadn’t brought any of my equipment with me- I left it all back at my parent’s house. Fortunately, thanks to the power of Craigslist, I found another guitarist and drummer to play with. We practiced at a local rehearsal space that provided equipment for us to play on, and the provided bass rig was a Carvin Audio B800 amp paired with a set of BR115 and BR210 bass cabinets. It sounded huge. The tone was so clear and powerful, yet sat perfectly in the mix. Having not played in awhile, I had somewhat forgotten how to set the controls on the amp. But the B800’s EQ section was so versatile that at every jam session, I could change it up a bit to try out different sounds. There literally was not one bad sound I got out of that amp. It also amazed me how well that amp stood up to heavy use- there were dozens of bands using it every day, and playing loud. But that Carvin Audio bass rig held up to it all when other rigs would have fallen apart. When that practice studio relocated and was selling a bunch of their gear, I bought the B800 for myself.
Carvin Audio is such a loved brand for me because it is top quality gear at prices that musicians can afford. That 1540 made my garage band possible just as the B800 let me play music again as a broke college student. The brand embodies value, reliability, and a professional sound. To this day, Carvin products are still designed and built in the United States, which is testament to the company’s dedication to quality. And Carvin Audio has continued to innovate, keeping their products on the cutting edge and keeping in mind the needs of the working musician. The B1000 bass head is one of my favorite new Carvin Audio products because it not only offers the tremendous power and versatile tone Carvin is known for, but also weighs in at a little over six pounds! Every bass player, from a teenager starting his first garage band to a seasoned pro, will be able to find their sound with this bass head and not have to rely on bandmates or roadies to help lug it around. Musicians of all skill levels and ages, past and present, can rely on Carvin Audio gear to get the job done. And as long as they are playing, Carvin Audio will be listening.
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One of the most misunderstood things in mixing is bass – whether it’s getting the low end right in general, letting the bass guitar cut through without overpowering everything else, or just making the bass interesting and cool. It can be tricky to get it right, but there are plenty of tried-and-true tricks for getting there quickly. Let’s go over a few of those.
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