If you are using both bass guitar and keyboard, then the normal question may be stuck in your mind that can you use bass amp for keyboard or vice versa? In this article, I am going to cover how to use the bass amp with a keyboard and all the queries related to this.
At the end of this article, you get the solutions to your all doubts. So, let’s begin:
Can you use bass amp for keyboard?
The bass amps can be used with keyboards and produce decent sound quality without any potential damage. As bass amplifiers are not designed to work with keyboard frequency, your notes can lose their clarity and may sound muddy. Although it’s not recommended but you can practice your keyboard through any decent bass amp.
Advantages of Using Bass Amp for a Keyboard
Any full-range bass amp works well with the keyboards. If you are using your keyboard just for practicing or for learning, then using the bass amp will be a good choice. Here I listed the advantages of using a bass amp with the keyboard:
1. Using Bass Amps for Keyboards Don’t Damage Amps
The bass amp will damage only if there is too much bass or volume. But the sound produce by most of the keyboard have low-end and are more compressed than the bass guitars. If you play all the keys at a certain volume, then the stress on the amp will be less in comparison.
If you adjust the keyboard at a low volume by using volume control, then it doesn’t hurt anything. And thus, under normal circumstances, there is no risk of damaging something and you get a harmless tone.
2. Bass Amps are Great for Key Bass and Organs
Currently, many bass guitar players are using the synth bass patches along with the normal basses. For this purpose, they make use of the keyboards. They play the bass-like sound through their keyboard and hence, with this keyboard it is recommended to use the bass amplifier instead of the keyboard amplifier.
Also, to play Hammond organs sound, the bass amp can be a great choice. As you low the frequency of the Hammond organ as much as possible it sounds just like a bass and to manage such low frequencies bass amp is the perfect solution over all other amps.
3. Mordern Bass Amps Provides Wide Range of Frequency
The old bass amps are generally 2-ways bass amps that produce low & mid frequencies only. But nowadays all the bass amps are manufactured with full range and they are 3-ways bass amp. Due to this, bass amps are able to produce the sound as accurately as keyboard amps.
So, if you want to save your money, you can prefer to buy one full-range bass amp which works for both, the bass guitar as well as the keyboard.
Along with all the above advantages, some players also put the different bass amp on the keyboard instead of the keyboard amp to produce different sounds which are less wimpy in the low frequency.
Disadvantage of Using Bass Amp for a Keyboard
As we know nothing is perfect. If you get advantages of it, then you have to face some disadvantages as well. So, let’s analyze the dark side before making any decision:
1. Bass Amps may Produce Muddy Sound for a Keyboard
The amps are used to produce a better sound from the instrument as well as possible. As we know, the bass guitar is a low-end instrument and thus the bass amp is required to build in a unique way that suits the basses. The works of the bass amp are to produce amp sound as bass-heavy as possible.
So, when such types of bass amps are connected to the keyboards, the sound coming out from them becomes a little bassy and muddy below a certain range (40 to 45 Hz). This sound not only loses its clarity but also its unique features.
There is one option to avoid such muddy sounds. For this, you can simply play the amp at high frequencies (20 kHz range) as bass amps have a good high-frequency harmonic response.
2. Most Bass Amps are not able to Reproduce Keyboard Sound Accurately
The sound produced by the keyboard is always full-range sound and thus keyboard amps have a wider dynamic range. On the other hand, most of the bass amps don’t have the full range. They are only able to play the low and mid frequencies of sound from the keyboard.
These amps are not able to play back all the frequencies in an audio signal. As the high frequencies of the keyboard are not hearable through the bass amp, the sound produces by this is not that much accurate. To get high-quality sound from the keyboard with quality amplification, you have to invest some money in a keyboard amp.
3. Bass Amps Color the Sound
The bass amp has a built-in pre-amp inside it and this pre-amp puts a specific tone & colors in the sound. But in the case of the keyboard, there is no such pre-amp.
Thus if you are a person who likes the purest sound coming from your keyboard then the bass amps are not going to work for you.
4. Bass Amps Limits the Dynamic Range of Keyboards
Most of the keyboard amps have a wider dynamic range from high frequencies to sub-bass. While the bass amps are designed for relatively lower frequencies. Also, the keyboard amps come with horns and speakers as well.
In bass amps, there are only bass horns. And to some extent, they limit the dynamic range of the keyboards.
How to Connect Bass Amp with Keyboard?
There are 3 possible cases. Let’s discuss each in detail:
Case 1: Many bass amps have mono jack input. In this case, you can simply plug the mono jack cable into the L/mono output of the keyboard and monoline input of the bass guitar amp.
Case 2: Some bass amps have at least one stereo channel. Here, you have to use two mono jack cables. One is used to connect the L/Mono output of the keyboard up to one input of stereo channel and the other to connect R line output to the second stereo channel of your amp.
Case 3: If your amp has only mono jack inputs and you want to set up stereo sound, then you can connect the L/Mono output of the keyboard to one input of the mono channel. And again R output to the next mono channel of the bass amp.
Things to Avoid while Connecting Bass Amp to Keyboard
When you connect the bass amp to the keyboard, it arises serval issues. To avoid this, you can follow the below tips:
1. Reduce the main volume of the keyboard
The signal produced by the keyboard is very strong. If this signal directly passes through the preamp inside the bass amp, the signal gets louder & it may damage your amp.
To avoid this, you can lower the volume coming from the keyboard and thereby lower the signal passing through the preamp. After this, the signal can be increased by increasing the gain on the bass amp.
2. Reduce the lows and amplify the Mids & Highs
As I already told you, most of the bass amps sound muddy when they connect to the keyboard.
To reduce this mudness from the keyboard sound and to make it pure, you have to avoid playing the keyboard at low frequencies. Now You can prefer to play the keyboard in mid or high-frequency.
What is the Difference Between Bass and Keyboard Amp?
The bass amps usually come with a built-in preamp and deliver deep low-end sound. Whereas keyboard amps are designed to handle high notes of the keyboards while adding nice treble to them. Also, bass amps have only one input port, unlike keyboard amp that comes with multiple input ports for instrument input.
Most of the bass amps are not full range and they are only able to play the low frequencies of the signal. Hence these amps have a narrow frequency range which is about 40Hz -1000Hz. On the other hand, the average frequency range of the keyboard is 50Hz-15kHz.
The bass guitar amps come with a gain knob and have only one input jack on them (with some exceptions). Thus you are only able to connect one instrument at a time into it. If you want to connect more instruments, you can use a mixer for this purpose.
The need for a pre-amp in bass amp arises because bass guitars deliver very weak signals which required to be preamplified before any further processing. But in the case of the keyboard amp, there is no necessity of pre-amp as output is already in the form of line-level signal which is strong enough.
You may also like: How to play bass guitar without an amp?
What is the Best Bass Amp for Keyboard?
Orange Crush Bass 25W Combo Amp is the best bass amp for a keyboard. This amp has an active 3 bands EQ, built-in chromatic tuner, and parametric mid control which gives you more tight control on it. It has an output of 25-watt & overall it’s highly responsive.
This model is quite small, but still, it produces a warm and rounded tonal character. The main thing which makes it attractive is its analogue design & ported cabinet. The sound produces by it is very clear and strong, but not that much loud. Due to this quality, this amp can be used with any type of keyboard.
Final Thoughs on Using Bass Amp For Keyboard
I already mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of using the bass amp with the keyboard. Now it’s totally up to you to take a final call. I tried to cover all the queries related to this topic. But still, if you have any kind of doubt or any suggestions for me feel free to share them with me.
You can also put your thoughts in the comment section as it will be helpful for others as well. Don’t forget to share this article on social channels with your friends.
Have a great day!
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