Strange stage sound issue...
Hey guys, I just ran into a very confusing issue this afternoon at our band practice at my local church.
Our stage setup has been the same for months, no changes in equipment or musician locations at all. Yet, this afternoon, my bass rig started causing a very strange crossfeed/distortion though the house system. But here's the catch, I'm not connected to the house system at all.
Only common connection we share is power, and we even tried other power circuits to rule that out. I run a Hartke LH500 into a Hartke 2.5x10 (as noted in my sig line.) It didn't start until about the last song of our practice set.
We moved the amp off stage, even out to the middle of the room, and the problem was reduced, but not fixed. The only thing that seemed to make a difference, was to leave the speaker out in the middle of the room, facing away from the stage. The amp was moved back to the stage with the speaker left out.
Has anyone ever encountered this before? I'm at a loss at the moment, and the only thing we can think of is that the AC had been turned off and the temp and humidity had climbed. Could air density alone have cause this issue?
Please, if I'm missing something in the details, ask questions.
Thanks much in advance!
Does the house system use any wireless anything? If so, then your amp could be creating some radio interference.
Fault finding requires that you change out every variable untill the culprit is identified. Change each cable one by one , change the power strip or extension, bass; connected and disconnected , a different amp , a different cab, is it something else?, a fluorescent light on the blink, some new bit of equipment recently added nearby, is it you, are you electric , do you have a superpower etcetc.
I am not sure what crossfeed/distortion is?
but there is a good chance it was not your bass making the sound, it may have just been making the sound happen.
Much more info is needed, starting with a definition of crossfeed/distortion.
trying to help here
This is so hard to describe, as I expected it to be. I've been in live sound for over 15 years, and this is so strange that I just can't put it into words.
Major Softie: We do use a lot of wireless, but we've been using it for a couple of years now. We essentially use Line 6 equipment. 5 Line 6 mics, and three Line 6 guitar packs (not for me.)
I am hard wired to my Hartke LH500 with a 10 ft 1/4" cable in good condition. The only common connection I have is the power in the building.
1954bassman: I agree with you in that I don't think it's my bass making the noise, but simply causing it.
The sound we were hearing almost sounded like a blown cone, but my cab is fine as are the rest of our mains. The strange part was that it seemed to resound in our monitors as well, almost as though I were using a crappy wireless transmitter that was crossing frequencies.
If I played light, no problem. The moment I lay into it, garbage, but my cab stayed clean. This only effected the house system which I was not plugged into.
Have I answered anything, or just made more questions?
Neighboring (outside the building) systems can cause problems with wireless systems, so the first thing I ALWAYS do when mystery problems show up is eliminate all the wireless systems. Regardless of whether or not that solves the problem, it will give you valuable diagnostic information excluding some major set of components.
We'll definitely give that a shot. It seemed really strange for it to be effected by the aim of my cabinet. Maybe I can use my camera on my iPhone to capture it. I'll be working on it later this week.
Okay guys, update time.
I got into the studio last night to lay down a bass track for a new song, and I played for about 15 minutes or so tweaking different parts. Bass sounded great, until we tried to lay down the next go around. That's when it came back, that nasty overdriven broken up sound; unfortunately from my bass itself. Now this doesn't explain how the sound was emanating from our house system before as previously described, but now I know where the broken sound is originating.
I have other basses, just not 5 stringers, so I'll play those until I get my bass figured out. But this may be the conclusion of my thread for now. We'll see what happens at practice tonight with my other bass.
Well, if it worked okay for a while, and then started making the noise, that sounds like a heat induced electronic failure. If it only happens with the one bass, then hopefully it's an active bass, because I don't know what else could go wrong to cause such behavior.
That sort of thing usually occurs in some other part of the circuit: Preamp, Direct box, Direct out of amp, etc..
I have experienced a similar thing. One night at a jam session, my Deluxe Reverb started making loud distorted sound when I was playing guitar through it. It was on a shelf in my studio next to another amp and I was playing through both of them. I turned it all the way down, and it still kept doing it, mimicking the sound coming out of the other amp but loud and distorted. I unplugged completely from the Deluxe, and it STILL was doing it. Cue the theme from "The Twilight Zone".
It turns out I had a microphonic preamp tube in the Deluxe, and it was picking up and amplifying the vibrations from the other amp.
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