Big stage small amp

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by gareth dunster, Nov 3, 2013.


  1. gareth dunster

    gareth dunster

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    I played an outdoor festival stage on Saturday. Meyer sound line array pa and monitors, big main sound board , seperate monitor board and monitor sound crew. I go up to the stage and can't see any bass amp but after a few enquiries see there's a 2x10 Hartke combo hiding next to the huge drum riser.
    Predictably with it maxed to just below distortion level , eqd with as many low Mids as it can muster I can only hear it a couple of feet away , so I'm rooted in that spot. What a disappointment.
    Anyone ever got a smaller bit of kit at an outdoor event. What's the rationale behind it?
  2. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    New Zealand
    What about the other monitors? I have had drummer's 2x15 monitor blow away everything I was hearing from my 2x10, then get it in the neck for too much bass onstage wrecking the mic mix. :rollno:

    The rationale of a backline 2x10 combo on a huge outdoor stage is mostly cheap and small but guarantees pristine bass out front if they control the monitors.
  3. TimmyP

    TimmyP

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Boosting somewhere in the 400Hz to 800Hz range is what makes your notes discernible. Then turn down the highs to get rid of the excessive click/clank that masks the notes.
  4. Stangconv

    Stangconv

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    I play sans amp at bigger shows. :D

    I only pull out the fender rumble at shows that we have no subs... (Which is very very rare)
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  6. gareth dunster

    gareth dunster

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    It gave me sad face
  7. modulusman

    modulusman

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    montana
    If the sound was as pro as you describe it you should have had your own monitor and mix available. I have played with pro sound companies where by the time you figure the monitor, amp and processing each wedge cost about 3-4k.
  8. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    +1. Yep. A typical joke/saying among pro sound guys is - if you can move a monitor by yourself, its not a real monitor. ;)

    OP: Next time, if that ever happens again, just talk with the monitor soundman and ask for some bass in your monitor.
  9. modulusman

    modulusman

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    montana
    It makes you wonder how the rest of the band heard him if he couldn't hear himself. :confused:
  10. gareth dunster

    gareth dunster

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    They had Meyer 212 monitors for stage front keys and drums, no bass monitor, but yes , one of those would have been easily enough.
  11. gene beauchamp

    gene beauchamp Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Location:
    Laurel,DE.
    The monitor in front of you is for what ever you want in it. It is like your own personal PA. You just tell them exactly what you want.
  12. gareth dunster

    gareth dunster

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Effectively the bass amp was supposed to be my monitor, as the bass was DI'd. If you have 2 vocalists and a sax player up front , muscling a stage front monitor would seem a bit strong. Sounds like they just wanted an easy, quiet stage.
  13. modulusman

    modulusman

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    montana
    How many monitors were onstage? Seams pretty stupid to have monitor engineers if they are only running 3or 4 wedges. No doubt they were running a DI or micing the amp if it was that small.
  14. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    We played on a pretty big stage all summer at Knott's Berry Farm, an amusement park.

    [​IMG]

    Whenever we play larger venues with full sound I always bring my smallest rig. In fact, as you can see, everybody brings small amps. Sometimes the keyboard player doesn't bring an amp at all. We let the sound company do the heavy lifting.

    Here's my 1975 Fender Bassman 100 on top of my Carvin RedLine 210. It's all I needed. I just had the monitor guy put bass in my monitor. The drummer also had a lot of bass in his HUGE monitor (see above). I could hear myself just fine. I really didn't even need an amp at all but I like feeling just a little punch behind me. I stick an 8" length of 2x4 under the front of it to point it up at me a little bit.

    [​IMG]

    Everybody should get a monitor whether they sing or not. Since we're on the same side of the stage, sometimes the keyboardist and I will have to share a mix or even a single monitor between us. He likes his keys in the monitor too. But we work it out so everybody can hear everything they need to. A good sound company will work with you as long as you're not unreasonable. It also helps if your stage volume is well managed. ;)


    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  15. gareth dunster

    gareth dunster

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    3 stage front , one for keys one for drums. That's what threw me, it all looked like awesomeness and then the sadness came..
  16. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    Sometimes you have to make do. You should have put some bass in the monitor on your side of the stage, just enough to hear yourself. Hopefully nobody would mind that. A man's got to hear his bass! [​IMG]


    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  17. modulusman

    modulusman

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    montana
    How many people are in your band? As basscliff stated you should have added some bass in the monitor closest to you. If you couldn't hear yourself then how did band members further away hear you?
  18. gareth dunster

    gareth dunster

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    We have 7. Two gtr one of whom does vocal, one vocal only, sax, keys, bass ,drum. It actually went down very well, we got our encore etc and the ex bassist was there and he said the foh sound was great. Personally I don't think a 4x10 is a bad minimum for an open air gig, but yes, I could have pushed for some more monitor feed, squeaky wheels getting the oil as they say.....
  19. ga_edwards

    ga_edwards

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2000
    Location:
    UK, Essex
    I used my Markbass LMII with 1x12 cab at an outdoor 'festival' type gig. 24metre stage, huge PA system. My bass tone absolutely swamped the stage and the amp wasn't even breaking a sweat.

    Very impressed.
  20. stonewall

    stonewall Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    ontario,Canada
    thats why i bring my own gear screw that i wouldnt use 2 10,s if you tripled may pay.You sure that set up wasnt for the Hamonica player!

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