Almost blew-up the house PA last night.

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Jan 24, 2009.


  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection. Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    We played a pub last night with the crappiest PA I've ever heard. Sounds like it cost them about $50 from Walmart. Two 1-12 monitors on poles and a small mixer. Cant remember the brand, and uh.. really don't want to. This is our second time playing this place. The second time out I figured I'd bring an eq pedal and see if I could do *something* to enhance the vocals. So I haul out my trusty Boss bass eq pedal and give it a drastic smiley face. It definitely improved the sound considerably. However, during the middle of the second set all hell broke loose. We began to hear a low feedback sound. Make adjustments still not gone. Then it starts really get loud with a low howl. We have to stop in the middle of the song and figure this out. Shut off all the microphones. Still going and getting louder. Unplug one of the monitors. Still going. Finally the drummer reached over and unplugged the other monitor and it stopped. That was the worst *technical* fiasco we've ever experienced in the last 50 gigs. Little bit embarrasing but what can you do I guess. So I took the eq pedal out of the signal chain and again the vocals sounded like someone was singing thru a mic'd telephone. :atoz:

    Ugh.


    At least I didn't blow it up though. :rollno:
     
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    What sort of EQ was on the monitors?
     
  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike TTRPG enthusiast, Happy, Joyous, & Free. Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    smiley face is almost never a good idea.

    almost

    i'm gonna move this
     
  4. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection. Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    On the pa mixer I also cut the mids and boosted the lows, but not too much. What I find weird is that it sounded fine for the first 90 minutes and then started developing a problem, but we had not touched anything on it, or our instruments.
     
  5. karter2000

    karter2000

    Aug 21, 2005
    Nowhere land
    Dare I ask....where were you playing so that I can avoid playing that place! If you don't want to say that's fine...just PM me!

    Lyle
     
  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Was there separate EQ for the monitor mix? I'd nearly always cut lots of lows on that mix.

    People coming and going in the room can change things a lot, but in this case it sounds like something else might've been the cause. One thing that makes me work a lot harder as a sound guy is when people start moving the mikes or monitors around onstage after soundcheck. Just bumping a mike 10 degrees either way can make a huge difference to gain-before-feedback.

    And sometimes you just have to suck it up and settle for less than what you want. Sounds like a place to avoid, or at least carry your own sound system into.:crying:
     
  7. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection. Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Hi Lyle. It was the Great Bear Pub in Burnaby. Quite a big place and we usually have some dancers who like to shake it up so that is nice. BTW, I put my Model Js back into my jazz bass and re-discovered how great those pups are. I have you to thank for the inspiration after hearing your bass the other week. :)

    Passinwind... There werent that many people there... maybe 50 and it was a pretty big place as far as pubs go so I dont think 'people movement' was the cause. A mic stand may have been bumped I suppose. Basically our choices are to either have bad sounding vocals or bring our own PA. Unfortunately, we dont own a PA as the lion's share of venues provide one and we have not had a need. Have to re-think that I suppose. I suggested this to our bandleader and he said if we have to bring our own PA he wants more money. I doubt the venue will go for that.

    I suspect alot of the bad sound is due to the monitors moreso than the pa mixer. Think so?
     
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Well, maybe. I consider the bare minimum for monitor EQ in most situations to be a 15 band graphic, completely separate from the front mix. I really prefer a parametric myself though, with at least 4-5 bands. I used to run a pair of very cheap CGM wedges in one club I worked in, and even the real pros who came through were pretty happy with the sound onstage. With a parametric (or several preferably) I hardly ever encounter feedback issues in the venues I typically mix in. Really bad wedges do put you behind the 8-ball though, for sure.

    I couldn't get much playing work at all out here if I had to rely on provided house sound, but you live in a whole different world up there.;)
     
  9. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Operating any kind of pa equipment with guitar FX pedals as outboard eq is asking for all sorts of problems, the resonance that caused the low frequency feedback was there no doubt in your performance with your chosen eq, it just didn't rear its ugly head above the general din until it
    howled round continually.
    Pa Equipment gets less gain/quieter as it gets hotter usually.
    :ninja:
     
  10. karter2000

    karter2000

    Aug 21, 2005
    Nowhere land
    That's cool! Kinda ironic, but after hearing your bass the other week my Geddy now wears flats! I quite like them so far. As far as the Model J's, after trying many basses, I think my ideal sound is a jazz bass with Model J's....
     
  11. IvanMike

    IvanMike TTRPG enthusiast, Happy, Joyous, & Free. Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    most people movement is on stage. many good boards will have a low cut filter button to avoid picking up stomping or the occasional bang against the mic stand.
     
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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