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Amp and emulated signal in FOH?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by BackendBear, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. BackendBear


    Mar 30, 2020
    Orlando, FL
    Greetings fellow bass players,

    Right from the start sorry for the noob/complicated question. I am fairly new to the bass game and this forum and I need some help on my live setup. Currently, I have a pedal-board that has Darkglass pedal going into Line6 HX stomp. I am using HX stomp for routing (to the amp and a separated emulated signal) and couple of effects.

    Which brings me to the question, If a venue allows me to plug into FOH with my emulated signal(amp, IR), how big of an amp do I need on stage, and do I need one at all? I am getting conflicting stories on this and it is a bit confusing. Size wise, I am talking about a mid-sized venue.

    Currently, I have an Ampeg 4x10 and SVT7 Pro and dragging that thing off and on stage is a pain, especially when there are gigs with 10 bands in the roster and we need to setup quick. Is this too bit or too small? Can I go smaller with some kind of a combo amp that I can plop on stage easier?

    Thank you
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You haven't given enough information to get a good answer.
    What is the monitor setup at these gigs?
  3. BackendBear


    Mar 30, 2020
    Orlando, FL
    Sorry, I don't have those details. I was thinking along the lines what would work for most setups.
    dkelley likes this.
  4. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ok I use the HX Stomp Live in the way you describe. What you need for an amp depends on your monitoring needs / preference and the venue PA
    I use IEM s so play most gigs ampless. At venues with a good PA I still feel plenty of lows from the subs.
    And I have really good customer mold IEM s so I can hear myself great. I sometimes bring an amp to some small venues where the have limited subs to help fill in the low end. This amp is a GK 700 RB & Ampeg 4x10. Not turned up very loud.

    For another band that plays smaller venues with a simple PA & monitoring setup I bring a Fender Rumble 1x15 just because the drummer and singer like a little bass sound onstage. Hope this helps.
  5. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    In case you send signal to FOH, your amp is only for your monitoring.

    So only you decide, what is sufficient. It will probably depend on genre, rooms that you usually play in and your bandmates (how loud do they play).

    In situations similar to yours, I usually use either 1x12 or 2x10 cab.
    mattj1stc, SoCal80s and BackendBear like this.
  6. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    This is a good question, it largely depends on what you need on stage. For some gigs I can get away with a 100W combo sitting on the side of the stage facing across the stage so everyone can hear me but it doesn't interfere with FOH. I could probably use a 50W combo and be just fine but the 1x12 Roland Cube is pretty easy to move around.

    For gigs where we provide the PA I use IEM system and just a preamp for the FOH. If the FOH is vocals only then you need a bigger rig, if you have FOH support then you only need to cover the stage so it depends on everyones stage level as to what size rig you need. Generally speaking we try to keep stage volumes to a minimum and let the engineer do his job out front.
    DonaldR, BackendBear and Zbysek like this.
  7. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Be aware that if you split your emulated signal to FOH and send it to your amp/cab on stage.. what you hear from your amp (assuming no other monitor) will [probably] NOT be the same as what is going to FOH!
    That can be complicated further if the FOH feed is then sent back to a monitor wedge, so you get two sets of bass signals to monitor.

    I always take my SVT7Pro + 2x10 cab to our gigs and DI out to FOH. Being IEM that signal also goes to our X32 rack and out to our IEM mixes - which we mix ourselves using tablets/iPads - so we ALWAYS get the same monitor mix at every gig whether the house provides PA or we do!
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Since everything is going well though FOH, at most, your amp is a stage monitor (not just for you). Assuming decent monitors, you won't need anything.
    BackendBear likes this.
  9. BackendBear


    Mar 30, 2020
    Orlando, FL
    First of all thank everyone for the quick answers, I think it helped me a lot.

    I have an additional question. After talking to my guitar player his claim is that in some situations the first 10 feet of the audience have the PA speakers behind them. To that audience the bass would sound like crap, and that is why you need an amp to fill in that gap in front, besides being used as stage monitor. Does that sound correct? [unintentional pun :D]

    That is correct and I think you answered my question. My emulated signal adds an amp and cab IR to the chain and I try to make it as close as possible to each other, but having 2 signals and chances are that there is latency between them. In worse case I can switch the amp off.
    Think the solution to my problem would be to get a 2x10 and take it to smaller/mid venues and get the 4x10 when something big is up. Do you have any recommendations for a lightweight 2x10 cabinet that would go with the SVT7 PRO?
  10. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Why not use the DI off the SVT?
    I’m using an Avatar 2x10 Neo. It will handle 1000w. But there’s plenty of other choices out there.

    Your guitar player is technically correct about the gap in the sound. I’ve found - after 90+ gigs a year for 4 yrs running - that keeping it simple works best. One signal to FOH and monitor SAME signal. There’s a myriad of ways to monitor but sending one to FOH and one to the amp - even to fill that gap at front of stage - is not going to make things easy. If you NEED the emulated signal to FOH for “your” sound. Great!
    Then get a keyboard amp (full range) with flat EQ and use that as your stage amp. You’ll hear the same sound whether listening to the amp or wedge and so will your audience!!!
    RoketRdr and BackendBear like this.
  11. DonaldR


    Mar 26, 2012
    Depending of the stage volume, me I just use an EV ZLX12P with HPF at 80hz as my monitor (lower frequencies coming from FOH subs). We have no amp on stage.
    BackendBear likes this.
  12. BackendBear


    Mar 30, 2020
    Orlando, FL
    KISS, got it ;p. If I understand correctly, whatever I am sending out to the FOH should be on stage. If I don't want to give up my emulated sound it would be best to go for some full range speaker setup.
    As far as the DI question goes, I wasn't happy with the sound I was getting out of it, to me adding the amp and cab IR sounded better coming out of the pedal then the DI
    s0c9 likes this.
  13. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Depending on the stage and PA setup yes a stage amp can be helpful to fill that gap. Some venues have front fills on the deck to help with this. A lot of small ones don’t. That’s were a stage amp can help fill in a bit.

    I always send a cab emulated out to FOH / IEM rack and then non cab emulated to stage amp if I’m using one.
    So in my ears I hear same signal as FOH & the stage amp sound will of course be sound a little different but not radically and it’s never been a problem.
    In my experience / taste cab sims sound way better in the PA than straight up clean DI s. Especially when using any kind of Overdrive / fuzz etc
    RoketRdr and BackendBear like this.
  14. RoketRdr


    Nov 7, 2019
    What he said. I send my amp/cab modeled tone and effects to FOH and it also splits to an IEM mixer so what you're hearing in your ear is what the audience is hearing in the PA. Then I send just the amp model tone and effects into a QSC power amp (neutral full range response) into my cab for stage presence and front row gap fill. Keep in mind I'm using an amp/cab modeler and effects, not a bass amp or pedalboard.
    jimfist, s0c9 and BackendBear like this.
  15. Skip Chucker

    Skip Chucker

    Dec 9, 2018
    What venue does that?

    If there are issues in coverage, you can add additional front fill (center) speakers.

    But if you're putting the full band through the PA, why would you want your FOH mix to have to fight with your stage volume?
    steveksux and s0c9 like this.
  16. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    You definitely don’t want your stage volume to have to fight with FOH for the mix. A common situation I’ve seen in some venues or festivals is the PA is flown and aimed for seated rows 10’ or more from stage then for a particular event the open up the floor for general admission so a bunch of people crowd right in front of the stage and can be either in line or in some cases behind the PA mains
    So that’s where front fills are supposed to “fill the gap” but sometimes there not there for whatever reason cheap promoter / artist request / badly designed system etc ...
    this where sometimes a little stage volume can help cover. Doesn’t really help people here the vocals apart from spill from stage wedges if any but it is what it is.
    The bottom line is the sound is almost never as good in the very front as it is a few feet back. So I would think of amps and stage volume as just whatever you need for your monitoring needs. Your bands monitoring needs and preferences and of everyone wants the feel of some amps behind them or not etc

    let FOH worry about getting the sound right in the venue. Good communication with sound engineer can really help with this. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions or try and communicate what your sound goals are.

    All this applies to shows where everything is being run into the PA in smaller rooms / bars where only things like vocals and keyboards and maybe a kick drum are run into PA then stage amps are needed to carry the room. and usually I’ve found you need a lot less amp then one might thing to do this unless the rest of your band plays crazy loud
  17. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Hopefully you have your rig setup on some sort of casterboard or dolly. Before your set, your entire rig should be setup and patched, ready to go. When it's time, you roll your rig on stage, plug into the PA, set down your bass and bass stand, plug in your bass, tune, and your ready to rock.

    I did most of my professional career with a 210 and approximately 250-400W and this was plenty for all but the loudest stadium gigs where gigantic side fills were provided. Under those circumstances I found it was best to turn my amp down so it didn't fight with the side fills.

    My amp serves as my personal monitor, so it was not intended to fill the venue or stage with sound. Most of the time I used at least one speaker that was elevated to about waist level. When it was just a 210, it sat vertically on top of my rolling rack and had an extra DI wedged under the front edge to tilt it back and aim the speaker at my head. The whole idea is to make it possible for me to hear clearly while running my amp at the lowest possible level.

    In my experience, putting bass in your foldback monitor is a crapshoot. Occasionally it can sound great, but most of the time the foldback monitor fights with your bass amp instead of integrating to produce a nice clear sound. The problem is monitors and bass speakers have different phase and group delay characteristics which can cause cancellation in the low end. It's also possible that the absolute phase is reversed, but I had a DI that allowed me to switch polarity, so this was not a problem for me.

    I have also done a few gigs where I ran ampless and relied on foldback monitors. Having an amp gives you some degree of control over your sound. If you rely exclusively on the monitors, your experience is totally dependent on the quality of the provided gear, the skill of the audio techs, how attentive the audio techs are, and whether the audio techs are willing to give you what you want or not. I have been burned pretty bad running ampless when I relied on unfamiliar techs, so when possible I prefer to bring an amp. Having an amp allows me to adjust my stage volume and tone independently of the PA.

    Regarding the need for your amp to provide sound for the front row. This is a mixed bag IMHO, but YMMV. First, if the PA can't send the bass to the audience in front of the stage, then it most likely will not be able to send the vocals in front of the stage, so the mix is going to suck period. Second, the need for you to balance is driven by the levels of the other instruments on stage. From the audio techs perspective the ideal situation is for their to be zero bleed from the stage. Obviously this is unrealistic since most bands use real drums. But guitars, bass, and keys all use amps and there is benefit in reducing the stage level of these instruments.

    The problem is when you have two sound sources in separate locations, when the sound waves come together they will arrive at different phase angles, so you get irregular summing and cancellation that results in comb filtering. In order to reduce the effects of comb filtering, one of the sound sources needs to be significantly louder than the other.

    Since the job of the PA is to deliver sound to the audience, ideally the PA should be the dominant sound source for as much of the audience chamber as possible. If the stage wash dominates in front of the stage, then the sound a few few back will be impacted significantly by comb filtering, because this will be the zone where the PA and the stage wash fights for dominance. IMHO better for the sound to be nice in this zone and allow the sound to suck in a zone that cannot be helped. Then again my rigs usually run front fills of an aux or matrix, so there is no dead zone.

    My personal view if the PA is carrying all of the instruments: Amps serve as personal monitors and should be aimed consistent with this goal. I.E. the amp should be aimed to deliver sound primarily to whoever is playing through the amp. Theoretically this works because most people prefer to hear themselves louder in the mix than everyone else. So if you aim your amp at yourself and adjust it for a good balance, there is a better chance that everyone can get the desired level of "more me." Before turning on the PA, try to get a good acoustic balance where everyone's needs are met.

    Foldback monitors should be used when you can't hear something you need to hear. For example if you can't hear the guitarist on the other side of the stage, then put a little guitar in your foldback monitor. Also, rather than cranking up your bass amp so everyone can hear it, have everyone put just enough bass in their monitor to suit their needs. Of course the problem is some people really like a lot of bass.

    I will say running sound like this has worked really well when I am running a band, but it's not the way most people are used to doing it; so implementing this ideas sometimes faces resistance. Many people only think about how to get there own sound rather than how to best serve the audience's needs. They want to do things the way they have always done them and are resistant to trying new ideas. I try to take an approach that involves a compromise that ultimately serves everyone's needs instead of allowing one person's needs to dominate. Also, my belief is since the audience is our patron it's important to try and give them the best possible experience rather than focusing so much on our own needs and desires. I think many top professional musicians would agree with this philosophy.
    squarewave, BackendBear and hbabels like this.
  18. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    If you're taking a send to FOH, all that you need an on-stage amp for is monitoring. If you use in-ears, then the answer to your question is: not very big. And you want have to worry about resizing for the size of venue. And the equipment weighs less than a pound and may fit on your pedalboard. And you won't be contributing to mud and volume wars on-stage. And you won't struggle to hear yourself all while protecting your hearing. And it can be set up cheaply. Win, win, win, win, win, and, well... win.

    I use a Behringer Powerplay P1 and Shure SE215 with triple-flange silicone tips. Total cost $160. Total weight less than a pound. Total versatility: yup. So cheap and light I carry a backup setup just in case.

    Das it mane.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  19. When i send a emulated signal to FOH i use the amp just to stage volume for the drummer. One of the advantages is the feedback control. Also your sound don't bleed in the drum mics. I prefer the emulated signal than the mic cab. Specially when is super loud, sound clearer to my ears.
  20. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    The amp being setup on a cart or cab with wheels so it’s all plugged in and ready to go is a good tip / point. This makes setup / tear down much quicker and easier.
    This folding cart is one of the BEST gear investments I’ve ever made. https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai...wjovMfYwcXoAhVRo54KHQrVDigQwg96BAgJEBc&adurl=
    Wasnex likes this.
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