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Amp on a Wooden Stage (Help!)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bobbykokinos, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Hey guys.

    I hope I'm post this in the right forum.. Tonight I had a rehearsal with a big band. I took my two Aguilar 1x12 and my GK700RB.. This was in a big auditorium which has no kind of sound tiles on the walls what so ever. Pretty much you can hear yourself and those immediately around you.. Everything else gets lost. Except (you guessed it) for the bass.

    Its a totally wooden stage with a pit area in front. The sound guy was complaining that the bass was too boomy and its the same problem they have in the auditorium with all of the bass players. You would think, if this is a reoccuring problem, they would thing to have a riser for the amp or something to get it off of directly sitting on the stage.

    My EQ is set flat with a little bit of boost on the bass.. From where I stand it sounds great. Actually its the best it has sounded in a while and the rest of the rhythm section agreed. But out in the auditorium it was "too boomy".. I told them to cut the bass in the EQ for the house mix.. Just give me mids and highs to balance out the boominess from the stage. Well, they didnt even have me in the mix at all. They said what I was getting from the stage was pleanty loud (this is confusing to me because they dont have me in the house because the mix sounds great without it, but I'm too boomy? Isnt this kind of contradictory?)

    Anyway, what can I do to cut the boominess coming from the stage but still keep the same volume and EQing I have? Our performance tomorrow, so putting me on a riser is probably out of the question. I really have no stand that sits low enough, and is strong enough, to hold both of the 1x12s. I stand with the amp behind me at a distance where the sound hits my head. So, aiming the amp more towards my ears so I can turn it down isnt much of an option.

    Any suggestions? I dont want to be a d!ck to the sound guy but it sounds like a tuning problem with the auditorium that has never been resolved. I want it to sound good in the hall, but I also want to be able to hear myself and my intonation because the show will be recorded for CD..
  2. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
  3. Unfortunatly, I need it tomorrow.. Does guitar center have something like this?
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    They typically do. I would also suggest that you look for something with a (preferably variable) high pass filter. This would work wonders for you in this situation.

  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Is it a grand piano? If so move away from it. The sound board tends to amplify the bass. (In fact for unamplified upright I stand by the piano to boost the bass)

    Also don't put the amp behind the drummer as the bass drum can do the same.

    I don't know how big your amp is, but a chair or anything can help.
    And of course with the auditorium full of people, it will sound better.
  6. I'm "amp dumb".. Can you explain the high pass filter for me?
  7. Yes, its a grand piano. I didnt even think about the mic in the piano pickin up the bass. Duhhh..

    Unfortunatly, there isnt much anywhere else to move away from the piano. Its really a crappy setup. I'm setup right infront of the bass drum, which is on the riser.. I hate being there. I always like being on the high hat side of the drummer.

    I might roll off the bass a bit more and hope the people in the auditorium soak up the sound a bit more.. I think its a 2000 seat hall..
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    When it's too boomy, you roll off the bass, not slightly boost it. You might have to take it way down.
  9. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    You can wedge anything under there and it'll work fine. If you have a few small pieces of anything that will hold the weight, put those in the corners of where the cab will sit and you'll be fine.

    For example, my Peavey cabinet has four small rubber feet on the bottom. When I want to get rid of some of the lower bass and boom, I stand it upright. For more bass, I lay it on its side.

    Here's a question for the smarter guys (Bill Fitzmaruice, et al): If my 1x15 cab on bottom with feet has an f3 of 40Hz, and my 2x10 on top has an f3 of 65Hz, would I be better flipping my 1x15 up-side down for the situations when I want more bass, since this would isolate the 2x10 from more of the lows? What I mean is, am I better off, when coupling the 1x15 with the floor, to uncouple the 2x10 or let it couple with the 1x15?
  10. I totally understand that concept.. The problem is, the sound is PERFECT on stage. I was wondering if there was a way I can clean up the sound in the hall without compromising the sound on the stage.
  11. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    I have been in your situation on similar stages many times. The Gramma pads cleaned things up every time. I bought mine at GC.
  12. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Unfortunately probably not. Certain frequencies can really be hyped by room design out in the audience. What works on stage may sound like poo out front. Guitar center carries those auralex gramma pads, and they do work pretty well at tightening things up by decoupling your cab from that hollow stage/sounding board.
    What I'd do is use one of those and roll off a touch of lows for rehearsal. Once the hall fills up put the lows back at even (not boosted). Bodies will help soak up some sound. Then again, I'm not in that room, so everything I write is just speculation.
  13. Ive been in this situation to many times... and i hate it... forget sounding good on stage... have someone who can play your bass, or at lest can kind of play your bass like you do (it helps to have a bud that can pluck it a little like you) while you walk off stage... go back to your amp, and do whatever you think will help the sound out there... then, run back off stage, and listen again... I feel that this is the only way to really do it... it kinda sucks cause No one is going to play exactly like you... if your amp will fit on a chair, I suggest you put it there... and if it wont, put it on two chairs... I find That i just need to turn down... Yes, it sounds to me like its to quiet, but to everyone else, it sounds fine....
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    A high pass filter passes along the signal that is higher than a give threshold and blocks the frequencies below that threshold. For instance, with a high pass filter set at 50 Hz, you would hear everything from 50 Hz on up, and hearing nothing below 50 Hz. The neat thing is that unlike a bass shelving EQ, you should have zero impact upon the frequencies above your threshold. The neat thing with a variable high pass filter is that you can start down low (say, 15 Hz, depending on how low the controls go) and keep turning it up until the boominess goes away. With luck, the boom is gone, but your tone remains the same. You'd be amazed at how even rolling off frequencies below a pretty high threshold, your tone (even on a low B) will remain largely the same.

    It's just one technique among many, but if you found an EQ or preamp with a true variable high pass filter, it might be a good tool for that gig.

  15. Thanks for the suggestion guys.. Unfortunatly, I think Im just going to tuff it out for the gig and hope some of the bodies in the room soak up some of the boominess. Setting up (2) 1x12 cabs on a chair is a big impractical in my opinion.

    If this were on a fretted electric, I wouldnt mind too much EQing it out to fit the hall. But, with double bass, hearing myself on stage is everything or my intonation will be shot.

    If someone REALLY complains about it tomorrow during the gig then I'll cut the low end more.. But, I figure if no one complains about it during sound check, then its not a big enough deal to stress about it.

    Ill look into one of those amp pads for the future though..

    Should I see if I can shift stuff around on the drum riser to see if I can get my amp up on that or would it just cause more problems with the micing on the drums??
  16. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    Here's the problem: your bass amp is turning the floor of the stage into a big speaker cone. The stage itself is vibrating with the resonance of your low notes, and that over-emphasizes the boomy tones out in the audience. You're too close to the stage to really hear it.

    What you need to do is de-couple the speaker from the floor. Putting it up on something is helpful, but if what you're putting it on is solid, the whole assembly is just transmitting the sound to the floor.

    What the Gramma does is put an inch or two of foam between your amp and the stage. Trying to mimic that same idea is what you're looking to do.
  17. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    DI...have the SM put you through the monitors for stage sound...not too boomy, but more emphasis on the mids to be heard by the rest of the band. Then have the SM take care of the rest in the FOH.

    The problem is the stage was amplifing the cab....if your on the monitors that's less likley to happen.
  18. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    any recomendations on where to get a variable high pass filter other than in the fishman or the AI heads?

  19. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The Bergantino Line Driver/DI should be out in a month or so.

  20. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    While this is true, don't discount the fact that many auditoriums are designed in such a way to let the room acoustics amplify words spoken on the stage out into the audience area, making what happens on stage as loud as possible out in the seats. Every room is different, but usually this means that whatever bass is on stage is going to blossom to a boom in the audience area. No way around it, unless you want to redesign the angles of the room, the seating materials, the fabrics/wall coverings, etc. etc. To make matters worse, if you tweak it with an empty auditorium, your sound will go all to hell once the seats are full of people (people soak up and reflect various sound frequencies as well . . . ).

    Get a gramma pad or something else squishy under your cab to help with the coupling, and get as much low end out of your sound as possible, run mostly low mids. It will sound like poop to you, but good to everyone else in the seats. No way around that, unfortunately.

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