Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Are the big shows even using back line amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GreyBeard, May 17, 2004.


  1. Went and saw Shanawa Twain last week, great show. There was not a amp or monitor to be found on that stage. They didn't even use ear plugs? Best thing I can figure is the way the PA was setup over head and the way it wrapped around gave them the monitoring they needed. One of the biggest sound I've ever heard.
     
  2. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Depending on the production values and image the artist wants to project onstage, there may or may not be amps onstage. Some artists are going for the "clean stage" look, with no amps visible, no wedges, all in-ear monitoring, etc. Often the bass is going through a DI and may not even have an amp. In these setups, the electric guitar amps are located and miked off or under the stage.

    Personally, I don't mind seeing some amps and gear up on stage. ;)
     
  3. If the stage was metal grating, then all the monitors were under the stage facing up. Metallica did that during their Snakepit stage-era. You say that Shania didn't have in-ear monitors, but that's really suprising to me. Pretty much all big singers will use in-ears because they are totally accurate and have volume control on the beltpack transitter. They're very discrete and are flesh-toned, so they can be fairly easy to miss from far away. I've never seen any big shows where the band relied on the house mains for their stage monitoring, it just doesn't happen.
     
  4. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I saw Styx in a very large club 3 or 4 months ago and there were no amps or wedges on stage. As far as I could tell they were running everything direct and using in-ears. There may have been miced guitar amps backstage, but I suspected POD guitar tones for some reason. It was a very good sound overall.
     
  5. Thanks for correcting my spelling. If she or any of her band was using in-ear, they were wireless hearing aid type deals that I haven't seen or heard of before. The stage was solid. The Stage was setup in the ROUND and the PA was directly overhead consisting of maybe 12 1/2 moon shaped arrays facing in all directions. The bottom of each array was facing down in towards the stage which acted like a monitor (I guess). The bass was audible during slow and quiet passages in the music, but when everything was kicken, it was burried by the drums (as usual)
     
  6. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Lots of bands are starting to use Pods on stage instead of amps. Meshuggah is currently touring with no amps on stage at all, just a couple of Pod Pros. I imagine it makes dealing with the live sound much easier; less micing problems, less amps to move and break, and consistent sound from venue to venue. If I were in a big touring band I would consider going direct for everything as well.
     
  7. Meshuggah also recorded their last record with PODs.

    i saw them at a club here in NYC and talked to one of the guitarists and he gave me the run down.
    i then stood behind the board the whole show and noticed that the sound guy only works the first song then he's done until they break down. what a gig!!!
     
  8. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    Geddy Lee of Rush pretty much just runs through a SansAmp RBI and an Avalon DI onstage. No amps... but plenty of clothes driers onstage.
     
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Saw Olde Wolbers when I stuck around to see Fear Factory in a club and he was using nothing more than a SansAmp Bass Driver.

    I've seen others just running through the mains, too.

    Still, I love the impact of a real amp pumping it out onstage and being mic'd. It's not so doggone "boomy" and artificial sounding to my ears.
     
  10. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    On the Rush in Rio DVD, at a few points there is an aerial view of the camera looking just behind the clothes driers, where Geddy has a large rack of gear, appears to be a +/- 14 space rack. Couldn't see what was in it, though . . .
     
  11. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    They'll go back to amps. They always do! The In-Ear-Pod-Sansthingy-Vbass-Direct experiment is as certain as death and taxes, but the amps always come back. I bet you if you ran into Shania's bas player at the bar, he's be complaining about never being able to hear himself or control his tone. Then they hand him his paycheck and he shuts up for a little while........... but as soon as he gets a gig where gets a choice, that POD becomes an expensive tuner and nothing more..............
     
  12. Now that I think of it, being they were performing in the ROUND and all the musicians (accept the drummer) were performing to all sides of the place and moving all the time, back line amps wouldn't do much good. I think it has more to do with performance styles than equipment preferences.
     
  13. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Another trend in some concerts and tours is to lower the stage volume, in order to improve the overall sound quality. Mixing a show too often involves contending with lots of bleed into the mics from monitors and other instruments. In-ear mons, DIs, and off-stage amplification help eliminate that.
     
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Reminder here that even when a backline is visible onstage, it isn't necessarily being used. I'm not just referring to the walls of Marshalls from the arena metal days, either. Backlines are often for show only... the actual stage mix can still come from monitors.

    That was definitely not true when I saw John Entwistle's solo band in a huge club... by the end of the night it was easy to tell his huge rig was providing sound to the entire house. :eek: But more musicians these days are trying to avoid winding up nearly deaf like The Who, relatively quiet stage mix is the way to go. And as Bob said, quieter stage volume makes for a better mix.