Bass amp or direct to the house ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kev451, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    Hello fellow TB members, so I’ve been reading a lot about guys who go direct to the house vs. amp. Now I’ve seen a few shows where guys go direct and it’s not bad but something is lacking in the stage sound. Now I would personally never go this route, as I feel you need to have that bass presence on the stage. I wanna see them heads bobbin and the ladies shakin it, and from going to concerts you feel the bass from the stage as well as hear it from the monitors. What are your guys thoughts on this ? And or expierences ?
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    You should always be running to the FOH if possible. Your stage sound should barely travel off stage, it should not compete with the FOH. My cabinet is a glorified monitor, totally flat so I can hear what goes out front. I prefer to have my floor monitors be mostly vocals. If I am not singing, then I will run bass through my monitors. If you run straight to the board, you are getting bass in your monitor no matter what.
  3. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    Do you feel in any way you may lose a bit of that stage push from the bass by this ?
  4. Lefty McGee

    Lefty McGee

    Jun 7, 2018
    I always use an amp and run to FOH. An amp is necessary to be able to feel what I'm playing.
  5. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    Yeah same here, something is to be said for stage volume.
    Lefty McGee likes this.
  6. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    My opinions on running ampless (why I don't).
    #1 (and the biggest reason) A different sound co. is going to bring a different p.a. every day. Some of them are bad, some good, some inadequate. No matter how good the FOH, and bad monitoring system ruins it for me, and yes, I use in-ears as well.
    #2 I like to feel the earth move under my feet. Guitarist are allowed to play loud, drums are loud, why can't I be?
    #3 without exellent center-fills, the first three rows, center, will hear a gawdawful mix with no bass, or hear the subs only :(
    #4 I've spend years on my tone, if an ampless setup gets me a different, or inferior tone, why did I spend the time? Yes, I know my FOH tone may not be the same as my stage tweeked tone, but at least one person should enjoy the fruits of my labours-ME!
  7. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    The 4th part speaks Volumes of truth...never looked at it that way. And every other point is spot on!
    Kitsapbass and Dark Red Moon like this.
  8. Torn Bassist

    Torn Bassist

    Feb 8, 2013
    I have an Ampeg SVT-VR and a Peavey Mark 8 that I can use and depending on the room size I switch between them but I also have a Sansamp Paradriver I use as a DI and at times I have to use only that for a casino show. The Sansamp is dialed to simulate an SVT sound. I'm currently running 3 basses at a show so the chain is the main bass goes into a MXR Sub Octave Bass Fuzz so I can punch it up for when the effect is needed and then into a Morley ABC switcher and out into the Sansamp which I send the DI to the FOH, the second channel runs the fretless and the third channel is for a Drop tuned bass plugged into B and C of the Morley. I use Shure ear buds for the monitoring on stage. If its a small club I have used a monitor rather than bringing one of my amps...still my signal except if the guy at the board adds something for the room we are in.
    Kitsapbass likes this.
  9. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    Our bassist is all direct. Everything but the drums and a guitar amp are direct, including steel and keys/organ.

    American 3TSB with appropriate tort into a Radial JDI. Full band is on ears. Our goal is reduced stage volume for the lead singer.
  10. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Get a new singer.

    Just kidding!:):):)
  11. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    Hahahahaha not gonna lie I laughed hard at that one.
    Dark Red Moon and chadds like this.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i'm always on a fretless so i like having my own cabinet near me even when i'm going to FOH. i like to be the first one to hear my mistakes! :laugh:
    Wisebass and Dark Red Moon like this.
  13. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    For me, it depends on the gig. When I know the sound system and sound company is good and I don't need an amp, I don't haul an amp. It doesn't matter if I'm using IEMs or just floor wedges. If I know I don't have to worry about being heard and an amp is not necessary, I don't bring one. I've played clubs and casinos from Southern California to Las Vegas without an amp. When we fly out of town we get backlined, so I just have to walk on stage and plug in. That's really sweet.

    If it's an outdoor or indoor gig or with a unknown sound company, or we're running our own sound, I will at least bring my MB500 and 210 cab to use as a stage monitor for my bass. This is my go-to rig for most of my events.

    If I know it's a large outdoor stage I will sometimes bring my 410 cab to make sure I can hear myself on stage. But we work with such good sound companies with good gear all the time. The band will often put bass and everything else in their monitors, especially on larger stages.

    It's rare that we get a sub-par sound company to work with. Plus almost half of my gigs are backlined. I've fallen in with a good group of players who call me for good gigs. So my "no amp" experience is quite enjoyable. I almost never have to fill the room with my amp and I always take the DI from my amp into the FOH. I like keeping the stage volume down. I used to think that more watts, more speakers, more volume is better. But I've matured. I bring as little as possible and let the sound company do all the heavy lifting. ;)

    If your gigs are different, then you'll have to make your own adjustments. All I'm saying is, I don't have any hard and fast rules when it comes to getting my bass sound off the stage and out to the audience. I'm very flexible when I know I can trust the FOH guys.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  14. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    By all means I’m getting different peoples opinions.
  15. Guys that push lows from the stage mess up the lows from the PA. Sometimes that results in them carrying the room by themselves. In a lot of cases they would have been better off going that way from the start.
    mcnach, Grumry, MDBass and 3 others like this.
  16. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    I can see that but this is predicated on having a good sound guy and good sound system. The other thing is and I’ve seen this happen and had it happen to me is when the sound guy puts your sound low and boosts the headliners sound...
  17. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Most of my gigs are DI/IEM. Love it. I use an OmniCabSim Deluxe to help give some “presence” to my sound.
    mcnach, Grumry, MDBass and 1 other person like this.
  18. If you are pumping lows the only thing any sound guy can do is turn you down in FOH whether he is a genius with 30k worth of PA or Joe Barmancumsoundguy with a 30 year old JBL set.
    Ekulati and mcnach like this.
  19. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    IEM is the new normal
    Even the small gigs. It really keeps the stage volume wars from breaking out.
    Give it a try, you'll get use to it, and eventually associate the music, not the volume as exciting the audience.
  20. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I have two completely different realities.

    In the rock band I must take my amp/cab. The FOH in small bars is totally unpredictable, and even my bands PA can be unpredictable. At the last gig we lost one side completely. You never know what your going to run into, so I need an amp/cab that can, if necessary, carry the bass. With our PA we start with my cab and pretty much adjust the PA to that, not the other way around.

    I also have a church gig. There the FOH is always the same and much larger, the stage and room area is much bigger. There I go direct to the board, having an amp/cab just complicates things.

    So rock band, gig/never.

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