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Bass Amps Live - What's the point?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mikeyd74, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. D.I. box only.

    22 vote(s)
  2. Direct out from amp only.

    45 vote(s)
  3. Microphone only.

    4 vote(s)
  4. D.I. box and Direct out from amp.

    14 vote(s)
  5. D.I. box and Microphone only.

    7 vote(s)
  6. Direct Out from amp and Microphone.

    12 vote(s)
  7. D.I. box, Direct out from amp, & Microphone

    0 vote(s)
  8. Soundman says, "Screw it, your amp is loud enough by itself."

    10 vote(s)
  1. Mikeyd74


    Jul 28, 2007
    yYou've spent years developing and fine tuning your sound. You've spent hundreds of $$$ on different amps and gear trying to match that bass sound you've had in your head.

    Doesn't it really tick you off when you get to a gig and the soundguy says, "We're just gonna put the bass through this directbox."
    Then they don't even want to use your direct out or mic your amp. What the hell is with that?
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Nope, doesn't bother me at all. The sound guy is responsible for the sound of the band. "My sound" is pretty much the sound of a Rickenbacker with no effects at all. If the sound guy needs to alter the tone of my bass in the FOH to make the band as a whole sound pleasing to the ear, I got no issues.

    The sound guy is a lot like Jesus. You just have to let go and trust him.
  3. neuromancer


    Apr 28, 2005
    CT, USA
    I struggled with this for a few years, wondering what the point was myself. For a while I was just bringing a Nemesis NC-210 combo.

    I went back to bringing a 400/450-watt amp + a 4x10 at the very least for the stage because:

    A) I still run into a good number of sound people who will plug into the head, provided it's not noisy - although even then you're barely in the mix (if at all). I should point out this is a metal band with 2 guitarists (Peavey 5150/Marshall JCM900 halfstacks) and keys blaring out through the PA. Lots of double bass drumming.

    B) I've found that if I don't have a loud enough rig on stage, neither me nor the drummer will hear me at all, and I don't think I need to say that's not a good situation??? :)
  4. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Doesn't bother me either. My amp is my monitor, since the monitors that venues have can't handle bass at all...so they can't blast me as loud as I'd like.

    I always end up using the DI on my head though...they've never tried to get me to use their DI.
  5. neatobassman


    Jul 16, 2005
    Antelope CA
    Yea, it kinda brings down the ego, but he knows how his house sounds. Most of the venues in my town mic, so that hasn't been an issue.
  6. cadduc


    Mar 4, 2006
    no big deal

    it is what it is
  7. to look cool, of course!
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    That's sig material, but it also may end up posted at the club I mix at in a day or two! :cool:
  9. In the end, I think a lot of it depends on the skill and experience of the sound guy, too. If he knows his stuff and is a cooperative guy to work with, trust him to make it sound good (if not exactly right by your ears... his job is to get a good band sound in the house... not to reproduce the bassist's sound exactly as he hears it). That said, I think there are more than plenty of sound guys who just toss out a cheap direct box and then do a bad mix because a) they don't know what they're doing, or b) they just don't care. In that case, I could certainly see it being upsetting.

  10. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The response of PA system speakers and the response of your stage speakers are totally different, so it would serve no purpose to use the post EQ send from your amp, as it will sound different anyway. Soundmen hate using mics on bass because you can't get the full tone from close micing like you can with guitar, and if you don't close mic you get all sorts of other stage noise in the feed. Besides, no matter what you provide for a signal what the PA will have in it is what the soundman wants it to be.
  11. danders


    Mar 19, 2007
    Forest Grove, OR
    Yep, definitely sig material. There's probably enough sound guys here to warrant a small run of t-shirts as well. :)

    I don't know if this has been discussed before or not but the sound you hear on the stage very frequently is not the sound that is heard out in front of the speakers - and I'm not talking about a sound guy that can't mix. Unless you're playing outdoors or in a very controlled environment, reflected sound is going to mess with you.

    I play with gear because I like playing with gear but I do think as players, if we're going through a FOH system of some sort, we're at the mercy of the sound guy. I don't know that is good reason to give up on playing with gear though.

    I'm still learning to not get too bent out of shape over stuff I think I hear that I don't agree with how the sound guy is handling. Life's too short for that and the sound guy, even if he is a tone deaf dweeb, is probably trying to make things sound as good as he can. If he's not, there are other issues going on.
  12. johnnycat42


    Feb 27, 2007
    Denver, CO
    The best thing to realize with this thread is that you just need to hear/monitor yourself on stage when there is FOH support. Your rig is essentially a monitor in MOST situations. Without FOH support, you need to be able to play over your drummer cleanly. Lastly, find a tone that inspires you to play on stage.
  13. blowinblue

    blowinblue Blue in name only. Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    Doesn't bother me at all. I'm just glad to be in show business! :rolleyes: ;) :D

    M. M.
  14. IMO it's the responsability of the sound guy to do what others have said- make the band sound good- but also take "your" sound and make the band sound good.

    For me I run darn near flat anyway, so it's not that big of an issue, but one that does drive me nuts when they set a DI on top of your amp, and tell you to plug your bass in to it and run the jumper to your input.

    I can't tell you how many times I've unplugged the DI and had a disscussion (I'm pretty good at being non-confrontational) about not doing that.
    I've had some guys be complete jerks, and others give me a valid reason and others put the DI away and plug into my amp.

    I'm fortunate to work with a few really good FOH guys and they actually respect what each player sounds like and trys to get it to sound great with what we bring to the table.

    Now when he asks for a change, we're more than happy to make the adjustment, because he tries his best with what we give him first, at the point of him asking for something different, we know he's on our side and having trouble and it's for our good.

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention, at my church, I've run through mointors only quite often. Didn't even bring an amp.
    But the DI is a Demeter Tube DI and the FOH guys there will take more than 30 seconds and give you your "sound" in your monitor.
  15. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    I've played quite a few gigs, and the most a sound guy has ever done was to hand me a cable with an XLR and tell me to plug it into something. That something has been: Behringer BDI21, cheap-o DI box, an Aphex Punch Factory, and now the pre-eq lineout of my LittleMark II. I couldn't care less.
  16. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    If the sound guy knows what he's doing, he knows what he's doing, entrust your sound to him and he will do you no wrong.

    Of course, there are the guys who can't find a volume slider with both hands and a manual... There have been many a time when I've played a smaller venue where the guy running the board was no older than sixteen and had been working there three weeks tops, and they always seem to want to stick a DI box in my face or mic my rig with an SM-57.

    Lucky for me, I'm a huge mother****** nobody wants to mess with, so when I tell them they should plug into my amp, they do it. :D
  17. high mileage

    high mileage

    Apr 17, 2006
    Rockford IL
    Excellent quote. You have to think like this - the FOH guy is responsible for what the band sounds like overall in the mains. I've very rarely had a mic'd cabinet. Whatever way of getting a bass sound s/he uses, there's probably a good reason for it. Some built-in direct boxes are better than others, put out a low level, don't have a ground lift or whatever. They could be using a very good one (Countryman, Radial) but at least it's probably one that they're familiar with.

    That makes their life easier, and consequently yours...
  18. I absolutely can't stand that also. I've gotten into several "discussions" with sound guys about using a DI. The big band I play in, I switch between electric and upright constantly. So there is a lot of plugging and unplugging, muting and unmuting.. When I plug into my amp, I can control the volume and mute when I want to switch basses. Its just way more simple for me this way and I dont have to deal with other peoples, usually, junky DIs they bought in the 50% bin at Guitar Center.

    We were playing a gig once. The sound guy did not want to run out of my head at all. He said every time a bass player plugs in without a DI, it buzzes. Obviously, its not a problem on my end if it happens all the time with other bass player. I explained to him multiple times that I switch basses and I didn't want it to "pop" in the house..I tried to compromise by asking him to mic my amp. No dice. He said "don't worry, I'll turn down your volume when you want to switch".. Yeah, right.. Problem is, I dont have time between songs to wave him down and tell him to cut me before going to the next song. Plus, it didn't help that he was a "set it and leave it" sound guy that was paying attention maybe 50% of the time. Well, needless to say, the audience in this huge auditorium got a huge hear full every time I needed to switch basses. I wasnt trying to be an a$$ but I had no other choice.

    Anyway, off my tangent now..
  19. the sound guy ive worked with most times has been very good, being a bass player. he mics and plugs into my head, is a great guy and easy to work with.

    another guy once said something along the lines of 'finally someone with good equipment' then plugged into my head, rather than using his own DI box.

    in fact im sure ive never had any problem with sound guys, except once where he didnt bother to mic or DI me or anything at all.
  20. I never had a sound guy refuse my DI out. I have a switch on mine that allows me to choose pre or post eq. I use post even though I use a flat eq, it's because I want the sound of my preamp.

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