bass player in hell near mains

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Susie Jennings, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. Susie Jennings

    Susie Jennings

    Jan 30, 2001
    Hey there....
    I am wondering if I'm all alone....I play electric in a group that usually uses a soundman. I stand stage left near one side of the mains. However, the sound guy sometimes put the stacks fairly close in. I find myself being hit by the backwash of the subs, and so cannot hear definition from my amp (mains are stronger) and also lose the kick drum. I often feel this big mushy sensation where I am, and get VERY frustrated! AM I ALONE?? The soundman says it sounds great out front, and I believe him, but I am sometimes in utter hell! No punch, no definition, no directionality, no kick....and one big smooshy, ringy,cavernous zone where the mains seem to just swamp me. My amp sounds great when it's just me and/or the drums, but as soon as the mains kick in, it sounds like I'm in a big empty auditorium (when I'm not!). I know it's all about proximity. Has anyone else encountered this? Does your sound person tilt his head like the RCA dog when you tell him how boomy it is?
    Sign Me -
    Girl Just Wants To Have Fun
  2. I feel your pain...
    I played a show (fortunately not a recurrig gig) once with a similar problem. All I could hear was a low mush... The soundman kept telling my that my stage volume was too loud and to turn down. I turned my master OFF and my stage volume was still too loud. Towards the end of the set I realized that it was the drum monitor with the DI feed blasting away.

    come to think of it... there have been a number of shows where the stage mix was horrible and the soundman/woman couldn't understand why.

    I think that a predominate number of soundmen/women have become deaf in the lower registers and over-compensate.

    Good luck with getting him on the right track. Most that I have worked with also think they know what's best for you to hear! :D
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    No, you're not alone. It's been my experience that stage mix usually sucks unless the monitors and the engineer are very, verry good.
  4. Susie, the "SetUp" forum is reserved for questions and discussions regarding the care and feeding of the hardware of our instruments. Please read the post at the top of the forum for New members.

    As such, this thread is better suited to the "Miscellaneous" forum and that's where it's going now...
  5. Susie Jennings

    Susie Jennings

    Jan 30, 2001
    Hey y'all -
    I guess I should clarify a few things.
    What I am experiencing is a mushy low-end backwash that usually encircles the rear of the mains. I am set up on one end of the stage near the main stacks, which I believe are both too close to the SIDE of the stage (and monitors, and hence the vocal mic) and not far enough in FRONT of the stage. I think I am in some zone of intersecting circles, where I hear the low end off the mains in front of me, WAY better than I hear my amp in back of me. I think the mains need to be farther away from the front AND sides of the stage. The only things we usually put in our monitors are vocals (all 5 of us sing). There may be some bleed-through at play when I am singing (bass amp and/or mains getting in vocal mic), but it really feels as if I'm just too darn close to the mains. It's also harder to hear the vocal monitors this way, so I know a similar principle is at play.
    Is there a rule of thumb about this stuff? Do sound people set up this tight all the time? Are they just ignoring the poor blighted bassist??
    I need reassurance and a pat on the head. I'm the only one complaining, and I think I'm starting to get touchy about it.
    It's one thing to be able to hear the room out front, and quite another to have the room parked at your feet!!
    Sign Me-
    Pretty Good For A Girl, But Could Be Better If I Ever Hear My Amp!
  6. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Is there a rule of thumb about this stuff?

    Most GOOD sound companies I've worked with treat making the band happy as a priority. Especially if they're being paid by the band. The masses are asses and don't know good from bad. Musicians do.

    Do sound people set up this tight all the time?

    Most GOOD sound companies I've worked with spread out to the limit of what the venue will permit.

    Are they just ignoring the poor blighted bassist??


    I'm the only one complaining

    You're the only one standing in the hole.
    You should probably (IMHO) be next to the drummer which is usually more toward center stage.
    Let someone else stand in the hole and see how they like it. Besides, unless you're in a band full of ladies, the band chick get's the bulk of audience attention anyway and should be central.
    Basschicks are very cool, go get you some spotlight!
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...agreed; the bassist is supposed to be right next to the drummer's hi-hat. Or so I thought... ;)
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There have been loads of threads in the amps forums about people saying they can't hear on stage. Maybe you could try something like an extension cab that tilts back and acts like your own on-stage monitor?
  9. I disagree Bruce, she's not saying she cant hear her amp, she's saying it's being swamped, which would likely happen even if tilted.
    Can you get the soundman to come and stand next to you at sound check, to hear what's going on? The obvious solution is to spread the mains, but this may not be practical. Subwoofers in particular should not be near you, and if the sound person is any good, they will know this.
    It sounds to me as if your sound person is not that good, or they would know what you're experiencing, and rectify it. I suggest maybe talking to your bandmates, tell them the problem, and say you're not getting a good deal from the engineer.
  10. Do you use earplugs when you play?
  11. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    that's where i always am. one look over the shoulder and i can see the hats and the bass drum.
  12. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    I actually am on the other side because the drummer, being right handed, turns his head to the right. I want to make eye contact with him.

  13. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    We use IR headphone monitors, and they work great. You can adjust the volume yourself. The monitor for the headphones are on stage, and we can mix the fallback sound as we like it. They are not too expensive, but can make you look a bit dorky :) .

    I prefer standing next to the drummer (to his right). The headphone monitors act as ear plugs, but if I don't have headphones, I use earplugs - our current drummer plays hard.
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I was gonna say ...

    It sounds like your mains are too far back. We (I) always put the mains in a plane at least 5 feet or so in front of the mics at the front of the stage. The only problem I run into is in venues where the stage amps contribute to the overall volume of the band, the stage amps (especially the bass) get out of phase with the mains. Usually I just take a bunch of instrument volume off the mains.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I agree with the Munj.