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Best or Worst at an 'equipment supplied' Gig

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by paulears, Oct 25, 2013.


  1. When we work in the UK, we take our own back line, on a PA supplied gig, but when we do overseas ones, we take our instruments, and everything else - drums, back line, stands etc is supplied. Despite including on our rider what we'd like (and we don't go crazy) we get all sorts! My own bass kit rider just says "Quality bass amp/cab or combo sufficient for the size of the venue". I've given up asking for specifics because they never turn up.

    I've had no real dogs - but ancient beat up Peavey's seem quite common.

    What kinds of things have other members been given (good or bad?)
     
  2. Yeah, it’s pretty much that way everywhere with provided backline - not much different for PA - For example, "no Yamaha mixing consoles" could be on the Ryder but you could still end up with one anyway.
     
  3. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I have played through some amps and PA's at these shows where they take quite a bit of liberty with the concept "in working order". Bass amps that have all kinds of fuzz happening, and no way to get rid of it. "16 Channel" PA's where three channels don't work etc. We also keep our riders pretty simple, and try to bring out own gear/rent what we need whenever possible.

    I have no patience for venues with terrible gear. I realize some of it gets beaten around and that some guys are jerks and don't respect house gear. But when we talk to the sound guy in advance and offer to bring our own backline, he assures us that they have their own and it's great, and we arrive to find out that half of it is busted and I'm going to sound like ass all night? Those are long shows...
     
  4. dcalde78

    dcalde78

    Apr 17, 2012
    Scotland
    Recently I've been using a Behringer BX4500 head and Harley Benton BB410T cabinet supplied by a member of another band playing on the nights. Generally I'm always a little wary of using another person's gear on a gig because I have no idea what it handles like or sound like or how reliable it is.

    Using this setup though is actually surprisingly good. Plenty of power to it, and I've been running my Squier CV 60's P-bass through it and it sounds great. Playing in a heavy metal band, I can get something similar (but not the same as) to a Steve Harris kind of tone out of it with plenty of clank but with the low end to carry it. It complements the two Marshalls that my bandmates use for their guitars (one is attenuated as well).

    My general experience is that cheap gear doesn't always mean bad gear. I've not spent more than £300 on a bass (my Squier cost £270 new thanks to a ding in the headstock) but it all sounds really good.
     
  5. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    Before my sabbatical from gigging that started at the end of last year, I had spent the past 4 or so years gigging regularly in New York City. NYC is built very much around the concept of mass transportation. The impact that's had on a live music venues is that they need house backlines.

    Like most of you have mentioned in this thread, the gear you find in these venues can be hit or miss. Sometimes the club has invested in their house backlines and you'll find a well maintained SVT cab and head. Other times you're going to find a beat up Hartke 4x10" cab, or maybe some non-descript Behringer cab. It varies.

    But what I've found with doing some very basic research is that a lot of these clubs (if they see touring acts come through) have their backline info listed on their websites along with their booking contacts/procedures. So if you have your gig schedule in hand early enough, then check out those club websites. And if that info isn't published online? Have your booker get that information and disseminate it to everyone in the band.

    One thing that's been a boon for us as bass players dealing with house backlines? Micro amp heads. I have an Eden WTX-500 micro head that's small enough that it will fit in my gig bag, and weighs in at 4.5 pounds. My other small head (an Ampeg PF-500) is pretty compact and fits in a laptop bag easily. They are so much easier to travel with than any other traditional rack mounted amp head. If you can budget for one of those it can make road gigs with house backlines a little bit less of a crapshoot, and you're not burdened by travelling with a ton of extra gear in the process. I've made a point to bring mine to pretty much every gig, regardless of house backline. If the house amp looks good, I may use it. But if it's questionable? Very likely I'll go with the micro head that's in my gig bag.
     
  6. Richland123

    Richland123

    Apr 17, 2009
    I, usually, end up using a decent bass amp when gear is provided. However, sometimes, when we open for a national act, the bass amp tone controls are already set (and usually sound checked) for the headlining act bass player and they do not want me to change the controls and I have to deal with whatever is there.
     
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I've seen plenty of Hartkes, Ampegs, Aguilar, Peavey, Trace Elliot, SWR and Behringer setups.
     
  8. ahc

    ahc

    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
  9. There was a 200W Crate combo at this place one of my old bands used to play. Old one & super beat up. Got a GK/410 rig once that wasn't terrible. Pretty sure it was an 800RB. When I was younger my band played a BOTB & the backline was a SVT/810 rig. At the time I was used to playing through my Yorkville 400B, which is pretty much opposite of the SVT/810 tone. I absolutely hated it. Irony being my rig now and forever is SVT/810. :D
     
  10. I once showed up to a NYC gig (many years back) and the bass cab they insisted everyone run thru, had its input jacks pushed in and lost somewhere within the cab.
     
    Diztortion likes this.
  11. obimark

    obimark

    Sep 1, 2011
    If it is good enough for the headliner....:bassist:
     
  12. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I recently sold a Peavey Tour 700 to a bar guy setting up a back line and house PA. I asked him what kind of cab he was going to push with it and he said he'd have to check his list. Apparently he had some sound guy working with him who wrote him out a list of stuff to buy and the amp I had was on the list.

    Somewhere in northern California there is a bar with a big azzed peavey bass head for their house backline.
     
  13. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    I have had many more tragedies with drums than bass gear, but I generally hate when I get to a gig and the backlined cab is a "refrigerator" of some sort. Almost always guarantees a muddy fuzzy sound....

    here in town, If I know the people I am sharing with, it is a better deal cause we can coordinate. I bring my stuff on one gig, they bring theirs on the next. Most of the bands we play with in town have great sounding gear
     
  14. prater

    prater

    Aug 4, 2011
    I did a gig once where we showed up to an outdoor venue and there was no PA. They thought we would bring our own. The venue had a bar with a DJ set up that we were able to move to the outdoor stage and with the some work and mics borrowed from another bar down the street we put together a basic vocal PA and the show went great.

    Another time I went to South by Southwest as a tech and we were provided with fender combos for the guitars. One small problem, our guitarists use amp distortion and these combos didn't have footswitches. I sat behind the amps all night switching the channels for them and trying to stay out of sight.

    I saw another band at a backlined show that only provided one guitar amp for a two guitar band, the two guitarist traded out the guitar cable mid song for the solos and then back to the rhythm guitarist pretty smoothly, I was impressed.
     
  15. caddywumpus

    caddywumpus

    Sep 27, 2012
    Portland, OR
    I flew out to Chicago a few years ago to play 2 shows. I just needed a xylophone that was in tune. Was that too much to ask? Apparently so...
     
  16. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Not a gig but used to go to an open mic night spot and they had an old, beat to hell, Peavey TNT130 with missing knobs, torn grill cloth, missing handle!! Wasn't too bad sounding but there was one particular guy who used to come in and play and he was absolutely brutal on that amp! I always expected it to explode!
     
  17. Several years ago the band I was in played a lot of festivals that were backlined. I kept running into a SWR 400 with a 4 x 10 cabinet that sounded like it had been dropped multiple times. That experience drove me to buy a Sansamp BDDI.
     
  18. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Best....

    Ampeg SVT-CL and 8x10 fridge. It was wonderful!!!
    (And I didn't have to move it)

    Worst.....
    nothing
     
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Check out this backline I had several years ago.
    2396_54696877239_1054_n.
     
  20. Last year fund-raiser, the rig provided was an Ampeg 8x10 (sorry, didn't see what head was provided). Due to space restrictions, the cab was on the ground and the stage was at least two feet off the ground. I could hear myself play and it sounded fine so I was happy. We played a fair and the backline was a Yorkville 1x15 combo. I was surprised how loud it was and again was happy (and happy not to bring my own gear). We were supposed to play same fair this year where the backline was going to be a GenzBenz Shuttle and an Avatar TB153. Was so looking forward to hearing the gear, unfortunately, a wind and rain storm whipped up and ruined the stage and the rest of the night.
     

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