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Big outdoor venue question

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by HAWKINS, Mar 24, 2006.



    Nov 10, 2003
    South Carolina
    After playing clubs for a couple of years, my band will be playing at a big outdoor music festival next month. This is a big deal. Stages and sound system will be provided. In the clubs, I use a Sansamp BDDI into our PA, and use my bass amp only for stage monitoring. Works well. My question is: is that sufficient for big outdoor stage venue? Or should I have some other kind of pre-amp or direct input to their system? Or should I contact them? I know this is a stupid question, but we've been small-time until now and nobody else can give me an answer. Thanks for the help.
  2. DrewBud


    Jun 8, 2005
    As far as your stage sound goes playing small clubs indoors and big outdoor festivals is not very different. The only thing is that the PA will be doing ALL the work to get your sound out in Front of house, it won't be suplemented by your Amp as is bound to happen in small clubs.

    ITs been my experience that your amp will only give you your stange volume (and if that's not enough you can always ask for some through the monitors).

    Everytime I've played an outdoor festival the sound guys have been very professional and know what they're doing.

    I wouldn't sweat it and have a great time with the gig :)
  3. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    +1 on the first sentence. You should be as close to your amp as possible without blocking the drummer's line of hearing (kinda like line of sight) to your bass amp. Put some bass in the monitors if it's not enough.

    +0.9 on the second sentence. I have had excellent experiences with every outdoor sound professional except one. I think there was something wrong with his equipment, like the crossovers had all fried and he was running everything through the mains...no subs and no horns. I think he knew it sounded terrible, but he couldn't do anything to make it better.

    Have fun! I really enjoy playing outdoor festivals!


    Nov 10, 2003
    South Carolina
    thanks for the response, guys.....i guess i'm nervous.....scared i won't hear well or get a good mix through the monitors or that my sansamp is insufficient or something....

    i do think it will be fun though....
  5. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    I play outdoors all the time. My dream is to get a gig somewhere that has a roof! ;-)

    Last night, I just brought my little Fender Rumbler 60, which is my practice amp. (My big cab is blown.) We ran that through the PA. I got great sound, with plenty of volume and lots of rumbly depth. Friends in the audience said it sounded great!

    Cherie :)
  6. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Bring as much rig as you are comfortable using, and don't be afraid to (politely) ask for bass in your wedge monitor. I actually wrote an article on a similar subject which may be helpful to you...


    Good luck!



    Nov 10, 2003
    South Carolina
    that article was great, lonny.....very helpful

    i just got to looking at my little sansamp bddi and thinking how pitiful it looked.......i've never gone direct into a huge PA before........i was just thinking "is that little thing gonna do it all?"......
  8. Sounds like the real issue is with your comfort zone. You are right to be concerned. Outdoors swallow up your sound like you wouldn't believe, if the stage isn't accoustically designed.

    My guess would be that your rig is plenty even if your soundman can't adjust you in the monitors but be ready for anything!

    My war story on this topic...

    Outdoor stage. I'm using my 4x12 Ampeg 69 Colossus powered by 800 glorious watts of Peavey power. I've got that chained to a little 100 watt Crate combo amp that is sitting behind my drummer on his drum riser which is ABOVE the stage.

    Well, the power supply wasn't sufficient to fuel my beast and my powerhead overheated and shut down. So I was forced to finish the gig through the 100w combo amp above me that I couldn't hear.... At all. It had to be done though so the drummer knew where the changes were. I didn't hear maybe five notes that whole set. HORRIFYING. I'm told it went well...:help:
  9. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    If you'd like some comfort, check out the Rush in Rio DVD. The tone may be a bit "clangy", but just remember that Geddy's using the same pedal as you to play for tens of thousands of sweaty people.

    OH! And have fun.
  10. Seattle_BassMan


    Mar 22, 2006
    I had the same fear when I played my first big outdoor gig (and when I played my first big Dome gig), but you can rest assured that any big venue like that will be able to work with any system that you bring (down to just a DI).

    However, I would advise that you contact the the venue sound crew (if possible) to find out what they are providing. I drove 3 hours to a Huge Outdoor music festival with my van totally packed with my gear and my guitarist's gear. When we got there they asked if I'd be willing to use their house Bass Amp. Of course, I was fine with that since it. It sounded great, but I always ask for some additional bass in the monitor and if they have side fill monitors get a little in those as well.

    Best advice is to just relax and enjoy the moment.


    Nov 10, 2003
    South Carolina
    i just wanted to update....

    the performance was this past weekend and it went great.....it was scary how good it sounded (i wasn't used to all the great professional equipment)

    only hitch was the weather.....we got pulled about 2 minutes before we were to start playing.....came back with only a quick tuning check but no sound check.....i forgot and left my volume knobs turned up all the way (which i probably should anyway, but don't) so i came through too hot.....but they adjusted on the fly.....

    anyway, it was alot of fun......played my MIM jazz instead of the laklands and the fender sounded really good.....

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