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Cant hear a note in rehearsal, but Guitarists are crying live?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pablomigraine, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    I'm loosing my freaking mind here. After a long battle with Ashdown ABM 500's clipping all to piss and back I've finally gotten one that doesnt clip (much). I run it thru a Schroeder 410. I'm in a metal band and my guitarists use a real middy / crunchy sound, so I feel like I want to push alot of low end to fill it out, but I boost the 340 Hz slider a bit for some burp on on the faster stuff.... problem is, the whole thing falls apart and the the rig starts crapping itself before I can get enough volume from it to hear anything I'm playing unless I'm standing directly in front of it and no more than a few feet away...... BUUTTT when we play live the rig SMOKES. Any room, big or small..... it sounds so huge my guitrists complain and nag like little girls they cant hear the kick drum, they cant hear each other.... but in rehearsal when Noone else is playing, I'm plucking along thinking to myself I cant beleive how quiet this rig is!! I mean it sounds like a 200 watt amp thru a 210.... seriously, if I'm running this thing so hot it will clip if I hit the low B sharply, and I walk to the other side of the room, I cant even hear it..... as soon as the rest of the guys start playing.....I'm gone. Just to test I turned the volume knob all the way off halfway thru a song and nobody noticed. I played another song totally incorrectly on purpose and asked if anybody liked my changes, and everyone said they didnt notice anything amiss....

    here are my settings:
    EB MM SR5: Bass - very slight boost, Mid - slight bump, Treble - flat
    ABM 500: Preshape disengaged, Bass at about 2 o'clock, 180hz slider flat, 340 hz slider boosted slightly, middle cut to about 10 o'clock, 1.2 khz boosted slightly, 2.4khz slider flat, treble flat.
    Input gain to where good B string notes are still safely out of the red zone on the VU meter, volume knob at noon. Anything more than this and the amp clips.

    Quiet as a mouse.

    is 575 watts just not enough?
  2. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    So if I read this right, any room you play in your rig crushes. Yet in the practice space, you and they can't hear you to save your collective lives?? Sounds like an issue with the practice space to me. Mayhaps it is an abyss for bass. Have you moved your rig to elsewhere in the room?? Tried less bottom???
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    If you have a nice rehersal space that sounds good, has lots of acoustic baffling, its probably pretty "dead" for bass response .... whereas any typical club with high ceilings, tile floor, etc is very live and boomy. A room I reherse in is dead like that and I need every drop of 1000 watts and a 15" in there to get my punch on ... then on the gig I use gain settings about half that, and just 10"s would probably work better most of the time.

    Could you add a second cab at the rehersal space, and just take one to the gig?
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    My guess is that you've got a small practice room where everyone is playing too loud. It takes a bit of room for the sound to throw and open up, and if you've got a small room, your amp is throwing too far and you're not getting the sound.
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL

    This is true. I had the same problem back in my garage days. If you can, stand back farther away from your speakers. Believe me, you'll hear yourself.
  6. tlwaps


    Feb 13, 2006
    I had the same problem with my old band and all I did was move my rig to a different part of the room and it sounded perfect.
  7. stretch80


    Jan 31, 2005
    Yup! I agree... move the amp, go for more mids and cut and recognize that it's going to be hard to have the serious bottom in the practice space.
  8. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp

    Same situation here. My rig obliterates live, usually, but in the room I sound like I'm going through a 2x10.
  9. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Try standing the opposite side of the room from the amp. You'll generally find lots more low end in the corners of rooms (usually too much). Don't have your amp directly facing a flat wall, the sound will reflect off the far wall and you'll create standing waves which might be your problem. If space permits, try setting your practice room up like a gig (ie- instead of everybody blasting into the middle of the room from all sides, have the sound sources coming from one direction). You'll get a better idea of how you're coming across live and you should be able to get a better idea of how to set up your amps at gigs.

    Also, I can't fathom why people don't make use of PA's in this day and age and insist on blowing the **** out of everyone's ears using high wattage amps. You only need to be as loud as the drummer, not one dB louder. I have a 300W @ 4ohm ABM head into an 8ohm ABM cab (so realistically I'm putting out max 240W at full volume which I've never needed) and it has always been more than enough. 575W is, to me, an insane amount of volume not to be able to hear.

    What I would suggest, if you have time, would be to go through each instrument individually in different locations in the room, find out where the drums sound best first, since they have the widest frequency range), you want to have clear bass drum without any boominess and without the cymbals cutting everyone's ears off. Then introduce bass, move the amp around though trying to replicate a live setup. Keep your eq flat for the moment. Find a place where the bass and the bass drum aren't killing each other and aren't too muddy or boomy and are reasonably matched in terms of volume. Now tweak your eq to suit the drums and the room. Then repeat with the guitars. Find a volume where one instrument isn't blocking out another, use the drums as a reference, they're the only acoustic instrument and the one you should use as a milestone of how loud your band needs to be. Use the acoustics of your room to help, even if it can be a time-consuming process, you'll only have to do it once and you won't be deaf by the time you hit 30. Also try running aline out from your am into the PA and add a little bass through that too.

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