can't hear myself on stage.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by craigers2, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    when i play with my band, a lot of times we are very cramed into a small spaces. the problem i run into is that i literally have to stand about a foot away from my amp. i have a hartke 1155 combo (3500 head with 1 15" speaker and 1 tweater). since i'm standing so close to my amp, it is often hard to hear myself because the sound is going "out" and not "up" towards my head.

    i was thinking of getting an amp stand to angle my amp. does this take away from the sound becuase the amp is not sitting directly on the stage? i know that many amp manufacturers are making "kickback" models now to help this problem, but what do you guys recommend?
  2. CYoung


    Nov 30, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    A fellow bass player friend of mine has the same problem and his solution is to set the amp up on a milk crate or other sturdy box to elevate the amp closer to ear level. I have leaned the amp back also and had no trouble with the audience hearing me. Try making a little wooden stand for your amp and see how that works.
  3. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    my only concern with putting the amp on a stand is that i like to "feel" my bass vibrate the floor. i think that if i raise it off the floor, i'll might loose some of the "rumble" of the bass amp.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    A foot away?!?! :eek: (no wonder there's no monitors). I can't imagine how shallow those stages are.

    Anyway, have you tried boosting your mids??? You may not like the sound of the bass played alone. But in the mix with the other instruments, it won't sound the same, especially to the audience.

    Otherwise, maybe you could move the head to a milk crate and put some shims under your cab to angle it up towards your head, like those wedge things they sell at auto stores for cars.

    Maybe you'll lose some of the floor vibration, but losing your way in a song because you can't hear yourself is much worse.
  5. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    well the problem is that we have an 8 piece band (drums, keyboard, guitar, sax, trumpet, bass, & 2 singers). some of the clubs we play have stages that would be small for a 3 piece band, so you can only imagine. :eek:
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I can relate, craigers. I used to play with 7, (your line-up less one vocalist). I guess I would have been lost without a stack. Sometimes those monitors just weren't close enough and an in-ear system is a respectable chunk of change if everyone doesn't ante to the pot.
  7. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    it definately makes things interesting playing in a "larger" band. usually at the beginning of the night, our sound man has things set up really well and i can hear myself fine.
    as the night goes on, the guitar player starts turning up his amp, the drummer starts playing louder, the singers turn the monitors towards themselves so they can hear, etc. it becomes a battle on stage.
  8. leper


    Jun 21, 2001
    It fits in with my bands whole spiel, but i dont stand on the stage...I get out on the main floor with the audience to rip it up. Hearing yourself out front is never a problem :)
  9. I'd say it was definitely worth playing with your eq settings first, or try and set your combo up further away - even off the stage?? That'll stop any knob twiddling mid-gig! :)

    I found my bass too loud once when I played with two 2 x 10's, yet out front I was almost too quiet. I think with larger speakers, the problem is the opposite, - everyone else can hear you, but you feel quiet.

    We usually put wedges under our monitors to angle them up so we hear our singing better. I've never tried it with my bass cab though.
  10. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Everyone has give great advise. If in the end , after trying all of the suggestions, you still feel too "low", you might wanna try to buy another cab. (If you can afford to). You could buy a Hartke 4.5, 410 or 115. I presonally like the 4.5 best. It has, IMO, the best bass response of the 3.

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  11. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    i am hoping to get a new cab some time this year.

    thanks for all the help. i think i will start propping my amp up with a wedge to help hear myself on stage. i'll also try to mess with the eq.

    i'll let you guys know if it helps this weekend.
  12. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I try and stand on the drummer's right, as far away from guitars as possible. I then put my amp to my right instaed of behind me. This way I can use a mild earpolug or cotton on my right side where my sound is, and a heavy earplug on the drummer's side. Sometimes I will set a cab on the floor that way offstage aiming up at me it I have to.
  13. Great point! If you use just regular ear plugs (or maybe just one), not the hi-fi ones, the mids and treble will be blocked from your hearing, leaving more bass for you to hear. It worx!
  14. no, No, NO, Rickbass. The rule is that the "8th" person in the band is the sax player!! You can't have a 7-piece or less band and have a sax.

    Now that you know.....

    (and when are you gigging in KC again?!)
  15. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Many people feel that you get more low end when the bass cabinet is directly on the floor, and setting it on a stand will cause a loss of low end. The first time I heard this was in David Ellefson's column in Bass Player, but since then I have seen it in other places. I've never personally compared the two, but it is something that might be worth trying to see if it is true. I'm sure you don't want to do anything that changes your tone.
  16. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Yes, excellent tip; I've found the same thing.

    Addition by subtraction, you might say ... also works for tone controls and graphic EQs ...
  17. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I love that, Markus Aurelius!!! The one who got me was the trumpet player. Good musician, but I consider his contribution to be - "part time work." His main job was to wiggle that ass.

    Nothing lined up in KC at present, (boo hoo!). This winter was so mild in the Midwest, as you know, we were actually able to book all winter within driving distance, (200 miles). Usually, in winter, KC is a plane trip and that cost has to be built into the contract or you have to take the hit and eat Whoppers instead of room service the whole time.

    The next biggie coming up is some kind of woo-hoo celebrity golf thing in your area in a couple of months. I don't know all the details yet and haven't bothered to check them out yet.......most probably because I have a dread of what kind of music gets golf afficiandos off. :confused: I fear men in Sansabelts, straw Panama hats, parakeet-colored clothes, drinking Chivas and hollering for Billy Joel songs :eek:

    Plus, I've been auditioning a lot.
  18. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    you could always run a direct out from your amp to the board and have the sounddood give you a little into the monitors. that way you'll feel the rumble, but also have a little of you in the mix to throw in the clarity and definition, so you can hear yourself.

    and yes, its a great idea to be on the other side of the drummer and away from the guitarist. poor drummer tho, gettin' slammed from both sides like that...
  19. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    I agree with whoever suggested playing with your EQ settings. I couldn't hear myself before I started using a boss EQ pedal. I boost up 125Hz and 1000Hz and cut 65Hz a little bit and that makes me cut though no problem. And I'm only using a Yorkville 100 Watt combo.