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Country Band on large stage: doubling upright and electric—advice?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Jim Carr, Sep 23, 2010.


  1. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I recently started rehearsing with a successful artist who is intent on upright. The more I play it, the more he likes it. He has had some bad experiences, which he is reluctant to enumerate, but I have been way way way around the block with this.

    Anyone have advice? I am playing a show this weekend, where there will likely be a crowd of over 2500 in a County Fair sort of outdoor venue.

    I am not even pretending that my rig will carry the space—it will be my monitor. I am planning on using a 4 ohm Epifani 410, driven by a GB Shuttle 6.0.

    The electric will be my Sadowsky. For my upright sound I use a Gage Realist piezo pickup sent to into a Tech21 ParaDI (as a pre amp). The tone is good, volume decent.

    This is then routed via an EBS multicomp (compressor pedal) into input 1 of a passive Radial Bigshot A/B switch. The switch has my Sadowsky running into input 2.

    The output of the Radial A/B goes to a Countryman type 85, and that goes to a GB Shuttle 6.0 driving the Epifani cab. Signal chain:

    [SUP]DB Realist->ParaDI->Multicomp-->[/SUP][SUB]Radial BigShot A/B->DI->Amp[/SUB]
    [SUP]Active Sadowsky P/J Electric Bass-->[/SUP]


    A Korg Orchestral tuner hangs off of the Radial Bigshot, and the house gets both basses from the Countryman DI (the ParaDI is only used as a pre, not a DI).

    Anyone have advice about this??? :eek: :eek: :eek: :help:

    Here are me with my upright taking a listening break during prep for a radio show:

    me_on_upright.jpg
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i'd ditch the countryman or just keep it as a backup failsafe. the shuttle di is by all accounts as good as a countryman. i can't personally attest to this, but those whose opinions i know and trust all say it.

    otherwise that seems like a pretty tight signal chain. just don't forget to kick over to the correct channel on the bigshot ;)
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    for whatever it's worth, i use a mesa walkabout, and send it's DI to the board, and sound guys love that.
    so, that might work for the shuttle as well, tho i have no experience with that.

    i've auditioned my UL410 for DB, but haven't ever used it...it sounds alright enough, but i have two LDS 2x8's that I stack vertically that i like better both in terms of tone, and in terms of getting the sound up closer to my ear level...more of a near field monitor dealio.

    i guess if you have to switch from db to electric by song, back and forth a lot, and mucho quickly, the radial is gonna be useful. i just hold everyone up for a sec while i switch instruments. it ain't a bigshot band or venue or nuttin' though.

    lastly, i'll add that a lot of times, i just use one 2x8...after a point, you amplify DB too much, and the instrument itself is just gonna start feeding back from the overall vibrations on stage just being too much. to that end, i sometimes put a rolled up toewl b/t the tailpiece and the body to damp that down some, but it ain't real scenic and it does futz up "real wood tone" some...ime...ymmv...

    hth;
    alan
     
  4. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    The DI in the shuttle 6.0 is fine. I use mine all the time.
     
  5. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    I've used the Shuttle -- was approved.

    =====

    I quickly ditched the upright and went to EUB.. allows me to NOT have to drop the bass to play upright... stays standing at all times.. has freak appeal etc... to kick between, found a dedicated Morley ABY (with LEDs) helped speed up the transition.

    I dig my upright -- don't miss hauling it.

    =====

    Congrats on a nice tight well thought out plan.
     
  6. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    dumb question..

    IF you have your own sound guy.. why not run 2 channels with a dedicated one to the UB

    You should have enough sound for stange reference.. the sound guy can then dial in your EQ

    A bass change like this is dramatic enough that they can switch you on/off.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i'll tell you why i don't do that even though i can...because i like the sound of my upright through my amp, and that would mean i'd need two amps. plus even though the soundman can kill it when not being used, you still have to kill it yourself, so in the long run it's easier and more convenient to just run them both through one amp and di.

    as for the eub suggestion, yeah, i've toyed with that idea, but it just looks (and sounds imho) so much cooler to use the real thing. it's a pita sometimes, but it's not THAT bad.
     
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I don't change the eq settings on my walkabout when switching from db to electric (hard to believe, but tru!), so I don't need to channels.
    (same thing if I use the M9)
    I love the walkabouts di, but sound guys sometimes mic my 2x8 and blend the two.
    The Walkabout doesn't have a mute, but it's easy enough to spin the input gain shut while I switch.
    The M9 does have a mute.
     
  9. You might rethink the use of the multicomp with the db. Experience with this may vary, but I found out recently that it increases the possibility of feedback when I use it in my db rig (shuttle 6.0 into a schroeder 15+L).
     
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Ditching the Countryman and Multicomp seems wise. Thanks everyone. Full report to follow.
     
  11. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Up early on show day...
    I might take two 210 Epifani cabs, and stack them vertically, but have decided to take the signal chain as I had planned, and wing it based on the sound engineers' approach. I hear they are good and have done this artist's shows before with upright.

    Alan, thanks for the tip about the towel trick, I had forgotten that one. I have even done it with a mic wrapped in a towel into a 200 watt Marsall head and a 412 cab—since I never could get my '74 polytone pickup to sound any good, a mic helped. But talk about feedback...

    The suggestions concerning the DI on the shuttle are all good, though like many of you, I have had engineers insist on their DI, which usually resolves to a compromise on the Countryman.

    I haven't noticed the Multicomp increasing feedback, though I can see how that could happen. I will try it and turn it off if it is an issue—mine is the "true-bypass" model.

    I would go without the ParaDI, if the upright was going direct and not to the amp—and if monitoring was not such an issue due to full out country band electric guitars, drums, etc. The Realist actually sounds fine direct—go figure—but requires an engineer who actually knows what a good upright tone is. That's why I want to send them a post-EQ signal. I am mostly cutting some mids.

    Since I am reluctant to leave my monitoring entirely to the engineers, and because when going "direct" to the Shuttle with the upright I can't get a good smooth mid-honk free tone (Hi-Z?) without some EQ, the ParaDI is the fix. I can leave the Shuttle "flat," which works fine for the Sadowsky, and no EQ tweaking will be needed when switching. As Jimmy says, don't forget to hit the foot switch on the Bigshot! Quick binary operations are a good thing on stage, especially when you are walking into a complex gig with no full band rehearsal! I have done this before. It is, er....exciting? :eek:

    I am very grateful to all of you for your wisdom and suggestions. :D

    More later! :bassist:
     
  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Two UL210's stacked vertically sounds aieeght;)

    Good luck!
     
  13. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Whew boy—where to begin?

    Gig from hell? Yes, but we have all been there. This one suffered from a thunderstorm and extended downpour, with the Texas heat still in abundance. I changed my clothes BEFORE I put on the "gig costume." I was soaked in sweat and rain just from the load-in. Everything ran 2.5 hours late. OK, fine, it was weather and the sound guys couldn't get the lights hung, they couldn't find their ladder....:rollno:

    So finally our turn for sound check. Rig functions well, except the BOH engineer insisted on his no name DI ('cause it don't hum, ya 'know?). The upright was just all bottom. I could not get him to use anything like what I was giving him, he wanted it big and bassie. I ask for less bottom, more top, even just plain lots of mids. No go, he could not (or would not) make it sound like an upright. Although my paraDI had some mids cut, it was just one low mid band, and not that big a cut. Even with THAT out, it was just mud.

    OK. The band was pretty dismayed, but we gave each other the "Oh well, we'll get by look." We then did the sound check with the Sadowsky. Electric sounded fine, but the engineer didn't ask me for more or less level from my instrument, he just said, "OK, now yer Mic, please." I felt it was very rushed, we didn't play more that a few bars, and at that it was only electric. Once the sound check was "over," the MC appeared while we were still on stage, introduced us, and I take the upright.

    When I engaged the switch on the Radial A/B, all I got was a solid wall of howl feeding back from the monitors. Clearly the BOH sound guy had simply raised his board level for the electric, over-looking the fact that now the upright could not function.

    I looked over for the Chief sound guy on stage at a big board, but he was...gone! I looked out to the back of the house, and the assistant was gone, too. The artist looked at me and said curtly, "Do it all on electric." Rather than try to adjust the level myself on the ParaDI, I complied.

    The sound guys never reappeared during our entire show as far as I know. That's right. Gone. So, nearly two weeks of intense prep on upright, plus one on one rehearsals with the Artist to demonstrate my rig and work out to his satisfaction upright versions of tunes originally recorded on electric—all wasted.

    I carted my $15k upright into a maelstrom of weather, bad planning, and audio incompetence. I learned three things, and no, I already knew I was a fool, so that was not one of them. :p

    1) Don't give-in to a rushed sound check when using an upright.

    2) If you are offered a gig remotely like this again, say no.

    3) Have two channels on the board whenever doubling.


    I could have given the guy a DI from the upright and the electric and still routed both of them to my amp.

    Instead of this:

    [SUP]DB Realist->ParaDI->Multicomp-->[/SUP][SUB]Radial BigShot A/B->DI->Amp[/SUB]
    [SUP]Active Sadowsky P/J Electric Bass-->[/SUP]



    It should have been this:

    [SUP]DB Realist->ParaDI->Multicomp-->[/SUP][SUB]Radial BigShot A/B->Amp[/SUB]
    [SUP]Sadowsky P/J Electric Bass-->DI-->[/SUP]


    Despite the grueling drive, difficult parking and load-in, Texas police state beer policy, red-neck uptightness, militant wheelchair salesmen demanding I move my vehicle before I finished loading, etc. etc. I could have dealt with all of that. The sound thing was a real disappointment. :atoz:
     
  14. Wow that really blows. I guess the only consellation is that you know you were ready and the problems were not yours but an incompetent sound team. Better luck on the next one!

    H
     
  15. i just bought an ingles db stand and it is easy to get in and out of quickly....tho it can't help you with the lugging part
     
  16. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Ouch!

    I've been pretty lucky playing-wise with my big stage EUB gigs, but typically I used to get the call to mix any and all gigs involving an acoustic upright in my old mixing venue. It does tend to require a bit more attentiveness, or at least physical presence at the venue...:rollno:
     
  17. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Yes, I too, have an Ingles, but I find a chair is better on stage. I used an Ingles a lot for a live radio/TV, and it was actually a problem a few times, especially with an Eminence EUB. I find a chair faster and more controllable.

    ...and why does my cat like to chew on my Ingles??? Really! :eyebrow:
     
  18. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I did the two 210 thing, but didn't stack vertically. I had to move it all by myself from back of stage to front and then back again.

    The angled pattern of the drivers sorta defeats the vertical array thing, but it helps for monitoring.

    Here I am doing it at the Balcony Bar in Dallas, though it seems I have one cab upside down in relation to the other—there still is a non-vertical aspect, no matter how you "stack it:"

    210array.jpg
     
  19. jaxlaw

    jaxlaw

    Oct 5, 2002
    Winter Garden
    This is what I do http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjbGL3SizD4

    Not claiming to be the greatest player or anything - but this works for me as I used to double all the time for this country band that I worked with. If the venue was real large and I had sound I would DI out the back of the Shuttle 6.0 (Great Amp).

    I never had a festival without sound - but I do have a SVT4 Pro and EBS 4x10 for major blast -

    pm me if you like and I'll share my experiences.
     
  20. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Terrible Sound Guy:
    This is exactly why I have a concealed carry license and a 50-mag Desert Eagle.
    One round over their head, and they get way more cooperative.
     

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