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Dead Amp + PA Support = ?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Remyd, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    So, my new band just got our first gig! 4 pc jazz combo + singer as an opening act to a burlesque show on 6/14

    My major problem is lack of gear. Even though this is a low volume group, the singer still needs (and already has) a PA and there will still be 50-75 people in a theater's 3-4k sf. lounge. Just got back in the game a couple of months ago, and those months have been tough on the personal balance sheet, so my budget is like $25 at the outside.

    The speaker in my Acoustic ministack (I really don't like this amp, and the DI doesn't work, but for $75 for six months of use who can complain) is blown for sure now. I'm not sure that little head could put out any volume at all through a PA main, especially 'cause it hums so badly and I don't have a way to control that. I REALLY also don't like the way it sounds through anything but it's matched 1x10. No dice.

    So now, I only have a little practice amp and a no-name passive DI. :( I'll see how much PA support we have and how much I'll need to "try-out" from the store.

    I know I can DI straight to the board, but I almost certainly won't be able to hear myself or the vocals and it will maybe sound like poo besides. Miking my little practice amp probably won't give me any real monitor volume either. I don't know what's sitting around the studio's equipment room - hopefully there will be a bass amp that's big enough to use as a monitor, or a wedge and a free monitor channel at the very least (should be, we're playing without drums).

    If not, I'm going to go try a Rumble from GC. I do need a new amp, after all, although I'd originally planned on getting a used lead sled in a month or two. If the tips are very, very, very exceptionally extraordinary and I like the amp, I will keep it. Tips and amp both have to be pretty great though, and I'm 90% sure they won't, so I'm 90% sure I will return it. I would prefer to not do this.

    Does anyone have any hints or tricks or something for those of us with some talent and without functioning equipment? Is there some PA EQ that will help the bass sound like, well, a bass?
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    If you want to gig then you need a good amp or a really big pa and a direct box.
    Bass_Pounder likes this.
  3. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Have a really big PA. Have a direct box. Have a bass. Had an OK amp until about 10pm last night.

    The "had an amp" bit is where the problem lies.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
    dskissel likes this.
  4. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    I think your best bet would be a monitor wedge from the PA or sidefills if that's available.
  5. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    Rent for this gig?
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    About your only hope is to find a wedge monitor, or some speaker that you can use as a monitor to hear enough of yourself to stay in time. Might not be pretty on stage, but all that matters is how it sounds out there.
  7. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I do this all the time, and it sounds great. (Why wouldn't it? PA's are designed to reproduce the sound of musical instruments including bass!)
  8. The "really big PA" has monitors or not?

    A Behringer knockoff sansamp pedal is what you need. BD121 iirc. Or a ART cheapy.

    What about borrowing a powered monitor from someone in your local talent pool? Be sure to engage the highpass to take out the sub bass or you'll blow it up.
  9. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    I'll find out tonight. The gig is as an opener in a different room than the main stage and I'm not sure what's being used where. The show has significant sound and light support so there might not be a choice.

    I already have a lousy DI without a manufacturer's name even, so I'm covered there. I thought about one of the behringer pedals, but I don't trust the brand generally, so it's hard to trust them in my signal chain. I'm glad to get a recommendation though. I've been considering this one as a replacement to my junky one. Also, I don't have any money; I was NOT expecting to have to deal with this situation.

    Depending on the PA support situation this might be the best option. Where should I set the HPF (for this jazz gig, though I don't know the response of any gear that I haven't borrowed yet)? I'm thinking in the 40-75 range, but have never used one live. In this context, is sub-bass <32Hz?
  10. frnjplayer


    Feb 3, 2014
    I wouldn't use a HPF on a bass. Low E on a 4 string is 42Hz. HiPass would need to be below that.
  11. Oh dear, please both of you ^^ read the fdeck HPF mega threads and learn.

    The HPF I refered to in powered monitors is usually 70 or 80Hz. Consider that SVT rig has a natural HP about 70hz. A low E sounds fine with no fundamental. When you're asking a piddling monitor to stand in on bass that HPF is vital. You'll still need to use your ears to avoid straining it.
    Remyd likes this.
  12. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    I know about High pass filters. I was only asking where this one should be set. Don't know much about live sound.

    That SVT information is super interesting. Are you talking just about the head? Is it different between models? Is it cabinet dependent?
  13. frnjplayer


    Feb 3, 2014

    Didn't realize that the OP had a powered monitor at his disposal. If the HPF is set at the mixing board then you'll be keeping the fundamental out of the mains as well. Even with a small monitor you can leave the hipass off without it having any major ill effects. It won't reproduce the low frequencies but unless you're trying to get serious volume out of the cabinet it won't do any harm either. I too, understand HPF's and the ins and outs of feeding monitors.

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