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Dealing with Backline Equipment

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kronde, May 16, 2005.

  1. Kronde


    Feb 1, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Some advice please. I posted a similar thread in Band Performance and management but would appreciate more input....

    Lately I have been forced to play through backline equipment that is completely new to me when I arrive at the show. The last example was a 1 hour opening set for a regional act. I used the headliners rig - an Ampeg 400 something and an ampeg single 15 cab. Anyway, I thought my sound on stage sucked wind big time during our entire set. Fortunately, the sound man said all was well in the audience. My poor stage sound kinda got to me though. Here are the questions...

    Do you players who routinely play through mysterious backline equipment with a minimum of set-up time have a ritual that you go through to get things dialed in?

    Are there specific pedals, such as sansamp, eq, etc. that are most helpful?...and maybe just bypass the backline pre-amp by going into the effects return with a pedal pre-amp that you are comfortable with?

    Do you just suck it up and hope the soundman is doing good with the mains?

  2. If you used (and liked) the sansamp BDDI, you could send the signal from that to the soundboard and also use that as a preamp into the poweramp section of the amp if its there, that way you would be using your own preamp anyway
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I usually just make do with what has been provided if its a backline-supported show. Though I DO try to keep a Sansamp BDDI in my bag just in case - that way, worst case scenario is that you just go through the sansamp either straight through the monitor and/or sidefill, or you can use it to "fix" the sound of the terrible amp.

    One thing to mention, though. Your stage amp is ONLY typically there for your own monitoring on stage, and has little if anything to do with your sound out front at larger venues. To be professional, don't let the difference in your stage volume bother you. I've seen so many acts suck because the band couldn't handle sounding "different" on different equipment. Do you job, be confident, and put trust in the soundman to make it sound good out front.

    The situation is what it is, just make the best of it and don't fuss with your stage sound, just make sure you can hear yourself, and focus on your sound out front.
  4. Chiba


    Mar 11, 2005
    I offer to bring my own head, that way I can get 'my' sound with a minimum of fuss.

    If the headliner insists I use their rig, though, I just do. I always tell the headlining bass player that I changed his EQ though, so he's not surprised when he goes up to play and sounds like me instead of him.


  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Yep. I know exactly what I need to give a soundman to get what I want through a PA. Typically thats the other end of a cord plugged into a Sadowsky.

    What I like on stage has nothing to do with nothing.
  6. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    Back when I was doing a lot of backline gigs I always brought a Sans Amp BDDI with me. It will get you through in a pinch and it takes up zero room in your bag. It's a good insurance policy. There are a bunch of new pre-amps and DI's that serve a similar purporse. Bottom line: Have a "Plan B".
  7. leftybassdog

    leftybassdog Senior Supporting Member

    Most gigs I do are openers, I bring my rig and most of the time I use it, if I dont, I use just my pre-amp rack ( SWR interstellar ) run out to the main snake and monitor with my ears (Sennheiser EW 300 with westone u2 ears) I never run into the headliners rig anymore, they sound check before us and set all the gear for there show, Most of the time I use my own rig but you never know till you get there, most sound crews will let you run your own gear thats what they get paid for, but if they dont have to, they wont, I dont know what kind of rig you use but if you plan on doing openers get a good pre-amp, and a good set of ear monitors. with the ears and the roll back from the mains you will be very happy,

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