1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

DI or Mic the cab?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Danni_K_89, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. This year i switched from Marshall to Ashdown after using someones Ashdown at a gig and instantly fell in love with the sound. I got myself a secondhand Ashdown MAG 300 head and a matching 4x10 cab to go with it, and the sound i get is absolutely stunning!

    When i play gigs with my band i always seem to get DI'd from the sound engineer... i feel that from this i am losing the great sound I'm getting from the head combined with the cab.

    i understand its the easiest method for a sound engineer, but what i really want is to have my cab mic'd with a Shure BETA 52A so i can keep the true sound of what my rig can give.

    any views from anyone who agrees or disagrees?
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It's totally up to the soundman in most cases, but if you ask nice, and bring your own mic.......
  3. I'm usually met with "no" haha
  4. Even if you mic the cab it's not
    going to sound anything like the
    cab thru the PA.
  5. adambomb


    Nov 4, 2011
    Birmingham, AL
    You are. there is no way a sound guy can get a better sound with just a soundboard and an amp to FOH than the preamp of the ashdown to the speakers that are voiced for bass guitar. that is the "sound" you want. not the sterile di to whatever speakers he's pushing. it should be voiced by the preamp and speakers. most would also argue that the tube power section of an amp also voices the "sound". its just easy for them because they don't want to bother with the additional stage volume, bleed, feedback, phasing issues, bass "stacking" in the room. work with the sound "guy" and lower your volume on the amp to a decent level to not be louder than what the FOH is giving so it doesn't compete or overwhelm. use your amp as a kind of self monitor and mic it. all will be happy. he'll need convincing and it may be a struggle at first but....stay strong.
  6. see thats my argument. i only ever use my amp as an on stage monitor cause they DI it so my argument is why can't i use a mic instead of the DI. its ridiculous isn't it lol
  7. cronker


    Feb 13, 2007
    There is a function to do both. You can mix a DI and mic if you use the input at the back of the head.
  8. luckily i encounter most soundguys being very positive of micing cabs.
    bring your own mic and be friendly but convincing (sound guys are very much like women imo)
    you should also provide a DI signal so the sound guy can take the lows of the DI and the mids of the cab (or something like that)
  9. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I always mic my cab. There has been a shift in thought on this in the past few years and I find sound guys are more open to it now. In the past I have literally had to fight for it. I bring my own mic and stand.
  10. my head has a DI on the front so DI isn't a problem and iv offered to provide my own mic. they just don't like me using a mic lol
  11. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2012
    Its more diffifult to control the Mic, DI is easier for the sound guy but it doesnt bother me because the DI from my GenzBenz head sounds fantastic! Depending on the size of the room (unless its HUGE) most of the sound will come from your Cab and the FOH will suppliment your sound with the DI/Mic to get the Bass where he wants it. What you head and what the audience hears is very different, let the Front of House guy do what he does, he knows what the room sounds like and unless hes a tool (very possible) will be able to compensate for room anamolies you prolly dont hear on stage.
  12. i get what you mean, but personally mic'ing the cab will give me the sound i like to come through, where as i personally don't think a DI can
  13. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Sometimes you get what you get. The better venues will tend to use both a DI and a mic. There are situations where they hand you a beat-up $20 DI with the word "BAD" or "BROKEN" scratched into what's left of the paint as well, in that case I politely try to persuade them to use the DI on my amp.

    It all depends on the situation. If you're the opening act, or playing a bill that includes several bands and you're only playing for 30 mins than you shouldn't expect to get a ton of extra attention from the sound crew. Sometimes bringing your own mic into a venue can be poorly received by some house engineers, it's like you're asking them to do extra work because their gear and/or formula isn't good enough for you. It can be a bad way to start things off.
  14. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    A few things - my preferred method of send to the board is a post-EQ DI send from either an M-pulse 600 or Streamliner, and believe me - it's not "sterile" in any way, shape or form...

    Next, regarding stage volume: to me, the drummer sets the volume - and it's up to the rest of the backline to match volumes accordingly... My band rehearses at the same volumes we gig at, and tend to have a very balanced sound on stage - that way, all the soundman has to do is give us enough vocals in the monitors, give the drummer what he needs in his monitor, take what we deliver on stage, and make the FOH sound like that - and everyone will be happy...

    I don't subscribe to the theory of keeping stage volumes to a bare minimum, and having the soundman make it back up at the desk - I think a rock band should sound like a rock band on stage... After all, we have to enjoy ourselves as well, and the crowd that's right up to the stage doesn't hear the FOH that much, either - not to mention the babes we get on stage with us on a regular basis...

    That being said, it's still the band's responsibility to keep their volumes somewhat reasonable, and not make the soundman's job impossible...

    - georgestrings
  15. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Instead of the DI take a line out from the Line/Tuner out.

    Ah... soz... misread your post... Your miked sound wont be the same as the sound of your Ashdown on stage of course.

    Given the option I always prefer to DI.
  16. Georgestrings.....that was a somewhat big headed comment wasn't it.
    firstly i never said i was in a 'rock band', nor did i comment and say i expect the sound guy to do ALL the work and boost my band in volume and we keep our amps to a minimum.

    i always co-operate with a sound engineer 100% and do as they wish...

    this post was created for a purpose to see if other bass players like myself would prefer to use mic instead of DI.
  17. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I've played a local venue where the same sound guy has DI'd at one gig and Mic'd at another. He always records the show on is laptop and burns a CD for the band. All I can say is that the bass sounded good both ways on the mix he gave us.
  18. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Many modern cabinets have high end drivers and/or midrange drivers making miking them not very practical or impossible to mike up.

    99% of all pro sound companies I have worked with over the past 25 years use a direct signal that is processed through hi-end compression, gates and eq.

    On the road, you often get rental backline, sometimes it's great, sometimes not, direct signal to board allows the FOH engineer the ability to get the best possible sound. For a local band that uses the same gear, not as much of an issue.

    One last point, unlike electric guitar, Electric bass is most often recorded direct in the studio, we have come to accept a direct sound as "the" sound for electric bass in modern sound recording. It is another reason that going direct to FOH can yield a sound closer to a recorded bass sound.
  19. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    I try and do both. Used to hate DI's , ran a radial JDI at a gig and liked it so much i bought my own. I'm happy running either way now, but both is the best imo.
  20. I agree with RickenBoogie, if I ask nice, and I get out my Sennheiser 421, the soundman is usually agreeable.