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Do I need a compressor or do I just suck?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by eekamike, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Hello!
    I recently joined my church band, and we do all direct to FOH with small monitors for the band. We don't have individual amps, we're all blended into these monitors. This is my only experience with all FOH, I've never played without my amp before.

    So it seems that I've been giving our sound guy problems. Playing with my rock band, I have better control over dynamics because I can hear the whole band, everybody has their own stage amps and it's generally a smaller venue. With the church's tiny monitors, and with all of our sound blended, I can't really tell what the heck I'm doing with my dynamics. It seems during softer songs, I play softer, and the sound guy turns me up because I'm too quiet. Then it'll be a more upbeat song and I'll be booming through the church and he turns me down again. The previous bassist had no compressor, but his playing was also not very dynamic.

    Do I need a compressor? Or am I just bad at dynamic control? I also don't want to cover up technique deficiency with a pedal. I'm hoping the folks here with more FOH experience can help me out.
  2. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Maybe, maybe not. What you need is a better monitoring setup. You cannot be expected to play well if you cannot hear yourself.

    Are they even reproducing your bass at all? Are they active or passive? What you need is a better monitoring setup. You cannot be expected to play well if you cannot hear yourself.

    Is there only one monitor mix? What you need is a better monitoring setup. You cannot be expected to play well if you cannot hear yourself.

    That is part of his job... Is he running a compressor on bass channel at the board? It is considered rather normal to do so.

    - John
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    Atshen, ccouch7, oysteivi and 3 others like this.
  3. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    Sounds like the sound guy is unhappy because he has to do his job.
  4. A compressor may help, but really like everyone else said - find a way to monitor yourself.
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  5. Beersurgeon


    Jul 16, 2010
    I agree with the posts above...

    I think you need to be able to hear yourself in the mix!!!
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Compressor won't help. We need more info though.
    Is it the same mix sent to all the monitors? This is BIG.
    How "little" are they? 10's? 12's? This can also be big.
    Back in the day (before our church went all hi tech, we had monitors. 12's. We were able to have maybe 4 mixes. I know I shared my mix with the drummer. I also used a small combo amp (tited up like a monitor) for a little extra me for me and the drummer. Didn't interfere with the FOH or others monitoring. Worked pretty well. Just have to keep it under control.
  7. brianmharrison


    Oct 11, 2007
    rutrho likes this.
  8. Thats the ticket. In lieu of having mix control of all the instruments and vocals, you need, at the very least, independent control of you and the full mix.
    SteveC likes this.
  9. Sorry for disappearing, was busy for a few days.

    Yeah, we have one monitor mix, and most of the time I'm struggling to hear myself in it. I guess that's probably the main issue here. I'll take a closer look at our setup this Sunday, then I'll look into that Personal Monitor Station.

    So if I understand that unit right (just so I can see how it will solve my problem), I plug into instrument input, if I were singing I could also plug into the mic input. At that point, the unit acts like a DI and my instrument output runs to the mixer with a mic cable. I need a line out from the mixer to go to the line input of that unit. Then I can control the levels of myself and the whole mix (at least for my headphones) to at least hear myself better and hear my volume individually relative to the total mix.

    Thanks, everyone!
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I don't think the Rolls can be the DI for both your voice and bass. It will work the way you state for a vocal mic. You can have "more you" with the mic level while the rest of the mix is controlled by the monitor level.

    And yes, the Rolls 351 can do that. I use the PSM50 which can't and is a little smaller and I can get more me via my iphone and IEM mix.
  11. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore?

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    Before my church went to IEM's I also had a hard time getting a workable mix, and as a result would inadvertently over exaggerate my dynamics simply because I was guessing. Just an added thought.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    right --- but it's what the FOH heard as "consistent."
  13. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Correct. It is a pass thru for the mic and can be used as a DI for the instrument in.

    Correct. The only thing you are missing there is the mic thru connected to FOH if you are singing.

    @eekamike, how are you currently feeding your bass to the board? Are the monitors active or passive? If they are active, it should be relatively easy to feed that to something like the PM351.

    - John

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