Do you use a venue's backline?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Spencer!, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Spencer!


    Jun 25, 2006
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    I've got an outdoor festival gig coming up this weekend and the concert promoter is providing an SVT CL and an 810 as the backline. I'd rather not take my amp if I can avoid it, but I'm not sure how versatile the SVT is. The music we're playing is pop/soul (think Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, etc.) and I really like the tone I get out of my Aguilar/Epifani setup.

    How many of you use a venue's backline, and are you generally happy with the sound?
  2. zackattack

    zackattack Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    San Francisco
    I rarely use a venues backline, but then again, I don't play many venues that have an SVT set up.
    I'd be more than happy with using that and I'm certain you'll get a decent sound from it. How versatile do you need it to be?
  3. Reuben


    Aug 8, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I use house rigs a lot. The riskiest propositions are usually underpowered combos in nightclubs. They get pushed real hard night after night and are usually trashed. If it's a festival, the amp probably comes from a rental house which usually means it's in better shape and is treated well. Personally I'd just use the house rig. I like to use occasions like this to check out something a little different while getting paid for the privilege, and in an outdoor festival setting the house is gonna be just hearing a DI I would guess. Not a critical situation. If it worries you, bring your rig. You can always plug into their rig first and if it sucks set up yours!
  4. Spencer!


    Jun 25, 2006
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    I don't have any live experience with SVT's, but I always thought of them as rock-oriented amps. I'm not sure if they can do smooth and fat-sounding soul.
  5. zackattack

    zackattack Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    San Francisco
    I think SVTs have this rep because a lot of the guys you see using them are Fender + Pick players, which is rock orientated way of playing (IMO). They do the smooth fingerstyle thing really well IMO.

    I think you'll be surprised at how good it sounds, let us hear your thoughts after the gig.
  6. I always do. I also always bring my rig anyway just in case.
  7. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    "Outdoor Festival" is the key word here. My experience there is that your band has the stage for a limited time. Do you want to spend your time setting up and sound-checking, or do you want to spend your time performing for the crowd?

    Using the supplied back line (I'm no fan of Ampegs at all, and I've never seen the appeal of a SVT in particular), but it's good reliable professional gear. It'll make it easy for the sound crew and the producers, you'll get to play more songs, and it'll be a good opportunity for you to find out if an SVT is a viable option for you.

    And you could take you amp, run the pre-amp output of that into the power-amp input of the Ampeg so you've at least got your preamp that you're used to. I know a certain Eden endorser who does this.

  8. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    Back when....I always had a Ampeg SVT 810 and a GK 800 head under the tour bus just in case. Probably about 50% of the time we'd end-up dragging it out. My suggestion...atleast take your head and use it into the 810, you'll have something your familiar with, if needed.
  9. Calebmundy


    Apr 5, 2007
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Amplifiers, Lākland Basses
    Oh hell yes. I avoid loading in anything I don't have to. I usually keep y rig in the car just incase though. I usually bring my SansAmp BDDI and run it into the effects return of whatever I'm using-it's my only preamp on my rig anyway, and that helps me get a good sound out of whatever I'm using.
  10. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    Most people will be hearing your bass through the PA not the ampeg. It should be mainly a monitor for you.
  11. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    No worries with a SVT & 8 X 10. I play reggae in my girlfriend's club all the time through hers. You can make it do a lot of things, but that big warm sound for reggae, soul & R & B is easy to get. It will also get as huge as you want it to be. I play through backline amps a lot while traveling & as has been mentioned the worst thing is an underpowered amp. I always use my Radial Bassbone no matter what amp they have. At least you know the signal has great tone(i.e. your tone). If the amp really sucks I'll have them just put the DI through the monitors. Sometimes it's way better.
  12. imo, take a DI along but that rig would sure give you the pop/soul tone you want
  13. ForestThump


    Jun 15, 2005
    Yes definitely should be OK at least for the stage.
    No matter what you're at the mercy of the sound person anyway.
    Just do it!
    I've used supplied backline with mixed results but at least you save yourself the lug.
    SVT is a real workhorse rig.
  14. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    As a matter of fact, I played at a festival last year where exactly that rig was available as backline. I passed because that rig provides such a totally different tone result than I usually use, I figured it would freak me out for the whole show.

    I like to avoid carrying in a speaker cabinet when I can, so in the event I find something typical on the backline, like an SWR or Eden 410, I try to use it. My MarkBass LMII is so portable that I can almost always sit it on top of whatever the backline head is and use it instead, just so I have something I am familiar with in the equation.
  15. Bhuti


    May 9, 2006
    Harlem, NY
    Warehouse/Shop Asst. & endorsing artist of Warwick Basses
    All the time. If not, i'm going through my DI. No sense in carrying a full rig in NYC unless you know your getting into a BAD PA situation.
  16. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    I have one thing to say - "Bass Pod Xt Pro"
  17. mattq


    May 23, 2006
    Santa Cruz, CA
    never. unless it's a festival
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I fly a lot, and until I got my Markbass head, I was forced to use whatever backline was supplied. Always requested an SVT, most of the time it magically turned into a GK w/Hartke 410, or Eden rig, both of which I vehemently dislike (I like GK OK, but not Hartke). Nowadays, unless it's an SVT, I use my LMII.

    As a veteran of many multi-band shows, I know that changeovers can be death to the crowd, so I can certainly understand a promoter not wanting every band to bring their own rigs. However, if someone wants to bring their own rig, it's usually tolerated as long as you can have it set up onstage and torn down in slightly more time than it takes for you to just walk up and plug in a bass to the house amp. Those who are extremely picky about their gear may want to consider loosening their standards a little in some situations, though. If you think there's repeat business to be had, nothing can kill it like being difficult and slowing the changeovers down.

    As for the SVT, it can do anything you want it to do.
  19. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    Sure, as long as you know how to use one - and I don't!
  20. I do some volunteer stage manager work for multi act shows, and I hate dead air and watching people stand around with their fingers up their noses. Good backline and having the musicians use it is key, so of course I would say be cooperative and use it. Go up and give it a tweak to get close to what you want and go for it. You will live if it isn't exactly the way you want it to sound.

    It is up to whoever is in charge to explain this to everyone, and I've always found that most folks go along with it if it is explained to them. Some of the shows I've done do not allow for backline changes, but quality stuff is supplied. Most people bust a move and get an extra song in.

    One of the things that I try to explain to others that they often don't get is not to put the schedule to bands as; you have x minutes to play and x minutes to set-up tear down. Tell them that they have a x minute long time slot, they can spend it playing or they can spend it moving equipment and I'd rather hear you play and I'll provide crew to help you with it.

    I send every band a detailed email spelling out how things will be done in detail. I've put 15 bands up on one stage in one evening working this way. Started 20 minutes late and ended up back on time by the last band. Because I was playing that night myself and also had a lot of social responsibilities as the host my two crew members did most of the work. When I would check with them and give them an atta boy they said they were bored because they didn't have that much to do.