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FOH bass sound

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by dodgy_ian, Sep 27, 2004.


  1. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    seems to me that i spend ages trying to get a really nice bass sound via my amp and my technique and then when i go to play live, the FOH bass sound is really quite different to what i like my bass to sound like, either far too trebly or far too bassy. And the sound engineer always take a pre-head di and claim that they will eq the sound but never seem to. Seems like a bit of a waste of time trying to develop your own sound if you are thwarted bythe sound guys!

    Anyone else experienced this?

    dodge
     
  2. In larger venues your amp is mainly for your personal enjoyment. The FOH engineer will want your signal before smiley face EQ; less noise/hiss and it'll be over cooked by the FOH system. The engineer can apply the tone tweaks at their end. Also, if something happens to your amp, you've still got signal to board with a DI in the front of the chain.

    A couple of things I do to try to get my sound to FOH is ask for them to mic my cab as well as run a D.I. or I'll put a SABDDI between my pre and power amp and send the DI from there. At least I have some idea of what I'm getting to the board.

    All told thought the FOH engineer will usually give the bass about 5 seconds of his time and won't want to do anything out of their norm.

    I'm just kind of resolved to the fact that you're in their hands. That's why you need a great sounding bass!
     
  3. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    yeah, have good sounding basses and am nice to sound guys but still...

    actually i should probably quit complaining cos we just got our own sound engineer so i need to have a sit down with him and see what we can work out....he's well on the case.

    dodge
     
  4. wyliee

    wyliee

    Jul 6, 2003
    South Hill, WA
    As a FOH engineer this completely baffles me.

    <rant mode on> IMO, our job is to reinforce the sound coming off the stage. That means we have to stop and listen before twisting any knobs. That includes listening to all instruments and, hopefully, knowing a bit about the band and their music. Yes, we can royally screw with you, but we can also help tie up any loose ends sonically and give the crowd a killer show. We need to be able to trust each other enough that you don't have to think about your sound. Just play your butt off and let me take care of the rest.

    As far as getting "your sound" a single instrument solo'ed may sound incredibly good, but it may also turn the mix into mush. I do prefer a pre-EQ DI. Given enough channels, I might also add a mic to the cabinet. EQ'ing is done so that the mix is full and clear. The bass is distinct but as tight as possible with the kick. Compressor come into play here.

    <rant mode off>

    In short, you shouldn't have to explain this to your FOH engineer. Nor should you have to worry.
     
  5. I'm not sure what's got you baffled? We're very much in agreement as I stated in my first paragraph:

    >In larger venues your amp is mainly for your personal enjoyment. The FOH engineer will want your signal before smiley face EQ; less noise/hiss and it'll be over cooked by the FOH system. The engineer can apply the tone tweaks at their end. Also, if something happens to your amp, you've still got signal to board with a DI in the front of the chain.

    Where do we diverge? The 5 seconds? Having a good sounding bass to start with?
     
  6. wyliee

    wyliee

    Jul 6, 2003
    South Hill, WA
    Sorry, it wasn't your statement that baffles me. It's the fact that so many engineers seem to ignore the low end or let it turn to mush.

    Admittedly, during initial soundcheck, I just start by eliminating and glaring problems with the EQ. (ie. cutting out wolf tones) and will continue to EQ as I build the mix so that all instruments are clear. I don't spend a huge amount of time up front unless there are problems.