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Getting Lost In The Mix!

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Bassman7PM, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Bassman7PM


    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Okay guys and gals, I'm in need of your infinite wisdom. I play for a pretty large church with a seating capacity of around 3,000-3,500. We have 3 back to back services on Sundays, one Wednesday night and a Saturday night as well. We have a full band split into two band pits flanking the main stage/pulpit. On stage left we have the horn section, percussions, organ, 2nd key and acoustic guitar. Stage right is where I live along with the 1st keys, drummer and two electric guitar players. Here's the deal, I'm using an Ampeg SVT4pro and 410HLF cab point directly at me. Right next to me on my right is the drummer with full kit, just right of him is one of the guitar players with his Fender combo pointed towards me. On my far left is the keyboardist (using a wedge monitor) and to my direct left is the guitarist palyer who also has his Fender 212 combo amp aimed at him(us) with full pedalboard. The FOH handles things pretty well as far as house sound goes but the battle to be heard over the guitar player right next to me is becoming stressful as I tend to have to keep turning up my volume to hear myself over his higher frequencies. We play a lot of high energy guitar driven Praise and Worship songs, i.e. Hillsong, Planetshakers, Chris Tomlin, etc and our guitarist are quite good. My Lakland 01 is more than capable for the task but I have to use earplugs just to keep sane fighting to be heard and felt. Unfortunately the pit is small and space is very limited so moving things around is not an option. We're pushing for the church to invest in a full Aviom package but unitl that happens what would you guys recommend dealing with the massive amount of frequencies aimed at me?
  2. jmeyers44


    Sep 20, 2008
    Is your cabinet tilted toward you? If not that would totally help. Would you consider putting one earplug in on the ear your guitar players amp is facing you and put your cabinet on the other side? Is it possible for your guitar player to tilt his amp toward him? If it's as loud as you say that might help. Obviously Aviom would be the ulitmate solution. If your chruch does get Aviom consider a Butt Kicker and high quality headphones as a substitute for a cabinet. I can totally empathize with your situation though.
  3. Bassman7PM


    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    My cabinet isnt tilted for lack of space, but the guitarist amp is tilted towards him(us). I usually play with one earplug in my left ear so the guitars not blasting at me but with a loud drummer on my right I go back and forth with the right ear. Moving the bass cab is not a available option due to space and I need to be close to the keyboardist.
  4. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I'll wager the church's acoustics don't help either: beautiful for singers, horrible for bass players.
    Ask the guitar player to tilt his cabinet away from you, if he has the room.
    Another approach would be to save your ears, turn down, let the PA handle it, and simply get used to playing without hearing much of yourself. I've resorted to that, in some situations, in the name of sane stage volume. If the other musicians complain about not being able to hear you, explain what you did and ask them to do the same.
  5. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    If possible, get the guitarist using the 2x12 combo to use a smaller amp in the pit or reposition it so the speakers face him while the shoulder of the amp is toward you.

    Even then, if the drummer is killing you from the other side, you're still stuck needing something to bring down the dBs in loud pit. If the house engineer can spare a send, I'd consider using in-ears in that situation--both to get a more inspiring monitor mix and to preserve my hearing.
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I definitely know where you're coming from. Honestly my first impression is that this is something the FOH engineer should be addressing cause I don't see any way this situation is not affecting (negatively) the house mix. In a church with your apparent size, gear and resources I would have to think you have a reasonably competent person handling sound. I'm not against the guitarists using amps but they should be angled away from you or better still, they should be offstage with the guitarists hearing themselves through the monitors. That would not only help the problem of too much stage volume, but would free up some space in the pit as well.

    If that doesn't work, then lobby to have the keys and acoustic guitar (which I assume or both going direct) moved over to your pit, and put the electric guitars on the other side where they can wage their volume wars with the horn section and percussion. :D
  7. I have no idea how you are using your eq, but a possible cause of this problem is that you are eq'ing your tone to sound good solo and this leads to inaudibility in the mix.

    Perhaps you could increase your 400-800 Hz range for more audibility.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Agree with this 100%. If your church has the P.A. system I assume it does, that is more guitar amp than necessary and especially if you've got two electrics going on. Of course if you go this route, be prepared to hear the argument that a 4x10 bass half-stack is more than needed as well.
  9. Bassman7PM


    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks guys for your replys.

    Our church is actually built theater style so acoustics are pretty nice with the overhead and wrap around sound system. Our stage/pulpit area is big enough to drive a semi thru which we have on occassion as we do a lot of major productions.

    FOH rarely complains about stage volume as we can get away with playing pretty loud. It's a big auditorium. My rig is normally set to just about 12 O'clock Gain/1 O'clock Volume with the EQ set pretty high but basically flat, I like to use my bass to tailor the eq.

    I largely depend on my Lakland for adjusting tone. I push the treble just past halfway and keep the mids at half. But thats depending on the songs as each songs tone changes.

    I'll see if I can get the guitarist to turn his amp slightly away from me but I do expect some resistance due to space and his wanting to both hear and attain feedback from it.
  10. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Those settings on an SVT Pro 4 and a 410 cab? That's loud. Not sayin it's good or bad but... that's loud.

    I think for you to land on a lasting solution as far as hearing yourself, everyone in the band is gonna have to agree to turn down and stay turned down. Sounds like there's a whole lot of volume goin on in that pit. If I was runnin an amp that high for 3 services in a row I'd feel like I'd gone 12 rounds with Ali by the time the morning was done.
  11. Bassman7PM


    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    FWIW our sound guys love the sound of my Lakland, but you're right thats pretty darn loud and that's with my bass volume normally set between 5-8. It seems like I'm pushing the volume till both LED's start flickering.

  12. I can’t imagine why the guitar player needs to be that loud with his speaker that close to him.

    I’d suggest relocating to the other side of the keyboard player. That will get you away from both the drums and the loud gui****. It’ll put him next to the drummer – let them fight it out, instead of you!

    Also, don’t mean to sound rude but...
    ...sounds like someone needs to study up on how to use an equalizer. Deviations from flat what are what changes the sound. If you have the bands all pushed up but basically flat, all you’re doing is using the EQ as a gain control. IOW, the volume knob could accomplish the same thing.

    Are you using a direct box into the FOH, or a feed from your amp? If – hopefully - the former, then you’re free to adjust your rig for your own benefit. Getting the EQ filters back to basically flat would allow you to experiment with some settings that would let you “get on top of” the gui****. Try boosting each filter a bit, one at a time, and see if you can find the “sweet” one one that makes you cut through.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Pedulla Club #45

  13. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    My first thought is the EQ of both your bass AND the guitars. There's a common issue in bands. Guitarists and bassists who want "their" sound to take precedence over the sound of the whole group cause most volume problems. It's gotta fit into the mix while maintaining the mix (glad you didn't say "cut through" 'cause that's the worst thing anyone should want to do to a mix).

    Also, a 2x12 combo amp is pretty much over-kill in close quarters and into a good mic'd FOH rig. Of course, suggesting he go from a Twin Reverb to a Deluxe might meet the same response as him asking you to go from your SVT/410 rig to an original B-15. Both good amps, but they react totally differently to the touch.

    So, see if you two can work on your sounds together to get something that allows you to hear what you need from both rigs.

  14. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    And be prepared, when you listen to that tone playing by yourself you're probably going to want to puke. Mid-boosted bass guitar sounds awful on its own but it's what puts you over the top in a full-band mix.
  15. This. Without adjustting your eq while you are playing your bass with your band, youre kinda just spinning your wheels.

    See if you can have a friend play your setup while you take a walk out and see what it sounds like. Just make sure they use a pick/fingers as according to you
  16. Is Your Cab Tilted back or is it on The Ground pointed at your Knees?
  17. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Everyone needs much smaller amps.. better yet.. hard wired IEM

    Absolutely zero reason why you guys should be creating this big a mess for a congregation like you're playing for.

    I'd send a note to the leader.. schedule a come to Jesus with your primary sound tech.

    If for some nutty reason everyone "needs" amps.. they should not be bringing their own.. in a sitch like this it's too many variables... they should be in isolation boxes

    Better yet -- work with your guitarist.. go to Youtube.. check out Lincoln Brewster's video demonstrating his Line 6 Pod.. (then show him how we can download Lincoln's program from his website).

    Sounds like a messy sound that's being mismanaged.

  18. Get a Shur PSM 700 wireless in ear monitor system.
    The earplugs will protect you from getting blown away and you can customize the mix in your ears.

    Of course, when the Aviom system comes, the Shure set up will be useless. Just send it to me.
  19. Altitude

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

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I agree with the EQ-related comments. Also, I have an OnStage amp stand that I sometimes use for this reason (and also when we are playing on a stage I know to be very resonant). It does not increase the footprint of the bass amp at all, moves it up about 18", and tilts it upward slightly. Best luck!



  20. Hey Will, is that a MTD I see in the background? You need to join the Tobias club, my friend!

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Pedulla Club #45

  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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