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Gigs - Go Direct or Use and Mic Amp/Cab

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by markbmbass, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. markbmbass


    Apr 19, 2012
    I have a major dilemma that I need some help with. Most of the time, when my band does not hire sound, I use only my amp w/ no mics, as we don't have a huge PA system.

    When we play larger clubs, house sound is provided, or we hire. I am trying to figure out what is best, going direct to the PA, or having my rig mic'd. The sound when I go direct sounds very thin and tinny to me, and the bad tone really screws with my mood/playing.

    I am used to the tone I play with, and most comfortable with it, so the most logical idea for me is to have my rig mic'd. I want to avoid the situation where my tone doesn't sound good to me (going direct), but don't want to sacrifice the sound of the entire band just for my sake.

    I do have a zoom b3, and was wondering if I just go direct from that, if it would be a good solution.

    Any help is appreciated. I have a gig on Thursday night that is a pretty big one for my band, and want to sound as good as possible.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    If I were you I would go direct out of the B3 or send a post-EQ DI from the amp.

    That's what I do, and the mixer loves my tone.
  3. markbmbass


    Apr 19, 2012
    Ok, thanks! I am trying to work this out with the sound guy.
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Talk with the sound guy about your tone and what he is looking for. I prefer to mic my cabinet AND mix in the DI signal right off my bass. The dry bass signal (no effects, purely bass tone) can work beautifully at a show with a knowledgeable sound guy. In my setup, the low end is usually taken off the DI and the mic signal captures the overdriven tone along with the character of my speakers. The sound guy needs to blend these signals at the mixer board to get it sounding right.

    At some shows, I just tell the sound guy to blend those signals to his liking.

    When you speak to the sound guy, don't go in with a "my way or the highway attitude", just present the tone you go for on stage and tell him about the effects you use. A good sound guy will try to capture as much of it as he can.
  5. markbmbass


    Apr 19, 2012

    Thanks for the advice. I did end up going direct from my Mark Bass Head at this gig, but I couldn't hear my tone at all at FOH. I am thinking of maybe going with a sansamp/mxr m80 or using my zoom with the BDDI emulator for FOH tone. My main thing is wanting to make sure that FOH tone for my bass/rig is not the thin/clanky/too bright of a sound.
  6. markbmbass


    Apr 19, 2012
    Thanks for your reply. I am new to dealing with sound in general. Could you clarify what you mean when you say "send a post-EQ DI from the amp"? I have no idea what that means :). Sorry for the ingorance....
  7. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2012
    I found most sound guys want to go direct, its easier for them, unless they are in a good mood and they like your band, they will spend the time getting the Mic sounded good. Do what ever he prefers but i think the DI from my head sounds better than most Mic's ive head on my Cab.
  8. Go direct AND use your amp. A capable sound guy will make you sound good out front, and you can make yourself sound good to you. If you don't excessively EQ (either for tonal reasons or to deal with a bad room) a good sound engineer will also usually be happy with a post EQ DI if you amp provides one. Just be ready to go pre EQ if the situation or sound engineer wants that, usually in a really crummy room that might need to happen.

    Re: "post-EQ DI" and "pre-EQ DI" - many modern amps have their own DI output (XLR out) and a switch to select sending the DI signal either before the amp's EQ section (pre-EQ) or after being run through the amp's EQ section (post-EQ). The latter of course gets the sound engineer closer to your tone on stage right out of the gate, although the differences between your cabinet and the PA could foil this happy confluence, especially if your cabinet adds a strong color / baked-in EQ to your sound.
  9. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    Check your gear out too. I usually rum my own amp post eq DI as well as others' when I do sound. The signal is usually really good and solid. Does your amp or whatever is sending the DI signal have a level control? You should be sending a pretty good signal to the console. It sounds to me like something isn't right.