Giving up the cab mic

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by JimmyM, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yep, that's right, no more cab mic. No more arguing with soundmen. No more knocking it onto the floor accidentally. And best of all, no more obsessing about the sound in the house!

    Still think the cab mic is MUCH better than most DI's, though, and will always support its use. Adds balls to your FOH sound, and makes lesser rigs sound better and better rigs sound great. And the only DI's I've ever truly liked were speaker DI's from SVT's and my B-15, but soundmen were complaining that my onstage mixes and changes were way more drastic than they sounded in my amp, so I went back to the cab mic. But after yanking my mic down on the last gig I did with it, I had enough, and a good deal came along on an A-Designs REDDI, so I bit. After two gigs with it, I no longer feel the need to mic a cab to get my sound, so I'm back on the DI.

    It's the only DI I've ever heard that can hang with a clean B-15's speaker DI on its own terms, and it matches that tone dead on with no compromise. Just this beautiful pure tube sound, flat and clean and bulletproof in a mix. That's the only thing that could make me happy in a DI. But an extra added bonus is that it cleaned up some brashness in the snare and hi hat due to getting picked up from my cab mic. Wasn't unhappy with our drum mixes before, but it does sound more controlled. I knew I was getting a little bleed sometimes but didn't think it was that much.

    The only downside to this is it has turned me into a raging tube snob once again, and that has thwarted my original plan of using the REDDI for the house and my Micro VR for a monitor. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't hear a difference between real tube/transformer construction and solid state emulation on a gig. People will love you if you play righteous no matter what gear you use, but the differences are striking and real and 100% noticeable. The drunk guy trying to pick up the drunker chick at the bar doesn't care, but people who care about good sound pick up on these things, and there are a lot more of them at your gigs than you realize, and from now on, that's who I play to, and easy schlep just isn't worth it anymore. I could get away with it before because a cab mic can cover up for lesser gear quite well, but the REDDI puts it all out there right dead in the open just what great sounding bass tone is supposed to be, and quite frankly, I can't stand the thought of anything less coming out of my onstage rig because I am insecure and have a giant ego ;)

    Of course the cabs will get smaller and the B-15 will see a lot more action than the SVT, but it feels good to finally at peace both onstage and off. I can have my awesome amp that I can tweak to my heart's content, I can give them an idiot proof and real version of that that they can tweak to their heart's content, and I'm not going to stress gigs with unfamiliar soundmen anymore. I will find plenty of other things to rant about on my gigs, I'm sure, and I'm not looking forward to dragging the REDDI through airports, but at least the most important thing won't be one of them...and that's being able to relax onstage and just play and not think about your rig.
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Does this mean the PR40 is for sale?
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Nope. It's a keeper for lots of other stuff.
  4. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    I knew it was only a matter of time till you came to your senses.:bag: :D
  5. Joebarnes


    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    Damnit, if the king of the Mic'd bass cab is giving in, what chances do the rest of us schlubs have of talking sound tech's out of a DI?

    I can just hear it now.... "But... but, I sound way better with a mic'd cab".... "Duuudeee, JimmyM has seen the light. Now, why don't you plug into this here quality Behringer DI and we'll just call it a day."
  6. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    If you don't like the weather, just wait an hour and JimmyM will switch amplification strategies! ;)

    (actually, I just think you're more honest than most of us regarding your changing preferences!)
  7. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    There will now be even less used REDDI's on the market. Dagnabit!
  8. welcome to the dark side...

    This may be the first TB thread noting the soundman was right :)
  9. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    Cool to hear. How do you run it? Bass to DI to foh? I used to do that but was never happy with a DI like you. I started running one of the main outs of my pre (svtIIp) to a DI to foh, and have been very happy with that, but I don't change any settings for our songs. Been looking for a DI myself. Might have to check out the reddi.
  10. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    Welcome to the dark side ;)
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    LOL! Yeah, I look at stuff I wrote a couple years ago or more and I think, "Wow, did I really say that?" But at the time I guess that's how I felt. Oh well, it's a bass player's prerogative ;)

    Grendle, currently I'm going bass and upright > VT Deluxe > REDDI > amp, but I'm going to try to phase out the VTD with a tube dirt pedal as soon as I can find one I want to spend $350 on, and just go into that and the REDDI, and a Barber Linden EQ on upright. Then again, I may just hang with the VTD...not sure.
  12. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    If 2% of the audience cares and picks up on things like that, then you’re right, there are a lot more of them than I realize.

  13. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    We're going have to start calling JimmyM the "amp whisperer" from now on. :)
  14. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Good that you found a compromise you can sleep at night with.

    In the long run, we have to trust the FOH mixer to do their job. Having a great DI will certainly make that job easier, but a really bad FOH engineer can make a great DI (or an RE-20 on an SVT/810) sound bad just as easily as a great FOH engineer can make a ho-hum DI sound pretty damn good. Sometimes we get lucky and sometimes we don't. All we can do is try to make sure there are good people on board (pun intended) and learn not to get too wound up when we don't have control over it.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    REDDI's bulletproof. Yeah, sure, a soundman can screw it up if he really tried hard, but he'd almost have to completely cut everything below 200 and boost everything past 5k to do it ;) At the very least, I don't have to worry about my signal being turned from a raging beast into a little house mouse by a DI anymore, and that's a far cry better than it used to be with DI's.
  16. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    You've never played Freddy's Bar in Brooklyn, have you? ;)

    100% agreed! Not just the REDDI, either. DIs in general have really come a long way, for sure. There's finally some nice stuff out there.
  17. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    As far as I can remember, I've always DI'd! But I also run a clean sound. No effects other than a compressor on the front end.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I think folks who run only clean solid state amps get along with DI's much better than tube snobs like me and effects junkies (not a junkie but I do like overdrive). But if you ever heard a tube amp running clean and DI'd to the board, there's this stoutness and body to it that you just don't get in SS. All of a sudden the high notes don't lose their bottom and you don't have to make the low notes woofy to accomplish it. And to my ears it's got all the tightness of a SS amp but with this natural warmth to it that responds to your playing in a way I don't get elsewhere.

    That said, some don't like it, but while I respect their opinions, I don't see how anyone could listen to these clips and think otherwise:

    Countryman, REDDI, and B-15 with a speaker DI direct to my soundcard. I don't know man...people always try to downplay the difference between SS and tube, but I think that makes it pretty clear that we're not hearing things. And that's why I couldn't stand the thought of plugging into some solid state DI with an SVT or B-15 behind me.
  19. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Cool thread!

    Learning to play through a DI is a skill like any other skill; if you choose to make it a priority and practice practice practice, you can make it work. :)
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Or you can just do what I did...get fed up with it all and buy the best DI ever made ;) It's not a question of practice...I'm actually a pro musician. I can plug into anything and make it sound good. I just know what I like and solid state DI's aren't it. But trust me...I'm the first guy to tell people who need to be practicing instead of splitting hairs over gear to practice.