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How different does my bass sound 15-20ft away from the amp.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dave_bass5, May 15, 2006.

  1. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    I do hope this isnt a really silly question but here goes.
    I play a Jazz through a MB SA450 and 1210. on stage i tend to have it quite loud (not through a PA so about half on the master) and have the amp more or less flat, just a bit of low boost. on stage it sounds very clear and punchy but not very deep. on a few of the recordings i have of gigs the low end is there. I do stand more or less on top of the amp so i know the outfront sound will be different but im not sure how much. i really dont want to push the low up too high and im hoping outfront it will be loud enough.
    am i right in thinking this.
    Again, if its a stupid question just ignor me. Im sure i konw the correct answer anyway but want some confirmation

    Edit: Re-phrased the question below.
  2. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Hard to say, I can't hear you from here.... maybe turn up a little....

  3. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Ha ha, yes i thought that might be in the first few.
    Ok, ill clarify my question (and change the title of the thread)
    How much does the sound change as its gets to the audience. is it possible that say 15-20ft out front there will be more low end and less mid punch than i am hearing while standing in front of the amp
    I hope that is a clearer.
  4. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Yes, IMO the bass will tend to fill the room, while the mids will dissipate more quickly as you get farther away.
  5. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Ok, thanks. i just dont get the chance to get out front (or sound check for that matter) but i would love to hear ME from out front, just once so i can get an idea if im boosting the low too much.
  6. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Can you get a bandmate to play your bass and go out front to listen to how the tone changes?
  7. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    No. at the moment we are playing a lot of weddings etc and we dont get to sound check as there are speach's, meals etc going on nearby or in the same room. our singer normally goes out in to the room with his radio mic in the first set to check the levels and mix and i have asked him what it sounds like but all i get is "yeah, really good". im sure he would say if its not but it would be nice to hear it for myself.
  8. high mileage

    high mileage

    Apr 17, 2006
    Rockford IL
    I know you said about how the tone changes, but it will already sound a lot different with someone else playing it. Especially a non-bass player (assuming, of course).

    An amp does sound different 15'-20' away compared to standing right next to it and part of that is that it's probably pretty low in height. I don't know what those cabs are but some have more of a difference than others. My SVT810 seems louder 15'-20' away compared to standing 3' away. It's made for throw, though.
  9. What dissipates quickly is the distortion. This is typically higher frequency noise, and peters out quickly.
  10. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    This reminds me of a recent gig I had where a friend who was in the back said he couldn't hear anything but the bass (I was running only my amp, no PA, and the PA kinda sucked anyway) even though the people in front thought bass, guitar, drums, and vocs were in perfect balence. I think the lower end just carries more.
  11. paulraphael


    Apr 13, 2006
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    The only time i've ever really heard my amp is when I've shared it with other bands. I've always been impressed by how it sounds in the back of a big room in the middle of a mix. When I play it on stage with loud guitars, though, I have trouble hearing myself. Big part of the trouble is that it's a 3x10, pointed at my knees.

    But even so, it sounds better to me from far away than it does at home, where i can't get farther than 15 feet from it. It's probably voiced to sound better in a mix than solo. also it can overload a small room pretty easily, especially if it's on the floor near a corner.
  12. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    I know the 1210 is designed to sound better in the mix than on its own. i guess as its quite middy it helps me hear it on stage and out front the lows take over and it sits in the mix well.
    At least, thats what i hope.
  13. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Dave, any chance of having a bassist you trust "sit in" for a tune? Then you'd get to hear how your rig sounds from out front. If it's someone you don't trust, bag it. If I were nearby, I'd be happy to play one for you so you could get out front...but it's too long and wet of a drive from my place to yours, so that's out...:eek: :D
  14. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    As we are playing weddings at the moment we cant take anyone with us. in fact all four of us fit in to 2 cars with all the gear so we couldnt get anyone in the car. But it is a good idea and if we play a pub somewhere maybe i can get another bass player along.
    I have been thinking of getting a Radio transmitter because of the awful weather we have and the fact we play mostly Marquees at the moment. i think it would be safer so that might give me the freedom to go out front.
  15. DAcat

    DAcat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    Dave-bass5-Hi...I take my 30 foot guitar chord with me to every gig so I can hear how we sound at sound checks out front the way the crowd hears us-you'll be suprised how different it is in every type of building...Peace...DAcat:cool:
  16. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    At about 21' (end of a normal cord) the sine wave starts to drop out & picks back up about 8' further out. So if you're standing 20' away from your amp you might not hear it as well as your band mates or someone standing 30' away from your amp.
    I think mixed drivers/cabs can help reduce the sine wave drop out. This dosen't occur w/in ears ; )

    BillFitzMaurice, can you shed some technical light on this.
  17. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    OK, I'll tell you my firsthand experiences, you decide how this applies in your world or not.

    I have a GK 800 RB with one 410 hartke XL and two 115 Hartke XL cabs. The rig is taller than me. I used to play in a jazz context, and soundmen would have heart attacks when I'd arrive with this rig. Curiously, many would come up to me after the show, express their initial fears but thank me for having been rather controlled in my volume during the performance, and usually would inform me that they even had to put me in the house system.

    Conversely, I'd go on tour, and sometimes find Trace Elliot systems in Europe (despite equipment rider warnings against them). These rigs would be virtually inaudible to me on stage, since they seem to lack certain harmonic components or overtones that I apparently key off of. Meanwhile, I'd glance up, and people's hair in the fifth row would be moving along with my low B, and the soundman would be flipping me off.

    I hated those rigs for this reason.

    The answer, it seems, is that projection and "throw" varies widely from amp system to amp system.

    If you can find a rig that allows you comfortable stage monitoring, and keeps you in the good graces of your band members, audience members, and soundmen...you're cool.

    If you're pissing people off, you may not have the ideal stage rig.
  18. I had a similar problem with my old Hartke Stack - HA4000 / 410w/horn / 215. I couldn't hear it on stage 4' away from it, although the air it displaced nearly knocked me off the stage and was way too loud 60' to 70' away. I think alot of this had to do with the aluminum cone speakers. I loved the sound of the Hartke Cabs I just couldn't hear them on stage - They seemed to get lost in the mix with everyone else playing. I have played through a GK tiltback combo that was similar also in a different way - It produced mids up close and gave you hearable tones on stage, but provided room filling bass that was almost overwhelming in a small bar or club.
  19. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    IMO... absolutely. That's why I dislike 'in the basement/solo playing' reviews so much (of course, there's a place for that also, but I find the conclusions misleading many times). Many times, a cab that has a huge, full, low end, or even a very 'balanced' sound in a small space played 'solo' can really sound mushy and boomy in a larger space in a mix. Conversely, cabs that seem to work wonderfully on the gig sometimes sound a little constrained and 'uneven' in a small enclosed space.

    IMO, your sound will have much less definition and more lows (in general) as it moves out into the room, and as the upper mids and treble are sucked up by the carpet, audience, etc., etc. I believe that's why the medium Schroeders (like your 1210) end up sounding so nice out front, while they can sound quite 'mid humpy and constrained in the low end' up close or in a small, confined space.

    It's been my experience that most electric bassists I hear in a club or private party who use only backline rarely suffer from too little low end, but some do suffer from a somewhat muddy, in-articulate tone with very little upper mid and treble response.

    So, again IMO... if it sounds a little 'mid-rangy' on stage, with a little too much sizzle up close (assuming you want sizzle in your sound), it will sound MUCH more full and balanced out front, and you will still tend to maintain some definition in your tone.:bassist:
  20. How can you quantify this with these numbers? You are being pretty specific not to be able to explain it yourself.

    Why does this happen? You refer to sine waves, so what about a sine wave causes it to drop out at 21' and pick up 8' later?

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