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How loud is your backline @ the gig?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Yamarc, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Okemos, MI
    So, how loud do you guys run your rigs at the gig?

    Does most of your volume come from your rig or from the PA?

    It seems like some folks just try to barely hear themselves and let the PA push the real volume...what about you?

    (Also- As a point of reference, ID your rig and your gig)
  2. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Sekldom have full PA support here, so it's up to the backline, at least for bass guitar. On these smaller stages a lot of mids-and-above seem to enter the PA through the frontline vocal mics - they have big presence peaks and little low end without their proximity effect.
  3. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    If the gig has decent subs, I point my amp directly at the drummer and turn it down until the drummer complains. I stand between my amp and the drummer trying not to block the sound he receives. For smaller gigs without subs, I put my cabs behind and to the side of the drummer, try to get some decent back wall reflection and point my cones out at the audience. More volume required for this scenario.

    I'm running a Carvin Redline 600 watt head with a Carvin 2x10 and a Carvin 1x15 cab. Both cabs are 4 ohm, but the head actually has two amps so each amp is driving a single 4 ohm cab. Plenty loud except for outdoor gigs. Then I need some extra bass in the monitors.
  4. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    We do gigs where we run our own small PA. It is basically a 15 and a horn on either side and a 18" powered sub. When we use this system I just let my rig carry the room. When we hire sound I think I'm still pretty loud but I am still going through the PA. I trust the sound man to make the balance right. I tell any sound guy right up front that if he needs me to turn down I will certainly work with him. Our drummer hits pretty hard and our guitar player likes to play loud so I need to be able to hear myself and I have plenty of head room.;)
    My 8x10 cab likes to work.
  5. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I let my rig handle the venue, because I don't like how it sounds turned down low. To me, it only sounds good with the volume at 6 or above. I usually keep it at 8 or so. Guitarist has his amp at 10 (out of 12), and we get a good balance that way.
  6. I almost always use my rig to run the show, except for the once in a blue moon huge stadium gig.
  7. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    My amp doesnt' start to sound right until the volume knob is at about 6.(Old Sunn 200s) If that's too loud for the sound guy, I'll turn down and use a clean boost/overdrive pedal to get the desired sound at a lower volume. In a perfect world, my stage volume is loud enough to be heard over the guitar players Plexi. The bass rig ALWAYS goes right next to the drummer!! I always try to work with the sound man, but if I can't hear my amp on stage, or through the monitors, UP goes the volume!
  8. rok51


    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    I just get a decent stage volume and let the PA do the work. Sounds better for us out front when the backline is under control.

  9. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    i suppose it depends on the sound engineers preference. Our engineers really like to maintain volume control for the room so I feel I can't turn up alot. I try to get along with them and not piss them off, because if they want they can shut me down in the mains and my rig can't carry the room.

    I always play the same gig in the same room, church, kids room 30'x60'. I run a eden wt550 with two aguilar gs112's. I usually have my rig volume a hair louder than PA. sometimes thats not loud enough for the band's momentum so I turn up another click or two.

    The core of the band (keys,drums,bass) are pretty close to each other, about 4' each from my rig. so I don't really have to crank. I HAVE to hear the vocal for my changge cues, so I try not to drown out the vocal.
  10. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Depending on the gigs, the band I play in uses 4,000 up to 16,000 watts for the PA. So my tone is all from the PA. I use my amp on stage, though.
  11. i do whatever our engineer tells me to. its all well and good thinking you know better, but the engineer knows whats needed in context.
  12. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    This is true. I always try to work with the engineer but sometimes I just can't hear myself so I gotta crank.
    I have thought of using my single 12 practice amp as a monitor but I have yet to try it.
    We just played a gig where the sound guy said that he was glad I was cranked up so he didn't have to push his subs so hard. The bar hosting the event told him not to bring in a huge system so he just used 4 powered 15" subs and 4 full range powered cabs and they kept asking him to turn it up.:meh: Anyway he was glad that I showed up with some wattage.:)
  13. I think I have a pretty standard setup. I set up my rig facing the audience every time. If we have a good house PA then I will DI into it so the rest of the band can have bass in the monitors if they wish and the soundman can control my volume off stage. I am sure I run into the same problems as the rest of you. I have a heavy handed (and footed) drummer and sometimes the soundman is telling me to turn down my bass but I already can't hear myself. Depending on the stage, I try to set up my rig at least 5 feet away from the drum kit so I can get close to my rig without standing right next to the drums. We are a four piece blues/funk band and have a pretty simple PA for when we need to provide our own sound. When we do that, which is often, I stay out of the PA and let my rig do the work.
  14. Most of the bands I see have too loud a back line, PA support or no. They hit 110 to 115 dB at the middle of the audience position, so I can only imagine how loud it is at the backline on stage. I don't bother to mic these bands other than voice. No point in it.

    Invest in hearing aid stocks. There is a whole new flock of customers coming up in the next few years.


    If you cannot hear your rig onstage, lift it up to ear level. You can keep the level under control and still make yourself heard and/or deaf.
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    My bass almost never gets PA support. In fact I'm usually the only one without support... even the drummer gets a mic or two for his kit. And one of the drummers I gig with has a loud kit and hits hard. So, I usually bring a big loud rig.

    What works beautifully for me is the preamp of my choice (I own a few), a Stewart World 2.1 power amp, and Bergantino speakers. For smaller gigs I use just my HT310, or an HT210/HT115 stack. For larger gigs I use my NV610 or an HT310/HT115 stack.

    P.S. I carry earplugs with me wherever I go and use 'em when necessary
  16. slagbass

    slagbass Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Even though we live in different countries, we must see the same bands! :D
    With good PA support, my rule is to use just enough volume so that I can hear myself and the drummer can hear me. Given decent monitor support and a willing soundman, I've also had great results with my bass plugged into a SansAmp BDDI - no backline at all. Keep in mind most of what I play is rock/funk. For some reason, many musicians seem to think a rock gig means you need a stadium-approved backline.
    I've yet to meet a soundman who asked a band to turn UP their stage volume to help the FOH sound!
  17. The best soundman in my area is named Doc. I do what the doctor orders. Seriously, he has years of experience, is standing out front and works diligently at his job, which is making us sound as good as possible.
  18. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I try to get a good mix with the acoustic sound of the drums onstage.. Lately i have been turning my rig sideways to play towards the drummer.. either an ashdown ABM500 C115 combo with an aggy GS112 on top //or two aggy GS112 cabs with my F2B Preamp and Crown poweramp....this way we lock . The guitar players on my local gigs are always way too loud and play way on top of the mix on stage.. killing the drummer and I. So I use inear monitors.. It keeps the guitars out to a reasonable level. and I can hear my bass coming back at me. And not pointing my rig towards the house allows the sound person to put me in the PA more.. I basically use my rig onstage as a semi monitor and pants flapper...
  19. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Last night, it was a mighty 100-W combo with a speaker sensitivity of roughly 92 dB/1W/1m. I was wearing plugs. The PA support was great.
  20. That all depends on how reasonable the soundman is willing to be.

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