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How to hear your sound in a large room?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by suraci, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    I play in an auditorium ( approx 1000 peoplle capacity ) and I have been relying on other people's opinions re my sound.
    What method is recommended for playing bass a good 50 to 75 feet OFF stage, so I can hear what audience hears?
    I am speaking about before we actually perform!

    Wirelessly Or a huge cable? I have no experience with doing this

    Maybe the distance doesn't have to be as much as a 100 feet
    But I am guessing 75 feet would give me a rough estimate of my tone.
    Thanks .
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    75 ft should be plenty enough since you'll start getting a delay well before then, but I prefer a wireless. Less unwieldy.
  3. will33


    May 22, 2006
    You got it. Wireless, long cable (or 2 or 3 hooked together with adapters just for soundcheck), or a trusted pair of ears out there. If it's just you guys in the band setting up, take turns playing each others instruments so the other can go out front and listen. Basically hear the group minus one part and do the best you can.

    On bass, up close it may sound like you need more bass in your sound when in reality, you may need less. A bunch of lowend rattling around out there can muddy up the mix, wash out vocals, etc. Sometimes you might need more so the lowend doesn't disappear, it's a judgement call. In a big echoey place like that with a lot of natural reverb from the room, use much less, or maybe even no reverb on vocals/guitars, etc. It'll just get washed out making guitar work sound all jumbled together and lyrics all but impossible to understand. May sound pretty dry or "naked/exposed" where you're at but will sound good in the audience.
  4. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Great and helpful responses. Thank you
    And here's to a great new year
  5. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I usually play in very large ballrooms or convention centers. I cant hear the bass on stage but in the back of the room they tell me to turn it down... Just go with it. You'll be heard.
  6. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    OT but how is it you can't hear? What I am saying is raising one the cabs nearer to ear level wouldn't solve this?
  7. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    Wireless is definitely ideal to hear the mix, walk around the whole room. Bass will tend to build up in corners and against the back wall.
    Be aware though that once the place fills up, what may seem like a washy or boomy mix with the room empty can change dramatically with meat barriers in place.
  8. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    if you are playing 1000 cap rooms hopefully you are using a decent PA for most of your sound.
  9. Line 6, G30. ;)
  10. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    If you are referring to suraci- myself- I play in a quite soft to moderate volume band. I COULD play a single 10 and be loud enough.
    I use 410. More than enough power.
    I have never liked PA support. This gig doesn't need it.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you set your volume and tone to mix well with the band onstage, chances are you will be good for the room, too. This can change depending on the room, so going offstage to listen is always best, but if you are mixed with everyone well onstage, it usually translates to good house sound. I agree with you...it can easily work to run a moderate volume band in a 1000 seat venue with a 410 and head with a semi-decent amount of wattage.
  12. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    For me, if it is venue with PA support, I trust the sound guy, for better or worse, it usually works out.

    If it is no PA support, I go with the on-stage consensus and tend to cut bass and boost level if I feel I am getting buried—with some exceptions for really packed or dead rooms.

    In practice, my gigs without PA support are usually at low volume levels. :ninja:
  13. Blue


    Jun 19, 2004
    Central NC
    Agreed: Lower Overall Band Level is a plus.
    Agreed: Sound changes a lot based on room location.
    Agreed: Sound changes a lot based on room load (people out there).

    People think I'm nits but I usually put my cabinet as far away fro me as possible. When it's right at my feet I feel clueless as to what it sounds like "out there".
  14. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Ok that's all cool
    I am the bass player . No one else, that is why I asked about hearing from way off stage.

    If you play Far from your source sound, your cabinet
    Where are you in relation to the drummer and other rhythm player(s)??

    I like to be close to drums.
  15. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Yes, your experience resonates with me as true
    But, in this case- very very high ceilings plus the request to not be too loud , creates a real Rubics Cube for the band.
    Lots and lots of AIR dissipates sound and works against having a unified feeling of oneness , as you get with less air to fill In a club with normal ceilings.

    Plus, again, our volume has to be kept a bit lower than any of us really wish. We have to so to speak, play for the sensiitibity of the most sensitive listener - not easy!!
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I know the feeling. That kind of volume is the case for me on every one of our gigs, even our arena gigs. OTOH, very few people know what a B-15 sounds like going through a line array PA in an arena...but I do ;)
  17. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    I guess my question about how do I hear off stage is directived more to my TONE than volume. I need to actually HEAR my own sound just once.
    I guess I will get some adaptors then connect four twenty footers and see.
    Am I wrong in thinking there is some definite TONAL latitude - most sound men talk about hearing "articulation" that my bass needs to be brighter than I may wish
    The question for me is an artistic one:
    TO WHAT DEGREE ido I need to be HOW bright?
    There is Duck Dunn and Bob Babbitt and then more bright modern conceptions of tone, on the other end ____ fill in your favorite top heavy modern bass player

    To make that decision , nothing, even a buddy, replaces my own set of ears
  18. bezbass


    Aug 19, 2011
    IMHO an Ampeg classic 8x10 does the trick with an svt head...every time..it throws beautifully but is tall enough to hear when next to it too.
  19. bezbass


    Aug 19, 2011
    Also I have a 20metre cable for soundchecks which sometimes is wierd when you are that far out as you can hear the natural latency as you play but gives you a true reflection of audience perception
  20. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    You do realize that I have done this steady weekly gig, with as little as a single 15- no PA support? In other words, we play SOFTLY!
    I am SOOO tempted to try an svt 810... my sound man wishes I would use a single 12! In a room that huge, I just don't see a small single cab regardless of what speaker is in it.
    I am currently struggling to control the hefty sound of a ported 410 hlf, my present cab the past year or so. But when I try switching back to single 12 or 15 cabs, I miss something the massive 410hlf brings. The 410 hlf has of course loads of lows, and the room does not really need that much lows. Your sealed cab idea solves the reduction of lows issue. I won't MISS those lows will I ? I mean we play softly, so the 810 can produce lows at such low levels, correct?)
    So your idea of 810 SEALED is very much on my mind. It just seems weird to have the 810 on a gig whose actual volume requirements are no more than a pushed single 15". Come on man, give me a reason to try it!!!

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