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I had a DREADFUL night last night.!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rockbobmel, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. The first time I tried my newest setup Mesa 400+ and Ampeg 810, I just wanted to pack up and leave.... It wasn't the equipment, I'm sure... We played a club in Hudson, NH and it had a nice LOOKING plywood stage with a DJ booth in the back corner and was stepped up about a foot. The stage was kitty corner, but with the back corner occupied, so it was a "W" shape in sorts. We used a 4-18 sub PA. and I was miked, set up toward one side angled forward into the room. EVERY frign time I hit an "E" low or high, I thought the stage would explode!!! It would run away like crazy. It was bass drum induced too. If the drum was stopped, all was OK.
    I can't deal with this $#!+ any more.!! We were on for 2+ hours straight, I tried to tell the drummer (practically band OWNER), and he just said deal with it. REALLY, I wanted the night to just end as soon as possible. Was I in some kind of bass trap pergatory..?? I asked around and someone from out front said I was burying the band, but he may have been hearing the feedback, and thought it was my volume . The drummer also has a hard mounted goosneck mic bolted to his kit frame. No one else said they heard what I did, but to me it was PROFOUND>!! I'm getting real sick of this $#!+... Thanks for letting me vent...
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Those kinds of venues are nightmares. You've got sound bouncing off everything and going right back into the PA. In your case, you found the resonant frequency of the stage. About the best you're going to be able to do is go to the EQ on your amp, and cut at about 80 hz (the first harmonic of your low E-string and the fundamental of the upper octave). Adjust it a little to either side while playing the most offensive note. The reason you hear it more than the audience does is that your standing on the transducer (stage). The sound from the stage has no directivity, so it's less evident to them.

    We occasionally play in a little bar that has a corner stage and low ceiling ... the worst room we play. The stage is so small that I don't take a rig, I just run through an Avalon U5 into the board. We're using Mackie SWA-1501 subs out on the floor, so they don't couple with the stage, and I still get plenty of bottom. The problem for us is that, while I don't ordinarily fight the keyboard player's left hand, he puts his stage amp on the stage, it couples, and there are a bunch of low notes that we fight over. At break time, I just sneak over and turn the bass on his amp almost all the way down. Works fine. Judicious application of EQ is going to be the answer.

    Finally, Are you sure a 400+ and an 810 aren't just too much sound for the room?
  3. Vent man vent. I hate situations like this. There's nothing you can do about what happened, you can only educate yourself to help prevent it next time. I am certainly not the one with all the answers but I had to chime in because I feel your pain. If you can't fix it you DO have to deal with it (i don't know the context of your drummers reply, I'm not sticking up for him). I think when you're at a gig you have to keep the audience and club owner in mind because you are doing a job, like it or not.

    My first thought is you needed to isolate the offending frequency with a parametric EQ and cut it. It appears that the room had a bad resonance. This probably applies to the PA mostly because you said the kick was doing it too. If you run the PA from the stage you need to get some trusting ears out there. Maybe the harsh resonance was noticable on stage only.
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    This is why I bring a piccolo bass to every gig. If the bass is too crazy, I just take it up an octave! No more resonant boominess!
  5. I'll try that EQ with 40, 80, 160 thing. I am also thinking of bringing my can to the front edge of the stage (where the bracing is) and angling it across instead of ON the spongy portion of the boards.
    Munji, This was my first time with this combination. I wanted to play around with different settings, but it was pick between $#!+ and double $#!+. We are a loud rock (Alice In Chains) tribute, and I am trying to get the kindeys vibrating without boominess. There were times when the guitar player was in the lower register that excited the problem, but he used a Digitech modling preamp and I would not know where to screw with the bass settings, or I WOULD. Great Idea!!!
  6. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Those are the type of situations where I've found that it's nice to have two smaller cabs than one big cab. That way you can unplug the bottom cab to reduce boominess and still have your top cab on up by your ears. Of course since the stage was booming when your drummer kicked his bass drum, you'd need to drop out that frequency on the PA system EQ. (monitor and house) But of course every low end problem automatically gets blamed on the bass player.
  7. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    I remember playing at a packed church during Friend day, when they all invited neighbors and coworkers etc to church. We were going to do two or three rock songs with a Christian slant (think Turn Turn Turn) anyway the stage was a big hollow half moon shaped thing. We were about a third thru the first song and this awful rumble came thru the PA and the sound man was a volunteer and didn't have any idea what to do. It just kept cycling thru the pa and the entire audience sit there looking at us bug eyed...it was horrible, and being the bass player of course it was my fault :rolleyes: I still get the willies thinking about it.
  8. I seriously do appreciate it. I really got quite emotional about the whole thing.
  9. You know, I thought I was alone on this wondering about piccolo bass. I want to know, do you actually have a custom made piccolo bass? or do you strap the strings on to a thin neck on bass. I'm wondering where I can get piccolo guage strings, cuz I'm thinking of putting a J-neck on a squire of mine, and also, I'm thinking maybe if people want to match my skills I should start a two bass band, one bass deep (regular guages) and one high (piccolo). sorry to bring the thread off topic, just wondering
  10. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    I wouldn't argue with what Munjibunga said, but to me it sounds like your rig was "coupling" with the stage. I wonder if you put a high density foam pad under your cab if that would lessen your problem without EQing your bottom end out of the mix? I don't know, I'm a noob, so I may be totally off bass.
  11. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    Besides being a bassist, I also provide sound engineering services for other bands on occasion, and all I can say is...


    9 times out of 10, some bar or club owner will think that they're being "magnanamous" by building you a stage, when all they're doing is creating a sonic nightmare. These are, by and large, people who haven't clue one when it comes to acoustics... yet do they bother to get "feedback" (pun intended :p ) from the people who have to utilize the "supposed stage"?

    Of course not.

    "After all, they're just a bunch of dumb musicians." "What could they know about building a stage?" :rolleyes:
  12. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    +1 with Munji,cb56, and megidoo.

    It's good to have a plan up your sleve for these rooms because you WILL come across them again. Also, have a plan up your sleeve for the echoey room, the proscenium stage, and the stage with no bottom end whatsoever.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The problem we've had is that some rooms (small ones) can't handle kidney-shaking volume any way you try. We played outdoors with our "Big PA" yesterday, and it was a real joy not to have any feedback like we get in the dive bars. Someone even asked us to turn it down (of course, it's always the ones who are sitting 5 feet from the mains).
  14. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Agreed. You may want to check out the Auralex "GRAMMA."
    Go to www.auralex.com

    You can order direct from www.musiciansfriend.com

    I have one and it works great with my rig: Mesa M-Pulse 600 and two Aguilar GS112's.

    Good luck!
  15. I was thinking that. It would be too tipsy for an 8-10.
  16. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    EVERY frign time I hit an "E" low or high, I thought the stage would explode!!! It would run away like crazy. It was bass drum induced too. If the drum was stopped, all was OK.

    If you can, try gating the kick mike. Backing off the compression on the kick may help with runaway too. Lots of other good suggestions in this thread, but it might be worth attacking the problem from the other (drum) end, assuming you can get the dictator, er, drummer, to cooperate. Sometimes a little detuning of a sympathetic drum resonance improves things a lot as well.
  17. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yep. Every room has an acoustic ceiling. It's basically that SPL level where everything turns to ****, and there's absolutely noting you can do about it without turning down first. It's amazing how many musicians and sound engineers aren't aware of this.
  18. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Yeah, you'd need four of them. Not exactly a cheap solution at $50 per...

    Have you considered changing formats? Perhaps a nice unplugged "folksy" set...

    Just kidding!

  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Ya know what, for al this talk about fancy pants $50 pieces of foam, you can just as easily go to the car and get your floor matts. Put your speaker cab on top of them to seperate it from the stage and POW, problem solved. I've used this many times, sometimes on speaker cabs as mentioned, and sometimes when I'm doing sound I place them under offending mic stands. It works and it's free.

    Is this the bit where you tell me that your part of the works doesn't use floor matts in your car? A piece of carpet offcut will do it too.
  20. Thanks Pete, Good idea. I'll have to sneak it in. I have some poly foam cubes (from stereo packaging) that I can try too. Our drummer controls EVERYTHING.!!! He has a kick drum stand and a bullet inside the kick head hole. I tried to move it back cause it was touching and I thought he was going to freak out. I told him it was about to rip his drum head, so he backed off.