In a Gym?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by VitalSigns, Nov 9, 2011.


  1. VitalSigns

    VitalSigns

    May 8, 2011
    Central NY
    So I might be playing in a gym for a pep rally in febuary. What would be good amps and cabs to use? I dont think we'll have a PA. Could I get by with a combo? I guess it's a small to medium sized gym.

    This is all "semi-hypathetical" any imput would be good :D
     
  2. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    what a reverberation nightmare. what's the group? like four/five pc rock band? or 20 (or whatever) pc pep band with horns, multiple drummers, etc. i'd say on the surface a combo should do you fine. at my school we had a peavey tnt for this type of stuff and i never had it over half, even with a drum section, horns, and a full two levels of people. has it got a second level? are there acoustic panels around the rafters? bleachers on 1,2,3 or 4 sides? so many factors, but for a 30 min pep rally you'll only need 10 or so mins of actual play time, don't over think it.
     
  3. VitalSigns

    VitalSigns

    May 8, 2011
    Central NY
    This would be a rock band. Bass, drums and one, maybe two guitars. Bleachers on the two long sides of the rectangle. The band on the far end. Hope this helps.

    Oh and the roof is also slightly dome shaped.. Not sure if that matters though.
     
  4. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    ya, i think that helps. definately want something with a little power, like 100 watts or so (rating, not actual). keep in mind that bass isn't truly directional, so it will bounce all over the place and might actually seem louder at a distance than it does right up on it where you are. you could end up drowning out the guitar. but with all of those bleachers full of people this might not be as big of a concern as how much power your guitar player is using. i'd say something like a 100-150 watt combo with a 15 should cut the mustard--you're at school, not a night club. i'd definately concern myself more with the guitar setup and direction the guitar rig is pointed. will there be vocals? there's concern there too. hope i helped.
     
  5. VitalSigns

    VitalSigns

    May 8, 2011
    Central NY
    Not sure about vocals. This all still kinda in the planing stage. But if there were what would you recomend doing? Also should bass always use more watts than the guitar? Thanks again.
     
  6. In-Ear Monitors are your only friend in a gymnasium situation.
     
  7. VitalSigns

    VitalSigns

    May 8, 2011
    Central NY
    I don't think I'll be able to aford these just yet. :D
     
  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    With all the bouncing around of the frequencies, bass tends to disappear in gymnasiums and sound like an a.m. radio.

    I'd recommend as large of a cabinet / as many speakers as you can muster.
     
  9. And try to keep everyone's volume l-o-w!! Playing in a room like that,the louder you are,the worse it sounds. God,I hate playin' places like that.
     
  10. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    +1 to chokeslam, gyms are a sound nightmare. bass "needs" more power to reproduce the frequencies. as far as vocals go, more speakers are better, spread ou as much as possible b/c the vocal frequencies are gonna get lost in the insulation the audience represents. much like guitar will. again, total sound nightmare. but to go to the orig ques, i'd say 100-150 watt, 1x15 combo should be good for bass. if your gym is equipped with a multi-speaker setup for pa, i recommend using it in addition to a decent pair of pro pa speakers. angle your pa and guitar speakers with coverage in mind, and honestly, cross your fingers. best bet--- just make sure you can play the material very well and don't need audible clues from the other members of the group.i'm sorry i can't help more, but gyms kinda suck to play in they just aren't designed to be AUDItoruims.(note the latin root)
     
  11. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    +1 to this! I played in pep band in high school and we would set up in the bleachers - guitar, bass, keys, full kit, additional percussion, and the brass/woodwinds section. With a little 1x12 50 watt combo I was too loud in the gym.
     
  12. Any low sub bass will turn to total mud. Let the low mids do the work.
     
  13. Indoor basketball courts, gym’s, etc can be a total reverb nightmare. I recommend that the whole band uses as little volume as possible so it doesn’t all turn into mud. Good luck!!!
     
  14. dog1

    dog1

    Dec 30, 2008
    Indiana
    Yup. Gym=nightmare. Remember that whatever you hear standing by the drummer, will not be what everyone else is hearing. Even though 112 w/50 watts may seem loud in the gym when you are playing alone, once the drummer gets going, things will change. So, what can I say. A couple hundred watts with 2-10's, at least. Another thing. People soak up sound. An empty gym during a sound check will not give you any idea of the sound when the gym is filled with people.
     
  15. dog1

    dog1

    Dec 30, 2008
    Indiana
    +1. Go for the mids and high end
     
  16. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    note that even during a standing room only baskeball game with crowd noise and all you can still clearly hear every dribble of the basketball. don't mic those drums! i think even tho we all seem to have little differences in opinions we all agree this is a potential sound disaster, so i'd say just take the agregate advice and consider reverb, speaker direction and be careful not to over analyze the whole thing. you guys playing well and not creting a wall of mush with stacks of equipment is prob the end result here. vocals just need to be spread out or they'll get lost, i'd say. coverage over volume. i wish you the best, and most important-- have fun.
     
  17. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    Some good advice here already.

    Re: the volume thing. Yes, louder is going to make things worse. Stuff is already going to boom and carry in there like all hell. NO mics on the drums. Turn up enough to blend with the drums and no more. A 115 or 210 combo can handle this. Turn the bass knob down a notch or 2 and use lowmids to make the sound thick.

    Setup tight/close together so you all in the band can hear each other and stay together. Your guutar should have enough amp to match level with you and the drummer with a little boost above that for leads. Any louder and the overall whole mix won't sound good. Probably don't need much guitar amp for that either although his highs vould get washed out in all the noise and have muddy sound for the audience off to the sides. He might do better to use 2 small guitar amps instead of one big one and crossfire them so one is pointing to the audience on each side if you can't put him in the PA.

    The biggest issue will likely be vocals. You could do it with a powered mixer and a couple mains but you may have to work the eq a little to keep lyrics understandable and not let the band wash out the vocal. Again crossfire the mains so one is pointing at the audience on the opposite side. If they have the vocals going through the built in address system like they use to announce games etc., it's going to be a mess but you may not be able to avoid it. You're still going to need some monitoring up close to stay together, sing on pitch, etc.

    Don't play too loud, be well rehearsed and play tight. The sound is already going to be bouncing around for 3 or 4 seconds when you cut off a note, having a loose band is going to make things much worse.

    Do whatever you can to get the best sound you can but most of all, no matter what it sounds like come showtime, HAVE FUN. It's a highschool pep rally, it has a built in audience that should be cheering and making noise, it's supposed to be fun. Don't stand there and overconcentrate like a stick in the mud, have fun and your audience will too.
     
  18. VitalSigns

    VitalSigns

    May 8, 2011
    Central NY
    Thanks again guys. Some real good information here.
     
  19. Last Friday, I played with a drummer and one guitarist in my high school gym. I used a Fender BXR 100 (100 watts) and it was basically worthless in this situation. I was never more than 10 feet away from my amp and could BARELY hear myself. I talked to some friends who were watching afterwards, and they said they couldn't hear me at all. And they were all on the floor, not in the stands or anything.

    In short, my relatively medium sized combo did not cut it. My sound was just lost in the huge room, buried by the hundreds of people and my band mates (my guitarist's 50 watt amp's volume was at 2. My gain and volume were on 10.)
     
  20. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    is your amp ok? this doesn't seem right. is this a 100 watt amp as is or is it 100 watts with an extension cab, meaning more like 50 watts as is?
     
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