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Is it better to mic your cabs onstage, or run directly through DI?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Triclops, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. Triclops

    Triclops Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    what do ya'll think?:help:
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    DI works much better. First of all, it is hard to find a placement of a mike that captures the full sound of a ported bass cab. Second, the mike picks up everything in the vicinity. Third, you can't control your stage volume without affecting FOH volume. DI solves all of these problems.
  3. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Ask for both if you can. You'll soon find that neither one is ideal alone, but a mix of the two brings out the best qualities of both, the accurate low end of the D.I. and the 'real' sound of a mic'd cab.
  4. +1. Says it all.
  5. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    My DI is nearly identical to the signal I send to my cab, both coming off the Roland V-Bass's [hot but adjustable] XLR outs. This works great because my cab when massaged by my Rane DC24 on the way to my Peavey DPC1400X amp is pretty close to good PA response including subwoofer. It's pretty much plug-and-play for any system that's set up correctly. Similarly, any other rig I build or buy or assemble better be capable of similar response
  6. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I give the soundman a DI out, and keep my cabs onstage so's I can feel bass. I've only played one venue that had sufficient monitor coverage onstage that I didn't need my rig to feel the low end as well as hear it. I try to keep my onstage volume moderate so as not to interfere with the soundman's mix, as well.

    That assumes, of course, that I'm playing a place where I didn't have to bring the PA, which is not always the case.

    In my ideal world, I'd be playing in front of thousands in a stadium or arena, and my cabs would be miked eight ways from tuesday. But I'm not at that level. Yet.
  7. Unless you're using effects. Or using your amp and cab to get a certain colouration. You (or the FOH guy) don't necessarily want the full sound of a ported cab going to the house, especially in an acoustically difficult room. Bleed isn't even an issue with a close mic'd bass cab. For one, the mics used by any sensible soundman are fairly directional. For another, the SPL 3 inches from the typical bass cab is enough that any extraneous noise is so far below signal that it's hardly worth worrying about.

    ...And finally, there's something about the interaction between a speaker and a mic that just can't be acheived with a DI.

    Personally, as a sound engineer and a player I tend to use both. Sometimes I only use the DI signal, sometimes I only use the mic, sometimes I use both. Just another tool in the box. :D

    ...And I generally want a pre-EQ signal when I'm mixing. A player's on-stage EQ usually has little bearing on what's necessary for the house. Most of the time they've got the bass boosted all to hell to compensate for a cab with slack low end response.
  8. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH

    DI for me.
  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I'm a DI guy personally. Radial J48 is great. I have an inbound Radial Bassbone to play with for a bit. From what I understand, it's DI is on par with their pro passive units.

    The DI in my old GK 1001 RB II was very, very good. No complaints from FOH guys with that.
  10. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    DI. And most of the time I give the soundguy the tone of my bass set flat (pre-eq). That way he can do his job. If he's a good soundman, then I'm in good hands. If he's a bad soundman then it doesn't really matter what I send him! So I make it simple on myself and keep the DI from my preamp set to pre-eq.
  11. +1000

    especially if you play through 8's or 10's. mic the best sounding speaker with a good kick drum mic or low tom mic, blended with your DI (I like to use the xlr out on my SWR if I can get away with it) will give you a great sound in the house.
  12. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    My stage volume affects DI/board volume as well.

    Personally, I try to use both if I can. A lot of my tone is in the Schroeder cab, so if i'm ever at a gig where I actually need PA.. I try for both. If not, the Schroe usually works better at projecting my bass than the PA anyway, haha.
  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'll run the DI live. Much easier, much more consistent.
  14. +1

    Just D.I. gets you that direct tone, but you miss that sound of moving air and speaker, which I love.

    But just micing the cab creates a load of issues (loss of some low end, picking up outside noise, etc).

    Both solves all problems.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  16. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Cort, Traynor
    I've found the sansamp RBI direct out to give a very good sound. Usually that is good enough for me. I also carry my own bass mic.
    I've found if I have a very good soundman it gives "a little something extra" to add the mic. But if the soundman is not as talented it is easier to just give the direct out. If I am mixing FOH I like to have both. Some gigs you will not have a choice - just DI.
    Try the RBI direct - I think you'll like it!
  17. Triclops

    Triclops Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    The RBI sounds like a good idea, but I already have a good DI on my 750x.So I gotta try the DI+mic gimmick, to see how it sounds!
  18. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Actually, using both frequently causes phase cancellation problems that robs the balls out of your tone. If you have a soundman that is on top of it and keeps an eye out for it, it might not be a problem. Most usually aren't that critical and will plow you through the show phase issues notwithstanding.
  19. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Cort, Traynor
    Hence my remark about a talented soundman. I guess add to that "A talented soundman who cares"
  20. tlwaps


    Feb 13, 2006
    I like both and I wish I could use both but most of the sound guys here just hook up a DI and call it a day. At the gig I played last Friday I brought my own Shure Beta 52 kick drum mic for my drummers bass drum and asked the sound guy if we could use it, his response was "Yeah, but I hate those damn things." :eek: Later I saw he was using an SM58 (yes 58 not 57) to mic the bass drum(s).

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