Live Rig Sound Problems

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lowfreqfreak, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. lowfreqfreak


    Jul 1, 2001
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses, GHS Strings
    What's up all?
    I've been playing for about 10 years but never really focused on the technical aspects of gear. In short, I am having some problems with my live sound, particularly when I go direct. When I play in our practice space, my sound is great through my cab.

    I am using a hartke 3500 through a swr goliath sr. (6x10).

    I used to use my hartke 3500 through the matching hartke 4.5xl (4x10 with 5"cone) My sound was fine with this setup.

    I had been using a Warwick Corvette standard 5string (passive) up until about the time that I got the SWR cab.

    I recently aquired a 1994 warwick streamer lx (active, 2 band).

    People say that the new warwick gets lost in the mix when my band plays our heavier parts. And when I slap, there is supposedly some popping "like a loose connection" or maybe "when you adjust your volume and eq onstage" people have suggested.

    Others have said the bass puts out too much lows. My hartke head has a simple compression circuit that i adjusted to help keep everything the same volume (so i think...i don't really know how that works)

    I'm kinda bothered by this, because I love my new bass and I hate to imagine that it sounds like **** live. But basically the Corvette with my old cab sounds better.

    Any suggestions? I assume I can settle the muddiness by adjusting my eq. Should I look into a rackmount compression unit such as a dbx 160? I've seen that people like Ryan Martinie of the band Mudvayne has one and you cna pretty much hear everything he plays live.

    Is my hartke too weak for my new cab? I do pump the volume more when we play live than in the practice room. (It's basically my monitor)

    Please help me

  2. Well, I'm guessing the Hartke is 350 watts. If that's the case then yeah, it's not enough wattage to do a 6x10 justice. It'll fart out when you push it because it's not enough watts to drive the cabinet. If you're sold on the 6x10 it might be time for a new head.
  3. lowfreqfreak


    Jul 1, 2001
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses, GHS Strings
    Yeah man, the hartke is 350w. that's 240w rms supposedly. and the 6x10 is rated to handle 1000w. I was thinking about getting a swr 750 head. what do you think?
  4. There's no doubt about it, what you hear at home isn't anything at all like the sound playing live. At home I think we turn the bass (and compression)up too much, it sounds good at home because the rooms in a house are generally "bright" in my opinion. Whereas in a gig, the bass gets boomy.

    I don't think you need a different compressor, I barely use mine in my Hartke 5000. I have to be more careful about my playing though...I'd cut some of the compression out and keep the lows neutral, not boosted but not cut either. I'd try for a tad of mid boost, and keep the treble neutral. Kind of a reverse smile. And also use more of the solid state pre, not the tube....
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    What's the ohmage of the Goliath cab? If it's 8ohms you ain't gettin' the whole 350w out the Hartke.

    *Edit: Never mind, the website says 4ohms for that cab.

    Also, folks new to active basses tend to max out the controls on the bass. If you are, roll off the bass knob until it's flat. Too much bass can cause clipping and cab farts! Roll off some of the treble as well. It could be the source of the clickety clak sound folks are hearing. I agree though that you need more power to pump into that cab.
  6. P.S. What you see in a player's rack on stage may have absolutely NOTHING to do with the sound you're hearing. Some guys have a huge rack onstage, but go through a DI and let the sound guy handle the FOH sound. Kind of like the arena bands that will line up a whole stage full of Marshalls....only most of the cabs aren't even loaded....
  7. Yeah, I think that would do a much better job.
  8. I think the 3500 does indeed put out 350 watts RMS into 4 ohms, but probably 250 or so into 8 ohms. However, your cab is 4 ohms according to the other post. So I think you should have enough power, though who can resist more power?????
  9. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    It's 350w @ 4ohms. 240w @ 8ohms.
  10. lowfreqfreak


    Jul 1, 2001
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses, GHS Strings
    The bass has a passive option (pull out on the volume knob), but I generally add only a slight amount of active eq just for a slight edge. Should I have the soundguys mic my cab from now on? As you can see I'm no live sound tech. haha Thanks for all the replies so far.
  11. Get a Mesa 400+, you'll never have any volume problems ever again.

    They weigh a lot though. And their kinda pricey...
  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    That may be a good idea as some amp onboard DI's are just crap. I use a separate passive DI that just sends a clean signal from the bass to the FOH. I get complaints from soundmen ocasionally about the onboard DI's on my amps so I don't even bother with them.
  13. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    Less than 50 lbs with Grundorf case.........and about $800. used with new tubes..... If this guy can lug a 6-10, the 400+ is no problem. Now an SVT... is heavy, about 85 lbs. and a lot of guys don't even gripe about the weight.
  14. lowfreqfreak


    Jul 1, 2001
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses, GHS Strings
    The clipping or popping is heard through the PA, and not my cab. I never had a problem with this before.
  15. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Then its most likely the DI output on your amp.

    Most people say that its good to have 1-2 times the power your cab can handle, some people even go up to 3x. Much better to overpower than underpower.
  16. lowfreqfreak


    Jul 1, 2001
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses, GHS Strings
    Looks like it's time to finally retire my trusty old hartke. This sucks because I have 3 back to back out of town gigs next week and I can't afford a new head in the meantime.
  17. Not so fast!! thinks to self, "why is it that every time somebody has a problem with an amp, people jump up and tell them to buy a new amp..."

    If my memory serves me right, your DI out has a switch to select pre- or post- EQ. Which way are you set? Try pre- EQ first, or if that's the way it's set, try the other way!!

    Also, is it possible the sound guy has your gain turned up a little too much, and you may be clipping on the mixer's input channel. In this case it's not your amp's fault at all. And if your sound is getting lost in the PA mix, it's certainly not your amp's fault, it's the sound man's fault!!!!

    I think it's an over-generalization to blame poor sound mixes on the amp's onboard DI. I'm sure some DI's are better than others, but as far as the sound,even very simple and cheap circuits will suffice here. There isn't much to a DI out.
  18. lowfreqfreak


    Jul 1, 2001
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses, GHS Strings
    I hear you that it is probably the sound guy's fault (he's the scapegoat for everything) haha. But it has happened at this venue often lately, and even when they have 2 different guys on different nights (the clipping sound). It also happened in the studio...our engineer couldn't figure out what the problem was. I ended up plugging directly into his board, which solved the problem. I'm going into the studio right now. I'll check it out and see what the deal is with the pre/post setting, but I'm pretty sure it has been on the same setting for the entire 3 years I've owned it. I'll be back later to report. hah.
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Dude, just get youself one of these. Less than $100 most places. There are other brands and types available. No need to get a new amp. The problem could be the soundboard being used. I play at one venue that I can never use my amps DI and I've played places where I had no problem using the amps DI. Best bet is to always have a separate DI box just in case. I consider it an accessory must. I attached a pic of mine. It's the older model.

  20. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Instead of replacing your head, why don't you switch back to the 4x10 (which you liked the sound of, right?), and spend your money on a good outboard DI (like and Avalon, Radial, or Countryman) so you can adjust your monitor (amp) and PA sounds seperately.

    When you've made a wrong turn with gear, its usually best to go BACK rather than forward. Otherwise you'll keep buying some new piece of gear and saying "you know, nothing ever sounds as good as my old hartke rig". Besides, if you like Hartke ... nothing else is going to get that kind of sound!