Looking For Live Sound Help

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by JBass624, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. JBass624


    Jul 8, 2013
    Greetings All,

    My name is Jonathan and I'm a newby on this website. I am in a regional act and I play both bass guitar and string bass. As our band is growing to larger stages and pushing more sound, I need more help controlling the feedback monster that is my string bass. I don't want to compromise the tone or the look of the string bass, but every stage and every room requires specific compensation to keep the bass from vibrating apart. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for a good brand/model of compressor and 30 band EQ. I have been using Boss GE-7's and Boss's Compressor Pedal, but they're not going to cut it any more. Time to upgrade. Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. dbx 231
  3. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    A compressor isn't going to help cut feedback. I'm not saying not to get one, just don't expect it do do what it doesn't.
  4. I would be looking at a good parametric EQ
  5. SaucyJackBass


    May 6, 2009
    My first response is keep your stage sound the same regardless of room size and let the sound man earn his money.
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    #1, figure out a way to get your stage volume down as low as possible. And by "your" I mean everyone in the band, not just the bass. What's your monitoring system? The biggest cause of feedback from amplified acoustic instruments is ambient noise onstage. If you've got 4 or 6 wedge monitors all pushing frequencies in the direction of your bass, you're in a losing situation.

    In-ear monitors for everyone and other instruments going through small combo amps (or direct) would be the obvious best answer but may not be viable from a cost perspective. But if you, at least, could rig up some sort of in-ear monitoring system for yourself that would allow to run your string bass through either a small combo amp at low volume, or direct to the board with no onstage amp at all, the feedback issues would be significantly reduced and that would be even more effective if it could be applied across as much of the rest of the band as possible.

    #2 as others have noted, a robust EQ. 30-band graphic might work but I would go with a parametric for maximum control.

    #3, I have seen some upright players in amplfied situations stuff foam into the F holes. It looks pretty ugly and I suppose it somewhat changes the fundamental sound of your instrument (which you said you don't want to do)... but it may provide some relief if remedies #1 and 2 are impossible or ineffective.

    Your situation has to be frustrating as heck. I wish you the best.
  7. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    What I always try to do (can't always get the time to make it actually happen) is to build a great "sonic environment" on stage first, with FOH all the way down. Get it sounding great to all the players, in every position. The goal here is mainly to make it as fun as possible for the players, so they'll be able to give their best performance. Some sound is going to bleed off the stage & out into the audience. Use the FOH speakers to reinforce the stage bleed as appropriate - in other words, take the term "sound reinforcement" quite literally. Most bands, & even a lot of sound pros, do it opposite - start with FOH & bring up the monitors almost as an afterthought - & sometimes the time crunch keeps a good stage mix from getting done at all.

    For somebody who's just starting out with nothing, I recommend considering in-ears. If you don't have an existing system (wedges, etc.), what you'd have to spend on a good set of wedges could go to a decent set of in-ears instead. In-ear doesn't always have to mean wireless & doesn't have to break the bank.

    That would be my personal choice as well. A graphic gives a good visual clue what's going on & can be a lot easier for some people to understand. A parametric can be a lot faster if you know what you're doing, but confusing if you don't.
  8. + 1 on the IEM. With acoustic bass, having an amp driven loud enough to compete with the rest of the band standing a bit away from the upright is just asking for feedback. IEMs will take care of that.

    Since you are pretty stationary with the upright you should consider a wireless system. I use mine pretty exclusively and you can get a really good set of custom in ear monitors and wireless system for around $700 or even less.
  9. JBass624


    Jul 8, 2013
    Hey All,

    Sorry for the waaay late reply. I really appreciate the feedback *(pun intended)! I haven't made any purchases yet, still thinking and looking. I'm going to have to do some research into parametric EQ because I don't know what the difference between parametric and graphic is.

    My band is still playing some pretty small spaces where we run sound. Our typical set up is drums and lead singer/rhythm guitar have in-ears and me and lead guitar have wedges. We've been able to bring our stage volume down considerably as a result. To help with the feedback issue, we usually position our subs as far away from me as possible without throwing off the mix. That usually helps except when we're in really tight spaces that prevent adequate separation from the amp or the subs. When sound is provided, sometimes the sound guys are good are able to pull out the offending frequencies and sometimes not. Outdoors can really be a nightmare if the subs are near me. They really push the low end outdoors and my bass just lights up.

    Thanks again for the replies. I'm still learning as I go as far as live sound is concerned. Grew up playing classically and feedback is never an issue!