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Low end? Who needs it?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Gearhead17, May 18, 2011.


  1. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    In regards to people on here who demand their bass rigs put out as much low end as possible......

    Lately it seems every bar I play in has the subs really close to the stage. In many cases, right under the stage. While on stage, I have come to the conclusion that reducing a large amount of low end on my stage rig (everything below 100hz), helps me hear what I am playing SO MUCH BETTER. Pumping out a large amount low end on my stage rig is not helpful especially since low end (150hz and below) is omni directional and the combined lows of my rig plus the subs - equals a very muddy tone. Boosting anywhere from 200hz to 800hz and cutting the lows 100hz and below has been key to hearing what I am playing clearly.

    The other cool part is that I hear the string definition and punch of my bass tone coming through the stage monitor while simultaneously feeling and hearing the low end from the subs. It's basically a bi-amped system without owning one.

    I do not understand why so many people have to have a bass rig that can produce a heavy amount of low end or go lower than low. Having a full PA system at a bar - you do not need the massive low end on stage. I can understand if you are trying to fill the room and I can understand if you are trying to get a special tone while at home - otherwise, what's the point?

    Anyone else experience the effect of subs being too close to the stage?
     
  2. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    If I have good FOH indoors, this rig with a Line 6 in front of it puts out mids and some highs. It is to my right with drums to the left. The FOH does the rest.

    BX1200.

    The stuff in front of it is the back of the keyboard/guitarist's BOSE he's using on this particular stage.
     
  3. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Here
    Amen


    And it not only help you hear better definition it will also help the FOH guy.
    And your band will sound better.
    Win-Win situation.
     
  4. uhdinator

    uhdinator

    Apr 20, 2010
    Maine
    Most people when learning recording wonder why their mixes are muddy. Well when mixing I usually cut a lot below 80-100hz on bass, and cut everything out on guitar and vocals below 200hz. Then the Kick has its space at 40-100hz, bass just above that, and guitar is clearer and no muddy mix.......I do live sound too......big rooms, hard walls/floors, high ceilings=MUD. If bass player is wailing away on 10 with the smiley face EQ curve........sound man can do nothing. You are burying any chance of getting an intelligible mix.

    I've had club owners tap me on the shoulder and tell me to turn it down, I say "watch this" and pull the master fader halfway down and nothing happens.
    too much bottom, guitars can't hear clearly so they turn up.......turns to volume wars and crap!
     
  5. Totally agree; cut the mud = good mix.
     
  6. EricssonB

    EricssonB

    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    I pulled from some other thread the idea to add whatever you need to a mix to make the record sound good, but take away from the mix in a live setting. You can master anything on an album, yet need to clear some headroom in a live setting. Mud is only good for Vaynes and Honey.
     
  7. I think it's interesting. I run sound for my church and the bass players like to stand right in front of the sub and they like a decent amount of bass in there so they can hear the low end. The bass amp is right next to the sub with most of the lows EQ'd out. I've walked up there to play around some times at practices and all I hear out of the sub is mud. I think to myself "How can this actually be helping them hear?" I actually walk away from the sub and listen close to the bass amp so that I can actually hear the notes I'm playing.

    Some bass players just confuse me.
     
  8. pbass2

    pbass2

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    If you ask me, subs or not, most of the, for lack of a better term, "semi-pro" or weekend-warrior type bassists that I hear in clubs use far too much low end from their rigs AND crispy highs! Like the guy in the Americana/country band I saw over the weekend who was trying to channel Fieldy I guess--an extreme case but you know what I mean. Made the whole mix a mess single-handedly.
     
  9. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Glad I am not the only one! Thanks for the comments.

    Knocking down the low end on my rig definitely helped one sound guy in particular. The one night where I finally broke down and started dialing out the low end, I heard the subs get louder with my bass tone! As another song went on, I could hear the FOH speakers bouncing around my bass tone louder than before and there was actual definition to it. So I basically witnessed the sound guy having fun with my tone - nice!

    "My speaker goes this low" - that's wonderful, now tell me how that helps you hear your notes on stage.
     
  10. klaus486

    klaus486

    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
    Had an amp die in the middle of a set once.....amazing sound for the rest of the show! Stage sound was clear as a bell, could hear all vocals and guitar. I got some bass in the monitors (good soundman/club/PA) and if I needed more I just went to the front of the stage where I could hear the Mains! Learned something that night. Now I have a little amp, Promethean combo with 1x10 extension cab, and let the PA do all the heavy lifting.
     
  11. 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
    Too much low frequency content surely can muddy up your tone and make it almost impossible to hear what notes are being played. This is why god gave us mids.

    However, placing subs under the front of a stage is one of the dumbest things a sound man can do. It makes it very difficult for people on stage to hear anything. Centering the subs is fine (and usually preferred), but you still need to compensate for the bass booming back into the stage area. This can be done by pointing one sub to the rear and phase aligning it to cancel the rearward projection of sub frequencies. However, putting the subs under the stage makes this almost impossible. In that situation, you're fighting a losing battle, sound-wise.
     
  12. The sub at my church is in the middle of the stage, against the back wall. The bass players generally stand right in front of it.
     
  13. TimmyP

    TimmyP

    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Most of the trouble I have with bass rigs is not from low end. It's usually between 80Hz and 200Hz. Most bass cabs have a big bump somewhere between 120 and 180. Some have a small bump around 65 that can occasionally cause trouble.
     
  14. uhdinator

    uhdinator

    Apr 20, 2010
    Maine
    I would advise your church that the sub should be aligned with top cabs if it's not unless you have a crossover with delay controls to align. if the sub is 10' behind mains The top cabs output should be delayed .88 ms per foot or 8.8ms so you hear all freq at the same time. Church cathedrals are a nightmare as it is.
     
  15. I'll second this one as well.

    I've also had the issue where the bass gets pushed in foh to the point where everyone complains about how loud I am on stage even when my amp is turned off :)

    Plus it depends what sound you are going for. Ground-shaking lows are nice but so are warm mids where a fretless sings and nice highs where you want some grind. Sometimes you have to lose a bit of bottom (relatively speaking) to let those other tones through.
     
  16. There's already a delay between the side speakers and the center speaker. I can't really tell if there is from the sub though. We only put the bass and the kick in there anyway.
     
  17. hyp.spec

    hyp.spec Supporting Member

    May 14, 2006
    Warren, MI
    I totally agree on low end roll off on stage. I've only been playing live about a year and I learned very quickly that gobs of low end on stage just creates a mess.

    Mids all the way!
     
  18. I prefer to give the sound guy a signal right off the wireless, before the amp gets it. Then, bad bass sound over the pa is his issue, not mine. My amp is there to create sound & tone for me. Since I'm standing next to the guitarists Marshall 1/2 stack, I use a bit of wattage to be able to hear. But, too soft, too loud, too soft, too much bass, or not enough: the preamp tone is not the sound guy's signal to modify; he gets the sound right off the bass, and can cut or boost accordingly.
     
  19. hyp.spec

    hyp.spec Supporting Member

    May 14, 2006
    Warren, MI
    This is all part of it too. Even when I'm DI'd I'll give a dry signal before it hits the amp and I'll my rig as my 'monitor'. But even so, I cut the lows down so I can hear everything else!
     
  20. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Here
    If you would cut all the lows on stage and give a post EQ signal , I doubt it will sound sound. :smug:

    Point of the thread is : cut all the lows onstage helps to avoid the muddiness. Doin' so ask for a pre EQ DI.
     

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