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Miking cabs for live application

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by fremenblue, Feb 2, 2003.


  1. fremenblue

    fremenblue

    Jan 8, 2003
    Eugene, Or.
    Do you think that miking cabs for live application runs amok of the law of diminishing returns or not? I run a bi-amped rig and would like to mike, ideally, both my cabs plus at least one DI if not two. If that isn't possible then at least DI my front pickup rig and mike my rear pickup's effected chain at the cab. I was thinking I could even get a small board to mix down my signal separate from the main board so it doesn't eat up room for everyone else, that way there would be no arguments about hoggin' the board, etc.

    It just seems to me that if I spend the time and energy that the money spent represents to set myelf up with this sweet bi-amped rig just to have someone take the cabs out of the sound and only one DI--I might as well have stayed home!

    On the other hand, I do want to have realistic expectations so I can modify my setup somewhat, at least.

    Comments and suggestions?

    fremenblue
     
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    If you've got the channels, I say go for it. I do think, however, if you "mix it down" yourself prior to sending it to your soundman, you're kinda defeating your own purpose. HE should be the one with the control to blend so that its best out front, which may be quite different than the blend you set onstage.
     
  3. fremenblue

    fremenblue

    Jan 8, 2003
    Eugene, Or.
    You're right, and I didn't mean that I would be doing my own mixdown, but that I would be glad to provide my own four-channel that would be there with the main board if they were starved for channels. He could mix me at soundcheck and run one line out of that into the main board? Anyway. . .that's about where my eyes start crossing as I'm no sound tech. I guess if I did that I'd still be eatin' up space on the snake, right, getting my three-four signals back to the rear? Mmmm. . .well, there's got to be a way for me to get what I really want and still not be too big a pain in the butt! :D

    I hope. ..well, there's more than one way anyway. ThAT I know at least.

    fremenblue
     
  4. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    My in my expirience the best way to go is to send the board a single direct signal, if you have a di on your amp, great if not the just use a direct box before the amp. You were talking about running two DIs, do you have seperate outputs for each of your pickups? If not one direct signal will work. By biamping you signal you don not add any qualities that the PA would find disirable as far as micing high and low. PAs for the most part are biamped systems, so micing your biamped system would be a little redundant.

    I also think even if you could find a sound man who would be willing to run 4 chanels of bass that it is unlikely that he would have the proper spare equipment to do it right. I guess my point is that unless you want to shell out $500+ in gear to make sure that you can do it right with an elaborate system that you mix(or the sound guy if you can get him to take the time), which adds alot of setup and hassle that you will probably get tired of after the first few gigs, you probably want to stick to a single di.
     
  5. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Doesnt sound like it will be worth it. Unless you have the same soundman every night and knows how to run it. Where I live, you setup, do a 10 minute soundcheck and your left to the will of the soundman.
     
  6. fremenblue

    fremenblue

    Jan 8, 2003
    Eugene, Or.
    I would at LEAST like to run a DI and a single mike, at the very least. Do you think even that's too much to ask of soundguys? They can't take five minutes to mix a DI and mike?

    At my age I'm not apt to get tired of the hassle. I'm a patient man, and I know my gear. If I can get it set up quick with low hassle I think I can get what I want, or at the very least a compromise.

    fremenblue
     
  7. fremenblue

    fremenblue

    Jan 8, 2003
    Eugene, Or.
    I think that's the pinch right there. Having the same soundman every night. I know many bands run several channels for guitar, bass, etc.. ..but they've got time to do the setup right, and the same people running the board at every show.

    One of these days. ..

    I'm not giving up! ;)

    fremenblue
     
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    as a bassist and former sound man. I'd say no in most electric musical settings. A conditional maybe on acoustic settings (you playing electric to support an otherwise acoustic ensemble).

    1. additional mic's on stage = additional mic bleed not a problem you want to add into the mix.

    2. the sound you hear near your amp is very often radically differnt from what you hear 50 or 100 feet away.

    In fact often the bass tone that works well in gluing the band together is one that otherwise just plain sucks... yet under the rest of what is going on, has it's own sonic space and works in context.

    So - take a quality DI. Go out front and play behind the board with the rest of the band going and hear for yourself waht work's and doesn't. It might be your tone, it might not be but better to get the comment 'Great sounding band rather than Great sounding bass, too bad about the rest of the band ... This is a great experience for your guitar player too. If you can get a substitute drummer to sit in, it is very instructional to there as well.

    This is all completely dependant on the rooms you're playing, the musical setting, how loud you play, the guys you play with, the quality of your sound guy ... how open minded all of you are about the sound of hte band and of your individual instruments ... touchy subject indeed.

    But the mic is still not a good approach (IMHO, YMMV, all the other usual disclaimers)
     
  9. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    If your going for a stereo sound that is cool but I think it would make more sense to run 2 lines one DI and the other mic'd and let the soundman blend. The guitarist in my band does this. He uses a Line 6 amp and runs an amp/cab emulater(sp?) thru a line out and then mics. Lets the soundman mix the 2 signals to make it sound more full.

    The DI line gives it a better soild low end where the MIC gives it a more "alive" sounding mids and high, along with punch.
     
  10. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    What cabs are you running that you *need* to mic their tone? As 4mal noted, mics inevitably bleed, so they are not good for any loud stage situation.

    Sounds to me like you only need 2 DI lines. The 1400i has an XLR out for each channel, so send those to the snake and be done with it. 2 lines shouldn't be hogging the board.
     
  11. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    as a part-time sound guy, I disagree that your Bi-amping is lost. Most pub/club sized PA's require you to blend the PA's sound with the sound comming off the stage. If that sound is good, it makes the PA operators job much easier.

    As for the Mic, you'd need a mic that could handle the amount of bottom end a bass rig would generate. A vocal mic will bake your bass sound like a banjo. Maybe a kick drum mic, but most sound guys wouldn't necessarily carry more than one of those.

    When I've played bass where there was a big concert PA, the sound guy would occasionally have a mic on one of my 10's, as well as a DI. I would always check with him after the show to see how he mixed the 2 lines and the answer is almost always 80% DI, 20% Mic.

    The quest for perfect sound will drive you nuts. Get it as good as you can, than try to enjoy yourself......
     
  12. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I realize that this solution is pretty obvious, but I for one try to pump out as much volume out of my amp as I can without killing/covering my bandmates, minimizing the role of the soundman. Of course, that becomes impossible at larger venues, but it's viable for most of the gigs I play.

    Most sound people I've run into spend less time at soundcheck on the bass than on any other instrument. And the sound they get is usually decent, but I've worked hard to make my amp sound better than decent. I know that a soundman has the benefit of listening out front, but I've let other people play my rig and I know that in general, the sound coming out of my amp is better than what comes through the PA. I want to trust sound(wo)men, but the sad truth is that I trust myself more, even without the benefit of being out there in front of the stage.
     
  13. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    lol... an hour on each drum while we wait our turn. Then I play "Ba, Doop" and he calls out "that's great thanks"......
    "But I only played 2 notes........."
    "I got it, Great thanks, piss off......"

    Seriously that's one of the beautiful things about DI. You're not dealing with ringing frequencies, feedback, mic bleed, or a muso who has no concept of tuning as drummers often dont. And as much as I hate to admit it, if the drums are right, the rest of the mix will follow IMO.

    But I agree with Donkey that the bass sound out of my amp is better but that's not a soundcheck issue, more a perception issue. How do we train sound engineers to hear bass the same way we do?
     
  14. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    That is proably because for the most part they leave the sound of your bass intact. There is hardly ever any effects on the bass, it is not usually in the moniters, if it is not alot, and the only thing I can think other then a little EQing that they would do is thow some compression on it if they have the spare channels.

    Have you heard the sound of just your rig from out front or just with the assistence of the PA? As people have already pointed out what sounds good 10' or 20' from the amp may not be so hot 50' to 100' away.
     
  15. fremenblue

    fremenblue

    Jan 8, 2003
    Eugene, Or.
    Lessee. . ..

    Jondog: I don't "need" to mike the cabs, but I do really want to. I've got a Bag End 4x10 and an Eden 1x15, they're not transparent cabs, they're part of my sound, definitely. I'd like people to hear what I'm hearing onstage. It's the sound I work for, I'd like them to hear more than a dry DI line. How'd you know I have a 1400i? :D Actually, I just upgraded to a Mesa/Boogie 400+, another reason I'd like to mike--to capture ALL that tube goodness burnin'.

    skorzen: one of the reasons I want to mike is because I run one channel clean/low/front pickup, one channel dirty/highs/rear pickup, each have their own amp and cab. I've had others tell me that the DI would still be great for the low channel but it would be best to mike for the highs channel.

    petebass: I don't mind spending the money to have my own stuff--mikes, stands, cords, even a little mixdown console--to get what I want. I don't expect them to have stuff for me, especially not what I want. I'm thinking a pair of Audix D-4's for my cabs, I've heard they're great for bass miking, very linear in response.

    Odie: this is why I think I should it's not unrealistic to at least ask for two lines (one miked, one DI), as they do it for guitarists. I think it would be sweet to do a little more, but like I said earlier, I'm willing to compromise to get something more than just DI.
     
  16. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I read your profile :D

    Congrats on your new amp. I don't know anything about the outs on the 400+

    I'm still against micing, but do what you want. If you're only doing highs, an sm-57 should do fine. If you're micing lows, go with an AKG D112

    Personally, I use the strategy secretdonkey described. Just crank it up so the soundguy is only doing a little bit of reinforcement w/ the PA. I send a post-everything DI, but I play pretty loud so I think people are mostly hearing my rig. I'd like to get a good wireless to hear what it sounds like at the back.
     
  17. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    oooh I had an idea. There was a thread on TB once about using your DI AFTER your amp to capture the amp tube tone. I jumped in to disagree but I was assured that some DI's have enough padding for it to work (40db or so). I haven't tried it and don't plan to, but it's something you might want to consider fremenblue.
     
  18. fremenblue

    fremenblue

    Jan 8, 2003
    Eugene, Or.
    Jondog: I forgot about profiles! I'll have to update mine. I'm probably way ahead of myself in terms of size of venues anyway. When I do domes :rolleyes: maybe I can get a little more trick, eh? I will just have to use your 'made loud ta play loud' method. :eek: :D

    Petebass: interesting idea! I'll have to look into that. I have two DI's now, a Mk II Redbox that I've never really got into, and my SansAmp DI. Perhaps if I picked up something more transparent and did that. ..hmmm. Cuz I'd really like to get those twelve glowin' ladies into the loop, definitely. I'll see if I can't find that thread. Do you remember what forum it was on? My guess is some DI's will work, some won't.

    fremenblue
     
  19. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yes, the behringer DI is cheap and has 40 db of cut available. I don't use mine after the amp though. Some people say they can hear its cheapness. I cannot. Last studio session I went straight into a countryman (very well respected DI, that I'm pretty sure also has major pad available) and then from there through my rig and sent another di line post everything through my behringer, just like I do live. We ended up using the post-everything behringer track.
     
  20. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I went searching for "DI" for it but all words in search have to be 3 letters or more.........

    I found it though ......

    DI after the amp thread