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Need more bass in monitor mix

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Austicoatk, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. Austicoatk


    Oct 12, 2009
    Our band plays fairly regularly at a venue that has horrible acoustics--tile floors, concrete walls, wood furniture, and not a stitch of sound-absorbing material anywhere. To make things worse, it's a very small space AND we usually perform crammed in a corner. Last gig was the worst ... Due to the acoustics and the fact that we had two subs and my bass amp (Ampeg BA115HPT) all going at once--I know, I know, big mistake--I was awash in sonic trash. Lot of reflections and wave cancelling going on at once.

    We've recently gone wireless with our mono mix with an Audio-Technica M2 in-ear rig with some out-of-the-box earbuds that are, well, less than subpar. So I'm not expecting to hear tons of well-defined bass through those, but I know I can make things better. Just bought a new SansAmp Bass Driver DI hoping I can use that to get "amp-like" tone while reducing stage volume.

    Any other recommendations? We have a decent PA that I know can handle the bass going direct, so I'm leaning toward using my Ampeg as a monitor. As I understand it, I can do that by going direct with the XLR out of the SansAmp and connecting the other output to the Ampeg. Will this allow me to EQ the amp for monitoring purposes while leaving FOH processing to the SansAmp/mixer?

    If anyone has some good advice on how to get better bass through the mono mix, please enlighten me ... I'll try anything at this point.
  2. austic,

    i'm also new to the boards, and the very reason I joined was to get more info on bass tone for IEMs... it takes a little searching, but there are tons of good words of wisdom out there.. i'm about 6 months on the flip side of going to a completely wirelss in-ear rig and it's been a battle... stick with it and you'll get it though!

    I've learned a ton and would be glad to share, but it would be a 2000 word post!! lol - for starters, the bad news is that you get what you pay for, especially for bass players (where tone and full range frequency response is so critical). I have the Shure PSM700 set up that I bought on Craigs list for $1000 (wireless unit only, bought canalphones separately). Even more critical is the quality of the phones you get... you absolutely NEED to have dual driver phones or better for bass guitar... I have the MAudio IE30 buds that run around $225 new.. before you spend too much on gear to perfect your tone, make sure to upgrade your IEM set up first or it wont matter...

    then there's custom molds, hardwire vs. wireless, etc... dont get me started!!!
  3. ya, you can route the signal from your DI to the FOH and then use your amp for stage volume/tone without screwing up the FOH bass eq:bassist:
  4. Austicoatk


    Oct 12, 2009

    Thanks for the encouragement--I think you're exactly right. That said, what about these: http://www.fullcompass.com/product/371395.html. I've heard decent things about them. It probably would have been smart to make new buds my next purchase instead of the SansAmp DI ... Interestingly, before we went wireless, we only played with two floor wedges: one for our keyboardist/vocalist, and one for the lead guitarist/vocalist. I never had a mix of my own of any kind. Used to perform with earplugs, and surprisingly, had an overall better time of it--keep in mind we play very small shows at local clubs. If you read the post about ear protection in live sound, lot of folks talking about how plugs actually HELPED them hear the bass. Maybe I'll try that next gig, but you're absolutely right--new buds are in order.
  5. you got it! I agree that you can hear bass better with earplugs in cause it cuts a lot of the higher frequencies (and the overall "wash" of sound that you're hearing from the whole band being bunched in a corner)... but I find it cuts too much of the snare (for timing) and I can't hear my vocal monitor as well (and I sing most of the backup harmonies).. so I never really used earplugs for the first 8-9 years of gigging.. very likely did some damage as I have frequency hearing loss in left ear, but nothing major if I take care of it now (I hope!)...

    that's part of the reason I "forced" myself to get the IEMs... good for the ears, and I can hear everything soooo much better... but you don't get that "live bass rig" feel onstage, and the tone is not as good as a live speaker cab... but I'm in the "sound lab" all the time trying to perfect it!! gets better all the time... i recently decided that I lose most of the tone once I go wirless... I get an awesome bass tone with my cheap preamp (behringer v-amp) and my mid priced guitar (schecter ultra), but it doesnt always translate to my ears once I send the signal through to my wireless pack... gonna try to hardwire myself with a 25 ft extension that matches the same range as my guitar cable... then I always have the wireless set up for larger stages (festival stages in summer, etc)...
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    you mean one in-ear mix that everyone shares?

    there's your problem, that'll never make anyone happy. you each have to have your own mix or in-ears just won't work.
  7. agreed Walter... one mix that everyone shares in your ears almost is LESS productive than being able to adjust the onstage mix from amps/wedges
  8. Austicoatk


    Oct 12, 2009
    No, actually we have two distinct mixes--although, I realize that that's less than ideal also. Ideally, we'd want a separate mix for everyone, but the mixer we currently have only has two aux sends. Man, what I'd give for a blank check ... :)
  9. billbern


    Sep 11, 2004
    Daytona Beach, Fl
    Endorsing: Inearz In-ear Monitors
    if you only get a line mix, get a Rolls PM 351. It has a DI for the bass, XLR thru for a vocal mic and line in for the mix, all with seperate gain controls.
    Also i recently got some molded Inearz brand (www.Inearz.com) canal monitors after fooling around with various brands of universal fit ear buds for a year. Massive difference. I would tell you from my experience, don't spend any more on gear untill you get GOOD molded inears.
  10. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Very small space? How many people are you playing to, and what's the genre?
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    When I had an IEM/DI rig I used an EQ to help make my cheap IEM's sound a little better. It's not like having dual driver IEM's, but it helped.

    I used a Shure 400 system and racked it with the receiver for my bass wireless unit in a 2 space rack with a single space 2 channel EQ. I ran my band mix from the board into channel 1, and I ran a "more me" from my DI into channel 2. I could then EQ each channel and blend the output of each channel and send that to my IEM.

    For not being dual driver or a real fancy system, it worked quite well and I wish I was in a situation where I could use it for every gig. I wish I was still using it. An easy to carry 2 space rack and I was good to go. Of course, it only works if you have good FOH and enough monitor sends.
  12. Austicoatk


    Oct 12, 2009
    Sizewise, just imagine your average bar & grille type of space. Maybe a room 50 feet by 25 feet, or something close to that, with seating for around 70 to 80 people--although it's generally around 30 to 40 when we play. Genre is mostly classic rock, rhythm and blues, blues, country rock.

    But, I'm reading a lot of good ideas here, folks. Thanks.
  13. Austicoatk


    Oct 12, 2009
    So as GinBass has suggested--and as I've read elsewhere--earplugs can actually INCREASE the bass response, and here's why according to this site at http://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/pf_article_detail.asp?article_id=2115:

    Not only is this article worth a read, it seems to reinforce this notion and also what billbern says above about the quality of earplugs. If I'm making sense of this correctly, custom molds would provide a better seal, thus increasing bass response.
  14. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    From the OP, it sounds like you have everything going to the PA, and the PA (w/ two subs) pumping too much volume for the room. Since you're playing classic rock, that's a gig I'd suggest scaling the volume way back for -- backline amps essentially carrying their own, w/ perhaps a tiny whiff of kick, snare, and amps in what is basically a vocals-only PA. Flooding a space with volume is only going to make the acoustics seem worse.

    I'd also try to move the bass amp off the floor and out of the corner. If the guitar tone is too bass heavy, also roll of some low end there.

    If the crowd all moves in toward the stage and starts dancing, then you turn up a bit.
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    it's a bit of a rig-up, but get one of those cheap-ass little behringer 2-channel mixers for under $100, and put your bass in one channel and the monitor mix from the main board in the other.

    run your ears off of that, and now you can turn your bass up for yourself without killing the other guys. they can even turn your bass down or off in their mix, which will help them, too.

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