Not plugging in to the PA ! (PA vs rig)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 6L6, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. 6L6


    Apr 7, 2005
    I am having a friendly discussion with my
    band (keyboard, guitar, bass and drums).
    I am using a powerful peavey top with 2 x 10". I am not
    using the PA because it starts to roll off
    at 55 hz. (using 5 st. bass) and it sounds greater
    with out the bass. We are talking about adding 18" speakers to the PA. While i would like to add a 15" to my rig.
    (the drummer want to plugg his bass drum to my amp :help: )

    The band think i should go for plugging in to the PA
    because mixing will be more easey, and we don't have
    to drag my rig along. (they argue that many pro's plugg in
    to the PA)

    I still think the ultimate sound is from a standalone rig !
    Should i lose the battle ?

    Any opinions !
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Unless its a club sized PA or bigger, I vote for going with your rig.

    You have more control over your tone with a rig...and I find when using a smaller PA it's harder to keep control of the vocals & keys if you're pumping lots of low end through the front end.

    It does take a bit of balancing to get the sound right out front w/o full PA, but you get used to it quickly on the fly.
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I'd say get the 18s, make sure you have lots of power to run them, and run the kick and whatever big lows you need through that. Big lows are not a bonus on stage, generally. Keep bringing your rig, the 2 X 10 should be fine for hearing yourself. In many venues, I hear more bass in the room mix than from my rig, and use my rig mainly to ensure good pitch definition.

    You do have a sound guy, right? :eyebrow: If not, do whatever you can best afford, and work toward getting one, IMHO.

    BTW, welcome to Talkbass, and please consider filling out your profile, it helps us help you in many cases. :cool:
  4. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Good and interesting question.

    On one hand, unfortunately, they are kinda do have a point about ease of mix and that of course if you do anything larger than what your 2x10 can handle (which is everything but really small venues), you'll want PA support.

    That doesn't say anything about the tone quality or what exactly it'll sound like, but it is true, IMO, that PA support is almost always what my rig goes through anyway for 90% of the shows I play.

    I do like my rig though. I like hearing the sound behind me and of course when I'm controlling it, I know what I like and all that. But then again, the sound-guy for most of the shows gets the final say of the sound as he is mixing during the show, so in a way, I'm just most likely working against him the more I tweak my sound. I can't possibly know what it sounds like in the crowd during the show and all the adjustments that need to be made. That's the sound guys job (hopefully if there is one at all, and if he is competent).

    Anyway, I would like to make a strong 100% case for your own rig but from my experience, though I'm no decades deep playing veteran, it seems as though, unless you have some sort of super-unique sound you can ONLY get from your rig, that they do have a valid point. It doesn't mean their right, nor do they even know nor care what you sound like. Their only argument is for ease of use. Yours is sound quality and preference.

    I say retain your rig for your own uses and when there is no PA possible or convenient to bring (THEY'LL BE GLAD THEN YOU KEPT YOUR RIG!) and buy a DI/preamp solution (like a Sansamp BDDI or whatever) for when they strongly suggest/insist you go through the PA.

    Flexibility is a great thing. So is compromise.

    And if that doesn't work...KICK THEIR @$$#$!!!!!

  5. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    +1 to that. And by no means let the drummer run his kick through YOUR amp! Tell him to get his own amp to break!
  6. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    OH, and one more thing. That's why I also advocate the importance of a very portable, single person transportable, yet powerful as you can afford rig.

    It's great when you guys are best friends who would help each other out through thick and thin (AWW :crying: ).

    But when the band relationship is slightly less than that, I wouldn't rely on anyone but myself. So if you are able to transport on your own with NO help, and it's powerful enough, NO ONE CAN SAY S***! They didn't have to carry it, so leave it alone!

    As long as you can connect to the PA at the same time, you both are happy. They didn't have to help you carry your stuff because that's what they wanted to avoid in the first place. You were able to connect to the PA like they asked.

    Then you all have milk and cookies over at Grandmas house. :D

  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Do both. In small rooms your amp is enough to do the job on its own so don't bother with the added complexity. But in larger rooms if you crank it up loud enough to fill the whole room it only serves to drive up on stage levels to the point that no one can hear anything, while the mix in the audience is a crapshoot at best. At that point go through the system. Drums and guitars should always be in the PA, and let the drummer pitch in on some decent subs, you won't want drums in your amp. It's bad enough having the things on the stage.
  8. Get a good balanced band mix for your stage volume using the un-amplified drums to match the bass and guitar amps to. If the balanced sound on stage translates to a balanced sound in the audience, the only thing you need is vocals in the PA. However, this only works if you're playing a small venue like a pub.

    If you find a good stage mix isn't loud enough in the audience, or one component isn't loud enough in the audience, start adding it in to the PA. This to me means bring your rig and give a line to the PA.

    Also, I'm of the opinion that running everything through the FOH system will give the best overall sound as everything is heard from the same source - but this matters less and less the smaller the venue is.
  9. IMHO, running your bass through the PA is great....IF you don't have to carry and set up the PA gear every gig!

    Let's see: option a) Bass player carries a 4x10 or 2x15 cab, fills room with his sound, PA is a modest setup (for vocals mostly) with a couple of 15 inch two-ways and a small power amp.

    Option b) Bass player carries small stage rig. PA is forced to carry bass sound. PA now consists of a couple of 18 inch subs (150 lbs each), with another power amp to drive them, and a crossover to keep all the frequencies divided properly, plus extra cables to run....

    Which would YOU prefer to carry around, set up, adjust, tear down and load into truck at 2 AM, tote home, and unload at the house?

    Since I happen to be the sound man in my current band, I'll chose option A any day, thank you kindly. If I had roadies and unlimited funds, option B of course would be my choice, but I don't have any roadies to take care of my gear while I cavort with groupies..... :meh:
  10. + 1
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    That's what I'm talkin' about.
    I'd want an amp in any situation myself, but we do plenty of pub gigs, bars, restaraunts, parties and events where we travel light...15's with horns on poles for vocals and maybe just kick, monitors for vocals only. Any real clubs will have a PA to play through and I'd want my amp since I think PA bass sound on stage is less than inspiring.