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okay, here's the 100$ question....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I'm not sure whether this is the right forum, but hopefully it is (feel free to move it if need be).

    We have a band. It's a five-piece, four musicians and a vocalist (who's spectacular by the way).

    What we're looking for, is a way to achieve a "consistent" sound on stage.

    I think (and correct me if I'm wrong) that this involves something along the lines of a "defense-in-depth" concept -

    In other words, we want to achieve a "local" sound on stage, where we can all hear each other, and then project that sound out into the audience.

    The main confounding factor so far, is the weather. Strange as it may sound, I can get the exact same settings on my bass and bass amp, and it'll sound totally different from one day to the next (on the same stage in the same venue).

    I "think", that perhaps the humidity is a factor, or something like that.

    How would y'all recommend addressing this situation?

    How can we get a "consistent" live sound, that we might be able to project to "whatever" audience - ranging from 100 people to ten thousand?
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    It's hard to say. Those bose systems are supposedly supposed to be pretty good. Those are good for smaller venues, though. For the big stuff, you'll need a fully rigged PA. I would run a main mixer and a full separate monitor mixer. Having a competent sound man really helps as well. 100 to 10,000 people is a big jump in the requirements. I really would reccomend a good, rack based, scalable system that you can add and detract from as the venue requires.

    BTW, welcome to the regular forums at talkbass. :D

    I haven't seen you since just before my supporting membership expired over in tin pan alley... Those were the days...
  3. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    As I worked as a soundman many years ago, I had acces to a RTA2 (Real time analyzer), wich projects a pink noise through the PA, and measures every frequency. You could measure the frequencies in a specific room where you like your sound, store the settings, and recall them (the result of the frequency analysis, not the eq'ing), and have the basic sound reproduced. As mentioned before though, humidity, wind, distance between speakers, the need for delay towers, and other factors also influence your sound. Another machine, a 8 channel delay and reverb, basically asks you for all this information, and ajusts the sound automatically, but this is $$$$$. I had the opportunity to use this machine a few times for classical music outdoor concerts.

    These machines were rather expensive, but perhaps you can rent them when needed, store the settings on a digital mixing board, and have a preset setting for small clubs, one for large rooms, one for large club, etc... I know of a few soundmen who do this to save time with the setup. You will probably need to tweak the eq a bit for each venue, but at least you'll have a decent starting point.
  4. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I use a DBX Drive Rack PA unit in my live sound set up's and it works great. It has the analyzer built in as well as feedback notch filters (feedback destroyer), and a compressor. It's a great unit. It really helps keep things as consistant as possible.

    As for the other factors, humidity, temperature, ceiling height, and the amount of people are all factors that change from venue to venue as well as at the same venue on different days that make keeping things exactly the same nearly impossible. The right equipment in your rack will help keep it sounding good even if it's a little different.
  5. throw_this_away


    Mar 30, 2006
    a room can sound totally different from one night to the next depending on how many people are in it... less people = more boomy and vice versa
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    To a certain extent I believe this is about keeping your stage and monitoring volume in line. ... and having a very high quality club oriented PA, with a guy who has ears to run it. He's your sixth man... and knowing when to hire out and suffer the pain of paying your 6th man to sit with the sound co's guy at the board to affirm the mix.

    I know of no other way to achieve that particular grail. Just like hoop. The 6th man is all important.

    To find that sweet spot I believe that you start with drums. It seems to me that drummers have the toughest time adapting to low volume settings. So you have to find the lowest volume setting that your drummer is comfortable with and build from there. Then you have to have the collective will to stay there.

    Singing drummers are much better at this than non-singing drummers. It ought to be a rule that everyone has to sing... all of a sudden people's outlook on stage volume changes dramatically ...

    There is one other thing. I know this is going to sound strange but carrying your own stage carpeting helps dampen things and that can often help get separation in the mix.

    I don't have the 24 footer anymore. Driver went with the truck. Dedicated sound guy did too. So did the system for that matter. So for me the above would not be practical advice....

    My ears don't want to hear as much bass on stage as they used to. I'm very happy if the guitarist and drummer can hear me and I can hear them and we can all hear the vocals. I think that is a place we evolve to as bassists, where listening to teammates is more important than listening to ourselves. I suspect you got there a long time ago.

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