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Outdoor with the rig.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ZonGuy, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. ZonGuy


    Sep 2, 2007
    Played outdoors on a slightly elevated wooden stage with the rig while the rest of the band went through the PA. Had my Sennheiser wireless hooked up so I could walk out into the audience and hear how it mixed.

    Warwick Thumb 5 to the wireless. Wireless to a tuner then an AB box splitting as follows:
    LMII-->Aquilar GS 210
    GK 700 RBII ---> Avatar B212 Neo

    Both rigs set essentially flat with a little tweeter. Some tweeking to optimize each cab. Some clip in both preamps noted.

    PA 1, rig 0.

    What was more interesting was how fast the bass cab sound trailed off relative to the PA. 30 feet from the stage, the bass was pitiful. Also, the bass volume varied all over the place as you walked from left to right.

    On the small stage, there is no way I can turn up load enough to overcome the PA without killing the keyboard player who is right in front of my rig.

    Add Bass to PA

    Question? Can running different amps and cabs in parallel cause destructive wave interference.?
  2. dsDodgers

    dsDodgers Banned

    Sep 7, 2008
    sunny so cal
    im a noob so i may be way off, but maybe the signal on the wireless was going in and out while you were walking around [​IMG]
  3. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Comb filtering.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Did you have subs on both sides of the stage? That can create comb filtering issues. Heard it a million times, yet people still do it.
  5. Putting your amps flat on the wooden stage often helps a lot.
  6. ZonGuy


    Sep 2, 2007
    I guess I need to google comb filtering.
  7. ZonGuy


    Sep 2, 2007
    Ahhh...noob that I am. Comb filtering = destructive interference.

    No subs on the side, just elevated PAs.

    Why would laying cabs flat on stage help? I would think I would want to get them stacked vertically to maximize throw.
  8. The wooden stage acts as a massive acoustic chamber. I do this a lot with my B15. Flat on the floorboards can get the fliptop at reasonable levels even with a decently loud band
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You would. I think Vin was talking about something else.

    Using my brilliant powers of deduction, I think I know what happened. Bleed. You had to turn up so loud to compete with the rest of the band in the PA that you bled through mics, and you had two full range cabs blasting a loud bass being mic'ed from 15 ft. away by vocal mics. So you have three point sources for low end. Yeah, that'll cause cancellation zones.

    Solution: throw money at it. Buy a sub and crossover, keep the low freqs in the sub and out of the full rangers, put the bass in the PA. If you need more power than one sub can give you, keep them together either in front of the stage or off to one side. Then keep your stage volume lower. Won't kill you to turn down ;)

    If you elect to deal with the PA as is, you need to run your bass in it if at all possible and just watch your volume onstage and hope for the best.
  10. Interceptor


    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    Zon a rookie?

    I hardly think so. I've used some of your teaching ideas over the years. They work.

    Outdoors is tough. I play a number of outdoor shows every year, and they gave me nightmares until I figured a few things out.

    1. Double whatever you use indoors for outdoors. I use 2x15 outdoors with an acoustic act without a drummer!

    2. Wood stages outdoors may need heavy low cut to sound good.

    3. Don't be afraid to put the bass rig somewhere odd where it will work. I played one show this summer where the boom from the wood riser stage was so bad I couldn't make it work. I ended up putting my rig on the ground next to the stage. It worked!

    4. The DI is your friend. Even if all the PA can get you is improved midrange coverage, take it.

    5. I think you were fighting comb filtering.

    6. Take a look at my profile, that's this summer's outdoor rig. Putting the cabs side by side reduced the perceived level on stage, and worked everywhere except once.

    I'm kind of bummed, the outdoor season up here is pretty much over. Next, the glaciers move back in...

  11. ZonGuy


    Sep 2, 2007
    Jimmy - I think you nailed it.

    Interceptor - thank you for the kind words. I am glad you got some good out of the writings (the book deal fell through).

    But I am a total noob when it comes to amps and live sound as that has always been handled for me. I pretty much used a 10" combo as a monitor with DI almost exclusively or a provided backline, except with one performer. Then I got burnt out and decided to hook up with several local bar bands for a complete change so I am slowly learning what you guys have known all along regarding sound gear.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm in the same boat. Never knew, never cared. All of a sudden I get this wild appetite for knowledge and now I'm trying to learn it all. Got a long way to go but thanks to folks on here, I'm slowly getting better with it.
  13. pbass2go


    Dec 19, 2004
    Apple Valley, MN
    This is what I found when I googled it... :confused:

  14. Always bring one to your gig. :D
  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
  16. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    i have had similar experiences outdoors. my epiphani came several years ago. i was running 2k watts and the sound was so slammin up close i figured it had to sound great out front. wrong. tried a similar test as the op. (with the mains killed) the bass sound was just weak out front. now i had quite a bit of headroom left in my rig but turning up would have killed the stage mix in a big way. you could hardly hear the drums as it was (on stage i don't like drum in the monitors, out front the drums were slammin) now i run a gk 800rb and go through the pa every time i'm in a room bigger than 20'x20'. (and then i'm mostly all in the pa.)

    i recommend every bassist walk out front once in a while and just see how your rig stacks up. depending on your circumstances, you might be very suprised. keep in mind indoors is a very diferent game than outside. inside you can get away with a lot more with a lot less.
  17. heatheroo


    May 22, 2008
    Ephrata PA
    also outdoor gigs almost invariably mean long extension cords with a line voltage drop resulting. You may notice your amp clipping at unusually low volumes. Outdoor gigs almost always sound better on paper than they turn out.............even if it doesn't rain...............and it always rains(g)
  18. Outdoors can be really difficult. First, the idea that 'comb filtering' is the primary issue (or even a meaningful issue) is overstated IMO:smug:

    Depending on the situation and type of music, I've heard little GK MB150 Micro combo's sound FANTASTIC outside (a big band playing in a 'quadrangle' on a concrete floor with buildings around the 'space', and I've heard multi thousand watt mega front of house festival PA's produce weak, thin bass tones (when the bassist had a somewhat scooped tone, and the band and PA was on a tall stage in a totally open area (with the wind blowing... which can really mess with sound waves).

    I've found that the most mid punchy rig and EQ you can get your hands on helps quite a bit in those difficult 'open' type outside gigs. There's no way a backline is going to provide enough deep low end air movement to rumble if you are totally out in the open. However, with a low mid bump and some low end rolled off, you can end up with a pretty nice bass tone that will sit in a mix quite nicely, and at least be heard 'as bass' well out into the audience.

    That being said, as posted above, it's always a crap shoot with outside gigs. The best thing to do IMO and IME is play like you usually do with the rig you usually use, and just let the cards fall where they may.
  19. ZonGuy


    Sep 2, 2007
    +1 I was shocked.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ken, Ken, Ken! The guy said he could hear the cancellation in the audience. What else could it be? There don't have to be reflective surfaces for it to happen.

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