PA - DI - Ampeg, Quiet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by willwonka, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Quick question, this weekend we set up outside to jam, we rented some PA speakers and a powered mixer board "yorkville" i think, 400 watts per side. I decided to try and hook up to the pa, since i had never done so before, my amp has a DI out on the back (ampeg svt 4pro),on the board I set the gain at about 3/4's, the volume on the mixer where my bass was plugged into, basically all the way up, volume on my bass all the way up, and the line level out on my amp to full, which controls the signal to the mixer as well. But it still seemed like it was not overly loud, you could hear vocals good, guitar good, and the gain and volume were turned down a fair bit on both of these, I had basically every thing cranked up but still I was lost in the mix when I turned my speakers off and just ran threw the PA.

    Is this normal? What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions? I just started looking into PA systems, so I dont have a abundance of knowledge, but I think I have some grasp or a basic concept on how they work, or am I just missing something obvious?

  2. ERMAL


    Jun 20, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    THe band I was in a couple of years ago opened for Cheap TriCk at two different shows - great guys and crew by the way. When we were deciding to mic or run the bass direct out of my SVT II Pro, their stage manager told me the best thing I could do to the DI was to unscrew it, clip the wires that connected it, render it useless and tell any soundman that they would have to mic the amp. THe DI never provided me with a good sound/strong signal out front. I have always insisted that the bass be mic'ed ever since.
  3. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    What type of speakers did the PA use?
    Did the PA have separate Subs?

    Most 2-way PA speakers with a 15" and a horn only go down to 60hz. Most clubs with decent PA systems use Subs to handle the lows because of this. The Subs typcially use more power than the Mains in most PA setups as low frequencies need more power.

    Also, 400 watts per side is really not very much for a PA setup.

    If you did not rent Subs, you may want to look into that for future gigs. They can really help the Drum and Bass sound for a live gig.
  4. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I have an Ampeg b4r which is basically the solid state version of the 4pro. Mine works fine. If I turn my output on my DI over 1/2 way the signal is too hot and it distorts. About 1/4 (9'oclock) is where mine usually gets set. Where was the input gain set on your amp? I believe that will affect the signal to the direct out also. Also how did you turn the volume down to listen to the PA speakers? If you used the mute button that will cut the signal to all outputs except the tuner out including the line out to the board. If all that fails, go get it checked out by an authorized Ampeg repairman. If your amp is less than 5 years old it's still under warranty.:bassist:
  5. Thanks for the Reply Ermal,

    The next time we set up, I was thinking about DI'ing and Mic'ing, sending 2 signals to the board, this brings me to another couple questions.

    Is there anything specific I should look for in a mic? Is one sufficient?

    Where is the best place to have the mic, right up against the speaker cover, a couple of feet back, ect.

    For cabs I have a Ampeg 2-15e classic and a Ampeg 4-10hlf classic, which cab should I mic, and if the mic should go up against the cover where should it be pointed at, in a general area or right in front of a cone, horn, ect?

  6. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Get a separate DI box (SANSAMP, SADOWSKI, whatever) and run into that from the bass. Send one line into your stage rig and the balanced line to the board.

    I've also always had trouble with getting the sound in the mix from the DI out on my SVP-Pro preamp.
  7. Thanks again for the replys, I will just quickly address some of the questions asked above, and hopefully this gives you a few more ideas of what I was up against.

    We did not have subs rented, but when all my stuff was cranked up it did not distort the speakers, it was just quiet.

    When I turned my speakers off, I did not use the mute, or touch the gain on my amp, I just turned the volume off to the speakers.

    When we played cds threw the PA, lots of volume, Great Bass, ect. speakers sounded like they could handle a fair bit of volume and Bass.

  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    You shouldn't have had any problems getting a decent signal to the board through the amp's DI. Either it is defective, or some setting on your amp itself was affectint the line-out's signal strength.

    FWIW, you aren't going to get much benefit out of running your bass through a PA of that size/power anyway, I personally wouldn't bother with it unless you get a bigger PA rig to make it worthwhile. Odds are you were running more power through your bass rig as it was.
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    If that powered mixer was a dry rental, It probably had a channel or 2 that weren't working. Did you try a different channel?
  10. I have shared your experience with the amp's DI output (from both my Ampeg B4R and my GK 1001RB). My preference now follows the advice of two previous posts: If your soundperson will mic the amp, do it and snip the wires on the DI. If the front-of-house is Direct-happy, use a separate Direct Box and route to house and your amp. The only drawback of that setup is if you do the pro thing and mute when you check your tuning. Otherwise, you will get the best of both worlds.

    I personally believe that the person out front there whose equipment you might be renting will typically pull back on the bass to save their subs. That's why I come equipped with enough stage volume to put Madison Square Garden to shame. You have to look out for yourself out there!