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Playing on Stage in Play

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by goodgig, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. I've been enjoying playing in a community theater production of an old time gospel show. I have not been using any mic or pickup and my bass is strung with guts. I'm on the stage. The show is in a High School cafe with a decent stage. During opening night, an upright bass player in the audience said he would have liked to hear more bass. Director said he can't mic me (not sure why) and suggested I bring an amp. I have an old GK MB 200 and a Realist. I'm positioned at the back of the stage. I have a hunch that I'm present during most of the time. I think the issue occurs when the actors move to the front of the stage (where mics are placed) they block the acoustic sound. Also the vocal mics might be picking up the bass when they are not being used by the vocalists. Will the amp help? Any other tips?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I would have thought the amp would be a big help - can't say I have ever been in a play - but I have been in the audience at Jazz gigs where there was a large standing crowd and the DB player was using a small GK amp, similar to what you describe - and the bass carried very well though to the back of the club, through all the audience.
  3. Thanks Bruce. I'm going to bring the amp tonight and see if that helps.
  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I think your analysis is correct, especially in a High School Cafeteria where, even with good acoustics, the sound doesn't bloom of the stage like it does coming from an orchestra pit in an Auditorium.

    GK used to sell a microphone stand mount that would be ideal for your situation, because you can elevate and tilt the amp so that it isn't firing into the the actors quite as much.

    Of course, the simplest solution would be for you to use the amps line out, and send a signal FOH, but depending on the type of P.A. their using, and who's doing the sound mixing, it could be a god send or a total train wreck.

    For musical theater productions, there isn't usually a need to send the bass alone, through the P.A., FOH, because it will be out of balance, with the orchestra, and perhaps to predominate, against the singers, that isn't amplified.

    You have the perfect amp for DB, as the old 200MB's had one of the best EQ sections for the instrument.

  5. LowNote

    LowNote Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2002
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    One other tip you might try. If the stage has a wooden floor that doesn't have a super fancy finish, I'd try taking the rubber piece off of your end pin and stick the end pin into the stage. This might significantly increase the volume of the bass. After all, what they're hearing in the audience is a combination of your acoustic sound and the amplified sound. Just sayin'.
  6. I used the GK 200MB amp last night. Sound presence was much better. Ric - I know what you mean about those stands. I don't have one, but I did elevate the amp a few feet, using a conventional amp stand set up just behind my bass. Lownote - I did what you said, too. I generally use a Rabbath end pin but for this one I used the straight metal end pin and took off the tip and into the wooden stage floor. I'm sitting on a stool so it does not feel much different than standing with the angled pin. This is the best solution I can do without going direct into the house PA. I'm sure it's all good now. Thanks for your help.

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