Playing outdoors with 100 watts and PA support

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Slaphound, May 9, 2021.

  1. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    I recently picked up a Fender Rumble 100 combo amp. Im looking for a small lightweight combo rig that would suffice in a small bar. But with a couple of gigs coming up that are outdoors and a couple that are inside a larger then usual for my band room, I'm feeling my doubts about this rig.
    The singer in our band once expressed his concern with sharing the PA with my bass. I think he thought that the pure sound of his vocals through the PA would be muddled with my bass sharing the speakers of the PA.
    Is this a legit concern of his or is he misguided in his fear?
    Peter Torning likes this.
  2. LP Custom

    LP Custom

    May 30, 2009
    Depends on who’s running the board.
    Jason Stock, lfmn16, sonojono and 4 others like this.
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    What kind of PA are you using? What’s the rating of your power amp/powered speakers? Do you have subs? What’s the frequency range and sensitivity (in dB) of those speakers? How big of an area do you think you need to cover for those outdoor gigs?
    el murdoque and Peter Torning like this.
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    All depends on the PA. Any pro concert, other than perhaps low volume in a small club, has everything going through the PA, so the sound person can control the balance.
  5. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    We run two (2) powered speakers through a Mackie ProFX8 8-channel professional Effects Mixer. The Speakers are Alto TS310. 2000 watt 10 inch 2 way Powered Loudspeaker.
  6. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Those 10’s are a bit small for FOH bass and kick. As a minimum I’d have 15” subs, if you can borrow or hire a pair of powered subs and cross over to the Altos as top boxes it can work but will only cover a small area.

    Depending on what area needs to be covered and intended volume it may be better to get a hire company to supply the PA.
    Bass4Brkfast and JRA like this.
  7. Since you don't have subs, I would use the amp as the main sound source and add some of your bass in the P.A. to supplement as needed.

    The concern when running Bass through the P.A. is that the bass frequencies will use up some of the power and maybe not leave enough power for everything else. When you have subs then some of that load is shifted to the subs and only the higher frequencies (which need less power) go to the tops. So you can get louder overall sound. However, if you play a CD through speakers you can hear that even small speakers are able to play all instruments and all vocals through the same speaker, so though it may affect the vocals, it's a small factor when you consider the lousy acoustics in most bars.
    One Way, Mastermold and Slaphound like this.
  8. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    It’s borderline. Even tho the wattage is “enough”, the efficiency of the speaker and the fact that they’re 10” drivers would keep me from putting bass through them. Esp if you are expecting to cover more than say, 50’x50’ area outdoors.

    what you could do is supplement this PA with powered subs and it would do OK - run the main outs from the board to the subs, then into the mains. The internal crossovers in the subs sends the low freqs to the subs and the high freqs to the mains.

    I’ve needed to do this in the past for the odd outdoor gigs we did - I just rented subs for the day of the gig. $100 for everyone’s peace of mind.
  9. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    This is looking more and more like I’m adding more surface area which translates to more gear or just a bigger combo. I guess we can try what I have now at the first outdoor gig we have and go from there
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    They way most high profile rigs are run nowadays, there isn't a bass amp. I bring a bass, a pedalboard, and a bag with some cables. There's a headphone amp/mixer in my rig that feeds in ears. My rig is always the "right size" regardless of the gig - indoors, outdoors, whatever.

    Psst: a little secret for you: When you show up without a bass amp, the FOH person will love you - he or she won't have to fight the sound from your amp, and as a result, you'll be heard better - you'll end up in the mix where you need to be, and it'll be consistent over the entire venue (or field, or whatever).

    If the PA is too feeble to handle your bass plus vocals, etc,'s simply too small. The best way to fix a PA that's not capable upgrade the PA. Anything else is a bandaid.
  11. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    There are always tons of questions on circumstances, etc. I've set my profile to try to set context for my posts.
  12. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    That’s borderline. What style of music are you playing? You could definitely make sure that the melodic/harmonic component of the bass is heard in the mix, if the sound person’s good, but for hard rock or funk, where the attack and power of the bass matters more, that’s a pretty lightweight PA to support bass outdoors. Does that combo support an expansion speaker? If so, it would help spread the load.
  13. Manticore


    Feb 27, 2016
    Times have changed. (Actually, they changed decades ago.) You're better served investing in PA equipment rather than a dedicated bass rig. With a decent PA, you'll not need a bass amp on stage. Bonus? When word gets out you own a decent PA your phone will go parabolic with gig offers.
    SmokinJoe992, BLDavis and SoCal80s like this.
  14. CallMeAl

    CallMeAl Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I’m a Rumble 100 owner, as well as 2 other players in town. My experiences as a player, and audience member, through various PA systems were very positive.

    If you haven’t heard yet, the Line out on the Rumbles is post EQ, post Master even. Might want to consider an additional DI if you don’t have one and want to pursue this setup.
  15. Ampslut

    Ampslut Supporting Member

    May 15, 2017
    hmmm I wouldn't run anything but vocals and maybe guitar and or KB through that pa.
    wmhill likes this.
  16. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I disagree. That band may end. Having gear to handle different sizes of gigs is your responsibility.

    Invest in yourself and you can play that live gig you get asked to sit in on.

    No one thinks the singer should invest in the appropriate PA. The rest of us have capable kit. Why doesn’t the singer invest in the expression of their craft?

    OP you’re going to need more than 100w in the future so get a side job and start amassing the gear you’ll need for any gig.
    Ampslut and juancaminos like this.
  17. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Simple: you cannot run vocals and bass through a PA comprised of 2 10” speakers. Wattage of said speakers is irrelevant. Unless you’re playing acoustic sets, and I get a feeling that is not what is going on here.

    So, somebody’s got to upgrade. The smart folks nowadays are upgrading their PA setups and going ampless. Everyone loves that, except for guitar players. Too bad, the future has arrived.

    If you don’t want to buy a PA then go out and get yourself a Rumble 500. Cheap and loud.
    Ampslut and SoCal80s like this.
  18. pbassjbass


    Jun 21, 2013
    What kind of music are you playing, and is the band good enough to match levels as an ensemble? I played with a bassman (50 watts 2x12) in what was essentially a country / roots band. We were always just balancing to the PA (only vocals, acoustic guitar and banjo in the PA). That bassman earned its keep, but it was enough.
  19. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    With PA support (a good one at that) and soundmen who know what they're doing it can be used.
    John Webb likes this.
  20. bigdaddybass12


    Feb 26, 2021
    GAS time !!! Sounds like a good excuse for new amp!
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