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Playing Through House Sound System Using Amp Only For A Monitor??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mickeyw3340, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. At my 60 years my gigs are church gigs. A new very nice PA and sound board was installed in the church recently and they now have me using a Direct In box from the Amp out into the PA and the sound man controlling the sound mix. Previously I was punching out through the amp to get the bottom out into the room. I have put the amp on a stand about three feet high and stand directly in front of it, turned high enough that I can monitor what I am doing, but low enough that is not punching out into the room from the pit. All room sound now comes from the PA system. Obviously I can't do my chops and go out into the room to hear this, but am assured that it is the way to go. What are opinions on this? I am interested in all comments.
  2. If I have posted to the wrong forum, sorry. Perhaps this should be under another heading. Please move it if appropriate.
  3. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    That's probably the easiest, best sounding way to get a good house sound. This should probably be in Amps, but someone will be along shortly enough to move it.
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    That's the way 99.9% of larger venues do it. Anytime you see a big PA, the stage bass amp is only for the player's monitoring. Go see a stadium concert, I'll guarantee you are not hearing the stage amp but rather the bass through the PA.

    So long as you have a competent soundman, you will be fine.
  5. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
  6. That's exactly why I've never been into purchasing a mega-watt amp/cab. What you hear on stage is probably quite different then what's going on out in the audience. If you have a good sound-man, then you're fine. Just don't forget his birthday :smug:

    - Andrew
  7. Mickey, I'm in the same situation(except I'm only 42 :rolleyes: ). My(usual)soundman likes the majority of the bass' stage volume coming from the bass amp- of course, I love this man. My opinion is that the bass amp produces a better tone than our PA, but it sounds like yours is nicer than ours. What is your rig?
  8. playing through the P.A. is a standard for larger clubs or churches. your amp is now one of your monitors. my church is not that big, yet. we play from a platform(stage). i keep my amp on the stage. i feel i lose a lot of bottom-end if its' on a stand. i like to feel the platform rumble under my feet.
    congrats on the new P.A. system. you'll get used to it. :cool:
  9. bugbass


    Apr 8, 2004
    If you have a good PA and a good soundman this is the best way to do it. Have you concidered in ear-monitoring?
    I say this cause I know how difficult it is to get used to not feel the bass in your knees, and a good in ear can make you hear the bass better/ get loud enough without disturbing the balance in the room
  10. Excuse my ignorance, but can an in ear unit be fed from the Amp? The Amp output is going to the Direct In Box. Can a dual unit of some kind be plugged into the Amp Output and then be split off into an in ear unit and the DI box to the sound System? All this hi tech in sound is something I need to learn about. My 15 years of full time gigging from the '70s to the '80s consisted of bars, honky tonks and night clubs. Many not big enough to have a band stand, let alone a sound system.
  11. soholounge


    Aug 11, 2004
    a good in-ear monitoring system will be prohibitively expensive for most.
  12. You could use your effects loop to feed a headphone amp. I purchased the Shure E2C in-ear phones for this reason, and really don't like them much, but YMMV. I'm sure a better set of phones will do a great job. I found I was fiddling with them too much to be useful. Not only that, my ear canals are shaped weird so its tough to get a good seal, and without that seal, the Shures don't have much bass response.

    - Andrew
  13. soholounge


    Aug 11, 2004
    for an in-ear montoring system to be effective,
    the whole band (or most) needs to be wired in.
    if everybody else has floor monitors blasting except you, you'll be fighting the noise level on stage.
    the trick is to minimize the volume on stage.
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    That is pretty much the standard approach for large rooms.

    I run a pair of 2x10's stacked verticaly. That get's the top speaker up high enough for me to hear it. Often in a quiet setting I run only the top cab. The whole thing couple to the floor which in some rooms is a good thing, some rooms not. ...and I have an amp stand for those rooms.

    The soundman will do a good job or not. The ones who don't tend to weed themselves out over time.
  15. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I've been pretty fortunate. I have an Eden Metro Combo and it has a DI output in the back of the amp. Normally, most sound guys wanted me to go from my bass to a DI and then split the signal from the DI box to my amp (as a monitor) and the PA.

    Since I got the Metro, most sound guys want me to pug into the PA via my Metro DI in the back of the amp. They like the sound it gives them, and I like it too, so I can set it the way I like it. It also has given me some degree of satisfaction that I might have gotten the right amp. But once I set it and we do a sound check, I won't move any of the EQ dials. Doing that is a great way to piss off your soundman, and then suddenly you won't be heard at all. :mad:
  16. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    In my exerience with church playing, and my church is pretty large (sits about 1000 i would guess), I use a hartke amp speaker combo (not sure what it is, its the other bass players). I run my bass through my amp and the ampthrough the sound system. It is officially my only monitor. we're working on getting innerears but they are very expensive.

    What I find is that if the sound man does not play bass or is not a true advocate of the low sound, the bass will not sound very good in the house. However, I've worked with sound men who have played and crank the instrument up. These are the ones you want to look for.

    Youj are entitled to your opinion about the sound your bass should produce so have someone play and walk into the house to hear it.
  17. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I'm in this situation too with a band I just joined. What I like is that the sound man is good. I go from my Amp to a DI box and then take a lead from the box to my speaker cab. I like this too, cause I can EQ my own sound and the sound man keeps his board close to flat.

    Problem. My amp is an Acoustic 370 that I love the sound of... but as a monitor amp is really more than I need. I like a lot of the features of the new amps, but it seems like the ones that have the features I want are 500 watts and up. I would like a post EQ DI out, a tuner out, an FX loop, an EQ and perhaps a compressor all in the amp head.

    Any suggestions for this kind of amp in the 100 to 150 watt range?

  18. I have tried having someone else to play my bass and walking into the room to listen. Ha!!!! He was a teen and I certainly hope that wasn't representative of what they hear when I am on. I play a bottom fill simple but accurate, and not a lead instrument in most cases. In a concert such as our Christmas concert (or should that be "HOLIDAY CONCERT" this past saturday, I gave the sound man a list of the numbers I was on, with a light, medium, or heavy bass notation for him. Light being more felt than heard, medium being just under the piano/organ, and heavy being more of an out front sound. It worked out well. We had many many compliments on the musicians. I hope the day will come when the choir boss will schedule more musician rehearsal time. It's difficult when the same song comes around only once or twice a year.

    My wife sings in the choir and she has been the best judge of how things are sounding and mixing together. This new sound system makes the other singers happy, because they are now not having to deal with the heavy bass coming from the pit.
  19. jrduer


    Jun 27, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    The value of running the bass direct into the house PA was made very clear to me one night, when I arrived at the gig with a borrowed amp (mine was in the shop). I was not completely satisfied with the amp's sound during rehearsal (it was an SWR Workingman combo with a 15 and a horn), but I figured it would get me through that one gig.

    At the sound check, when I flipped the switch, the amp made some really interesting noises, none of which were related to anything musical. Then it went silent.

    Since I had intended to run through the PA as well as the amp anyway, I just unplugged from the amp, asked for a little bit of bass to be folded back through my vocal monitors, and off we went.

    Needless to say, the stage sound wasn't what any of us expected, nor was it something to try and recreate at future gigs. But the setup worked (and I had my own rig back for the next gig).

    The funny thing is, the guy who loaned me the SWR came into the club that night. Since I had left the dead amp onstage (to set my drink and the DI box on), he didn't see anything amiss in our stage setup. After the set, he came up to me to compliment me on the sound of the bass. Said he'd never heard that amp sound so good! Guess he couldn't see that the on/off LED was not glowing... :cool:

  20. I am and have been in that church setting for about 4 years now. I have tried various setups and have now gone to running through a Sanamp Bass Di into the system using only a wedge monitor as my monitor. I used to have a head and 4*10 cab as my monitor but the soundman despised it :D .

    I tried out in ear monitors for a few services and really liked them (Shure E3 in ears). I was the only one who used them during our services and at times I felt "isolated / distant" from everyone else. I later learned that to avoid that "distant" feeling, the congregation / sanctuary needs to be mic'd as well to provide some ambience to your mix. The Shure package that I tried out was about $450 - 500.00 range. It had good bass range IMHO.

    I also let someone play my bass while I walked around. You found the same problem I did, completely different style and taste. I have since borrowed a wireless unit from a buddy and was able to check out my sound my self while walking around.

    All this said, if you have a good soundman that you can work with and who appreciates quality not quanitity of sound, you will sound good. Just communicate.