Portable, consistent live sound

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Mads bass, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Mads bass

    Mads bass

    Mar 17, 2015
    Hi there

    I am on a quest to find the best solution the reacquiring problem – namely having inconsistent sound at different gigs. Obviously, every room is different, but I do not always have the luxury of bringing my own rig and I often end up playing through a less than ideal amp. Therefor, I am looking into a more portable solution.

    I have been looking into the Noble, although I have yet to play with it myself. On the other hand, a friend of mine, who has been considering buying a Kemper for quite some time, asked if one of those would not be a better option (They both end up costing around the same, when they have come through customs). A third option would be a small class-D head like a Tecamp 500 or similar. I have however, fallen a bit in love with the idea of having a B15 in the shape of a pedal.

    How do you achieve a consistent live sound?

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    EQ is your friend!

    HPF/LPF, parametric (sweepable mids, adjustable Q), 10-15 band external eq, vertical speaker placement and getting the cab(s) up on a stand all will help tame changing and challenging venue acoustics along with getting a great stage tone.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  3. It is the soundcrew's job to dial in the PA so it works in the room.
  4. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    What you're really trying to do is have a sound that doesn't rely on an amp. Lots of people are perfectly happy using just a bass into a clean di like a Radial. Some people need a board full of the effects and preamps that you mention. Personally I have a line 6 helix, which I found superior to the Kemper that your friend suggested.

    What do you play and how do you like to sound?
  5. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    My 1st trick is to elevate the speaker and aim it at my ears. The idea is to hear more direct sound from the speaker and less of the reflections bouncing of the floor, wall, ceilings, etc. Aiming the speaker directly at my ears also ensure I can hear the full frequency range the speakers reproduce. Sound becomes increasingly directional as the frequency rises, so if your speaker is on the floor aimed horizontally at the back of your legs, you probably won't hear the upper mids and high frequencies unless you stand a considerable distance in front of your rig.

    My second trick is EQ. I focus more on being able to hear than getting a tone I like. If the room has strong resonant modes I'll cut those and boost the the highs and mids as necessary to get a natural sound through my ER15 ear plugs. Overall I try to EQ for a relatively even response across the strings with good clarity and articulation. To anyone who is not wearing protective ear plugs, I am sure my sound would be perceived as overly bright.

    An HPF can also be beneficial especially since most musical instrument speakers cannot actually reproduce the fundamental of the electric bass. My personal philosophy is to start with the HPF just below the tuning of the speaker system I am using. If I had a speaker that would actually play flat down to 20Hz, I would set the HPF just below the fundamental of the instrument I was playing. Dial in the HPF by increasing the frequency until it starts thinning out your low end. Back the HPF back down a few Hz if you want the fullest low end, or run it up a bit higher if you want to tighten things up.

    FOH gets a good quality, flat DI from my bass, so the EQ I use for my personal monitoring has no effect on any other mixes. Also getting the speaker high allows me to turn down and monitor at lower SPL so FOH does not have to fight as much with my stage wash.
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I use dedicated preamps for 2 basses on my board. Those are combined using an sFX Micro Mix. From there to my effects chain. And then DI. It keeps an aux from the board and use a K12 as a wedge.

    Advantage to this is that I can also put some kick and in some rooms acoustic guitar for cues in my mix. For me this has been a very consistent setup.
  7. Mads bass

    Mads bass

    Mar 17, 2015
    I mostly play something along the lines of pop/soul and maybe a bit RnB. I really like the bass sound on Selah Sue's "This World".
  8. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    Oh man, I loved her version of 'can't take my eyes off you' with Walk Off The Earth.

    I'm hearing that bass sounding quite compressed, with some growly mids and not a lot of very high or very low. Ithink you may have been on the money and you'd probably love the Noble DI. It is very much not cheap, but it will give you a very consistent, very high quality signal to a PA system night after night. Then if you need stage volume you could look at something like a QSC K12.2
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