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Question for the gigging musicians

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by blamkin, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    Hi all -- haven't posted in awhile -- I'm busy putting a folk/rock group together.

    My question is for those of you out there playing on stage a lot. I'm wondering how you get your 'sound' out to the audience.

    Do you:

    a) Just use my rig. I control my tone and volume. My sound doesn't go through the PA.

    b) I use my rig. Additionally, my rig includes a line-level output, which goes into the board and the sound guy controls PA's bass volume. Most of the bass volume comes from my rig though.

    c) I use my rig. We mic my stuff and send that to the board. The sound guy controls PA's bass volume. Most of the bass volume comes from my rig though.

    d) I use a DI, and a monitor. The sound guy controls PA sound and volume level. All of the bass volume comes through the PA.

    e) Any other setup you prefer.

    Thanks in advance.

    FWIW, I have this super-fancy aguilar/eden/qsc rig, which sounds great and all. However, I'm trying to figure out how the bass player can set tone and volume level, when the sound guy needs to set level for the entire group.

    Thanks again!
  2. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Here's my frame of reference. I do about 6 nights a month with my Chicago Blues/Classic R&B band in bars/pubs that cover the small, medium, and large spectrum. We set our volume to the size of the room, first set vs last set, listening crowd vs dancing crowd etc. etc. I have guitar,drums and harmonica and vocals to cut through. My rig is an Eden WT-500 amp;Aguilar DB924 pre-amp and an Eden 410XTL cabinet. I am sometimes criticized for being the motive force that drives our volume up so I am always on the lookout for that.(I NEVER have to worry about not being loud enough to be heard)

    I never have to go through the PA. My favorite non-gig tone is with the Eden set at flat and a slight bass and treble boost (1 o'clock) on the Aguilar. But for gigs that tone doesn't cut through nearly well enough. Live I use the same Aguilar settings but I give the Eden amp a major boost at 600hz. That cuts through the band really well.

    I alternate back and forth between my two Fenders ( a RB5 and a '57 Precision RI) depending on my preference for that night. Although I like flatwound strings I find they don't cut through the band mix either so I use DR Nickel Roundwounds.

    One of the oddities of bass is that the tone you like in your basement is rarely the one that sounds best in the band mix.
  3. drewie


    Jan 20, 2002
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    e) I DI from my amp into the PA desk. I just use my rig as an onstage monitor, it is hardly noticeable front of house. Of course, I strongly recommend buying the soundguy a drink (non-alcoholic!) before the show - I draw the line at other `favours' though...;)
  4. I have a non-balanced line out on my amp. I run that to a DI and then to the board. My sound is probably half my rig/half PA. PA has EV 18" subs and carries the lows better than my rig.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I still do a lot of gigs in small rooms where the PA is for vocals only, so that's case "a".

    When I do DI it's "b" except most of the volume comes from the PA, not my amp. I run the amp just loud enough so the band can hear me, bass in the monitors can make it hard for the vocalists to hear themselves.

    For acoustic gigs where I play upright bass, I do "d". I use a DI for the bass pickup and then depend on monitors to augment my acoustic sound on stage.
  6. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I use a small combo amp (EBS Drome) as a personal monitor (the drummer gets some monitor sound from it as well). A DI box to the PA, a touch of bass is mixed in to the stage monitors for the other band members, and almost all of the sound comes from the main PA speakers.

    I used to own a full rig (Ampeg pre, Crown amp, effects rack, two Ampeg 4x10 cabinets) but have sold it. All it accomplished IMO was to give us too high sound levels on stage, and we could not hear what we were playing (let alone what we were singing).

    We now line or mic all instruments to the PA (bass and guitar amps angled up and directed towards us from the sides of the stage) and can use very moderate volume on stage.

    As a result I believe we play and sing better, the FOH sound is not too much affected by our back-line, and my back loves me for selling the heavy stuff and replacing it with the combo.
  7. I play entirely without PA support for the bass, every week. End of the month gigs occasionally have PA support, but most do not.
  8. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    either b, c, or d with the rig as a monitor. On stage, the volume comes from the amp, not in the monitors. the soundguy sets volumes for the pa. for smaller gigs, me and the guitarist have our amps - or sometimes i'm the only one with amp - the violins go unmiced, and so do the drums.
  9. I've only ever used my rig twice as the sole FOH bass presence.

    Every other time it's been post-EQ DI'd to the board, sometimes with an added Mic channel. We play too loud for my rig (WT800 / Ampeg 4x10) to be of any use to the FOH.
  10. blamkin


    Nov 28, 2001
    Broomfield, Co
    Thanks so much for all the replies folks.

    Looks like what I'm wanting to do isn't so nutso after all. My gear is Ag preamp, QSC amp, and Eden 410XLT and two 115s. I currently bi-amp the highs into the 410 and lows into the 115s. I love the sound of the whole thing (but not the 410 or 115 alone).

    I think I'll "donate" the 115s to the PA, and get a crossover so they don't get nuked by vocals or whatever. I'll use the 410 as my on-stage monitor (how's that for overkill) or maybe just sell it. That way I can DI to the board and let Sound Man have his day, which I think is best by far.

    Thanks again.

    Boy are there lots of ways to do this. I'm going to go with what works for me.


  11. Overkill? Not even...my 8x10 will be turning up early next week, and that's solely for on-stage monitoring... :D
  12. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I use option "a" for small clubs and "b" for bigger ones.
  13. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I use 1 or 2 4x10's (depending on size of venue) for onstage monitors. I run the line out of my head into the board. The bass volume FOH comes from the PA. So, I don't think a 4x10 is overkill at all.