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Rig Sound - Practice vs. Rehearsal/Gig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LowDown Hal, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Please help educate a nOOb.

    I read a lot of comments talking about how a rig sounds great at rehearsal/gig (in the mix) but doesn't sound good in practice (at home).

    I don't understand this phenomena?

    Can it be EQ'ed?

    Is this a human/auditory idiosyncrasy, or equipment?

  2. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I can attest to this in some regard. Some cabs (like the Schroeder cabinets) have excellent lower mid range emphasis & are super-efficient which allow them to punch & cut through very thick & dense live mixes with ease. However, the same properties that make it cut through a live mix like hot butter do not necessarily make for such a sweet stand-alone tone (which I refer to as a "bedroom tone") & vice-versa. The smoothest, sweetest sounding cabs that sound great when played solo often tend to become a bit buried in a live mix unless EQ'd to cut a little better. My .02 cents anyway...:cool:
  3. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I'll take a stab - in my experience, what sounds good by itself - we'll call it "bedroom tone" typically doesn't work as well in a band setting: I typically have to add some mids, and maybe a little highs, and occasionally cut some lows from my "bedroom tone" to be effective in a band mix... Guitarists typically have to cut some lows and add some highs to sound good in a band mix... Also, as you increase your volume to reheasal or gig level, your rig will respond differently regarding tone and EQ settings... Occasionally, you'll want to vary your EQ to keep from having problems with the kick drum, but not very often - that usually is more of a PA concern...

    Many times I've had a great band tone only to discover that it sounded like crap playing by myself later on - and had a great bedroom tone, only to disappear in a band mix...

    Hope this helps,

    - georgestrings
  4. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    You'll also find the reverse is true. If you are have only been a bedroom player, and have tweaked your tone to get 'that' sound. Using the same tone in a live band context may not work very well. Your delicately tuned tone will probably get lost in the mix behind the kick drums and badly eq'd guitars.

    (Many guitarist are notorious for using their great full range bedroom sound in a band, leaving no room for the bass. You have to work together to fill holes in the spectrum, guitarists should get to know their bass knob on their amps and turn it down!. Might sound thin and weedy on it's own, but it will sit much better in the mix)
  5. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Somehow when I play in my bedroom, the low end is very quiet. The room's shape or location of the amp is the culprit. At the rehearsal space, or on gigs, the low end returns. This is what EQ is for, matching the room's natural resonances. If it's boomy, down with mid-bass. If it's too quiet... well, maybe you should move the amp rather than fight cancellation.
  6. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    There is something to eqing for the bedroom and eqing for the stage. Once you've played both you should know how it's going to sound in either place. If you don't you need to get out more.:)

    Sometimes it's an excuse that manufacturers or their fans use to explain why it sounds bad live but great in the music store or bad in a music store "but let me assure you it will sound great in the mix". They'll say you can't have both. Really.

    Your cab's response should not be so pitted with peaks and valleys that a little eq change can't bring up the mids.

    At some point we'll hear, "We know it sounds like @$$ on stage but we can assure you your fans two states over, love your tone. Buy now!"
  7. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    generally it's not so much a cabinet's fault as it is an eq issue.

    check out the eq thread in the amps faq sticky for specific info on frequncies.

    Bedroom tone generally means a "smiley face" eq curve where lows and highs are boosted and mids are cut. MAny amps have a shape button, aural enhancer, etc, which dials this in for you. sounds great. awesome.

    the kicker is, mids cut live. I always start flat at a gig and then cut or boost as needed. Lots of times flat does it, sometimes i need to boost mids or high mids to cut through, but usually as long as i don't engage a shape filter or cut the mids i do ok live. Not always the coolest tone when you play all by yourself, but it gets the job done.

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