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Running Direct or Using An Amp?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by KnoxvilleBird, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. I just hired on with a friends band playing bass. For the past 5 years I have been doing a solo/acoustic singer/songwriter gig but I am very comfortable playing bass. What are the pro's and con's of running direct, which is what they suggest I do but I am a tone/control freak so I'm not sure which way to go.

    The venues we play have world class sound reinforcement so I'm not worried but I want to be able to crawl up next to my amp if I need to...? I'm thinking of doing both using a MXR M-80 pedal direct and in conjunction with an amp on stage.

    Thanks and I am new to this site and threads in general so any advice on navigating this site or subscribing would be appreciated.

    ~Oklahoma Joe
  2. ccary


    Oct 14, 2010
    Brier, Washington
    You will not get the same tone with a DI that you will with a mic. It all depends on your set up, of course, but with a good amp and cabinet your sound will be much warmer than with a DI. You also have the ability to EQ with an amp before it gets to the sound board.

    Most bass players like to have their amp on stage to monitor their sound, as well. You may find it is hard to hear yourself without using an amp.

    On the plus side, using a DI makes it much easier for the sound guy to handle the mix as often a bass amp will overwhelm everything else and force the house mix to get very loud to compensate.
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    If you're a tone freak, maybe a DI isn't for you. I like my bass sound bassy, and clean. I love to run a DI to the FOH. My stage monitor tends to be set a bit brighter so I can hear it over the rest of what's happening. I run a dry signal to the board, and the sound guy does FOH. I don't have any real special needs as far as my sound goes, so I let him do his thing and make it sound best for a given situation.
  4. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Percentage of bassists I've worked with who sent a really good tone down the DI line: Perhaps 50%.

    Percentage of bassists I've worked with who had a really good sound from their rig: Perhaps 10%.

    Do the math.
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