1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Should I play my bass straight thru the PA ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by banditcosmo, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. banditcosmo

    banditcosmo Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2002
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Not sure if this is in the right forum but,
    My band (acoustic/rock) is playing in DC on Monday at the Cherry Blossom Festival. We're driving about 2-1/2 hours in one small car and my band want me to only take my bass and play thru the P.A. They're like you'll sound fine thru the PA and you'll be able to hear yourself fine thru the monitor. They can't seem to understand why I want to play thru my own rig.
    I really think I should take my rig. It's pretty small, a 2x10 Acme cab, and a EA iAMP800. I really don't like the idea of playing thru just the PA.

    Should I definitely take my rig ? I'm thinking I should even if I have to drive my own car.

    Has anyone ever played thru just a PA ?
  2. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Playing through the PA can be risky. You should find out what kind of monitors/rig the PA CO. is providing. Outdoor festivals can be a bit rushed, so you probably will not get more than a line check before you go on and will have to adjust with the monitor tech on the fly. It can be tricky with an amp, never mind without.

    On the other hand, if you have your rig, you can go in there with a familiar set-up and make your own adjustments.

    You rig sounds pretty small, I don't know why your band would be so against it.

    I also noticed that you are in Charlottesville. Is Trax still there? (a club) And is Earth to Andy still playing out? just curious.

    hope this helps
  3. banditcosmo

    banditcosmo Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2002
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Unfortunately both are basically gone. Trax closed over a year ago. UVA bought the building and Earth to Andy are having their final show in May. I'm not sure why they are breaking up but they're having a cd release party for their last show.
  4. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I went through a similar problem like this at a church that I was playing for. You dont really need to bring your amp. Although I can more than understand why you want to. But even with your amp, you are still going to be at the sound mans mercy. So the house will get his mix, not your amps, you're at the sound mans mercy regardless of if you have your amp, run into a DI box, or straight into the board.

    In all honesty you should be fine just running through the board.
  5. leftundone


    Mar 14, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Take yuur rig man. You will feel more comfortable. I had to do it once & it was different, but you will have a funny story to tell one day.

  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I wouldn't sweat going in PA only. I have done it a number of times.
    I agree with SMASH, in that you will proably go through the PA in some fashion whether you bring a rig or not, especially when you consider the size of your rig and the size of your gig, and the fact that it is outdoors. Not many sound guys are into miking your amp, and most often the microphone the soundguy has won't capture the true tone of your rig anyway.
    I also agree with SMASH that you should use a DI (Direct Injection) box that is optimized for like a Sansamp Bass Driver or a Aguilar DI. They will capture the sound of your bass better than a plain old DI. Also, they can provide some amounts of distortion if your looking for that kind of sound. A plain old DI can't do that.
    On the other hand, if you have a distorted or edgy sound, and can't get a hold of a good DI, then bring your rig and work with the soundman to capture that sound. Trust me, the sound you hear from your rig will sound much differently on stage than it does from the guy in the audience who is 100 ft away. More than likely the PA speakers will be elevated, up front, and provide more "throw" than your rig.
    If the soundman and the gear is adequate, then you and your bands should be able to hear you from the monitors. The sound guy should also have experience setting basses, since most bands have em. I guess it's a matter of trust.
    On the practical side, those outdoor festivals can be the biggest pain for Load-In and Load-Out and parking is a pain in DC. Having no rig, would save on hassles, and potentially your back.
  7. leftundone


    Mar 14, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    You guys both make a great point. I looked back at it & just listened to the DAT from that night & it was that bad.

  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    If it's a big festival, they may have amps provided. Check with whoever booked your band about this.

    I have done the PA only route at a festival where the amp that was promised failed to be there. As long as there are good monitors, it'll work OK.
  9. I play through the PA/monitors all the time and find it is no problem as long as you get a decent soundcheck.

    As the other guys have said, speak to the soundman and get him on your side. Give him a peice of paper with hand signals worked out like turn me up in monitors and turn me down etc. This is the quickest way of getting the sound changed on stage mid set.

    Just a question have you asked if there will be a stage backline that you could use and if there is what it is. You could then go into a local shop and try a similar rig to see what sound you like and dial it in on the night.

    Let us know how you get on.