"Small", "Medium", "Big", "Arena" gigs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikkejohansson, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. Just as a point of reference; what size crowds do most people here think of as being a "small", "medium" and "big" gigs?

    You read in a lot of short reviews here that an amp or a cabinet might work well for a "small" gig but not cut it for a "big" gig.

    Might be intereseting to know what you all think of this matter...?
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    a lot of that depends not only on the crowd size but the size of the venue itself, and what sort of music is being played. i might say that a "small gig qualifies as being in a room no bigger than a house with 100 or less people, playing music that isn't terribly loud. But honestly, that doesn't mean much and all of those factors could be modified. "medium" is open to a lot of variables as is "large". I tend to think of gigs in terms of volume, not size. Coffeehouse/background volume might be "low", rock in a club might be "medium" and rock in a larger music club with a substantial stage where they want it loud, or outside where you have to cover a large are with sound might be "high". But even then there are lots and lots of variables. As far as rigs go, that all depends upon pa support. I've played "high" voluem gigs with noting but a bass and a direct box.
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Small = Bar/Club [20-300 heads] PA for vocal support. Small to Medium setup. 200-500 watts w/half stack (or combo).
    Medium = Auditorium/Hall/Performance Venue [500-2500 heads] Full PA required. 500 watts min. w/full stack.
    Large = Stadium/Outdoor [3000+ heads] Full PA required. 500 watts min. w/full stack.

    My opinion and experience of course. :bassist:
  4. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I have played all of the above with an Ampeg SVT4 Pro (plenty of power), and 1 or 2 SVT410HLN's.

    The biggest thing is having PA support, which I always have, regardless of what band I was playing in or how many people were being played to. All my amp has had to do is be my onstage monitor and provide a line out to the board and a place to mike it (I usually run 2 lines to the board, one direct, one miked).
  5. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    I got curious about this myself, so I checked with a reference book "Rock Musicians Guide to Volume Control". On page 143 there is a chart showing various sizes of performance venues. Large is over 1500. Medium is 500 to 1500. Small is under 500. If the gig is outdoors with an enclosed backstage reduce the above numbers by 20%. If the gig is outdoors in open air reduce the numbers by 50%. If the guitar player has been drinking more than you or has ingested some chemical stimulants, multiply the above numbers by 100% and increase your volume accordingly.
  6. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    room acoustics play a huge part in it as well. last night i played a gig with a loud rock band in what would qualify as a small/medium sized biker bar. This particular room soaks up sound like crazy. My stage volume was quite loud but a 25' walk out front had the whole band sounding relatively quiet