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small or strange shaped playing area

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Mr Grady, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Mr Grady

    Mr Grady

    Feb 26, 2006
    how do you get round the above?
    we did a gig last saturday where the drummer was in the corner, myself and guitarist either side. the problem was mostly the guitarist having his amp so close to him that he couldnt hear it. he uses a koch studiotone XL. it seems to have for a better word, a deadzone....where a few feet from it you hardly hear it. so whats his answer? turn it up....turn it up...turn it up!
    would it be better if he cant place it further away to run it through the main desk? he does angle it upwards, but even then its still pointing at his knees...i think he should have it much higher up if he needs it to be close to him. possibly stack some equipment boxes if nothing else is available.

    or just play larger rooms...lol
  2. Mitchinboxer


    Jan 25, 2012
    One solution I see there is to have his amp on your side and your amp on his side. Could be a little weird, but if you both need to hear yourself from your amp that allows the sound room to stretch out and he should hear it fine. Only downside I see is that you wouldn't be able to adjust amp settings without dictating to the other person what you want.
  3. Hi.

    Small, cramped stages are always a problem, but putting the amps on stands help tremendously.

    A regular amp stand is a good choice, but a PA top stand works even better.
    Needs the mouting plate installed on the amp bottom of course.
    And does have a larger footprint.

    By far the best choice though IME is to leave the amps home and plug everything straight (via pedal board ;)) to PA.

  4. Mitchinboxer


    Jan 25, 2012
    I was going to suggest that as well, but most guitar players hate the sound of themselves direct without a good preamp. It really freaks them out.
  5. I used to play with a cunning old guy who used a small combo leaned right back on a brick at his feet so it played at him and he could get his feedback going all without blowing up the stage, sm57 on the cab for the PA, too easy.
  6. Hmm. Yep, the guitarist is the problem - he's deaf. Next time try turning way down.

    EDIT: Also get him some good earbuds and a Rolls PM351. ;)
  7. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Raising and tilting the amps is the right idea. The audience is not going to notice a tonal difference, in fact, the mix will probably sound better for it. The volume will be better balanced with the drums, the highly directional top end will be able to be heard properly and eq'd better, and it will tidy up the low end by decoupling from the floor.

    Otherwise, do you have foldback/monitors in your PA system setup? You could mic up or take a DI/line out from your amps to the desk and run put them through the monitors to hear yourselved better

    We have these little mackie and behringer personal monitors that fit on mic stands. You can even run straight into them if you wish, bypassing the mixing desk. 150 watts right in your face. If you can't hear that, then you have problems!

  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Amp stand, and / or Swap sides with your amps. One place I used to play, i would play hat side of the drums and have my amp on the other side. Pointed over at me across the set. Guitarist can also use your cab as a stand... Small weird rooms... Just gotta find what works ...
  9. wmheilma


    Jan 5, 2010
    Had a house gig for a while with an odd shaped stage way too small for the band. Here is how we got a good sound after we played there a while.

    Guys with in ear monitors used those. I used a hot spot that sits on a mic stand. The guitar player put a plexiglass panel in front of his amp. That really made a huge difference! For bass I used a little LDS 4x8 cab and left my sub at home. The less stage volume we put out the better it all sounded. This was a LOUD Latin rock band, so the percussionist had to tone it down a lot compared to a normal stage. I still used a foam ear plug to keep the blocks, bells, and timbales from killing my ear on that side.

    We had nice QSC mains which sounded killer in the house as long as we did not play to loud on stage.

    Quiet but punchy is the way to go on small stages.
  10. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    Here's a great answer. All the bands I've played in have improved our live set not-coincidentally at the same time I've convinced the guitarists to let me mic their amps and run their sound through the stage monitors. You'll have to battle a bit with the ones who feel that their amps only "sound right" when they're at 11, but for the most part, have them dial in a sound, then turn down the volume, mic it, run it through the PA and the monitors, and enjoy the ability to hear what's actually going on! If your live performances DON'T improve immediately, I'd be surprised. :D
  11. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    The solution is to place the amp right next to the guitarist's head. He'll hear it for sure that way!
  12. Stangconv


    Mar 3, 2013
    We just did a gig very similar... Put guitarists amp on the other side of stage facing towards him, it'll wash the stage, or turn it down and mic it and put it through his monitor.

    Ideally it'd be direct out into the pa, but I have the next best thing. My guitarist doesn't need his crazy loud, and we mic him and put it through the monitors. Then he angles the cab on the band so the crowd doesn't get blasted, even though he's really got his volume under control.
  13. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    Could you clone this guy like a hundred times over so that more people can have the chance to play with sensible guitarists?
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    On a recent tour, consumate tone meisters Tom Petty and Mike Campbell used Princeton Reverbs the same way. You'd think of those guys could get happy with that setup, a lot of others could.

    Obviously not your basic ac/dc tribute band but still...
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I've been on some small stage areas in my day. Once, at a spot on Bleeker (NYC), I literally had to stand one leg on top of my cab and the other on the edge of a drum riser which was pitched about 6-8" lower!