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Soundchecking with effects

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jumblemind, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    I played a new venue this past weekend, “new” as in new-new, not just new-to-me. Small room, maybe 200 people-ish. Great sound system…best vocal monitor mix I’ve had at this kind of venue, and the sound guy was running it from mobile apps and all. Fancy for our little town. We sound checked the bass, then he says “You have any crazy pedals I need to know about, like a fuzz? Want to make sure you don’t fry my speakers.” Not the friendliest way to ask, but fair enough otherwise. I hadn’t been able to set my levels because of amp issues, so I winged it. But just with the fuzz. I wonder if some of my synth/envelope effects would have more spikes to worry about than the fuzz pedal. Or what about an octaver? Should I have checked those, or is it just the clipping of the fuzz that endangers FOH speakers?

    Do you soundcheck your effects? And is it really accurate to sound check the bass by itself anyway? It seems like a lot of what sounds loud and harsh and “too much” during soundcheck is actually swallowed up in a mix when the full band starts.
  2. Mark Nye

    Mark Nye

    Sep 18, 2012
    Columbus, OH
    When I use an overdrive, I generally set the level when I set up my rig, then when the FOH guy checks me, I alternate back and forth between clean/OD a few times for a few seconds each so that he can do what he needs to do. I don't use other effects, but I'd probably take the same approach if I did. I realize that some effects play nicer with your rig than they do with a DI to PA signal, but it's somewhere to start.

    (Side note: Mind if I ask the name of the room?)
  3. shenanigans


    Sep 9, 2013
    You should sound check your effects, but he should have some sort of limiter that prevents you from blowing his speakers.

    As far as sound check goes, bands I've been in always had each member do their sound check solo, then play as a band to make sure that it works. We probably should have had a soundcheck 'song' to get everything running at max obnoxious without giving away our set, but we usually played a song that wasn't planned in our set. This was usually a song that wasn't anywhere near max obnoxious. It didn't sound check the effects very (dons glasses) effectively. Occasionally this became a loud feedbacky problem, and illustrates the potential need for an obnoxiousness test before your set.
  4. I would soundcheck octavers for sure, and my old FX-25 could get very peaky so I would have checked that. The filters I use now, Proton and MXR BEF, are better behaved. Actually, I would check the fuzz + BEF combo b/c as the envelope closes that can produce a pretty resonant peak at around 150 to 250 Hz.

    So yes, given a soundman who actually cares, I would check quite a few of my effects scenes.
  5. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
  6. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    If I had three effects I used a lot and a legit soundcheck hours before the show that would make sense. Most of the time at cover gigs I get about 10 seconds to check my bass. It also seems most people have some strong opinions on bass players with effects, and for me to go through all 12 or so that I might or might not use would be pretty obnoxious. Some gigs I never use any effects, some times I end up using a lot, it just depends on how the sets go. But I had a feeling about the resonance peaks on the envelopes, so I'll definitely check that going forward.

    I usually have everything set beforehand from other gigs, but I sometimes play without FOH support and will of course have different settings from time to time.
  7. waveman

    waveman Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    I always sound check with effects, and make sure the sound guy is aware of it first as well.
  8. Soundguy was concerned for his tweeters. Fuzz gets into them. You're better of with a mic.

    Your pedals should always be leveled so nothing causes a crazy boost. Soundguys tend to run their channels hot with your regular signal and a crazy loud boost clips.