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Soundguys won't direct out from my amp

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by TheSeagoats, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. TheSeagoats


    May 21, 2015
    I joined a band a year and a half ago and every show I've played with them where there's PA support the sound guy insists on having me plug my bass into a direct box to FOH and then I run out from that same box to my amp, meaning my amp isn't in my live tone at all. Is this typical? In my old band every venue would line out from my amp and not just my bass.

    On a related note, my drummer keeps telling me I need to get a Sansamp because sound guys would just line out from that instead of forcing me into their box. This doesn't make sense to me because I figure if they're going to line out from a Sansamp then they could just line out my amp and then I wouldn't have to buy an unnecessary piece of gear. What do you think?
    Rock Salad, zontar and kev451 like this.
  2. GManfromOz


    Jul 27, 2016
    Agreed, line out from amp is standard where I am. Why complicate things running through more gear.
    K-2, Ikkir, karl_em_all and 3 others like this.
  3. MJ_Sotti

    MJ_Sotti formerly "Mike in Chicago" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    lotta sound guys like a dry feed. If you know the guy sometimes they're good, sometimes bad. Some guys like giving a dry feed then mic their amp, giving two sounds and let the sound guy blend them. Sansamps are nice.

    Or you can take a second mortgage out on your house and buy a REDDI. Lot's of guys do that here...tube DI.

    Tech 21 (sans amp) rack mounts have great flexibility.

    If you're a knob twiddler like me, you drive sound guys crazy...that's why most like dry.
    rugrat, el murdoque, Dabndug and 8 others like this.
  4. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    What @Mike in Chicago said.
    Did that most often using a DI(dry) and mic(Sennheiser MD421) on an Ampeg SVT cab in the 70's-early 80's, then same setup on a Trace Elliot rig. Allows FOH to have a clean bass feed to work with along with whatever you do with your amp via the mic. Having a phase switch on the board helps and, since we're in 2016/17 now, one of those boxes that lets you manually "align" the phase of the DI and mic signal work best(forget the name of the one used on my stuff, studio guys had a software plug-in).

    This looks like the phase tool of today. Also used to fix stage amp vs FOH bass problems.
    Radial Phazer™ - Class-A Phase Adjuster
    spiritbass likes this.
  5. MJ_Sotti

    MJ_Sotti formerly "Mike in Chicago" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    and...pre/post? To op, sometimes the DI is post master vol, like SVTCLs. I'm using a Subway now...it's post setting is pre master vol, which is really nice.

    The Sansamp rack mounts have two xlrs out...one dry and one effected with sansamp emulation. That's REALLY nice.
    G RICH 5 likes this.
  6. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    Or you could thank them profusely for providing a DI, but tell them that all the other soundmen just plug into your amp, that's what you're comfortable with and that's how your going to do it tonight. That assumes though that you are paying them (or are the headliner) and that it's not a multi-band situation. When I'm the headliner, we do it the way I want. When I'm opening act, I do it the way they want.

    I played a gig last month with my old Sunn amp. The soundman looks at it and says, "I don't suppose that has a direct out?" I said no and he said, "I guess we'll have to mic it." THAT is a professional soundman.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Edit: Later posts indicate that this may damage some amps. So please check with your manufacturer before trying this on a solid state, switching power supply, Class D, stereo bridged, etc. amp.

    I'm a sound guy too. The easiest way is to trick them. Get a nice Radial or Countryman or other DI box that will do speaker level DI. When they hand you their box show them yours. They will approve. Then run a speaker cable out to it and from it to your speaker cab. They'll think they are getting a signal from your bass. You'll know different.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  8. Snowglo

    Snowglo Pro Aris et Focis

    Nov 15, 2013
    U.S. Military endorsement since 1984
    This is one of the reasons I ditched a traditional bass rig and went the pre/power route and a hi-fi, "uncolored" cab as a monitor. Basically the FOH gets what pumping out of my rig and vice versa.
  9. staccatogrowl

    staccatogrowl Savoring the spinning, shimmery aquasphere Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    If you want to be in the mix, cooperate with FOH. It is responsible for overall band sound, not you. No need to second guess.

    Focus on your performance and stage presence and be glad that someone is dedicated to making you sound good from a perspective that is unavailable to you. Or, can you be in two places at once, playing onstage and hearing your band from the sound desk, for the entire gig?

    As far as tricking your FOH, good luck with that. FOH knows exactly what the FOH rig sounds like and has tuned everything to its practice and ear. Besides, here's how trickery with FOH will go: FOH pulls fader marked bass downward. The more annoying the bass player, the more the bass is turned down.

    Bottom line: No matter what gear you bring, anything that you offer FOH that is not used should be accepted gracefully, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. My experience is that cooperation is the beginning of relationship building. It could allow a future dialog between bassist and FOH, resulting in gear experimentation and collaboration with FOH.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
    Dabndug, amper, Thisguy and 19 others like this.
  10. staccatogrowl

    staccatogrowl Savoring the spinning, shimmery aquasphere Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    Just so you know, this will destroy a class-D amp.
    10cc likes this.
  11. TheSeagoats


    May 21, 2015
    In my first band, which was 2011-2013, the sound guys always lined out my amp and sometimes put a mic in front of the cab too. This was even in some of the same venues, I don't get what changed.

    I get that they like a dry feed but I feel like, and I might be wrong in thinking this, they should use the artists sound. They wouldn't line out a guitar amp and run their own amp sim on it so why should the bass signal get that treatment.

    Most of these shows are 4-5 band shows but they have to redo the guitars and drums so I don't see why adding one more instrument per band is all that difficult.

    I never give them grief over it. I usually politely ask to just go out through my amp and sometimes they're polite and sometimes they're not when they say no. I've had only one sound guy who said sure in the last two years with this group. I'm not there to give them a hard time, I'm there to play, I would just like to play with the amp I bought to make me sound my best.
    LowRenzo and kikstand454 like this.
  12. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    It's not, but if I'm not headlining, I try to make their job as easy as possible. Frankly, I don't think I've ever run into a soundman that preferred using a Di to plugging directly into my amp.
  13. "My amp has a mute/standby switch to stop the loud BANGS when I unplug/replug the bass to take it backstage".

    Asking them "Let me know if you need more signal or the ground lifted" helps.
    Rock Salad and Charlzm like this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, that's a good plan if you have a tube amp. But there are certain amps it'll destroy. I've also heard it's not good for amps with two separate power amps running in bridged mode. And quite frankly, I don't see the point in doing it if you don't have a tube amp.
  15. How so? I don't doubt you, just would like to know more about this.
  16. Just tell them you're playing with overdrive/distortion and it comes from the amp.
    I am Soma and Groove Doctor like this.
  17. MTN.bass72

    MTN.bass72 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Blue Ridge, Ga
    This is why I love my Noble..
    What ever you here at your rig is what FOH gets..
    Added bonus that it powers pedals as well:thumbsup:
    RichSnyder, TheBear and Snowglo like this.
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Ah. Good to know. Thanks for the heads up.
    Doner Designs likes this.
  19. What you hear on stage with your cabinets and all the EQing you need to get that sound on-stage is not going to sound the same or even close FOH. You may think it's "your sound" you're sending them, but the fact is that "your sound" is highly affected by the stage itself, the setup, the speaker cabs you're using, etc.

    If you're playing shows with 4-5 other bands, the last thing the sound guy wants to deal with is having to figure out how to make you and 3-4 other bass players sound good FOH after you've each sent him signals with wildly varying EQs, levels, signal qualities, etc. With guitars and drums they are using mics, so the signal quality will not vary much from amp to amp or drum to drum. *IF* they were using a mic on the bass cab, it would be the same thing, but using their own DI is the only way to ensure a consistent signal from bass to bass.

    Most sound guys are happy to use my DI over their own. I usually have a Radial J48, Aguilar DB900, or a Manley. If you gig, you need to have a good DI available all the time so you can at least make sure they get a quality signal.
    amper, s0c9, Bassdirty and 4 others like this.
  20. KJMO


    Feb 6, 2015
    The sound guy I know best told me that if there is a buzz, it is always the bass player. He preferred to have a dry signal using his di, for that reason. Over time, I tried quite a few pedals and asked for honest feedback from him, and I finally came up with something that he thought sounds better than what it did with a dry output. From that, I can say that everything I tried that had "character" added frequencies he had to fight with, which might also help explain why they prefer a dry signal.

    The two pedals I was able to use without causing the foh more trouble were the mxr m81 pre (he said the di sounded as good as his radial) and an Aguilar TLC compressor. One pedal that really caused him problems was the tech21 VT bass. At any rate, I try to be very nice to the FOH because they have a difficult job, and take a lot of flack.

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