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SPLIT CABS ON STAGE

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassampegman, Jul 27, 2004.


  1. Hi the band im in has one guitarist who has two matching cabs, he wants to split these and have one either side of the stage and have me on bass split my 1x15 and my other cab
    4 x10 and have his guitar cabs sitting on top of mine. In other words we would each have half of our own rig either side of the drummer so as to spread the sound better. Is this worth doing, has it been tried before, of course im reluctant as i would lose the nice Ampeg stack image !
    Would it not be easier to just go through the pa ??
    Any ideas ??
     
  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I have an idea. Tell him that you'd like to shove his cab up his ...

    Seriosly though, I don't think it is a good idea. If (and I do mean IF) you aren't covering the audience well, then put yourselves through the PA. Splitting the cabs like that will result in both of you having a volume war.
     
  3. IvanMike

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

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    splitting cabs is a bad idea 99% of the time
    it's very hard to determine how loud you are in those situations
    trust me, people can hear the guitar just fine if the amp is on the left, right, suspended from the ceiling, or locked in the men's room ;)
     
  4. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Keeping the cabs as close together as possible helps keep them coupled and working together... Pushing them apart as such will lose the authority and depth of your tone. Phasing issues can even happen in more extreme situations. Don't bother. :cool:
     
  5. cb56

    cb56

    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Here is an alternate idea for you. Several years ago one of the guitar players in my band and I had problems hearing each other on large stages. He ran a line out from his amp to a long guitar cable into a smal Fender champ amp on my side of the stage. I did the same into a small GK bass amp on his side of the stage. Worked great and we each had control over the volume of the other guys amp. Of course a monitor system and a soundman worth a damn could have taken care of the problem, but we didn't have that luxury at the time.
     
  6. TheChariot

    TheChariot

    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Sounds like a royal pain.... I wouldnt go for it :spit:
     
  7. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    +1
     
  8. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    lots of problems with that....you would loes your deep lows on one side of the stage, to strong of highs, all that fun stuff.

    also, most bass cabs dont stak with guitar amps : P
     
  9. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have done this a LOT over the years, it works great. It's pretty much mandatory when playing outdoors.

    You will hear each other much better and it will help keep stage volumes down.
     
  10. The pro sound engineers have a problem they call "power alley" when splitting subwoofers to either side of the stage.

    It manifests itself as an over-strong, narrow alley of bass ("power alley") and other areas of almost complete bass dropout. It is caused by the summation and cancellation of bass wave forms coming from two different source points.

    Another technique you might consider is putting all cabs together as close as possible to form a point source. Then the guitar players are the same distance as you, and all can hear the group of cabs. If one is too loud (the guitar player), he can be then encourage to turn down. Right.
     
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I know I am old school (or probably just plain old to some of you) but I personally think there is something to be said for the separation of the instruments on stage.

    When I first started playing out, huge PAs were hard to come by. They were VERY expensive compared to what the cost in today's dollars.

    It was very common for us to play even at the larger clubs, with the amps adjusted to meet the dynamics of unmiced drums and the only PA we had was a little Sure 4-ch. tube-powered mixer and two speaker cabs for the vocals.

    There was no sound tech because there was nothing he could do anyway. But we did have trusted friends in other bands that would say this is too loud or turn this up a little.

    It may be a bit archaic by today's standards, but if the band knows what they are doing and is truly interested in getting a good sound, it can be one of the purest mixes you could ever hope to get.

    All of the subtleties and dynamics are preserved. It adds air and dimension to the music, while a PA can tend to flatten it. It's what stereo recording tries so hard to replicate in the studio.

    A good sound guy can replicate this to some extent with the right PA, but even then it isn't the same.

    All that being said, if you are in a position that allows you to work like that, why would you destroy the opportunity by splitting the rigs.
     
  12. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    But they do this all the time? I don't think I've ever been to a big concert that didn't have a stack of PA speakers on either side of the stage?

    Bad idea. It would work if you've always played this way, but musicians get used to hearing themselves at a certain level relative to everything else. Have you ever noticed that a demo recorded by a musician will usually have HIS/HER instrument way too loud in he mix? It's because they're used to hearing a lot of themselves and a little bit of everything else. Putting your speakers in one spot isn't going to change this.
     
  13. modflea

    modflea

    Apr 26, 2004
    Lafayette, LA
    I, too, experimented with splitting my cabs and was always unhappy with the results. Unless you're going all over the stage and want to listen to some of your tone everywhere, I would keep my cabs together and listen to your full tone in one place.
     
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You guys are really missing the point.

    Ever done a gig where a bandmate across the stage says "I can't hear you, turn up"??? Well if there was a speaker on his side of the stage he WOULD hear you.

    It also solves issues where you do need to push high volume into the room but you don't want to be blasted away. The only players who get the full blast of both cabs is someone in the middle, i.e. the drummer who could probably appreciate the extra volume.

    As far as cancellation, etc. if you ever do gigs where the instruments are put into monitors and sidefills you are getting the same acoustical effect anyway.

    Like I wrote above, when I gig outdoors unless the backline is supplied I always use two cabinets split across the stage. I will also split them indoors if the stage is really wide. I have been doing this for over 20 years and noone (ESPECIALLY soundmen) has ever come up to me and told me my sound was compromised.
     
  15. Absolutely, but that also does not mean the problem does not exist, nor does it mean the pro guys ignore the problem. Check in with some of the big boys that do FOH for the name acts... "power alley" is a real problem. Many of the big PA shops are flying their subs top-center to get around the cancellation issue.

    A stack of PA speakers is not necessarily a stack of subs.


    Only bad for you. Others may have a different, and valid, opinion. The point source is an option for musicians able to remain open to new concepts, especially in more intimate venues. The concept certainly won't register with the typical deaf and drunk musician.

    I've played both split as well as concentrated, in both indoor and outdoor venues. Being split helps the other side of the stage hear the bass. It also extracts a performance penalty because I lose mutual coupling and its associated gain. This is particularly painful playing outdoors.