Stage volume vs PA

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by kev451, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    90D1DA99-46C5-45A8-A072-F54B472201CD.jpeg So, I’m in a band where we have the constant argument of getting better cabs to push stage volume(me pushing this) vs them using Marshall combo amps to push stage volume to push the bands on stage volume(them). Now this is what I’m running

    Tech21 Landmark 300w bass head
    Mesa Boogie 2X10, 1x15 Geddy Lee MIJ with Sadowsky onboard preamp.
    Pedalboard-DG supersymnetry compressor, Tech21Qstrip and Sans Amp paradriver.

    1st guitar player Marshall 2x10 combo

    2nd Peavy 2x10 combo both push 200watts.

    I think that they should get Amps which at least have 15” speakers with more power to match my own. (I’m not overbearingly loud). I’ve played in bands where full cabs were used and combos where bigger speakers were used and never had this issue, up until now.

    But live at each show afterwards everyone always compliments me on my sound but always say it lacks guitar punch and depth. Which has been my same point.

    Each time I bring it up they just say why bother when the PA will just push their sound...which well apparently that doesn’t happen.

    The places we play can hold anywhere from 100-350 people and usually have good draws. Any advice you guys can share to help to get them to understand that stage volume is important as well as amps being used. Here is a picture of the volume setting on my head.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of how speaker size relates to volume and tone, particularly when it comes to guitar cabs. It just doesn't work the way you think it works.

    The solution to your problem is to get a better sound person who knows how to operate a PA correctly to get a good room mix.
  3. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    I should have stated that, I’ve played in bands where full cabs and combos with bigger speakers were used and never had this issue, up until now. I’m fully aware of how sound works.

    The places we play have pretty good sound guys. I just my guys to push the same power as I do on stage. The PA will always do their jobs but you need some stage power to compliment what the PA is doing.
  4. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    I'm thinking you don't understand. This should be fun.

    - John
    Loring, kodiakblair, derg and 27 others like this.


    Jul 25, 2013
    [QUOTE="kev451, post: 21687840, member: 258810 I’m fully aware of how sound works.
    ......Um. No.....but, have a great day and.....would you like fries with that?
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You literally don't. People play DI only all the time. Both guitar and bass. It sounds fine if you do it correctly.

    You aren't fully aware of how sound works if you think speaker size indicates how something will sound. If you look at the frequency response graphs there are plenty of cabs with 10's that reproduce a lot more lows than cabs with 15's.

    That being said, what 15" guitar cabs would you suggest they use? I haven't seen any since pedal steel players were using them in the 80's.
  7. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    ....well ok then.
  8. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    ......Um. No.....but, have a great day and.....would you like fries with that?[/QUOTE]

    Not sure what kind of advice or help this is but ok...
    Zimborg likes this.
  9. On stage amps aren’t supposed to compliment the PA. On stage amps are simply monitors for the musicians to hear themselves and send signal to the front of house engineer. If the crowd can’t hear your guitars, your sound engineer is at fault. If your guitarists are playing 210 (probably 212), 200 watt combos, they have PLENTY. My lead guitarist plays a 15 watt 112 and my frontman plays a 5 watt 110. I use a 500 watt 212 or a 200 watt 115. We play bars, clubs, and festivals ranging from 400-10,000 people. Never an issue with anyone being heard.
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    That brings up another important point. If his guitar players aren't setting their amps appropriately for their gigs, having different, theoretically larger, amps won't make the situation any better. The average 200w/2x10 guitar amp has the ability to be far louder than any 300w/2x10/1x15 bass rig.

    I'd still like to know what kind of 400w 1x15 guitar amp OP thinks they should be using. I'm pretty sure those don't exist.
    jamro217, -Asdfgh-, BrBss and 10 others like this.
  11. Right!!! I’m with you.
    jamro217 and HolmeBass like this.
  12. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Now that I think about it, I've done gigs with a guitar player who used an ancient tweed combo with a 15. It was 30 or 40 watts and could blow the back door off a bar. Still, far less watts than OP's talking about.
  13. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    No, The stage sound should be completely independent of the PA sound except on very small stages where only vocals and synths go through the PA. I suspect actually that your louder setup might be making the sound person's job more difficult by messing with the PA mix balance. Try turning down and letting the PA carry the bass weight and see if you get better results.
    Good luck bro!
    Zbysek, jamro217, byacey and 17 others like this.
  14. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    I’ve mentioned what you’ve said also, that in theory they should be louder or capable of it. But I cant believe that EVERY place we have played in almost 3 years has had a poopy sound guy. I take care to not be loud as I just want to be punchy and sit right in the mix with the drums. I have active basses and rarely go full active live I run them passive more often than not. The times I have I’ve lowered the volume of my bass to compensate for going active.
    jamro217 likes this.
  15. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    Thanks next show I’ll pay more attention to my stage volume and see if this helps.
  16. I suspect this also.
  17. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Why not? There's a lot of incompetent sound people out there. Particularly the ones that are provided for free by bars. I've run into exactly two really good ones out of my last 100 gigs where we didn't bring our own.

    That has little or nothing to do with anything. Almost as irrelevant as the size of your guitar players' speakers.
    jamro217, retslock, hintz and 5 others like this.
  18. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    As others have said, unless the venues are extremely small, my best results are with minimum stage volume - essentially just enough to hear over the acoustic drums, with the rest being handled by the FOH system.

    Again, as already noted, having stage bleed fight with the FOH sound can cause all sorts of problems.
    jamro217, Zimborg, nbsipics and 6 others like this.
  19. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    Because this has been an issue that had been on going for about 3 years. Now mind you the moment they use full cabs we don’t have this issue...we have played several shows where bands have shared gear and they have had to use full cabs and heads and guess what we sound great...

    and I DONT turn up when they use full cabs. But then the moment they go back to combos, we are back to square one.

    And while some sound guys are either learning or don’t know I cant attribute this to EVERY one of them. That’s an unfair generalization.

    So I’m gonna have to respectfully disagree with you.
  20. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey

    I don’t fight FOH sound. Usually once it’s set I’ll have one of the guitar players play something so I hear how my bass sits in the monitors. As I stated I’m very aware of my stage volume and how it impacts things.
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