Stage volume vs PA

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

  1. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    Most guitar guys I work with use 25 watt combo amps. One guy told me the only time he needed a 50 watter was when he played on a huge stage at Summerfest (huge music fest with huge stages). The PA guy will mic 'em and take care of the rest. If the crowd can't hear the guitars, it's the PA guys fault pure and simple.

    Bass players need about 10x more of what the guitarists have, so with you at 300 watts, you are barely/not quite there with 2 guitarists running at 25 watts each. You'd be better with at least 500 watts, but it also depends on your style of music, the efficiency of cab, and other variables.

    For good stage presence and front row sound, each guitar guy runs a 25 watt combo, and you run at least 500 watts as a combo or stack.
    The PA guy will take over from there.
    Zimborg, gumtown, Nevada Pete and 2 others like this.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I don't think I've ever read a thread here asking guitar players to turn up.
  3. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    I’ve never run at full volume lol, usually I’m at half way on the head and control my volume via my bass. I think their combo amps lack power.
  4. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Could it simply be an issue with guitar tone? Is their tone improving when using gear that's not theirs simply because they're using somebody else's settings?

    Neither size of the speakers nor combo vs. rig should be any sort of issue.
  5. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    Thats something to look into which to me lends to me thinking using the Amps they are using aren’t cutting it live.
  6. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    If there is a full set of stage monitors and FOH, you can just use a DI, lots of players do... This should put things in perspective as to what you need on stage.
    IME the best sounding bands are bands that sound good in rehearsal, then they don't change anything on stage and just let the house bring up the volumes with DI's and mics.
    woody357, -Asdfgh-, Wisebass and 2 others like this.
  7. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey

    Here’s where it gets me we use rented studios the hourly kind...where they use...full they use combos...
  8. mmon77


    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN
    I have a 40W Marshall 1x12 combo, and I can't even turn it up past 3 ( not 3 o'clock...that would be deadly!!) on any normal size stage without it being way too loud.

    +1 to their tone not cutting through if there's really an issue. Any amp should be fine. They may have the tone controls set for their "bedroom tone", which doesn't work in a live situation at all.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  9. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    I recommend next rehearsal they use the same combos they use on stage and you all work to balance the sound and volume in the small room. If you keep the settings(take photos if you have to), then using the classic recipe of letting the sound crew mic and DI everything and getting your sound into the house system should give you guys a stellar live sound with a very short sound check. Good luck!.
    hintz, BurtMacklinFBI and mrcbass like this.
  10. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    Mpike, Wisebass and Aqualung60 like this.
  11. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    The bands I play in, the guitarists don’t even use amps anymore. They all have a Helix and whatnot and I’m the idiot dragging my amps and cabs to every gig. I have zero problem hearing them over my rig.
  12. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Surprise, AZ

    - John
  13. Why is your bass in the monitors?
  14. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    Please describe your PA system specs. Are you mic'ing the guitar and bass cabs? What kind of music and venues are you playing?

    In my opinion, "pushing stage volume" is a recipe for a bad overall mix. All that noise is pumping into your vocal mics, and it becomes very difficult to hear the vocals. Not to mention potential feedback issues that are created. In my experience, the people who want to crank their stage rigs do so because they like the feel of the the air flapping their pant legs. I'll admit it can "feel" pretty righteous, but you are most likely punishing the audience with that volume.

    My rock band is capable of ZERO stage volume (everything DI'ed, with V-drums), but our PA is loud enough to make skulls explode. I share the opinion that you might want to consult a sound engineer to help fine tune your live sound and volume.
    hintz, Chango Malo, pcake and 2 others like this.
  15. Lava

    Lava Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
    -Asdfgh-, Wisebass, ficelles and 3 others like this.
  16. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    JB Lars, -Asdfgh-, TC424 and 9 others like this.
  17. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    If they are using 200w 2x10 combos as you said they have enough power to drown you out several times over.
  18. mwbassace


    Jul 26, 2010
    N.W. Ohio
    With all due respect to you kev451, I'm betting the reason your having sound issues is because you're stage volume is so loud that the only thing in the PA is vocals, some kick drum & maybe a little bit of bass (since you say you use good stage volume) & yes, even with combos your guitars are plenty loud out front. So your fighting the PA.

    Curious, are you coming to this conclusion from the stage or out front?

    For 15 years I had an awesome guitarist who was never in our PA (we provide our own full PA with subs) because he was loud enough as it was. And the big problem with that was the beaming issue with whatever he used (half stack or 2x12 combo). So anyone in front of him was blasted but to the sides he was a little weak.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
    musicman7722, Wisebass, hintz and 2 others like this.
  19. acid bass

    acid bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Completely agree, there's not enough information here and that could be a big part of why there's so much arguing back and forth.

    It seems the vocals and bass are going into the board and pumped through FOH. It's not clear that the guitars are and that will change things. If the guitarists are having to provide enough sound for stage AND FOH then I can see a situation where they might sound underpowered with combos relative to cabs. If they're mic'ed up and going through FOH then I agree the sound engineer isn't mixing correctly.
  20. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey

    Im going to respectfully disagree. As I stated earlier I go off of what the sound guy tells me stage volume wise. As soon as we are done with a sound check I have someone play my bass so I hear it from the front of stage. I’m very aware of my stage volume. I’m attaching a picture of my settings volume wise on my head. As

    As you can see I’m not even close to being halfway up.

    Attached Files:

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