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Suck Knob?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Vanceman, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Vanceman


    Feb 14, 2007
    So. Cal.
    Well, Suck Slider might be more appropriate, but "Knob" sound a lot better. We opened for a somewhat well known cover band with a following. During our set, several times, the volume on the monitors was brought down. When it happened I could heard the vocals echoing around the club from the FOH. The drummer was getting lost, the singers were cupping their ear. Afterwards, we talked about what happened. No one could hear anyone else, we made mistakes, the drummer stopped playing when he couldn't hear anything. Were we victims of the Suck Knob?

    I asked some friends, they said it sounded good out front. The bass player of the headlining band said we were the best band that ever opened for them. At least we got that.
    saabfender likes this.
  2. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    As a singer, a simple trick to hear yourself sing is to pop in a ear plug like the heros when the monitors go down.

    I honestly don’t need a floor monitor when I wear both earplugs. I can hear myself sing perfectly. Bass is a little weak but there. A good monitor signal is always the best, but pros wont let you see them sweat even at the worst of times. When the monitors go down, that earplug trick will save the vocals.
    BrBss likes this.
  3. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Alik, Road Hat, saabfender and 13 others like this.
  4. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Could have been the suck knob treatment; or maybe the audio tech was chasing feedback in the system. It's even possible the system was malfunctioning. Hard to say for sure.
  5. bwildt


    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    I don't know about the suck knob, but I'm always amazed by how much changes between sound check and the show. Especially with the monitors. Half the stuff in the monitors at sound check disappear or get terribly quiet. Stuff gets unplugged or cables that did work now don't. How hard is it for the soundman quit tweaking stuff after the sound check?
    JimK likes this.
  6. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    The audio tech never stops tweaking, but most of the tweaks should not effect the monitors as they should be configured pre fader, pre EQ in most circumstances...post EQ is fairly common though.

    Anytime anyone on stage changes a level that is sent to the mixing console it effects all mixes. So if a guitarist reaches over and cranks up his mic'd amp, the guitar will get louder in the mains and monitors. If everyone cranks up, the monitor mixes can get out of balance pretty badly. Sometimes the audio tech will try to compensate by trimming down the input gain on the channel strips. It's more of an art than an exact science though.

    In my experience, when you work with musicians who maintain relatively stable stage volume levels, the amount of tweaking done by the audio tech goes down exponentially.
    RSBBass likes this.
  7. Vanceman


    Feb 14, 2007
    So. Cal.
    We didn't get a sound check, so maybe they were tweaking on the fly? It happened twice during the 45 minute set.
    Wasnex likes this.
  8. 4 Strings Good

    4 Strings Good

    Mar 6, 2014
    Yeah, I hate when that happens. When the soundgguy pushes up the Suck Slider you have to step on the Talent Booster. Make sure the tone knob is turned up to 'great'.

    hintz, Andre678 and Spidey2112 like this.
  9. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    I actually have a "Suck Button" programmed into my FX unit. It's a pitch shift, 1/2-step down, routed only through monitors. I never actually use it, except for fun, when everybody is in on the joke, & never in front of an audience.

    Perhaps the knowledge that I have this gets me treated better than I otherwise might sometimes?
  10. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    I'd guess chasing feedback, but all those are possible. With a bunch of mics open, & a bunch of different monitors, somebody could have gotten overwhelmed & just started turning down monitors out of panic.
    Wasnex likes this.
  11. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    There's a town named Knoblick, KY.
    Yeah, sometimes FOH may flick it around from time to time.
  12. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    One of our audio techs liked to do that trick as well...or shift the pitch an octave or two for the Alvin, Simon, and Theodore effect (Chipmunks).
  13. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    I would say its this ^^^...
    Rock on.
  14. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I used to have a Jazz bass with a Suck Knob. It was a tone pot not connected to anything I left in so it wouldn't have an open hole in the cover. Any time I made a mistake I would turn it the opposite direction and say "sorry, had the suck knob on by mistake". Similar to Lee Sklar's producer switch.
    Andre678 likes this.
  15. Bertr


    May 6, 2013
    > they were tweaking on the fly?
    That´s probably how they found the knob.
  16. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    This seems like a problem you're going to need to address.
    FugaziBomb, MDBass and Mo'Phat like this.
  17. Phil508


    Feb 19, 2012
    Central MASS
    Was this their board? see 47

  18. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Is that near "Big Bone Lick" State Park in Boone County?
  19. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    Ever read a Mackie manual, and I mean really read it? They're full of crap like that. At least, the ones I've read have been.

    And yes, I'll admit to reasing the manual sometimes.......

  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    A lot of things could interrupt a monitor signal - a flaky cable, an amp that goes into thermal overload, etc.

    But yes, the drummer should not stop if a piece of gear flakes out a bit. Actually, nobody should stop.

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