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What do I need to tell my sound guy?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by atracksler, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. atracksler


    Oct 30, 2007
    Im playing a Sterling by Musicman Ray 35 (Active) Bass.
    Im plugging direct into a VT Deluxe (Gain all the way down), which is going right into the mixer.

    Whenever I'm playing at church, my bass is waaaaaaayyyy overdriven. I have the gain turned down to zero on the VT.

    (If I recall, the knobs are zero, 3 o clock and the rest are at noon)

    They run my sound through a ton of compression, so the house mix sounds OK, my in ear mix sounds like Megatron Farting, especially on the low B.

    So, talkbass sages, what should I tell the sound guys to change for me? I keep telling them its way overdriven… what should I tell them to tweak on the board?

    Thanks in advance, you are my only hope...
  2. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    They probably have the gain on your channel too hot. That would by first guess. If that isn't it, check your vt pedal's xlr output....it may be too hot. If it is, you can run the 1/4 output into any DI box that has a -db switch (unless the VT has one of it's own). Finally, check the xlr cable itself, though that probably isn't the issue.
  3. he may need to pad you on input at the board. i am not familiar with the VT Dlx.......didn't see a pad on the output.

    just a thought?
  4. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Like sound guys are gonna listen to us (Hey, I was/am one, I'm familiar with the attitudes on both sides...:eyebrow:)

    It sounds like your bass's input channel is being overloaded. They need a -15db or maybe even a -20db pad inserted between the console input and your amp's output. But wait....

    Okay, now I'm reading your statement about the house mix sounding okay, but your ear mix not. You might need to check your ear molds, could be a blown driver in there. You need to compare your molds to another set, compare your mix to another mix, and so on. It could be that the gain structure is lop-sided somewhere between your mix and whatever is driving your ears.

    One thing I'm grateful for is that the sound guys at my church are more than eager to help the musicians when they have issues such as this. I pitch in when I can, too, having dealt with these issues on my now-day job with a sound company.
  5. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    FOH sounds good but not your in ear, the problem might be in your inear channnel, are you using Aviom or something similar? I would suggest:

    a) Check the input gain level in the in input module, Aviom and Behringer has like 3 or 4 different gains set up, if you get distortion in all settings then.

    b) Try a different channel
  6. poit57


    Apr 30, 2010
    Oklahoma City, OK
    We had a this issue a while back using Aviom's. The Aviom input module had 4 input level settings for each pair of channels (+22, +4, 0, -10). We had to set the input level for the bass channel to -10 and move whatever instrument was on the other shared channel to a different channel. This helped, but never really completely resolved the issue.

    We have since gotten a digital board that feeds directly to the Aviom personal mixers. I still occasionally hear an overdriven signal from the bass, but it is much less often now.
  7. Bredian


    Apr 22, 2011
    IMHO, too much compression on the bass at the PA will kill the harmonics you're expecting to hear, and leave you with dull mush....

    And yea, you have to get some pretty good IEMs to reproduce the low fundamentals... my sound guy typically had us use his Shure 425 dual driver IEMs but occasionally would let me use his 535 triple driver IEMs ... big difference..... if they have compressed or eliminated too many harmonics, you're screwed. $300 vs $500.
  8. Have you tried taking the VT Deluxe Distortion Effects Pedal out of the signal chain? (since your problem seems to be too much distortion) Just a crazy thought/suggestion....
  9. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Yeah, there's been good discussions on the various IEM molds.

    I've had great luck with the 1964 Quads molds that I'm using now. 2 bass drivers, 1 mid driver, 1 high driver. $545 with the 60" cable. I have to roll off a little low end on my Aviom mixer at the church (the new Aviom A360 sounds SO much better than the A16II!), which is fine. My Stingray sounds awesome through them. I have yet to use them with an IEM system like the Shure PSRs or the Sennheiser EW300 G3s, but I'm about to buy the Sennheiser.

    I've not had experience with the more-expensive UEs and Westones, I'm certain they are fine, too.
  10. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    Just a thought but how do you set the preamp on the bass? Are you set flat or is everything dimed? Some guys just crank all knobs to full and that creates a ton of gain.
  11. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Has your sound guy had a chance to hear what you are hearing? That may help.
    I'd start at the board and check the input gain on the bass channel, then check the bass gain/pad settings on your IEM system's aux send or whichever channel is feeding you the bass signal. Lots of good diagnosing input in this thread but it does sound like a gain issue which should be easy to track down and either dial back or pad down.
  12. I'd just tell him your monitoring sounds like mud and ask him to listen to it and fix it - maybe you need better earbuds.
  13. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL

    +1 proper gain-staging is one of the most important yet most overlooked parts of live and studio sound.
  14. atracksler


    Oct 30, 2007
    Awesome suggestions!

    My IEMs are pretty good (Westone UM2). I'll work with him, I may just bring my tone hammer, since I'm not in love with the VT… The tone hammer is much better suited to my ears.
  15. Probably won't make any difference to your IEM sound.
  16. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    For what it's worth, I use a VT (and run it for a clean sound) and don't have any issues, but it's the pedal version and I use a Zoom B2.1u for the xlr.
  17. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    LOL....if the sound guy knows what he,s doing there will be no issues.
  18. unless there is something wrong with OP in-ear or settings on it.
  19. adamaarts

    adamaarts Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Corona, CA
    Beta tester Source Audio, demos/reviews of many others
    How about simply tell your sound guy what you told us. Let him do his job so you can do yours.
  20. Bredian


    Apr 22, 2011
    FOH is easy. Monitor mix is tougher.

    IF the sound guy knows what he's doing, he'll have a clue on your monitor mix... THAT's the divide. What you are getting is pretty strong evidence he doesn't. Test by using a real monitor to hear the quality of the signal. If clear, its likely your IEM quality, if not, its the signal quality.