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what's wrong with micing?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Ajak, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    Yesterday I was at the Fleshgod Apocalypse show. During the support acts, the sound was okay, not great, but it rarely is. Then when it was time for the Fleshgod Apocalypse-soundcheck, there was no bass on the PA.
    The setup was like this: Bass, Distortion/Premp-pedal, DI, Amp.
    The DI didn't work (it worked during the support acts...). There was only a hiss, when the soundman turned it up. The amp, however, was absolutely fine. Not very loud, but great sound.
    The soundguy and his technicians needed half an hour (!) to fix this.

    I just don't get it. The amp was working and it sounded fine. Why not just mic it?

    Because of these idiots I had to leave early (had a train to catch...).

    Have you seen such a thing before? I know that most soundmen prefer a DI over micing. But should they have mics for situations like these?
  2. shtik


    Jun 8, 2011

    A few months ago I played in a club where there is some sort of a problem with the AC mains. When I connected my pedal board and ran through the DI, it was too noisy to work with. The sound from the amp was clean.

    They tried to get me play with no effects, which I have no problem with - but not when I am playing with this specific band which relies on the bass overdriven/fuzzed tone and effects.

    After some BS talking I told them - "the amp is clean, just try to put the spare SM58 on it and let's move on". They did and everything went fine.
  3. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Micing as in Mice ?
  4. Nick Dilley

    Nick Dilley

    Mar 25, 2012
    Nothing is wrong with micing. I think that sometimes you lose some of the richer aspects of the instrument when you don't go DI, but it doesn't mean that it has to sound bad.

    You are right.
  5. Sound men can be scared of mic's on bass if.............................they're ignorant and lazy.

    If they aren't that, then they wouldn't have a problem.
  6. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Are you absolutely certain that it was just a DI problem? Any decent sound company would have had a spare DI or a mic available to do a quick switch out. If it took a half hour I'm guessing there was something else wrong.
  7. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
  8. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    Come on now, you have read this forum here long enough to know that all soundmen are lazy and stupid :rollno::D
  9. Clearly. :D

    That crew doesn't seem like they were very adept at troubleshooting to me, all the same.

    I prefer ratting, myself.* :bag:

    *possibly stolen from Munjibunga :D
  10. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    I prefer mic'd to DI and usually have an fight over it. unless the soundman is a bass player
  11. I carry a Sennheiser 421 for that reason, and I've never had a problem with soundmen using it to mike me.
  12. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    As a soundman , I much prefer a DI but would go both if needed.

    As a bass player , I would be absolutly pissed if a guy would want to mike my monitor.
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    This was just a freak accident that the DI failed. There is nothing wrong or unstable with DI's. Same as any freak accident with a mic.

    In this case, and in the case of many arena shows, the sound you probably hear is processed some way through the board, effects rack, even virtual effects rack. Mess with the formula and you're playing with fire. Especially where concert backers bankrolling the performance are concerned.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If a sound company has anything at all, it has a handful of DI's it can use. This was no DI issue. Sounds a bit more serious. But I'm with you...let's get the show on the road. 3 weeks ago my B-15 pooped out a tube and went dead on me seconds before we started. I told them to just run me through the monitor, and it wasn't ideal, but it worked for the first set. I'm with you...you don't hold up the show over a technical issue when you have other options.
  15. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Half hour? Cripes. Should have taken two minutes tops. No sound? Unplug the mic cable from the DI and plug it into a mic. Does it work?

    1) If yes, the DI or patch cable is faulty. Replace them both and move on.

    2) If no, the mic cable, snake, or console have a fault. Get another mic cable, use it to plug the DI into a spare channel, and move on.

    95% of the bass rigs I've worked with did more to wreck the band's sound than to help it. As such, if I'm stuck with only one channel, I prefer it to be a DI.
  16. JackTheRipper

    JackTheRipper Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    This topic leaves me so frustrated. As a bass player, I've spent a lot of time practicing my technique and researching the equipment that I use to develop the sound I want and the sound that fits with the band(s) I play with. If a sound man uses a DI to take a signal before my amp I've lost control of that. Unless I know the sound man, how does he know what I want my bass to sound like and what works with my band? What may sound good to him may not be what I want.

    What's just as frustrating is that I'd never really know since I would hear my amp on stage and not the PA. It's very frustrating.

    I would much prefer to be mic'd.

  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    And there's no reason in hell you shouldn't be mic'ed. This business about onstage rigs only wrecking the sound is crazy.
  18. Robdrone


    Jul 27, 2012
    Lancaster, PA
    I had this recording engineer once explain it to me... He said something along the lines that a sound wave at bass frequencies is something along the lines of 40ft long, and you cant mic the amp properly unless you were to put the mic 40ft. away. Then again this guy used a protractor to measure the angle and distance the mics were in relation to the guitar cabs. He also used a Db meter to get exactly the proper level for the mic. I'm not sure if what he said was true because our recording didn't sound all that great when he was done. Interesting side note this guy's brother was PJ Rubal (part owner of Spector).
  19. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    This is exactly where I'm at, especially since I use the stereo jack out of my bass into a 2 channel amp. A DI in between my bass and amp only captures half of the bass' tone.

    To top it off, there have been a bunch of videos of my band posted on Facebook and Youtube in the last year. The shows with a mic'd cab sound great 100% of the time and the shows with DI sound terrible 100% of the time.
  20. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Guy sounds like he had a few screws loose... Sorry but if he tried micing a kick drum once he'd know bass freqencies are BOOSTED up close. Try micing an acoustic close and far field... :scowl:

    Using a Db meter is no substitute for gain staging (if he was using it in addition to careful gain staging fair enough - if he was using it on it's own he's risking a LOOOOT of clipping....)

    I'm no expert - but using a mic for 10 minutes gives me enough experience to call B.S. :spit:

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