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why not just DI to PA and monitor?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lomo, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Newbie question. I've been playing for several years but just recently started to play "out" at small bar-sized venues. I love my Ampeg/Epifani setup, but if I understand correctly, the crowd is hearing mostly PA feed with my stack basically acting as my monitor. Is there any reason I shouldn't leave half the stack at home and just take a 112 or 210 as my monitor? Even better/lighter, why not just use a DI box to the PA and monitor the PA feed-or will I be better off with only me in my monitor? Lastly, are there many who mike their cabs rather than DI out?
  2. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I think we just did this one Monday or Tuesday. :)
    Look a few days back.
  3. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    will do
  4. jtc_hunter


    Feb 16, 2007
    It will really depend on how extensive your PA is. Alot of 12" floor monitors are designed for vocals and depending on how you eq your bass, it could be hard on those floor mons. Also it depends on how many "sends" the PA has. If there is only one send, then the bass will go to all the monitors. You would need at least 2 sends to get a separate mix just for your monitor. Then if thats the case, you would need power for that monitor send, or an active powered monitor. Alot of bass players will tell you that "DI only" is OK but when they use a bass amp along w/ a DI, they have more inspiration. My fav way to run monitors is to have 2 sends: A: is vocals only to everyone except the drummer. B: is vocals, bass, and lead guit. just to the drummer so he can hear it all back there.
  5. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    I will never trust a gig to have quality monitors, and I will never try to blend my bass tone with my vocals in a monitor. I will never trust a venue to have a competent soundman, and I will never get into a creeping-death-volume contest with a soundman. I will be as self-sufficient as possible and always own a rig capable of getting over the drummer, and never rely on anyone for anything, as much as possible.
  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I usually bring massive Ampeg firepower just in case the PA sound isn't good. 2 x 2x10 and one 1x15 cab turn my stage sound into what the crowd hears pretty quickly if need be.

    Tomorrow I try my new Shure in ear monitors for the first time on a gig so I am bringing a small rig. BUT... we are doing the sound ourselves, so I know it will sound acceptable.
  7. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    If any of the monitors are even capable of producing bass frequencies, it's usually just the drummer's monitor. It's pretty cool being able to hear your bass from your cab, that monitor, and the house (if it's a good system).
  8. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    I'm not sure I'd use the word never but I do agree.

    In addition to being a bass player I also run sound for one of the bands I play with, the keyboard player and the vocalists constantly complain about not being able to hear themselves as they rely on monitors. If they brought their own amp or dedicated monitor as I do they would never have a problem.

    It would be ideal if we could all just show up to a gig with a DI box but I don't think that is reasonable unless you over see or control all elements of the PA and monitoring system
  9. Warr Tapper

    Warr Tapper Banned

    Sep 17, 2006
    Great, I thought I was the only one.
  10. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Spoken like a true professional. This iIMO is the perfect answer to this question. Yes you can get away with just the monitor/house system, but if you care about your tone or hearing yourself consistently, you need to have your own rig.
  11. 69nites


    Jul 11, 2006
    Mic up...............
  12. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    All good advice. Glad I didn't shed the rubles for my rig for nought! The stuff is way light anyway.
  13. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I used to think that EQ at the head/rack was useful for adjusting to the room characteristics. But I've come more and more to believe that one can usually reliably tell only so much about the way a room interacts in various zones with a source. One can, however, use local EQ to change the stage mix at least in positions they are hearing from, and sometimes that is useful. And having control over my local tome and volume means carrying a rig that can deal fuilly with electric bass signals without farting out or lacking in some key frequencies.

    Even a good soundman only hears the positions of the room he auditions, and the lower frequencies interact so differently in different spots that one could easily make it sound the way they want where they are listening to the detriment of other crucial areas.

    I've probably done a hundred gigs operating by this philosophy, and rarely if ever do anything more than general EQ from stage just to get a decent local monitoring situation - or go out on the dancefloor and give a listen to my bass lines if there is no FOH. Again, only general EQ in almost any instance. I do value having a bass rig, and I've gone the "much like a PA speaker" route with my rig the majority of the time. There, any EQ that affects one would roughly do the same for the other, speaker positioning withstanding.

    Yes, there are a lot of variables ; }
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I'd love to do that. I've tried to do that. It just doesn't work - unless you know the PA system or use your own for every gig. Even then - we use our own but it's only 2-way 15's on sticks, no sub and one monitor send - I need to carry some room and provide some low end as we don't have a sub.

    I'd trade it all to walk in with a bass and a DI. I'd even carry my own floor monitor.
  15. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    When I've played small clubs with PA support, I always bring my 1x12 combo amp. The 1x12 is angled towards the drummer but I get enough bass from it to make up for the general lack of bass in the monitors.

    I use the DI from the amp and don't bother micing the cab.
  16. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    To answer your original question - IMHO - provided you are in a typical small club band that plays at typical small club levels with a reasonable FOH system and decent vocal monitors, there is no reason you can't take a scaled down version of your amp/cabs to use as stage monitoring and make it work.
  17. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I do it. Sacrifice my tone for simplicity, compactness, and speed of setup. I do all the sound and setup for my band-- and switch off between DB and a little steinberger fretless...

    Nobody in the audience misses out on anything in my tone, although I sure do. And the owner always appreciates room for another table. So there ya go.

    For our quintet plus vocals in mellow bars and restaurants, running out through the PA does just fine. This is jazz and sambas mostly. Wouldn't do a rock gig that way probably.
  18. TheXym


    Oct 19, 2006
    +100000. They use DI into the PA at the church where I play. Bose speaker systems. Bass module is underpowered, does ok for a passive 4 string, but my actives were overdriving the board (crap Behringer DIs). Using the DI from my head to give the sound guy ability to eq me into the monitors and house works better, but having my 410RBX gives a MUCH better sound quality. The first time I brought it in I got some looks, but the improvement in sound was significant. If I'm getting septuagenarians to say they love what I do with the bass and that the "big rig" sounds great I must be doing something right ;)
  19. m.oreilly


    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA

    that reminds me: i have to see a man about an 8x10...
  20. I´ve done a few gigs without my rig and I am contemplating about doing it on all gigs from now on. Then again, our band has a full-range PA, enough monitor sends for me to have my own and an in-ear monitor system. Without that "trinity" I wouldn´t even seriously consider going amp-less. On other gigs outside our band, when I´m not 100% sure what kind of PA support there will be, I always bring my full rig.

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