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JustinBass

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Hi, I've been doing a lot of theatre work over the past few years and I usually give the sound guy a direct out of my Markbass amp. I recently spoke to a guy who says he just always plugs direct into the DI box that they give him if we are going to be on headphones.

I also read that when giving the sound guy a DI it should be post-EQ.

So, my question is. Is it really necessary/a good idea to have some sort of preamp involved or is is pointless as the best thing to do is send a totally dry signal to the sound man?

I was thinking of buying something like an EBS microbass which is a DI/preamp, but what's the point if we are supposed to provide a totally dry signal to the sound man?


Thanks!
Justin

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Depends on the needs of the band imo. In my last band a dry signal from my Precision would have been fine, in my current band that would destroy the whole bands sound, as I need a scooped eq and overdrive. Worth getting a good preamp/DI pedal, one that has pre and post eq on it, then you`re covered both ways. Something like the Zoom B3 has this, and has a good few preamp patches on it, plus a tuner so an all in one solution maybe?

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Horses for courses - engineers traditionally prefer it pre-anything, that way they can set levels and eq to suit and it won't change (and they don't have to start with any dramatic eq already added). They also usually prefer DI sources they know and recognise as quality/reliable units.

I've used Sansamp (and Sadowsky/Aguilar) preamp DI's for years - you have control over the emulation/eq but you also have to be mindful of not overcooking things or changing settings after set up. Very occasionally I've had noise on the DI send that doesn't go away, ...only a passive transformer DI will always work silently.

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Sounds to me like if I get a fancy preamp pedal, the sound guy will mess with the EQ and send it back through my headphones anyway so I might as well not bother! All of the sounds are very 'straight' anyway, there's no drives or scoops or effects at all. However, if anyone can give me a really good reason to go shopping for preamp/DI boxes, I'm all ears!

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[quote name='JustinBass' timestamp='1466694862' post='3077964']
I was thinking of buying something like an EBS microbass which is a DI/preamp, but what's the point if we are supposed to provide a totally dry signal to the sound man?
[/quote]

The DI on the MB2 allows for pre-eq out. The jack output allows for the EQed signal out.

What I would do is use the DI to send to FOH and plug the output of the MB2 to a mini mixer and also plug in the return from the foh/monitor desk into your little mixer which you use to power your headphones.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1466774532' post='3078702']
The DI on the MB2 allows for pre-eq out. The jack output allows for the EQed signal out.

What I would do is use the DI to send to FOH and plug the output of the MB2 to a mini mixer and also plug in the return from the foh/monitor desk into your little mixer which you use to power your headphones.
[/quote]

Why not just use the headphone socket on the MB2 to power your headphones? Or have I missed something (always possible!)?

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An essential tool in my armoury is the Radial Bassbone. Essentially a two channel preamp with effects loop, tuner out etc. an a premium grade DI box all in one.

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[quote name='LewisK1975' timestamp='1466778370' post='3078749']
Why not just use the headphone socket on the MB2 to power your headphones? Or have I missed something (always possible!)?
[/quote]

The output is not usually powerful enough - but crucially, by using a mixer, you can blend the two signals and mix your bass independent of the monitor engineer. "More me"

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1466783708' post='3078823']
The output is not usually powerful enough - but crucially, by using a mixer, you can blend the two signals and mix your bass independent of the monitor engineer. "More me"
[/quote]

See - missed something. :rolleyes:

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To me, it is simple.... what sound do you get back and do you like it/can you use it.

To many people over compliment their signal chain anyway, IMO... which is why they are forever 'chasing' sounds...some of which they have no chance of getting
or being able to use..

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Most of the time you are at the mercy of the sound guy, whether you go straight through a DI box or go post EQ on your amp. If you like the 'front of house sound' you have (if you ever get the chance to hear it from the stalls) there's no point worrying about post or pre EQ really.

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I don't use back line these days but go from my bass to a MXR M80 DI box and then go to the PA and monitoring system post EQ.
I think the important thing is once you've set the sound you need to keep it the same, ie not adjusting gain or EQ, which works for me.

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weve just upgraded our pa with a new desk and some subs, we've also gone in ear monitoring but regardless i want the audience to here the sound ive set from my amp not the sound the sound guy wants so i'm post eq. sound guy in our band is our lead guitarist and i can stop him messing with the signal. still use a backline as well as i only have one ear in so i can hear the natural sound

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I've done some shows at Birmingham Rep. I just went straight into a DI box.

For my one experimental project I just go into my MacBook via an Apogee One, the line out from the Apogee goes straight to the PA.

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Just to reinforce what I said earlier, last Sunday we were playing an outdoor gig, first half came to a close just as the rain arrived. So quickly stripped the gear, setup an acoustic gig inside, and within 30 mins we were back in business. Bassbone saved the day again, plugged into the house Yamaha desk and a pair of Mackie SRM's, fretless Overwater and we were rocking again, albeit to a slightly different beat.

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There's no doubt that with a decent PA and sound engineer pre everything will make your band sound better. It's a long time since I mixed for another band but I always tried to speak to the musicians about the sound they wanted. the best gigs were always with bands who knew what they wanted but were prepared to talk things through. I'd always want that discussion so it's always worth trying to cultivate the engineer, who is on your side after all.

However as an engineer turned bassist I know not all PA's or techs are equal so I try to cover all bases. I'm happy to go direct but I also take and use some sort of rig on stage so I can guarantee hearing myself as a minimum. I'll use DI if asked and if the on stage monitoring is good then I'll happily turn my own monitor off. I'd also look to have a pre and possibly my own DI with me until I know what is going on. That way I'm covered whatever the outcome. If you know a tech well then you can leave everything at home of course.

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I do about 8 or 9 am-dram shows a year. I di out of the back of my MB head and try and play at a complementary volume to the acoustic musicians. Horns and strings still want to have a live vibe in my experience, particularly the ones who regularly play in good quality orchestras.

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Similar to another topic on here, pre is ok in some respects, but if I went pre to the desk and just got a set-flat Precision sound it would decimate the whole sound of my band. Anyone not seeing where I`m coming from, take a listen to our song Fingers To The Bone on the link below and you`ll see where I`m coming from. I don`t understand why us bassists are so willing to have our sound completely changed, and yet are happy for the guitars etc to all keep their sounds exactly the same. A bands sound is crafted together of the individual sounds of all the instruments, why deliberately change one of them? Any band Duff McKagan is in would sound radically different without his signature sound, as would have Motorhead without Lemmys famed sound.

http://knockoff.wix.com/mysite

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Everyone is having their tone messed with Lozz, even mic'd up the drummer's snare will sound different once it's in the pa, a gated kick sounds ace out the front so if our drummer demanded we amplified the whole tonal range/duration of his acoustic kick it would ruin the foh sound to give him what he has spent ages perfecting.

As ever same as the other thread, yes if you are Duff and you have your own crew on hand go for it fx and all, three heads, ab pedals the lot, multi band line up sound guy you've never met then clean di and tell him/her that you have some tricky business going on that's important to the overall sound and ask nicely for a mic on your cab mixed in.


I've come back from practice earlier, three hours of 60s stuff, 70s, disco, punk, rock, indie, rock and roll , rockabilly(esque) etc etc, Stingray and an upright never touched my amp after the initial setup, a good di would have done me proud on a gig.

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I get that Pete, the sound of things will inevitably change once gone FOH cos of different speakers etc. What I don`t get is why deliberately try and change the tone of one instrument in the bands set up as much as possible, whilst endeavouring to keep all of the others sounding as near as possible to their original tones.

Edited by Lozz196

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Guest bassman7755

[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1467494302' post='3084163']
I get that Pete, the sound of things will inevitably change once gone FOH cos of different speakers etc. What I don`t get is why deliberately try and change the tone of one instrument in the bands set up as much as possible, whilst endeavouring to keep all of the others sounding as near as possible to their original tones.
[/quote]

I can see both side of the argument. Personally I wouldn't contemplate letting anyone have a instrument direct DI of my sound because I've got my compression EQ and drive all tuned to work together in and interact in a specific way with my playing style. Having said that I think a lot of bass players boost the lows, often excessively, which I imagine is a nightmare to work with.

I don't buy the "trusted gear" argument at all though I mean seriously - my signal chain of bass straight into a modern all in one solid state head is somehow not a trusted source yet they would be happy to mic up a guitarist and thus take the sound after its been though his lashed together pedal board with half a dozen abused effects pedals and a poorly maintained valve amp ... complete nonsense.

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