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Interesting FRFR story..


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3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

I guess a related question is how many of you folk who have gone FRFR have gone the whole hog and adopted IEMs?

If you're not using IEMs how many stage monitors are you using - in particular for full rock bands, which is what I would be dealing with.

 

I don't really see how the two concepts are all that linked. One is a type of cab and the other a type of headphone. 

 

I'm pretty confident that one qsc k12.2 would cover most rooms, I'm certain that two would cover nearly all. I'd put them up against most other high end 1x12" cabs. That is, after all, what they are. 

Edited by Jack
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8 hours ago, Jack said:

I don't really see how the two concepts are all that linked. One is a type of cab and the other a type of headphone. 

 

I'm pretty confident that one qsc k12.2 would cover most rooms, I'm certain that two would cover nearly all. I'd put them up against most other high end 1x12" cabs. That is, after all, what they are. 

Cheers Jack. I've probably expressed my question poorly, apologies. My focus here is really looking at monitoring arrangements for full rock bands who have gone FRFR for bass guitar. 

 

I suppose the question breaks down as follows, for bands using FRFR for bass:

 

1. If you're not using IEMs how many stage monitors are you using across the full band?

 

2. If you're using IEMs, what set-up do you have in terms of make / models of IEM/transmitter and mixer and how much did your set up cost? (I'm guessing there's maybe another dedicated thread where this info is readily already available?). 

 

Edited by Al Krow
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10 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Cheers for confirming - what IEM set up do you guys have in terms of mixer and IEM units and, if you don't mind me asking, how much did that all come to?

 

Just using the BC cheapskate setup of a Behringer PM2 belt pack and KZ ZS10 IEMs. cost is about £50-£60. I DI from a Fishman Platinum Pro which is has everything I need, I have a small clamp on shelf to store the IEM setup and a tablet holder which are both permanently attached to my Hercules stand, that's it for my gigging setup.

 

The desk we have now is a Behringer XR18 which are usually £480-£500, the old desk we had was a Mackie DL32r which is more than double that but has enough aux sends for stereo monitoring for 6 people.

Edited by lemmywinks
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9 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Cheers Jack. I've probably expressed my question poorly, apologies. My focus here is really looking at monitoring arrangements for full rock bands who have gone FRFR for bass guitar. 

 

I suppose the question breaks down as follows, for bands using FRFR for bass:

 

1. If you're not using IEMs how many stage monitors are you using across the full band?

 

2. If you're using IEMs, what set-up do you have in terms of make / models of IEM/transmitter and mixer and how much did your set up cost? (I'm guessing there's maybe another dedicated thread where this info is readily already available?). 

 

It depends what kinds of venues you are playing. 

 

It is my experience that most pub gig and covers band musicians don't really understand how bands on the originals circuit work (if they did they might consider it a more attractive proposition). We don't need to worry about things like monitoring because that's supplied by the venue, and while there are some venues where the PA can be a bit ropy they (IME) are few and and getting fewer all the time.

 

Certainly in the last 20 years of playing in originals bands (probably around 500 gigs) there have been only a handful where the bass guitar wasn't in the PA and the on-stage monitors were strictly vocals only. They all tend to be tiny venues where the FRFR was more than capable of being my "back line" and providing a audible bass for both the rest of the band and the FoH sound.

 

For most gigs I tend to treat my FRFR as a cross between backline and flexible monitoring. It's size and shape means that it can be placed in places where a conventional bass rig wouldn't fit. A lot of the time it goes under the stand which holds the computer for the band's backing tracks, and quite often it will be directed across the stage so that it's impact on the FoH sound is minimal, but still providing adequate stage coverage for the rest of the band to hear me.

 

I don't see the FRFR and IME issues as being in any way related. If the band was to go for IEMs we'd ditch all the backline including my FRFR, The only reason for me to go for IEMs and keep the FRFR would be so I could also get the click on some songs where the drum patterns can be a little off-putting with regards to what I am playing.

 

TL:DR

1. For small gigs with vocal only PAs the FRFR is more than capable of acting as my backline for band and audience to hear me.

2. For medium gigs (most of the ones I play ATM and where the bass is in the PA for FoH) the FRFR acts in exactly the same way as a conventional bass rig, but with more versatile on-stage placement options.

3. For big gigs, I don't bother with the FRFR, as the venue's monitoring system is more than adequate for me and the rest of the band to hear the bass.

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@Al Krow To echo BigRedX and maybe I’m seeing it wrong but FRFR and bass amp seems kinda interchangeable in the scenario of on stage ‘monitoring’ unless one is after a specific weight/less gear benefit by leaving the amp at home - would the FRFR only be used for the bass tones? if you’re providing your own PA for gigs would you want the bass rig replaced by an FRFR speaker or would it be serving a different purpose?

I have played gigs with the bass amp ‘side on’ to me and the drummer - it was more for stage volume/feeling with the house PA/subs doing the heavy lifting FOH.

 

As for IEM gear I went to ‘IEM only’ for gigs before lockdown. No bass amp on stage, (but I do use a backbeat which helps with the feeling of a rig) the guitarist goes via the PA and have some for years (but had previously  used a small wedge for us on stage but now we’re all IEM). Our regular gig venue has a house pa with subs but we use our own desk. We all use, as mentioned above, Behringer packs with KZ headphones and it works a treat. I’m using my HXStomp and it sounds great. 
We do play other venues but they provide back line, pa and sound guy so it’s there if we need it. My first gig back at that venue this coming Friday and it’ll be HXStomp/IEM again for me! 
 

Edited by krispn
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FWIW towards the end of my short but sweet period of using an FRFR I was using it entirely as a wedge with vocals, keys and bass through it, half the band were already on IEMS at that point but the guitarist still used an amp. We used to take a separate monitor for me and the drummer anyway so just ditched that and put them through mine.

 

At that point I tried IEMs using the provided equipment (cheap headphone amplifiers, normal ear buds and having no direct control over the mix) and hated it which from some of the comments here seems like a common theme. When I bought the Behringer/KZ kit and an ancient £25 iPad Mini 1 (our desk back then was Apple only 😒) it transformed the experience and I haven't used an amp live since. I think control is the key to having a good beginner IEM experience, especially if you don't have a dedicated sound engineer to shout stuff at.

Edited by lemmywinks
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Been a helpful couple of days working through this with you guys plus a couple of others via PM.

 

I'm really looking at gig set-ups where we are providing the full sound set up - typically pubs and weddings.

 

A. Current set up 

PA = 2 RCF 310As (vocals, acoustic guitar or sax) plus Alto TS308 monitor for vocalists

Bass = BF BB2 + D class amp as backline

Mixer = A&H ZEDFX-14

 

Advantages: good sound, decently light weight (115lbs / 52kgs), paid for(!)

 

B. Putting bass through the PA without IEMs (& assuming the guitarist continues to play through his amp)

Would require an upgrade of the PA to 2 RCF 732As to handle bass

Could use the existing RCF 310As as floor monitors 

Keep existing mixer

 

Advantages: more balanced sound with bass through FOH

Disadvantage: this is actually a heavier set-up (138 lbs / 63kg); an RCF 310A will not match the quality of bass I get to hear from my current rig

Overall no significant benefit - pretty much where I was back in 2017 at the start of this thread!

 

C. Putting bass through the PA with IEMs

Would require an upgrade of the PA to 2 RCF 732As

Eliminate need for floor monitors

Upgrade mixer to something like the Behringer XR18 and get the Behringer (active) P2 belt pack and KZ ZS10 IEMs (which seem both good value and good quality from the comments above - thank you)

Would need to additionally mic up the toms as well as the kick drum

 

This would deliver a more balanced FOH sound, potentially for no increase in weight. 

 

Conclusion: we've actually already got a surprisingly good-set up for what we do. From the above, there would be no real benefit in switching to FRFR 'in the round' without also adopting IEMs. However using IEMs could tip the balance. Band discussion to ensue - but my guess is that the "thanks for research AK, but if it ain't broke" viewpoint will likely prevail! 😄

Edited by Al Krow
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34 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

 Conclusion: we've actually already got a surprisingly good-set up for what we do. From the above, there would be no real benefit in switching to FRFR 'in the round' without also adopting IEMs. However using IEMs could tip the balance. Band discussion to ensue - but my guess is that the "thanks for research AK, but if it ain't broke" viewpoint will likely prevail! 😄

IVe been following this part of the thread with interest, but not sure what the above means. 

What are you talking about when you say FRFR? 

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7 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

IVe been following this part of the thread with interest, but not sure what the above means. 

What are you talking about when you say FRFR? 

Using the PA speakers for bass instead of my current bass rig.

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32 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Using the PA speakers for bass instead of my current bass rig.

I think that's where I was getting confused too. In general, an frfr cab is about replacing your stage rig with a pa cabinet. Now, it's bigger than that but whatever. This is still a source of bass on stage. 

 

What you're talking about is just using the already existing foh pa for bass. That's not 'going frfr'. 

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32 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Using the PA speakers for bass instead of my current bass rig.

Your BF cab is pretty much FRFR ( full range flat response ) so you're halfway there. You could use it in the PA and go IEM with a pretty good idea of what will come out the front already.

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25 minutes ago, Jack said:

I think that's where I was getting confused too. In general, an frfr cab is about replacing your stage rig with a pa cabinet. Now, it's bigger than that but whatever. This is still a source of bass on stage. 

 

What you're talking about is just using the already existing foh pa for bass. That's not 'going frfr'. 

Not sure I follow your logic here Jack?

 

So you're saying replacing my BF rig with a single RCF 732A would be 'going FRFR', but going through two RCF 732As in the PA would not be?

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There seems to be a big misconception here about FRFR. Basically, FRFR is a means of hearing your signal without any further influencing factors that will otherwise change your basses tone. Whereas traditional  bass cabs  tend to have their own prebaked sound that influences your tone, a FRFR amp/cab setup does not. If you want to emulate a speaker cabinet, then you have to do so - typically via modelling. Likewise, your pre is what is doing your tone shaping and the FRFR output phase has no further influence.

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Agreed - my IEM query was tied into the monitoring point and looking at the overall sound set up for bands that have gone FRFR.

 

But the input from @lemmywinks and others has been v helpful and got me to what I was trying to bottom out - so I'm all sorted thanks!

 

Edited by Al Krow
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I'm using a QSC K12.2 via a Radial Bassbone currently and have been for the past 3 years. Our guitarist is using A Helix into a Headrush cab.

 

We are about to make the jump to IEMs. At first I was hesitant as for the past 30 years the choice of rig whether GK1001RB, Trace 4x12" & 2x15" or BF One10 and GK MB500 has been mine and mine alone based on what I wanted to play through but IEMs are a group decision made by the whole band so we all have to agree.

 

I have to admit that I am now excited at the prospect. I've just bought a set of KZ AS10 earphones and a Behringer P1. I've figured out a way to have this mounted on my current pedal board rather than having the smaller P2 clipped onto by trousers.

 

I have to admit that I was tempted to go down the Roger Waters route of the big headphones using my Audio Technica ATX-M50 but I didn't think that they would work as well

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44 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Not sure I follow your logic here Jack?

 

So you're saying replacing my BF rig with a single RCF 732A would be 'going FRFR', but going through two RCF 732As in the PA would not be?

I think its your use of the ‘FRFR’ term thats caused confusion. Ive never seen anyone refer to going amp less or through the PA as going FRFR. While it might be technically correct to a point, people generally refer to it as going through the PA. 

I don't think you will find anyone that has said they are going FRFR mean anything other than getting FRFR rig (Headrush/PA speaker etc) to replace what they have. Plenty refer to going amp less, which obviously refer’s to going through the PA. In fact many people go through the PA as well as have backline. Imagine how confuing that is if the say they are going FRFR and have an Ampeg rig lol.

Thats why i couldn’t understand you talking about going FRFR and IEM at the same time. 

 

Still, we know all know exactly what you mean now. 

Edited by dave_bass5
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10 minutes ago, Delberthot said:

I'm using a QSC K12.2 via a Radial Bassbone currently and have been for the past 3 years. Our guitarist is using A Helix into a Headrush cab.

 

We are about to make the jump to IEMs. At first I was hesitant as for the past 30 years the choice of rig whether GK1001RB, Trace 4x12" & 2x15" or BF One10 and GK MB500 has been mine and mine alone based on what I wanted to play through but IEMs are a group decision made by the whole band so we all have to agree.

 

I have to admit that I am now excited at the prospect. I've just bought a set of KZ AS10 earphones and a Behringer P1. I've figured out a way to have this mounted on my current pedal board rather than having the smaller P2 clipped onto by trousers.

 

I have to admit that I was tempted to go down the Roger Waters route of the big headphones using my Audio Technica ATX-M50 but I didn't think that they would work as well

Use a bum bag they’re all the rage again

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15 minutes ago, Delberthot said:

 

 

I have to admit that I am now excited at the prospect. I've just bought a set of KZ AS10 earphones and a Behringer P1. I've figured out a way to have this mounted on my current pedal board rather than having the smaller P2 clipped onto by trousers.

 

 

Ive been using my Xvive U2 guitar system with my Behringer P2 for IEM use. Seems to work fine, although a bit clunky. 

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