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How do I know if my combo is loud enough to gig with...

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...without actually gigging it first?

Winding it up at home is obviously out, and rehearsals are never at gig level.

What to do?

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Assuming you are gigging venues without PA support, I'd suggest either a fundraiser or mates-only gig down the local. Either ask someone you trust to move around and listen to you from various points, or get a long lead/wireless and get into the audience for one of the numbers. Don't play too well whilst doing this of course, or the crowd will grab and shoulder surf you around, before accidentally dropping you in the Sahara nuts cabinet.

'Loud enough' means you can hear yourself, the band can hear you, and the audience can hear the band (and distinguish the instruments/vocals) ideally from any point in the room. Any of these may involve reducing the volume of other instruments. Clarity wins over volume wars.

 

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56 minutes ago, MacDaddy said:

 rehearsals are never at gig level.

Don't be so sure about that. Most rehearsal spaces are small enough that you'll get a lot of boundary sourced phase cancellations, which can make your amp sound not as loud as it will in a large room. Guitars and drums don't have this issue, as the wavelengths they produce are much shorter and are relatively immune to phase cancellations.

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54 minutes ago, chris_b said:

Tell us what it is and we'll let you know.

^^^ This, and also tell us wich gear the guitarist uses and how hard the drummer hits.

A good indicator is to crank it in the rehearsall space and see if you can compete with the drummer when he's hitting a bit harder.

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21 hours ago, Bill Fitzmaurice said:

Don't be so sure about that. Most rehearsal spaces are small enough that you'll get a lot of boundary sourced phase cancellations, which can make your amp sound not as loud as it will in a large room. Guitars and drums don't have this issue, as the wavelengths they produce are much shorter and are relatively immune to phase cancellations.

Yep. in fact i normally play a bit louder at rehearsals than i do at the average gig. I normally put it down to the drummer being too loud but good to know there is a real reason for it.

Ive never found shop or home playing to be any indication of how a rig will sound at a gig. To my ears all rigs/combos sound great at home, but when they are pushed at gigs their tone can change quite a lot.

 

 

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23 hours ago, Bill Fitzmaurice said:

so sure about that Don't be.

Small enough are Most rehearsal spaces...a lot of boundary sourced phase cancellations you'll get...in a large room not as loud your amp can sound.

This issue Guitars and drums don't have , much shorter the wavelengths they produce and phase cancellations are relatively immune to .

Fixed so as to correspond with your avatar.

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

Fixed so as to correspond with your avatar.

Surely

Σταθερό, ώστε να αντιστοιχούν με το avatar σας

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6 minutes ago, Bridgehouse said:

Surely

Σταθερό, ώστε να αντιστοιχούν με το avatar σας

I'm sure that's probably also funny. 

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Just now, Al Krow said:

I'm sure that's probably also funny. 

It’s a Greek translation of “Fixed so as to correspond with your avatar”

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Just now, Bridgehouse said:

It’s a Greek translation of “Fixed so as to correspond with your avatar”

Ok a little bit funny. But you've done better 😀

So you do fluent Greek then or the wonders of translation software?

One of my singers does fluent Spanish which works really well on Despacito. Just sayin'

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Ok a little bit funny. But you've done better 😀

So you do fluent Greek then or the wonders of translation software?

One of my singers does fluent Spanish which works really well on Despacito. Just sayin'

I’ve done better??

I didn’t realise my comedy was being rated! 

I shall try harder in future to ensure the quality of my humour remains top drawer and only of the finest mirthment. 

lkbL1X1.gif

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Σταθερό, ώστε να αντιστοιχούν με το avatar σας

Nobody going to jump in with "It's all Greek to me"??

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3 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Σταθερό, ώστε να αντιστοιχούν με το avatar σας

Nobody going to jump in with "It's all Greek to me"??

Too obvious... :crazy:

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14 minutes ago, Bridgehouse said:

I shall try harder in future to ensure the quality of my humour remains top drawer and only of the finest mirthment. 

lkbL1X1.gif

That would be very much appreciated, thank you. 

And good night.

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21 minutes ago, Bridgehouse said:

Who made you the comedy police anyway?

:crazy:

Fair cop.

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On 25/10/2018 at 15:23, MacDaddy said:

...without actually gigging it first?

Winding it up at home is obviously out, and rehearsals are never at gig level.

What to do?

 

On 25/10/2018 at 15:52, chris_b said:

Tell us what it is and we'll let you know.

Getting back to the plot after our minor comedy diversion...I'm fully on board with what Chris is saying; if you let us know what combo you're using we're much more likely to know whether it is going to cut the ice based on our collective experience?

Otherwise if I was shooting generically I'd say that:

  • 200W or less combo through a 1x10 is going to struggle with a full band.
  • 500W through a decent 1x12 or a 300W through two 1x12s should be fine.

The quality of the speakers is going to be key here.

e.g. My old Promethean 3110 was 300W through a pretty average 1x10 combo speaker, which is entirely reasonable given its price point and I loved how portable it was! As a solo combo it struggled, even when flat out, to keep up with my band. Whereas add a second speaker (the Promethean set-up simply halved the output to each so that they were both getting 150W) and I'd often pair it with a 4x10 at the rehearsal studio and it was fine. 

More commonly many combos (unlike the Promethean 3110) won't unleash their full wattage unless they are used with an extension cab. E.g. the Markbass 121P is 300W (max) through its 1x12 and only delivers its full 500W (max) if you add an extension cab.

My Markbass AC 121 Lite, on the other hand, has never broken into a sweat at rehearsal or live. It delivers 500W through a single pretty decent 1x12 (it was designed by Alain Caron to be a single cab solution so isn't set up to be paired with an extension cab) and I've never really had either the gain or master vol set at more than about 5/10 even with a full band. However you're talking about a piece of kit that is nearly £900 new with a fitted cover.

And as for my Mesa M6 600W combo through its PH212 cab, well...😀

Edited by Al Krow

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Personally, I've never owned a combo loud enough to gig on it's own without PA assistance for anything other than background music with a drummer using brushes apart from my old Trace 1110 4x10"

Unless your band is very quiet and it's a quiet audience then I don't believe that a 1x10" combo would be loud enough for anything more than as a monitor for on stage but then I don't know what combo you have - if it was a Trace 1210 4x10" or an Ashdown King Combo 8x10" then yes it probably would be.

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1 minute ago, Delberthot said:

 if it was a Trace 1210 4x10" or an Ashdown King Combo 8x10" then yes it probably would be.

Or a 30 watt Ampeg B15, depending on the gig.

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