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Ruck

Soundmen rant...

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One of the reasons I have a John East Pre amp fitted on my Jazzes, is for this very reason. I boost the low mid, significantly, and it means the bass cuts through really well when it's through the FOH PA. It makes it easier for the sound engineer to provide a decent clear bass sound out front, rather than subsonic mush. 

 

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1 hour ago, dmccombe7 said:

Much sneakiness :laugh1:

I like that sneakyness 

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14 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I like that sneakyness 

IMO it's more like self-defence.

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To embellish on my previous point....

You can't polish a turd so surely you would want to send the BEST and most representative sound you can to the soundman to simply make a few minor adjustments for the room? In my case that would be post-EQ. A straight pre-EQ sound CAN be great if you just want a straight, no frills bass tone and have a decent sounding bass to start with....but this is presuming that the soundman is worth his/her salt....

When using an in-house tech I prefer to send a tone I have worked on, cultivated through live experience and found sonic space for in our band..... rather than a flat, characterless tone and hoping the soundman is a miracle man who knows our sound better than we do. Of course, with your own personal soundman you can sort how things work best in extensive pre-production.... YMMV....

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Personally I try not to play too long as we try and be quick, especially for multi band bills. I may bust out that funky little bass riff in the Kiss song Torpedo Girl but usually it's just a half a verse of a song from our set to ensure my rig sounds good.

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3 minutes ago, Cat Burrito said:

I may bust out that funky little bass riff in the Kiss song Torpedo Girl

 

Nice choice!!

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59 minutes ago, Cat Burrito said:

Personally I try not to play too long as we try and be quick, especially for multi band bills. I may bust out that funky little bass riff in the Kiss song Torpedo Girl but usually it's just a half a verse of a song from our set to ensure my rig sounds good.

Are you in the right thread Cat? 

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1 hour ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Are you in the right thread Cat? 

Apparently not, it would seem. At least I'm wearing the right threads though! 😺

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1 hour ago, Ruck said:

Post EQ it is then from now on!

And don't forget the Sneakiness. :laugh1:

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We've dropped our subs completely as I'd rather the audience heard the instruments being played and not a load of mush with guitar and vocal. I wish venues would do the same or only use them where it's  relevant to do so. Nearly every band I've seen in the last 15 years who use them have just sounded dreadful due to their over use. I'm sure that there must be some trend for sound engineers to have that fingers "rammed in the ear" effect.

It's absolutely pointless (in many cases) for a bassist to bother taking his own gear. They may as well DI and use the in house monitoring. 

However, I saw The Good The Bad and The Queen at Blackpool North Pier recently and although the bass sound was in your face powerful, there was none of the woolly nonsense. Mr Simonon with an old P bass and I presume his Ampeg stack banging out the best FOH bass sound I've heard in decades. I suspect they had a decent rig, proper sound check and a knowledgable engineer though!

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Very interesting as always to read everyone's different opinions on live sound... Ultimately (and as a regular gig-goer, player, and someone who has toured at several levels through several continents in several capacities....) I personally conclude that trying to get a great sound at any live gig is kind of like trying to polish a turd a lot of the time; unless you're in an acoustically wonderful and probably designed-for-purpose venue, you're at a place that can never sound like your record player speakers, so don't expect it to..

Some of the best sound I've heard at gigs has been at small pub venues with just a basic PA with a not-overly-experienced sound person simply mic'ing vox and PA, perhaps with kick as well, and just balances the backline. In fact, my favourite venue for sound has this setup. It takes a bit of common sense and equally co-operation from the band; in this case, the sound person is balancing the backline before dealing with their own mix, so it's up to the amp users in the house not to flip the gig up for everyone by turning up during the gig or being a pink torpedo during soundcheck.

And equally, some of the worst sound I've ever heard has been at major venues and festivals; as others have mentioned the typically poor sound found at outdoor festivals, and I concur; I've been at huge metal festivals watching name bands and for example, cannot hear any bass whatsoever, to the point in which I'm certain that the bass-player must be muted, but the gig goes on that way, and nobody seems to bat an eyelid... so, I guess it must be on...

FOH guys have one of the hardest jobs around I personally think, and there are, like musicians, countless incompetent and arrogant ones, but trust me, it takes a flipping lot of effort to get it right. As I say, unless the venue is a God-send, 90% of the time the FOH has their work cut out for them, and is battling acoustics, time constraints, technical issues and egos... so, when they do get it right, they deserve a f*cking medal really... 

And crucially, with exception to what people can now do on their iPads, FOH guys are working from a single spot usually two thirds at the back, and have to factor in a compromise for everyone in the venue, so if you're stood at the very front, or very back, or to the left, or the right, or the middle, you'll hear differently in all of these positions - FOH guys aren't actual magicians, guys. 

Really, like everything in live music, you get what you get. You get which sound engineer the venue has, until you can afford your own. If you're that worried, hire your own. But even then, you can't expect them to pull the rabbit out of the hat at every gig... I think every tour I've been on there have been both rave reviews and terrible criticisms of the live sound within the same run of dates with the same FOH engineer, often even from the same gig... I think that says a lot. Respect your local engineer, they've got a harder job than you.... and when you come across the grumpy c*nty ones (of which there are a few...), their c*ntiness is usually an expression of their own incompetency, so bark back and tell them what to do.... IF you know better ;)

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On 02/01/2019 at 15:41, cetera said:

To embellish on my previous point....

You can't polish a turd so surely you would want to send the BEST and most representative sound you can to the soundman to simply make a few minor adjustments for the room? In my case that would be post-EQ. A straight pre-EQ sound CAN be great if you just want a straight, no frills bass tone and have a decent sounding bass to start with....but this is presuming that the soundman is worth his/her salt....

When using an in-house tech I prefer to send a tone I have worked on, cultivated through live experience and found sonic space for in our band..... rather than a flat, characterless tone and hoping the soundman is a miracle man who knows our sound better than we do. Of course, with your own personal soundman you can sort how things work best in extensive pre-production.... YMMV....

I'd rather have flat and characterless out front than a killer sound on stage but mush out front, which many of the "my sound" players end up with!

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25 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

I'd rather have flat and characterless out front than a killer sound on stage but mush out front, which many of the "my sound" players end up with!

I`m pretty similar to that Pete, apart from my DI sound goes direct from my Sansamp Para Driver. I know what that sounds like through flat PA speakers/monitors, so not that fussed on how it sounds through whatever amp/cab is there for the gig. On most I can tweak to get near what I want on stage, but on some it has been pretty difficult. Knowing FOH is getting what we as a band need the audience to hear is the main thing, not what we on stage can hear (and I`m sure the other 2 in the band wouldn`t even notice anyway).

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Maybe if I played passive basses I'd want something between me and the desk, a Stingray clean sounds great right in there ime and should be easy for the sound crew to cut out what they don't want.

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Good point, clean and precise enough, good tight low end without boom, gotta be a task to mess that up if sent flat.

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6 hours ago, Count Bassy said:

Possibly most sound engineers ears are shot to pieces from a life time of abuse?

that's the only conclusion to be drawn after standing next to numerous sound desks thinking "How on earth can he think this sounds ok?"

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, itsmedunc said:

We've dropped our subs completely as I'd rather the audience heard the instruments being played and not a load of mush with guitar and vocal. I wish venues would do the same or only use them where it's  relevant to do so. Nearly every band I've seen in the last 15 years who use them have just sounded dreadful due to their over use. I'm sure that there must be some trend for sound engineers to have that fingers "rammed in the ear" effect.

It's absolutely pointless (in many cases) for a bassist to bother taking his own gear. They may as well DI and use the in house monitoring. 

However, I saw The Good The Bad and The Queen at Blackpool North Pier recently and although the bass sound was in your face powerful, there was none of the woolly nonsense. Mr Simonon with an old P bass and I presume his Ampeg stack banging out the best FOH bass sound I've heard in decades. I suspect they had a decent rig, proper sound check and a knowledgable engineer though!

So is it the over-use of subs that has turned almost every gig I've been to for the last 10 years into a kick drum concerto ?

 

Edited by ahpook
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, ahpook said:

So is it the over-use of subs that has turned almost every gig I've been to for the last 10 years into a kick drum concerto ?

 

I was having this conversation with a fellow bass player and dog walker the other day, the drummer in his band was wanting 18" subs because he used and electronic kit, we both concluded that it's not  the depth that's important but the definition, which is why us bassist are moving away from 15" speakers

Edited by PaulWarning

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