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Studio GC

Going ampless, is it weird to not have a bass rig behind you?

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The 60's cover band I'm in has now taken the plunge and we're all IEM'd up and sprung for a Behringer X32 board.

I'm now running my bass through the Sansamp Programmable BDDI to the X32. This is fine for most of our gigs, but we're also doing theatre shows where some thought needs to be given to how the stage looks. I recently saw a Paul McCartney cover band at Leas Cliff Hall and thought it looked weird that they had no amps or wedges on stage.

I'm thinking of making a lightweight large empty cab that can be a prop behind me....maybe even place my Rumble 40 in it to feel some air moving.

Anyone ever do such a thing for the stage?

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Our Church band has no amps or cabs on stage, as we have built in PA and subs, and individually mixed in-ears.

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I ditched my amp and speakers when it became apparent that I could consistently hear more of myself in the PA foldback than I could from my rig.

For the kinds of bands I play in, it doesn't look strange, in fact IMO it looks more balanced than it did when I had a huge bass rig and the guitarists I was playing with were all using tiny combos. However I can appreciate that for some genres a big wall of amps and speaker cabs are expected, and if I was playing in that kind of a band I'd have a collapsible dummy rig made up for looks only. 

A lot of the gigs I do the headlining band will have a traditional bass rig, and so I just set up in front of that and no-one in the audience realises that my sound is coming 100% from the PA rather than the bass rig.

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Well I'm kind of fed up with my bass rig set ups. The one I was using is now rattling and the two medium combos don't give me a round sound at the bottom end. As I'm playing jazz these days and not rock, I'm thinking of dispensing with them altogether. I seem to get a sweeter sound from the PA! :( I'm going to ask for suggestions. in another thread.

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Whenever I'm using IEMs, about half of my gigs, I don't miss having an amp at all. My bass sounds way clearer using IEMs.

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17 hours ago, Studio GC said:


I'm thinking of making a lightweight large empty cab that can be a prop behind me....maybe even place my Rumble 40 in it to feel some air moving.
 

If you're making a big box that looks like an amp, and then putting an amp inside the box, are you really going ampless?

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17 hours ago, Studio GC said:

The 60's cover band I'm in has now taken the plunge and we're all IEM'd up and sprung for a Behringer X32 board.

I'm now running my bass through the Sansamp Programmable BDDI to the X32. This is fine for most of our gigs, but we're also doing theatre shows where some thought needs to be given to how the stage looks. I recently saw a Paul McCartney cover band at Leas Cliff Hall and thought it looked weird that they had no amps or wedges on stage.

I'm thinking of making a lightweight large empty cab that can be a prop behind me....maybe even place my Rumble 40 in it to feel some air moving.

Anyone ever do such a thing for the stage?

go cold turkey first and just use IEM. There is a wee learning curve for everyone setting levels and the difference in how it sounds etc. 
once you've got that then the aesthetics thing can be looked at... 

 

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5 hours ago, Beer of the Bass said:

If you're making a big box that looks like an amp, and then putting an amp inside the box, are you really going ampless?

True that! I would use the amp simply to feel some air moving, nit really to hear it.

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6 minutes ago, Studio GC said:

True that! I would use the amp simply to feel some air moving, nit really to hear it.

One of The main benefits of removing the backline is it makes the FOH so much easier to get sounding good. A 40w combo in a bigger box isn’t really going to move air in any real sense. If you IEM aren’t giving you the haptic feedback you need something like the Tecamp pleasure board to stand on, or that company that make things that go on your back would give you the effect. 
If You start putting 40w combos in boxes to ‘move air’ then you’ll give the guitarists ideas

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I did this on Sunday. Played  a charity gig was told backline would be provided. It was, by one of the other bands, who took it home after their set! So I went into a DI box with bass in my monitor. 

It was OK, I suppose. At the end of the day a performance is a performance and a pa guy will make your bass sound how he likes it so in the scheme of things it didn't matter. 

But it felt and sounded gutless and horrible. Anything beyond 3ft from the monitor and I got a weird mix of foldback and out front sound. Yuk. So I had to stand in one place and stand still at that. Which is no way to behave when on a stage. 

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6 hours ago, stewblack said:

I did this on Sunday. Played  a charity gig was told backline would be provided. It was, by one of the other bands, who took it home after their set! So I went into a DI box with bass in my monitor. 

It was OK, I suppose. At the end of the day a performance is a performance and a pa guy will make your bass sound how he likes it so in the scheme of things it didn't matter. 

But it felt and sounded gutless and horrible. Anything beyond 3ft from the monitor and I got a weird mix of foldback and out front sound. Yuk. So I had to stand in one place and stand still at that. Which is no way to behave when on a stage. 

But the OP will have IEM so itwillbe different 

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I just ordered a Backbeat for some tactile feel from my bass, so hopefully that will broaden my IEM experience. 

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On 01/02/2020 at 20:39, Studio GC said:


I'm thinking of making a lightweight large empty cab that can be a prop behind me....maybe even place my Rumble 40 in it to feel some air moving.

Anyone ever do such a thing for the stage?

Nah ... it'll never catch on. :|

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17 hours ago, stewblack said:

 So I had to stand in one place and stand still at that. Which is no way to behave when on a stage. 

Never did Bill Wyman or John Entwhistle any harm 😀

Edited by MrCrane

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3 hours ago, MrCrane said:

Never did Bill Wyman or John Entwhistle any harm 😀

Not all of us can play like Entwistle! 

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11 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

But the OP will have IEM so itwillbe different 

Teach me to respond to the title and not read the post 🤦🏼‍♂️

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2 hours ago, stewblack said:

Not all of us can play like Entwistle! 

Maybe we'd do better if we stood still on the stage. 😊

Edited by MrCrane

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Didn't Geddy Lee start having a few machines behind him on stage after he went ampless to fill the empty space on stage?

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1 hour ago, MrCrane said:

Maybe we'd do better if we stood still on the stage. 😊

Not with my playing, I'd be a sitting duck! Gotta keep 'em on their toes with a moving target. 

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Geddy Lee had washing machines and rotisserie chicken cookers, pop corn machine..

 

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16 hours ago, stewblack said:

Not all of us can play like Entwistle! 

While Entwistle could most definitely play I think he got away with standing still because visually there were plenty of other things happening in the band.

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Depends on the context: I happily IEM at church, even with an acoustic (albeit quiet) drummer. Then soundchecked for a friend at a local venue, for a rock gig without backline and with loud drums and guitar, and could barely hear myself in the floor monitor. I don't think backline would have solved that - rather just deafen me - but my F112 as an additional  floor wedge would have been welcome!

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If you have a half decent PA system then you'll be able to get a great foh sound and in ears are a joy for being able to hear everything. I wouldn't hesitate to ditch the backline. I did and, when  I dep and need an amp, i quickly remember why ditching backline was so easy.

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If your making an empty box look like an amp cab for stage looks - make it useful. Have it actually being a case or carry equipment in it. Saves you carrying it needlessly then.

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