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Are Amps and Cabs still a thing moving forward?

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44 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Thats because people haven't put out a centre speaker.

Funnily enough a centre fill speaker is always helpful for projecting vocals - same problem occurs. Those dancing in the void complain they can't hear the lead vocals. 

Indeed, and this shows a that a bit more thought needs to be done rather just leaving your amps at home and relying on your normal PA. 

My GF/singer got a set of IEM’s for Christmas. She sometimes struggles to hear herself on stage. It seemed like a good idea at the time but there is more involved (as we all know). 

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Thats irrespective of IEMS though - if your L and R are too far apart, there's gonna be a dead spot in the middle in front of the band.

Yeah - IEMs, there's a fair bit to work out before hand. Micing stuff up, proper fitment - and adequate drivers and the like.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Thats irrespective of IEMS though - if your L and R are too far apart, there's gonna be a dead spot in the middle in front of the band.

 

Thats where backline comes in useful i guess. 

I must admit I’m old school, i like the feel and sound of a live band, either from the audience or on stage. If i want to listen to a polished CD mix i can stay at home.

Also i (like a lot of us) like gear, spend money getting the tone i want from it. I cant imagine going ampless on bass. 

Ironically, as I’m going back to keys i guess i will be using the PA and no backline. 

Edited by dave_bass5

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49 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Yeah, f**k the audience's hearing. F**k working with the sound guy so the band can actually sound decent upfront. F**k everybody but the musician.

Actually, that pretty much sums up the self-centredness of pretty every musician I know.

The audience are coming to see Derek Trucks, not the sound guy...

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11 minutes ago, peteb said:

The audience are coming to see Derek Trucks, not the sound guy...

Interesting you focused on “seeing” as opposed to hearing.

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Just now, EBS_freak said:

Interesting you focused on “seeing” as opposed to hearing.

I nearly put 'hearing' instead of 'seeing', but the point is that the audience is there to see Derek Trucks and hear him express himself (one of the most renowned living guitar players around) using his unique sound and playing at his best. It is up to the sound engineer to facilitate him to do this, not the other way round...! 

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47 minutes ago, peteb said:

The audience are coming to see Derek Trucks, not the sound guy...

Also the sound engineer didn't seem in the least bit concerned, quite happy to baffle the cab. Don't recall any audience member leaving upset after seeing them live either. 

Strange how cross some people get just because the rest of the world chooses to do things differently from them. 

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34 minutes ago, peteb said:

I nearly put 'hearing' instead of 'seeing', but the point is that the audience is there to see Derek Trucks and hear him express himself (one of the most renowned living guitar players around) using his unique sound and playing at his best. It is up to the sound engineer to facilitate him to do this, not the other way round...! 

Bravo, well said. 

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, stewblack said:

Also the sound engineer didn't seem in the least bit concerned, quite happy to baffle the cab. Don't recall any audience member leaving upset after seeing them live either. 

Strange how cross some people get just because the rest of the world chooses to do things differently from them. 

Of course the sound engineer is happy to help DT get his sound - that's his job! He wouldn't be there if he didn't know how to work with Trucks' gear and how to get the best sound out of it. 

A mate of mine owns a big PA hire company and has worked with a lot of big names and done a lot of big events (he's also a very good guitar player). He can be quite contemptuous of a lot of sound engineers around. His idea is that it is his company's job for the artist to be comfortable with the sound onstage, and if they can be reasonable abut that then he can get a great sound out front. 

Edited by peteb
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13 hours ago, Nobatron said:

It depends on what you're doing I think.

With my function band I always use in ears with no amp. We provide our own PA with subwoofers so I know that it can handle the low end and we recall a show on our digital desk and bring a decent sound tech with us so I know the sound will be consistent for both myself and the audience. For this to work though you have to have at least one person in the band who understands the tech side of things, or have a sound tech you always use and can ask for advice.

For the Balkan Klezmer / Afrobeat thing I play in we don't bring a tech and are at the mercy of the venue in terms of PA and backline. Most of the venues we play in have a decent PA and sound tech and will take a DI from the bass so I can be confident that the house sound will be good. Out of those venues most provide a backline (but not all). If I'm able to confirm there is a backline provided I'll usually leave my amp at home, if not I'll bring it for stage monitoring. On the odd occasion that we play a venue without a PA suitable for bass my amp will also provide the audience sound. Usually this is in smaller venues though and we don't play super loud so a big amp isn't needed.

If you're playing on the pub scene and don't provide your own PA you'll almost certainly be taking an amp to every gig.

I need to know more about your klezmer band! 

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13 hours ago, stewblack said:

Also the sound engineer didn't seem in the least bit concerned, quite happy to baffle the cab.

With someone like Derek Trucks he'll be doing what's best to get the best sound, which for him could involve a loud amp on stage. And that's fine, he's playing in big venues with large stages where stage volume isn't so much of a problem anyway. Big amps are designed for venues like that and he's playing appropriately for the venue.

It is a problem when you're in a small pub and a band turns up with 2 Marshall 4x12s and an 8x10 bass rig and cranks it. I've done sound at venues like this and you end up fighting with a mix that's pushing over 100dB with all the faders except kick and vocal all the way down, bar staff who can't hear people ordering, the punters who do stay being exposed to dangerous sound levels, and the band complaining that they can't hear their vocals when the wedges are on the brink of feedback. Those bands are not playing appropriately for the venue.

I get that big valve amps sound better when they're ran hot but if you're playing in small pubs and clubs then you shouldn't be using a amps designed for arenas and expect to run it at arena levels IMO.

11 hours ago, dmdavies said:

I need to know more about your klezmer band! 

Haha. It's an interesting mix! The style ranges from more funky stuff to more traditional klezmer inspired stuff with the focus of stuff that's danceable to. It's lead by the clarinet player who writes all the stuff. It was all kicking off really well with some great bookings in the calendar until gigs stopped being a thing.

There's loads of videos on our facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tshokmusic/). The header video isn't me as it was before I joined but all the other ones and the EP are me.

This is a good example of the more kesmer inspired stuff.

 

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Gigs i play can vary from pubs to decent sized venues but i always like to have my own amp and cab behind me. I normally go DI  from my amp post EQ as that's what most sounds guys have asked me for which always surprises me. I've found that gives me a similar sound FOH.

I guess if you have a decent pre-amp to FOH you're getting the same thing thru IEM. 

I've never used IEM altho our singer swears by them. I think i'm just old school and used to doing things a certain way.

Younger people accept change more easily so if i was in your position i'd certainly give it a try without the backline.

In late 80's in a 3 piece cover band i was in where drummer had Simmonds kit and guitarist used a guitar synth i stopped using my backline when one of the 210 PA cabs went down and i put my 210 in to replace it. I was surprised how easy it was to hear myself from the PA and monitors so played that way for about 4 yrs straight into a DI pedal.

Dave

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50 minutes ago, Nobatron said:

With someone like Derek Trucks he'll be doing what's best to get the best sound, which for him could involve a loud amp on stage. And that's fine, he's playing in big venues with large stages where stage volume isn't so much of a problem anyway. Big amps are designed for venues like that and he's playing appropriately for the venue.

No argument from me at all. I was only sharing something I'd seen I thought might be of interest given the topic. 

I certainly wasn't suggesting that would be appropriate down the proverbial Dog and Duck!

I wonder, has anyone actually played a pub called the Dog And Duck? 

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For bands doing pubs, clubs and the occasional party I'm not convinced backline amps will be disappearing all that soon where I'm from. It relies on someone in the band owning a PA that will take everything in the band, shared ownership is fraught with problems. In ears maybe ok for actual monitoring, but for out front in the venues I've mostly played the PA will only take vocal so you have to have your own amp. I don't know of any band around my way that has gone down the IEM route.

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It's seems strange how bass amps and cabs are still being advertised using "name endorsees" when they are the ones least likely to actually using them as anything other than on-stage props. Live and in the studio the bass sound will most likely be DI'd direct from the instrument and processed through compressors and EQ far superior to anything found in a typical bass rig.

Those who need a conventional rig the most - weekend warriors playing covers in pubs with a vocal-only PA get ignored.

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1 hour ago, Nobatron said:

 

 

I like that.

I DO hope that you cover Night Boat To Cairo ...

 

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

It's seems strange how bass amps and cabs are still being advertised using "name endorsees" when they are the ones least likely to actually using them as anything other than on-stage props. Live and in the studio the bass sound will most likely be DI'd direct from the instrument and processed through compressors and EQ far superior to anything found in a typical bass rig.

Those who need a conventional rig the most - weekend warriors playing covers in pubs with a vocal-only PA get ignored.

It for this reason I don't bother with cab sims or IRs with my Helix. I get a much better tone running the amp model through a simple eq block to tame the fizzy high end and straight to my frfr and/or FOH.  Pretty much what a sound engineer would do with a DI from a real amp head.

Sure, there's bigger touring acts who'll have their bass cab mic'd up alongside a direct signal, but for the average weekend warrior, it's not worth the faff and is pretty fruitless endeavour.

As for recording. I agree, most 'famous' bass tones are often straight into the console via some expensive rack equipment. This is one area the helix is lacking. They've included powerful eq options and a plethora of compressors but only one very basic 'Studio Pre' model. Even some of line 6's older softward such as PodFarm offered a handful of studio console models.

Edited by Greg Edwards69

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16 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

Interesting you focused on “seeing” as opposed to hearing.

Yes, the fundamental difference between going to a gig, and staying in the house and listening to his records.

And I'm pretty sure if you did stay in the house and listen to his records, you're not listening to him play in an acoustically isolated and modelled cocoon.

I worry about the future of music sometimes. Only sometimes, though.

 

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26 minutes ago, Greg Edwards69 said:

It for this reason I don't bother with cab sims or IRs with my Helix. I get a much better tone running the amp model through a simple eq block to tame the fizzy high end and straight to my frfr and/or FOH.  Pretty much what a sound engineer would do with a DI from a real amp head.

Sure, there's bigger touring acts who'll have their bass cab mic'd up alongside a direct signal, but for the average weekend warrior, it's not worth the faff and is pretty fruitless endeavour.

As for recording. I agree, most 'famous' bass tones are often straight into the console via some expensive rack equipment. This is one area the helix is lacking. They've included powerful eq options and a plethora of compressors but only one very basic 'Studio Pre' model. Even some of line 6's older softward such as PodFarm offered a handful of studio console models.

You don't even need to use an EQ module on the patch. If you are after the same high cut on all your sounds you can make use of the global EQ instead.

Even if there is a mic on the cab, the only person who knows for sure that it is being used is the FoH engineer. I'm sure that plenty of PA engineers will put up a mic to keep the bass player happy and then use a DI exclusively for the FoH sound.

In the days when I still had a conventional bass rig when I went into the studio I would ask for one of the cabs to be mic'd up, but there was still also a DI from the amp and one direct from the bass itself. And I would never know which of those signals was the one that ended up in the final mix and TBH so long as the bass sounded right for what I had envisaged on the track I really didn't care.

IMO the Helix doesn't need to offer a "sim" of any classic studio EQ. I'd be perfectly happy with a standard 4-band parametric as found on just about any modern digital desk.

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The lack of 'feel' would be the thing I'd miss. I like the idea of the vibrating platform things, but it nails you down to one small area of the stage and I wouldn't like that. Is there some sort of wearable vibration kit that could recreate the feel of a backline thumping away behind you, without having a backline thumping away behind you?
 

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43 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

Yes, the fundamental difference between going to a gig, and staying in the house and listening to his records.

And I'm pretty sure if you did stay in the house and listen to his records, you're not listening to him play in an acoustically isolated and modelled cocoon.

I worry about the future of music sometimes. Only sometimes, though.

 

 

I'd taken a step back but I'll bite.

 

Here's some view points to consider.

Plenty of people go to a gig, or festivals to "see" bands, yet still have obstructed view of the stage due to people's heads... or in some cases, end up watching the show via big screens alongside the stage. Would make for a pretty poor experience if the sound was pants too.

For a lot of artists, it's all about seeing the spectacle of the show but it's a given that the sound has to be good also. You may recall the media couldn't wait to rip into the Spice Girls when there were complaints about the audio. Seeing the show was not enough. And you could argue that the audience were a home crowd and not exactly your audiophile audience.

Plenty of people have been to gigs where the sound as been horrible... and it's always the sound mans fault for doing a stinky poo house mix. In reality, the sound guy is an important member of the band - even if they aren't on stage. They can make or break your sound. If somebody wants to come on stage and run an amp so loud to get "their sound" and feel good, so be it. After all, they are the talent. However, ultimately - and this is the science here, you are going to get bleed into other microphones and the mix will suffer. How much depends on how much of those little nuances that impact the mix sum. So yeah, there's so much you can get from baffles, correct mic choice and placement, monitor wedge volume etc... I get that you won't get a CD mix in a gig situation - but as an audience member you do want to be able to hear things clearly - and you don't want to have that lone guitar cab overpowering the front of house speakers. Or perhaps you do. You'd hope that an artist would want to sound the best that they could out front, even if it means compromising what you want on stage - after all, it's the audience that are paying your keep.

In reality, it's about the right rig for the right gig. If you are playing a small gig, you have to compromise with the backline you are using to work with the sound guy to make you sound the best out front. If people don't want to sound the best out front, why are they even bothering? It's a certain arrogance of artists that has always been entertained for so long.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Rich said:

The lack of 'feel' would be the thing I'd miss. I like the idea of the vibrating platform things, but it nails you down to one small area of the stage and I wouldn't like that. Is there some sort of wearable vibration kit that could recreate the feel of a backline thumping away behind you, without having a backline thumping away behind you?
 

The feel is an interesting point. Is there actually much air movement that you can feel when you are standing next to a bass rig? I have read time and time again how people talk about "trouser flapping" - go up to your rig and see where you have to stand and how loud you have to play to get so much as a twitch. The feel, for many I guess, is what the front of house is doing - or the feel of your ears getting hit with high SPL. Nothing beats going home with tinnitus and hearing damage eh?

PS check out a Woojer or Backbeat for body worn haptic feedback.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

Those who need a conventional rig the most - weekend warriors playing covers in pubs with a vocal-only PA get ignored.

I'd love to see some adverts from some of the big amp companies showing complete nobodies. I think it would be a great marketing move.

"This is Dave, he's just like you. Down the dog and duck. He doesn't play Wembley. He's playing through a sensible, appropriate setup - and sounds great because of it."

- And Dave didn't go with whoever would give him some gear for free or a big discount.

Edited by EBS_freak
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1 hour ago, JamieMillsBass said:

Anyone tried IEM's with a backbeat setup so you can still 'feel' the 'amp'?

Thinking about going that way now I have the helix stomp.

 

Try a Woojer sitting on your hips.

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