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Why not mic the bass amp live?

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OK, its for a predominantly vocal performance - but its perfect in showing that he's earning his money there. I'm guessing that talent are all on headset mics, so no artist control of mic technique. They care about singing - the rest, the reverb, EQ, delays are all under this man's control. Every line, for every performer, making sure every piece of diction is perfectly reproduced.

What I do know though... is that I can guarantee that nobody in the audience appreciates that work that he has been doing all night.

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Most of the gigs I've played in proper venues (as opposed to most of them which have been in the corner of pubs) my bass has been DI'd and mic'd, the sound man (or quite often sound woman) has blended the two to taste. No one has complained about the bass sound - then again, it's very rare that anyone says anything about the bass sound!

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4 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

Not suitable for a pub-band budget, though, and all that investment in SVT magic is for nought. xD

A Helix Stomp, really? And there's loads of pubs bands backlines resemble those found at Wembley! 

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5 minutes ago, ahpook said:

This is true, not all of them are guys ! :D

 

Indeed. Apologies, I usually don't refer to engineers in a gendered way. Funnily enough, a couple of really decent engineers I know are female. And they stand for zero sht.

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2 minutes ago, FinnDave said:

No one has complained about the bass sound - then again, it's very rare that anyone says anything about the bass sound!

Hence my compromise bit.

It's like all those folk that want an in and out mic on their kick drum. Just get the sound of the click and gate to a sine wave if you want that low end (without all the shyte lower frequencies that are a nightmare and picked up by that mic)

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12 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

A Helix Stomp, really? And there's loads of pubs bands backlines resemble those found at Wembley! 

My point exactly (but for how long has the Helix been on the market..?) The Kemper is around £1500. One needs to play a fair amount of gigs with adequate PA's to get that back. 9_9

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1 hour ago, skidder652003 said:

you've obviously been to my gigs at the Volunteer in Honiton!

Mother in law is in Sidmouth - I’ll have to excuse myself and make my way across next visit

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Helix Stomp - £429

RCF 735 or 745 - £719 or £1045

vs.

SVT/CL or SVT/VR - £1919 or £1549

Ampeg 810 - £990/£1139 

 

Actually, the Kemper option looks pretty cheap in comparison. In fact, you could buy a pair of RCF tops, a Helix, and onstage RCF for a comparable price to just the SVT - if you didn't want to go IEM. And your band would sound heaps better for it.

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18 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Helix Stomp - £429

RCF 735 or 745 - £719 or £1045

vs.

SVT/CL or SVT/VR - £1919 or £1549

Ampeg 810 - £990/£1139 

 

Actually, the Kemper option looks pretty cheap in comparison. In fact, you could buy a pair of RCF tops, a Helix, and onstage RCF for a comparable price to just the SVT - if you didn't want to go IEM. And your band would sound heaps better for it.

If only you'd explained that to me in 1984..! D'oh..! ¬¬

...

xD :P

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3 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

If only you'd explained that to me in 1984..! D'oh..! ¬¬

...

xD :P

I'm not sure that you would have dug on the offerings of ART and co from back in the 80s...

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2 hours ago, Supernaut said:

You could get a bus through there!

Perhaps a tuk tuk

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5 minutes ago, SH73 said:

Perhaps a tuk tuk

Yet more unwanted noise to mess with the mix.

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9 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

I'm not sure that you would have dug on the offerings of ART and co from back in the 80s...

I have an ART pedal board, for guitar, too..! xD

(And others, naturally -_- ...)

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2 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

That sound that you have spent hours crafting in your bedroom....? You know, that room that is in no way acoustically representative of the environment in which that sound is going to be heard when you play out live?

The very same! 😂

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2 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

That sound that you have spent hours crafting in your bedroom....? You know, that room that is in no way acoustically representative of the environment in which that sound is going to be heard when you play out live?

It’s a basis to start, and maybe you have tweaked a sound that you think works best not in the room but in another venue and can build from there

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Generally I find, if there's a sound engineer thdn they tend to do both. Probably because they have a bit of pride in getting the best sound-especially if it's an in-house pa and they've got time for micing. If its a gig where the sound is getting sorted by a member of the band, at the same time as setting their own gear, setting up pa, then normally it's just Di. There's just no real benefit in mixing the 2 lines unless someone out front can mix and get the mix right. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

It’s a basis to start, and maybe you have tweaked a sound that you think works best not in the room but in another venue and can build from there

Indeed - you got to start somewhere! In a modelling world, if you get it right, then assuming you are playing with moderately consistent gigging volumes, then your desk is EQing to primarily cater for the room. Of course, if you have the ability to tweak these sounds in a band context, you are making the sound guys life that bit easier (assuming you have a good ear that is!)

 

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I always wondered about that. Its the whole bass, amp, cab that gives the sound you like, so why bypass the speaker? Most guitarists would not stand for that.

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Just now, mikel said:

I always wondered about that. Its the whole bass, amp, cab that gives the sound you like, so why bypass the speaker? Most guitarists would not stand for that.

Only if your cabs are involved in the sound and that ‘roll off’

DI out my amp - you get the same sound as coming out me speaker 

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@EBS_freak thank you for all your input in this thread, it has reinforced what I already thought, and has just killed almost all of my amp Gas, so you may have just saved me a fortune. Quick question though, if you are given the DI from an HX stomp is it comparable to a Kemper (presuming it's been programmed well)

Cheers 

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45 minutes ago, Crawford13 said:

@EBS_freak thank you for all your input in this thread, it has reinforced what I already thought, and has just killed almost all of my amp Gas, so you may have just saved me a fortune. Quick question though, if you are given the DI from an HX stomp is it comparable to a Kemper (presuming it's been programmed well)

Cheers 

There's nothing wrong with amps - I love amps. Tech has moved on, which gives people more options now, options that actually sound good (unlike modelling solutions of yesteryear) - and depending upon your situation, you can make life so much easier, both in terms of moving gear about and getting a better band sound.

If you haven't figured, I'm all for silent stages and IEM mixes. Being able to hear all the detail (and no post gig tinnitus) in your monitors and cleaner feeds to mix the front of house with.

To be honest, between the big name modellers, they can all produce great bass sounds. I use a Kemper - and actually use a channel strip profile instead of an amp. I can plug that in, any volume, I know it will deliver the goods. Same with a Helix - I know plenty of people using Helix now, both for bass and guitar. They don't miss their amps and enjoy the additional flexibility of carrying around a load of modelled amps and fx.

The key point is, these things are indistinguishable from the real thing now, especially live. Anybody who thinks otherwise, is kinda kidding themselves. Blind tests have confirmed this!

If you look around on bass chat, theres a fair few that have made the move to modellers and IEMs, or modellers and FRFR setups. I don't know anybody who has regretted the move. In fact, a great deal of them have sold off all their traditional bass rigs.

 

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1 hour ago, mikel said:

I always wondered about that. Its the whole bass, amp, cab that gives the sound you like, so why bypass the speaker? Most guitarists would not stand for that.

Not wanting to go against what cuzzie has said - but it depends. Depending upon the driver and the cab design (which becomes of minimal importance if the speakers are close miced), the speaker can be flat(ish) or display certain characteristics, such as pushed mids, recessed highs, recessed lows or a combination of all. A bit like a mic really.

The thing is, speaker emulations are generally EQ based - so if you do take them out of the equation, you can get a fairly decent approximation without too much effort, certainly good enough for live situations. If you want to go further, then yeah, you can get some very comprehensive modelling on the go - with IR response and all! All this stuff is built into your modern modellers. The idea is that the modeller gives you the sound of the amp and cab you would hear if it was miced up in a studio... and then that sound is plugged directly into a live sound desk and off you go. Plug it into a FRFR powered cab (e.g. a cab that is flat and characterless - hence doesn't influence the sound) and you have a traditional rig replacement where you don't have to run it stupidly loud to get all the valve drive etc that people desire.

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Posted (edited)

I've played a couple of small club venues in the last several years that routinely mic bass amps, which surprised me as I never used to see it in those venues. I wonder if the change is because many bassists on that scene are using distorted or fuzzed up bass sounds these days, which often sound horrible without a speaker rolling off highs, so that's just the quickest way to make it work.

For myself, using a valve amp and occasional fuzz, I'm reassured if the sound guy offers to take a mic and DI, but if they don't offer, then pushing for it has never been productive and in practice it's usually workable with just the DI.

Edited by Beer of the Bass
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6 hours ago, Dood said:

I played a fairly large outdoor gig before lockdown where the hired "professional" PA company "mic'd" my cabinet. With an SM57, a good 15" away from the cabinet edge, off axis. I wished that they had DI'd, especially as I had clearly explained why the DI would be a better option. I forget the name of the PA company, maybe that's not a bad thing. Don't even get me started on their "IEM" mixes lol..

 the irony.

When I was early in my bass playing career I would beg sound engineers to mic my amplifier.

I just knew that the sound of my marshall B65 combo being driven to an inch of its life to keep up with a drummer trying to compete with a guitarist with no perception of volume produced the most amazing tone (still 20 years later it's a tone I would have any day of the week). The di sound was lifeless in comparison.

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