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Devil's Amp-vocate (sorry...)


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1 hour ago, Lozz196 said:

I`m not keen on bass (or drums as it happens) in the monitors anyway, I like to keep them for vocals & guitars. I don`t my amp majorly loud on stage, just same volume as unamplified drums, as such for a venue such as O2 Academy I`d want something big enough to not struggle/be pushed.

 

Most of us have watched some of Glastonbury over the weekend, I wonder why all those pro bassists seemed to be happy with big rigs on those big stages, they could learn a lot from logging on here.

I wonder how many of those were plugged in though?

 

I know someone who had a major gig coming up and at a full dress rehearsal he arrived with just a pre-amp and in-ears. 
 

The tour manager wouldn’t let him play live like that so we loaned him an amp and a couple of larger-sized cabs that were purely for show. He didn’t even bother with the leads for them 🤣

By complete chance, I just saw this social media post from a music distributor:

 

617394693_Screenshot2022-06-27at12_29_04.png.b7d4cea0697778e159879b530184400e.png

 

Edited by molan
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29 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I`m not keen on bass (or drums as it happens) in the monitors anyway, I like to keep them for vocals & guitars. I don`t my amp majorly loud on stage, just same volume as unamplified drums, as such for a venue such as O2 Academy I`d want something big enough to not struggle/be pushed.

 

Most of us have watched some of Glastonbury over the weekend, I wonder why all those pro bassists seemed to be happy with big rigs on those big stages, they could learn a lot from logging on here.

Probably because FOH & stage sound guys haven’t got the time to sort out individual mixes for IEM’s on the band turn-arounds? 
I imagine soundcheck times are very limited?

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My Ampeg PF-50T and pair of 1x12“ cabs are pretty well to my taste for what I do, and my band doesn't go wild with stage volume because we have brass and flute. If budget, transport and venue size was suitable I might be tempted to look at a V4B and one or two slightly larger cabs, but that wouldn't be an actual need - I could probably be fine with what I have.

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42 minutes ago, Bassman68 said:

Probably because FOH & stage sound guys haven’t got the time to sort out individual mixes for IEM’s on the band turn-arounds? 
I imagine soundcheck times are very limited?

 

1 hour ago, Stofferson said:

That might suit you in your experience, but in my experience, I like my rig behind me giving some power, as it's powerful music, cant beat that feeling. Cant always trust FOH engineers to give you what you need, or have the time to get that sorted, sometimes it's boom straight on, I'd rather my vocalist and drummer get the time they need to get their necessary mix through through the monitors. 

 

I play powerful music too. 

 

I also used to have a very big and impressive looking bass rig (not to mention expensive), that was sold when I realised that for almost all the gigs I was playing, it was offering zero sonic benefit to either myself or the audience. On big stages I couldn't hear anything from it if I wasn't standing directly in front of it, and on small stages I was being asked to turn down so much, so as not to ruin the FoH sound that I could hear more of me from the guitarist's wedge on the opposite side of the stage, than I could from my own rig behind me.

 

Going directly into the PA, I've never had a problem with monitoring that hadn't been sorted out by the end of the first song, and on multi-band gigs with quick turn-around times the stage crew love me, because my setup is simple to deal with. The rest of one of my bands can be quite picky about the on-stage sound, but we've always been able to sort it out quickly in the setup time available. Personally I'm happy if I can hear enough of me to be able to tell that I am in time and in tune with the rest of the band, and anything beyond this is a bonus. I've also always been of the opinion that if it has to be loud to feel/sound good, then the songs I've written aren't good enough and I need to go an write some better ones.

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18 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

 

 

I play powerful music too. 

 

I also used to have a very big and impressive looking bass rig (not to mention expensive), that was sold when I realised that for almost all the gigs I was playing, it was offering zero sonic benefit to either myself or the audience. On big stages I couldn't hear anything from it if I wasn't standing directly in front of it, and on small stages I was being asked to turn down so much, so as not to ruin the FoH sound that I could hear more of me from the guitarist's wedge on the opposite side of the stage, than I could from my own rig behind me.

 

Going directly into the PA, I've never had a problem with monitoring that hadn't been sorted out by the end of the first song, and on multi-band gigs with quick turn-around times the stage crew love me, because my setup is simple to deal with. The rest of one of my bands can be quite picky about the on-stage sound, but we've always been able to sort it out quickly in the setup time available. Personally I'm happy if I can hear enough of me to be able to tell that I am in time and in tune with the rest of the band, and anything beyond this is a bonus. I've also always been of the opinion that if it has to be loud to feel/sound good, then the songs I've written aren't good enough and I need to go an write some better ones.

 

My rig aint that big or impressive, it's hardly a fridge and I'm young enough to not have a glass back. 99.9% of bands and bills I play, cabs are involved, whether I take my own or use an in house cab or gear share with bands on the bill. It makes no odds, I take my amp, I turn it on and I'm away, not much different to setting up whatever DI system you use, I'm experienced in setting up and down so I've had no complaints from engineers either.

I like having my amp there, and it's been fine for 90 years or so since the first amps where invented.

 

To imply songs aren't good enough if I can't feel it is absolute rubbish, done plenty of DI only gigs, but here is my PREFERENCE, I like my back being flapped about, I have capable gear and I am capable of getting it right in the 7.5 minutes we have to set up. 

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21 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

I also used to have a very big and impressive looking bass rig (not to mention expensive), that was sold when I realised that for almost all the gigs I was playing, it was offering zero sonic benefit to either myself or the audience. 

 

I think this is the crux of the matter. You simply don't need a massive rig on stage any more. I gig with just a 2x10 for a bit of low end stage monitoring (although often I'm cutting lows and bumping low mids). I am always in the fog mix, whatever the size of the venue.

 

It always gets me when people say "our PA isn't good/powerful enough to handle bass so we only put vocals in the mix" and then go on about running a large multi-cab set up on stage. The simple answer to this is - sell the huge bass rig and invest in a better PA! The audience will hear a much more balanced sound, on-stage volume will drop, everyone will hear each other better and you'll get more bookings in the future. Modern PA systems that can handle the full frequency range are so much more affordable now. Of course, it doesn't mean you'll be able to 'show off' your amazing rig but the audience will be a lot happier with a quality sound mix than seeing a lumpy cab on stage - that's even if they've noticed it!

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If I'm taking a small cab for personal monitoring then either my Mark Bass or my Ashdown head - with the DI going to the PA for the hard work.

 

If a personal monitor isn't needed - then my pedal board. Wireless / compressor / octave / Sansamp.

 

That will do just fine.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

For that I would have used my Ashdown ABM600 with matching 210 & 410 cabs. 

I read the initial post and knew in my head ‘in a moment I’m about to scroll down and Lozz is going to suggest an ABM’

 

Yep, there it is ;)

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The thing for me is, just because you have a load of speakers doesn`t have to mean that the amp is on full. Years ago in a punk covers band myself and the 2 guitars had 4x12 cabs, yet our drummer was a quiet drummer and played with very light sticks so we simply matched his volume with said 4x12s. The band sounded great - audience words not mine, though I did agree.

 

When we re-formed we`d all bought smaller amps/speakers (higher spec & higher priced), and although the volume was the same that quality/depth of sound was no longer there. Again audience words, and again I agreed. These words from people who`d been coming to see us for years, and who probably weren`t musicians, but could tell there was something different. 

 

Now I know there will be some (many?) who will say well you should have eq-d better, etc, but I know that in regards to my last rig it sounded best with both the 410 & 210 together, very good with the 410, good with the 210. I think my ears just prefer the sound when there`s a lot of speakers going - mucho cabbage! But I know my back would disagree.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

The thing for me is, just because you have a load of speakers doesn`t have to mean that the amp is on full. Years ago in a punk covers band myself and the 2 guitars had 4x12 cabs, yet our drummer was a quiet drummer and played with very light sticks so we simply matched his volume with said 4x12s. The band sounded great - audience words not mine, though I did agree.

 

When we re-formed we`d all bought smaller amps/speakers (higher spec & higher priced), and although the volume was the same that quality/depth of sound was no longer there. Again audience words, and again I agreed. These words from people who`d been coming to see us for years, and who probably weren`t musicians, but could tell there was something different. 

 

Now I know there will be some (many?) who will say well you should have eq-d better, etc, but I know that in regards to my last rig it sounded best with both the 410 & 210 together, very good with the 410, good with the 210. I think my ears just prefer the sound when there`s a lot of speakers going - mucho cabbage! But I know my back would disagree.

 

 

Totally agree with this 

 

and has been my discovery over the years 

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10 hours ago, gjones said:

Dave swift takes his Bergantino gear with him on tour (Jools Holland's bass player) but it's just for show as I believe he has an endorsement with the company.

 

He uses in ear monitors and stands on a plinth that vibrates with the bass notes, so that he gets the impression of standing in front of a big old bass cab, when in reality the master volume is turned to zero on his amp.

 

Sad but true.......

I’m afraid you don’t have all your facts correct. 
Yes, I do use a vibrating platform, and I do use in ear monitors, but not all the time and not on every gig, and not on every song. 
I ALWAYS use my Bergantino rig and I can still hear it even when using IEM’s. Also, and this is a key point, not everyone in the band uses IEM’s including Jools himself and all of the singers and so my Bergantino rig is always on and never turned to zero. 
You should make sure you get your facts right before posting comments which are clearly just assumptions, and incorrect. 

Edited by swiftbass
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11 hours ago, molan said:

You simply don't need a massive rig on stage any more

You should replace the 'you' as in 'you who are no longer plebs in the trenches' with 'we who etc etc'.

 

Plenty of people still need enough rig to keep up with an over caffeinated chimp on drumkit. Not generally on the big league stages though.

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6 minutes ago, Downunderwonder said:

You should replace the 'you' as in 'you who are no longer plebs in the trenches' with 'we who etc etc'.

 

Plenty of people still need enough rig to keep up with an over caffeinated chimp on drumkit. Not generally on the big league stages though.


Sorry, I don’t agree. I keep up with drummers on large kits with a little 2x10. Using large cabs to drown out other band members is simply counter-productive to getting a decent sound to the only people who really matter - the ones out front :)

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47 minutes ago, molan said:


Sorry, I don’t agree. I keep up with drummers on large kits with a little 2x10. Using large cabs to drown out other band members is simply counter-productive to getting a decent sound to the only people who really matter - the ones out front :)

I didn't say drown out anyone. Either your 210 is uber quality or you don't play so loud. Traditional 210 need two of to match drums when neither has PA support and it's really rowdy ie deafening without earplugs. Not everyone's cup of tea but not to be ignored as if it doesn't exist nor talked down to.

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8 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

I didn't say drown out anyone. Either your 210 is uber quality or you don't play so loud. Traditional 210 need two of to match drums when neither has PA support and it's really rowdy ie deafening without earplugs. Not everyone's cup of tea but not to be ignored as if it doesn't exist nor talked down to.


Neither, it’s a standard MarkBass 102P and regularly gigged with little Nano head putting out 200w. 
 

The band has 2 guitarists. One with an Orange rig and the other a Mesa. 
 

We play loud but controlled. Everything runs through our own PA. It’s also not huge but decent quality. 
 

More and more bands are realising that a controlled on-stage environment coupled with a well-managed foh mix makes a much more balanced, and enjoyable, sound for the people that matter, the audience. 

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9 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

You should replace the 'you' as in 'you who are no longer plebs in the trenches' with 'we who etc etc'.

 

Plenty of people still need enough rig to keep up with an over caffeinated chimp on drumkit. Not generally on the big league stages though.

I love that phrase, over caffeinated chimp, will def remember that one

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17 minutes ago, molan said:


 

More and more bands are realising that a controlled on-stage environment coupled with a well-managed foh mix makes a much more balanced, and enjoyable, sound for the people that matter, the audience. 

We'd like to think that most bands realise this, but you do get the odd one.

Not everyone has their own PA nor needs one though. 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Crusoe said:

Would my Fender Rumble 25 be big enough for the O2? It's all I've got. 🥺 😄

It would be fine. 🙂

 

You'd need a ridiculously loud bass rig for it to make any noticeable contribution to FoH sound at this sort of venue, and as I said previously if that was the case, the sound engineer would be asking you to turn down. They'd just put a DI on the bass and feed you through the FoH and foldback, so that you, the rest of your band and the audience could hear you.

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2 hours ago, molan said:


Neither, it’s a standard MarkBass 102P and regularly gigged with little Nano head putting out 200w. 
 

The band has 2 guitarists. One with an Orange rig and the other a Mesa. 
 

We play loud but controlled. Everything runs through our own PA. It’s also not huge but decent quality. 
 

More and more bands are realising that a controlled on-stage environment coupled with a well-managed foh mix makes a much more balanced, and enjoyable, sound for the people that matter, the audience. 

You have a different idea of loud. My idea of loud is not my own cup of tea either. I too have gigged plenty loud enough with just a plain old 210.

 

Still, LOUD is out there, no FOH mix apart from vocals, and has plenty of its own fans.

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I used a little Laney combo on Sunday. On stage volume was fine, and the PA did the rest.

It was loud enough to be heard across a big village sports field that was about the size of 3 or 4 football pitches.

 

I just added a compressor and an Octave.

 

I'm not up on Laney amps. It wasn't one of the new Digbeth ones. I think it was a 1x12 with the controls on top with a bit of a semi parametric and some other stuff going on.

It could have been anywhere from 100W to 250W for all I know. Didn't matter. All it was doing was the tone creation. The PA did the hard work.

 

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40 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

I used a little Laney combo on Sunday. On stage volume was fine, and the PA did the rest.

It was loud enough to be heard across a big village sports field that was about the size of 3 or 4 football pitches.

 

I just added a compressor and an Octave.

 

I'm not up on Laney amps. It wasn't one of the new Digbeth ones. I think it was a 1x12 with the controls on top with a bit of a semi parametric and some other stuff going on.

It could have been anywhere from 100W to 250W for all I know. Didn't matter. All it was doing was the tone creation. The PA did the hard work.

 

I would struggle to get over the drummer with a small amp ! 

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