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Author Topic: guitar amps on stage  (Read 12516 times)

Doyle Smith

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guitar amps on stage
« on: January 20, 2011, 11:06:21 am »

When our guitar amps are onstage (and our stages are small little "bar" stages) directly behind the vocal mics and are usually turned up LOUD, there is a lot of bleed into the vocal mics.  The amps themselves are usually mic'ed and mixed on their own inputs into the PA.  Is there a downside into putting the guitar mics in front of the player facing him in the null of the vocal mic? Does the open back amp cabinet create significant phase cancellation for the FOH?  

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Scott Middleton

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 11:20:05 am »

It often helps to aim the gtr amps across the stage, instead of facing forward.  Tilting the cabs back at an angle helps as well.
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Patrick Campbell

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 11:28:39 am »

Side wash is good _ I usually ask guys to do that.

One band that I work with all the time and have 'em on IEM's, if the guitar player wants his old Fender real loud,I turn it around and place a foam-lined rack cover in front grill and place a cloud nine cover over the back if it is open back -  then he can let it rip and it acts as an ISO cabinet - I have done this bands that are on my wedges too, and although the guitarist was not real excited about the stage mix, the FOH was excellent and all his crowd let him know how good they sounded awesome.

I, myself, play an old Marshall half stack and do the turn around thing and foam lined case - keep my guitar in my IEM's and I am all good no matter where I go -

My .02






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Loren Aguey

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 11:42:45 am »

Doyle Smith wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 08:06

When our guitar amps are onstage (and our stages are small little "bar" stages) directly behind the vocal mics and are usually turned up LOUD, there is a lot of bleed into the vocal mics.  The amps themselves are usually mic'ed and mixed on their own inputs into the PA.  Is there a downside into putting the guitar mics in front of the player facing him in the null of the vocal mic? Does the open back amp cabinet create significant phase cancellation for the FOH?  




For starters if you're playing small stages you can turn the amps down.

Barring that side washing the amps so they're shooting across the stage and not towards the vocal mics is also very helpful. Some bands also turn their amps around so they're shooting against the back wall. I'm always a big fan of this.

Usually after that they will need guitar in the monitors which is fine.

I'm not sure whether any phase cancellation that would occur from the open back of the amp facing FOH would be significant enough to be noticeable. When I've had bands turn cabs toward the wall they were usually closed back.

Perhaps someone else could chime in on that.



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Art Welter

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 12:11:50 pm »

Doyle Smith wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 09:06

When our guitar amps are onstage (and our stages are small little "bar" stages) directly behind the vocal mics and are usually turned up LOUD, there is a lot of bleed into the vocal mics.  The amps themselves are usually mic'ed and mixed on their own inputs into the PA.  Is there a downside into putting the guitar mics in front of the player facing him in the null of the vocal mic? Does the open back amp cabinet create significant phase cancellation for the FOH?  



Phase cancellation will occur in any miced cabinet/PA combination, and will vary with every position in the house. The closer the two are in level, the greater the problem.

If you find phase cancellation a problem with the guitar cabinet located in front pointed back, you can put the microphone on the back of the speaker, or use a polarity flip cord, or switch if the board has one.

The downside of guitar amps placed like floor monitors is the same as floor monitors, the extra reflective path length (bouncing off the upstage wall and ceiling) of the output is delayed in relation to the mains output, causing phase and reverberant "mud".
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jeff harrell

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 05:59:10 pm »

it would seem you would get some cancelation but i would try it.
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Loren Aguey

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 06:06:33 pm »

jeff harrell wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 14:59

 i never let a guy with a peavy in the band ! Shocked shocking !!!


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jeff harrell

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 06:56:08 pm »

that was going to be a joke but i edited it out but not fast enough ! i'm from jackson,ms. and knew a couple if guys that worekd at peavy back in the late 70's and they love their fender twins and hated peavy and well thats why i edited my post i didnt think i could word it tp be read as a joke. BUT i just might let a peavy in the band. But i would never let another drummer set in if he plays zlidjain cymbals! Shocked peavy bought Crest amps about 10 years ago and crest is a good amp but i ONLY use Colgate with cavity protection !
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Tim Padrick

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 01:25:22 am »

Putting open back amps in front of the players is fine, so long as you don't mind that the folks in the front rows can't hear anything but guitar.

Frederik Rosenkjær

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 09:05:19 am »

Tim Padrick wrote on Sat, 22 January 2011 06:25

Putting open back amps in front of the players is fine, so long as you don't mind that the folks in the front rows can't hear anything but guitar.


I guess the optimal placement would be flying the guitarcab from the front truss aimed down at guitarist Smile
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Art Welter

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 02:07:24 pm »

Tim Padrick wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 23:25

Putting open back amps in front of the players is fine, so long as you don't mind that the folks in the front rows can't hear anything but guitar.

We are talking about small stages here, I'd rather be four feet from the back of an open back speaker than 10 feet from one beaming directly in my face. Most of the 2-4K icepick comes off the center of the cone.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2011, 03:44:23 pm »

Art Welter wrote on Sat, 22 January 2011 13:07

Tim Padrick wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 23:25

Putting open back amps in front of the players is fine, so long as you don't mind that the folks in the front rows can't hear anything but guitar.

We are talking about small stages here, I'd rather be four feet from the back of an open back speaker than 10 feet from one beaming directly in my face. Most of the 2-4K icepick comes off the center of the cone.


You make a valid point.  I think either would make for a less than fun night though.

Ned Ward

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 01:10:55 am »

Doyle Smith wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 08:06

When our guitar amps are onstage (and our stages are small little "bar" stages) directly behind the vocal mics and are usually turned up LOUD, there is a lot of bleed into the vocal mics.  The amps themselves are usually mic'ed and mixed on their own inputs into the PA.  Is there a downside into putting the guitar mics in front of the player facing him in the null of the vocal mic? Does the open back amp cabinet create significant phase cancellation for the FOH?  



Since no one has asked, what guitar amps are you talking about, and if they're mic'd into the PA, why do they need to be so loud?

I have a Mini Z, Princeton, princeton Reverb, and a Bandmaster, amps ranging from 5 to 40 watts. Each has its place based on the size stage, how much is running through the PA. Even the Bandmaster has a Dr. Z BrakeLite attenuator to lower its volume while still getting power tube goodness.

Turn your amps down, or get an amp tilter so that you're not blasting the amps into your ankles.
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Ben Brunskill

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 04:37:26 pm »

As a guitarist, I always shoot my amp sideways across stage, aiming away from any microphones that could pick up bleed.
And I run it a a low volume, and rely on IEM's for monitoring.

That way, it can be loud in my head, but there's no or very little bleed.
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Joe Brugnoni

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 10:39:47 am »

I have been in bands that have done all the methods mentioned above,  I always liked the Small amp leaned back on the front of the stage the best.

we had two guitar players in a band a while back and tried the side fill amp, It worked ok except the volume was a lot higher as the guitar players, where hearing the other guys amp better than their own, so with two, you may need to raise them up closer to ear level or place the amps on the opposite end of the stage from the guitar player it belongs to. So they can hear it.

I was doing sound at a venue in KC and we had some baffles to place in front of the amps, they where made out of some kind of carpet and plywood. I do not think plexglas will do as well as these do.

 I found if I used these and placed them out in front of the amp, a couple of really nice things happened.

One, it killed the blast zone right out in front.

Two the guitar players liked it, with this baffle placed 12 to 24 inches in front of the amp, they could hear it, it did not effect the tone much and in some cases they could turn up a bit.

Three  I also found that I could move the mic away from the amp and in the case of a combo with two speakers I could sort of capture both speakers and the mic was kind of isolated from other things and did not seem to pick up much stage wash from drums or other things,
I do not  like amps leaned back at the rear of the stage as it seems, they are always aimed right into a vocal mic.

Most of these are combo amps.  
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Mikhail Fassakhov

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Re: guitar amps on stage
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2011, 01:56:32 am »

Try to raise the amp, or tilt it, so it is pointing at your ears.
There's nothing wrong with a little bleed coming into your vocal mix, but the reverb from a turned around guitar amp can ruin the sound in the small club.
There's a general idea of stage volume, that I try to get with bands- starts with a drummer, because he is usually the loudest one, then add the volume of guitar amp to the point where both of you hear what's going on, add a bass amp with the same idea, and then ask for the vocals in the wedges- done! At this time you should be getting a decent mix coming out from the stage, and the only job the soundguy has is not to ruin it!
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