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Author Topic: bass guitar in stage monitors  (Read 9116 times)

David Parker

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bass guitar in stage monitors
« on: January 28, 2012, 10:29:10 am »

I have always hated when the bassist or asks for bass guitar in his wedge, all the while he's standing in front of an 8-10 cab. First, for him to hear the bass in the wedge, the wedge has to be at LEAST as loud as the 8-10 cab. Then, I wonder, what about nulls this creates on stage. I know that having bass come from two sources always creates nulls in the room, but what about onstage. Would there not be certain places onstage where there would be no bass with bass guitar coming from the bass rig AND monitors? What if the bassist is unknowingly standing in this null? Then there's the problem with monitor wash in small venues. Just because that wedge is aimed at the bassist doesn't mean that ALL the frequencies stay onstage. I've had nights where the bass guitar sounded really crappy in the room, then when I cut  it back in the monitors, the room sound cleaned up.
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2012, 11:24:25 am »

I have always hated when the bassist or asks for bass guitar in his wedge, all the while he's standing in front of an 8-10 cab. First, for him to hear the bass in the wedge, the wedge has to be at LEAST as loud as the 8-10 cab. Then, I wonder, what about nulls this creates on stage. I know that having bass come from two sources always creates nulls in the room, but what about onstage. Would there not be certain places onstage where there would be no bass with bass guitar coming from the bass rig AND monitors? What if the bassist is unknowingly standing in this null? Then there's the problem with monitor wash in small venues. Just because that wedge is aimed at the bassist doesn't mean that ALL the frequencies stay onstage. I've had nights where the bass guitar sounded really crappy in the room, then when I cut  it back in the monitors, the room sound cleaned up.
I don't think the null(s) would be broadband, or at least not enough for complete cancellation.  I think the higher MF and HF transients and harmonics would still come through, though maybe at a lower SPL.  Maybe the bassist can get a shaker plate to stand on and try out some IEMs?  The other thing I tend to do is keep the LF out of the monitors and let the bass stack deal with that (if it's up to the task).  Monitor mixes are for keeping track of things and I feel that clarity above all else is key to that happening consistently.  If they really want "more me", you need to find a way to give it to them without letting "them" overpower everyone else.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 11:28:03 am by Jordan Wolf »
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Re: bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2012, 11:29:02 am »

Admittedly, I don't deal with rock bands very often.....maybe 8-10 times a year.  My policy is "no bass in the wedges".  I have the luxury of being able to say that.  Like you, I feel it's ridiculous and muddies up the room sound.  How do you be diplomatic and not piss them off too bad?  I don't know.

My vote is the positional, non-technical solution if at all possible.
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David Parker

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Re: bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2012, 12:17:00 pm »

Admittedly, I don't deal with rock bands very often.....maybe 8-10 times a year.  My policy is "no bass in the wedges".  I have the luxury of being able to say that.  Like you, I feel it's ridiculous and muddies up the room sound.  How do you be diplomatic and not piss them off too bad?  I don't know.

My vote is the positional, non-technical solution if at all possible.

the one band I have the most trouble with has two guys who switch off on bass depending on the song, so that puts them in a different position with regards to the bass amp onstage. One of them already wears inears, but still wants a wedge. It's hard to get them to realize that you can't just keep adding to the wedges and keep them audible.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2012, 12:35:56 pm »

the one band I have the most trouble with has two guys who switch off on bass depending on the song, so that puts them in a different position with regards to the bass amp onstage. One of them already wears inears, but still wants a wedge. It's hard to get them to realize that you can't just keep adding to the wedges and keep them audible.

Sometimes I feel like the prophet of the 800.

It is a loosely held secret (not really) that a boost around 800hz on the bass will bring out the forward edge of the note, which makes it easier to hear in the mix and is better suited to listen for for timing in the band than the longer "bloom" of the fundamental/first harmonic of the note.

On any number of occasions, I had bands going back and forth with the "too much bass"/"not enough bass" with the smaller of changes, suddenly all become happy at a lower overall level with a nice 800hz boost. I also frequently use this when there is no amp on stage and all the bass has to be in the wedges, and has to be clear on stage over the FOH subs.
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Steve Hurt

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Re: bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 01:09:34 pm »

Sometimes I feel like the prophet of the 800.

It is a loosely held secret (not really) that a boost around 800hz on the bass will bring out the forward edge of the note, which makes it easier to hear in the mix and is better suited to listen for for timing in the band than the longer "bloom" of the fundamental/first harmonic of the note.

On any number of occasions, I had bands going back and forth with the "too much bass"/"not enough bass" with the smaller of changes, suddenly all become happy at a lower overall level with a nice 800hz boost. I also frequently use this when there is no amp on stage and all the bass has to be in the wedges, and has to be clear on stage over the FOH subs.


Trying this tonight.
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kristianjohnsen

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Re: bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 07:37:47 am »

I have always hated when the bassist or asks for bass guitar in his wedge, all the while he's standing in front of an 8-10 cab. First, for him to hear the bass in the wedge, the wedge has to be at LEAST as loud as the 8-10 cab. Then, I wonder, what about nulls this creates on stage. I know that having bass come from two sources always creates nulls in the room, but what about onstage. Would there not be certain places onstage where there would be no bass with bass guitar coming from the bass rig AND monitors? What if the bassist is unknowingly standing in this null? Then there's the problem with monitor wash in small venues. Just because that wedge is aimed at the bassist doesn't mean that ALL the frequencies stay onstage. I've had nights where the bass guitar sounded really crappy in the room, then when I cut  it back in the monitors, the room sound cleaned up.

Hello.

I'd say that if the nulls were really that much of an issue, you'd already have this issue vetween the mains/subs and the bass amp.

If the wedges are kinda smallish and the bass player wants bass in his monitor, one trick is to have a 120ish HPF ready on the bass monitor output, and simultaneously engage that as you first bring up the bass.  Many people woundn't even distinguish that such a filter was engaged amidst so many other sources that reproduce LF in the vicinity, especially when focus is shifted by the bass sounding clearer to him/her.





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brian maddox

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Re: bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 08:10:28 pm »

Sometimes I feel like the prophet of the 800.

It is a loosely held secret (not really) that a boost around 800hz on the bass will bring out the forward edge of the note, which makes it easier to hear in the mix and is better suited to listen for for timing in the band than the longer "bloom" of the fundamental/first harmonic of the note.


thank you, oh Great and Mighty Prophet.  for you have spoken words that this poor traveller has never heard, though i've walked many a mile searching for answers to the eternal audio questions.

seriously.  never heard this one before.  cool trick.  it's going in my toolbox.  thanks.
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Rob Spence

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bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2012, 09:58:28 pm »

My policy is making the band happy. I have a low but hollow stage on Sundays and sometimes I need the bass player to turn down his amp. The solution often is to give him a 15" wedge with his bass in it aimed at his ears and not at the house.
Other times not so much.
Tonight the bassist is playing at a nice level so I can get a nice house mix.
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David Parker

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Re: bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2012, 10:17:13 pm »

My policy is making the band happy. I have a low but hollow stage on Sundays and sometimes I need the bass player to turn down his amp. The solution often is to give him a 15" wedge with his bass in it aimed at his ears and not at the house.
Other times not so much.
Tonight the bassist is playing at a nice level so I can get a nice house mix.

It is always my policy to keep the band happy. That's why I have a lot more work than I can cover. The problem is, quite often what the band asks for is not what they need. That's where it all gets sticky.

On my day job, as a refinery machinist, we have a saying. "Give them what they ask for first, then give them what they want". Happens all the time, someone asks for something, you give it to them, then they realize that what they asked for was not what they wanted.
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Re: bass guitar in stage monitors
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2012, 10:17:13 pm »


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