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Author Topic: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?  (Read 16343 times)

John Simeon

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Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« on: September 11, 2013, 12:58:50 am »

Our place is switching out to in ears.  Caging the drums...ect.   The problem we were having was too much stage volume with no control.  So we are in the process of transition.  This last Sunday, bass was a little out of hand.  We are all thinking of cutting the bass amp and running through the system.  We currently have a B-52 (waiting for upgrade) sub on left center stage, and a 4-10 cab on left side.   
I am willing to eliminate amp, but my thoughts were to wait until we balanced out other side with another sub.  I also talked to the guitar player about his amp.  He just about freaked when I told him no amp.  So I am looking at ways around it.   Thoughts?
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 01:58:23 am »

I've been taking a before amp DI feed from the bass for a while now and it sounds great (better, IMO, than the old Peavey bass amp we have). We still keep the amp on stage for monitoring purposes but its kept turned down with our mains(some 15+horn JBL Mpros in a very small church ) providing most of the house sound. It sounds better than it did with just the amp cranked and I now have direct volume control from FOH. With in ears I'd say ditch the amp(we would if we had in ears or decent wedges) or at the very least make the player keep it turned down. That's assuming there's enough rig to handle the bass.

Edit:
As far as the guitar goes we have our player's amp mic'd on stage serving as his monitor (aimed at his ear and across stage). If you keep the amp aimed across stage the spill into the house won't be too bad; personally I'd rather have no amps on stage but guitar players tend to think they are important to their sound. If they can keep the volume reasonable I would let them keep the amp, you can always use the "if you don't keep it turned down we'll take it off the stage" threat. It tends to work well. ;)

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« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 02:06:17 am by Tommy Peel »
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 09:33:52 am »

Our place is switching out to in ears.  Caging the drums...ect.   The problem we were having was too much stage volume with no control.  So we are in the process of transition.  This last Sunday, bass was a little out of hand.  We are all thinking of cutting the bass amp and running through the system.  We currently have a B-52 (waiting for upgrade) sub on left center stage, and a 4-10 cab on left side.   
I am willing to eliminate amp, but my thoughts were to wait until we balanced out other side with another sub.  I also talked to the guitar player about his amp.  He just about freaked when I told him no amp.  So I am looking at ways around it.   Thoughts?
Reducing stage volume is second only to band talent in terms of factors that affect sound quality.

You need to tread carefully here, though.

Most of the time, the bass amp doesn't add significant color to the bass tone, and is simply a monitor.  If you can recreate an adequate monitoring system, that one shouldn't be too tough.  We've built a platform with a pair of buttkickers wired in series that the bass player stands on to bring back some of the feel.  It works great.

The electric guitar amp is another story.  Most of the time, the amp is as much a part of the sound as the guitar itself, and just removing it and plugging the guitar direct into the system isn't going to cut it.  It is possible to get great tone without a guitar amp via an amp simulator, but this takes a lot of time and patience to do.  You may be better off trying to re-point the amp, or putting it in a closet so you still keep the tone, but the noise is more managed.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 11:24:12 am »

I also talked to the guitar player about his amp.  He just about freaked when I told him no amp.
Was that because they are worried about being able to get the desired tone or about being able to hear themselves or about their not having control?  If it is the latter then that may be part of the very problem you are trying to address while if it is about hearing themselves then that should be resolved via the IEMs.  If it is about the tone or sound of their instrument then there may be a number of options from simply using a smaller amp and/or locating and aiming it so that they hear more of it and the audience less to amp/cabinet simulators to isolation cabinets.
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Dave Rickard

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 11:49:47 am »

If its a combo amp, try moving the guitar amp in front of the player, pointed up like a monitor. Our stage volume dropped and the guitarist can hear what he needs.
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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 12:46:06 pm »

I also talked to the guitar player about his amp.  He just about freaked when I told him no amp.  So I am looking at ways around it.   Thoughts?

My thoughts?

Try discussing it, treating it as a cooperative effort instead of "telling him".  If you told me without asking my opinion first, I'd probably give you a strong reaction, too.

This is a people problem as much as a technical problem, probably more so.

Here's your big chance for personal growth and learning how to build consensus.   
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Matt Edmonds

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 02:41:56 pm »

Repositioning is probably the best start. And if you can reposition his amp, I really like the Palmer PDI-09 as a way to get the signal to the board. Won't do anything to drop the volume but sounds really good and will start to get him use to a more direct sound.

And if he's open to it, the tech 21 character series pedals are cool amp replacement pedals. Add a little reverb for a room feel and they sound really nice.

Overall going to in-ears can take a bit for everyone to get used to. They are great if done right. Not so great if done poorly.
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Mark Turner

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 03:15:47 pm »

We run an amp simulator for bass (a Behringer V-Amp in our case) and while it's a low end unit, it sounds good enough and only one of our bass players refuses to use it.  His reason is partially tone but also the interaction between the onstage speaker and the instrument itself.  He happens to be our best bass player so we just talked about stage volume issues and he has reduced volume, turned the monitor, etc. to at least reduce the problem.

For guitars, our issue with players wanting amps on stage was mainly driven by tone (I train our sound ops but also play guitar in one of the praise teams so I get the tone argument). I currently use a split head/cab with the cab located offstage and mic'd.  We're all on in-ears so monitoring is not as much of an issue (though it does make the band completely dependent on monitoring).  This way I get the best of all worlds: my amp head is close to my pedalboard, I can still switch amp channels, I can put the amp volume where I want it, and the sound op has full control over volume). The only thing I lose is the tingle up my spine when I hit power chords :).

For combos, you could either put the amp in an isolation box (cooling can be a problem though) or extend the guitar run thru a Radial SGI and put the combo off-stage. That'll work as long as the guitarist doesn't need to tweak amp settings during a set.

We have several guitar players who use amp simulators (I used Line 6 for many years) and they sound pretty good too but you'll freak out a lot guitar players with this option (though not as badly as drummers freak out when you mention electronic drums).

Mark
   

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Jason Lucas

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 03:21:07 pm »

We used to have a bass amp on stage, but the bass players were turning it up so high I had to pull the bass out of the mains, and it was still too loud. So finally we ditched the amp and now the bass player stands next to the sub and monitors that way. It's certainly not ideal, but it helped a lot out in the house.

We still have guitar amps on stage. I want to get them off as soon as possible, but the band is waiting until we can afford good IEMs. We have the amps pointing up at the guitar players and ask them to turn down as much as they can while still hearing themselves, but it can still get out of hand at times. I find myself very rarely actually putting guitars in the mains.

Drums used to be an issue too, but over time our drummers improved their dynamics and we've gotten the drum stage volume to be lower than the guitar amps.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 03:25:57 pm by Jason Lucas »
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Matthew Donadio

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 06:33:07 pm »

Try discussing it, treating it as a cooperative effort instead of "telling him".  If you told me without asking my opinion first, I'd probably give you a strong reaction, too.

This is a people problem as much as a technical problem, probably more so.

Ditto.  We had a huge problem with this until I began going to rehearsals and started to work with them.  Have the band leader sit in a sweet spot in the room and have the players adjust amps up/down until the balance is right, and the volume is decent.  Work hard on getting a great monitor mix.  If you do a really good job with these, you may just need a little of the instruments in the mains.

Once you build a relationship with them, and they realize you are trying to help them sound better, then they will start to trust comments you give them.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 06:33:07 pm »


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