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Author Topic: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?  (Read 16344 times)

John Simeon

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 10:18:21 pm »

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.   


Thanks Dick,
This is what we actually already are doing...working through this together.  Obviously it is a house problem, but it would be foolish to create another stage problem (like a disgruntled/gone musician).  The solution we have come up with now is
1. Cage the drums
2. Remove bass amp and go direct
3. Re access

Thanks all for your input!!
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Kent Thompson

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 02:04:21 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.
This works fine unless your subs and main are delayed. Then the bass player is always playing behind the beat. Occasionally our worship leader goes out into the congregation area during practice to hear everything. When he does he ends up singing slightly behind the beat due to this.
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 02:47:56 pm »

This works fine unless your subs and main are delayed. Then the bass player is always playing behind the beat. Occasionally our worship leader goes out into the congregation area during practice to hear everything. When he does he ends up singing slightly behind the beat due to this.

Wow yeah, I hadn't even considered that. Our sub isn't delayed so this isn't an issue for us.
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There are three things I hate: Harsh highs, hollow mids, and woofy bass.

Mac Kerr

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 03:12:40 pm »

Wow yeah, I hadn't even considered that. Our sub isn't delayed so this isn't an issue for us.

Every speaker in any system is delayed somewhere. The acoustic distance causes an arrival time offset of about 1ms per foot. When the pastor goes out in the house he is hearing the PA 50ms late if he is 50' from the speakers. The bass player will hear himself in the PA/Subs delayed by the distance he is from each of those speakers.

Mac
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 03:51:55 pm »

Every speaker in any system is delayed somewhere. The acoustic distance causes an arrival time offset of about 1ms per foot. When the pastor goes out in the house he is hearing the PA 50ms late if he is 50' from the speakers. The bass player will hear himself in the PA/Subs delayed by the distance he is from each of those speakers.

Mac

Yes it would have been more correct to say we haven't added any delay to the system using a processor, and any delay heard is from the physical locations of the speakers.
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There are three things I hate: Harsh highs, hollow mids, and woofy bass.

Luke Richison

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2013, 01:39:52 pm »

We made the switch to direct instruments and in ears a little over a year ago. In short, it was completely worth it. It will make your sound-tech's job easier, the FOH will sound better, and (most) of your musicians will grow to love in ears. The key is to have a good sound tech and band members who are willing to try it.

Going amp-less for guitars was our biggest gain. Zero stage noise made everything sound better. Convincing the guitarists was a stretch, but sacrificing tone for a better monitor and FOH mix is worth it. The quality and clarity we gained makes the sacrifice in tone seem small. If the guitarist is reluctant to ditch the amp, try out an iso-box or move it off-stage.

The bass amp was less of an issue. Because it's mostly low-frequency, removing the bass amp made a much less noticeable difference than the guitar amps. We did remove it, but we do have problems with his monitor - he purchased mid-ranged ears and the lows are not great.

We also caged the drum kit. This was our biggest snag. Our drummer ended up using earmuff style noise-cancelling headphones because he hated the caged sound so much. We've since gone to hand percussion mostly (djembe, cajon), but we're looking into an electric or hybrid kit (we're also moving into a new space). I've played a hybrid kit a few times, and my drummer agrees - it's better than playing in a cage. It's definitely not ideal - you loose the feel and ambiance of an acoustic kit. Opinions will vary on this one.
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2013, 01:57:48 pm »

We made the switch to direct instruments and in ears a little over a year ago. In short, it was completely worth it. It will make your sound-tech's job easier, the FOH will sound better, and (most) of your musicians will grow to love in ears. The key is to have a good sound tech and band members who are willing to try it.

Going amp-less for guitars was our biggest gain. Zero stage noise made everything sound better. Convincing the guitarists was a stretch, but sacrificing tone for a better monitor and FOH mix is worth it. The quality and clarity we gained makes the sacrifice in tone seem small. If the guitarist is reluctant to ditch the amp, try out an iso-box or move it off-stage.

The bass amp was less of an issue. Because it's mostly low-frequency, removing the bass amp made a much less noticeable difference than the guitar amps. We did remove it, but we do have problems with his monitor - he purchased mid-ranged ears and the lows are not great.

We also caged the drum kit. This was our biggest snag. Our drummer ended up using earmuff style noise-cancelling headphones because he hated the caged sound so much. We've since gone to hand percussion mostly (djembe, cajon), but we're looking into an electric or hybrid kit (we're also moving into a new space). I've played a hybrid kit a few times, and my drummer agrees - it's better than playing in a cage. It's definitely not ideal - you loose the feel and ambiance of an acoustic kit. Opinions will vary on this one.

Interesting, what is a "hybrid" kit?

Please tell me it's not an electronic kit with real snare and cymbals...
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There are three things I hate: Harsh highs, hollow mids, and woofy bass.

Luke Richison

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2013, 05:46:09 pm »

Interesting, what is a "hybrid" kit?

Please tell me it's not an electronic kit with real snare and cymbals...

A hybrid kit is an acoustic kit with electronic triggers. You can cut down the noise by adding mute pads or o-rings

I have also played a mixed acoustic / electric kit (acoustic snare & hi hat, everything else electric).
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Robert Sims

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2013, 01:02:19 pm »

John,
When working with live amps and using in ears, I'll put the amp in a tour case or box with a microphone offstage, preferably to another room. (might have to do a unbalanced to balanced conversion for the distance.) Guitar guys have worked a long time to get their sound based on their equipment, to suggest doing away with a component freaks them out. If they still don't like the idea of relocating the amp, then the issue they have is control. You can demonstrate the stage volume issues easily enough by pulling them out front. I've always found that the more skilled the musician the more flexible they are to setup changes, they rely less on equipment and more on their ability.

I prefer to use a bass amp over direct, there's some natural compression and audio processing that provides tones I like. There are bass amps that have a preamp out feed, so regardless of what's happen on the front volume of the amp it has no baring on the signal to the desk. You get the benefit of the processing prior to the amp stage. I rarely use a mic'd setup for bass.

Sometimes it'll get to the point where I have to explain that their contribution to the whole of the band sound, their position in the mix and what I'm doing with their instrument in the mix results in their finely tuned sound not playing as large of a factor in the mix as they would like to believe. Some of the  volunteer musicians are trying to achieve what they hear in their bedrooms without any of the other instruments. Amp modeling has come a long way and for the HOW type of music there is a lot of settings that work great.  Of course a lot of this assume that there is actual mixing and not blending going on at the FOH.

Speaking of hybrid kits, we used a hybrid drum kit on a Leon Russell tour back in the early 80's, triggering about 10 different drum machines creating an ugly mechanical composite sound. Back then sensors had about 3 levels dynamics. Think Carl Palmer sounding.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2013, 07:38:50 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?
I regularly work with a band that is all in ears and the bass player has no amp and the guitar amp or speaker is in a closed road case.
Plexi around drummer.
This works VERY well and no one complains about not having an  amp close to them.
FOH sound is very clean.
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Re: Eliminating bass and possibly guitar amp...yes/no?
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2013, 07:38:50 am »


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