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Amp placement (no monitors)

GloryJones

Member
Messages
857
not sure if this is the right place to post, but thought I'd give it a go.

I play in a 4 piece band playing mostly small clubs. Drums, keys/vocals, bass, and lead guitar (me). A lot of the stages we play are quite small. We do not normally have monitors and run our own sound. These are quiet shows, where I play my DRRI ON 2.5-3.

What is the best placement for my amp? I don't really like pointing it directly at my head but I also don't like it when it's sitting on the ground. I don't want to be overpowering to the audience either.

Any thoughts? Thanks!
 
Messages
7,234
Amp stand, or up on a chair maybe? It can be difficult to balance the levels when you're very close in front of the amp and the sound is coming out down by your knees. Getting it a little higher should help some.
 

BMX

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,711
The most important knob is the treble knob in these situations. You will get away with a lot more volume if you turn the treble down. Use the bridge pickup, turn the treble down and you'll sit well in the mix. When the audience or sound guy gives you the look it's usually from Treble frequencies aimed at their head.
 

GloryJones

Member
Messages
857
Amp stand, or up on a chair maybe? It can be difficult to balance the levels when you're very close in front of the amp and the sound is coming out down by your knees. Getting it a little higher should help some.
I'll look into an amp stand. Is that going to be blasting the audience though? Is an amp stand better than a tilt back stand/tilt back legs?
The most important knob is the treble knob in these situations. You will get away with a lot more volume if you turn the treble down. Use the bridge pickup, turn the treble down and you'll sit well in the mix. When the audience or sound guy gives you the look it's usually from Treble frequencies aimed at their head.
Interesting, did not realize the treble made such a difference. My sound is not terribly terble-y, but I will consider this as well.
 

rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,078
Turn it around and put it up against the wall. Won't laser beam anyone and the sound disperses and becomes really full in the room.
 

B Money

Member
Messages
6,001
I agree with rollyfoster, either turn it around and aim it at the backwall, or set it up on the side of the stage firing across stage rather than out into the audience. This works surprisingly well, if you are running some guitar in FOH
 

Banditt

Member
Messages
1,169
3 agrees on turning it to face the back wall. We all want the audience to see our cool amp, but this is really the best way to disperse your sound..
 

handtrix

Member
Messages
2,360
If you needed to hear yourself then yes, amp stands do the job. You would think they act as a floor monitor, but a floor monitor is designed differently, and has different freq's. The monitor sits and is "coupled" to the ground.
If you have a closed-back style, then the "throw" of the amp is different. Then, using a clear plexiglass shield you can actually turn up without the laser beam affect (beam-blockers for speakers are available too). Aurelex amp bases are good for closed-backs that could use a little more "oomph" in the punch.
If you have an open-back, your chances of being heard and most of all (IMHO) is to cut through the mix
(and not loose any frequencies that I would demand of my [invested] setup).
One thing to do if you do not have any amp accessories, would be to face the amp towards the wall and the the sound bounce off the walls to fill up the room. Your amp is bot on a stand and is coupled to the floor where your bass freq's hide.
Another option for open-back combo's would be to incorporate an amp "Enhancer". This is a bulky product, but does exactly what it claims. Taking the sound (and frequencies) from the open-back and re-directing them to the front. I designed one to fit my amp so if you had a 2x12 it can be inexpensively done if you feel like Tool-time Tim... There are many "tilting" amp accessories available, so look around to see was meets your criteria.
These are pretty good options to the plain-jane norm, and I've used them with much success when it was called for & of course, YMMV
 

GloryJones

Member
Messages
857
I just looked into the beam blockers. Seems like a good idea for my amps.

No guitar is in the monitor. We usually don't have monitors available anyway. Would running the amp facing across the stage (or tilted back facing across the stage) be a decent option? I want to be able to hear myself as well.

Any substitute for beam blockers that I can do / make at home? Please let me know!

Thank you.
 

nomadh

Member
Messages
1,298
I use an amp stand that's about 2 to 3 ft off the ground and aimed up at about 20 degrees. I aim it about about halfway between at the audience and being sideways so my band gets the wash of it. That way they get some effect of it as a monitor. The angle up helps with too much treble at the crowd but helps me catch some of it.
My stages can be so small that my problem I'm told is I can get a big difference as i move around a bit and get in front of my sound too much I can muffle it.
I have a question about the people saying aim at the wall. In an open back amp don't you mostly just get a half assed 180° out of phase sound?
Also my stage is so bunched up I'm afraid the sound would just get trapped in the corner
 

Benny

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,352
I prefer using the tilt-back legs on the larger Fenders in this kind of scenario, but since I don't think they come stock on a DRRI, I'd try the other options in this thread before running down and installing some short legs on your amp.
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,763
I like to tilt my amp a few degrees but keep it close to the ground. The closer I am to the amp, the more I tilt it, if I'm right on the amp, it's almost facing straight up.
 

gennation

Member
Messages
7,924
Are you mic'ing it do you need it to project to the crowd and stage mix?

Golden rules for either...

If you're mic'ing it, you want it off to your side directly in your ear if possible, at least not pointing at the front of stage. Place it to the side, either at ear level or on a stand pointing up at your ear is ALWAYS the best. You want it in your ear if you can. It helps the stage volume immensely and allows you to either get above everyone or blend in without affecting everyone else on stage sound preferences.

If you're not mic'ing it, again put it on a stand but put it right behind you. This way the sound gets to travel more out to the crowd's ear-level rather than straight out and to the floor if you put it on a chair or worse the floor. Think of a megaphone straight out as opposed to tilted up a bit, you'll get the idea.

With a combo, always always always put it on a stand or up high, not on a chair. Your ass and the front of the stage doesn't need to hear it, you do and the crowd does (or might not if it's it's mic'ed).

I have about three amp stands, two of the normal ones people are familiar with but the one I like the best is on the floor. I really helps project where the amp is near or far since it's lower and the sound spreads out more. This one...I would still use it even if you're using a DR with amp legs...the legs doesn't allow the amp to get off the floor, this little stand will.

 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,485
A DR can be quite loud on 3. I tilt mine back so I can hear myself and thus keep from being too loud. An Amp stand may make it worse. I like the coupling with the floor when it's tilted, still good bass response, but readily heard. I don't know how you do it without monitors for vocals though.
I often use a plexiglass shield I made at smaller venues. It's kind of L shaped ,one leg goes under the amp, the other in front of the speaker maybe 6" most from it. It's only a little wider than the speaker itself, allowing sound to come out well. Kind of a beam blocker without the boxi-ness of a surround.
 

Shiny_Beast

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,897
I like getting up high re my current avatar. I also like putting it as far back as I can, preferably against the back wall, but some stages that's not a possibility. Tilt as required.
 

GloryJones

Member
Messages
857
A DR can be quite loud on 3. I tilt mine back so I can hear myself and thus keep from being too loud. An Amp stand may make it worse. I like the coupling with the floor when it's tilted, still good bass response, but readily heard. I don't know how you do it without monitors for vocals though.
I often use a plexiglass shield I made at smaller venues. It's kind of L shaped ,one leg goes under the amp, the other in front of the speaker maybe 6" most from it. It's only a little wider than the speaker itself, allowing sound to come out well. Kind of a beam blocker without the boxi-ness of a surround.
We run the speakers behind us whenever we can. Can you post a pic of the shield? I'd like to make one.

I think a tilt back stand will work well for me.
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,485
Don't have a pic right now , but here is what it is: (should read "clamp to table with plexi overhanging at the bend")
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,485
We run the speakers behind us whenever we can. Can you post a pic of the shield? I'd like to make one.

I think a tilt back stand will work well for me.
Yeah, at some duo gigs I just run the two vocal mains behind us and crossed and it works well.
 

Laurence

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,220
I have a stand, but don't use it for electric guitar. I actually bought it for very small gigs where we'll use an acoustic guitar amp for a vocal PA. Pushing the vocals up to, or over, our heads is very useful. When I have room I run my guitar amp pointed across the stage like a side fill, otherwise it's behind me on the floor. Just try to get a chance to listen directly from the speaker cone so you can judge treble content (as in, too much treble - it's easy to do).
 






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