• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Running Bass Into the Live Mix

dughaze

Member
Messages
999
We are a two guitar, bass, and drums setup live. Our PA out front consists of two Yorkville NX550P's. I've been able to get by without putting the bass and just a little of the drums into the mix. We have to turn the bass up so loud on stage to get the bass out front that our stage volume is too loud and we really need to put the bass into the front mix and turn it down a little on stage. I know I need a sub or two, always need more gear of course, but don't have one for our next couple gigs, but I want to put some bass into our two mains. Can I get by at small and medium gigs doing this without harming the NX550P mains? Would you do it? Just don't push the volumes into the two mains too much? Thanks for any help guys...
 

sants

Member
Messages
2,440
Absolutely and you should be doing this. Your PA is meant to spread and direct sound and will do a much better job than a bass cab blasting away on stage. You main concern should be getting the bass clearly heard out of your PA.

Too many sound people and bands go for boomy bass and you often hear no definition from the tops and its primarily from the subs. One thing you can do is roll the bottom end off the bass channel to take the strain off the tops if needed.

This is one of the main reasons I prefer running aux fed subs, I can get my mix sounding how I want in the mains and then bring the subs in to taste without being overbearing. Different topic for a different day but on your scale, use the bass amp for stage monitoring and let the Pa do some work spreading the sound. If you really need to push things and the the tops would start clipping, roll some bottom end off the bass channel and ease the load on the speakers. You can always crank the bass amp to act a pseudo sub but by all means, use the tops to your advantage.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,205
Can I get by at small and medium gigs doing this without harming the NX550P mains? Would you do it? Just don't push the volumes into the two mains too much?
Impossible to say.

It totally depends.

Are you playing aggressive rock and metal? Or are you playing more jazz combo or tamer music?
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,205
Too many sound people and bands go for boomy bass and you often hear no definition from the tops and its primarily from the subs

Thank you. I was going to go into that whole diatribe and I'm just glad to see that someone out there agrees.
 

dughaze

Member
Messages
999
Impossible to say.

It totally depends.

Are you playing aggressive rock and metal? Or are you playing more jazz combo or tamer music?
[/QUOTE
Impossible to say.

It totally depends.

Are you playing aggressive rock and metal? Or are you playing more jazz combo or tamer music?
Good point. From The Rolling Stones to a little grunge... Just thought about that I have one more 550P I can put out there, there would be 3 of them to share the "load".
 
Last edited:

dughaze

Member
Messages
999
Absolutely and you should be doing this. Your PA is meant to spread and direct sound and will do a much better job than a bass cab blasting away on stage. You main concern should be getting the bass clearly heard out of your PA.

Too many sound people and bands go for boomy bass and you often hear no definition from the tops and its primarily from the subs. One thing you can do is roll the bottom end off the bass channel to take the strain off the tops if needed.

This is one of the main reasons I prefer running aux fed subs, I can get my mix sounding how I want in the mains and then bring the subs in to taste without being overbearing. Different topic for a different day but on your scale, use the bass amp for stage monitoring and let the Pa do some work spreading the sound. If you really need to push things and the the tops would start clipping, roll some bottom end off the bass channel and ease the load on the speakers. You can always crank the bass amp to act a pseudo sub but by all means, use the tops to your advantage.
Sold bro. I am doing it and I forgot I have a third 550P I can put out there. Your right, its time to do it and our ears will thank us. Well do it this weekend. We are outside but facing a giant wall that we cannot turn up too loud because of anyways. And we did sound good at this place last time and this should improve things.
 

Dave M

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,606
Good point. From The Rolling Stones to a little grunge...
Then I'd say make sure the bass (bass GTR, right?) source(s) has HPF engaged. Bass gtr, as we usually know/expect it does not (should not?) go through a sub. Save the sub for a little enhancement on the kick
(note to sound guys: put a HPF on keys too. Mmmm'kay? That sould also not pass into a sub, in most cases)


... Just thought about that I have one more 550P I can put out there, there would be 3 of them to share the "load".
That's venue dependent, not necessarily source (e.g.: Bass GTR) dependent.
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,018
I run into this a lot... I really should have subs and would but I simply have no way to move them. I've become an expert in "gear Tetris", packing my vehicle so everything fits, but I'm at the limit now. Our bass player owns subs and brings them when he's on our gig (and I reserve one AUX for subs), but there are times we have a substitute on bass, and I tend to worry about my mains getting too much bottom. A speaker meant for lows should have a lot of travel in them. I may be dead wrong worrying about it, but I'd much rather put kick and bass lows into a separate speaker meant for them.

I've also noticed that bass in mains can easily "mush up" everything else in some situations. It seems easier to get definition when the lows are out of the mains and into something designed for them.
 
Last edited:

dughaze

Member
Messages
999
It worked well running the bass into the Allen and Heath mixer and into the three Yorkville mains. Thanks! We had one brief hiccup though.

We were playing at a well known motorcycle dealer and at the end of our third set on a sunny afternoon a newly purchased and customized motorcycle slid into the right two speakers and took them out. I was almost hit and closest to all of this that I never saw or heard coming. We are a rock band so...the noise was masked by our sound as it all slid by me 10 feet away. I had just been in that spot seconds before listening out front with my wireless to the bass in the speakers. He was a little loud cuz he turned up, then BAM!

The driver was hurt but the reports are beyond some broken bones and bike parts - he will be okay.

Don't know about the gear till I check it but the dude is okay all I give a crap about. I pulled his broken leg(s) out from under his bike when some guys lifted the bike up. Some good people assisted from there and I went and I started,kind of slowly picking up, not worried about it, but I was done for now. The crowd liked us a lot and it was only an hour to go and the man was soon sort of getting medical help in an ambulance.

Wish everyone could get that, but not everyone does. There was some discussion about getting music going on the one remaining speaker while the man and speakers are laying there.

I said "really?". We are done. It was a great gig actually but people can be so goofy when anomalies happen.
 

sants

Member
Messages
2,440
I run into this a lot... I really should have subs and would but I simply have no way to move them. I've become an expert in "gear Tetris", packing my vehicle so everything fits, but I'm at the limit now. Our bass player owns subs and brings them when he's on our gig (and I reserve one AUX for subs), but there are times we have a substitute on bass, and I tend to worry about my mains getting too much bottom. A speaker meant for lows should have a lot of travel in them. I may be dead wrong worrying about it, but I'd much rather put kick and bass lows into a separate speaker meant for them.

I've also noticed that bass in mains can easily "mush up" everything else in some situations. It seems easier to get definition when the lows are out of the mains and into something designed for them.
Every instrument or channel should always
Go through your mains. The subs are meant to add extension beyond what your tops can handle. Just running kick and bass through the subs would be boomy and muddy. You want to replicate the full frequency range of the instrument and amplify it.

When eq’d and properly crossed over the bass should be clean and punchy with tight low end if you have a bass player that knows what a bass should sound like. Far too many guys go for a big bottom heavy sound that lacks pop and punch. More boom and mush, than anything. Sound really does start at the source.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom