The good advice thread to help your PA and band sound better.

MikeMcK

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,596
It doesn't look as cool, and makes higher wattage amp choices impractical.

I learned it from a local semi-pro. I've never wanted to work with any guitarist as much as I wanted to work with this guy.
I know a guy who does exactly this (miked amps in front, tilted back to point at the guitarist's head) and it's about the best live guitar sound I've heard in a while. Anthony Krizan had multiple (at least 2, maybe 3) vintage amps in front of him with drummer's plexi-shields between them and FOH. It couldn't have been too loud, because he was using the house wedges (no IEMs) as monitors and his singing was spot on.
 

sants

Supporting Member
Messages
2,217
Been seeing a few posts lately on built in WiFi and the need for an external router.

I would encourage anyone that is in need of a WiFi router to skip on the off the shelf home based stuff (even the Uber high priced) and look into enterprise/business class hardware. Better yet a wireless access point would be a solid option. You will get better performance for less money than these highly touted, high powered consumer routers

i have done hundreds of gigs over the last few years and while the home style WiFi routers worked well, they are not in the same class as enterprise/business class AP.

I have found much better overall range, zero lag, drops to be nearly non-existent, and just better overall experience.

I went with Ubiquiti Mesh AP for my latest setup and the software controller alone is worth it.
The setup may take a bit more to get going but once setup and adopted it really is a worthwhile move imo.

The other switch I made was running static ips. I can’t recommend this enough.

Again, this may sound daunting but it’s not and really worth while for someone looking to add external wireless. I wouldn’t necessarily run out and replace a good WiFi router that is working well for you, but going forward it’s totally worth a look. Power over Ethernet is also a beatiful things and lets you position your AP where needed.

In my rack, everything runs into a switch which is connected to the Ubiquiti AP; mixer, power amps, wireless. The cost was much less than Upper mid to high level consumer routers.
 
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1,241
drummers are notorious for barely touching their individual drums in sound check then beating them into submission on the down beat and the entire stage mix is screwed on the first song.

set your real-world all-in stage mix FIRST to get a baseline and then tweak the monitors. this will save so much time.
Not just drummers. I can't count the number of female vocalists I have worked with who sound check the monitors with a few spoken words low in their range, which has absolutely no relation to their actual volume when they open up their pipes to belt out an A5.
 
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1,241
13. Dear instrumentalists: See that box-shaped thing you plug into? That's called an amplifier, and it's like a stage monitor for your guitar, keyboard, etc. If you have one of these, you really shouldn't need to have any of your instrument coming through the monitors, simply point said amplifier in the direction of your ears (remember, your ears are in your head, not your legs). If you have multiple instruments, simply plug in the appropriate instrument when you need it, and adjust accordingly. The sound guy sets up all of the monitor mixes during sound check, and so if you're switching things around during the set, and that requires tweaks to the monitors, you're probably going to have to suffer through at least one song until you can somehow communicate what you need to the sound guy. With an amplifier, all of the controls are right there for YOU to tweak to your heart's content, on the fly, like magic! Monitor mixes are tricky because each element that gets added to the monitor mix makes it harder to hear the vocals, and of course: 1) the vocals don't have any other amplifier to rely on, and 2) the vocals are the most important element of the mix! You don't run vocals through your guitar amp, so please don't expect to run guitars through the vocal amp! (I get that big stages = big production = complex monitor mixes, but I'm talking about a dive bar with a monitor mix and a main mix)
I like what you've been writing here.

As a guitarist/vocalist who also occasionally runs sound, I have an alternate solution.

I run a "real" tube amp head, but I send its output to a loadbox/IR (Two Notes Torpedo Live), which then goes into a small submixer that collects my acoustic instruments. This give me multiple options that I can mix and match, depending on the venue:

1) Run a standard cabinet and send the line output from the Torpedo to FOH. Easy to set up, but I have moved away from this for all but very large stages. The big disadvanage is that I am totally reliant on the vocal monitors for the acoustic stuff, so not great for some gigs.

2) Take the output of the sub-mixer and run to one or two wedge monitors, then daisy-chain to FOH. This works great for small stages or any place volume is a constraint. Monitors are narrow-pattern wedges aimed at my face, so it's only as loud as I need it, and much quieter for everyone else. If I need more coverage onstage, I add the second monitor. I can also take the vocal monitor feed and mix it into my wedges, so I can run as little as one wedge total, while maintaining control over my mix and making it easier for the FOH guy. The rest of the band can get as much or as little of me as they want in their monitors.

3) Run both a cabinet and a wedge. The wedge can be side-aimed or front-stage facing back, and I can then run the cabinet at about half the volume I would for amp-only. Again, I can mix vocal monitors into the same wedge. Disadvantage here is balancing the amp feed with acoustic instruments, but the sound quality tends to be outstanding.

My final option is to use a modeller and run everything purely direct with wedges. Someday I'll find one that sounds as good as my Bogner.....maybe.....
 

stevesherbert

Member
Messages
60
I like what you've been writing here.

As a guitarist/vocalist who also occasionally runs sound, I have an alternate solution.

I run a "real" tube amp head, but I send its output to a loadbox/IR (Two Notes Torpedo Live), which then goes into a small submixer that collects my acoustic instruments. This give me multiple options that I can mix and match, depending on the venue:
I think the key here is that YOU take the responsibility for YOUR stage sound!

I can't believe the number of players (it's usually guitarists for some reason) who obsess about trivial things like guitar wood, patch cords, power amp tubes, but spend precisely 0 seconds thinking about their actual stage set up. But then, of course, when it's time for them to set their rig up onstage, it's the soundguy's fault for not knowing exactly how their rig works. I like to tell my band, "The soundguy's job is to take the signal you give him and make it louder. It's not their job to figure out how your guitar amp works. That's YOUR job."
 

ToneGrail

Member
Messages
1,658
14. Sound Engineers, some of us do appreciate the importance of low stage volume and sound reinforcement, are prepared to point amplifiers at our heads and are happy to use preamp gain and/or pedals to keep power amp volume down. Please therefore don't think we all want high volume power amp break up; and for goodness sakes spend some time on the monitor mix so we can all hear ourselves. Don't forget, you've got all night to tweak FOH so please make sure we don't have to spend an hour not hearing ourselves before we can beg you to sort out the monitor mix.
15. Musicians: take as much control over your monitor mix as possible. I use a Rolls PM50 and my own powered monitor and will never play another live gig without one. I don't even need a monitor mix since I have my own and can tweak it on the fly independently of the FOH.

I also use my amp like a monitor in the same fashion. My monitor mix is perfect every time no matter where I'm at. No surprises. Ever.
 

Me Again

Member
Messages
468
Respectfully disagree about the proximity; the reason bassplayers don’t hear themselves ime is that low frequencies take some distance to develop “volume”. A solution would be to position the amp further from the bassist but to be honest I never succeeded to convince even óne of them...
Giga
Wow. Well here's one bass player who absolutely agrees with you!
 

nickbruce

Member
Messages
131
^can we put that one to bed? it keeps coming back

the amp is loudest right at the speaker and energy is only lost as it dissipates outward
the longer wavelengths of low frequency sounds do not need distance to 'develop'
sound is a wave!. our ears detect changes in air pressure and interpret them as sound
our ears can't tell where in the wave's cycle we are

i have certainly experienced much too loud bass amps, with bassists seemingly unable to tell how loud they are ...
i'm usually inclined to blame typical rock n roll deafness
it seems to help to have bass tones with a lot of presence ... too easy to crank the muddy stuff in an effort to hear yourself
 
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stevesherbert

Member
Messages
60
^can we put that one to bed? it keeps coming back

the amp is loudest right at the speaker and energy is only lost as it dissipates outward
the longer wavelengths of low frequency sounds do not need distance to 'develop'
sound is a wave!. our ears detect changes in air pressure and interpret them as sound
our ears can't tell where in the wave's cycle we are

i have certainly experienced much too loud bass amps, with bassists seemingly unable to tell how loud they are ...
i'm usually inclined to blame typical rock n roll deafness
it seems to help to have bass tones with a lot of presence ... too easy to crank the muddy stuff in an effort to hear yourself
I wonder if the misconception about bass waves 'needing distance to develop' is based on the fact that most bass players never actually put their ears directly in front of their speaker(s), unless their amp happens to be on the other side of the room/stage. Usually, bass amps sit on the floor, and the bass player is somewhere near their amp, which means that there is virtually no sound going directly from the speaker to their ears.

Dear bass players: Your ears aren't in your legs, either! Get that amp up, off the floor and pointed at your ears for chrissake! It's not that the waves need to 'develop', it's that they have to hit your ears rather than your legs.
 

silentbob

Member
Messages
1,194
I haven't spent much time here in the last few years, but this is a fun topic. I've always considered myself a guitar player, but have built a PA for my bands and now get calls to provide sound for other bands. My two cents (pre-tax)

Too many musicians never learn to hear themselves in a mix and that leads to them having to hear themselves louder than everything else.

I love having a digital board, but I prefer my Presonus 24.4.2AI that has all the physical controls in addition to the remote options. I hate having to dig through menus or screens to fix something. Having all the outboard gear included without having to lug the rack is nice as well. Giving my guys, more like forcing, the ability to mix their own monitors and IEMs really solved the vast majority of the performance issues we had. It's amazing how many issues one guy with the problem described above, can create with your production.

IEMs are harder to mix, because you hear everything so clearly and directly. Using one or two crowd-facing mics really do help eliminate the isolated feeling you can get with them. A guitar player with bad habits turning up his amp instead of his monitor mix can screw up all of the monitor mixes at one.

I'm not a fan of the combo amp on a stand facing the player thing. I ran into that for the first time a couple weeks ago and found it both visually unappealing and a hassle. Having a wedge monitor, vocal microphone, amp stand, amp mic stand, vocal pedal board and guitar pedal board fighting for limited floor space while trying to change over bands was a pain in the ass. You then have all this stuff clustered around the guy at the front of the stage and a hole in the back line. It didn't help that the bass player and other guitar player were on the other side of the drums creating a very off balance look. A 609/906 would have saved the stand, but I don't generally use those.

Lower stage volume makes mixing FOH so much easier, but no stage volume is really disconcerting if the mains are spread too far apart and there is no center fill.
 

mixsit

Member
Messages
1,090
I wonder if the misconception about bass waves 'needing distance to develop' is based on the fact that most bass players never actually put their ears directly in front of their speaker(s), unless their amp happens to be on the other side of the room/stage. Usually, bass amps sit on the floor, and the bass player is somewhere near their amp, which means that there is virtually no sound going directly from the speaker to their ears.

Dear bass players: Your ears aren't in your legs, either! Get that amp up, off the floor and pointed at your ears for chrissake! It's not that the waves need to 'develop', it's that they have to hit your ears rather than your legs.
I agree 'bass waves 'needing distance to develop' is a misconception. On the other hand the lower end out of a cab is omnidirectional. I've not thought of getting bass cabs up would apply nearly like it does with our guitar cabs.
 

stevesherbert

Member
Messages
60
I agree 'bass waves 'needing distance to develop' is a misconception. On the other hand the lower end out of a cab is omnidirectional. I've not thought of getting bass cabs up would apply nearly like it does with our guitar cabs.
It's the high-end / presence that is crucial to hearing the bass, so you'll want to get in the speaker cone, as higher frequencies are more directional.
 




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