What to do with a too-loud amp...

turtlesoup

Member
Messages
377
after years of struggling to get adequate overdrive from my non-mv marshall jmp without blowing singers of the stage, i finally figured it out. and it didn't cost a thing.

at a show on saturday night, i asked the sound guy if i could just face the cabinet into a corner at the back of the stage. he said "good idea" and put the mic back there. i could finally crank it loud enough to hit the tubes, but no one was getting the full-frontal directional assault. i was using a sealed 2x12 cabinet, so if it were facing out, the sound would have been just hitting my knees anyhow.

is this common practice? if so, i wish someone would have told me five years ago.

anyone else do anything similar?
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,927
after years of struggling to get adequate overdrive from my non-mv marshall jmp without blowing singers of the stage, i finally figured it out. and it didn't cost a thing.

at a show on saturday night, i asked the sound guy if i could just face the cabinet into a corner at the back of the stage. he said "good idea" and put the mic back there. i could finally crank it loud enough to hit the tubes, but no one was getting the full-frontal directional assault. i was using a sealed 2x12 cabinet, so if it were facing out, the sound would have been just hitting my knees anyhow.

is this common practice? if so, i wish someone would have told me five years ago.

anyone else do anything similar?


I don't know if it's common but a sound guy my band had 20 years ago tipped me and the other guitar player to this. Worked like a charm. It almost seems too simple but it works great. I've also used road cases to "isolate" a bit. Our amps always sounded great thru the PA. I always liked moving air with a big amp too. It's part of the charm as long as it's not killing the crowd.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,023
Seems like it wouldn't sound very good where you're standing unless you run it back into the monitors.

Ever watch videos of Bruce Springsteen? A lot of times you'll see 4 x 12s lying on their back aimed at the ceiling.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=piMODx-_KYk
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,207
Link Wray used to play his rig this way, at least near the end of his career. It was still damn loud, but he was getting the sound he wanted in smaller rooms.
 

cram

Member
Messages
14,237
I pointed a 2x12 at the ceiling once with good results.
This had the double effect of helping out our drummer who couldn't hear the stage sound and was able to key off the guitar that was low in the monitor mix.. but maybe it was low in the mix because the guitar was loud on stage... eh - that point is the chicken vs the egg...

I've seen guys use a baffle infront of their amp to block the direct exposure of the cones...

Another thought is those twin amps with the silver legs that fold out to tilt it at an angle. A local jam cranks one of those up and it fills the room nicely.
 

blood5150

Member
Messages
5,642
get an attenuator....then you can still push the tubes and leave the amp the way it is... I need to have my amp at a level where I can hear it direct. I hate leaving soundguys to set the monitors to a level that suits me. Also, I use a 4x12 and sometimes use a 2x12. try putting the cabinet on a chair to get the amp a little higher off the ground if you like it that way.
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,927
get an attenuator....then you can still push the tubes and leave the amp the way it is... I need to have my amp at a level where I can hear it direct. I hate leaving soundguys to set the monitors to a level that suits me. Also, I use a 4x12 and sometimes use a 2x12. try putting the cabinet on a chair to get the amp a little higher off the ground if you like it that way.

I'm not arguing but using an attenuator isn't the same as mic'ing a CRANKING NMV amp. With an attenuator your still missing two very cool things... speakers crying for mercy and moving air.
 

turtlesoup

Member
Messages
377
get an attenuator....then you can still push the tubes and leave the amp the way it is... I need to have my amp at a level where I can hear it direct. I hate leaving soundguys to set the monitors to a level that suits me. Also, I use a 4x12 and sometimes use a 2x12. try putting the cabinet on a chair to get the amp a little higher off the ground if you like it that way.

i thought about the attenuator thing for awhile, but never got around to it. and this way is much cheaper.

and at the levels i was pushing my amp under the above circumstances, i wouldn't want to hear it direct. ouch

i do the chair thing sometimes with small combo amps. but there are nine people in my band, if i elevate a big, loud amp, it's going to take everyone else's head clean off.


try it, it's loud and good.
 

blood5150

Member
Messages
5,642
I'm not arguing but using an attenuator isn't the same as mic'ing a CRANKING NMV amp. With an attenuator your still missing two very cool things... speakers crying for mercy and moving air.

True, but its not a terrible alternative either.

:BEER
 

BBQLS1

Member
Messages
3,290
I know a guy that covers two of the speakers in his super reverb with his guitar case for smaller gigs. It definitely helps!
 

eru

Member
Messages
717
I've done that at a friend's house, but never anywhere else. It might also be worth trying putting a big, heavy blanket over the cab+mic. It might work almost as well as the corner thing without the mic (depending on pickup pattern) picking up reverb from the sound bouncing out of the corner...unless you like that.
 

LOCUSTFIST

Member
Messages
83
As better sound systems become more affordable you are starting to see better monitor situations more and more, gone are the days of sharing one or two mixes with the whole band. We isolate cabs in another room or under the stage, or pile guitar/gear cases around them and get all on stage sound from the monitors.

This also gives you a better tone tweaking palette since you are hearing a closer representation of what the house is hearing as your signal goes from; guitar - speaker - mic - board - eq - power amps - mains/monitors. You would be foolish to think you are getting the same tone in your cab as is getting to the crowds ears after all that.

Imagine that, tweaking your tone for the fans instead of yourself!
 

Free

Member
Messages
1,304
at a show on saturday night, i asked the sound guy if i could just face the cabinet into a corner at the back of the stage. he said "good idea" and put the mic back there.

is this common practice? if so, i wish someone would have told me five years ago.

anyone else do anything similar?

Totally common practice - facing back, sidestage in, sidestage out, etc. Also, plexiglass shields are commonly used, so the volume is very diffused that way and you can still point it out front...
 

Geetarpicker

Member
Messages
3,267
I saw a somewhat recent ACDC performance on TV. Was it saturday night live? Not sure, but it was within the last year or two. They had a bunch of 4x12 cabs stacked up that were all turned around backwards.

The one issue with monitoring your guitar can be with controlled feedback type sustain. Sometimes the way your guitar reacts to a monitored signal vs directly in front of the guitar cab can be quite different. Usually the wider high end coverage of a stage monitor can bring out microphonics in pickups that normally behave themselves on guitar speakers. That said I'm talking about the difference of sustain on a nice vintage Marshall cab played up close, vs monitored. Still, some may get predictable sustain monitored IF they work with the same monitors every time as opposed to venue provided stuff.

All that said I don't mind a good power attenuator used sparingly.
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,399
I've definitely seen the marshall pointing backwards thing before.

I think a better solution might be to try some JJ 6v6's and a rebias.The JJ's can take 500v but are half the power of an el-34. I know some guys over at Metroamp are doing it with the 50 watt heads. It'll sound a bit different and will still be loud but it should give up the good much sooner.

I've tried yellow jackets and el-84s before but they always sound a bit over compressed and ratty to me. Still probably better than an attenuator. Those things never sound or feel right to me.
 




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