Why are people so anti- micing up amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by MartinCliffe, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. MartinCliffe

    MartinCliffe Member

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    Thread after thread I see "will this amp do for gigging? I'm not going to mic it up". WHY? It just makes no sense to me. You use a mic, you can keep your amp at a sensible stage level, and then let the PA take the strain, and put out a more balanced and dispersed sound to the audience. You don't use a mic, you're forced to turn the amp up loud enough so everyone in the venue can hear it, which means it's almost uncontrollable on stage, the drummer has to play like Animal so he can hear himself over the guitar, and I pity anyone who's remotely in the direct line of the speaker (never the guitarist, of course, because you can't stand in front of your amp because it "sounds wrong")!

    Only played 2 gigs without a mic on my amp in 15 years. One was a small bar where we had a vocal-only PA and levels were fine for 70 or so people without being too loud onstage. The other, I had to turn myself up so loud that my legs were vibrating throughout the night, and if I ever stopped playing without turning the volume control off my guitar would feed back instantly. Never again.

    Is it just me?
     
  2. analogsystem

    analogsystem Member

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    Drums are loud. I want my guitar the same volume (or louder for solos). I stand near the drums and near my amp. Everything works and sounds good.
     
  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I like the guitar's stage volume to mix well with the drummer (so yes, it's pretty loud) and I mic the amp as well. Guitar sounds come from the middle, left, and right sides of the stage.
     
  4. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    My advice; set up your amp so it sounds good on stage to you and most of your band. Let FOH deal with the rest. If there is no FOH the venue should be small enough that you don't need to mic your amp (meaning you're still at your usual volume, not cranking it anymore than usual). In small venues guitar amps are the LAST thing through the PA. Vocals first, then kick drum, then maybe snare, hat or bass, guitar amps last. Getting your amp up off the floor or tilted up at you always helps.
     
  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    Tube full stacks rule.
     
  6. john l

    john l Member

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    We call that rock and roll around here. Enjoy it
     
  7. bloozetubes

    bloozetubes Member

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    our FOH guy always mics our amps, always.

    Bass and keys go direct, always.

    kick, snare, hat and overhead, bigger rooms get more mics.

    hes a control freak........but we love him.
     
  8. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    My bassist came to a gig once with the idea that we should all be able to talk over our amps and mic them. Monitors would provide us an opportunity to hear what we're playing and because everything was to go through the board, it would be much easier to provide an optimal balance.

    It was all very logical, but there was two important problems:

    1. My amps don't sound good at "you can talk over it" volume levels.
    2. I don't get to gig that often and when I do I like to have as much fun as possible. God knows I don't do it for the money. Maximum fun for me as a guitarist includes playing at volume (needn't be overwhelming).
     
  9. DGTCrazy

    DGTCrazy Moderator de Emporio Staff Member

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    Mic'ing your instruments allows you to keep your stage volumes down to some real manageable levels, and a FOH blend that keeps the audience very happy. But if you get a "knob twister" instead of an Audio Engineer.....it can be a long evening.

    What some guys expose their ears to around here (volume-wise), will come back to haunt them IMO.
     
  10. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Tell him to join a lip-syncing band. :)
     
  11. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    no it's not - it's just easier, less set up work to not mic up & use PA is all.
    Lazy people just crank the amps master volume, especially in small venues
     
  12. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    I blast, even though I'm only using a cranked BF Bassman. That said, we use IEM's, and the level in my ears is pretty low.

    You can be loud and safe.
     
  13. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Member

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    This is a major point, if I can't turn my amp up past living room volume I'm walking.
     
  14. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    that's simple.

    they're just no good at it.
     
  15. Scooter Burbank

    Scooter Burbank Member

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    What kind of music do you play?

    Most indie rock bands play loud. My band's drummer hits the **** out of the drums. It's part of the sound, part of the vibe, and part of the visual presentation. I turn up to match the drum volume and to get a good sound out of my amp. Some places mic my amp and some don't, but I play at the same volume regardless.
     
  16. DGTCrazy

    DGTCrazy Moderator de Emporio Staff Member

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    But then you expose your audience to potentially unsafe dB Levels. Someone always loses when amps are cranked.
     
  17. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Depends on the gig and band. I play in lot's of bands and get hired for lot's of one off gigs too. Of course I prefer having my amp miced and my stage volume reasonable. But sometimes you get hired to do a gig where it's vocals only in the PA. These are usually smaller venues or where the band is supposed to be quiet (jazz gigs).

    Remember, not everyone plays the types of gigs you do. There are lot's of *types* of venues, not just bars and clubs.

    BTW, one of my gigs is for a college basketball pep band. They used to not mic us... then I had to fill a 11,000 seat auditorium with just my amp. Next week, I'll be playing with them in an out of state tournament... no PA. Dr. Z KT45 it is to handle this type of volume no PA.
     
  18. GulfportBound

    GulfportBound Member

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    I'm not even close to being against miking my amp. I'd do it if my band were playing a venue where it'd make sense to do it. In the small place we're gigging weekly now it doesn't make sense to mike. We did a support shot last year in a much larger place and I did mike there.
     
  19. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    my nightly gig is at a 70,000 square foot 5000 capacity venue that is usually at least half full. A 50 watt stack isnt hurting anyones ears.
     
  20. SeanMc

    SeanMc Member

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    Interesting... I'm anti-not-mic'ing an amp. I don't like venues where the stage sound/mix is part of the FOH sound/mix. Put me in the hands of a really good, controlling-personality, sound-tech any day of the week.
     

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