Bassman on 2. too loud for gig

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by cowmoo, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. cowmoo

    cowmoo Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2011
    North Wales
    What do you lot do to get the sound you love without the sound guy complaining about deafening the front row?
    I turned it down to 2 and had to get some dirt from my bad monkey, which at home sounds great but made the amp sound raw snd rough last night.
    He said we’d have to cut it by 50%!!
    I played the gig like i’d never held a guitar before, really having to smack the heck out of the strings to get anything back. All nuances of normal amp response gone.
    What do you suggest?
    Small combo?
    Bassbreaker 7 or 15 watt head?
    Everything sounds lifeless at low volume.
    Got a gig with the Guana Batz next week
    dreading it now!!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
    Lionpotato likes this.
  2. chicago slim

    chicago slim Gretschie

    Dec 27, 2008
    Bowling Green, KY
    I started using my backup amp to bi-amp, and bypass the sound guy. I can also use a Line Out to the sound system if needed. I have migrated to smaller amps, that can produce a clean 59 Tweed Bassman like sound at a higher volume (Vox TB18C1, Fender SCXD, Boss Katana, etc).
    cowmoo likes this.
  3. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    May 13, 2018
    Turn the amp around, turn it up, get him to give you the mix you need in the monitors.
    MKunie, cowmoo and MotorCentaur like this.
  4. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Just my humble opinion:
    First of all: You are not working for the sound guy. He is working for you. So he has to deal with what you offer to him. I remember the times when we used to play small clubs with Marshall stacks and no sound guy was complaining. Neither did the audience.
    That means when you have to play a bit louder to get your sound and good feeling going (use your common sense) he has to comply with that. If that means that you are too loud in the mix he can always drop you out of the p.a. and use your stagevolume only.

    I solved this problem completely by using a 2x12 Mesa guitar-wedge as my personal monitor and only speaker-cab. So the sound is beaming away from the audience and aimed right at me. So I can play as loud as I whish without getting any angry looks from the audience, bandmembers and sound-guy. 100 watt tube amp? No problem at all!

    If I have to play really calmly I use an ancient Alsseandro attenuator. But I very rarely had to to that.
    Lionpotato and cowmoo like this.
  5. Get a new sound person.
    MKunie, dmunson, Robbie and 2 others like this.
  6. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    And an already deaf front row
  7. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    May 13, 2018
    Yeah, but in the end, unless you hired him, he's in a position to make you sound good or bad. Go ahead, piss him off and see what happens!
  8. Dennison

    Dennison Country Gent

    Jul 17, 2011
    Kent, UK
  9. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    I've been a guitarist in an on and off touring band for 30 years. I'm also a sound guy for local acts and some national bands that pass through my town so I have an opinion on this subject.
    In some situations even a 10 watt guitar amp can be too loud. If the sound coming off the stage is louder than the front of the house pa a sound man loses control and is unable to get a good balance of instruments. It might sound good to you on stage but in small rooms it sounds awful to the audience. It walks over the vocals, the singer has trouble hearing the monitors - it just becomes a cluster f...!
    So if the sound guy can't control the mix and balance of instruments what in the hell is he even there for?
    I've had loud guitarists who even after I turn their amp mic off they were still louder than the sound system. So the end result is a shitty mix.
    When my band was playing 1000 seat rooms (or larger) with high ceilings I had no problem cranking my 40 Watt Fender or 50 Watt Marshall, etc. because the pa was big enough to crank over top of the stage volume and the room was big enough to allow it. But in a small room the pa would kill the audience if the sound guy tried to raise the volume loud enough to over come the stage volume. It ain't only guitar amps - in some rooms a loud snare drum or cymbal crash could get up to 115 db which is just too damn loud in most small rooms.
    Most amps don't get to their sweet spot until you crank them up - anything less than that and they sound dead and as a guitarist it makes it less fun and harder to play.
    So I bought low watt amps for the smaller rooms and got the drummer to dampen his drums down and try to play softer. I'd be the first one to admit that my Vox AC 15 doesn't sound as good as my AC 30 but it's in the ballpark and I'm usually the only one that can hear the difference.
    So don't get an attitude with your sound guy (unless he sucks at his job). Try to look at it from his perspective. In order for him to do a good job he needs to have control of what's coming off the stage. The only time the guitars are suppose to be louder than the vocals is when the singer isn't singing and an instrument solo is suppose to be happening.
    In the end it's up to you - if you want to continue to play too loud then it might be best to try and avoid small rooms.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    Waxhead, Funky54, reverb11 and 7 others like this.
  10. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Get a one armed drummer. Instant half volume.
    Axis39, Lionpotato and cowmoo like this.
  11. cowmoo

    cowmoo Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2011
    North Wales
    Some good advice there buddies!
    I think i’ll try Swivels suggestion next time i’m in the position to experiment.
    I’d try angling the cab as a monitor too maybe like loudnlousy suggests.
    The sound guy wasn’t ours, we don’t have that luxury, but i know him of old and i think he likes to impress with the quality of his sound reinforcement gear and the band may as well be a cd playing on stage.
    The annoying thing is, the amp really isn’t that loud at the initial volume i set it at, 3
  12. Wozob

    Wozob Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2014
    The Netherlands
    Match your amp to the venue. And you can always mic a smaller amp.
    19MGB76, loudnlousy and cowmoo like this.
  13. cowmoo

    cowmoo Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2011
    North Wales
    I get it, it wasn’t meant to disrespect him, we were playing outside on a large stage in a marquee. I only ever play as loud as the drummer as we usually only go out with vocal PA and backline.
    Our drummer isn’t the loudest I know either.
    I just could not get anything from my amp at less than 2 on the dial.
    Not had this problem at similar venues with biker crowds so i guess it was to please the cross section crowd at this event.
  14. cowmoo

    cowmoo Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2011
    North Wales
    If i were to go smaller amp, i’d be looking at something like those bassbreakers.
    Any experience with these out there??
  15. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Do not be an idiot. Too loud I S too loud. It is a question of experienece. And seriously: No one here wants to hurt anyone`s ears
    But getting along with a "normal " artist`s volumes is a matter of being a pro.Watts are a total misconception. It`s not volume but dynamics.

    From my experience some young sound-guys are more accustomed to mixing karaoke than a kicking live band. Usually I teach them a lesson and they are very humble afterwards. Lesson learned.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  16. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    How much larger is your amp than the others in the band? I've worked too many gigs where everyone used a 15 watter but one idiot showed up with a full stack and demanded to be miked in a 400 seat theater. In that setup, the PA is for vocals only.I've had too many guitarists sand bag me by setting levels at one point, then cranking his amp up during the gig. I guarantee you that I WILL turn you down, if not off, kill the high end on your feed, and do my worst to your sound. It's NOT all about you. It's a group effort, and when you try to outpower everyone else you're defeating the rest of your band, and deafening the audience. A sound guy's concern is overall BALANCE, not bowing to the whims of just one of the musicians.
    loudnlousy, audept and 19MGB76 like this.
  17. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Re direct the amp size it doesn't blast the front row, whether turning it around or tilting it to face up over the audience. A baffle would also work.
    cowmoo likes this.
  18. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Caveat, I don't gig, but go to tons of shows.

    Best sound man I know told me "I get that they have to get their sound, but". This guy is really good. Explained to me about a clear plate (or "baffle") placed in front of the amp. At that point he says you can crank it to your heart's content and get the sound you need, yet still allow him to do his job and get your band a really good mix. Never heard him mix a bad show and I've seen dozens with him. He knows the other side too, have seen video of him playing in a punk band in front of 15,000 fans.
    wabash slim likes this.
  19. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Believe me I feel your pain. It's tough to have to turn down to the point that you can't hear yourself or get any punch out of your amp. But sound guys constantly get yelled at by club/ venue owners, people in the audience, bar maids, etc. and it makes it almost impossible to do a good job. This has been a problem since the invention of electric instruments and rock & roll bands. I was never ever told to turn down at a biker party but places that have a mixed crowd can always be a problem.
    cowmoo likes this.
  20. Lionpotato

    Lionpotato Gretschie

    Oct 10, 2018
    Most sound men want a silent stage. They should not run sound for a live band. Be better to play CD,s or karaoke. I do everything to manage my sound level but most of those guys want to pull the slider down and have any instrument completely disappear like they were mixing in a control room for a recording. A live band has some volume. Should be compromise on all sides but the attitude of most sound guys is awful. It’s about their control and not about enhancing the artist.
    hogrider16 and cowmoo like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice