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View Full Version : How do the number of people in a club affect your amp sound?



captdg
01-05-2013, 10:35 AM
Played in public for the first time last night.. During sound checks everything sounded fine, but as the room got more people I couldnt seem to get the amp set right where I could have distinguishable tones vs. overpowering the band.. What gives? Play a Bernie and a Vox valvetronix that is miked.

Twinfan
01-05-2013, 01:04 PM
From my experience, more people = treble gets sucked out

As a general rule for live work, don't use too much gain and keep the treble/mid/presence up.

LSchefman
01-05-2013, 04:02 PM
The more people, the less reverberant the room becomes, and the fewer room modes. Most players adjust their amps several times during a gig as a room fills up.

JMintzer
01-05-2013, 07:12 PM
Is this your sound guy?

http://blackveilgothic.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/bad-sound-474x600.jpg?w=529


Jamie

Albrecht Smuten
01-07-2013, 05:54 AM
Is this your sound guy?

Jamie

Dream Theater made a documentary about recording the "Systematic chaos". There had three presets on their mix, labeled "Rock", "Suck" and "Gay", but they said they never use the last two ;)

aduayer
01-07-2013, 06:52 AM
From my experience, more people = treble gets sucked out

As a general rule for live work, don't use too much gain and keep the treble/mid/presence up.

I have the same impression. To me, lower gain and more mids are the key for a comfortable live sound. Too much bass and reverb can be a problem too.

LSchefman
01-07-2013, 10:36 AM
I always figured a full club = better sound, because...well...it sucks to play to an empty room! ;)

Albrecht Smuten
01-08-2013, 03:27 AM
I always figured a full club = better sound, because...well...it sucks to play to an empty room! ;)

Believe it or not, full club also affects your stage performance (no one wants to headbang for three people, one of which is your girlfriend) ;)

LSchefman
01-09-2013, 01:34 PM
Believe it or not, full club also affects your stage performance (no one wants to headbang for three people, one of which is your girlfriend) ;)

My girlfriend wouldn't even show up, as she'd worry that my wife might be there and cause a scene. ;)


Yeah, I know. As if I had a girlfriend.

captdg
01-09-2013, 03:30 PM
My girlfriend wouldn't even show up, as she'd worry that my wife might be there and cause a scene. ;)


Yeah, I know. As if I had a girlfriend.

Schef....Your girlfriend says you owe her cab fare and wants her shakeweight back.

captdg
01-09-2013, 03:32 PM
thank you everyone. Great tips.

LSchefman
01-14-2013, 07:00 PM
Schef....Your girlfriend says you owe her cab fare and wants her shakeweight back.

Ha! If I had a girlfriend, she'd probably need a cane more than a shakeweight! LOL

nobozos
03-31-2013, 11:08 AM
Your amp settings should not matter as the room fills up. That should be a function of the sound man correcting for variations in the room. One thing that I do is use my amp basically as a monitor. I set my amp on a stand, pointing back at me off to one side and away from the audience. This has two effects. For one, it allows me to keep the volume of my amp down, while allowing me to hear the actual sound of my amp that my Microphone is hearing. With the amp positioned behind me, the volume needs to be higher for me to hear it, and it always sounds like there are less highs than there actually are. The result is that your guitar sound through the mains is different from what you are experiencing on stage. You also push out your guitar sound from the stage to the audience from your amp vs. through the PA. With the amp positioned so that it points at you, and away from the crowd, you get a better mix through the mains, which is where you really want your band's sound to come from. The ideal setup is to have all of the sound anyone hears from you to be coming from the mains. If you are properly set up, and the mix is coming from the mains, how full the room is will not matter on your amp settings, and will be adjusted by the sound man. The mic on your amp isn't on the other side of the room, it's about 2 inches away from your speaker, so the sound from the amp speaker to the mic won't be changed by how many people are in the room.

Boogie
03-31-2013, 12:00 PM
Your amp settings should not matter as the room fills up. That should be a function of the sound man correcting for variations in the room.
True, but you are assuming that everyone has a sound man at every gig and that every instrument is mic'ed. That's simply not the case.

The other issue is that the acoustics of all rooms change as the contents (read: people/tables/etc/) are changed...that's a fact. And dependent upon the condition of those changes, adjustments may need to be mode, though I've never changed anything on my rig other than volume.

leeasam
03-31-2013, 03:36 PM
Your amp settings should not matter as the room fills up. That should be a function of the sound man correcting for variations in the room. One thing that I do is use my amp basically as a monitor. I set my amp on a stand, pointing back at me off to one side and away from the audience. This has two effects. For one, it allows me to keep the volume of my amp down, while allowing me to hear the actual sound of my amp that my Microphone is hearing. With the amp positioned behind me, the volume needs to be higher for me to hear it, and it always sounds like there are less highs than there actually are. The result is that your guitar sound through the mains is different from what you are experiencing on stage. You also push out your guitar sound from the stage to the audience from your amp vs. through the PA. With the amp positioned so that it points at you, and away from the crowd, you get a better mix through the mains, which is where you really want your band's sound to come from. The ideal setup is to have all of the sound anyone hears from you to be coming from the mains. If you are properly set up, and the mix is coming from the mains, how full the room is will not matter on your amp settings, and will be adjusted by the sound man. The mic on your amp isn't on the other side of the room, it's about 2 inches away from your speaker, so the sound from the amp speaker to the mic won't be changed by how many people are in the room.

IMO this is how things should be done. Using an amp to fill a room usually works like crap as amps are very directional in their sound. stand right in front and it is loud clear etc stand off to the side and it sucks. quieter dull mabey more bassy. I never liked how any band sounds by the amp trying to fill the room unmiced. it just does not work-- well. I have the amp on a stand aimed right at my head. if you set an amp at your feet and try and eq it then aim it at your head it will sound totally different. I have read even large arenas some of those stacks are just for show and the guitarist real amp is miced under the drum riser or hiddem behing one of the fake stack cabs.

Richard Lainegard
03-31-2013, 03:41 PM
This is a pretty technical link, but give it a go anyways: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour
In essence, what I take away from it, is that on louder volumes and stages, I always up my mids by a few notches,
to were in soundcheck or rehearsal levels it goes from sounding "spot on" to sounding "a bit too much",
when in full gig though, this results in a live "sweet spot" and a tone that is heard very well every time.
I use Deeflexx baffles these days for on stage monitoring, but still up the mids to the point where it's just a "tad" too much highmid.

captdg
04-02-2013, 11:48 PM
Thanks for the link!

Rango
04-03-2013, 12:47 AM
True, but you are assuming that everyone has a sound man at every gig and that every instrument is mic'ed. That's simply not the case.
.

DING DING DING we have a winner.... Who has a sound man? At best we walk out front (using a wireless) and listen... WALK back to the mixer which is on stage with us and repeat.

I generally try to get set up so I like the sound and just add volume needed when the room fills. If we are lucky, you get a friend from another band watching and ask between songs "how's it sound" and adjust accordingly.... Our Bass player used to walk out and play with the crowd on songs that he wasn't singing on and get a quick check as well. ;-)

Sound man - Bar band with a sound man? Really? :laugh:

Not that I wouldn't like to have one... ;) but that's a luxury! :wink:

captdg
04-03-2013, 06:49 PM
yeah..and a real one at that..Not just someones friend from Best Buy.

captdg
04-03-2013, 06:50 PM
Your amp settings should not matter as the room fills up. That should be a function of the sound man correcting for variations in the room. One thing that I do is use my amp basically as a monitor. I set my amp on a stand, pointing back at me off to one side and away from the audience. This has two effects. For one, it allows me to keep the volume of my amp down, while allowing me to hear the actual sound of my amp that my Microphone is hearing. With the amp positioned behind me, the volume needs to be higher for me to hear it, and it always sounds like there are less highs than there actually are. The result is that your guitar sound through the mains is different from what you are experiencing on stage. You also push out your guitar sound from the stage to the audience from your amp vs. through the PA. With the amp positioned so that it points at you, and away from the crowd, you get a better mix through the mains, which is where you really want your band's sound to come from. The ideal setup is to have all of the sound anyone hears from you to be coming from the mains. If you are properly set up, and the mix is coming from the mains, how full the room is will not matter on your amp settings, and will be adjusted by the sound man. The mic on your amp isn't on the other side of the room, it's about 2 inches away from your speaker, so the sound from the amp speaker to the mic won't be changed by how many people are in the room.

im gonna try this..

nobozos
06-29-2013, 01:37 PM
DING DING DING we have a winner.... Who has a sound man? At best we walk out front (using a wireless) and listen... WALK back to the mixer which is on stage with us and repeat.

I generally try to get set up so I like the sound and just add volume needed when the room fills. If we are lucky, you get a friend from another band watching and ask between songs "how's it sound" and adjust accordingly.... Our Bass player used to walk out and play with the crowd on songs that he wasn't singing on and get a quick check as well. ;-)

Sound man - Bar band with a sound man? Really? :laugh:

Not that I wouldn't like to have one... ;) but that's a luxury! :wink:

Hey man, I understand that you think it's a luxury, but the reality is that your band is going to sound like crap unless you have someone running sound. You need someone who can make corrections to the band's sound as needed on the fly, as the room's environment changes. Sometimes peoples instruments need to be boosted at certain parts of certain songs. You just can't tell from the stage what it sounds like out front.

I don't care how good a bunch of musicians you have on stage, without a good mix you can make the best musicians in the world sound like crap. You say a sound man is a luxury, but I say if you are trying to make money at it and book better gigs, a sound man is just as essential as a lead singer.

nobozos
06-29-2013, 01:59 PM
Allright, I think I better clarify my above post a little bit. You can do it the way you described from the stage, IF...

-Everyone in the band understands their volume in relationship with everyone else in the band, and dynamics. This takes and extremely good ear, and a lot of practice and experience.

Typically what will happen is everyone will sound check fine, and be happy with the mix. Three songs into the first set, the drummer starts playing louder than he did at soundcheck. About the fifth song in, the bass player decides the mix needs more bottom end, so he turns up his bass. By this time, the lead guitar player is frustrated because he can't hear himself over the bass, so he turns up his guitar. By about the 9th song, the singer needs more of himself in the monitor, so he turns up his mic until it feeds back from time to time. By the last few songs of the first set, the drummer starts playing even louder, and the cycle starts all over again. It usually settles out halfway through the second set, when the electrified instruments have exceeded the drummer's ability to play any louder. By the third set, when someone walks into the bar, they ususally hear a bass guitar, a bass drum, some faint guitar ramblings, and the incomprehensible murmur of a vocalist buried in the mix.

The sound man's value is to be the referee. He's the guy that you trust to make you sound good. You turn your amp up, he turns your guitar down in the mix so that it sounds good out front. I've seen a lot of bands that run sound from the stage. 10% of them are good, the other 90% sound absolutely terrible. Usually because the person who's job it is to tinker with the sound levels on-stage is so ****-faced by the third set that he doesn't care what the rest of the band sounds like.

If you have the ear and the discipline, you can run sound from the stage though.