Post Number: 149
|Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 12:17 pm: |
Hey Doc Greene, or any other FOH guys out there-
Why do FOH engineers prefer a Pre-EQ signal for bass? (Assuming that you can send them a solid, clean Post-EQ signal that's not going to blow the board.)
For example: Why would the Pre-EQ from my F-1X be preferable to the Post-EQ signal?
I try to choose speakers that don't color the tone, so wouldn't the Post-EQ signal be the sound I/they want to run through a flat board to the FOH? Then just adjust the board for the room...
Post Number: 1510
|Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 12:44 pm: |
I can add some input here.
When ever I've ran sound I always wanted a pre EQ signal because what I hear out front is different than whats heard on stage.
The acoustics on the stage and out front can vary quite a bit.
Cabinet response for PA's are a lot different than bass cabs and the EQ that the bassist is adding to get a good sound on the stage can actually muddy up out front.
And probably the most important, once I get a good sound out front the bassist can change his tone in stage and not affect the main sound.
Post Number: 150
|Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 1:15 pm: |
You had me until the last part....
If the bassist changes his tone on stage, he probably WANTS the FOH tone to change in the same manner. :-D
My reply (and further question) to your first part: Assume that the bassist is basically using high quality PA cabs on stage. He is using the combination of the bass and the preamp to create his entire tone. So, why wouldn't that "tone" be sent to the FOH to be reproduced? Again, accepting that small adjustments will need to be made at the board to compensate for odd room acoustics.
thanks for the input.
Post Number: 1511
|Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 1:34 pm: |
I see your point Wayne.
I guess it depends on the bass player too.
I've ran sound for some guys who want to be post EQ for just that reason, but on the most part the cats I worked with didn't change their sound at all during gigs.
Being a bass player first I prefer my bass post EQ because I am particular about my sound and on occaision use effects (as of lately anyway).
But when I would run sound (I don't anymore) I prefered to run the bassist pre-EQ. It was just easier for me to maintain a good even bass sound. But if the player knew what he was doing and ask for Post EQ I'd do it.
(Message edited by olieoliver on August 09, 2007)
Post Number: 337
|Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 1:43 pm: |
See? The things we go through to make it easier for the FOH dude!
Post Number: 94
|Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 9:47 am: |
FWIW I really think it is a spillover habit from the recording studio not to print fx that did not get a rethink in live Public Address applications.
I've seen big name set ups where the bassist has a ton of efx, but sends a clean DI to FOH. That's missing the point big time as fara as I am concerned. If it is a simple job of compression I can se the point the FOH coiuld do it, but some bassists have all sorts of tonal modifiers and FOH really haven't got that under control unles they take a processed feed as well.
The muso on stage makes a certain tonal noise and FOH should make that louder, and not preserve some silly notion that efx can be added at FOH.
Having said that, I don't use efx on bass, and I prefer to send FOH an EQ'ed tone which they can and should cleanly amplify rather than re-process.
Post Number: 1097
|Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 7:00 pm: |
Post-EQ effectively ties the hands of your FOH guy. You are listening near-field on stage, whereas the sound guy has to arrive at a viable distant-field EQ and mix. If you don't give him the freedom to EQ your bass from flat, then it can be very difficult to make the bass salvagable out front. Check on the Dream Theater thread for some discussion of this, and how it totally undermines a great player..
edited because I type like a ham-fisted bass player...
(Message edited by 811952 on August 12, 2007)
Post Number: 5416
|Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 3:13 pm: |
On the other hand, I can't imagine that Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, etc, are going to want the FOH guy to decide what they are supposed to sound like. And as mentioned above, if your pre-EQ, then all the rack effects you have after the preamp are not going to go to the house; and I'm guessing the FOH guy is not going to know when and at what speed and strength I'm going to want the tremolo. And what would be the purpose of having an SF-2 in your rack if you're not going to send an EQ'd signal to the house. When the singer sings into a mic, it is, in its on way, post-EQ; it's a very distinct frequency curve. In the same way, I've adjusted my preamp EQ, my SF-2, my effects, etc., all in addition to my instrument's settings, to create my distinct frequency curve. That's the sound I want; and I would like to send it to the house and have the FOH guy reproduce it out front. When I plug in to someone else's rig, it doesn't sound like me. In the same way, if I send a pre-EQ signal to the FOH, it's not going to sound like me.
Post Number: 1733
|Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 7:52 pm: |
I played a sizable gig with a sound guy (unusual for me with the bar band) last month and they mic'd my cab. Just like when I am recording bass in the studio, I think it's great to be able to mix the fat, clean bottom of a DI with the more raw and edgy tone of a mic'd cab. We got rave reviews for tone and the other bands that played that day had excellent bass tones as well. What can a sound guy do with a pre-EQ DI to replicate the tone of a hard-driven SVT?
There's also a huge difference between taking a DI in line between the bass and amp and using the one in your amp. At least the DI in your amp allows you to tweak settings on your bass or through inline effects. Even when I am playing covers and significantly adjusting my tone to match the original versions, a DI from my amp head would bring those changes to the FOH.
It probably also makes a difference if the sound guy is familiar with you and what tone you're after. If he knows what you want, he can easily give it to you off a pre-EQ feed. If he doesn't, he can only give you what he thinks sounds good. That may or may not line up with what you're trying to put across.
Post Number: 317
|Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 10:32 pm: |
I agree with all of these reasons for putting a DI on the bass.
But here is my number 1 reason for doing so: If the guy's bass amp dies, I still have signal and the gig goes on seamlessly. Granted it doesn't happen often. But once is all it takes.
I carry a variety of high-end and middle-of-the-road DI's handy. I've got about 40.
I always have a couple of Sansamp Bass Driver DI's for the guys that don't have a good sounding instrument. I also have RADIAL, WHIRLWIND, STEWART, COUNTRYMAN, and some Home Made ones with Jensen Transformers.
DI's are like microphones. They all sound different and some times you gotta try a few different ones to get the right sound. But most of the time if the guy has a good bass. The Radial DI's are outstanding.
OK. That concludes today's lesson on DI's.
Oh. And just FYI. I don't use an amplifier at all. My Alembics go directly into our PA. NO AMP.
Post Number: 1100
|Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 5:20 am: |
"On the other hand, I can't imagine that Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, etc, are going to want the FOH guy to decide what they are supposed to sound like."
I quite disagree. The FOH guy should be a trusted soul (or at least competent and aware) who knows what you intend the bass to sound like. He can control your sound out front better (more accurately) than is ever possible by your ears tweaking your feed from on stage. The clean-with-a-bit-of-bite tone many players strive for up close typically sounds like mud and chicken scratches 50-feet away, because the vagaries of the space have come into play and the bass is no longer mostly coming directly from your cabinet.
"It probably also makes a difference if the sound guy is familiar with you and what tone you're after. If he knows what you want, he can easily give it to you off a pre-EQ feed. If he doesn't, he can only give you what he thinks sounds good. That may or may not line up with what you're trying to put across."
That said, the DI on my Ampeg is post-EQ. I leave my tone controls pretty much flat and my master volume either very low or all the way off. I run all my basses through the same settings, and trust the sound guy (my brother, a very good bassist and FOH person) to bring out the most agreeable tone of the individual instruments (from roundwounds on the Lakland to whatever's on the Alembic to flats on the Hofner to rounds on the 12-string) as befits the music.
Post Number: 98
|Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 9:02 am: |
"I quite disagree. The FOH guy should be a trusted soul (or at least competent and aware) who knows what you intend the bass to sound like. He can control your sound out front better (more accurately) than is ever possible by your ears tweaking your feed from on stage. The clean-with-a-bit-of-bite tone many players strive for up close typically sounds like mud and chicken scratches 50-feet away, because the vagaries of the space have come into play and the bass is no longer mostly coming directly from your cabinet. "
Surely in this there is the assumption that there is a 'pure' tone. There isn't. I think any FOH guy who tells you that you are messing with his ablity to control the tone at FOH is a bully. The muso as far as I am concerned can make whatever tone he wants, he is not going to hear it at FOH, and FOH's job is to amplify that tone, not to pretend that the bassist has no clue about tone or for that matter public address. FOH can tweak whatever they want to suit the PA, but that does not mean the musician cannot be responsible for tonal tweaks that suits his or her ability to hear on stage, for the band memnbers to hear the stage sound, tweak for the song, tweak for effect, etc.
I could use 2 basses on the same night say a single bridge pickup one, and a dual pickup one. The bottom end on the single pickup one is typically less than the dual pickup one for sure, and an un EQ'ed single pickup could be EQ'ed before the FOH. Some people like using tone controls on their instrument, I prefer to use a 5 band parametric EQ with a hi end shelving and if I need to play say "I feel good" I take the top end all off to get that flatwound type tone, and I can go back to a slap tone for the next tune.
I doubt that someone like Doug Wimbish would send a clean en effected tone to FOH.
Ask any guitarist to send a pre-EQ'ed, pre effected tone and they would cry foul. I would wish bass players take more responsibility for their tone and make sure than that's what gets amplified; rather than get bullied by engineers into filling in meaningless low end rumble.
(Message edited by 0vid on August 14, 2007)
Post Number: 1102
|Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 10:40 am: |
I guess we can respectfully disagree for the most part.
Obviously, those of us with Alembic instruments, especially Series instruments, are able to do most if not all of our tone-shaping on the instruments. And that is on top of using our biggest tone shaping tools of all (our fingers). So, it is somewhat difficult in the world of modern active electronics to feed the DI with absolutely pure, unadulterated signal.
The problem lies with making the bass sound in the room the way it sounds on stage, which can be impossible and is usually at least difficult. I agree completely that if the FOH person isn't attuned to what you're about sonically, then you will likely not get what you're wanting out front if you send him/her a pre-EQ DI. What's equally true is that you won't get it by sending him/her a post-EQ DI either. We can argue/discuss this until we're all blue in the face (fingers?), but in a live band context I have never heard otherwise.
So, I guess the crux of the original matter is that whichever is decided, pre- or post-EQ, the single most important element is your personal relationship with the FOH engineer. In a travelling band situation where you don't have the same FOH every night, getting that person a coke and a smoke while mentioning that you really try to have a similar tone as, say Tony Levin on Shock the Monkey (without seeming too obsequious about it), and inviting him to listen to your amp up-close on stage during soundcheck are invaluable. If you've got someone you work with regularly, then by all means have impromptu listening parties as often as possible, so that you both build a vocabulary that can easily be shared and *understood* by him/her.
Your relationship with your sound person will be far more important than any technical consideration. Same goes for the monitor tech.
Post Number: 151
|Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 10:52 am: |
Wow, what a discussion I started. But then again, that's what we like about this board. Learn new ways of looking at something that we've lived with for years.
Doc - My "backup" to the F-1X is a Radial JDI. I ran a non-scientific blind test of the F-1X, JDI, J48, and a Raven Labs once. With me playing and two of us listening, the F-1X came in first, JDI solid 2nd, J48 distant 3rd, and the Raven Labs not in the hunt. I've never had both F-1Xs fail at once, but maybe I should start carrying the JDI with me all the time just in case.
Thanks to everyone. This has been and is a great discussion!!
BTW - the impetus for the question was the new sound system that just went live at my church. Lots of JBLs in the arrays powered by Crown and guided by a Yamaha PM5D. They chose to go with new JBL subs instead of Bag End, so I was a bit concerned. The JBLs seem to be working out, but time will tell.....
Three services into the new system, I'm running post-EQ and the installer/designer and the FOH guy are all very happy with the sound. And my personal sound check monitor (my lovely wife) said it sounded right - sounded like ME.
Post Number: 1103
|Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 11:03 am: |
One of the bands I play with has the new JBL subs, and they sound nice, smooth and deep. I think you'll be happy.
Post Number: 318
|Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 11:15 am: |
I recently did an install with Bag End Subs. My only issue with them is that it takes twice as many bag end subs to achieve the dB level that most conventional subs can put out.
We put in 16 of the Active S18s. Probably could have used 32 though for the size of this room. But it is a good sounding system.
Post Number: 115
|Posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 - 3:34 pm: |
I switch between fingers and a pick (HORRORS!!!), so I need a post EQ feed or my basic sound is going to get real clanky! I suppose the FOH could be alerted to a bass change, but for the most part, we are a ways down the food chain when dialing in each song!