Stage setup for bass and guitars

Combining subs, tops and all the rest of your kit.
Post Reply
Message
Author
bradn7
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: Concordia, KS, USA

Stage setup for bass and guitars

#1 Post by bradn7 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:38 pm

I have been wondering why we have guitar and bass players put their instruments behind them instead of in front and angled at their ears. Aside from making the space in front of them more cluttered is there a reason not to do this? My curiosity is that in the past the instruments needed to be loud to provide enough sound for the whole room while the vocals had their own speakers. But today we mic everything to begin with. So why fight with a loud player and just put the speaker in front and pointed at their face? Thank you!

Grant Bunter
Posts: 5942
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:12 am
Location: Ilfracombe Queensland Australia
Contact:

Re: Stage setup for bass and guitars

#2 Post by Grant Bunter » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:18 pm

Aesthetics may suggest that amps behind players looks better.
Yes that does declutter, and gives band members room to move around the stage without running into obstructions.

Behind, in front, your ears will still hear either way.

You're right, most bands starting out will have vocal only PA, and don't mic everything.
There's still thousands of gigs played every day/night around the world though, set up that way (by professional players), because, volume wise, that will be good for the venue.

One could take your thoughts further, suggesting, with everything miced, maybe that there is no need for lots of amps when you have monitors.
Or you could move to in ears, then any individual band member can have it at any level they like.

Fighting a loud player isn't about anything except getting them to understand that high stage volumes suck (for both the band and the sound guy/gal), and therefore it doesn't matter which way their cab faces.
It's one of the hardest challenges most bands have to deal with...
Built:
DR 250: x 2 (melded array) with March 2012 plans.
T39's: 4 x 20" BP102 , 2 x 28" 3012lf.
WH8: x 3 with melded array.
Bunter's Audio and Lighting "like"s would be most appreciated...

User avatar
Bill Fitzmaurice
Site Admin
Posts: 26427
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 5:59 pm

Re: Stage setup for bass and guitars

#3 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:55 pm

bradn7 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:38 pm
I have been wondering why we have guitar and bass players put their instruments behind them instead of in front and angled at their ears.
For the same reason why most PA's are set up incorrectly: 'It's how everybody does it!' Well, not everybody, there is a small minority of players who know better, but not many. It started off that way back when there was no such thing as PA capable of handling instruments, no such thing as monitors, for that matter no such thing as mixing consoles. It all should have changed once good PA came along, but it hasn't.

bradn7
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: Concordia, KS, USA

Re: Stage setup for bass and guitars

#4 Post by bradn7 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:37 pm

Thank you for responses. I currently run sound for a group that is notorious for being way too loud and I have been trying to come up with ideas to solve our volume issue. If they can't hear it in their monitor they just turn up their rigs instead of working with me to make it right. I have brought up the idea of in ears but it was squashed very quickly by the lead singer as he feels he can't hear for #%$^ with them.

nivlek
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:32 pm

Re: Stage setup for bass and guitars

#5 Post by nivlek » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:49 am

I worked with a band where everything was miked, everyone sat their amplifiers sideways to the crowd (a cancelling effect out front for the open backed amps).

A typical setup was with amps up on stands about waist high, and fired them across the stage toward the drummer, and kept them just loud enough for the drummer to hear them.

Worked out well, sounded good, but the real advantage was that the FOH had so much control, and the room acoustics were not excited by huge amounts of mid-bass crowding and roaring. It was nice. The monitors were nice and hot...and thinned out enough so as to not have that chesty thickening effect on the mains. It was a real treat pretty much everywhere we played.

Post Reply