Sounds familar! I played bass for a band long ago (2001-2008, back in Boulder, Colorado) and was in much the same situation, regarding setting up the mixer, PA, wiring the stage, and getting everything other than my rig ready to go. Didn't have to deal with lights though. I still have weird dreams where I am scrambling around trying to find gear, and wire cables, get recording gear plugged in, and then suddenly it's time to start the gig, and I am still running around trying to find an XLR cable or something! Lol, not sure what that means! I guess it means I miss being in band.. Living in Chicago now, definitely a cool town, and as far as musical opportunity, it's a pretty amazing city. I miss Colorado like crazy though!
Anyhoot, my buddy who plays the lead guitar / lead vocal role in this ensemble just parted ways with the band he was with for a long while, so we are just going slow and having fun, no gigs yet - just had our first few jams over the last month or so.
I was using a hodge podge of solid state guitar and bass amps I had around, and running the HD500 into the FX return. Sounded fine at home or by myself - but with drums, bass and his amp going, I just wasn't keeping up in tone and volume. He uses a 40w Fender Tweed, and he's an all-analog pedal guy; some combinations of his pedals make that Tweed louder than; well, friggin' loud! He does struggle some with getting all those pedals and signal levels to play nice, and he's got a couple different compressors in his chain, and a noise gate. Overall, nice tone, he uses a really sweet USA Gibson SG.
In that regard, concerning stage volume, and not overwhelming vocals, another reason why I was drawn to the DT25 with my POD, knowing I can use the DT as my stage monitor, and keep the stage volume from getting out of hand. And I like the idea of running direct to the board, in terms of having an easy signal path for the monitor sends to the rest of the stage and for my main mix to the PA in gigs when mic'ing the DT isn't feasible.
I have been with the POD multi-fx idea for a while - I love analog pedals, IMHO, the Keeley 4 knob comp is the greatest pedal ever made! But, I also feel right at home with a programmable all-in one type set up. Had the X3 previously, sold it to fund the HD500 when it first came out, but then got more into recording other friends bands, and let the HD500 collect a bit of dust. Gets tough cranking up at home when you live in the upstairs apartment. I dig the way it sounds via headphones, when ya just gotta play, but that gets old - and makes patch creation quite challenging. Was making all these patches that sounded fine in headphones, and they were not usable when played through air into an actual amp or PA.
In terms of the lure of the DT25 stage volume, I had noticed watching various friends and bands play, that when you record the direct off the board, that the louder the guitarist plays his amp on stage, the lower his signal is in the board mix, to the extent that sometimes they would just turn him all the way down in the mix! I did end up picking up a Tascam portable recorder that can do four track recording - stereo line in and stereo built in mics, and it records them to two different .wav files, at up to 24bit/96k. Put that on a tripod, point it at the stage for the room mix, and take whatever I can get for line signals, then merge them later in software on the computer. Got some nice mixes from a few shows, but the file size limit is frustrating; end up having to stop and start between each song, no matter how large an SD card I use. But I digress..
What's cool about getting back to jamming is there are two different rehearsal spots we can use, with drums kits, PA's, all that jazz. I am psyched, though going to definitely need some time to tweak a bit with the patches I already use on the POD, to maximize the benefit of the link control over the DT25.
As I understand it, using the Link is akin to what they used to call the "four cable method"? In terms of, it places the digital preamps in the correct location of the sequence, so that the input and output stages are in the right order. I tried that 4 cable method with the X3 and never really got it to work quite right - though that I think was a factor of the crappy amps I was using.
I did order the DT25 combo today - from Zzounds. Warning to you ALL : if you suffer from GAS, you may want to be careful on that website! They offer an 8 payment plan, where you pay the installments every 30 days, and they ship it after you make the first payment. Looks like it shipped out today, UPS Ground, so probably be jamming by next week sometime!
That being said, literally as soon as I confirmed the order today, I started poking around on these forums, and saw mention of this "New" amp thing that L6 is dropping on us January 23rd.. I was like, REALLY???? Come on!!!
One can only speculate.. I do feel that the DT25 has progressed nicely in terms of firmware updates, looks like the expanded the selection of amps one can use without needing the HD500, though I still think the idea of using the POD with the Link is a great concept. Guess I better brace myself for a serious case of GAS on January 23!!!!