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guitarbloke1980

Using FRFR Behind You On Stage

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Is anyone here using an FRFR speaker positioned behind them onstage (rather than in front of them like a floor wedge)? I'm considering doing this instead of using a guitar cab onstage. I use IEM's so I don't need a wedge in front of me, however I DO like still being able to feel my cab pushing some air as it bleeds into my ears and helps me feel less isolated. I also like that it adds slightly to the overall sound that the audience hears in the room. My question is - do you find that having an FRFR speaker behind you still sounds ok? Would you position it on it's side like a wedge or standing upright (not on a pole)?

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I have my TS210 behind me, on it's side and angled up a bit. However, my scenario is that I don't have IEMs and we have a limited monitoring setup due to the amount of space in the snug that we play in at the pub. It's pretty much just two Yorkville NX10Cs; one sitting in a window sill directed at our drummer and fiddle player, and one sitting on a table directed at our bass player and two front men. Me, being on the other side of the stage, gets almost none of that given the distance and bodies they have to go through. So having the TS210 behind me is pretty much the only way I'd hear myself.

 

When we do bring out our "A" rig for our bigger gigs (which honestly, for a bar band, would probably be seen as an "A+++" rig), I still like having the TS210 behind me so I can get a little bit less/more of myself without having to bug our bass player/sound man.

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If you're going to stand it up, put it on a pole. Standing it on the floor is going to direct all the high-frequency of the tweeter straight and down (look at graphics of how the horns in most PA speakers project: it's usually straight off the top of the horn and angled down across the spread of the woofer) and will sound kinda muddy from a standing position. A pole stand with the top of the speaker at/above about cymbal height on the drum kit is what I've been told is ideal by several pro FOH engineers.

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I use the Mission Engineering Gemini 2 on stage, raised up on a stand. It's the closest I've found to the "amp in the room" sound.

 

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17 minutes ago, gunpointmetal said:

If you're going to stand it up, put it on a pole. Standing it on the floor is going to direct all the high-frequency of the tweeter straight and down (look at graphics of how the horns in most PA speakers project: it's usually straight off the top of the horn and angled down across the spread of the woofer) and will sound kinda muddy from a standing position. A pole stand with the top of the speaker at/above about cymbal height on the drum kit is what I've been told is ideal by several pro FOH engineers.

 

Unfortunately there's no way I'll be able to put it onto a pole - there's no room for a stand on the stages we play.  An amp and cab are fine because they are a fairly 'tidy' footprint, but to have one leg of a speaker stand sticking out into the stage area will cause real issues.

 

I was thinking of having it horizontally like a wedge monitor behind me so that the sound was directed up towards the back of my head.

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Wedge would be better than upright if you have to set it on the stage. It's going to do a better job of getting the sound into the room if you can get it up off the floor, though. If you just want if for some thump you might like wedge better anyways since you can feel it the floor.

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How ‘bout a Line 6 Powercab Plus? They sound great and can be tilted back if needed.

 

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Actually about 2 1/2 years ago I switched over from using my DXR12 in front of me as a monitor to behind me in the backline in vertical position on a half height pole and I'll never go back.  There are multiple good things that happen when you do that.  First of all, these speakers in the vertical position have a very wide sound cone, but in the horizontal position they have a much more limited horizontal sound cone.  That means you get better coverage across the stage and it makes it much easier for everyone to get a good stage mix.  A second huge advantage is if you happen to play at a smaller venue where you aren't putting the instruments through the PA.  An FRFR mounted on a pole behind will project much better than an amp and will project in the exact same way as if it were going through a PA.

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10 hours ago, gunpointmetal said:

If you're going to stand it up, put it on a pole. Standing it on the floor is going to direct all the high-frequency of the tweeter straight and down (look at graphics of how the horns in most PA speakers project: it's usually straight off the top of the horn and angled down across the spread of the woofer) and will sound kinda muddy from a standing position. A pole stand with the top of the speaker at/above about cymbal height on the drum kit is what I've been told is ideal by several pro FOH engineers.

 

Also, putting it on the floor (standing on it's side or upright) will cause coupling with the stage and the bass will get overwhelmingly boomy. I did that on my first gig with Helix and my TS212 (about a week after I got it) and it sounded pretty bad (and not something I could adequately fix on the fly). I now have a pole mount and an amp stand. The stand does take up room on the stage, but the pole; not much at all. But the speaker on the floor is not something I'd recommend.

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I was using two JBL EON610s as a backline with Helix and JTV-69S. This was OK, but sounded a bit overly bright/harsh, and could get boomy when I was stuck in a corner with the speakers on the floor. I found these to have a pretty dispersed sound, which I suppose is good, but tended to make my guitar disappear in the mix with the drums, bass, keys, etc.

 

I'm using a PowerCab plus now and find it works better. Bass coupling with the floor isn't as bad with a speaker more designed for guitar, and the tweeter isn't as bright or dispersed as a horn, so it sounds warmer and more natural. There's a low-cut switch that can compensate for the floor too. I don't put it on a stand because I don't what the volume in my ears.

 

That said, I have to use IEMs as my ears just won't take any loud volumes at all without ringing badly for days. If I don't use the IEMs, then I use professionally made -25dB ear plugs. These work well too.

 

So I don't really get to hear my backline. It's mostly there for feel for me, and to provide some acoustic coupling with the guitar to provide better sustain. Its also my stage amp for dancers up close to the band in small clubs. I'm overall pretty happy with PowerCab, and will make good use of 2.8 when it comes out to get better integration in my overall Line6 signal chain.

 

I also tried going amp-less and only using IEMs. But that won't work in small clubs because dancers up close to the band don't hear any guitar if its only coming through the PA. You can use a front-fill speaker, but then you might just as well use a backline. And either everybody or nobody can use this approach. You can't mix and match as people up close will only hear the drums and whatever instruments have a stage amp. 

 

I also tried using a wedge monitor in its side as a front monitor. That was the worse setup. It was too loud, harsh with that PA horn, and just didn't sound or feel right. Then the wedge monitors tended to reflect off the back wall and competed with the PA while introducing phasing issues. And there was no front fill for the dancers.

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I have a QSC K8.2 so it can fit anywhere -- small pole, or on top of the bass amp

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My first gig with my DXR12, I put it behind me horizontally on the floor. Total lousy sound dispersion. Big mistake.

I then got a short pole and had it vertical behind me. Much better. I used it that way for about 1 1/2 years. If you adjust the legs right they don't take up any more room than an amp.

I now use a PC+ behind me, on a small amp stand tilted up. This works great, so I sold my DXR12. 

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Mission Engineering Gemini 2 behind me on a tilted back stand a couple of feet off the floor. Expensive but sounds F'ing awesome. Sometimes mic it up to FOH for larger gigs.

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On 3/1/2019 at 7:25 AM, guitarbloke1980 said:

Is anyone here using an FRFR speaker positioned behind them onstage (rather than in front of them like a floor wedge)? I'm considering doing this instead of using a guitar cab onstage. I use IEM's so I don't need a wedge in front of me, however I DO like still being able to feel my cab pushing some air as it bleeds into my ears and helps me feel less isolated. I also like that it adds slightly to the overall sound that the audience hears in the room. My question is - do you find that having an FRFR speaker behind you still sounds ok? Would you position it on it's side like a wedge or standing upright (not on a pole)?

 

I you are sending Helix to the Mixer Direct - putting the speaker cab behind you 

will muck up the mix - depending on how loud you set it.  My FOH engineers 

will let guitarist and bass players setup anyway they are comfortable - if 

we are part of the Rehearsal before a tour - we work out with the musicians 

how to achieve the best mix. 

 

If you are in small venues - i.e. clubs, bars etc...I would never put the 

speaker behind you - the volume gets up too loud - especially if you are 

trying to 'feel' it. 

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2 hours ago, Papanate said:

 

If you are in small venues - i.e. clubs, bars etc...I would never put the 

speaker behind you - the volume gets up too loud - especially if you are 

trying to 'feel' it. 

 

Actually small venues are the best place to use it since you're not likely going to be putting instruments through the PA in those situations, so you're really depending on the backline to provide what the PA and stage monitors aren't for both on stage and off stage coverage.  Obviously you still have to manage your stage volume...just like we've been doing for the last 70 years.

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On 3/1/2019 at 6:25 AM, guitarbloke1980 said:

Is anyone here using an FRFR speaker positioned behind them onstage (rather than in front of them like a floor wedge)? I'm considering doing this instead of using a guitar cab onstage. I use IEM's so I don't need a wedge in front of me, however I DO like still being able to feel my cab pushing some air as it bleeds into my ears and helps me feel less isolated. I also like that it adds slightly to the overall sound that the audience hears in the room. My question is - do you find that having an FRFR speaker behind you still sounds ok? Would you position it on it's side like a wedge or standing upright (not on a pole)?

I sometimes do this exact setup. Floor wedge pointed up at me.  Works great.  I just make sure that the wedge isn’t pointed directly at my vocal mic, and that my vocal mic is also pointed up some.  

 

Other times I’m running the FRFR right in front of me in the traditional wedge monitor position.  Always depends on the gig and sound system.  

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My setup is similar to OP. My Helix goes to FOH, and I monitor via IEMs.

Additionally, I run a Headrush 108 angled up (or my Powercab) as my backline with the sole purpose of providing some stage volume. 

 

Typically I play on stages that have audiences right up front (standing underneath the FOH speakers) and they're not in an ideal position to hear the best mix.

Having that backline guarantees that the audience gets a bit of guitar volume from the stage. 

My volume is just loud enough to hit that first row of people, and I get a little bit of guitar bleed into my mic to give me a bit of "dimension" in my IEM.

 

 

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3 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

 

Actually small venues are the best place to use it since you're not likely going to be putting instruments through the PA in those situations, so you're really depending on the backline to provide what the PA and stage monitors aren't for both on stage and off stage coverage.  Obviously you still have to manage your stage volume...just like we've been doing for the last 70 years.

 

 

Minor niggle...but we haven't had Stage Monitors for 70 years.  

Stage Monitoring started showing up in 1968 - but not very good

monitoring. And Stage Volumes weren't calmed down until about 

1990 or so.  

 

That said - bands should be using the PA system for everything if they have 

modeling amps. There is no reason to fight the acoustics of small rooms. 

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That said - bands should be using the PA system for everything if they have 

modeling amps. There is no reason to fight the acoustics of small rooms. 

 

Old school I guess, but I've seen lots of bands that still use monitors in front of them (or behind). Mixed right its a tried and true method that works well. And, As a guitar player i "want" to hear a little of what the FoH is getting.

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I'm with spikey on this one.  I'm okay with doing in ears or monitors, but I'm much more comfortable working with the live feel of the mix on stage, probably because I've done that for so many years it just feels natural.  I'm okay with in ears, but it has more of a feel like working a studio session so it has less energy to it.  If you've been doing this for any length of time there's no trick to getting both your stage mix as well as your FOH mix right.  All you need is a pair of ears, a pair of feet and a wireless setup on your guitar.

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18 hours ago, slowfinger33 said:

My setup is similar to OP. My Helix goes to FOH, and I monitor via IEMs.

Additionally, I run a Headrush 108 angled up (or my Powercab) as my backline with the sole purpose of providing some stage volume. 

 

Typically I play on stages that have audiences right up front (standing underneath the FOH speakers) and they're not in an ideal position to hear the best mix.

Having that backline guarantees that the audience gets a bit of guitar volume from the stage. 

My volume is just loud enough to hit that first row of people, and I get a little bit of guitar bleed into my mic to give me a bit of "dimension" in my IEM.

 

 

 

This is pretty much my exact situation!  I need guitar coming out of FOH and also on the backline for a bit of stage volume to hit that front row and to bleed into my IEM.

 

Unfortunately, it's not quite so easy with the HX Stomp when using the 4 cable method.  I've yet to gig with my Stomp because I need to test this setup properly at a rehearsal (and my band only rehearses once a month...).

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Also if you go with no backline, and real drums, all the people close to the band (i.e., the dancers on the floor in small clubs) will hear is the drums.

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On 3/4/2019 at 7:41 AM, Papanate said:

If you are in small venues - i.e. clubs, bars etc...I would never put the 

speaker behind you - the volume gets up too loud - especially if you are 

trying to 'feel' it. 

In a small club the only way people near the stage or between the mains are going to hear the guitar is if there is stage volume. My bass player is a day-job FOH and monitor tech for several medium to large venues in the area and his suggestion is simply to keep the tweeter of the FRFR monitors below the height of mains to avoid obvious comb filtering, otherwise treat them pretty much like any other guitar cab as a far as placement/volume.

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On 3/4/2019 at 7:14 PM, Papanate said:

That said - bands should be using the PA system for everything if they have 

modeling amps. There is no reason to fight the acoustics of small rooms. 

 

I don't understand this. The PA is usually in front of the stage, so all we'd hear is the muffled sound from the back of the speaker. That's not ideal for monitoring from. I'd be lucky to hear it at all with a drummer thrashing away next to me.

 

(Also, as already stated, in a small room the PA is usually there to help the sound carry to the back, and the people in the middle near the front are relying on stage sound anyway.)

 

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I have a Kemper Powered Profiler.  I can still use it with a powercab, right?  I've always had 4x12 cabs, and need to downsize.  I'd like to get a powercab rather than just an ext cab to provide versatility in case I want to get a helix or Fractal AX8.  

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Yes, that would work fine. The integration won't be as good as Helix 2.8 will be, but it will work just fine.

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On 3/4/2019 at 11:07 AM, DunedinDragon said:

 

Actually small venues are the best place to use it since you're not likely going to be putting instruments through the PA in those situations, so you're really depending on the backline to provide what the PA and stage monitors aren't for both on stage and off stage coverage.  Obviously you still have to manage your stage volume...just like we've been doing for the last 70 years.

 

If the whole band is sending direct (which is what I prefer in small venues) then everything is mixed

FOH - we also don't use floor monitors - in Ears across the board - and we plexishield the drums or use

Electronic Kits - and we have 2 to 3 ambient microphones fed into our monitor mixes to remove the isolation 

feel of In Ears.  If you can't tell I have always disliked stage volume in small venues!<g>

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5 hours ago, Papanate said:

 

If the whole band is sending direct (which is what I prefer in small venues) then everything is mixed

FOH - we also don't use floor monitors - in Ears across the board - and we plexishield the drums or use

Electronic Kits - and we have 2 to 3 ambient microphones fed into our monitor mixes to remove the isolation 

feel of In Ears.  If you can't tell I have always disliked stage volume in small venues!<g>

To each their own.  I'm okay with most configurations including in ears.  My personal problem with many smaller venues and their PAs are how bad they are.  Often the ones I've run into are the typical powered mixer with cheap passive speakers.  They might sound okay for vocals, but they're pitiful for representing instrument tones.  That's when I'll leave the vocals to the budget PA and use something decent for the stage sound.  Often it's a 2 DXR12's, one for myself and one for the upper end electronic drum kit.  If nothing else the audience will get the benefit of premium sound from the instruments.  Given that the people I tend to work with in those situations have been playing for many decades, they have the discipline to maintain a managed stage mix.

 

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On 5/5/2019 at 8:57 AM, Papanate said:

 

If the whole band is sending direct (which is what I prefer in small venues) then everything is mixed

FOH - we also don't use floor monitors - in Ears across the board - and we plexishield the drums or use

Electronic Kits - and we have 2 to 3 ambient microphones fed into our monitor mixes to remove the isolation 

feel of In Ears.  If you can't tell I have always disliked stage volume in small venues!<g>

What do you use for sidefills so the people that are near the stage area can hear what is going on? Unless you've got a mini line array or something, there are going to be huge gaps in where people can hear the mix near center stage and about 8' back, as well as off to the sides. If you're running something like a pair of L1 systems in a coffee shop, I guess that makes more sense, but a typical "bar rig" with a couple of 12" or 15" mains on either side of the stage isn't going to provide much coverage to the front of the room. I love my IEMs, but even when we play places with excellent sound systems, there are still holes at the front and edges of the stage area that on-stage amps/speakers fill. I'd hate to move closer to the stage to enjoy some hard-working performers just to only hear drums when I got close.

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On 5/6/2019 at 10:27 AM, gunpointmetal said:

What do you use for sidefills so the people that are near the stage area can hear what is going on? Unless you've got a mini line array or something, there are going to be huge gaps in where people can hear the mix near center stage and about 8' back, as well as off to the sides. If you're running something like a pair of L1 systems in a coffee shop, I guess that makes more sense, but a typical "bar rig" with a couple of 12" or 15" mains on either side of the stage isn't going to provide much coverage to the front of the room. I love my IEMs, but even when we play places with excellent sound systems, there are still holes at the front and edges of the stage area that on-stage amps/speakers fill. I'd hate to move closer to the stage to enjoy some hard-working performers just to only hear drums when I got close.

 

Typical Setup has been s x JBL VRX 932LAP Cabinets Per Side over JBL VRX918S  Subs- with JBL VRX928LA as center fills.  OR we also use 2 x QSC K8s Coupled per side over QSC Subs with 3 x QSC K8's across as center fills.    These generally are the smaller venue rigs - larger venues we are using VerTec arrays - and sometimes Martin Arrays. Those are generally used in the 1500 seat and above venues. 

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It doesn't sound like many of you guys do small pubs in Liverpool(can't get the smileys to work),which leads to another comment I have never seen a Guitarist using a Helix level modeller(or anything else of that quality)in pub world,except 1 young band with no backline & electric drums & a good D&B pa,they sound great.

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I just wanna clarify something that is a huge problem with the mentality of most musicians.  First of all, there should never NOT be a PA. If the venue is small where some might think “we don’t even need a PA,” you should still have at least a small personal PA system.  This is not about needing power or volume...it’s about control and having direct sound.  Sound waves are very directional, until it hits a wall, then the ceiling, then the floor, plus the hard finished surface of the drum kit, and a million other surfaces. These reflections create thousands of other waves that all reach the listener’s ears at different times. If you want to sound good, at all, you simply play quieter so that you can deliver single mix, from a direct source, pointed straight at your listeners.  If they start hearing stage volume with the PA then it is going to be a good 15-45 ms behind and all the reflections from the stage sound mask the direct sound of the PA and that’s how you get phase/comb filtering/chorus(not in a good way), it’s a muddy and incoherent mess.  This is what drives me crazy about musicians...they think that playing loud and pushing air somehow makes them cool or feel like a rock star but to the audience you sound like s%#t. Secondly, there is no such thing as a “stage mix”. There are monitor mixes, sometimes yeah, but only in very large venues where there is room to have that much sound without interfering with a PA.  And this is more about control of feedback and helping the front of house than it is providing whatever mix every single band member wants. So unless your playing arenas, there is likely only room for one mix before hitting 120db and that mix should be for your listeners, not you! This is not the studio, it is live sound, and your not using headphones (most likely) so you don’t get to just blast whatever you want and expect that noise to somehow not interfere with the P.A.  A 60 hz sound wave is nearly 40 feet long, that’s going to the ceiling and all 4 walls, and back again, at least once in most rooms. Now the kick drum is producing those waves about every second...can you understand how fast this will max out sound pressure in a room fairly quickly? And with each wave bouncing off multiple surfaces, multiple times, every second...all your audience is getting is mush.  The louder you are on stage, the mores noise you are introducing and fighting with the clear, direct sound of the P.A. and your amps/wedges/reflections are now muddying everything up. It might sound good to you on stage but that’s because your monitor is 3 feet away pointed  straight at your face. You are getting DIRECT sound just like your audience was supposed to be getting, and  it might have sounded good to them as well. But get a wireless rig and step out in front of the mains and your loud a$$ amp/monitor is now reaching your years at all different intervals between 10-50 ms after the main PA is and now you essentially just put a ton of chorus and phase on your whole sound.  Congrats.  I’ve sat and watched guitar players tweak their amp and pedal settings for 20 minutes or more trying to dial in whatever they consider to be a good sound and then completely negate everything by blasting it through a full stack which is complete overkill even in arenas, and now your guitar is as loud as the PA and it turns an entire mix into absolute chaos.  It’s funny because on stage they are so sure that they sound awesome and that they are rock stars and nobody can even hear if you are playing a solo because its so loud yet chaotic with no articulation whatsoever. All they hear is noise.  Also, the only thing that should really be in your monitors is vocals anyway. The drums are the loudest thing on stage, you set your volume to match the drummer and your done. There’s no reason you need “more guitar” in your monitor because you can’t hear it over the other guitarist...well then tell the other guitarist to turn down genius! Always turn everything else down guys instead of turning yourself up. Play with as little volume on stage as possible, and let your sound guy mix the PA because he knows a lot more than you, and you can make his job 100x easier by not throwing your crappy, muddy, stage volume bouncing all over the room and nearly causing feedback at every turn on top of destroying a perfect mix.  How this concept is so hard for musicians to grasp is beyond me...you have a PA, use it! Let it do the work! Rely on it to deliver sound to your audience not your amp. It has panning, EQ’s, onboard compression, and other fx...why would you WANT to take a loud, crappy, mono signal from your monitor and blast it, and all of its reflections,  throughout the room after the sound guy just spent the entire soundcheck Fine tuning everything and creating a nice stereo image based on the room? And all this nonsense about the audience near the front at center stage only hear drums? Where are you playing, Wembly? I promise if you if you turn up as loud as the drummer, then your just as loud as the drummer. Period. How is that even a logical question? And besides that, most PA systems like the QSC K series have 120 degree spray.  L and R speakers spitting out 120 degrees spray will cover everyone just fine unless your stage is over 100 ft wide which I doubt.  And line arrays aren’t for the sake of providing “volume” differences to people in front of the stage.  They are designed and setup to provide even frequency response.  Low end travels extremely far, high frequencies are very short. Therefor, you need more precise directional control with higher output to throw high frequencies to the back vs low frequencies. These line arrays will typically have different speakers in each cab all the way up the chain to compensate for this.   But like I said, this only becomes a factor if your playing arenas and therefor have no reflections.  Because there is enough room for the sound wave to die before hitting a reflective surface.  In most venues, however, reflections are going to way too excessive, loud, and obnoxious to ever say “center stage needs more volume” much less “more STAGE volume”.  That’s absolutely ignorant. If they can hear drums but not guitar it’s likely because of TOO MUCH stage creating a lack of clarity due to phase canceling. Drums are quick transients so they will seem audible even when they are extremely muddy vs string instruments which basically become noise at high decibels with lots of reflections. It’s not that they can’t hear it, they just can’t hear it as a “guitar” because without the proper ear training they just perceive it as noise or simply “not there” because they can’t make out notes or phrases. You never want your audience to hear your stage volume, you want them to hear a direct delivery from the EQ’d and finely tuned mix that your PA is designed to produce.  The audience will NEVER benefit from hearing two mixes with a ton of reflections added in, no matter how “premium” your instrument is. That’s absolute ignorance and it’s exactly why musicians need to stop thinking they are sound engineers just because they know how to adjust a fader.  And for the record, any large production event you go to will always have passive speakers so why someone would blame a crappy P.A. on that aspect also proves they know nothing.  Passive speakers will be more accurate and allow you customize the power settings vs being stuck with whatever internal power supply was built by the lowest bidder.  So to re-cap....stop using the term stage mix...there is no such thing as a “stage mix” and it just keeps other musicians thinking that there is and justifying the ignorant way they approach live sound.  And the final point, the universal truth to remember, and this applies to every single live sound event throughout the entire world...I promise you, the quieter you are on stage, the more amazing you sound through the PA. No matter what venue, no matter what gear, no matter how good you THINK you sound...it will always sound better with even less stage volume. That’s just the physics of a sound waves. 

On 5/30/2019 at 5:01 PM, Papanate said:

 

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I did it a couple of nights ago for the first time.  Had to use the Global EQ but that was fine. That little QSC CP8 sounds great!

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I'm having my RCF 310A IV behind me and it's much better than just having venue monitors in front of me.

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6 hours ago, Fender_1983 said:

 If they start hearing stage volume with the PA then it is going to be a good 15-45 ms behind and all the reflections from the stage sound mask the direct sound of the PA and that’s how you get phase/comb filtering/chorus(not in a good way), it’s a muddy and incoherent mess. 

 

That's why each and every halway decent PA (these days even including cheaper ones) have dedicated delay lines for each array of speakers. The front speaker will be virtually pushed back a few feet until they're at stage distance, using these delays. Works a treat.

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On 11/29/2019 at 2:26 PM, Fender_1983 said:

I just wanna clarify something that is a huge problem with the mentality of most musicians.

 

A fine, impassioned and informative rant, but paragraphs are to prose what mix quality is to music.

 

:-)

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Wow, where to start on the Wall Of Text...

 

On 11/29/2019 at 2:26 PM, Fender_1983 said:

A 60 hz sound wave is nearly 40 feet long, that’s going to the ceiling and all 4 walls, and back again, at least once in most rooms. Now the kick drum is producing those waves about every second...can you understand how fast this will max out sound pressure in a room fairly quickly?

 

Sure, it's a nightmare. But am I supposed to be able to turn my drummer's kick down via the Helix?

 

On 11/29/2019 at 2:26 PM, Fender_1983 said:

There are monitor mixes, sometimes yeah, but only in very large venues where there is room to have that much sound without interfering with a PA.

 

Well, no. Pretty much everywhere I play, there's a monitor mix. It's necessary. I need to hear the other guitarist even though his cab is 20 ft away, pointed 90 degrees away from me, and has a loud drummer in the way. Ideally I also need to hear myself in the monitor because my cab is behind me and that is not a particularly clear sound - especially when competing with the reverberations of the room in front of me.

 

 

On 11/29/2019 at 2:26 PM, Fender_1983 said:

Play with as little volume on stage as possible, and let your sound guy mix the PA because he knows a lot more than you, and you can make his job 100x easier by not throwing your crappy, muddy, stage volume bouncing all over the room and nearly causing feedback at every turn on top of destroying a perfect mix.  How this concept is so hard for musicians to grasp is beyond me...you have a PA, use it!

 

Alternatively, the sound engineer - you know, the guy who can actually hear what the PA is sounding like out front - can issue instructions during sound/line check to guitarists to adjust their levels. That's their job - not my job to second-guess the venue.

 

 

On 11/29/2019 at 2:26 PM, Fender_1983 said:

And all this nonsense about the audience near the front at center stage only hear drums? Where are you playing, Wembly? I promise if you if you turn up as loud as the drummer, then your just as loud as the drummer. Period. How is that even a logical question?

 

Because speakers are directional. In a typical small venue with minimal space between the stage and the crowd, someone who is front row centre is not only closer to the drum kit than to either guitarist's cab stage left or right, but they're usually well off-axis for those cabs. Not only that, but they are often parallel with, or sometimes even in front of, the main PA.

 

Not that I tweak my guitar level for those fans - it's the venue's job to ensure everyone can hear properly. But it's still a fact that onstage sound is a large part of what you hear near the front if you're at small, loud gigs.

 

Example, of where I played last Saturday:

academy.jpg.3e3b603a7571699ae87ed94ab112110c.jpg

The people stood in the front middle there are getting very little from those PA stacks. They'll get a hell of a lot of drums, and a fair bit of guitars depending on where the cabs are placed.

 

 

 

 

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*The* single most important aspect, regardless of how you place your cabs, monitors and what not, being: Once you meet a drummer playing responsible, become best friends with him/her and treat him/her as nice as it gets. These are an ultra rare breed and they need all the care there is. They also need to get all the groupies (in case that was still a thing...) in order to spread their genes all over the world for future generations of musicians to become happier people.

I know a bunch of excellent drummers. But once they're "in the zone" it's still all over. Playing = great, usability = like <insert worst possible insult here>. I absolutely dig drummers like Taylor Hawkins. But in a small club there's no space for that kind of drumming, as sad as a fact that might be. It instantly destroys any approach to get a well balanced sound. Even a cranked 100W Marshall isn't as loud as a heavily smashed snare rimshot and no speaker beam hurts as much as the final 8th note crash cymbal mayhem in the final chorus of that epic rock tune you're attempting to play.

There you have it.

(I think there's good chances of not having too much drummers reading along 'round these parts...)

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