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Old 07-25-2011, 10:47 AM   #1
ivanthetrble
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Running bass thru the board advice

Need some advice here. Most of our gigs are small enough clubs that we don't run all our sound thru FOH. We usually mic the vocals, kick and I run a line to the board just to help fill in the bottom a bit. We are starting to do some outdoor gigs and are making the move to running everything thru to PA. We set our PA up in our guitar player's back yard yesterday and with some tweaking we got a pretty good sound for everything expect for the bass. My tone running thru my rig (Aguilar DB680 -> Stewart World 2.1 -> Berggie HT322 cabs (x2)) is good but when I turn my cabs off and just listened to what was coming thru the PA it was Lug-esque. I looked at the board settings and I turned everything on my channel to flat but that still sounded like crap. Tried messing with the channel Eq but never found a tone that was not suckage. Suggestions where to start with this? Our PA is not huge but it should be able to handle this. We have an 18" sub on each side wtih a Mackie 1400i amp running bridge mono pushing them. The top of our PA are 12" three ways run by a seperate Mackie 1400i running stereo. We have an Eq for each stereo channel but those are pretty close to flat. Feedback busters on each channel, an effects unit for a little color to the vocals (not in the signal chain for the bass channel) and a 16 channel board.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:10 PM   #2
perrydabassman
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I much prefer to mic my cabs if I am running thru the PA. You get the full flavor of your rig that way. Another idea is to mic and run the DI thru two channels on the board so you can mix both.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:20 PM   #3
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A good balance is a DI right after your bass, and a decent cabinet mic. Gives the ability to mix enough "wet" affected, preamped signal with the clean bass signal.

What was wrong with the sound? Outside, you have no room reflections to color and reinforce the low end, so you usually need a LOT of sub and low mids, which are handled by the tops if you cross at the usual 100Hz or thereabout. You would usually include a much higher percentage of your rig sound than the DI sound in this situation.

What was your input to the PA? Mic, DI box(taken where?) Amp DI?
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:26 PM   #4
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A good balance is a DI right after your bass, and a decent cabinet mic. Gives the ability to mix enough "wet" affected, preamped signal with the clean bass signal.

What was wrong with the sound? Outside, you have no room reflections to color and reinforce the low end, so you usually need a LOT of sub and low mids, which are handled by the tops if you cross at the usual 100Hz or thereabout. You would usually include a much higher percentage of your rig sound than the DI sound in this situation.

What was your input to the PA? Mic, DI box(taken where?) Amp DI?
It sounds distorted, almost over driven. The first thing I checked was the trim on the channel I am using and that seems OK. Perhaps I am sending the wrong signal from my pre-amp's DI? My pre-amp has line and mic level settings. I would assume I would want a line level, pre-Eq signal sent to the board? Input to the board was the mic line in for that channel.

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:49 PM   #5
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ivanthetrble said... View Post
It sounds distorted, almost over driven. The first thing I checked was the trim on the channel I am using and that seems OK. Perhaps I am sending the wrong signal from my pre-amp's DI? My pre-amp has line and mic level settings. I would assume I would want a line level, pre-Eq signal sent to the board? Input to the board was the mic line in for that channel.
Line level would be extremely hot for most console mic preamps, but if you checked the channel and didn't see the clip light (or the PFL in the red) you should be within its limits. What mixing console are you using?
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:03 PM   #6
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Line level would be extremely hot for most console mic preamps, but if you checked the channel and didn't see the clip light (or the PFL in the red) you should be within its limits. What mixing console are you using?
It is a Mackie 16 channel but I don't know the exact model number.
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:12 PM   #7
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It is a Mackie 16 channel but I don't know the exact model number.
I assume that the channels have overload LEDs (I haven't seen a Mackie without them) and that yours isn't lighting up when you play? Where do you have the trim knob set? (O-clock or dB is fine).
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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I assume that the channels have overload LEDs (I haven't seen a Mackie without them) and that yours isn't lighting up when you play? Where do you have the trim knob set? (O-clock or dB is fine).
I looked for the overload light and I didn't see that lighting up. I will have to recheck the trim knob. I didn't think it was anything too extreme but not 100% sure without looking.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:31 PM   #9
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:39 PM   #10
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:01 PM   #11
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Like L. Ron said, PFL the channel you're using to see if you are overdriving the input. The DIs on bass heads are sometimes really hot and easily overdrive a mic channel.

Personally, I'd just use an outboard DI with a clean(before the amp input) signal and mic the cab, then mix the two channels to get a good sound out front.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:12 PM   #12
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:28 PM   #13
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i would think that nice 680 would have Pre/Post options on the DI. have you tried the other vs what you're using? also does the DI out have a Level on it or just the switch. that's too awesome of a rig to cheapo box DI it, so i'd try and figure it out or get a killer mic like a PR-40 or RE20 or something rad
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:29 PM   #14
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i would think that nice 680 would have Pre/Post options on the DI. have you tried the other vs what you're using? also does the DI out have a Level on it or just the switch. that's too awesome of a rig to cheapo box DI it, so i'd try and figure it out or get a killer mic like a PR-40 or RE20 or something rad
Tonight I am going to go thru all the settings again. I suspect that something either got changed or didn't get set correctly. I suspect that something is set so either the signal from the pre-amp is too hot or the trim on the board is set too high. It sounds like something is being overdriven in a very non-musical kind of way. It sounds a bit like the tone you get when you push a solid state amp too hard and it starts to break up. Sounds good thru my cab so it has to be something amiss somewhere along the signal chain to the board.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:51 PM   #15
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I advise running your bass through a board.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:58 AM   #16
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I tried running my bass through this board once. Unfortunately, my A->T / T->A (audio to text) converter sucked balls.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:22 AM   #17
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ivanthetrble said... View Post
It sounds distorted, almost over driven. The first thing I checked was the trim on the channel I am using and that seems OK. Perhaps I am sending the wrong signal from my pre-amp's DI? My pre-amp has line and mic level settings. I would assume I would want a line level, pre-Eq signal sent to the board? Input to the board was the mic line in for that channel.
Yeah, line-level is going to be hot if you put it into a mic input channel. If you use a line input, that'll work, but as I'm not sure which Mackie you're using, I can't say what's available. I'd simply switch to mic-level, PFL to adjust to peak at 0dB or perhaps +5dB, and listen for distortion. It's entirely possible there's a problem with your preamp's DI...wouldn't be the first time I've run into bad amp/preamp DI outs. A good inexpensive passive or active DI (depends on your bass(es)) is a worthwhile investment. Audiopile (www.audiopile.net) has some real values in inexpensive DI's. Worth a look.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:45 PM   #18
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A good inexpensive passive or active DI (depends on your bass(es)) is a worthwhile investment. Audiopile (www.audiopile.net) has some real values in inexpensive DI's. Worth a look.
My Fender Jazz sounds awesome through Audiopile's active DI. I like the fact it will run on phantom power to save the battery.

Try working with a different channel on the board and see how it sounds. I would also try a different board to see if it the sterile sounding Mackie preamps creating the tone you don't like.
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