Live, without amps

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slowlearner
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Live, without amps

Post by slowlearner » 24 Jun 2018, 21:37

My new blues band is up and happening. I'm ashamed to say I might be called a... "guitardist". :red face In reality I'm playing guitar and bass at the same time.

But anyhow, we've been playing a few gigs to good reviews. My drummer has a Roland V Drum setup that frankly sounds awesome. With that, we've been able to significantly lower the stage volume. On Saturday we played for a local community thing where they supplied a small PA. It's was a Fender Venue...

https://www.storedj.com.au/fender-passp ... lay-record

After having a squiz at it during the week, I decided to play without an amp altogether. This was my pedal board...



Well, totally a win. No amps. No need for fold-back. Sensible, lowish, FOH level, happy punters. We're gonna get a slightly better mixer and go amp free for every gig. Anyone else doing this? What's your guitar player doing?
Bassline "I'm not arguing.... I'm just explaining why I'm right."
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BazzBass
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by BazzBass » 25 Jun 2018, 00:09

as long as the speakers can cope with all the instruments through it you are sweet. So how do you hear yourselves without monitors?
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slowlearner
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by slowlearner » 25 Jun 2018, 07:28

The speakers were 10"s and at the level we were playing at, more than up to the task. They'd been set up against the wall just behind us, so we could hear ourselves fine. Again, usually this would be a feedback issues, but because the volume was sensible there were no feedback issues at all. :)
Bassline "I'm not arguing.... I'm just explaining why I'm right."
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bigswifty
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by bigswifty » 25 Jun 2018, 10:47

I've played behind a guitarist who didn't use an amp and I *loved* it. When a guitarist is freed of all that "have to drive the amp at it's sweet spot" and "only way to get my sound" stuff, all manner of sensible options are possible. It was quite a while ago and I wish I could remember his gear. Googling about, I *think* it might have been a Fractal XL+ or something very like it. It was an electric blues band and he could get any sound you've ever heard from a blues guitarist, without all the nonsense that's usually associated with same. And he could get it at near any volume.

Personally I've done gigs through a Zoom G3 into a desk. This was because it was a super low volume gig and also because it was just me and a lady singer so her idea of lugging was "Gee this mic stand is really heavy" (bless her) so I had to do the lot. I don't think a real guitarist would have tolerated it but for quietly strumming in the corner of the bar and not bugging anyone too much (it was that kind of gig) I was kinda satisfied with the tradeoffs.

Mike
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slowlearner
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by slowlearner » 25 Jun 2018, 14:18

I was using this pedal as my DI/pre-amp...

https://www.cheaperpedals.com/products/ ... c-eq-mo-ba

It's got a pretty sympathetic sounds and is VERY flexible. I'm used to using a Class A valve amp. Hi gain, low master setting. Even still it's hard to get the sweet sound at low volume. I guess that's what I missed most going straight into the desk. Warmth and slight compression is what valve amps do best. But then with an OD pedal you have the comp anyway. So I reckon I was about 85-90% of the way to a sound I was happy with... without lugging a heavy amp and melting the front row (even at low volume).

The good news is the mixer I'm looking at has comp on every channel. And yeah Mike, how nice is it to play without getting stabbed in the ears all the time.
Bassline "I'm not arguing.... I'm just explaining why I'm right."
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ozrider
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by ozrider » 25 Jun 2018, 20:21

I'm heading this way now that I have got a cajon player instead of a drummer. My vocalists keeps commenting on how they don't have to strain themselves to get above the drums and I can hear myself clearly for the first time, I just play so much better than the mud I usually have to deal with in a loud band. I also want to hear the full range of my bass and not the head/cabinet combo anymore. Time to invest in IEMs

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slowlearner
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by slowlearner » 25 Jun 2018, 22:23

ozrider wrote:
25 Jun 2018, 20:21
Time to invest in IEMs
Well, that's the interesting thing. We were also talking about IEMs, but on Saturday I think we realized, we just don't need them. Which pretty cool, because they're a solid investment and a bunch'o'messing around. It's also just some more junk we'd have to carry. I think, instead, we can set up our P.A. so (like the grateful dead) we hear what the audience hear. BTW, I resonate with your singer.

P.s. was talking to a bass player friend tonight. Was saying to him, I reckon this is the way of the future in a place like Sydney where quiet gigs have become the order of the day.
Bassline "I'm not arguing.... I'm just explaining why I'm right."
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ozrider
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by ozrider » 25 Jun 2018, 22:47

slowlearner wrote:
25 Jun 2018, 22:23
ozrider wrote:
25 Jun 2018, 20:21
Time to invest in IEMs
Well, that's the interesting thing. We were also talking about IEMs, but on Saturday I think we realized, we just don't need them. Which pretty cool, because they're a solid investment and a bunch'o'messing around. It's also just some more junk we'd have to carry. I think, instead, we can set up our P.A. so (like the grateful dead) we hear what the audience hear. BTW, I resonate with your singer.

P.s. was talking to a bass player friend tonight. Was saying to him, I reckon this is the way of the future in a place like Sydney where quiet gigs have become the order of the day.
Yeah you are correct, it is quiet gigs over here too in Perth in many places. I was thinking to get them anyway because playing with a drummer with my other band I realise I play pretty conservatively because I just can't hear myself

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vin-tone
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by vin-tone » 26 Jun 2018, 09:22

For guitarists it definitely depends on the kind of sound they're after. The best guitar sound I've ever played with was Ross Hannaford. He'd set up with 2 x 5 watt Fender Champs on either side of the stage. It gave him a natural overdrive and compression at reasonable volume.
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ozrider
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by ozrider » 30 Jun 2018, 06:24

Tried to use the PA at rehearsal and it was pretty terrible sounding. I bet a better PA would still be workable.

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rev matt
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by rev matt » 24 Jul 2018, 14:46

bigswifty wrote:
25 Jun 2018, 10:47
guitarist "have to drive the amp at it's sweet spot" and "only way to get my sound"

Mike
We have a guitarist like that, funnily enough, his son plays violin and has the same affliction. Most violin players just plug straight into the desk, but not ours. he brings 2 amps (one for FOH, but tilted up so he can hear it) and a P.A. type monitor on a stand at head height so he can hear through that as well and a massive pedal board.
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Curto
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Re: Live, without amps

Post by Curto » 30 Jul 2018, 08:47

I've been amp-less for a few months now at church. Can either use IEM or a foldback that sits under a metal grate in the stage. The overall stage volume is much lower. We use Roland V drums as well. The guitarists have set up a "sound proof" cabinet room in a store room where they mic their cabs so they can achieve their authentic tone. I'm not convinced anyone would notice the difference between the real thing and a cab sim though.
I just run bass (and sometimes FX) into the Hartke Preamp/DI to FOH. Using IEM sounds awesome. I can adjust my own levels and turn the bass up ... although it's not what everyone else is hearing. The only issue is having to wait for the sound guy to turn the bass on. One Sunday, it wasn't until after we had rehearsed the first song that I eventually requested that the bass channel be turned on. No one had even noticed there was no bass!
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