We might be having a short gig in a small auditorium.

There will be no soundboard and miking of amps. So, no monitors, either.
ie: We need to play like a garage band but in a very large room.

My biggest fear is the issue with the band being able to hear each other.

Obviously, our amps will need to be cranked. But, if I am standing next to my cranked amp, I'll hear myself, but I won't hear the singer or bassist amps. The drummer may have issues hearing others as well.

What is the best way to pull off this situation? Should we try to stand far away from our amps, so we hear more of a realistic "mix" ? Should we put the amps behind us? In front of us facing the seats? Side of the stage?

I am guessing there is a "least worst way" to pull this off.
MY guess is to put the amps behind the drum kit???
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There are several options, and some of them require a bit more time in the room. First, figure out your setup. Where are my guitars, where are my drums, where are my aux percussionists, etc. Once you have that idea, find out where you are in relation to the audience. In some instances amps can be turned backwards to get a decent room sound, and in other instances its an option that is impossible. The key is to figure out the space and how you relate with it.

The true test will be having your vocalist hear themselves in relation to the music, and the biggest tip I can give is MODERATION. Everyone should set their volume to the drummer, and he should be watching his dynamics as not to get too out of hand. Another tip for auditorium shows is to lower the treble on the guitar amps. Those rooms bounce treble around like a mother and you don't want that.

EDIT: Maybe I'll draw out a diagram in a bit with a setup I used with a fair amount of success.

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Last edited by Butthead at Jan 7, 2015,
Your main concern is to turn the amps way down so that the vocal cuts through and the whole thing sounds balanced.
Yeah, you don't want to crank up the amps unless your drummer is super loud (or you have really small amps). We played many gigs without having to mic any amps in the military band. And the guitarist was using a 15 watt amp and didn't crank it. Our drummer could also play quietly.

To sound as clear as possible, you don't want to be too loud. It all depends on your drummer, really. But if it sounds too muddy, you have to turn down. And the drummer needs to play more softly.

Could the singer bring his/hers own monitor (you don't really need a mixing board for that - speakers usually have outputs for monitors)? Sometimes we only used monitors for vocals (because we didn't mic anything). That way the singers heard what themselves well. Otherwise you'll have to turn the vocals up really loud.

The drummer didn't have problems with hearing the bass and the guitar (at least he didn't complain about it) and the amps were in line with the drums, pretty close to the drum set.
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i played a talent show in high school we setup drummer kind of in the middle to the back then the amps on opposite sides of the stage kind of in a 3 or 4 foot radius away from they guitar player then we ran a mic up to the front of the drum set and gave it a amp and speaker and one of the guitar amps was split for vocals worked pretty good for a bunch of 14 year old kids in a large gym
Ahh! I don't know how to insert a drawing. This is the setup we use with limited mics/monitors:

Drums centered in back
Bass amp next to drummer
Guitar amps in the wings angled inwards 45 degrees
Lead singer front and center flanked by guitars.
Match bass volume to the kick drum.
Match guitar volume to the snare and resist the temptation to dime the amps.

This way everyone can hear all the instruments. Very important to avoid burying the lead singer with too much sound. If he is singing melody, he needs to be able to hear himself. If he is doing the thrash cookie monster thing it is not necessary to hear himself.

Good luck!
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