#1
New band here with little to no experience with live sound. We have a pair of powered speakers, a mixer, small practice bass & guitar amp and our instruments.

When you do live shows for small crowd (100 max in small closed space), how do you setup(connectivity) your bass guitar?
We hooked it up direct to our mixer or mic'd from the small practice amp. Do you usually have a sub in your PA setup? Is a sub required? we're playing folk/light rock songs. We don't have a drummer and use back track for drums.

Please advise.
Thanks.
#2
Quote by eclipseG
New band here with little to no experience with live sound. We have a pair of powered speakers, a mixer, small practice bass & guitar amp and our instruments.

When you do live shows for small crowd (100 max in small closed space), how do you setup(connectivity) your bass guitar?
We hooked it up direct to our mixer or mic'd from the small practice amp. Do you usually have a sub in your PA setup? Is a sub required? we're playing folk/light rock songs. We don't have a drummer and use back track for drums.

Please advise.
Thanks.

Hey!

Depending on your budget, you have a couple of options. I'm going to suggest stuff within a budget of $300.

Amplifier:
You could get a small bass combo - something ideally over 50w and with a decent sized speaker (10" or above).
Here's a list of decent amps within that price bracket:

Hartke HD75 (75w 1x12)
Warwick BC80 (80w 1x12)
Kustom KXB100 (100w 1x15)
Ampeg BA-112 V2 (75w 1x12)
Peavey Max 112 II (200w 1x12)
Fender Rumble 100 (100w 1x12)

That way, you can leave the PA for vocals and the drums.

Preamp (into PA):
Using a bass preamp means that you can still run it through the PA, but add in a bit of colour to make it a little less sterile sounding.
There are a couple of bass multi-effect type pedals that have built in amp simulations. This means that you'll be able to use a variety of effects at the same time. Some even include loopers.

Some examples include:
Boss ME-20B,
Zoom B3,
Digitech BP90,
or the ultra-small Zoom MS-60B.

You might also be able to find a used Line 6 Bass POD xt Live, which is the one I'd get since I tend to like Line 6.

Alternatively, there are a variety of dedicated bass preamps available including:
Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI,
SansAmp Programmable Bass Driver DI,
MXR M-80,
Eden WTDI,
or the Aguilar Tone Hammer.

The difference between the regular and programmable SansAmps is that the programmable one allows you to save 3 presets for easy tone changing.

It all comes down to your budget, the kind of sound you're going for and the practicality required. It's easier to carry a stompbox than a big amp, for example.

----

Personally I gig with a SansAmp RBI and Ashdown bass stack. I have it set so that the bass goes into the SansAmp, then the wet 1/4" out goes to the amp and the wet XLR out goes to the PA.
It's a nice simple setup with lots of tone shaping options.

That's just my 2 shillings
#3
Good advice above. Leave the PA for vocals and your drum tracks. Get a small used bass amp.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#4
Thanks for the great advice. our guitar is also going to the PA system since the small amps aren't enough.
so adding a larger amp (75-100w) is enough to compete with the PA speakers that are 300 watts or more?
The bassist has a big muff, so run an xlr or 1/4" to the mixer would do it?
#5
Good advice from Mr Corrosion.

For a really cheap bass pre amp option don't forget the Zoom B1on which also has a tuner,drum machine headphone and iPod mixing built in.

However I'd go for a used combo for the bass. Bass is very demanding for power and it is often best to keep bass in particular out of a small PA. I picked up a Hartke kickback for £100 in the UK but there are plenty of alternatives around. Old Peavey stuff in particular is usually good value, reliable and sounds good.

If you want some homework on PA issues https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1591207
Last edited by Phil Starr at Apr 1, 2016,
#6
speaking of cheap used amps, if you can get a hold of an old trace elliot, definitely do.
modes are a social construct
#7
Had an opportunity to work with a guy in Miami who had a Drum Machine and KB sequences running most of the music he was performing, and he had the strangest set up that I ever saw.

There was some sort of bass amp that ran the kick drum exclusively,
The other synth sequencer parts ran through powered main speakers on either side of the Kick amp and his amp (guitar amp), the vocals were on the sides of this backline array in two powered mains.

I set my 212 combo on top of the kick amp. It sounded awesome.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
#8
Just started using a Markbass combo, no need to DI anymore other than for outside gigs.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#9
Sorry for the late reply!

I have a TC Electronic BG250 and it has a DI balanced output jack and that works just as well as well as a DI which the venue SHOULD provide, but yeah the venue should just help you with everything but it's good to have a bit of knowledge to save the sound guy some work.

Other than that you don't need to know much about sound leave that to the sound guy haha I would highly recommend anything TC Electronic moderately price, durable and nice sounding
#10
Unless you can depend on DI into the F.O.H I certainly would not go below 15" with a very minimum of 300 watts.
What you should know is that an output stage of an amplifier being driven too hard can clip and produce square waves which loudspeakers don't like and will more than likely burn them out.
The old system of using twice the wattage in speakers as the output of the amplifier has long since gone due to the speakers that are around today.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#11
Quote by John Swift
Unless you can depend on DI into the F.O.H I certainly would not go below 15" with a very minimum of 300 watts.
What you should know is that an output stage of an amplifier being driven too hard can clip and produce square waves which loudspeakers don't like and will more than likely burn them out.
The old system of using twice the wattage in speakers as the output of the amplifier has long since gone due to the speakers that are around today.



That's why I turn my amp down when I'm on stage because it messes it up, but I have noticed differences in the sound if they've plugged it directly into the balanced output DI slot or going through a DI box slight variations but my amp is 250 watt and does the job just fine.