Gig an amp too quiet to be heard onstage?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by charlie chitlin, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    I have this '51 Deluxe I'm dying to gig.
    This weekend's gig is at a big joint and I know the soundman likes very low stage volume. My Bassman is not an option.
    But I don't think the Deluxe is even loud enough to be heard onstage.
    Do I trust the sound guy to get it right in the monitors and mains?
  2. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    Get it up high and point it at your head. Quit doing all those cartwheels and antics on stage. Stay within range of the amp. You should be able to hear it. Try it. Bring a back up amp just incase? Do you have nothing to bring as a back up between a 51 Deluxe and a 59 Bassman....Rock Stars. Sheesh. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
    Jupiter, Axis29, John How and 7 others like this.
  3. 68tele

    68tele Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 26, 2003
    East Northport NY
    Hope for the best, but bring backup
    tery likes this.
  4. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    If the tech wants you to keep your stage volume down, then you MUST trust him to get it right in the mains!

    Now back to hearing yourself on stage....

    If the monitor rig has separate mixes, then that is an option. However, most people do not like hearing their guitar in that manner... I like it, but most do not.

    If there are no separate mixes or if you don't want to hear your guitar like that then @keithb7 has given you the answer in an earlier post.
    Point the amp at your head... you will hear it ;)
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
    Wildcard_35 and haggardfan1 like this.
  5. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    I won't do it.
    I just go with the assumption that there will be no PA for me to be wired through, and make sure that I have big enough guns to make it over the drummer.

    Then, if there's a free PA channel AND a competent, soundguy, cool, but if not, still no worries

    Any amp that can't be heard over a loud drummer is useless to me in a live application.
    RedRock, tery, Wildcard_35 and 3 others like this.
  6. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2014
    Texas and Louisiana
    Trust the sound guy. I've been on both sides of that situation; that's what accomplished guitarists, and accomplished sound guys are for.

    The operative phrase is "I know the soundman likes ___." It sounds as if you have played the venue before. Make sure he knows what you and your band like, and compromise. At least you aren't going in blind.

    You can always turn up a little, and if he doesn't like the stage volume he'll tell you. It's hard to know what the FOH hears if you're onstage--and even harder to know what the band hears, if you're at the board. This is the great "working without a net" that most of us at the beer-joint level pull off somehow, week in and week out.

    I would love to mix a band in which the guitar player had your attitude, and an amp like that. Drool....Pennsylvania is a long commute though. :rolleyes:

    Good luck. It will be fine, take your smaller amp.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  7. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Now were talking! If I ever make it your way I promise to make life easy on you!

    I do my fair share of tech jobs as well, nothing is more irritating than a musician (any instrument) that thinks it's his duty to put themselves in the mix on gigs where there is a capable PA and tech to take care of that.
    haggardfan1 likes this.
  8. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2015
    I gigged for years with just my '82 SuperChamp. Frequently I couldn't hear it at all, so I built in a Shure SM-10 headphone mic behind the grill, and ran it into the PA, and into the monitors. Then I could hear it fine, and it sounded great. And it resolved the problem of carrying heavy equipment. I still have the amp, although I don't use it much these days.

    The band I play in now uses all multifx pedals direct into the board, drums are electronic, too. Everybody gets their own IEM mix, and we use no stage amps at all. I've gotten used to it. Probably wouldn't go back to playing in a real band anymore.
    Greggorios likes this.
  9. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2014
    Texas and Louisiana

    Right back at ya. I wish more of us TDPRI members could work together on and offstage; wouldn't that be something.
    Wildcard_35 and codamedia like this.
  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    If you can, try to turn your amp into your personal guitar monitor.
    I do this when I play low volume, “big band” (5-9 pieces) gigs.
    I orient myself to one side of the stage, hopefully away from the bass and keyboards.
    I then put my amp on the floor and angle it so it stays out of my vocal mic, but is “aimed” at my head/ears.
    I try not to aim it at anyone else.
    If others want to hear me, they can put me in their monitor.
    I hope that makes sense.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
    Wildcard_35 and kookaburra like this.
  11. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Get a tilt back amp stand and point it back up at you.

    If they want low overall stage volume (which is sensible unless you're playing an enormous stage), you don't need your amp in the monitors.
  12. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Lower stage volume is wonderful thing. So much easier to prevent feedback loops going into mics, monitors, etc. So much less fatiguing for the ears of the musicians.
    Now, if I could just get my drummer to not hit his drums so dang hard! I do think that the very best mixes I have heard FOH, across a wide range of genres, had relatively
    low stage volume in common.
    jgmouton, jsnwhite619, Piotr and 2 others like this.
  13. RB522

    RB522 Tele-Meister

    Jun 22, 2018
    Burlington, WI
    Get an amp stand. They're not that expensive, and they make a world of difference. Mic the amp and trust your sound guy with the mix, and use the elevated amp as your personal monitor.
    tery likes this.
  14. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Jan 7, 2011
    Washington, USA
    I checked out your website and listened to the song you have posted there. Nice playing and the band sounds great. I'd be concerned about head room with the Deluxe (at any volume) given the sound you have in the video. That said, your band seems capable of playing at lower levels with energy and feeling, so I think you'd be fine volume wise. A Tweed Pro with a 15" speaker would sound pretty awesome with your style and guitars. That's what I'd be looking for were I you, and it sits nicely between a wide panel Deluxe and a narrow panel Bassman.
  15. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2015
    I sat in one night with a band when the sound man's philosophy was "you can carry on a normal conversation on stage and I'll handle the rest." I literally could not hear a note I played. (My DRRI is plenty loud to be heard, BTW.) I don't take crap from sound men. They are there to do what I want.
    schmee likes this.
  16. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    THIS. Sometimes small amps sound like crap in big venues, and mic'ing them just make a big crappy sound!
    bftfender likes this.
  17. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

    Jan 26, 2012
    Troy, MO
    I went through a phase where I was using a pair of Valco 1 x 10 tube combos from around 1960, and there were a couple of times when a gig would come up and they were both down for repairs. I was running them fairly clean with a Rat II at low gain through them, and at one of those gigs I had to use my practice space amp...a Peavey Audition 20. It was at a big club with a nice PA, and I borrowed a Crate GX-15 from a guy I worked with to pair with the Peavey so I could keep my rig layout the same, just with different (solid-state) amps. It worked fine, and I could hear myself just fine, and the soundman went from looking at me funny to telling me it was surprisingly easy to mix and sounded good out front. (I was in the monitors that night).

    Buoyed by that experience, I wasn't worried about combining one Valco and the Peavey at a later gig while one Valco was waiting for a new transformer. The working Valco went down at that gig and I had to play about half a set with the 12-watt SS Peavey. Bummer. Hard to hear myself, hard for the bandmates to hear me, played like crap after that. What worked well in the basement did not translate to the club with the marginal PA very well at all.

    Short answer: as others have said, it depends on the PA.
  18. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

    Dec 12, 2018
    If you have your own monitor, have you considered where you stand in relation to it? I get distracted by monitor mixes quite a bit, partially because guitar is either quite low or not in the mix at all. Monitor mixes are sometimes set quickly on a vocalists preferences only, and there might not be a way to give the rest of the band their own mixes. From what I understand, vocalist’s like their mixes a bit hotter than guitarists. I’ll stand off to the side of the monitor if I can’t hear myself, or I’ll change the monitor’s angle on the floor. If I hear myself easily, I’ll step into the monitor more directly. I am mainly listening to my guitar thru the amp itself, unless it is a really big stage.

    Another thing that might be worth considering....if you are wearing ear plugs, take them half out or completely out or 1 out, to accomodate those conversational stage volumes.

    As others have noted, if you can get that amp off the floor and pointed at your head it will compete with the monitors a lot better, too.

    If a sound guy tells me he wants conversational stage volumes...that is normally a good sign, in my experiences.
  19. bigaust

    bigaust TDPRI Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    My old tweed Deluxe wasn't loud enough until I changed the speaker. WGS G12C for the win.
    kookaburra likes this.
  20. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

    Jan 24, 2011
    If you have time to get your monitor mix right, a miked little amp is almost always the best way to go. Even at festivals when sound checks are rushed, I still tend to use a smaller amp these days. I keep my '60s Bassman around, but I don't play it live as much as I used to. I bring the Bassman to bar gigs when the PAs and sound techs are a mixed bag. But even those gigs I'll put my hotrodded '70s Vibro Champ miked in front of the Bassman, and the Bassman is there to fill in the low end and provide insurance against sound tech negligence.
    haggardfan1 likes this.
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