Amps might be leaving the building...

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by mrboson, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,426
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    Brookings, OR
    Oh boy, here we go! Ate dinner with our pastor the other night and he shared that he is seriously starting to think about clearing all the guitar amps off the stage. We have three (usually) and none of them are cranked up. Most FOH sound from the guitars comes through the desk via line outs and mic-ing. But there is stage noise. BTW, I did - I think - successfully negotiate for - if it happens - the acoustics to go totally DI first. Church is willing to buy higher end preamp/DI boxes to help the acoustic guys feel like they have a nicer tone. That would leave for the time being, sometimes two electric guitar amps and a bass amp. But I think the writing is on the wall.

    I don't really want this thread to turn into that kind of debate about pros and cons. Sometimes it doesn't matter, and when the pastor wants to go a direction, you just giddy up and go.

    I'm gonna be proactive here and look to be ready. I've heard a lot of love hear about the Tech 21 blond. I'd be happy to hear some more now :cool:

    I get most of my sounds out of my pedal board: comp > rat > timmy > analog delay for short slaps > nova repeater > tremolo. I usually play into a blues junior barely breaking up. Pedals do almost all the OD and dirt. I'm happy with my board and not going to go a different direction here. So looks like I will buying a pedal (like the Tech 21?) that I can use in place of an amp.

    I live far away from places where I can just go and try out gear. So I have to ask questions, like, what else are people using in my situation (aka, lots of pedals into something that can do a decent amp emulation)? Heard love for the Tech 21's. SnowWizard posted some positives about the Colour Box. Expensive, but I am not afraid to pay for something that sounds great. I may not be a pro player, but I believe in making good investments in quality tools.

    What I plan to do is order more than one kind, try them all, and use the online store's return policy to return all but the one I like best. I just need to pick a few to try ;)
     
  2. Phylian

    Phylian TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    74
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I told my pastor no, showed him what the tonal difference was, and that ended the conversation. He never asked again.

    But on a more serious note, if it does happen I would leave the pedals at home and get a pod. As much as I hate pods they sure do beat running pedals over a pa.
     
  3. babalooga

    babalooga Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    524
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    I used a Tech 21 Sans amp to go direct for a long while until our team played out. Our WL didn't want amps even if it was in a back room ( he had a bad time with a former team member that thought louder was better), well we played out and I used my tube amp and he was blown away by the difference in tonal quality.

    The Tech 21 was good but It always seemed a little "sterile" sounding to me. If I had to go amp less I would go back to the Tech 21 as I think they about the best for the money.
     
  4. bikeracr

    bikeracr Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    444
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    An alternate solution would be to put your amps in isolation cabs somewhere, if possible, to control the stage noise. Either solution hinges on having some sort of good monitor system (i.e. wedges or in-hear monitors).
     
  5. Raze

    Raze TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    14
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I use a Hughes and Kettner Grandmeister 36 that I plug straight into the PA. It has a red box built in that allows it to be played without a cabinet. Great tube sound with no extra stage volume.
     
  6. Huxley

    Huxley TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    29
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Location:
    Western MD
    We have a room to the side of the stage that we just hide whatever amp is being used in. It seems to work very well!
     
  7. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,690
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    Even with a good in ear system, it takes some getting used to. We've had our cabinets in a room beneath the stage for a couple of years. Biggest issue has been inadequate monitoring even though we have a good in ear system. When the sound guy tweaks eq and input gain, all of a sudden, you can sound awful in your ears. It affects your playing and your confidence. I much prefer having my amp behind me, but the benefit of controlling stage volume is huge. I still sometimes bring my cabinet on stage if we are doing a loud rocking set, or when we have horns on stage. The sound guy doesn't like it, but until they build a room and put the horn players in it to control their volume, I won't be swayed by those complaints.

    We've found that using wedges creates the same volume problems as having the amps on stage, only it is sometimes even worse. With the wedges pointed away from the audience and toward the players, the sound bounces off the back wall, and creates a natural delay/reverb which really makes the mix muddy. We don't use wedges at all anymore.
     
  8. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,426
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    Brookings, OR
    Thanks for everyone's feedback. I have gone the Line 6 modeling route before. It was not easy to get used to all of my sound coming out of monitors and what ever I can hear from the mains. I got used to it, but was never happy with it. I'm the kind of guy that even when I play acoustic I want an amp.

    My church isn't setup for off stage amps, but it might be something we can plan for and implement in the future. That still leaves all of the sound coming out of monitors. I have to admit this doesn't instill confidence for me. Almost every church I have ever been at (or played at) is woefully lacking in monitoring. It's like monitors are an afterthought, and by the time they get thought of they end up being a couple of under-powered channels driving too many wedges, nobody gets a good mix, and the stage volume is worse that it was with separate amps.

    In all of my playing I played at one church where they knew enough to have a separate desk for monitor mixing and the proper inventory of amps, wedges, hot spots, in ears so that they could tailor a monitor system appropriate for whatever instrumentation and vocalists are on stage. Absolutely beautiful, and if you have not ever played with that kind of support, you have to find a way to try it once.

    But I digress... back to the immediate need. I need to try out some emulators. Based on Raze's suggestion I am gonna add a Red Box to my list of things to try. In order to get a solution using Red Box to be silent stage, I would need to add a dummy load, but that is doable.
     
  9. Snowwizard

    Snowwizard Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    673
    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Location:
    Napa
    Mr B,

    Has the new Mesa Boogie Cab Simulator been mentioned?
     
  10. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,426
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    Brookings, OR
    Not before you just did. That looks really cool! I'm going to have to find a way to check one of those out too.
     
  11. Nub

    Nub Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,050
    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    SoCal
    I've been using a Tech 21 Blonde since they first came out... I treat it like an amp and run my pedalboard into it. Never any problems, and it sounds like I'm playing through a real amp out in the house. I've also used an Ethos and WIZ Pedal D the same way, and both worked equally well. Yes, it doesn't FEEL exactly like my amps, but it wasn't that tough to suck it up and get used to it. ;)

    Much of your monitor solution is going to depend on the number of monitor channels you have available from your soundboard. We've managed to keep the stage volume pretty low in our church on a budget, by using the Rolls PM351 for each player in the backline (bass, guitars, keys, drums), and users can share monitor mixes if they need to. The PM351 attaches to a mic/music stand, and allows the user to adjust their instrument & vocals independently, in relation to their main monitor mix, and use headphones or earbuds. Myself and the other singers still use wedges, since we're at the front of the stage, but will probably go to the PM351s and earbuds once we get fill mics set up (so we can hear the congregation).

    http://www.rolls.com/product.php?pid=PM351

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    422
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest
    I switched to a Vox Amplug (you heard right) a couple months ago and have never been happier. I run it to a Switchcraft DI (3.5mm -> XLR) and straight to the board.

    It just plugs right into my last pedal. No hassle, no isolation cab, no mic'ing, no stage volume, no 35lb tube amp, no tube amp maintenance, and as a plus it sounds great (according to the band, other guitarists, sound guy, etc).

    And it was $40.

    You'll probably find that most people here will judge it based on size, price, etc, but most have never used one. And of those who have, the vast majority have only used them through headphones, and would never dream of putting it through a PA. Heck, it's a lot cheaper to try out than a Tech 21 pedal.
     
  13. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,426
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    Brookings, OR
    I thought I would resurrect my old thread to give an update. It's not a zombie if I was the starter :cool:

    After considering a bunch of options, I thought of one more thing to try. I built a cab sim pedal (the RoG Condor) because (a) I like doing that sort of thing and (b) I had most of the components in my stash. So what the heck, let's build a pedal that claims to simulate a 4x10 loaded with Jenson P10R's.

    And wouldn't you know it... it works great! I place it after my pedal board, and then go from it to a DI into the mixer. I even built a headphone amp into the enclosure, so it is also my go-to "practice amp" which sounds full in headphones.

    Is mine as good as a Red Box? I tried one, and I think so. As good as a Mesa Boogie Cabclone? I dunno. Mine cost me less than $30 in parts, plus I got a headphone jack :twisted:.

    My church is still working on the sound system though.... we got approval to upgrade all the amps, and hve taken a more "audio engineering" approach to selecting and placing FOH cabinets and designing the monitoring. It will be better just from that.

    Our old mixer still sucks...
     
  14. SngleCoil

    SngleCoil Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    565
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Nice! I built a Condor as one of my first DIY projects and used it along with the RoG Matchbox pedal as a portable "practice rig" for a while. Too much fun! Still have the Matchbox pedal somewhere, but sadly cannibalized the Condor for parts :)
    hmmmm....actually that gives me an idea! I just got a Two Note Torpedo CAB, I'll bet the Matchbox will sound great as a preamp in front of the Torpedo CAB :idea:
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.