Gig without Guitar Amps ??

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Pineears, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    In the small bar where I helped with the House PA system install, I’ve been able to hear 3 well paid bands. Two ran the bass quitar direct. One ran lead guitar and bass guitar direct.

    Also was there when the Karaoke guy hooked up to the House PA.
     
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  2. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Our band has a small PA, play venues where we don't need a lot of volume. We use PA mainly just for vocals, and I'm the only guitar.

    Sometimes I plug my Electric into a Bad Monkey OD pedal, which has an amp/speaker emulator' OUT, into a PA channel.

    Bad Monkey OD does not have to be ON ( just plugged in) to do its thing, so I can a decent 'amp' sound clean or dirty thru PA ( I just use moderate Gain on pedal for whatever music, so the PA doesn't max out with a cranked Electric.
    Good to have for amp backup!

    ** SORRY FOR MULTIPLES, WTF?!
     
  3. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Our band has a small PA, play venues where we don't need a lot of volume. We use PA mainly just for vocals, and I'm the only guitar.

    Sometimes I plug my Electric into a Bad Monkey OD pedal, which has an amp/speaker emulator' OUT, into a PA channel.

    Bad Monkey OD does not have to be ON ( just plugged in) to do its thing, so I can a decent 'amp' sound clean or dirty thru PA ( I just use moderate Gain on pedal for whatever music, so the PA doesn't max out with a cranked Electric.
    Good to have for amp backup!
     
  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Our band has a small PA, play venues where we don't need a lot of volume. We use PA mainly just for vocals, and I'm the only guitar.

    Sometimes I plug my Electric into a Bad Monkey OD pedal, which has an amp/speaker emulator' OUT, into a PA channel.

    Bad Monkey OD does not have to be ON ( just plugged in) to do its thing, so I can a decent 'amp' sound clean or dirty thru PA ( I just use moderate Gain on pedal for whatever music, so the PA doesn't max out with a cranked Electric.
    Good to have for amp backup!
     
    String Tree likes this.
  5. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    While it’s not exactly common yet, it’s not really remarkable to go direct any more. Ever since the Rockman came out some folks have gone direct. Some guys even started sounding good 10 or 15 years ago.

    I’ve done it with a couple of bands I’ve played with, but still usually use an amp. As long as I can still hear myself, I’m happy to go direct when possible.
     
  6. Pup Tentacle

    Pup Tentacle Tele-Holic

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    I just switched to the Fractal AX 8 last weekend. It was real nice not to have to carry an amp, speaker cab, spare amp, pedal board mic and stand. Still some bugs to work out but they can't blame me for the stage volume being too loud anymore. Any one want to buy a bunch of old tube amps?
     
  7. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    They were hitting about 100 dB at 50 ft out. The main part of the bar is 20x60 ft.
     
  8. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    Going direct with the bass, they used two 18” Subs.
     
  9. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    There's a venue I play at in downtown DC that specifies in the contract that NO AMPS may be used on the stage. It's a daily lunchtime summer concert series in a busy area. I think they probably like to have complete control over the volume. They have a pro stage/sound/light company that handles the whole series. Anyway, I've run my Tele direct there for years, and it sounds great!
     
  10. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    The one drawback to going direct, at least that I've noticed, is that interaction and energy between musicians seems to be diminished somewhat.
     
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  11. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid TDPRI Member

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    I started going DI into my band's PA with my GT-100 at rehearsal. It sounded so good I started doing it all of the time. I did have to add a powered PA speaker inline so I could hear myself sufficiently.

    At one venue with a house PA, they mic all the amps and keep the stage volume low, so they were more than happy to hook me up DI. At another similar venue, they insisted I use an amp...they were more old school.
     
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  12. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I did it for a while some years ago. I guess if I had to I could. Why not just mic the amp off stage or put a packing blanket over it if they don't want the volume in the room?
     
  13. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If the Monitors and the rest of the PA are up to the task, it can work pretty well at low volume.
    I have been using a Mashall JMP1 preamp at our local casino to good effect since 2001.
     
  14. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    From what I seen the next upgrade for the House PA will be a big Subwoofer.
     
  15. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    Then there was the Karaoke guy, he did his gig without guitar amps. Unfortunately I know what the bar made from the highest paid band Friday versus the Karaoke Wednesday. .
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  16. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The majority of my gigs involve playing for stage musicals. I have noticed a marked change of the last 2-3 years (even amongst armature drama groups) for the sound to go direct. I've got a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18W with an XLR output purely for this purpose.
     
  17. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    sometimes we run the drum machine right into the PA. last night we even had monitors, which is a weird luxury.
     
  18. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    I've got some friends whose band (bass, 1 guitar, drums, vocals) has gone fully direct including electronic drums. I think they sound like crap. Not in their talent -- on that level they are getting tighter as a group. But whenever I see them there is always at least one thing that is off and lacking "liveness".

    Last night it was the bass and drums. Two weeks ago it was the guitar. I've seen them outside on a bar's patio, on a good size stage with full house system, and in typical small bars.

    I don't blame this directly on going direct. But I think if you are going to get rid of amps (and acoustic drums) you better damn well better know how to get your sound out correctly with the PA. Because if your guitar sound is a bit off it's not as easy as a quick tweak of an amp's treble or volume knob. If those electric drums sound like a kids toy or are lost in the mix 25 feet away from stage front you need to know what patches or levels to change on the drums as well as the PA mix. (And in this band's case, their PA mix is run off of an iPhone app so any mix changes have to wait on the bass player - but that's a whole different issue.)

    I've seen more seasoned bands on bigger stages running everything direct and sound great. But in smaller venues I want to hear and feel live amps and drums. If you can get that running direct more power to you. But in my experience running everything direct is more about making things easier for the band &/or sound guy; it's not about sounding your best.

    (Side note: I was playing in a local talent contest - solo and duo acts only. The second round was being held on an outdoor stage. I notified the contest organizers several days in advance that I'd need a mic on my little 12 watt non-reverb Princeton. The day of the performances the guy running sound asked me three times why I didn't just run direct; he had an "amp sim" on his board. I asked him if he could emulate my amp set on 10 along with it's bias trem. He said there was a 'clean amp sound'. Pfftttt.... just walk a mic the fifteen feet across the stage, stop being a lazy bum and do your f'n job. [I didn't make it to the final round of the contest but two of the judges did say my amp sounded great.].)
     
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  19. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Afflicted

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    These days any gig of 2 hours or more I usually bring 2 guitars - one for standard & drop tunings and one for open tunings/slide/etc - and a 5-string banjo all run via the same setup. My buddy usually brings a Strat, a nylon-string Cordoba & a Loar mandolin. Every inst is ready to plug and play. We both use amps, often miced and run into the board.

    Last Sunday I headed out the door to a monthly 4-hour solo brunch gig @ a small café and - [Encroaching Senility] - grabbed my Gretsch semi-hollow instead of an acoustic-electric dread AND didn't think to bring the tube amp. The lesson for me was that the Gretsch (modded w/ Bill Lawrence L-90s) sounded pretty darn nice straight/no amp into the system. And I never turned the guitar Master Vol past 1. The setup was Guitar or Banjo >> Boss AB-2 >> Fishman preamp/DI/EQ/tuner/Compression >> MXR M77 OD >> Lotus Pedal OD >> Sound System (w/ Reverb). So obviously no shortage of gain along the signal path but, much as love my little tube combo, I would totally gig without it solo or duo. The Gretsch sounded beautiful, balanced, clear, accessing a big range of tones via the pickups, liked the pedals. I couldn't stop smiling while playing.
     
  20. brogh

    brogh Moderator Staff Member

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    a lot of people do nowadays, with gear like axefx and helix & similar stuff, it's very convenient, easy to setup, light, "hassle free", reliable, "cheap" ( if you look at it thinking about all the effects and stuff it comes with, you'll be spending big bucks in gear), programmable, should i go on ? :D

    I've read also a lot of guys have used the yoyo american sound directly in the board with good results, yeah it's not an amp, but it really depends on the venues you play, i recently learned that Metallica tour with axe fx rigs, and 2 4x12 cabs on the stage, so i'm not saying that the amps are no more used around, but are certainly kinda phasing slowly out for something more "manageable" in today's world, everything moves quicker.

    I like my amp, but to non guitarist it's just an amp, i can replace it with a Marshall or a mesa boogie no one would notice in terms of sound, they'll notice the different colors probably, unless you play "big stages" with proper pa equipment & sound guys most of the "super tone" will be chewed away by the background noise and other musicians, so .. why bother ? do if it's a big shot venue or big stage or occasion, for normal gigs go hassle free, it's mostly economics.

    My 2c :)
     
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