Stage setup question

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by kelnet, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I think that if you have a good or expressive drummer then they need to hear the other instruments just as much as other instrumentalist need to hear a beat. If you're playing with bam-bam the psycho animal then it probably doesn't matter. I not trying to be an ass (sorry) but I truly believe that a drummer with skill does best when they can hear. If the guy can't hear it's a problem. Again; why can't the guitar and bass players just angle the amps a little? Is it about looking cool? Big amps pointed straight out?? I've played with amps on the stage side pointing in (no one dancing could see them - didn't phase me if I could hear).
     
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  2. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    Funny ... I normally don't have any trouble hearing my drummer. Back in my day all you had was a Shure Vocal Master .... nobody even knew what a monitor was.
    Realistically these days monitors are almost a requirement. It isn't so much that the monitors are muddy as much as it is where the monitors are placed. Why not just give the drummer head phones? I have worked in concerts where they did exactly that ... problem solved.
     
  3. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That's pretty much how we do it unless we've got mics on the amps. It works fine and I haven't noticed any disadvantage.
     
  4. Garruchal

    Garruchal Tele-Meister

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    Our band (guitar, bass, keyboard, 1 or 2 singers, drums) plays a variety of spaces, some large and some small, some with our PA and some with the house PA. When I am setting up our PA, the drummer gets a 12" , 400W active monitor with its own volume control. It sits right next to him, and he's happy. Guitar is mic'ed, Bass has a DI-out, drums mic'ed, so he can get the mix he wants.
    For small venues, though, I like trying to get the best mix with an old-fashioned approach; each instrument has their own amp, with the singer through the PA and with a small hot-spot monitor. The guitar, bass, and keyboard amps are slightly behind the drums, so he hears them directly, and he can hear some of the singer through her monitor. This works for us.
     
  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm lucky to play with 3 very expressive drummers. Nobody is all on 11. Hearing guitar is never a problem for them. Even in a loud room/busy stage. Things being muddy on stage is just part of life for everyone. OP never said the drummer couldn't hear the guitars. I wouldn't believe him if he did. Just that they are muddy. I can hear dynamics through mud. If people can't play through that, they may not be very experienced or very good, IMO.

    It's great if people are always mic'd and the micing/monitors are good. But that's rare. And even if mic'd, I hate guitar in my monitor. If OP is using closed cabs, then they may need to angle them a bit. If open, the drummer is being too picky, unless something else is going on.

    Again, I play a lot of small stages. In those, there generally is no room to put the amps in a semi-circle behind the drummer. Behind the drummer is a wall. Or even better, a corner. Often my amp is on top of another guitar or bass amp; if it's not under a cymbal. And I can't put it behind or even next to the drummer because the bass player is standing there, with his amp. We just make do. If people always play big stages with working sound systems and competent sound guys who listen, kudos. That's a lot of moving parts in a system I can't control, IME.
     
  6. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    At the gig on Saturday, there was no room for my amp to sit beside or slightly behind the drummer. The bass amp was right beside him on one side, and the other guitarist's amp was on top of the monitor beside the drummer on his other side. My amp had to sit in front of the drums. I guess I could have turned it around to face the drummer instead of the dance floor. However, the sound tech wanted my amp placed so that I could hear it clearly, and he made sure that monitors were in place for each of us.

    Everything was miked, so all the drummer had to do was tell the sound guy to adjust the levels in his monitor. The tech was able to adjust the volume of each mic and instrument independently in each monitor. It was pretty cool. I wanted more piano. The singer wanted less piano. No problem. I needed to hear more of my own vocal. The keyboardist wanted less bass. No problem.

    I worry that turning the amps inward will mean less clarity for the audience, but I guess lots of you guys do that without any trouble. I'm assuming that you don't have the amps at right angles facing directly at the drum stool.
     
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  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    @kelnet - has your drummer ever heard of Occam's Razor? Before you guys change everything (particularly where it is physically impossible to comply with his request), maybe suggest he get his monitor right instead . . .
     
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  8. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Exactly. For our next gig, though, we'll have a much simply PA system and no sound tech. We're playing out on a street at a block party, so we'll have plenty of room to place amps where he can hear them. I'll do a monitor send to the drummer's 1000 watt speaker, which will sit right beside him. He can turn it up as loud as he wants. He's very proud of that speaker. :)

    We'll have my PRRI on one side of him and a Blues Jr. on the other side. Those should also be plenty loud enough for him.
     
  9. gtrjunior

    gtrjunior Tele-Holic

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    Yup, as stated. If he has a monitor it’s his responsibility to let the soundman know what he needs.
    If it’s muddy maybe some eq-ing can fix it or he should upgrade to a better monitor speaker.
    I use a Mackie 12” Thump. I run all vocals, some of my guitar if needed and bass through it. Works great.
     
  10. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My PRRI is open-backed. The drummer said, though, that his snare and high-hat were blocking the sound. The amp was also on a stand angled upwards, so the back was angled downwards.

    Like the stages you've played on, this place on Saturday had a wall behind the drummer and a wall on either side of the stage. Three of us fit nicely across the front, but the space on either side of the drummer was cramped.
     
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  11. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The drummer's monitor was a huge thing, with a separate power amp cabinet sitting on top of it. It was about three feet tall, two feet deep, and 30" wide. The Blues Jr. easily fit on top of the amplifier cabinet. It should have been great for the drummer.

    The more comments I read here, and the more I think about it, the less I think it was a sound problem and just a guy who likes to complain.
     
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  12. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    i wanna be the only bee in your bonnet?
     
  13. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    Have the drummer setup on the side of the stage :

    stage.jpg
     
  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sorry. I don't catch the reference.
     
  15. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm in a band where the drummer complains about everything. He can't hear this, I didn't play loud enough(open back Fender Supersonic 22W), the bass isn't clear (and his amp is next to the drummer), and can't hear the keyboard player. I always say that he needs an audiology test, because years of bashing has taken a toll on his hearing.

    Of course I'm wrong, and he'll complain about that. I've been a physician for 40 yrs.

    So I think your drummer has the same problem: poor hearing and an ego that says he hasn't lost any faculties since reaching age 59. But if and when he stops playing so loudly, he will hear all that he wants. BTW I torment him by playing my guitar softly. Drummers and guitarists are replaceable. He does have a decent digital drumset, but prefers the acoustic drums. The last time he used the digital set, he broke the fitments of the bass drum, so it would move while playing, primarily due to the force that he would hit the drum. I think he's heavy-handed, too.

    In my last band we had every amp miked and the drummer had a powered monitor. He played digital Yamaha drums, so it was less about the ambient drum sound, and more about what we were doing as a group, through the PA. The rest of the band was under strict orders not to turn up as our roadie/engineer controlled our sound levels through the PA; so after the sound check, no drastic volume changes. We were never a loud band, and played oldies. The current one is pretty loud, IMHO and we are a jazz-funk band.
     
  16. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This is how I’ve always done it. I had a direct out, our guitar player was mic’d and our drummer had electric drums. The drummer had a little satellite speaker on a mic stand next to his head, I had in ear monitors, and we all had floor monitors. My guitar player refused to turn down, so I had a full bass stack for his listening pleasure.
     
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  17. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    they might be giants.
     
  18. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    I rarely have the luxury of playing on a large stage. Most of my gigs are bar gigs, and bar owners don't like devoting a whole lot of square footage to a stage. As frontman (vocals and guitar), I'm usually center-stage right in front if the drum kit. My amp (open back) is elevated on a milk carton (that's been part of my rig for years ) directly in front of the kick drum. Never, and I mean never, had a drummer say he/she couldn't hear me.
     
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  19. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That part I got. But not the reference.
     
  20. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have a small G&K 112 SS amp that i take as a backup and I can take a feed to and aim it at the drummer , or more correctly towards the drmmer if he needs more

    1 12" celestion etc , hell you get him a set of side fills! P1011181.JPG
     
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