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Has anyone's band ever tried this?


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When playing a gig on a stage, typically the guitar cabs and bass cab(s) back line the stage and the speakers face the audience. Has anyone ever placed the cabs on the side of the stage, with speakers shooting across the stage rather than at the audience?


I got a couple of my old bands to try this set up a couple of times and they loved it. Everyone could hear everyone else and it sounded really great. Everyone was on the same page and it eliminated any guessing; everyone was on time.


The ONLY problem with this set up is that it creates a "Dead Zone" in front of the stage. Maybe starting at about 5 feet from the stage and it goes until you get in the range of the PA speakers. If you wanted to hear the stage volume, you pretty much have to stand right up at the stage.


Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has ever tried this set up and/or what do you think is the best guitar/bass cab placement on a stage for a gig.



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Every band I've ever been in does this.

Your PA is there to carry the sound out to the audience.



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Interesting. I like to be on the ride side of tbe drumset... but I try to get my amp behind the drummer's head as much as possible. That's right... he's gonna hear AND feel the bass when I play.


And I face my amp outwards towards the audience... because it's looks cool.


Unless the stage is set up a little weird... in which case I still set up on the ride side... but I aim my rig somewhat slanted to the center for stage monitoring. It depends on the stage and the volume and all.



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Sidefill monitoring is quite common, but it's usually a function of the monitors placed for that purpose.


If you are getting a dead spot at the very front of the stage because your backline is pointed away, thats a PA placement problem. What that means is that when you DO place your amps facing the audience, no one in the spot you mentioned is hearing any vocals.

"For instance" is not proof.


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We, space permiting, always try for a semi circle shape with drums at 12 o'clock and the amps slightly behind our drummer.


I'm always amazed when I arrive at a gig and the backline is set up 2 feet in front of the drummer and he has no monitor, thats just crazy but yet it prevails.


It is hard to mess up the sound of a 3 piece though!!

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At one venue I paly alot they lean the amps on the moniters (they're combos)and let the pa do the work that wat you get more monitering power and the drummer can hear everyone much better. I dont know how you would do it with anything but a combo though.

I knew a girl that was into biamping,I sure do miss



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If there's a PA, and the cabs are miked, then I always place the cabs so they face the stage. First of all the monitoring for the band gets much better, and secondly, the engineer (which part I do often) has much more control over the sound since there's much less leakage from the stage.

- Bob Freebird


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sometimes this technique is reserved for only the loudest bands, so the soundman can get clean sound to the house and the band can use more volume than otherwise possible. consequently, i've never had to worry about it.


i have set up in a crescent, with drums on the side before. phish does it for jamming, but i'm not a phish head. it just works well for cues, since most bands practice facing each other and then perform in front of the drummer.



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If the sound guy/gal sucks, I turn my amp towards the crowd. If he/she doesn't suck, I put my amp just to the front and side of the drums and turn the speaker to that direction. I then stand in between my amp and the drum kit. And I prefer to be on the hi-hat side

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I always have my amp on the drummer's hi-hat side so he can clearly hear me; whenever that setup is convenient I go for it.


Then again I play with alot of drummers that need to be chased or rushed or what have you.


If I have monitoring for myself, I'll also spread my cabs about to sit in the most convenient areas for others or myself.

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I often use a tilt-back 1x12 combo, letting most of the sound be carried via PA, so I usually place & direct my amp where I think it'll be most useful for me & other playes (esp. a drummer). (It's also extra important to point it at myself when I'm on fretless & need to really HEAR each note closely for pitch.) I really like that flexibility. It sounds like your arrangement is giving you flexibility too, so I'd say go with it. But as 09 says, you'll need to bring your PA placement in line with the this new approach.
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I lay my amps flat on the floor speaker side down on one cab and speaker facing up on the other


then I turn my volume all the way up and it gives a really cave like effect to the audiance 'specially when there is a hollow wooden stage ,..no chit


waddup bassist J. Unitus back on the set pimpin

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I did sound for a band last weekend (3 piece) with the g****rist from Hades!! LOUD was not the word..wouldn't couldn't shouldn't turn down for anybody. Uneven sound loud clean, louder O/D, rhythm louder than lead...anyway, sideways on the stage, took some of the volume off the audience so the mains 'could' do there job. The band dug it and I actually could 'tweak' some balance.
Don't have a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. ~ Johnny Carson
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I position near the drummer, because he wants to hear me. If the "setup space" doesn't allow for that, I'll put one of my two cabs near/facing him. I'm OK for me.


The problem I've noticed lately is the guitars. They are pointing their amps up so they can hear themselves at a more reasonable (read: lower) volume. The issue is that the vocal mics pick up their sound, and that has been an issue at times.


Sound guy? PA? We're not usually in that circumstance. The PA carries vocals/sax/some keyboard. That's all we can handle. The only time we played with a full club sound system/sound person, it sucked. I'm sure we were part of the problem, but it wasn't all us...




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Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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One of my current rigs is an SWR Workingman's 15 with a 2nd cabinet, a wedge monitor with a 12" bass speaker. The 15 faces front, the 12 either goes next to me at an angle or between me and the drummer so we can both take advantage of it. With 2 cabinets I'm running a 4 ohm load and I can position the 12 so that it doesn't feed back into the PA.


Equipment choice is optional, but having a 2nd speaker pointing at another angle usually takes care of that dead spot on stage. If you can't hear a 12" monitor at approx. 100-110 dB, then it's time to consider having the band turn down on stage.



PS: a list of dB intensities (taken from Encarta, 2005 version):


00: Threshold of hearing

10: rustle of leaves, a quiet whisper

20: average whisper

20-50: quiet conversation

40-45: hotel, theater between performances

50-65: loud conversation

65-70: traffic on a busy street

65-90: train

75-80: factory noise (light/medium work)

90: heavy traffic

90-100: thunder

110-140: jet aircraft at take-off

130: threshold of pain

140-190: Saturn rocket at take-off

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monitors makes us hear each other on stage (7 people on stage). drums are in the middels at the back. i'm at the hihat side with my combo behind me pointed between me and the drummer (and on a flightcase or something, this way i can turn down the volume and the stage sound stays clear unless we all dig in of course ;) )
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