Jump to content
Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

First gig w/ BBE BMax + QSC PLX-3002 + Acme LowB4...


Gruuve

Recommended Posts

I rarely get a chance to actually gig my current bass rig since most of my live playing is in church with PA support...but Sunday afternoon we had a church get together at a local park, and the worship band played. The drummer brought his acoustic drums, and since I didn't know anything about the acoustics of where we were playing (outdoors, so a few assumptions I made), I opted to bring the big rig rather than the Nemesis 210 combo.

 

I put some casters on the LowB4...yeah, I know, it kills some of the sub-low frequencies to not have it coupled with the floor/ground/whatever, but I generally EQ some of those sub-lows anyway, so not too much of a big deal to me...that cab cranks out some massive lows even uncoupled, and it's still more than enough to satisfy my cravings. The casters sure do improve the portability of it. And, I should note that weighing in at 75 lbs and being a 410, it's probably one of the more portable non-NEO 410's. It's physical depth is not quite as deep as some other 410's surprisingly, and the handles are perfectly positioned for someone my height to pick it up easily. I was too thrilled about luggin' it up and down the flight of stairs to my bonus room at home, but at 75 lbs, not too deep, and handles well-positioned I could move it myself without too much gruntin' going on.

 

Speaking of gruntin', this combination performed really well, even outside. I didn't have my volume more than about 1/3 of the way up (even with the drummer demonstrating how hard he could actually hit his drums)...I can't see ever needing to be louder in practice than this combination will potentially go. I was standing about 4 feet or so in front of my rig, and could feel the lows on the backs of my legs. I had the guitarist play my bass for a bit while I walked around the shelter area where we were playing...especially since it was outside, a lot of the big air-moving lows dispersed as I walked away from the rig, but overall the sound anywhere I checked was very clean, clear, and deep. There were two guitars going through 12" combo's, two keyboards going through the PA's, drummer really whacking his cymbals, occasionally 3 vocals...I had more than enough headroom to probably hang with twice as much intrumentation. Even though the BBE BMax preamp is a little slim on EQ, it's very easy to get a what I think of as a very good tone out of it. The PLX-3002 delivers plenty of juice without working up a noticeable sweat...not much more you can say about that power map...it does what it should with no fuss. Very nice. I think I can truly say at this point that this is the best my rig has ever sounded, and I'm very pleased with it. That's a significant thing for me...I've always had one or more substantial gripes about just about every piece of amplification gear that I've owned previously, so I'm really pleased that I'm finally really pleased. :D

 

We certainly sounded a lot better than we played however...the music pastor didn't publish the set-list (which were all non-worship songs) until Friday night, so I really only had Sat afternoon to review about 10 songs that I had either played at some time before or at least was familiar with, and to learn about 10 songs that I had never even heard before. :P They ranged from Tom Petty to Wild Cherry to U2 to AudioSlave to Green Day to the Bea'les. Needless to say, this wasn't a tight and polished set (we were all in the same boat...kinda knew most of them and winged the rest as best we could). The funny was that no one really noticed the slop that much...they were just happy and excited to have some live music I guess. Folks kept telling me "you guys sound great!" and I was thinking "you must need your hearing checked!", but I guess it's all a matter of perspective, eh?

 

The only true bummer was that we tripped the circuit breaker under the shelter twice and finally decided to just stop a little early since we had to call one of the park rangers to come turn us back on each time. :freak:

 

I should mention that I've picked up a Digitech BNX3 recently and I'm starting to use that moreso than the Zoom B2.1u. The signal chain was the Tobias Killer B-5 -> Digitech BNX3 -> BBE BMax -> QSC PLX-3002 -> Acme LowB4. We had a small PA for vocals and keys, so bass and guitars where amps only. I'm liking some of the sounds I've been getting out of the BNX3, and I particularly like that you can use it in stompbox mode. In other words, the two bank foot-pedals switch patches, but the 5 bottom footpedals turn effects off and on with a patch. Now, I still wish it had more flexibility in that you could assign any of the pedals to control any of the effects in the chain...but, it's better than only having up/down footswitches like the Zoom does.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 7
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Right on Dave!!

Nice report. Sounds like everything went well except for the circut breaker issue, which you had no control over. I've had that happen a few times with my previous band's draw of power. Sometimes in bars and once at an outdoor 'Stag and Doe' gig.

What size of PA did you use for the vocals and keys?

 

I'm sure that it was great to take the gear out and turn it up to see what it would do!

 

Rock on!

 

Jason

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heh...well, I really would have liked to have been more prepared musically (as in more lead-time from our worship leader, but that's a whole different thread :rolleyes: ). The PA was small...two full range cabs up on posts, four 12" monitors, 16 channel board, and probably a smaller power amp than I have in my bass rig. :eek: The PA was just right to run vocals and keys through...we actually added some guitar signal as well so the drummer could hear the guitars better, but I think that may have been taxing it just a bit. The sound man helping us (a volunteer like all of us except for the music pastor) intended to run my bass through the PA as well, but I negated that...no point in muddying everything up, and no one had any difficulty hearing me, so there was no point to that.

 

In general, for smaller gig situations, I think reasonable size amps (or large amps turned down, as in my case ;) ), acoustic drums, and only vocals through a PA actually works quite well. We were quite a bit louder than a dinner gig, but we certainly didn't need concert level volume either. Running too much stuff through a small PA just sounds bad, IMHO.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave,

Did you have a singer perform with you?

All those tunes with a day to prepare or am I mistaken about what happens when a Church worship band goes WILD!?! :) Just seems like a very wide range for the vox. And if it was one...bravo.

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
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good report Dave. I'm looking into preamp option right now and that BBE is in the running so keep the info coming.

 

I sort of had just about the opposite experience with a gig this past Sunday. Indoor worship, large stage with a slammin' sound system and told to leave my rig at home. I was dissappointed to find that the lead guitarist was allowed to bring his 5150 and all they had for me was a Hartke Kickback 10. But the sound system was so good I didn't miss my rig and that Kickback kept up surprisingly well as a personal monitor. The tone of it wasn't too bad either. This was the first piece of Hartke gear I ever used that I thought was pretty decent. (Note I'm not trashing Hartke, just stating personal preference.) Overall it was a great gig and a good time was had by all.

 

P.S. Hey, I just realized that I've done a complete three sixty! :D:rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brocko...the worship leader sang all of them but one. We started playing "Play That Funky Music" and after we had already started he realized the lyrics were in his truck. He shouted to me "Do you know this one?", so I stepped up to the mic and ran with it. (Talk about flying by the seat of your pants. :cool: ) He seemed to appreciate that... :D It wasn't quite as smooth as I would have liked, but it's been over a decade since I've played AND sang at the same time live...I discovered I was a little rusty, but I guess a few wrong words and a few missed downbeats are better than having no vocals at all, eh? ;)

 

We didn't get an opportunity to do the AudioSlave song we had planned on doing ("Meant to Live")...I was disappointed...I had put together this rippin' bass distortion patch that could knock down walls and I didn't even get to use it. :eek: Ah well...next time.

 

Our worship leader/music pastor is a really talented fellow, has a great heart, and I really like him a lot. I just wish I could get him (or even help him) plan further ahead and get materials out sooner so all the musicians (including myself) have more time to prepare. It's awefully hard to play a song that you haven't heard enough to even recall to memory, let alone actually play it well. I really dislike being ill-prepared, but when you get the materials you need to prepare the day or two before something and have to perform it with no rehearsal...well, there's only so much you can do, ya know? I'm sure someone like Jeremy and some of the other folks on here could pull it off with ease, but for me personally the old "you can't polish a turd" adage is pretty accurate. :P

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love my sound at church as well. The system has all the bells and whistles. It's just a 2 way PA, but the 18" subs are killer, along with some nice compression, BBE, EQ, etc. I get myself through a simple - but great sounding - Yamaha 2-way, 12" monitor. I use their Pod - tube preamp set flat - for my pream/DI. Works great. I'd love to have that system at all my gigs.

 

I have been thinking of just getting a monitor like that to have for my other gigs where I have PA support and only need a monitor instead of a full blown rig. A direct/In Ear system is tempting as well. I just don't really need an amp for most gigs.

 

Sorry, I kind of rambled there. Sounds like a fun gig and a nice rig.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by groover:

I'm looking into preamp option right now and that BBE is in the running so keep the info coming.

Hey Groover...go check the recent thread that I posted here on the BBE BMax. I am really pleased with that preamp. It doesn't have a few bells and whistles that I'd like (like one more measley band of semi-parametric EQ, a blend control for the effects loop, a built-in noise-gate, etc.), but sonically it sounds a whole lot more expensive than it is IMO. The thing that is most striking about it to me is it's incredible transient response...there's no lag, no delay, no ramp up...hit a note and it's there, loud or soft, plucked or slapped, doesn't matter. It's default sound character is a little scooped-mids I'd say, but rolling off some lows and boosting the mids on the passive tone stack is really effective.

 

I listened to just about every blasted sample on www.basstasters.com (because I'm nerdy like that), and the BMax really stood out...in fact, it sounded most similar (IMO) to the Aguilar preamp and the Read Purity (I think that was the one) BUT for something like 20% of the price of either of those. With used prices generally $150 - $200, it's a real bargain with very minimal sonic compromises, in my humble opinion. The passive 3-band interacting tone stack is a little non-intuitive, but the fact is that it's actually hard to get a bad sound out of it. You can almost turn any knob on the main EQ section and still get something that qualifies as "good tone"...it might not be exactly what you wanted, but it still doesn't qualify as outright "bad". With the one band of semi-parameter EQ, it's actually flexible enough...I'd still like one more semi-parametric band though. The passive tone stack is "interacting", which means turning one knob not only cuts or boosts the frequency you're changing...it also changes the shape of the rest of the curve. You can roll the lows completely off and your bass guitar will still sound like a bass guitar, or you can roll the mids completely off and it still sounds like a bass guitar...the passive EQ may not be very intuitive, but it sure is musical IMO. You'd have to try quite hard to get it to sound truly bad, and that's perfect for idiots like me. :D

 

HTH...do a search and you should see my thread on the BMax. Also, go here and take a listen to "Funky Birthday"...both bass tracks were recorded direct through the BMax and very little effects applied during mixdown (a smidge of reverb, chorus, and compression).

 

www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/bass

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...