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Bass To PA


h364

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Hi, im 13 and im in a locally very famous band, all of us our 13, and we dont currently have a PA, but we have two marshall combos that our like 300w each, so guitarists our fine, drummers sorted as well, we wont be playing were the drums would need to be miced up aswell.

 

We have all noticed this little 150w pa package, it has a 4 channel mixer and two speakers and two mics, with all the cables, only £100, it works out £20 each, which is amazing.

 

Now for the bass, i play bass, i have been for around two years, but i cant unfortuantly sing and play bass, so we have recruited another bassist, and he has just bought a cheapy bass but has no amp, he also wont be able to afford anything that will be heard over the two marshalls.

 

So being a tech head i though, if he got a cheap Direct box, could he run his bass through the di box straight into the pa, and buy a bass bin, like 300w for £50 ive found.

 

Will this work? Thanks

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Yeah he can

 

and if the money is an issue go and check the beringher ones. or ebay to get a better thing for the same amount of money.

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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300 watts EACH on the Marshall guitar amps?

 

You can DI the bass into the PA; but a 150 watt PA won't give the bass AND vocals enough power and balance to compensate for guitar amps like that, I'm pretty sure. And, for that price, I'd be suspect of hte speakers being able to reproduce bass tones accurately, without distorting (and probably distorting the vocals along with it, or at least muddying them up). A separate bass bin is nice, but will need a separate power source to act as an effective subwoofer to handle the bass frequencies.

 

If I'm wrong, or misinterpretted your situation, correct me...

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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Besides what Danzilla just said (the pa is nowhere near powerful enough to keep up with the guitars), even if you had a more powerful pa, the bass will be coming out of speakers on the front of the stage and you won't be able to hear it on stage at all.

 

If you are locally famous, then perhaps this guy's parents would be willing to invest in his future by buying him a real bass amp. And with two 300 watt guitar amps on stage, he will need a 1000 watt bass amp.

 

I've never heard of a 300 watt guitar amp. Usually a 100 watt guitar amp is enough to cause bleeding from the eardrums.

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Do Marshall combos go up to 300W? That's hard to believe. Still, a 2x12 combo isn't going to blast like the two 4x12 cabs in a full stack. [i just checked out the current lineup of Marshall combos. MG series: 100W 1x12 or 2x50W 2x12 stereo; AVT series: 150W 1x12 or 2x75W 2x12 stereo.]

 

Danzilla really outlined the biggest problems with running a bass through the PA. If you're going to buy a crossover, separate power amp and sub to handle the bass, why not just get a bass rig instead and not have to worry about muddying up the vocals?

 

Sure, money is tight when you're 13; I think my parents bought my first bass amp for $100 when I was in my teens (a 100W 1x15 combo, used). It worked fine for jazz band and practice, but wasn't enough to keep up with even a half stack Marshall. I think Jeremy has a splendid idea in approaching the bass player's parents for funding. If need be, approach it as a loan to be payed back with gig money.

 

And at least for the bass rig you may want to avoid Behringer, since it has been reported that they have questionable quality and I'm guessing they don't hold their value as well since everyone's trying to dump them at some point. (This is a little unfair since I've never bought Behringer products, but I'd hate to see a kid lose all his money on something like this; too risky.)

 

There's a pretty steep increase for bass rigs once you venture above 100W, but I think this will be necessary for this "very famous band". At 100W for bass, you can be drown out by just a loud drummer; add guitars and nobody is going to hear you. I'd think something in the 300W range should be sufficient to get started.

 

For vocals, remember it is going to be meat (vocal chords) versus metal (loud guitar amps). When the guitars turn up, guess who's going to win? You don't want your vocalists to shred their vocal chords trying to keep up in the volume war. Do them a favor and don't buy an under-powered PA. The little 150W rig you've mentioned will feedback, distort, or both above half gain, making it more of a "75W" PA in practical terms.

 

Granted, you probably can't afford a decent PA at this time. So, um, maybe rent for those gigs that don't have FOH? (I could be wrong, but I'm thinking you'd want to start with at least a 1000W power amp, EQ, 12-channel mixer, two full-range cabs and at least one monitor.)

 

Also keep in mind that bass is very power-hungry. If you try to put bass and vocals through the 150W PA, and the bass eats up 125W to try to balance with the (turned down) guitars, that only leaves 25W for vocals. But in reality we know the PA won't be able to deliver that much; even with the bass out of the PA it will have a hard time putting the vocals on top of the guitars and drums.

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Originally posted by josh a:

You could just learn to sing and play?

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR ASKING!!!

That is some tough sh aeiou t. I applaud anyone who can do it well and not ahve to dumb down their basslines. I am crrnetly working on it and have to start out with simple bass lines to even get close.

 

To advise on your question. I am of the mind that it is better to save the money and buy something that will do the job well then to buy something that will be a non-affective pain in the behind. ( I dont know the work laws where you live but have him get a job for a month (at $5 an hour take home he could make $400 in 10 8 hour shifts. That would be enough to get a decent combo for a regular band. However you guitar players have the worlds most powerful amps and he IMO will never be able to keep up with that. I cant turn up my 30 Watt Guitar tube amp all the way without pain.

----------

As far as doing a PA, you would need a seperate amp for the subs(low frew cabs) and then there are compatability issues, crossovers to worry about and you would need monitors, and an amp for those so you could hear on stage.

So, all that mess... or a nice combo?

If you are that good a band IMO it would only make you that much more kick ass if everyone actually had equiptment. Maybe find a different bassist that is more dedicated financially.... or take out a loan :)

Jonathan

 

 

 

 

 

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Play and sing at the same time?

 

I can't even play and smile at the same time.

 

Now, women, they are good at multi-tasking.

 

Men can only do ONE thing at a time,

and DO IT WELL.

 

:D

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Originally posted by dnkritr:

Originally posted by josh a:

You could just learn to sing and play?

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR [sic] ASKING!!!
Anybody that wants to be in a band that plays popular music -- and by that I mean music with vocals -- should learn to sing. Plain and simple.

 

The exception maybe is the drummer. But drummers can and do sing; if you've ever heard the currently ubiquitous '80s anthem "What I Like About You" (original studio version), then you have heard a drummer sing. Jimmy Marinos drums and sings lead on that recording by The Romantics.

 

Your stock as a bass player skyrockets if you can sing. Everybody's going to want you in their band. Being able to sing can outweigh technical prowess (as in this case).

 

If you sing exceptionally well, you could be out fronting the band and calling the shots. When your band splits up -- they all do eventually -- you get to be the one that gathers a new line up of side men and pick up right where you left off, instead of having to look around for a new band to join, auditioning, learning a new set list, etc., before the whole thing blows up again.

 

Just look at this example. At 13 a guy that can't sing is already getting edged out of a popular band. When do you think it stops?

 

Take voice lessons. Join the school choir. Join the church choir. Practice singing whenever you can (without driving everyone around you completely bonkers). ;) Especially at a younger age when these opportunities are easy to come by and you're still developing. At least in the U.S., you're not going to be (lawfully) playing in a majority of the venues until you're 18 anyway due to liquer laws.

 

Don't say you "can't sing" until the doctor says it's not physically possible. If you're so tone deaf you can't sing on pitch, what makes you think you play your bass on pitch? :freak:

 

Hard to sing while playing bass? Sure. Practice; eventually it gets easier. If you need to dumb down the bass line, that's fine; 99% of the audience is going to be listening to you sing and won't even notice what you're playing on bass anyway.

 

Start young; it only gets harder the longer you put it off.

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Originally posted by h364:

I've just checked the bck personally, lol, its actaully only 120w. They cant even read now,

So conventional wisdom would say to add up all the amps and add an extra 100W for the bass rig: 120W + 120W + 100W = 340W. And that's not considering the vocals.
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h, maybe you need to explain a bit more what you are up to. I've read your other posts, and I think in summary.

 

1. You are the vocalist, you also play bass, but because you can't do both someone else is playing bass.

2. You have your own bass amp but no cab.

3. You are all looking to buy a PA together.

 

If this is correct. You need to get a PA with at least 250W per channel. There are lots of compact PA's around Peavey and Yammaha are the best I've used but there are others. I think you should be looking for something like the Yamaha EMX.

 

Personally I'd let your Bass Player buy his own gear. As the others have said, you may need to match the bass volume with the drums so 300W is going to be a minimum, but this will also be controlled by the size of the PA. You will have to get everyone to turn down (including the Drummer) depending on the venue acoustics and the PA power.

 

If you have a bass amp, you can just add a cab. Occasionally there are a few on ebay, it depends on whether you are happy with your bass player using your gear.

 

Might be worth contacting Josh who was in this situation recently. Check this post maybe PM him.

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/5/t/015926.html

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Originally posted by dnkritr:

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR ASKING!!!

He owns an asking? SWEET! I've wanted an asking for quite some time. I've not been able to find one in a colour I like.
I have one in green. If you're asking my opinion... it gets dirty a little too quick. Maybe you want it in brown or white instead.

 

 

 

 

 

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My suggestions would be -

 

1> Everyone be responsible for their own equipment.

 

2> Buy a 500 watt PA with at least 12" mains and a couple stands. Buy yourself a small monitor.

 

3> Learn to sing and play and you're worth your weight in gold.

I mean, it's not like you don't have a few years to get it down.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Originally posted by mattulator:

3> Learn to sing and play and you're worth your weight in gold.

I mean, it's not like you don't have a few years to get it down.

I started singing two years ago and now just love being a singing bass player. There are no cons, other than it being a bit hard at first. It makes leading the band so easy because you control so much of the sound, it makes teaching the band your songs so easy, it makes your bass playing seem better because you're singing at the same time and it makes your vocals seem better because you're playing at the same time.

 

And it's so satisfying being able to sing lead whilst laying down the bottom.

 

Just do it! ;)

 

Alex

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1. Learn to sing and play at the same time.

 

2. Save for a more substantial P.A.

 

3. Keep the second bass player 'cause two bass players in one band will freakin' ROCK, little brother. Heck, get a second drummer and call the band the Doublemint Twins.

 

4. Enjoy your current popularity. It comes and goes.

My whole trick is to keep the tune well out in front. If I play Tchaikovsky, I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggle. ~Liberace
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If you would like to have a look at www.musicstore.com, you can find cheap PA packs.

 

Order a free catalogue and discuss that with your bandmates.

 

I know loads of bands that bought from there and they are happy and still have some money for a couple of pints.

 

But you are 13 so u won't be needing the pints.

 

120w is more like it. I think g@itar players should only use 10w amps that way the world would much better with less noise.

 

Enjoy

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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I was the lead singer and bass player in my teen-years. Could do both simultaniously without much trouble, but what heleped was that we played mostly 50´s rock ´n´ roll, meaning that I basically repeated the same basslines in various order on most of the songs. I also played with a pick in those years, which I find a lot easier to combine with singing than fingerstyle (that I play today) for some reason. So: Simple basslines and a pick is the freeway to the glory and rewards for a singing bassplayer.

 

Why I don´t do it today? I enjoy playing the bass more than singing and I already got my share of rewards ;-)

 

Yeah, and there´s really no way to get the bassplaying done without enough decibels produced.

What ever...
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FWIW, I've played in and seen enough groups in 36 years to come to this conclusion: you just need enough volume on stage for the musicians, but the real sound going out to the audience should come from a well-managed PA. Make it too loud onstage and your singer won't be heard and you'll be plagued with feedback issues.

 

-a guitarist can use a 30-50 watt tube combo with a single 12" speaker (Celestion) and get all the tone and crunch he'll ever need.

-a bass player should add up all the guitar amp ratings and multiply by 4 to get an amp head to keep up with the others. So if two guitarists use 50-watt amps each, that'd be (50+50)*4=400 watt bass head. You don't need to play it on 10 either because you can run a DI from that into the PA.

-drummers can get away with a bass drum mike and an overhead mike for cymbals. Additional mikes will give you better control of the overall kit, but some knowledge of placement is needed.

-singers need a good PA, period.

 

Based on all that, it would be best if you invested your real money in a good, powerful, road-worthy and warrantied PA system. Minimum package you should be looking at (again IMHO) would be 800 watts (stereo) for the main system and 200 watts (mono) for the monitors. Yorkville made one a few years back that one of my singers purchased and is still using. I'm sure there are others out there.

 

Rough guideline for overall stage volume would be from conversational level (60-70 db) to a train whistle (90 db), which you can tolerate for up to 8 hrs a day according to OSHA ( check out this link ) but you'd be better off keeping it closer to 80 dbs so you can continue to hear music when you're older. I know enough semi-deaf older musicians to testify to this. And, although you'll think I'm nuts, you should get yourself a good set of earplugs to use onstage. (Nobody needs to know) Tintinitus is no fun when you're older.

 

How loud you want to make it for the audience is another issue. Just don't make anyone's ears bleed and you'll be OK.

:D

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  • 2 weeks later...

What's a direct box?

At my school we sometimes plug the bass straight into one of the PA channels (we have one of the yamaha powered mixers, one of the best in the range i'm pretty sure).

It seems to work fine, but this thread has just got me thinking - is there anything wrong with plugging straight into the PA? Will it blow anything?

 

Cheers,

chilifreak

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No you won't be blowing anything. But there is what is called an impedance mismatch. The desk is expecting to see a different type of input and so the desk cannot faithfully reproduce the original tone coming from the bass. All a DI box does is match the impedances so that the level and tone are the best quality possible for the desk.

 

If you can't hear the difference and you are getting a good level, you don't need one. But you can get them very cheaply if you don't need one with loads of extra 'features'.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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