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Where to put the keyboard amp when playing live.

Mike Rhodes

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An amp like that is quite directional. Folks off to the sides and back won't hear it real well.


Is there a PA? will you be playing with other musicians? Is there a stage?



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If you're running through a PA, you'll want it nice and close to you, and tilted. This way it's like a monitor, and contributes little to stage volume.


If it's the only source of volume for you, you'll want it as far away as possible, up to about 15-20 feet. And raised up if possible, rather than tilted (like on a table or something). If it's too close, you'll think you are loud when you aren't.



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Originally posted by Dave Pierce:

If it's the only source of volume for you, ... If it's too close, you'll think you are loud when you aren't.



Not only that, you won't be able to hear anybody else when you solo so the groove wil break down.


Guitarists have an advantage in that they can move around. So if they are soloing they can move away from their amp, and even go over on front of the bass players amp and the drums. So amp placement for them is less critical. Also, typically a guitarist does not stand on axis with his amp - most of the sound is going past their knees.


As Dave says, about 15-20 feet away works well, but you often cannot get that far away. Hell - we have rooms where the only person 20 feet away is the bartender. So its a problem.


The best thing to do in these situations is put the amp just behind you so that you are off axis one side or above and the band somewhat less off axis on the other with the amp mostly pointing at the audience. The key is for you and the band to be on opposite sides so you have the degree of freedom to adjust how much of you you get and how much the rest of the band get by adjusting the angle of the amp while moving it forward or back.


The worst place for an amp is in the backline next to the guitar amp. The guitarist will complain you are too loud even when you are exactly where you need to be in the audience.

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When stuck between the drums and the bass player I put the amp right behind me and head high. Guess that is why my hearing is not as good as it used to be. When solo, a bit further behind me, but still head high. Putting it back further lets the sound spread. As someone said, keyboard amps can be directions. Being head high helps get the sound up enough to prevent a mass of bodies from absorbing so much of the sound.



This post edited for speling.

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