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Author Topic: Dealing with soundmen at gigs. DI/live guitar playing URGENT ADVICE NEEDED PLZ!  (Read 1703 times)

Jimmy E Moorby

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I'm 31 years old and I've played hundreds of gigs.  I had a couple of years off though and started up again in the past year and have done around 10 gigs or more this year.

What always used to happen in days gone by was the soundman just mic'd the cab up and occasionally they didn't and only the singer would go through the PA depending on what kind of venue it was.

This year though I've now had 2 odd experiences I suppose odd because it deviates from the norm. My lack of knowledge means I don't know if I'm in the wrong for questioning what these soundmen are doing so I'm at their mercy really because of my ignorance.
Point 2 is what I need advice on but I though point 1 was interesting and the soundman was being unreasonable I'm happy to learn and be told when I'm wrong any way.

1) Did a gig a few weeks back.  My amp is a 100 watt EVH 5150 III.  The soundman wanted to DI the amp but there is no DI output.  He then started questioning why I had bought the amp and said I should get a new one ASAP.
Surely this is a ridiculous comment to make or am I missing something?  As far as I'm concerned these are fantastic amps and why do you even need to DI a guitar for a live pub type gig?
He ended up micing up the cab in the end any way.........

2) More importantly I have a gig this sunday.  I'll be taking my guitars, fx and my EVH and a 4x12 cab.  The sound guy has messaged me in advance saying he wants to use a DI box with my spare speaker cabinet output.....I have no idea why they want to do this?
Is this reasonable?  Apoligies for the n00b question because I suspect maybe this is a normal thing to do in this instance but I just wanted to check first.

Would really appreciate any help!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 02:00:24 PM by JimmyMoorby »

Dave Sloven

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Here are my answers:

1) This mixer guy is a d*ck. In a pub usually the guitars are not even mic'd, the bass might go through a DI (as well as a speaker cab) and the drums are mic'd. Sounds like he's some kind of control freak. And a newb. He won't last as long as he thinks.

2) You playing another show at the same place?  Sounds like the same twerp.

You might just have a problem with w@nker mixing desk dudes in your area. I bet the sound these guys give you has no balls.  I like to control the dynamics of my guitar sound myself. So far I have been lucky playing live.  No-one has even asked me to turn down.  They just build the sound around me and annoy my bandmates.  Actually the only people who have ever asked me to turn down are my parents (lol) and my bandmates in practice rooms.  I put this down to me having a good noise suppressor.  Sound guys hate fizz and feedback and will keep turning down whatever they think is causing it, the rest of the sound be damned.  The other thing they hate is drummers who can't tune their kit and hit too soft, but then everyone hates that.  That and the bassist with no tuner pedal.
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Jimmy E Moorby

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Thanks.

Completely different people.

The first gig turned out to be ok.

This second gig was a disaster.  An outdoor charity gig at a local pub our bassist booked the soundman wasn't really a soundman he was  DJ with very limited knowledge on such things :-/  Ended up getting booted off after 20 minutes because the organizers didn't know we were as heavy as we were they were...think they were expecting Guns N Roses type heaviness absolute max!

Still you live and learn haha!


Yellowjacket

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I expect sound guys are becoming spoiled with the proliferation of gear like Axe FX 2, Kemper, 11 Rack, etc.

What you're talking about sounds like he's encountered a Two Notes Torpedo Live or Torpedo Cab.  My torpedo live allows sound guys to D/I my guitar and I can run through it into a cab for monitoring, or I can use a monitor on the stage. 

The only amps that have a 'DI' out are the new Mesa ones with those terrible, build in cab clones.  Technology is advancing and as a result, audio techs can have their proverbial cake and eat it too.  This strikes me as being a bit dangerous... 

Nadz1lla

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Beware the threadomancer!

Just to add, yes, the first guy is a tool and needs to be pointed towards the nearest sound school pronto.

Secondly, not to pander to these idiots, but here's an option:
http://www.samsystems-uk.com/

It's a mic that fits over your speaker inside the cab, which has a little box that runs into the back of the cab where you can plug in an XLR that goes straight to the sound desk. Means the tech doesn't have to spend any time micing the cab up, just plug the XLR in and off you go. It's been compared to an SM57 in that "sweet spot".

Hope this helps. :)

CommonCourtesy

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I've been playing live for about 12 years and I've never been asked to use a DI box, not for guitar amps anyway (played bass a few times and used one).

I think the other use is to stop the mic bleed from loud cymbals for example, if you have a hard hitting drummer, or some tw*t knocks the mic off the speaker sweet spot. So can see the benefits but for a pub gig, a bit OTT?!

Yellowjacket

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If you want to DI the guitar from the amp, get a torpedo Live.  You can use the speaker through and still monitor through your cab.

darkbluemurder

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Funny - I used to carry a H&K Red Box and later the equivalent by Palmer to take the signal from the amp's speaker jack to feed the PA. Both boxes have frequency adjusted DI outs so nothing was needed on any amp to make that work.

As regards the "too heavy" gig: I had the exact opposite experience years ago when we played a German US army club as a substitute for another band. We were playing Southern and Country Rock but they expected a "Rock and Roll" band (and quoted Black Sabbath and Metallica in that context ...).  Very funny indeed.

Cheers Stephan