October 23, 2017, 03:43:21 AM

Author Topic: Foldback or not?  (Read 2111 times)

Offline davidj

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Foldback or not?
« on: November 03, 2014, 02:19:50 PM »
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  • It surprises me that I can have my backline sound really loud but still feel like I can't hear myself properly. 

    I sometimes have that uncomfortable feeling at a gig that the sound I can just about hear comes from a different room and possibly from a different guitarist who is playing something similar, but not the same as me!

    I think I blame the audience for blocking the reflections from the back of the room, for the sound they absorb and the racket they make themselves!  At rehearsals I can hear myself perfectly.

    I don't often play really big venues but I am in a big band with brass, woodwind keyboards, chorus etc.

    Should I just get a wedge monitor fed from the desk and be done with it or am I missing a trick?
    I'm back - am I the same person or just a clone of myself?

    Offline fender6ix

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    Re: Foldback or not?
    « Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 05:22:10 PM »
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  • Without knowing what type of amp/cab style you are using, I can only share how I set up my rig.
    I (we, the band) have our backline pretty low. I'm currently using my Bandit on a floor level "lean-back" stand. D.I'd out to the PA. The amp leans back so it points up to my head, so that I hear it in the "sweet spot".
    If you have a vocal mic, you have to be careful that you don't send too much guitar down the mic if you step away from the mic.......that really upsets sound men.
    Prior to this I had a knee high stand with a slight backwards tilt, this was ideal to use, but didn't fit in any of the cases and I got fed up with it rattling around in the van.
    I also used to set my Marshall combo up on a keyboard stand, ideal for hearing it, but again, as soon as I stepped away from the mic, it was straight into the vocal mix.
    My oppo in the band just carries two small wood blocks in the back of his combo, and tucks them under the front to lean it back on stage.
    You may have to do some experimenting to find out what suits.  :)
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.
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    Offline davidj

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    Re: Foldback or not?
    « Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 06:48:26 PM »
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  • Thanks Jay.  Depending on mood I've been using either a blues junior through a mic or a Rolland cube60 with the line out through a Behringer DI box and into the desk.  This is done so the sound guy can control the mix of 20 odd instruments rather than because I need more oomph.

    I use an angled stand with the Fender Amp and a Marshall 1x12 cab extension cab with the roland (which sits on top).

    Maybe  I need to experiment more with where I stand in relation to my amp, but once the venue fills up and the band starts cooking I struggle to hear myself.  Unless I turn my amp so loud that it's distracting for everyone else on stage......
    I'm back - am I the same person or just a clone of myself?

    Offline fender6ix

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    Re: Foldback or not?
    « Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 09:30:40 PM »
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  • I do like to get a bit of distance between myself and the amp. Not always possible I know. On a larger stage I like to get 6 to 8 feet away. I do find if you're standing 2 to 3 feet away, you tend to get the bottom end and no mids or top. My amp's speakers seem to have a spread of about 30 - 40 degrees, and if your ears aren't in that "cone" you get the symptoms that you describe in your original post.
    I have cured this to a degree on occasion by boosting the mids on the amps EQ. Although your sound changes, you can hear yourself better. Not ideal, but needs must.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.
    Twitter: @fender6ix @TheRockstox

    Offline John H

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    Re: Foldback or not?
    « Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 10:06:58 PM »
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  • I'd go for some sort of monitor. I'm sure it's tough with that may people on stage. Depending on what type of desk the sound man is running will determine what kind of signal you get back in the monitor. You may also find that you will want a slightly different signal coming from the monitor compared to what is coming out of your amp, so that you can hear it better over other instruments or vocalists. Your front of house sound may work real well for the overall sound of the ensemble, but you'll find that you don't know that you exist on stage.
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power... the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix

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    Offline davidj

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    Re: Foldback or not?
    « Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 03:07:44 PM »
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  • Great replies - thanks Jay and John!  I have a rehearsal on Sunday and a gig the following week (tiny narrow stage - I've played there before......).  I'll try hard not to stand right by my amp as a first step and report back!
    I'm back - am I the same person or just a clone of myself?

    Offline mickeyfrets

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    Re: Foldback or not?
    « Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 03:44:28 AM »
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  • Have you tried in-ear monitors yet? Sounds like you need them

    Offline Rob S

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    Re: Foldback or not?
    « Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 10:06:02 AM »
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  • I had wondered about those too Mickey, but then wondered how well they would work when it comes to singing? ;)
    "I am not a lunatic. I have the psychiatric report to prove it. A slender majority of the panel decided in my favour."

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    Offline davidj

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    Re: Foldback or not?
    « Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 10:41:50 AM »
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  • I've been reluctant to follow the "more gear is the answer" route so far, but I'm now tempted to either get a monitor or look into "in ear" sound.

    I still think I ought to be able to tackle this by better use of my existing gear, but it does seem to be a consistent problem.

    The band has been gigging for almost a year and we have invested gig money into a desk, a snake thingy that takes the feeds to the back of the venue and a wedge monitor for the four backing vocalists.  Prior to these improvements I just relied on backline sound, but since we have plenty of spare channels and a sound guy, we now put my sound through the PA. 

    If I went the "in ear" route, what kit do I need?
    I'm back - am I the same person or just a clone of myself?

    Offline John H

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    Re: Foldback or not?
    « Reply #9 on: November 06, 2014, 10:17:25 PM »
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  • Looking at some in ear systems online, it looks like you'd need a transmitter which needs a designated monitor signal. Then a belt-pack receiver and ear buds. Looks like the basic system is around 200.00 usd, and climbs from there.
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power... the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix

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