This is the 13th installment in guest blogger Steve Lagudi’s series on Guitars & Bass in a Live Setting – if you missed Part 2 of his blog on bass, you can read it here.
Steve rigging up mics for a live show
Tip time! With the ATM250 and a lot of other mics, it has bleed to it. Bass players for some reason tend to always set up next to the drummer, probably because they need to lock in to one another. Low frequencies are omnidirectional, meaning they go out in a 360-degree radius from the source. I run into this issue ALL the time and it’s a pain to deal with, especially when I have a drummer that has two kick drums, or if the bass player is on the side by the floor toms. I get A LOT of bleed, sometimes to the point where it totally changes the sound of the two kick drums and then I end up struggling to get the kick drums to match. So try and keep that in mind. If they have to set up next to the drummer, try and point out to them that they need to be careful of the low-end, that might cause issues if it’s too loud.
Now when I go to mic up the cabinet, I try and pick a speaker that is further away from the noise. If it’s a drum kit on one side and a guitar on the other, I see which one is quieter. I know it’s pick your poison here, but I try to get as much distance as I can. Sometimes I have no choice. On a lot of bass cabinets, like the classic 8x10s, I have 8 speakers to choose from. Sometimes I like to stay low to the ground. Doing this can sometimes add in extra bottom-end since it’s close to the floor. If I have a noisy rattling stage, then I go up higher. Experiment and see for yourself. When you have bass players using two cabs, one with a 15-inch sub and the other cab with four 10-inch speakers, determine what you might need. Personally, I will go with the 10-inch speaker. The 15 might just be too much.
Just like guitar speakers, pointing directly on the center of the cone will give you a brighter sound, while the outer part of the speaker will give you a lower sound. Once again, all depends on what you’re trying to get. For me, I like to go just slightly off the center of the cone with the other half in the middle. I find this is the happy medium with a good balance.
Check back next Wednesday to read Steve’s next blog installment!