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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should I expect that a soundman at a reasonably nice bar with a large sound system will honor my request to plug my AFX straight into the board for FOH and monitor sound? Guy at the gig last night was a major dick about my request:

  • "I don't understand."
  • "What, you got a Red Box?"
  • "...where is your amp?"
  • "I'm going to mic you anyway."
  • "I UNDERSTAND mic simulations, and they don't sound good."
  • "That's not how records are made, son." (He was clearly my age).
  • "Why can't I mic your cab?" (BECAUSE IT'S NOT A GUITAR CAB, YOU HAVE THE MIC POINTED AT A P.A. HORN) *soundman points mic at woofer* :facepalm:
He ended up taking both signals (direct and Reactor cab woofer...) and doing whatever he wanted with them. I suspect he didn't use the miked woofer much, since I pointed it away from the woofer when he wasn't looking before my soundcheck. :lol:

He just wouldn't believe me that miking a cab/mic sim'ed signal would sound like shit, and I pretty much didn't make his job any harder since I just handed him a line out cable, right?

Am I wrong to believe that within the bounds of reason, his job is to fulfill such requests?

FWIW, guitarists from the other bands came up and told me I had some of the best tone of the night. :yesway:
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Wirelessly posted :)darren:phone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

This is why I stopped trying to go direct when I started gigging with my GT-6 years ago. Old-school sound guys just don't get it.
 

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What you do is you don't tell him you want to go direct, you stand there while he mics your cab, and while he's walking back to the sound booth with his back to you, you unplug the cable from the mic and plug it into your direct out. Assuming there's no technical difficulties, he'll never know the difference. Just make sure you do it while he's walking back to the sound board. If he gets to the board, chances are he'll have your mic turned on, and you'll get a nasty pop/bang when you unplug/plug in the cable.

Or, stand there holding a bass or acoustic guitar while asking him to plug in direct. He'll do it without a second thought.

Hell, stand there holding a bass and ask him to mic your cab some time and watch the look he gives you. :noplease: Cocks.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Wirelessly posted :)darren:phone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Soopahmahn said:
Old-school sound guys just don't get it.
He wasn't a day over 25!
Just as there are young guitarists who swear by a Strat or Les Paul plugged into nothing but a tube amp, I'm sure there are young sound guys who don't think anything but an SM57 aimed at a speaker cone can possibly sound good.

"Old-school" isn't as much to do with age as it is a particular mindset.
 

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Premium Member
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Am I wrong to believe that within the bounds of reason, his job is to fulfill such requests?
Unfortunately in most club venues, the resident soundman is going to have final say based on their "professional" discretion. Even if they don't know WTF they're talking about. The argument is that since they mix on a regular basis through the house system. They know how to make it "sound best".

Best course of action is to just humor the idiot and get some sort of compromise going. Especially if you're considering playing again at that venue.

Or if you want to see some fireworks fly. Bring in your own soundman and say he's also your road manager.
 

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Registered
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That sucks. I have yet to run direct live with my Axe Fx since I still run a power amp and a 4X12 but sound guys are kind of touchy sometimes. Maybe you could get the sound guy's contact info and get in touch with him the day before your show and let him know what you are planning on runnning. Just a thought.
 

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ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹɐln&#38
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Next time you run into this kind of problem, just tell them it's like plugging a DI box for a bassist. Any inexperienced house sound guy should know/learn this if they've been doing sound for at least a couple months. It's not really secret information we're talking about here.
 

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Dream Crusher
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This is why it's never a good idea to always plan to go direct.
 

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most soundmen are complete idiots. I've been in so many gigs where I was the only guitarist in a band, and they'd have my guitar coming out of the left speaker and my bassist coming out of the right speaker. Explain that nonsense.

Also pointing a mic directly at the center of the speaker cab, using vocal mics to mic cabs, forgetting to turn on the vocal mic, not miking the drums, miking the bass drum with vocal mics, etc. are common problems I've seen with local soundmen.
 

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Premium Member
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If you don't bring a cab at all, he'll be forced to plug you in direct.

Or, maybe he'll laugh nervously, and ask you where your amp is? :lol:
 

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Yeah, there's a huge gap between semi-professional sound guys and actual professional sound guys. When you make that small jump between being a local band with some success, to being a slightly bigger band, all of a sudden they start listening to what you have to say, making sure you're happy, and actually doing things right.
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What you do is you don't tell him you want to go direct, you stand there while he mics your cab, and while he's walking back to the sound booth with his back to you, you unplug the cable from the mic and plug it into your direct out. Assuming there's no technical difficulties, he'll never know the difference. Just make sure you do it while he's walking back to the sound board. If he gets to the board, chances are he'll have your mic turned on, and you'll get a nasty pop/bang when you unplug/plug in the cable.

Or, stand there holding a bass or acoustic guitar while asking him to plug in direct. He'll do it without a second thought.

Hell, stand there holding a bass and ask him to mic your cab some time and watch the look he gives you. :noplease: Cocks.
The only problem with this is he'd have that line plugged into a microphone input, while the Axe-Fx output is a line level signal. Not good. So I told him straight up "LINE LEVEL" and he gave me a DI box. Perhaps I should carry my own DI box just in case they don't have one - that way it's identical to them miking the cab, really.

Just as there are young guitarists who swear by a Strat or Les Paul plugged into nothing but a tube amp, I'm sure there are young sound guys who don't think anything but an SM57 aimed at a speaker cone can possibly sound good.

"Old-school" isn't as much to do with age as it is a particular mindset.
This is wise. It's also a pretty damning truth about young people with such a closed mind. I understand he had a job to do and didn't have time to take Advanced Direct Guitar 203 from Dr. Soops, but I don't think it should have been that hard to comply.

Unfortunately in most club venues, the resident soundman is going to have final say based on their "professional" discretion. Even if they don't know WTF they're talking about. The argument is that since they mix on a regular basis through the house system. They know how to make it "sound best".

Best course of action is to just humor the idiot and get some sort of compromise going. Especially if you're considering playing again at that venue.

Or if you want to see some fireworks fly. Bring in your own soundman and say he's also your road manager.
I did my best to be polite, I just wasn't sure if it was smart to get in his face a little bit more... I really wanted to. I did end up getting what I wanted. I told him to check it out really quick and promised that he'd like it - he rolled his eyes and said whatever. :shrug:

If you don't bring a cab at all, he'll be forced to plug you in direct.

Or, maybe he'll laugh nervously, and ask you where your amp is? :lol:
This is basically how it went down. :lol: He stared at my rack: "I'm confused."
 

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The only problem with this is he'd have that line plugged into a microphone input, while the Axe-Fx output is a line level signal. Not good. So I told him straight up "LINE LEVEL" and he gave me a DI box. Perhaps I should carry my own DI box just in case they don't have one - that way it's identical to them miking the cab, really.
This. :agreed: With my sampling rig, I always had my own DI box. Even forgetting the possibility that they won't have one, at least you know you have a working one :lol: And it simplifies things for them, you just say "I need a mic cable over here." And then you can pull the switcheroo if they insist on micing your cab :lol: I plan on having my own DI boxes if I start gigging with my POD/piezo rig.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Carrying your own DI boxes is probably a smart move, even strapping them inside the back of your rack. (I have a Tech21 Acoustic DI zip-tied in the back of mine.

But doesn't the AFX have its own XLR out that would negate the need for a direct box?
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Carrying your own DI boxes is probably a smart move, even strapping them inside the back of your rack. (I have a Tech21 Acoustic DI zip-tied in the back of mine.

But doesn't the AFX have its own XLR out that would negate the need for a direct box?
Yes, but it's still line level regardless of whether it's balanced (XLR) or unbalanced (1/4" phono). Line level voltages are much higher than mic level, so it'll sound like an overloaded mess of shit if they plug it into a mic input. :(

Any recommendations on DI boxes, fellers?

Looks nice, seems pricey: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Boss-DI1-Direct-Box?sku=151362
 
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