Great Bass Sound Outdoors

Great Bass Sound Outdoors: How to Dial It In

November 14, 2016 2 Comments

Great Bass Sound Outdoors

If you’re used to playing in small to medium indoor venues, a large outdoor gig may seem a little intimidating, especially if it’s your first time playing one. For the most part, getting a great bass sound in a large outdoor venue is a different beast, although not completely so- there are a few adjustments that need to be made. Here we will cover the main differences between indoor and outdoor venues and give you a few tips to get an optimal sound outdoors.

Indoor vs Outdoor Venues

In your standard bar or club, your bass sound has plenty of walls to bounce off and likely a shorter distance to travel to reach the audience. Outdoors, all those walls and boundaries that contain and amplify your bass sound are gone, and as a result, you may have a more difficult time hearing yourself. Here are some things you can try to prevent your bass sound from getting lost.

1. Power Up. When you don’t have boundary reinforcement, it’s a good idea to bring a more powerful amplifier setup. Extra volume and headroom can go a long way in an outdoor gig, and it can even be as simple as bringing an additional cabinet to give you that extra push. If your go-to club rig is a B2000 with a BR410, for instance, bring an extra BR410 to an outdoor show for a killer live stack. Not only will this beef up your volume output, it will also raise the speakers closer to ear level, making it easier for you and your band mates to hear your rig onstage.

B2000 Lightweight Mono Block 2050W Bass Amp Head

B2000 Lightweight Mono Block 2050W Bass Amp Head

Adding another cabinet will not only give you increased speaker surface area, but it will pull more power from your amp. The B2000 with two four-ohm BR410 speakers lets you run the amp at two ohm full power operation, which is perfect for big outdoor gigs. With any amp, however, it is extremely important to keep in mind impedance restrictions when adding another speaker. For more on this topic, check out this article.

2. Avoid overkill. While an outdoor gig may seem like a great chance to take the stage with a towering amp setup of doom, keep in mind that the PA is going to be there to help. Your rig’s primary job is to cover the stage- the PA is going to cover the FOH and do most of the heavy lifting getting your sound to the audience. Just like in an indoor venue, excessive stage volume can really hurt your band’s live sound, so don’t crank it up too much. You generally will need more volume outdoors, but not so much that it drowns everything else out. It’s a fine balance.

3. Check your EQ. Midrange is always your friend, but especially so in an outdoor setting. Big, beefy lows sound great in small venues where they have walls to bounce off of, but outside it’s a different game. Use your amp’s midrange control. If you have a parametric EQ control, that’s even better! During sound check, dial in a nice present midrange. This is what both the audience and your band mates will hear through the mix.

4.Try a wireless system and/or in-ear monitors. The freedom of movement afforded by a wireless system like the Carvin Audio UX1200 is especially great on a large outdoor stage. It untethers you from that spot right in front of your amp and lets you find the sweet spot to stand onstage. For instance, if the monitors at the front of the stage are set few and far between, you’ll still be good to go. In-ear monitors are also extremely useful outdoors as they let you hear yourself clearly anywhere on stage.

Next time that outdoor festival gig comes calling, approach it with confidence!

2 Responses

Rick Erdman
Rick Erdman

November 24, 2016

Another option is to use a power amp in addition to your bass head. Resist the temptation to use a monster amp though as you may cause damage to your cabinet. If you have say a 150-200 watt head then daisy chaining from your line out into a power amp as small as 400 watts should do the trick. Now you CAN use a larger power amp but do yourself a favor and only run it at 1/2 throttle or lower. This will minimize the chances of damaging your cabinet and give you the added benefit of being cleaner and thus not color your sound!

For a smaller power boost the DCM200L should fit the bill and for more power the DCM1000L will offer you more than enough options and power levels to cover any situation you may need to deal with.

Boris
Boris

November 18, 2016

Thank you for good advice ! Best wishes for all of you at Carvin audio amplifiers !

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Guitar / Bass Amplifier Info & Education

Showtime: Getting Started, Part 1
Showtime: Getting Started, Part 1

April 20, 2018

Your moment of truth has arrived. You did your homework and mastered your instrument. You know the material. You walk into the gig looking healthy and professional. So far, you have conveyed to the band that you know what you're doing. That's the good news. The bad news is you can blow it all in spite of your hard work if you don't conduct yourself like a pro. But what does that entail? What are the basic expectations demanded of the whole band, and what pitfalls can make you tarnish the solid first impression you've made? In this article, we'll explore the things you need to know at showtime.

Read More

Professionalism: Getting Started Series
Professionalism: Getting Started

April 13, 2018 3 Comments

Knowing how to handle yourself on the job and understanding what people's expectations of you will be are just as important as the quality of your performance. If you have a good reputation, it will open doors for you. Bands often hire based upon two criteria other than musicianship: your experience, and your demeanor. Until you gain experience, all you have to work with is your demeanor. How professional do you come across, on the phone and on the bandstand?  Are you familiar with the business of music in general? Band leaders and managers also want to see how much you know about the local scene, because until you understand it they can't trust you'll know how to draw consistently and perform up to standards. A big part of that is how well you know and follow the basic rules of paid performance.

Read More

Musicianship: Getting Started
Musicianship: Getting Started

April 10, 2018 3 Comments

Whether you are starting out on your career path as a musician, or you just want to take your band (or yourself) to the next level and play some shows, knowing the basics which are expected on every gig is crucial. Of course, you will need to be a good player too. But the players who get the first call are the ones who understand the job at hand. In this series, we will explore the basic expectations demanded of a professional musician.

Read More