2 Signal processing

2.4 MICing to a PA

YOUR bass sounds the way YOU want, played through YOUR amp (else you wouldn't have bought it, duh!). You want your audience to hear YOUR sound. You could use a DI to go directly to the mixing table. This is a very reliable way to get your signal to be amplified by the PA. But A DI taps the signal before it reaches your power amplifier and speaker cabinet, so your sound stays with you only, as the audience only hears the sound of the bass without your amplifier. Putting a microphone in front of your amplifier is the only way to capture the real deal. But there are drawbacks. Mics also have a sound of their own; they alter the sound. And in general, 1 close mic is used for your whole rig. That single mic hardly captures the total sound, although that doesn't mean it can't sound good, though. A 2x10 bass cabinet has, say, 2 10 inch speakers, a horn tweeter and a bass port. To capture everything, you would have to mic 2-3 feet away, but the influence of other musicians' sounds may seriously affect sound quality, and feedback from the PA can easily occur. Or you could use 3 mics close up (one for one of the speakers, one for the horn and one for the port). If you put a 1x15 underneith, get ready for 2 more mics (one for the speaker and one for the port). Only pros will have these kinds of demands, as it takes a lot of time to sound check the rig this way. Time you don't have at a medium gig.

© Joris van den Heuvel 2001-2009