Playing ampless in small venues

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joppo
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Playing ampless in small venues

Post by joppo » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:45 pm

I have recently joined a blues band. We're a five piece if everyone turns up (guitar, harp, keys, drums and of course bass) and are all north of 50. The places we are going to play are mostly really small venues for a band of five people, four of whom have amps. They all seem to have a PA with a small board. Has anyone here tried going ampless as a band using amp modelling and just having monitors or in-ears to hear yourself? Keen to hear your experiences and if any of you have got that to work well?

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Re: Playing ampless in small venues

Post by martyforrer » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:24 am

I've tried it, but you need to either have in-ears or really good monitors. I prefer to keep bass out of monitors because it muddies the vocals a bit, and ya know who's the first to complain about that! I prefer to have an amp, I find it's also better for the drummer to hear me.

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Re: Playing ampless in small venues

Post by basshead56 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:11 pm

I have tried it with in-ear monitors for my upright and while it was ok, it wasn't a patch on using an amp.

Best bet really is an amp - something you can hear, feel and control, even if its just for monitoring on stage
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Re: Playing ampless in small venues

Post by joppo » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:02 pm

I have been doing a lot of reading on this, and I think in-ears are probably the only way I could get it to work without amps. Our singer/guitar player has a bit of hearing damage sustained in his youth, so likes to have the lots of highs and no mids to hear himself. I have got a small digital mixer so could easily go down the in-ear route, but it is pretty expensive to do everyone.

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Re: Playing ampless in small venues

Post by foal30 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:55 pm

Only amp less gigs I did was with and electronic kit drummer

Love the set up time, hate the sound

Pant less gigs I have much more expierence with...
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Re: Playing ampless in small venues

Post by beagle » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:54 pm

Yeah I hate the sound of amp less gigs too.
You can pickup some basic Shure inears for only $200 @ the RS so maybe should just try it.
When I use in-ears it's with a digital mixer that allows me to customise my own monitor mix.... and that makes a huge difference.
I still use an amp... and often I'll have an inear on one side, and an ear filter on the other so that I don't feel quite so 'disconnected'.
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Re: Playing ampless in small venues

Post by joppo » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:10 am

Thanks guys. I have managed to get the others sounding great running ampless through and I get to bring my amp to fill in the bottom end. It's been a bit of a pedal shuffling exercise for the guitar and harp player, but I think we now have everyone really happy with their sound, and I have control of it all (bwah ha haa) so we aren't having volume fights. :D

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Re: Playing ampless in small venues

Post by bronzet » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:20 am

It seems that amp-less is becoming more common, including with big bands too. I subscribe to Premier Guitar (Youtube channel) and watch their rig rundowns with international bands / musicians and you see them using Kempers, Fractal Axe effects, in-ear monitors and no amps or cabs when they tour - seems to be a money / time / space and labor (i.e back) saving exercise.
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