SYOS

Has anyone used a guitar amp as a monitor when gigging?

Messages
51
Location
Maidstone, Kent
Hi all
I've got my first gig in about 15 yrs coming up in a couple of weeks, which has reminded me of one of the issues I hated when gigging before, that of not being able to hear yourself above drums, guitar amps & the audience screaming how sexy the sax player is.
Alright... the last bit was just in my head.
So instead of just hoping for decent foldback, I'm thinking of the 'if you can't beat them, join them' approach :thumb:.
I've got a Roland JC 40 which is a fairly clean sounding amp, & I'm thinking of using it as an on stage monitor. It's a smallish outside gig, so I may not need to go through the PA but there's an output which could go to the desk if ness. I'll be using a clip on mic & my reverb unit (of course)
Has anyone tried it & was feedback an issue?
Other than that, I have a sax reflector thingy which I haven't tried with a band, though it sounds great in a fully laden wardrobe.
Cheers & happy Tuesday.
Jools
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
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3,353
Location
leicester
use the PA - even if the monitors aren't any good, it'll still help
the sound reflector may be a good idea - playing outside the sound tends to just disappear if you're not used to it

guitar amps tend to have more mid range so will feed back more easily and the only way you can adjust the controls is to stand close to them if you've got a volume control on your clip on mic, be prepared to use it
keep all the effects switched off and try not to turn up any of the tone controls
try it out first in rehearsal or at home, using an unfamiliar setup on a gig is asking for trouble

Good Luck!!
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
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A bass or keyboard amp will be better if there is no actual PA/monitors as they have a more natural flat sound, guitar amps are by default EQ'd ideally for guitars, so I'd agree with altissimo that can cause problems both for getting a decent sound and re: feedback issues. (I'm not sure but I presume there may also be input impedance issues)
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
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1,589
Location
UK
I used to use a Korg MM-25 mini monitor (bought from the local tip for a fiver) mounted on an old mic stand. It's a tiny amp, not much bigger than a shoebox - but because of its size it can be mounted at ear level. It was a decent setup and worked very well.
However, it wasn't the most elegant solution and it was yet another thing to lug around and set up before the gig - which is why I soon moved over to a simple in-ear monitor.
And when I say simple, I mean it was a a lash-up job consisting of a lavalier mic that was clipped to the bell, a small battery powered amp that clipped to my belt and a single earpiece. It had an on/off switch and a very crackly volume control...and that was it. No safety features (overload/feedback limiter) at all. It got me out of a lot of tight spots.

So I'd recommend you go down the in-ear route. There's a lot of choice these days but if you're on a budget all you really need is a cheapo mic clipped onto the bell and small amp connected to an earpiece. Someone out there must make a decent one. If you go fancier you can get much the same thing but with a link to the mixing desk (so it works off the feed from your mic)...or you can go wireless.

The more you pay, the better the sound is going to be - but if all you really need is to be able to hear what notes you're playing, then pretty much anything will do. For a one-off gig, a guitar amp will be fine. Won't sound brilliant, won't go loud without feeding back - but it'll be better than nothing.
 
OP
joolsyboywonder
Messages
51
Location
Maidstone, Kent
Thanks guys.
I'm probably going to do more gigs, so I'm looking into the Mackie SRM 150 & the in ear solution, which to be honest I don't know much about yet.
How would I get a signal from my clip on (which goes to a belt clipped box, then out via an xlr cable) to a desk, as well as in ear monitors, would I need 2 outputs from the mic?
 

davidsol

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Subscriber
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93
Location
Monaco
Hi Jools, gear4music does an own brand in ear monitor system which is reasonably priced at about £ 70, I have one and it works well, I have only ever used it with the monitor output of a PA or a heaphones socket on an amp. You can use any heaphones or earbuds and so can improve the sound quality although the stock earphones seem good enough to me (but I'm more of a guitarist !). Hope this helps.
David
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Subscriber
Messages
1,304
Location
Hampshire
Thanks guys.
I'm probably going to do more gigs, so I'm looking into the Mackie SRM 150 & the in ear solution, which to be honest I don't know much about yet.
How would I get a signal from my clip on (which goes to a belt clipped box, then out via an xlr cable) to a desk, as well as in ear monitors, would I need 2 outputs from the mic?
Personally, I'd go one or the other. The Mackie is designed as a personal monitor speaker. You could buy both, but if you wore the in ears, it would kind of defeat the purpose of having a monitor speaker in front of you. Having said that, I use a floor wedge as a back up to my in ears (for vocals mainly)

Getting a feed into both monitor and in ears would depend on how many monitor outs your mixing desk has.
 
OP
joolsyboywonder
Messages
51
Location
Maidstone, Kent
Hi Jools, gear4music does an own brand in ear monitor system which is reasonably priced at about £ 70, I have one and it works well, I have only ever used it with the monitor output of a PA or a heaphones socket on an amp. You can use any heaphones or earbuds and so can improve the sound quality although the stock earphones seem good enough to me (but I'm more of a guitarist !). Hope this helps.
David
Personally, I'd go one or the other. The Mackie is designed as a personal monitor speaker. You could buy both, but if you wore the in ears, it would kind of defeat the purpose of having a monitor speaker in front of you. Having said that, I use a floor wedge as a back up to my in ears (for vocals mainly)

Getting a feed into both monitor and in ears would depend on how many monitor outs your mixing desk has.
Sorry, I meant I'm looking into both, not buying both!.
I like the idea of the Mackie so I can get set up, then send a signal to the desk. Kind of more 'self contained'. I can't see a way of doing that with in ear monitors yet, unless there's a headphone amp with another out to go to the desk.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Subscriber
Messages
1,304
Location
Hampshire
Sorry, I meant I'm looking into both, not buying both!.
I like the idea of the Mackie so I can get set up, then send a signal to the desk. Kind of more 'self contained'. I can't see a way of doing that with in ear monitors yet, unless there's a headphone amp with another out to go to the desk.
Unless you've got someone on the desk who knows what they are doing and can adjust your in ear mix, Personally I'd go with the Mackie setup. As a user of in ears, when they work well, they work well, but we don't have a sound person on the desk. Things can get messy sometimes, hence the backup wedge.

In principle, the in ears work the same as the monitor. Everything goes into your desk (including your sax mic). You then take a feed out of your desk (whatever mix you want/get) it then goes into your receiver, or your body pack and gets fed into your ears through the headphones.
 

John Laughter

Member
Messages
298
Location
Macon,GA
I used guitar amps in the 80's and did a line out to the mixer. Had to use a 1/4 mic cable which can be sensitive. I started with a 10" speaker then went to a 12" speaker then to a 15" keyboard amp which sounded real good and has an XLR input. I did it for the same reason....stage volume at times as the night wears on.

No feedback issues as long as the amp is by your feet to your side. Never in back of you unless it is far away. All of the amps were lined into the mixers. I did not care for the tone of the 10" monitors in those bands. One band used 15" monitors so the amp was not needed.

Those days are long since over now that our band (for the past 15 years) use four 15" powered speakers, two on each side of the stage and up front with our 4 piece band. I have total control my own sound.

The only "downside" to using an amp (other than carrying it around) was once in a while some members in the bands would get pissed or find it funny. They could never get over a sax using an amp. They expected me to hear myself through the mains, or the small monitors even though the tone was not very good for the sax (some will disagree and that is fine).

I played a gig in Florida last year and the sound man set up two 12" mains. They had 4 singers, keyboard and 3 horns going through those two mains. I had brought my Roland KC 550 just in case and set it up to help the horns, especially for solos. The sound man was irritated which made my day but we got the gig done and the horns appreciated it.

So maybe bounce it off the members of your band before showing up with the amp. But also do what you need to do to hear yourself and have a good time :D
 

John Hextall

New Member
Messages
3
Location
sy16 3aw
Hi all
I've got my first gig in about 15 yrs coming up in a couple of weeks, which has reminded me of one of the issues I hated when gigging before, that of not being able to hear yourself above drums, guitar amps & the audience screaming how sexy the sax player is.
Alright... the last bit was just in my head.
So instead of just hoping for decent foldback, I'm thinking of the 'if you can't beat them, join them' approach :thumb:.
I've got a Roland JC 40 which is a fairly clean sounding amp, & I'm thinking of using it as an on stage monitor. It's a smallish outside gig, so I may not need to go through the PA but there's an output which could go to the desk if ness. I'll be using a clip on mic & my reverb unit (of course)
Has anyone tried it & was feedback an issue?
Other than that, I have a sax reflector thingy which I haven't tried with a band, though it sounds great in a fully laden wardrobe.
Cheers & happy Tuesday.
Jools
Hi Jools

Years ago, I used to use a 100W Trace Elliot Acoustic combo a an onstage monitor and it worked pretty well against a loud PA. They don't make that model any more but I believe you can get similar ones designed for acoustic instruments. At the time, it had pre IQ and post IQ outputs so you could send it to the PA like a DI box. Then a few years back, Roland I-Cubes were all the rage. These were little boxes on a stand that you could play fairly close to your ear and get a good result. I think people prefer in-ear monitors these days for comfort and lack of feedback though. Good luck!
 

John Laughter

Member
Messages
298
Location
Macon,GA
Also keep in mind that whatever you end up using (on stage) to hear yourself, are you balanced in the bands' mix and in the mains? Will the audience hear the sax, especially on solos? Do what you have to do to be heard so you can enjoy the gig! :clapping:

On a side note, it is interesting how band setups have developed (or not) over the years since the days of the big swing bands and our combos of the 50's and 60's with two tall custom speakers, a simple mixer with 2 EQ knobs and no monitors.
 
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