Yesterday I talked a little bit about using a microphone on stage and why you need to have plenty of volume coming from the amp to get a good mic’d sound.
While there are plenty of times that having your amp loud on stage is perfectly acceptable, there are instances where this can be a problem. Some church worship bands, for instance, understandably require low stage volume for all instrumentalists. Low stage volume also cuts down on speaker beaming, which is what happens when someone’s ears are the direct path of the speaker and they get all of the very harsh frequencies from the center of the speaker cone. If you’ve got a multi-fx pedal, no problem, but what if you need to use an amp and you need some volume to get that really great tone without blowing grandma’s wig off? What can you do?
I’ve been in this situation before, and after trying a number of things over several live sessions, I finally found a solution that worked very well. I found some old kick-drum shields and placed them in front of my amp to block the loud volume from overpowering the room and to block the harsh tone caused by beaming from hitting anyone square in the ears.
This simple solution really made a difference. I was able to turn my amp up load enough to get the tone I needed to send through the mic, while at the same time keeping the volume and beaming from being a problem for anyone on stage or in the audience.
I don’t use this setup anymore since I use my HD500X, but if you’re looking for something to help in a situation where stage volume can be an issue, a nice shield that is high enough and thick enough to keep too much sound from getting out beyond the mic could be just what you need.