Reasons Why Guitar Amp Stage Location Matters


No matter where your band is performing, you want your music to sound perfect for people whether they're standing at the front, or hanging out way up the back. A key element to making that happen and to avoiding that pesky feedback that screeches and deters your audience is actually due to the placement of your speakers and amplifier. Not only is placement important, but angles, too, which just could be the deciding factor on whether your performance is good or bad in the eyes (well, ears) of the audience.



Reasons Why Amplifier Stage Location Matters

The thing about amps is that they are quite powerful, even at low wattages. This means they can hurt our ears quite easily, and it’s not a good thing. So, while you might think to point the amp directly at the audience is the number one way to go, this can actually be detrimental to the audience receiving the sound well. Although, you don’t want to hide the amp away and risk not being heard at all, either. You need to find that balanced spot. Some may say it’s up to personal preference, and to some extent, this may be true, but ultimately you want to try and please everyone who is watching your gig, especially if you plan to be asked back.

The reason why pointing the amp straight at the audience isn’t ideal is because it will likely be far too intense for them, especially those in the front row. This is also true when the amp is placed near the bassist or drummer as well, which will increase the intensity. A better placement would be to angle the amplifier so that it’s not directly facing the audience, but slightly off center, and closer angling to where the singer will be. Obviously, the downside of this is that the singer will get hit with the amp power, so that’s something to consider. But it’s better than deafening your audience and them not enjoying the show.

Alternatively, or maybe in conjunction with the above method, placing your amplifier elevated from the ground is another helpful tip. The reasons being, for one it’s closer in height to your ears and therefore has a higher chance of sounding better to you (and therefore to the audience), and secondly, it removes any low-end sound that comes as a result of bouncing from the floor. If you must have your amp on the floor, then you can tilt it upwards so it’s angled more towards your ears instead, because it will significantly alter your gig if you’ll know exactly how it sounds before performing to the audience. However, make sure you don’t point the amp too close to the microphone or microphones of other players, as you risk spoiling their sound.


Final Thoughts ...

So, to sum up. Keep the amp angled slightly towards your lead singer or lead guitarist, facing them rather than the audience. Keep the amp elevated from the ground to avoid any low-end sound and bring it to the same level as your ears. Of course, the choices will also depend on the style of the stage (indoors or outdoors) and the gear the band has. Know your amp and your gear, and give these simple tricks a go. It may be a matter of trial and error during sound check to find that perfect location, but it will be well worth it in the long run.



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