Playing music in a live setting especially with a full band is very much different from playing at home or in a music studio since you have to adjust the parameters accordingly to the venue. Of course, while there might be an excellent sound guy by your side, he can only do so much with the quality of tone coming out from the speakers if the amplifiers themselves aren’t really too cooperative.
Amplifiers are quite important in a live full band setting since this is where mainly the sound from the instruments comes from. For the guitar and bass alone, there’s already a wide variety of amps to choose from that give off specific sound qualities, from classic tube amps and solid state amps to different combinations of amp heads and cabinet speakers. Probably one of the most overlooked factors is the quality of vocal amps; vocal amps provide the vocals the boost it needs to cut through the mix without drowning out other instruments or vice versa. Choosing the best amp for vocals in a live setting is quite important.
Complement the whole
Choosing a vocal amp that complements the band as a whole is important. While you may not want to get drowned out by the guitar, bass or drums, they do not want to get drowned out by loud vocals as well. The band works hand in hand to create a single unit that produces music. Think of the band as an engine with all the members as parts of that machine, and to properly and efficiently work, everybody must be able to do their part evenly, this usually means compromise.
Look for a vocal amp that can complement every other instrument in the band without drowning them out or vice versa. This means that you have to take note of the frequencies in which every other instrument is in as well as the frequency being generated by the vocal amp.
Too much highs will make the vocals sound thin and might drown out the guitar since guitar amps are usually in the high to mid-range frequencies. Too much low end frequencies aren’t really suggested as well since that part is already covered by the bass. Aside from that, too much highs and lows might create feedback when the volume is cranked up and unless you want noisy vocals that cause feedback every so often, choosing a vocal amp that’s well rounded and usually mid-rangier is ideal.
Shopping on a budget
Professional vocal amps can be quite heavy on the budget which is why people who are looking for vocal amps but are on a tight budget tend to prefer the popular PA speakers for its affordability and practicality. Why? You are basically buying two things in one since PA speakers are vocal amps that double as monitors for other instruments as well.
Vocal amps are important to let the vocals cut through the mix clearly, choosing a vocal amp that can do such without drowning out everybody else is important to create a well-balanced sound, of course with the help of an excellent sound tech that does all of the back end controlling.