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'official live sound thread'

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by pikachu69, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. slo77y

    slo77y Member

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    i insist on pressing the "pre" (eq, compressor etc.) knob on amp di outs, luckily, most of the guys don´t notice/care when i do it :D
     
  2. arvoitus

    arvoitus Member

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    Alright, a couple of weeks ago i was mixing a hiphop act with a DJ and two vocalists in a small sized club (100 people). Suddenly a friend is coming to me, saying that one of the singers is just a little bit too loud and the other one is just a little bit too soft. I was standing at the mixing position and i thought the balance was ok but i walked into the audience to check it anyway. I listened near the bar and i heard the complete opposite, so then i thought ... panning?

    I had the vocals panned just a little bit (10/20% to get a bit of separation), but apparently this resulted in two different (wrong) mix balances if you were standing right in front of one speaker (and not hearing the other side).
    And after that evening i was just arguing with myself in my head ... why the fuck should i pan mono sources in a live situation anyway?

    I like panning double mic's on a single cabinet hard left and right, but panning two guitarist fairly hard (50% or more) in a live situation means your audience on the left will hear guitarist 1 too loud, the audience in the middle will hear your desired effect/mix and the audience on the right will hear guitarist 2 too loud.

    Why and when should i pan something? Because in most cases it means half of your audience is hearing something else then the other 50%.

    Maybe i'm overthinking this a bit ... but it is just giving me a huge mindfuck at the moment.
     
  3. SoundsLikeFog

    SoundsLikeFog Member

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    I think you are correct in the notion of overthinking.

    I pan mono elements in the center, stereo elements LR (including double mic'd guitars). There are usually bigger fish to fry than panning.
     
  4. HeadCrusher

    HeadCrusher Member

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    I usually center Vocals. Guitars can go L/R but I try and bring them back in to C when any of them plays a solo.
     
  5. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I still don't believe stereo has a place in 99% of live sound situations. If you have a very controlled environment where the entire audience can hear the effect (ex: movie theater), then yeah go for it.
     
  6. Fragle

    Fragle Member

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    I always pan guitars around 50% L/R. I feel that having them both straight up in the middle often makes it hard to differenciate what each guitar is playing. Also, if the bands are quite shitty (i.e. can't play tight) having both guitars centered turns the sound into a mess really fast imho.

    In small clubs i sometimes pan guitars the opposite from their stage positions, too. Quite often you can hear the guitar backline really well as guitar players pretty much always play too loud :D This way you can hear e.g. the guitar stage left mainly from the backline volume and guitar stage right from the PA system and vice versa depending on your position in the crowd.
    I've heard some guys do that thing on bigger stages and open airs, don't ask me why though as it really fucks things up for me seeing the dude on my side of the stage play something and hearing only the other one :D
     
  7. SoundsLikeFog

    SoundsLikeFog Member

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    To me, that reasoning just sounds like a logical fallacy.. To the people on the far reaches of the venue / PA, it's mono.. Doesn't matter if you use stereo sounds or not, they're gonna hear the other speaker louder. For the rest 90% of the audience, it's stereo. And personally to me, L/C/R sounds superior compared to plain mono + some panning. There are no downsides.

    Panning single mono signals, that's something I don't do.. By doing that, you're taking something away from the other side of the audience. Using L/R, that doesn't happen.. The 90% of the audience get a clearer, bigger and better sound, while the rest on the far sides get the same mono sound, they would get, whatever magic you're gonna do..

    Naturally, strictly IMO, of course.. Everybody does what they deem fit for the occation.
     
  8. HeadCrusher

    HeadCrusher Member

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    ^This.

    However 100% L/R are too extreme most of the time imo.
     
  9. arvoitus

    arvoitus Member

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    Sometimes i have problems with getting the lead vocals loud enough in the mix (mostly the case with singers that aren't really good/loud).

    Most of my faders are at the unity gain point, but with the vocals i just dont have any more "fader headroom" to put them louder. Whenever that happens i try to add the vocals to another subgroup to get some more db's out of the signal ... but that is not always an option or optimal.

    Do you guys have this problem sometimes, and how do you prevent this? I think i could optimize my gainstructure a bit more, but should i gain the other signals lower and the vocals a tad higher so they become louder? Or should i put the other faders lower and the master fader a bit higher ...
     
  10. slo77y

    slo77y Member

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    stereo definately has its place in live situations.

    currently im working with a band that has only one guitarist. he uses an axe-fx, and we spent a few days getting a stereo-sound from just one guitar. we used different amps on each side and the usual delay tricks, until it sounded pretty convincing. not like actually double tracked but close.

    so, what he plays sounds like a double tracked guitar when you are standing in the stereo field (which at least 50% of the audience does) and when you are standing offside and hearing just one stack, you still hear a perfectly-fine mono-tone out of one of the sides, with every musical information in it since its only one guitar.

    however, the benefit of doing this is that you really HAVE stereo guitars for most of the ppl, and you have plenty space in the middle, which at least for me is always a consideration because indeed, most of the band have to be mixed in mono.

    so i really cant see any disadvantage using this techinque.
     
  11. Fluffbot

    Fluffbot I like beef jerky.

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    Before I got my Axe FXII I would always setup our guitar cabs for "sidewashing" as we call it here (facing eachother on opposite ends of the stage) so as to minimize the phase or volume issues that can occur in small to mid venues' PA. The live sound techs loved us for it since the majority of people crank their 120w tube head with 4x12 halfstack to 4/10 on stage and are louder than the PA.

    Now running the Axe FXII directly to the soundboard cleans up the on stage noise (and physical room) very much!
     

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