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'official live sound thread'

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

  1. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I like the audix stuff too. I got an OM6 real cheap from a friend and it works great. I also have an EV N/D series that is really good too.
     
  2. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    Used OM6/7 mics a good few times. Nice and very clear, they cut through a mix really well. Audix in general make great mics for live use. Venue near me has an Audix endorsement so they used D2's/D4/D6's on all drums, guitars, brass and OM6/7's on vocals and they usually have a really good sound in there.

    I did a tour where I used a Shure sm86 the singer brought along and thought it sounded great on most of the singers who used it. Not that expensive either only about half as expensive again as a 58 and I felt it sounded much nicer and took less EQ to cut through.

    My problem with using a nice vocal mic other than a 58 is you kinda need to get 3 or 4 of them to get the most out of them so you can do a full stage and EQ your FOH/Monitors accordingly. Otherwise if you ring out/tune your system for 58's and another mic gets used for lead vox you have some feedback issues. You can take it out on the channel strip EQ( and thats what I do now) but ideally you want to key out the monitors/FOH for the good lead vocal mic and leave as much of the spectrum intact rather than basically taking out the offending frequencies for 2 different vocal mics and having an EQ thats hacked to bits.

    Biggest revelation for me as a live guy was the concept of cutting one instrument to make room for another and to know when checking something solo how it will come across with everything going. Especialy with heavy guitars- pushing the upper mids makes them more aggressive sounding and in your face, but by pulling them back in that area you make so much more space for the vocals and don't have to push them as hard. By carefully managing the EQ you have across the board you get lots more use out of the headroom you've got for the system.

    Really simple and I'm sure every here knows what I'm talking about but it really hit home for me a few years ago after I'd been doing it for a while and it totally changed how I approached everything.

    Another tip I think is to go for punchy, clean drums. I go to alot of gigs where the drums are kinda loose and muddy and it ruins the sound of the whole mix. I've yet to come across a genre where leaning more on the controlled side didn't sound better in the context of the whole mix- Metal, rock, electro, jazz, blues, folk, trad.

    Another thing is to not get carried away with headphones. Walk around the room and learn whats wrong with the place the sound desk is situated compred to the rest of the room. Relying on the headphones, especially in places 500 cap and smaller will lead to a good headphone mix and crap sound for the gig. They are handy to use as a problem solver and for checking elements of the mix but not for basing the entire sound off.
     
  3. FischmungaXTR

    FischmungaXTR Member

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    Im looking at getting an analyser of some sort for troubleshooting feedback, but looking at the prices of some of them, would it be better to just get an iPad? and have the luxury of being able to remote control most digital desks?
     
  4. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    I've got Speedy Spectrum Analyser on my Android phone, only cost £3.99. There's probably something similar for ipad.
    It's really best to train your ear to hear feedback though, I know recently I've been using that app too much and am slightly less quick at recognising frequencies by ear than I was a couple of weeks ago :lol:
     
  5. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    Becomes second nature after a while. Hear offending frequency just barely ringing and reach for the slider on the eq straight away. Never used a meter for this but have seen plenty of guys using apps on their phone.

    It's pretty good for ear training, I've been applying this to my studio mixing more and more. Close your eyes and just listen for "ringing" frequencies in the material and then notch it out. All my recordings are getting smoother and more pro sounding sinch I've taken this approach.
     
  6. raisedfist

    raisedfist Member

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    I was a bit shite at pinpointing problem frequencies but after a few years of working with upto 12 lapel mics, depending on the show, cheap to expensive you get pretty good at at EQing on the go. Although this isn't my choice gig its still quite an art as you have to get a stable EQ on the channel for each mic and then group the lapels with an GEQ inserted for further fine tuning.
    I have to say I don't really care for theatre and theatre sound it have learnt so much about subtractive EQ it has been worth sitting through pantomimes with a script.....
     
  7. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Had a gig the other day where the headline band's engineer brought some Sennheiser E945's for vocal mics. It's really hard having to go back to SM58's now :(
     
  8. xFkx

    xFkx gain induction

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    funny anegdote from a short while ago.

    I was doing a gig, and all the bands playing their were friends of mine, so I was really doing my best to get things to sound as best as possible.

    The best sounding band though was the opening band, which had two 1x12 peavey tube combos and the bass was DI'd through a sansamp (with a rat pedal before the sansamp).

    The sound was crushing, super clear, tight, you could seriously hear every note, it sounded just.. right.

    Then later on the evening, the louder it got on stage, stuff started to go a downhill a bit.


    Food for thought.


    Oh. 700+ cap venue, so you could do a proper FOH mix
     
  9. raisedfist

    raisedfist Member

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    Sad times! I think most things tend to sound better than 58s in the last couple of years. I just ordered a couple of the Rode M1s as most of our tech riders request 58s and they look the same, just black and sound better.
     
  10. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    true story.
    i did sound at a band's very very advertised and pretty packed cd release, good sound gear, but the guitar player got drunk and turned his shit up after soundcheck. sounded like utter SHIT.
     
  11. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

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    Might have to try the Audix out, sounds great from what you are all saying.
    I have not seen one for a bit but I used to like the AKG D3800. Warmer and cleaner than a 58. I have not tried the Rode either but I use them in the studio alot so I am sure they will be great too.

    Things to me that have helped my live sound improve:
    Gain staging is a big no.1.
    Tuning FOH and monitors.
    Balancing on stage sound.

    If a guitarist keeps turning himself up on stage I walk straight up on stage and turn it down again while he is watching!

    A good band/musician will be easier to mix. Period.

    I dont know how many gigs I have done where 99% of the backline (other than guitars maybe) have been shared between 5 or more bands so the only thing changing in the whole setup is the musicians themselves. Some bands make it impossible to get a good FOH mix while others seem to mix themselves. It really is incredible how much of a difference this makes.
    This is normally where I get accused of favourtisim or mixing some bands wrong, as joke.:bah:
     
  12. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    Totally. A good tight band, of well playing musicians with an idea of how what they're doing affects the overall sound will always be easier to mix than a band that is sloppy and loud.

    I HATE when someone changes their volume's after a soundcheck. Defeats the purpose of doing a soundcheck if you're going to change everything. I actually think alot of bands don't reailse what a soundcheck is for- they view it as something they have to do if they're playing a gig and don't realise it's for their benefit.

    Been using much wider variety of gear as of late in a few different venues. Been good for me to experience some different rigs and ways of working. I'm getting more rounded as an engineer and more comfortable in a wider variety of situations. I highly recommend that every engineer put themselves out of their comfort zone every now and then, thats when you really learn stuff!
     
  13. Shinozoku

    Shinozoku Senior Memory

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    Well, just popped my live sound cherry :p First time fully setting up and running sound (usually I'm just the guy who tells the local sound guy that FOH is shit and that he doesn't know what he's talking about). It was for a band called Lore here in my hometown of Bristol. Stoner/Classic rock.

    Problems:
    Guitarist/Vocalist had his footswitch at the base of his boom stand, and therefore had to avoid kissing the mic many times when switching channels. Bassist/Main vocalist is SUPER DYNAMIC and compensates for the intimate parts by practically being ON the mic. I suggested that he sing out more overall, and back off, because being so close was creating some feedback.

    Guitar amps themselves were too loud to start with, and I had them miced to bring the sounds a bit closer to center while retaining a stereo spread, and so I could give them lead boosts. Had it clicked earlier that the amp volumes was the problem, I would have turned them both down a notch or two and all would have been great. But, we got feedback cuz the vocal mics had to be so loud. Not constant, but irritating. Also, the other guitarist likes to keep his Angry Troll ALL THE WAY UP :p

    The sound, aside from occasional feedback, was fucking stellar. I rode the vocal mics as needed, and brought up the guitar players when soloing. They had some heavier shit that sounded so crushing and sick that I wished I could bang my head while riding the vocal faders accurately.

    These are al problems we're gonna work on before the next show so we don't have to fight the feedback so much.
     
  14. Ngoc

    Ngoc Member

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    So... I don't know if that is the right place to post this, but anyway :D

    We want to distort the bass guitar live and we want to do it similar like in the studio with separated tracks (one grit, one low end).

    How would you as a F.O.H want it?
    Should the bass player use e.g. a Y-cable and send both tracks to one track ? The plus in this one would be, that grit and low end would be already optimized level-wise. Or are there any other ways to do this?

    Thanks in advance, guys :D
     
  15. arv_foh

    arv_foh Brian K

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    yeah figure out a way to buss them to a single channel, most sound guys are just going to want 1 for bass unless you're the headliner.. for quickness purposes.. you may have ground issues with a Y cable, never personally used one of these but maybe it'll do the trick for you?

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Rolls-MX41B-Channel-Passive-Control/dp/B00102XUX6[/ame]
     
  16. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I would personally want a clean DI and a dirty track to mix at my discretion.
     
  17. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    If you're using a sansamp then they have a dry output and a distorted output, so you can just plug both straight into the stagebox.

    Make sure to mention it to the sound man in advance though, most guys will only set up for one channel of bass for the majority of gigs.
     
  18. slo77y

    slo77y Member

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    you mean, like, always?^^

    i always tell the drummers during a soundcheck "hit as hard as you will during the show" "OK!!" _ALWAYS_ a lie.

    musicians are fooking stupid when they are not into recording/mixing themselves. period.


    the one constant thing i have learned about live mixing is. good band = after the first two songs the only thing i do is riding FX, the mix itself has not to be changed anymore. bad band = constant eqing/riding/compressing/yadayadaing everything and still sounding like shitt.
     
  19. arv_foh

    arv_foh Brian K

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    one thing I do that helps with this.. after I line check all the drums I say "play the whole kit" ...half the time drummers hit like a little bitch during line check (not even hard enough to open the gates) and then play hard as shit when they actually play
     
  20. arvoitus

    arvoitus Member

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    Some things i learned:
    - Know your gear, know what every knob and switch does.
    - Don't gate the snare, you'll miss ghost notes and such.
    - Drums (can) really benefit from parallel compression.

    Does someone have tips for doing sound with decent gear in a really shitty room? A room with concrete walls, concrete ceiling, tile floors, weird corners. The kind of place where everything is too loud and it always becomes a huge cloudy mess.
     

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