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'official live sound thread'

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

  1. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    Get the drummer to lay off the cymbals in tiny shitty room if you can. Helps a ton when they actually do it. Other than that just see if you can drape off the wall behind the band and the sides of the stage. Makes a big difference. Trying to convince the guys in a small venue I do alot to do that and carpet the stage and ceiling.
     
  2. dapaudio

    dapaudio New Metal Member

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    Live sound channel please.
     
  3. slo77y

    slo77y Member

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    Use a 31Band EQ on the PA, and spend some time prior to soundcheck with some Music you are REALLY familiar with, and aggresively suck out every frequency that starts fuckin with the room. dont be gentle, cut that shit out. (walk around the venue when nobody is there, to identify which annoying frequencies are persistend in every spot, and which ones are actually just at your position. (dont suck them out then, live with it; the sound is for the ppl, not for you))

    HUGE help sometimes.

    this also goes as "shitty-pa-first-aid", at least for me.

    often times, when i didnt do this; i needed a lot of the same EQ cuts in all the channels because often times live some frequencies are really annoying; if u dont do that on the masterbus, you end up eqing the individual channels to hell and back..

    also often, a (gentle) masterbus compressor can help to tame some transients that otherwise attract the shitty room acousics too much. dont compress the individual channels too much in a shitty room, because you´ll raise all sort of crap that leaks into the microphones, master bus compression is a lot better here imho.
     
  4. ThatGuitarGuy

    ThatGuitarGuy Member

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    Use a DI and a mic on the cab. Just make sure the mic is right on the grill. There will be a little phase, but nothing big enough, especially if you roll off the high end on one and the low end on another. I do this all the time and it helps me to make the notes clear and get that awesome clanky noise without making the low end all insane.
     
  5. arvoitus

    arvoitus Member

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    I have a couple of questions about the "Put fader to unity and then gain to a decent level" method for mixing.
    - Assuming that the amplifiers for the P.A. are fully open, where do you put the master stereo fader?
    - How do you deal with (let's say) a soft channel that requires a lot of gain to be put a decent level so you end up with it nearly clipping (analog, so it can be ok). Can gates and compressor handle very high or low levels? I've heard stories of gates that won't fully open/close because of weird gainlevels.
    - And something i just forgot ...
     
  6. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

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    Up to you. Where ever gets you to your required volume without feedback. I rarely go past -10db on the master fader.
    To set a good gain structure through your system try this:

    set up and turn on your PA including power amps but dont plug in your speakers to the amps. ( you dont want sound coming out FOH for this!)
    Play pink noise through one of your channels. This can be from a computer/laptop/CD but not mp3 or other compressed file type.
    With Channel fader at 0 raise the input gain until the channel is JUST about to clip with the pink noise.
    Raise the master buss fader to 0 and it too should be just off clipping.
    Raise the volume on your power amps until they clip, then dial it back till it JUST stops clipping.
    You now have the same gain structure through out your desk and amps and you also know where you will introduce clipping but this should never happen on a system big enough to handle the room and its capacity because the volume you will have at 0db on the master fader will be far too loud for most people.
    This will mean that your amps wont be 'wound right to full' as a lot of sound guys tend to do, but its better to not clip your amp than have it 'look' loud. You will get MORE volume from your PA this way as long as you set a good gain structure across your channels.

    Not sure I understand what you mean.
    An active DI box can be good for this depending on the source.
    Condenser mic?
    getting something to near clipping does not sound like a decent level to me, thats sounds already way too loud in most cases.
    Try getting things like guitar, bass, keys and other ryth. section type things set to 0db-ish.
    The body of the drums set to round 0db with transients going to round +6db and vocals similar to drums.
    Use busses to balance the instruments and channel faders for riding volumes of vox and soloists throughout the gig.
     
  7. xFkx

    xFkx gain induction

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    the short story is, don't do it.

    if you do your shit right, the faders will end up close to unity anyway, in a nice even line.. maybe the vocal (or vocal group) fader slightly higher.



    oh, and a bit of giving myself a pat on the back, my biggest "job" to date:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pCKirMw_7I&feature=player_embedded[/ame]



    the sub-low content was routed separately, so the video lacks the low end of the kick drum and a bit of the bass guitar
     
  8. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Damn I'd love to get to the level of doing big festivals like that! I do plenty of local work and have a very good reputation but no bands around here are actually going places and getting anywhere.
     
  9. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    I know how you feel. Everyone around where I am knows me and I have a really good reputation but the transition from house engineer in small places to touring engineer is a very slow one.

    I've been told by so many bands at this stage that if they could afford it I'd be doing all their gigs but I've only got one band that I'm actually the touring engineer for. It's odd, I've even heard of bands claiming I'm their regular engineer when I'm not!

    I work alot, usually doing 4-5 gigs a week but I freelance, I don't work for a sound company. I think working with a big sound company is a fast way to get big gigs but it sounds like such bullshit to me. Seems to me there's a ton of politics and for every decent big gig you could end up doing 10 corporate gigs. Sounds like there's alot of ass kissing to be done before you get anything good either.
     
  10. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Corporate gigs do tend to pay very well though.

    It's a tough one, I totally understand it from a bands perspective as most can barely afford to get from one venue to another when touring, definitely not enough money going around for them to pay for a engineer.
     
  11. fade_2_black

    fade_2_black Member

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    Working for big PA companies is massively beneficial for freelance engineers. Not only do you get opportunities to work with larger bands and get into the bigger venues that you mightn't otherwise, you also get to see how some of the bigger touring engineers do things their way and you can make some fantastic contacts.

    I can guarantee that the majority of smaller-scale house engineers and engineers who freelance just to local bands wouldn't have a clue how to competently tune up a system in a stadium. As a system tech, I deal with a heap of guys who will talk the talk, saying they know what they're doing, how to use Smaart, etc, then when it comes time to walk the walk, I have to do the bulk of it for them.

    The other good thing about working with PA companies now and again is that you get the opportunity to play with a wide range of gear and can familiarise yourself with that gear. That way, when you rock up as a freelance engineer not only are you familiar with the PA and consoles, etc, but they're also familiar with you as an engineer and therefore more willing to help out and will likely take it a little easier on you with soundcheck times, etc..
     
  12. fade_2_black

    fade_2_black Member

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    Hey pikachu69, where in NZ are you based?
     
  13. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    I see the positives and agree with you, I just hate that it comes with so much politics and bullshit. At least it does where I'm from anyway. I've seen loads of it first hand and it's so petty at times
     
  14. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

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    Hey.

    I am based in Wanganui, NZ. I am a lecturer for the UCOL music school here during the week but I travel round most weekends doing sound, mostly metal and reggae but anything going really.
    Where are you?
     
  15. fade_2_black

    fade_2_black Member

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    True, nice.. I'm in Auckland. You make it up here often?
     
  16. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

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    Not so much atm. For a while I was up there nearly every weekend but the teaching job has meant less live work so sticking at home with the family more which is nice.
    Hows the scene up there?
     
  17. arvoitus

    arvoitus Member

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    I often get the request for deep sounding (floor) toms. Except for an +15db boost at 60hz, does anyone have some suggestions for mic placement and EQ to achieve a deep sound that will give drummers a boner? I normally use Sennheiser E604 mics.

    And what are your EQ recipes for kickdrums? Depending on the musicstyle i normally start with boosting with the high shelf to get some definition. I use the high mid EQ knob to search for the beater sound arround 3k to 6k and then boost it. Then searching for a frequency to cut between 200-1k and then use the low shelf to balance the low-end to fit within the mix (normally between -3db or +3db).

    When i'm visiting shows and other sound-engineers soundcheck, they often have a kickdrum that sounds ugly on its own but great in the mix.

    It's kinda hard to describe, but i'm looking for some different flavours to EQ kickdrums.
     
  18. ChrisTanakaCanwell

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    I've never had much luck getting a "deep" sound with 604s... if you have access to a Beta98, D112, 421, or even a 57 you should try those on the floor tom.

    Depends on the mic/pa size/genre but I usually use a Beta91 for the kick, turn down 600hz all the way, boost 50-80hz/12k to taste, and gate it. Not very sophisticated but it always works out pretty well for me.
     
  19. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I still try to stick with subtractive EQ as much as possible even when doing live work.

    Toms - generally cutting low mids around 200hz - 800hz
    Kick - generally cutting low mids around 300hz-600hz

    If I have time, I'll sweep around and find nasty resonance etc and notch them out.

    Try parallel compression if you can and mix it in. Maybe even low pass the return you have your para comp on to get 'beef' only.

    Gates can help clean things up but make sure drummer isn't being a PUSS.
     
  20. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    I'm quite partial to boosting on the drums and bass, but I tend to exclusively cut on guitars and vocals.

    For drum eq it really depends on the band/drum/mic. Typically for kick's I'll boost the high shelf, pull out some crap in the 500hz region and if i need more attack I'll boost around 3k or so, if I need to enhance the low end I'll use a low shelf for slower rock stuff where I want the subs working, or if I want something thats tighter I'll pull the low mid band down to 80hz so I can get a bell boost going.

    Toms are similar, rip 400-800hz depending on the drum, boost shelf for attack, normally gets me sitting pretty good. If you're having trouble with depth on floors it might be the tuning of the drum rather than the mic or your eq?
     

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