Bad gear?

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Nickguitar800
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Bad gear?

Post by Nickguitar800 » December 15th, 2014, 8:56 am

Hello everyone, recently my band played our first gig; it went very well and the audience liked our show. The only thing that was repeatedly said that we need to work on when I talked to the audience afterward was our vocals. Everyone was saying that our vocals were good but not very clear; they said that they couldn't understand the lyrics very much and when we talked in-between songs they couldn't understand what we were saying at all. We have cheap gear and I'm wondering if that's what the problem is, we've been using Pyle pro audio PDMIC58 mics because we have no budget, after that they went to a very old mixer and then into some peavey monitor speakers that we were using for FOH sound because we didn't have any real speakers. Anyway, is there anything in this setup that could be keeping our vocals and talking from being clear? Or do we just need to work on using a microphone?

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Alan Green
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Re: Bad gear?

Post by Alan Green » December 15th, 2014, 10:28 pm

I think what it tells you more is that the first thing you need to buy with your gig fees is a couple of better mics and then a PA.

Make sure you get some sort of soundcheck; make the most of the gear you've got.
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notes_norton
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Re: Bad gear?

Post by notes_norton » December 16th, 2014, 8:48 am

If you are going to gig, you need to have an appropriate PA set for the venues that you plan to perform in.

A common problem with vocals can be too much FX, especially reverb and echo. I've heard that more times than I can count.

Proper breathing (from the diaphragm and not the chest) and breath support are also important for projection.
Image
If you don't learn to breathe properly, no PA in the world will make your voice sound good. (If you already breathe through your diaphragm, please pardon the interruption)

Proper EQ on the vocal channels of the mixer is also important. It's different for each voice but generally low-mid-range and bass makes a tenor or higher voice muddy, and will do the same if a baritone or bass singer doesn't have much natural edge to his voice.

Singing too close to a mic with proximity effect (like the Sure SM58) will also muddy your voice. The SM58 is a good mic, but not if you sing very close to the mic itself. There are newer designs without the proximity effect.

That's about all I can add to Alan's post.

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Nickguitar800
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Re: Bad gear?

Post by Nickguitar800 » December 16th, 2014, 10:53 am

Thank you all! What mic would you recommend for small venues? SM58?Or is there better mics out there for around the same price? Our vocalist is a bass/ tenor if that helps. I don't think that he's breathing wrong, he is a very good singer and he has had some training. But I will talk about that at our next rehearsal. So for EQ, during our sound check should we mess with that to see if that help? We don't have much experience, we don't have money for a sound guy so we're not sure how to use the EQ on our mixer.

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Alan Green
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Re: Bad gear?

Post by Alan Green » December 16th, 2014, 3:28 pm

Nickguitar800 wrote:.... we're not sure how to use the EQ on our mixer.
Start with all the dials set in the middle, then start adjusting one at a time. If it sounds better then keep on going until it stops sounding better; if it doesn't, then twiddle another dial.

You'll get the hang of it quicker than you think.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger
"I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk

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notes_norton
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Re: Bad gear?

Post by notes_norton » December 17th, 2014, 3:10 pm

Personally, I'm not fond of the SM58 at all.

I mainly work where feedback could be a problem, and that means lower volume on the mic and putting your face close to the grill.

SM58s are fine microphones, if you don't get too close, then they get that dreaded proximity effect that sounds like boomy mud.

I use a Sennheiser MD421 which is about $300, about 3 times the cost of a 58 but it will last 10 times longer with no proximity effect.

My partner used to have an AT mic with a neodymium magnet that had no proximity effect. But like the Shures, they wear out. After 3 of them she went and bought an MD421.

I'd go to a music store, and try them out, sing with your mouth almost touching them and see what they sound like. Then be nice and buy it from that store - don't go on the 'net to pinch a few pennies. You want your local store to be there when you need them. Besides, your band is a small, local business so you should support other small local businesses.

I don't remember the name of the AT but it costs about the same as the Shure and worked a lot better for us.

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Nickguitar800
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Re: Bad gear?

Post by Nickguitar800 » December 18th, 2014, 3:37 pm

Thank you! So do you not like the SM58 just because of the proximity effect? Or are there other problems with it too?

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notes_norton
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Re: Bad gear?

Post by notes_norton » December 18th, 2014, 4:05 pm

No other problems. If you don't have to 'eat the mic' it's a very nice vocal mic, it has a little EQ in it that helps.

I'm in a duo, so the main speakers are usually close to the mic. That results in feedback if the mic is too hot. The cure is to turn the mic down, and that means get closer. Often my mustache touches the mic, and with the 58 that means mud.

Insights and incites by Notes
Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

Nickguitar800
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Re: Bad gear?

Post by Nickguitar800 » December 21st, 2014, 1:32 pm

Okay, thank you for your thoughts!

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Re: Bad gear?

Post by Diceman » December 28th, 2014, 6:37 am

Don't let one person's bias against the SM58 get you down on it . The proximity effect is not necessarily a bad thing for every voice . There are an awful lot of SM58's out there and you will find MANY more people who swear by them than dislike them . They are inexpensive , durable , and extremely popular microphones that many professional musicians who could afford any microphone they choose prefer to use . It may or may not be your favorite but you should be the one to make that decision , not based on one negative review . Any microphone needs to be EQ'd so definitely try that first before you buy anything else .
If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .

Nickguitar800
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Re: Bad gear?

Post by Nickguitar800 » December 31st, 2014, 4:47 pm

Diceman wrote:Don't let one person's bias against the SM58 get you down on it . The proximity effect is not necessarily a bad thing for every voice . There are an awful lot of SM58's out there and you will find MANY more people who swear by them than dislike them . They are inexpensive , durable , and extremely popular microphones that many professional musicians who could afford any microphone they choose prefer to use . It may or may not be your favorite but you should be the one to make that decision , not based on one negative review . Any microphone needs to be EQ'd so definitely try that first before you buy anything else .
I know; I am just trying to get everyone's opinion and what works well for them and what doesn't. Thank you though!

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Re: Bad gear?

Post by Diceman » January 1st, 2015, 9:54 am

Good ! Ultimately you are the one to decide what works for you . I was just providing counterpoint to the one opinion you had received . I own several SM58's and trust them to work for me every time I take them out . I have had them knocked over and taken some direct windscreen faceplants and other than the dent in the mesh they are unaffected . Good luck !
If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .

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