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(@mrjonesey)
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We played at a club this past Saturday and weverything went pretty well. The only complaint from the owner and some of the audience is that the vocals were too low in the mix. This has been a common theme for us. We have had this same feedback at almost every performance we have done.

Here is my idea... please let me know what you think.

We are using a Behringer powered amp with 2 FOH (output A) and 2 Mons (Output B). I think we can give more power to the vocals by:

1. Buying a couple of amps to run the monitors.
2. Buying two more FOH speakers so the board is now powering 4 FOH instead of 2 FOH and 2 Mon's.
3. And I think we need to do a better job of wringing out the EQ. We have been using this new guy to work the sound, and he keeps turning down the vocal levels to fight the feedback, but I'm not sure he has the EQ levels maximized for efficiency. I would like to do it myself, but I'm tired of trying to run the board while also trying to play.

Any thoughts or suggestions before I start going crazy and spending money that I don't have?

Thanks!

Jim

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


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(@wes-inman)
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Don't spend any money. Simply bring the band volume down!

You are not alone, you see and hear this at countless clubs every weekend. The band cranks all their instruments full blast. The poor singer screams his lungs out trying to be heard, but you cannot make out a thing he or she is singing. The problem is the band needs to bring the volume down. A couple of 100 watt guitar amps can completely drown out a 50,000 watt PA, and that's no joke. Sure, spend lots of money for more speakers and amps, the band will just crank up more and you will be in the exact situation.

Loud does not equal excitement or energy. It is the groove of the music that makes the music exciting. Learn to bring everything down.

It does help know how to ring out the EQ properly. Here is an excellent site that will instruct you how to properly operate your PA.

http://members.cox.net/pasystem1/

Read Parts 3 & 4 under Running Sound for tips on EQ settings for the Channel strips and the overall FOH and Monitors. Takes a little practice, but learning how to ring out your PA will get you the most volume without feedback.

But really, try coming down on the volume first before you do anything else. Won't cost a dime. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@leear)
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what wes said lower band volumes. Don't run everything FOH, just vocals, buy a 31 dual band eq and ring out the system. (better than that buy a DBX drive rack and reference mic and ring out the room, $$$$ 500.00) Behringer makes something simliar I think it's the Ultra curve. Anyway back to doing it the old fashion way. Monitor, MIC and FOH placement. Place FOH mixer out front so the sound guy can hear, Mics should be behind the monitors you should actually almost stand between the monitors to sing into the mic. monitors should be at 60 degree angles to mics ( i know who measures but you can use your eyes) FOH speakers need to be in front of all of this.

P.S. In case no one mentioned it. Lower the BAND VOLUME! LOL!!! We go through this alot with out group it just takes some getting used too. Start with you drummer, tell him not to hit so hard.

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


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(@mrjonesey)
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This is good stuff. This is a point we have discussed and I think it may be the ultimate, lower cost solution. We probably need to just TURN IT DOWN.

I have never seen the monitor placement between the mics at a 60 deg angle before. What is the purpose of this placement? Right now we have the monitors in front of the mics and square to the performer. Also, should they all be facing 60 degrees in the same direction, or could the left and right monitors be facing each other?

Thanks for the help.

Wes, I'm going to check out that site in more detail. I think we definitely can ring more out of our system.

Thanks,

Jim

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


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(@leear)
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feedback is basically you saying something into the mic it coming out the monitors and going back into the mic creating a loop... if you place the mic behind the monitors where the singer semi stands between them, the monitors sound is going past the mic not into it and since most mics are omni direction there will be no feedback. the 60 degree thing also plays a factor i don't see how it's that important it just keeps the mic and horn of the monitor out of alingment....

I put my monitors almost even with my mic stand one facing my singer and one facing squared front. No not all monitors are the 60 degree rule. I actually learned it from my Shure mics, it came with this angle finder and it told you align this angle finder with your mic on the stand then it tells you where to put the monitor for optimal performance and minimal feedback... Thought it was interesting.

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


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(@nicktorres)
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Sound check is the answer. Have someone not related to any band member take a listen at sound check. Get the overall volume level right. Then ask if the person can hear everything. If he or she says I need more guitar, then everyone else turns down. The guitar doesn't turn up. I have yet to hear we need less vocals.


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(@mrjonesey)
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I guess the 60 deg thing... with the monitor to the side a bit kind of makes sense. I keep putting the monitors square in front of the singer. I guess they don't really have ears on their foreheads... so perhaps directing one toward the side of their head might be the way to go.

I guess I should have read the directions on teh shure mics I bought last year...

Thanks!

Jim

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


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(@leear)
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the shure mic thing was new to me and it came with my beta 58s.

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


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(@wes-inman)
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This is good stuff. This is a point we have discussed and I think it may be the ultimate, lower cost solution. We probably need to just TURN IT DOWN.

Yes, it is the ultimate solution, and it won't cost you a penny. But it will so much for the band. First, the singers will not have to scream all night to be heard, saving your voice. Second, you will not go tone deaf from the ungodly blare of music, you will be able to hear notes better, thus making it far more likely that you sing on key. And third, you will notice that instead of sounding like a wall of white noise, you will be able to distinguish individual notes and instruments. You will be surprised how much more musical the entire band sounds. You will not get kicked out of clubs or asked to turn down.

Try and see for yourself. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@mrjonesey)
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Sound check is the answer. Have someone not related to any band member take a listen at sound check. Get the overall volume level right. Then ask if the person can hear everything. If he or she says I need more guitar, then everyone else turns down. The guitar doesn't turn up. I have yet to hear we need less vocals.

"If he or she says I need more guitar, then everyone else turns down."

Great point! I also like the bit about using a "non family member."

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


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(@wes-inman)
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My band Burnfoot Dazzle played this last Saturday at a firehouse for friends of the band, I recorded it. We actually had the vocals in the FOH too loud, sounds out of balance with the music. Now, to us, it sounded fine, but Denise, our bass player's girlfriend told me at a break that Mark (her boyfriend) was too loud. It didn't sound that way to us, but when I got home and listened to the recording, the vocals were too loud.

I have been using a wireless for my guitar so I can walk out and hear the mix, but I didn't use it this weekend. So, you really can't tell what the audience is hearing. I thought my guitar was a little loud and turned it down after the first song, on the recording it is pretty weak, should have left it where it was.

Doesn't really matter if the person listening is a friend or relative, but it is good to have someone who plays music and knows what a good mix sounds like.

Still working on seperating the songs on the recording, when I finish I'll post a few here.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@leear)
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I usualy use my wireless as well, i've gotten good at setting it without a check though each instrument checks then i do a "what I think mix" we play ask audience members etc... and it's usually just right.... I know this post was non-sense, but I wanted my 400th post... YEA!!!

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


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(@mrjonesey)
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My band Burnfoot Dazzle played this last Saturday at a firehouse for friends of the band, I recorded it. We actually had the vocals in the FOH too loud, sounds out of balance with the music. Now, to us, it sounded fine, but Denise, our bass player's girlfriend told me at a break that Mark (her boyfriend) was too loud. It didn't sound that way to us, but when I got home and listened to the recording, the vocals were too loud.

I have been using a wireless for my guitar so I can walk out and hear the mix, but I didn't use it this weekend. So, you really can't tell what the audience is hearing. I thought my guitar was a little loud and turned it down after the first song, on the recording it is pretty weak, should have left it where it was.

Doesn't really matter if the person listening is a friend or relative, but it is good to have someone who plays music and knows what a good mix sounds like.

Still working on seperating the songs on the recording, when I finish I'll post a few here.

Wes, I would like to hear the clips when you get them separated.

Jim

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


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(@wes-inman)
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Here you go Jim, here are some songs from our last gig. As I said, we didn't do a soundcheck and didn't realize until we listened to the recording how bad our mix was. The vocals were way too loud, especially my mic on Hey Joe, You Really Got Me, and Comfortably Numb. And, I also turned my guitar down, it was blasting to me, but you can barely hear it. Next time I'm going out on the floor and checking the mix.

The ten songs on the first page are from the gig.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=853376

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@mrjonesey)
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Wes,

Thanks for the clips!

Hey Joe - Hey, it was a bit high on vocals and I see what you mean about the guitar being a bit low. At first I was thinking that the vocal wouldn't be so bad if the guitar was a little higher, but it seemed to get worse as the song progressed (sometime after the solo I think). I didn't think USSR was as bad, but some of the same issues.

I really liked Ride Captain and Locomotive Breath was probably my favorite.

I'm going to listen to more as I get a chance (it's kind of hard here at work with all the constant interuptions), but I think you guys sound really good.

I think you're right about keeping the levels down. It just seems like you have more control over everything when nobody is pushing. It starts with our drums, he really likes to bang em. Then the rhytm guitarist keeps saying that he can't hear his guitar, so he keeps turning up. when I could hear hem all along and can't believe that he can not. Well, he ends up drowning me out. Then our harp player, who is still relatively early in her development, starts blasing into the mic trying to get heard and sometimes looses control of her riffs and melody as a result. Of course, I have to turn up so I can be heard, and it ends up sounding like a big competition on who can be the loudest instead of everyone just falling in and playing within the music...... whew... I fell a bit better after venting.

Anyway, we are all guilty and we all know it, we just need to focus on keeping it down and under control.

Wes, what do you guys use to record your performance? Did you record direct from the board, or did you use an external recorder? I have been thinking about buying one of those hand held stereo recorders (with the two mics), but they are a bit expensive. I don't get very good results out of my normal hand held digital. I thought your recordings sounded pretty good.

Yeah, let me know what you used to record it.

Thanks!

Jim

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


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