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Author Topic: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...  (Read 6558 times)

Bob Leonard

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2014, 06:53:07 pm »

Blake,
I agree with all that has been said, and welcome. I'm a keep it simple guy myself, and some of the guys here may even tell you I'm a simpleton, whatever that means.
 
I note what you said about mixing from the stage and not hearing FOH. I'll suggest that you might try placing the FOH cabinets behind you at practice some night. Try to put 10' between the mics and the cabinets and I think you may be very surprised at how much SPL you'll achieve, which in most cases will be more than you need for smaller venues of a few hundred people. You might even be able to do away with monitors. Anyway give a try some night at practice, and welcome aboard.
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BOSTON STRONG........
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2014, 08:04:25 pm »

Have you looked at the QU16 or X32 producer? They offer way more and everything is recallable, it boggles my mind as to why the studiolive isn't fully recallable at this price point...

If you're still willing to go passive, the Yamaha club series will be an improvement to the JRX, otherwise active cabs might be a viable alternative if the budget is right.

Thomas, pretty certain the OP already has both the board and the speakers involved, and is not looking to purchase new ones at this time.

-Ray
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2014, 09:15:55 pm »

IMO

Have you looked at the QU16 or X32 producer? They offer way more and everything is recallable, it boggles my mind as to why the studiolive isn't fully recallable at this price .

Thomas...

Why not?  The OP already owns the board as you'd know if you paid full attention rather than parroting the popular choices. 

Actually, the SLive has three features that actually matter to folks in his situation:

1.  SMAART overlay for all GEQ's for real-time, pinpoint hot frequency identification.  For the OP this is an absolutely brilliant feature as is...

2.  Illuminated "meter bridge" feature for easily eyeballing all channel levels while  mixing and playing.

3.  Downward expansion to keep the mix clean...again important for the OP as he's using mics on vocals and acoustic instruments.

Neither of your recommendations has these particular features.

Additionally, since this is for a fixed ensemble there is really no need for motorized faders or recallable head amps. 

You r suggested boards are good, but in this application the SLIve is clearly better.  I say this having used all three consoles.  My current desk is the Qu-16, but if I were in the OP's place I'd sure be missing the SLive 16:4:2.

Keep it real and read all the posts.
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Keith Billik

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2014, 10:03:53 pm »

Hey Blake, you said you tour through Michigan. I am based just outside of Detroit, and have spent several years running bluegrass sound from the stage (playing banjo w/ Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys) using a Studiolive.

If you are ever in my area and you think I can be of assistance, feel free to give me a shout.

General advice:

- Train your bandmates to give you consistent signal every night (like if they use a preamp, use identical EQ and gain settings, etc). That way you don't have to re-tweak the FAT channel for every gig - eventually each FAT channel should not change much, if at all, after you have found settings for each instrument that you are happy with.

- If every soloist has a way to boost him/herself for solos, this helps a ton. Of course, everyone playing with dynamics helps even more!

- There is a Dave Rat video on Youtube that I thought was brilliant for "mixing from the stage," where he assigned all vocals to a stereo subgroup, and all instruments to a different stereo subgroup, and then compressed the instruments with a lower threshold than vocals. This way, when a song gets pretty raucous, you know that the vocals will float an extra 3db or so above the instruments. If you pan soloists, it can also have the effect of centering the lead soloist during his solo. Great "auto-mixing" trick.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2014, 02:00:29 am »

- There is a Dave Rat video on Youtube that I thought was brilliant for "mixing from the stage," where he assigned all vocals to a stereo subgroup, and all instruments to a different stereo subgroup, and then compressed the instruments with a lower threshold than vocals. This way, when a song gets pretty raucous, you know that the vocals will float an extra 3db or so above the instruments. If you pan soloists, it can also have the effect of centering the lead soloist during his solo. Great "auto-mixing" trick.

I think you're referring to his Mixing Strategy video.  I don't think it was for mixing from stage but it is a very interesting video which we should all watch.

Basically everything is put into sub groups and every sub group has a compressor with a a 3:1 ratio and a 0dB threshold except vocals which have a +3dB threshold.

Then a VCA is assigned to every channel and a second VCA is assigned to every sub group.  Pushing up the first VCA pushes everything into compression (vocals later than everything else) and the second VCA controls the overall level.

The whole mix is controlled from a compressed to dynamic by balancing the two VCA faders.

Probably a bit too complex for a three piece bluregrass band though!  I agree with the others about keeping it simple.

I would start with nothing in the monitors and only add in what you are actually missing.


Steve.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 02:52:13 am by Steve M Smith »
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Keith Billik

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2014, 09:41:05 am »

I think you're referring to his Mixing Strategy video.  I don't think it was for mixing from stage but it is a very interesting video which we should all watch.

Basically everything is put into sub groups and every sub group has a compressor with a a 3:1 ratio and a 0dB threshold except vocals which have a +3dB threshold.

Then a VCA is assigned to every channel and a second VCA is assigned to every sub group.  Pushing up the first VCA pushes everything into compression (vocals later than everything else) and the second VCA controls the overall level.

The whole mix is controlled from a compressed to dynamic by balancing the two VCA faders.

Probably a bit too complex for a three piece bluregrass band though!  I agree with the others about keeping it simple.

I would start with nothing in the monitors and only add in what you are actually missing.


Steve.

Yes, that's the one!

It is not presented as a "mixing from the stage" video, but I thought that the technique is very useful for that purpose, since it has the effect of hands-free mixing. Either way, I thought it was a pretty brilliant concept.

And you are correct, his second part about balancing the compressed group (for fast hard-hitting songs) vs. uncompressed (for ballads) is a bit beyond the scope of the OP's situation (and indeed, beyond the capability of the Studiolive).
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Rob Gow

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2014, 11:45:07 am »

I do sound now and then for a bluegrass-ish style band.

Standup bass
Acoustic guitar
Banjo
Violin
Electric guitar
Drums
4 vocal mics

I DI the bass, and the rest of the instruments use Fishman acoustic amps. They sound great and have a built in balanced line out. So while at first glance you would think it could quickly degenerate into a feedback sh*tshow, it's actually a really nice setup to work with. The Fishman amps tilt back like a monitor so the signal is coming out towards the players heads (and ears) so they don't bed crazy amounts of instruments in the monitor.

Here's a quick video, mixed remotely with a StudioLive24.4.2 you can hear all the instruments nicely in the mix, the singer on the left is a bit of a mumbler but that's how he is. Just showing how nicely the Fishman amps work for getting a clean useable signal to the board vs mic'ing all the instruments...

http://youtu.be/Z_grgG86aso


Buy yourself a MacBook Pro or Minimac (power PC, OSX 10.6.X or better) and really have some fun recording the gigs etc etc. As others have said, you will be able to save different scenes. I have scenes for my band in different rooms, and for different bands I've already provided sound for. When they come back, I recall the scene and everything is set up the same as the last time they were three. Get my levels (-15) and we are pretty close to dialed in.

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Scott Wagner

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2014, 02:16:26 pm »

I did a gig with several members of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame last weekend. They requested SM58s for vocals, and DI for the bass, and SM57s for the instrument mics (so much for that pile of expensive condenser mics I brought with me). Keep it simple, get your gain staging right, build a basic mix where everything can be heard, and enjoy the show. If you have any problem frequencies, the old stand by of "bump to identify and cut to tame" works just as well in the digital world as it does in the analog one. The only "outboard" that I used was some extremely mild use of expanders on the vocal channels. Given a bit of time and experience, you'll be able to identify problem frequencies quickly.
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Scott Wagner
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Blake Short

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2014, 12:02:22 pm »

Seriously, thank you all for your responses.   :D

I have ordered the sound reinforcement guide as many had mentioned in another post i had put up with the question of what to get for reading material, so that's on the way.  I also have plans to get the macbook pro for the rig as soon as i can afford it... like after I pay off this freaking board.

So to start off with some basic stuff and i'm sure everyone has their own way of doing this so.... when ringing out the room for the first time am i correct in thinking this should be done with a vocal mic on a channel that has all settings, as far as EQ goes, at unity (or just basically not selected "on" with the presonus?  Then I proceed to do the 31 band graph with the "bump" and "cut" method that scott proposed above this?  Also what is a good db range that i should be cutting at first... and i've heard when tuning the 31 band that i should cut/boost no more than 5db from an individual band while doing this.

Also while im on the subject...  When i am ringing out my monitors i saw a guy doing this on youtube in a presonus video and it has kind of been working for me (worked really great at the last show now that i think i'm getting the hang of it a bit)  What he does is turn up a mic channel to the monitor like 3/4 of its volume (with the aux master turned down), and then he turns up the aux channel master for that monitor up until feedback occurs and cuts that freq... but he's doing it with the fat channel rather than the 31 band?  So i've been doing some cuts with the fat channel because of the high-Q button which he states in the video creates a good notch at that particular frequency...

Should i just be sticking with the 31 band for each aux monitor instead of the fat channel?  I'm going to be cleaning out my garage this weekend inbetween gigs and preparing to set up the rig during the week in there to play around and get more comfortable on the new presonus.

 
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Becoming the main soundman for my bluegrass band...
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2014, 12:40:01 pm »

I personally don't use the up then down method for ringing out.  I increase the gain of the whole system up to feedback, then eliminate the feedback by dropping the appropriate graphic control.  I then up the gain a bit more to find the next frequency - repeat three or four times.

This way, you will find out if a frequency which you have already cut requires any more cut as it will feedback again at a higher gain.

Ringing out is actually much easier to do than describe.  Try it out in an empty room and you will soon get the hang of it.


Steve.
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