ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Simple electronic tracks: PC vs. iPod vs. ??  (Read 1431 times)

SarahClark

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
Simple electronic tracks: PC vs. iPod vs. ??
« on: March 11, 2015, 06:56:30 pm »


Hey hey! I am a solo vocalist and have a live set of simple electronic songs, each with like 5 tracks max (ez drummer, DMX kit, piano & a mallet or two) created with Ableton 9.

I battle with a minimal understand of the nitty gritty of pro audio and had TOOONS of trouble with WAV mixdowns of a previous and much more complex set which I plugged into the PA from my pc. The drums would disappear or background tracks would be super loud and lead tracks super quiet...

What would you recommend? I love the idea of just plugging in an iPod for simplicity but I worry that the quality would.be compromised. I could just be totally ignorant to how these things work though.. I toy with the idea of just hauling my own PA, but again, simplicity and versatility is my goal.

apologies for rambling, posting this from my phone.. also a "for dummies"-esque book recommendation on these things would be fabulous :)
Logged

Doug Fowler

  • Member since May 1995, 2nd poster on original LAB, moderator on and off since 1997, now running TurboMOD v1.826
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1696
  • Saint Louis, MO USA
Re: Simple electronic tracks: PC vs. iPod vs. ??
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 07:02:10 pm »

Read the rules, fix your display name.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Logged
"It's got electrolytes.  It's got what plants crave."

TJ (Tom) Cornish

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4280
  • St. Paul, MN
Re: Simple electronic tracks: PC vs. iPod vs. ??
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 10:17:53 pm »

Hey hey! I am a solo vocalist and have a live set of simple electronic songs, each with like 5 tracks max (ez drummer, DMX kit, piano & a mallet or two) created with Ableton 9.

I battle with a minimal understand of the nitty gritty of pro audio and had TOOONS of trouble with WAV mixdowns of a previous and much more complex set which I plugged into the PA from my pc. The drums would disappear or background tracks would be super loud and lead tracks super quiet...

What would you recommend? I love the idea of just plugging in an iPod for simplicity but I worry that the quality would.be compromised. I could just be totally ignorant to how these things work though.. I toy with the idea of just hauling my own PA, but again, simplicity and versatility is my goal.

apologies for rambling, posting this from my phone.. also a "for dummies"-esque book recommendation on these things would be fabulous :)
Sarah, welcome to the forum.

For a basic two-track mix, there is no difference between playing it from a computer or from an iPod/iPad/iPhone.  Apple devices actually have pretty high quality sound cards.

More likely, you are experiencing the challenges of trying to take a studio mix into a live venue with very different (poorer) acoustics.  Typically mixes need to be simplified and lead tracks brought significantly forward to sound balanced. 

If you can make this happen, bring your multi-track recording system to a venue and have a trusted person mix the tracks during your live show.  Record this (leaving out whatever tracks you are playing live), and you will capture a mix that works live.

If that isn't possible, do some critical listening at a show, note what needs adjustment, go back to the studio and try to estimate what needs to change, and re-record a stereo mix.  Next show, use your modified mix, critically listen for needed adjustments, rinse, and repeat.

The only other alternative is to make all of your individual tracks accessible to the sound person, and have them mix all of your recorded tracks live.  This will be a better result as everything can be controlled, but requires more equipment and someone capable of making good mix adjustments.
Logged

Iain McCulloch

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 24
    • live sound engineering
Re: Simple electronic tracks: PC vs. iPod vs. ??
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 10:41:20 pm »

Sarah - you may also want to check any stereo spread/widening used  when creating the tracks:
'disappearing instruments' may be caused when 'stereo enhanced' tracks are collapsed to mono (i.e. when using a mono PA or a mono input device).
 
Just a thought.

Richard Turner

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 546
Re: Simple electronic tracks: PC vs. iPod vs. ??
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 10:51:26 pm »

Option 1:

mix down your backing tracks to a stereo mix 320bit MP3 stored to a decent playback device, attach playback device with whatever cabling is required to a quality stereo DI or 2 matched mono DI,

That last part shows you are serious, the house tech wont have to scrounge around for a 1/8" mini to dual rca plus 2 rca to 1/4 adapters....

Limitations will be you can only push play and go, the mix is set in stone, show quality will a lot will depend on how well mixed and mastered the files are

Option 2:

Run abelton live from stage mixes to a stereo mix from the computer. I would strongly recommend using a "real" sound card, not just jacking into the headphone jack. The Peavey USB-P has been well reviewed on here recently and id very simple and friendly price point, usb in 2x xlr out

this leaves a lot on you for how the mix sounds but would allow for on the fly remixing, extending songs adding extra chorus on the fly etc

Option 3 run Abelton live with a full breakout box from stage, sending individual outputs for each "instrument" its up to you if the drum kit is one voice or broken down to kick snare toms cymbals etc.



this would give the sound crew more ability to mix and or correct for the situation, Most times when dealing with acts like these the real life live PA behaves differently than a pair of DJ headphones or studio monitors

Option
Logged
Looking at retiring. Local PA market has shrank to 2 guys with guitars and bose l1 compacts or expecting full line array and 16 movers on stage for $300... no middle left going back to event DJ stuff, half the work for twice the pay.

SarahClark

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
Re: Simple electronic tracks: PC vs. iPod vs. ??
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 01:56:46 pm »

Thank you all so much!!

I play mainly small dodgy venues and house shows, being mostly active in the DIY punk scene here in Atlanta. Would you think one "remixed for shows" track would be reliably decent for most of these venues, or do you think I would have to remix each time/have tracks for specific venues? If I were to remix in ableton at soundcheck, then mix down a WAV for that show, would that be accurate or are will the stereo/mono complications be made because of the mixdown (verses playing straight through ableton)? My PC is quite reliable, but I am still too afraid to play live through ableton, surely that would be the one time it would glitch =P
 
I just looked up the Peavey USB-P, this connects via USB, then into the PA? Or the speakers? I see there are L and R jacks.

Given all this, its seeming much simpler to me to bring my own PA and do my own mixing. My music is "lo-fi garage pop", so poorer sound quality isn't so much of an issue as mixing by somebody who doesn't know what I'm trying to do.
If I were to do it all myself, what equipment would you recommend? A PA, obviously, an interface, a mixer? I am looking at the Peavey PV6, is this something that would be sufficient or would you recommend something else? I just need a bit of delay on the mic and something to plug my computer into.

Thanks again!!
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Simple electronic tracks: PC vs. iPod vs. ??
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 01:56:46 pm »


Pages: [1]   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.036 seconds with 22 queries.