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Author Topic: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help  (Read 21947 times)

Ned Ward

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2012, 07:37:14 pm »

Jeff - thanks for answering my questions.

We have a current drummer that won't learn to play with dynamics, and he will no longer be with us after our Dec 13 holiday show.

I'm not sure I understand (beyond the fact that your drummer is the problem), but if he can't hear the other instruments in the band, why does he want to make his drums louder? If the issue is he can't hear his drums over several 200+ watt guitar and bass amps, I understand.

Overall, you need to get control of your overall stage volume. Having 200 and 400 watt Peavey guitar amps (I'm guessing they're from the 70's) is great, but they are in all likeliehood way too loud and that's what's making the drummer demand his drums are mic'd to keep up with several hundred watts of guitar and bass. In our band, we have 2 guitar players, drums, bass, keyboard and 2 singers. I have multiple guitar amps to choose from, from 5 to 85 watts. The only time I would use my 85 watt Showman would be for outdoor shows. Anything else, it's 40 watts or less and that's plenty for most venues. Work to get the stage volume to where everyone can hear each other on stage without need for micing anything, and then use the PA system to ensure that vocals, etc. can be balanced into that.

You may also find that your drummer needs a monitor -- it's hard sometimes for the drummer to hear himself. With a sub and a top speaker by him, he could get all the drum sound he needs to hear himself without punishing the band. You can then mic the kit, but the sound only goes to the drum monitor, not the front of house.

Where are you playing - bars, clubs, outdoor festivals?

So if the problem is the drummer can't hear himself over the din of way loud guitars and bass amps, I sympathize.

If the problem as you wrote it is that the drummer can't hear the other players over his drum kit blasting through the PA, he's an idiot and you should look for a new drummer.
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Jeff Young

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2012, 08:47:08 pm »

Jeff - thanks for answering my questions.

We have a current drummer that won't learn to play with dynamics, and he will no longer be with us after our Dec 13 holiday show.

I'm not sure I understand (beyond the fact that your drummer is the problem), but if he can't hear the other instruments in the band, why does he want to make his drums louder? If the issue is he can't hear his drums over several 200+ watt guitar and bass amps, I understand.

Overall, you need to get control of your overall stage volume. Having 200 and 400 watt Peavey guitar amps (I'm guessing they're from the 70's) is great, but they are in all likeliehood way too loud and that's what's making the drummer demand his drums are mic'd to keep up with several hundred watts of guitar and bass. In our band, we have 2 guitar players, drums, bass, keyboard and 2 singers. I have multiple guitar amps to choose from, from 5 to 85 watts. The only time I would use my 85 watt Showman would be for outdoor shows. Anything else, it's 40 watts or less and that's plenty for most venues. Work to get the stage volume to where everyone can hear each other on stage without need for micing anything, and then use the PA system to ensure that vocals, etc. can be balanced into that.

You may also find that your drummer needs a monitor -- it's hard sometimes for the drummer to hear himself. With a sub and a top speaker by him, he could get all the drum sound he needs to hear himself without punishing the band. You can then mic the kit, but the sound only goes to the drum monitor, not the front of house.

Where are you playing - bars, clubs, outdoor festivals?

So if the problem is the drummer can't hear himself over the din of way loud guitars and bass amps, I sympathize.

If the problem as you wrote it is that the drummer can't hear the other players over his drum kit blasting through the PA, he's an idiot and you should look for a new drummer.

we have an assortment of various different strength amps to choose from. But as for my case...200 watts can be turned down when unneeded but 20 watts cant be turned up or eq'd enough to cut through two guitarists trying to screech the paint off the walls.
We are mainly doing small bars as they show up, few parties, as of lately we haven't really gone out lining shows up...trying to get through a few equipment issues and haggling over songs. No reason going around singing songs that cant be heard. None of the places we have been as of yet have had an in house PA system. Leaving all the sound to us. Had a few chances to do some rather large benefits in the area but had to back out due to these equipment issues...we are a rock, heavy metal act so we need some power...but if its all feeding back it doesnt matter what you have really. Gonna try these suggestions here and see whats happens...already looks like a much better idea than what I have been doing.

As far as the drummer I think it is just a case of he wants to showboat...but that can be contained. He is a decent drummer with some dynamics but hes been at it for too long and set in his ways. But we have all known each other for a long time so we are trying to pin down anything that is actually equipment based before pointing fingers at each other.

Am also looking at some monitors.....just not sure where to go with those....I think it should be just the singer and drummer that needs monitors but whether they should be powered, un powered, how powerful?
And once we get this Pa situation under control we have already discussed either going somewhere or having someone come to us to go over the volumes and fine tune.
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george welder

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2012, 01:11:22 am »


will be printing this off and testing out this Friday or Saturday when we get together again.  Thanks for being thorough. This is wholly different than I have been instructed before. Damn YouTube! And after reading this I checked the manual for the amp and realize what your saying.....will be trying this for sure

Hey Jeff, for sure give it a try. I bet if you did some searches on gain structure and the such on these forums you would have plenty of excellent information to lead you in the right direction.

As for the loud guitars... good luck. seriously though. Think of the mix as a whole and each instrument as respective parts that make up the whole. It doesn't get divided equally, and the one instrument that needs the greatest reinforcement is the "quietest" of them all, the vocals. I'd start there, I guess exactly what the other sharper, brighter, and more articulate posters have said.

george
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2012, 11:13:14 am »

Thanx all for the replies...after a bit of research I'm coming to the conclusion that the Shure Wireless might be under powered and we are feeding back by having to turn it up too much, seems compression might help that a bit but I dont think it would be a real fix...
I have no idea what that statement means.  If the battery is weak-then get a new one. 

Using a compressor can often INVITE feedback-not get rid of it.

You need to look for  real solutions-not start grasping for straws.

How is the singer HOLDING the mic-that is one that is often overlooked.  If they are cupping (rapper style), then they are changing the polar pattern by blocking the back entrances to the capsule and turning it into an OMNI mic.-not good if you want to get it loud.

There are various "things" than can help to reduce feedback.  Loudspeaker placement is a huge on.  How close the singer holds to mic to their mouth is another (the 2 biggest gains in the PAG-NAG equations).

Yes some mics are less prone to feedback-HOWEVER they are also MUCH MORE sensitive to how they are used- and if not used properly (for their pattern), the feedback could actually be WORSE!

If the response of the loudspeakers is out of whack-then and eq-IF USED PROPERLY!!!!!!!!- can help to gain a few more dB before feedback.

DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP in the "if I change the gain structure I can get more gain before feedback" thing that seems to float around.  There is NOTHING you can do by increasing the gain at one place and decreasing it at another to get more ACTUAL SPL before feedback out of the system.  Sure you may be able to turn a fader up more-but it won't be any louder.  If the physical position of a knob turns yo on-then go for it :)

Very often the real solution is to start turning things DOWN-rather than turning them UP.
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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2012, 01:48:08 pm »

Find a local soundie who knows what's what and give him/her $50 to check your setup.  That's the quickest and cheapest way to get it right.  That'll take care of the technical matters.  As for the band and musicianship................. :-X
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Jeff Young

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2012, 07:11:03 pm »

I have no idea what that statement means.  If the battery is weak-then get a new one. 

Using a compressor can often INVITE feedback-not get rid of it.

You need to look for  real solutions-not start grasping for straws.

How is the singer HOLDING the mic-that is one that is often overlooked.  If they are cupping (rapper style), then they are changing the polar pattern by blocking the back entrances to the capsule and turning it into an OMNI mic.-not good if you want to get it loud.

There are various "things" than can help to reduce feedback.  Loudspeaker placement is a huge on.  How close the singer holds to mic to their mouth is another (the 2 biggest gains in the PAG-NAG equations).

Yes some mics are less prone to feedback-HOWEVER they are also MUCH MORE sensitive to how they are used- and if not used properly (for their pattern), the feedback could actually be WORSE!

If the response of the loudspeakers is out of whack-then and eq-IF USED PROPERLY!!!!!!!!- can help to gain a few more dB before feedback.

DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP in the "if I change the gain structure I can get more gain before feedback" thing that seems to float around.  There is NOTHING you can do by increasing the gain at one place and decreasing it at another to get more ACTUAL SPL before feedback out of the system.  Sure you may be able to turn a fader up more-but it won't be any louder.  If the physical position of a knob turns yo on-then go for it :)

Very often the real solution is to start turning things DOWN-rather than turning them UP.

I may have been incomplete in my explanation of my issue here...if so I am sorry. It is not that we are trying to overload everything and squeeze every bit of db out of our equipment, eardrums be damned. Yes we have big amps that are just as easy to turn down as they are to turn up. But even my carcass knows that if your mixer/amp set-up is supposed to run at its max setting and you cant get any where near that without feeding back so loud that whales in the ocean all change course...something is wrong. Once we actually get this Pa doing its simple task of actually doing what its there for we can concentrate on any overall volume adjustments. Would much rather play a bit quieter, but than again playing a Slayer song at lounge act volume is just disrespectful. 
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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2012, 07:19:30 pm »

But even my carcass knows that if your mixer/amp set-up is supposed to run at its max setting and you cant get any where near that without feeding back so loud that whales in the ocean all change course...something is wrong.

Feedback occurs when you don't know how to run the equipment......
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Mac Kerr

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2012, 07:59:28 pm »

even my carcass knows that if your mixer/amp set-up is supposed to run at its max setting and you cant get any where near that without feeding back so loud that whales in the ocean all change course...something is wrong.

Where did you come by this piece of misinformation? it is absolutely not true.

The factors that lead to feedback include poor speaker placement, poor microphone technique, unrealistic expectations for monitor volume, unrealistic expectations for PA volume, eq, and dynamics processing, in roughly that order.

How much you can turn up the PA doesn't depend on how far the knob is turned, it is determined by when feedback starts. The first place to start eliminating feedback is with the above list in pretty much that order. Position and aim the PA speakers so they cover the audience, but minimize the amount of sound that gets back on stage. Use microphones that have some rejection to the sides, and do not "cup" the mic as this makes them omnidirectional. Listen from out in the audience area to how loud the vocals are. Since you have aimed the speakers away from the stage already you have no real idea of how loud it is in the audience area. You will not be able to sing softly into the mic and have it be Slayer coming out of the PA. If the feedback is consistently happening at one or two frequencies you may be able to reduce those frequencies with some eq. This may give you better gain before feedback, or it may make the mics sound crappy, it's a tradeoff. Once you are able to get the vocals loud enough to mix with the band's stage sound you can think about dynamics control, but remember that it wiil never reduce feedback, only increase the likelihood of it.

On a small stage there will be limits to how you can set up the PA. If the vocals are the limiting factor, and can't keep up with the band's stage sound, it is time to think about reducing the stage sound so you can do a better show. A show volume that is less than you want is probably better than a crappy mix with the instruments overpowering the PA.

Mac
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Jeff Young

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2012, 09:13:03 pm »

Feedback occurs when you don't know how to run the equipment......

probably the number one reason I got on here in the first place. But thanks for the help.
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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2012, 09:18:01 pm »

probably the number one reason I got on here in the first place. But thanks for the help.
Stick around.  You'll get the help you need......sooner or later. 

But you'll need to accept the fact that your concept of how things work is just in the formative stage.  You've made some statements that imply a misunderstanding of how things work.  If I or someone else call you on it, don't take it personally.  The object is to get things stated clearly (both the problems and the solutions) and to accept all our individual approaches, limitations and talents......whatever they are.

Keep at it.
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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2012, 09:18:01 pm »


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