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Author Topic: Lead singer using cheap processor.  (Read 14612 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Lead singer using cheap processor.
« on: August 30, 2016, 04:50:54 pm »

Chris is in a secondary project playing material that is a little 'outside the mainstream' box.  Stuff like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Collective Soul etc. It's a bit different - especially for the area in which we live and they won't work very much - just select bars.
They have asked me to run sound for them and the first show is this weekend. We have spent a couple of rehearsals getting iems all set and some time for me to set a scene up for them.

Anyway... the singer insists using one of these.........

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VE2?adpos=1t1&creative=105744829081&device=c&matchtype=b&network=g&gclid=CLO3jcL66c4CFUI9gQodFpAEaA

I am in no way criticizing the unit as I am sure when used appropriately, it is very good - Boss usually is.

He uses it for harmonies and FX.

My first issue is this. He has adopted the guitar driven method and it doesn't seem to work well. Chris and the guitar player sing most of the harmonies so he only uses it in maybe 5-6 songs but the harmonies are out - not good at all.  He has also programmed a double effect into it which he has on ALL THE TIME.
I mentioned to him that he should allow me to blend in the vocal FX and leave the harmonies to the harmony singers????????? Also, I always mute FX in between songs but of course I can't this way.

However, he still insists he wants to use it.  He has only been rehearsing through pretty crappy monitors till now so it has probably been hard for him to tell how bad it really is.
However, the doubler is awful (maybe its just the way he has it set up) but he sounds like a metallic robot singing in a bathroom.
Chris sings lead on a few of the songs and the difference is night and day in the sound. I use doubler too - very sparingly and appropriately but I have had to turn it off and basically reduce all the FX, including reverb and delay, on the lead singers vocal just to get some clarity - otherwise it sounds completely saturated.
I was hoping that he would sing one of the songs where he utilizes the harmony effect at the iem rehearsal so he could really hear how bad it sounds but they didn't choose any of the songs with programmed harmonies on them.  At the first show, he will be using iems for the first time for a full show and my guess (or maybe I am just hoping) is that he will be able to hear how bad it sounds and will abandon it.
His mic connects to the box and I get the 'through' but I think it is coloring the sound in a bad way as well as adding effect. He is using what looks like a Sennheiser e945 ( I can't tell because all the markings have worn away - its about 15 years old) so not a bad mic yet it sounds very thin even with some careful EQ'ing.........

I own 2 of the TC Helicon Voice live units :-

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VoiceLive3?adpos=1o2&creative=103263529321&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CJHWj_3_6c4CFUUvgQodyvwJEg

.....and Chris's 3 piece band uses them on half a dozen songs in scale mode but they sound really good. I never have FX programmed on them - just harmonies and we choose carefully any songs where we think they are necessary. We normally have 3 part harmonies between the guitarist, Chris and me- through my headset, but once in a while, we bring in a machine depending on the complexity of the song.

But anyway, I digress...... I hope his insistence on using this machine doesn't ruin the sound - I've never run into this before.
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Derrick Bordelon

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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 05:14:53 pm »

Do a wye split on his mic before the processor and run him in 2 channels, one dry and one wet. This will give you more control on the efx blend and also allow you to mute them between songs. I have had to deal with the same thing in the past and found that this can work well.
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Kemper Watson

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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 05:45:24 pm »

Do a wye split on his mic before the processor and run him in 2 channels, one dry and one wet. This will give you more control on the efx blend and also allow you to mute them between songs. I have had to deal with the same thing in the past and found that this can work well.

+1

I usually just use the one clean channel. As long as he hears the crappy one in the monitors, all's good
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 05:56:07 pm »

Record it and play it back for him....might open some eyes/ears

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Don T. Williams

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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 06:12:11 pm »

Good luck getting him to let you split the signal.  I too HATE effects on all the time, but some singers insist on it.  If they don't hear the effect, I've had them scream at me "leave that on or I'll kick your ass"!

I have to deal with a local Bass player on occasions that forces me to take the output of his bass processor.  He doesn't use an amp on stage, only the monitor wedge.  His processor is on all the time.  I can't even tell if he is playing in the correct key.  Its a cover band, and none of the original bass parts have any effects.  I really don't know if can play well or not!  It doesn't sound like a bass guitar.
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Derrick Bordelon

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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 06:18:37 pm »

"Leave that on or I'll kick your ass"
 And that's when everything gets muted and the pa gets shut down and I start striking mics. That kind of behavior does not fly with.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 06:35:41 pm »

What is your position in the band?

If you're just running sound, then your job is to make whatever they want to use sound as good as possible.  Sometimes you can offer advice, but in the end, the artist gets to use the tools that they want to create the mess that they choose to.

Now, if you are a part of the band, and not just hired help to run sound, offering your artistic input will have more weight.  If you really think something isn't working right in the band, try it with and without. See what difference it actually makes.  Sometimes it is very hard to convince someone that this shiny red thing that they bought was a waste of money until they can actually hear the comparison.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2016, 06:53:01 pm »

What is your position in the band?

If you're just running sound, then your job is to make whatever they want to use sound as good as possible.  Sometimes you can offer advice, but in the end, the artist gets to use the tools that they want to create the mess that they choose to.

Now, if you are a part of the band, and not just hired help to run sound, offering your artistic input will have more weight.  If you really think something isn't working right in the band, try it with and without. See what difference it actually makes.  Sometimes it is very hard to convince someone that this shiny red thing that they bought was a waste of money until they can actually hear the comparison.

So here is the thing....... if I was simply hired to run sound -   I might feel differently. However, Chris has told him the same thing and of course I have a particular interest in having any band my husband is playing in to sound good.
Also - something else that happened this week..... the singer is aware that I sing harmonies through my headset with the 3 piece - he has heard us. So even though I have not been party to any of this band's rehearsals, he asked if I could throw some in for good measure....what??????.....
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 06:53:42 pm »

Good luck getting him to let you split the signal.  I too HATE effects on all the time, but some singers insist on it.  If they don't hear the effect, I've had them scream at me "leave that on or I'll kick your ass"!

I have to deal with a local Bass player on occasions that forces me to take the output of his bass processor.  He doesn't use an amp on stage, only the monitor wedge.  His processor is on all the time.  I can't even tell if he is playing in the correct key.  Its a cover band, and none of the original bass parts have any effects.  I really don't know if can play well or not!  It doesn't sound like a bass guitar.

Yeah - I did think of this but I knew it wouldn't end well if I even hinted at splitting the signal....
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A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."

Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 06:54:34 pm »

Record it and play it back for him....might open some eyes/ears

Good suggestion... I think I will record it so he can hear it back in the clear light of day.
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Re: Lead singer using cheap processor.
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 06:54:34 pm »


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