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Author Topic: Live sound tips and tricks  (Read 6827 times)

TimHackford

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Live sound tips and tricks
« on: December 25, 2016, 09:30:49 pm »

Originally asked over at Gearslutz and got told to ask here.

I haven't posted here in a while not really had the need too, been very busy with the band and family life but I appreciate all the help I've been given on this forum and continue learning the more I read on here. So a bit of background on me, I run live sound for my function band playing gigs all over the UK each week for various weddings and parties..always a different venue etc.
Our equipment is very simple 2 RCF 732a tops and 2 RCF 905 subs..does the job we love the sound of the speakers and have no intention of changing them. I use a Yamaha o1v96i to mix our sound on, we all run IEM's so no floor monitors. Mics used.. Sennheiser e935 for main vocal, 2 e945's for backing vocals, we use Shure 57a betas on guitar cabs and Di the bass amp and acoustic guitar into the desk..drums mic'd with AKG 's and a Shure 91 beta pressure mic in the bass drum.

I saw a few weeks back a video of Ken Pooch Van Druten talk about his FOH sound for Linkin Park, it was a 3 part video for Waves which showed some of the plugins he used with LP to achieve certain sounds. On the video he told us about some "old club tricks" he used to get an easy big guitar sound which consisted of using a pre delay on one side of a group with a 100% mix and 30sec delay time so it really widens things up..I thought that's amazing and tried it and to my surprise it actually worked! Since then we have had an amazing full sounding guitar mix that I've been more then happy with. I tried looking more into tricks for live sound but didn't really turn anything up and it really got me wondering what other "old club tricks" are out there and if any of you mind sharing?
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2016, 10:03:19 pm »

On the video he told us about some "old club tricks" he used to get an easy big guitar sound which consisted of using a pre delay on one side of a group with a 100% mix and 30sec delay time so it really widens things up..I thought that's amazing and tried it and to my surprise it actually worked!
You are mistaken.  30sec delay will really screw things up.

If you are talking about 30ms (0.03 seconds), then that is a totally different issue.

30ms is right on the edge of where we detect 2 different arrivals.

Yes it can "fatten up" the sound-maybe-but will also detract from the details in the sound source.

It is like an effect and understood as such.

So it depends on what you are "looking for" in a sound.

What works for somebody DOES NOT mean that it will work for you, unless you are trying to "get the same sound".

So "it depends" on whether it will work for you the way you want.

As with any effect-it is important to understand exactly what is going on (and what you are trying to achieve) in order to be able to use it effectively.
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2016, 10:24:24 pm »

They are not tricks. They are techniques.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2016, 11:54:49 pm »

On the O1v you can use the LCR delay and pick 3 different times. Keep them all under 15-20 ms and it does wonders for making something sound big.

My biggest club technique is to get the stage as quiet as possible. Iems, small amps, and a light drummer. That goes so much further than anytbing else.

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Don T. Williams

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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2016, 10:49:52 am »

My biggest club technique is to get the stage as quiet as possible. Iems, small amps, and a light drummer. That goes so much further than anything else.

+1 for Tim.  Works in clubs, churches, almost any live event!  Best "trick" ever. 
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2016, 01:28:47 pm »

They are not tricks. They are techniques.
+100 

<< on soapbox>>
"tricks" end up feeding other tricks, which feeds others, and so on... and so on.. end result is a huge f** up mix.  And the engineer wonders why their mix is shit.  "I've done all the tricks and it still sounds bad..." -sigh-

TimH - follow what Ivan and others are saying about the techniques.  Just because it works for them (or others) does not mean it's going to work for you.  So don't load up your board (or signal chain) with tricks/techniques and wonder why it's not working.

Spend the time to learn what's going on and what the benefit is of what you want to do... rather than learning what "preset" or plugin is supposed to be used to fix or add "value" to something that isn't really broken.
<< off soapbox>>

My apologies for the rant... been around too many people that don't know/understand sound, but know everything about their presets and plugins.


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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2016, 02:08:59 pm »



My biggest club technique is to get the stage as quiet as possible. Iems, small amps, and a light drummer. That goes so much further than anything else.

For sure.  Quality speakers/subs and well deployed, quality mics/DI's/wireless, quiet stage, simple but accurate EQ, basic compression and gating - if these are done well you're 99% there and don't need tricks.
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Bob Kidd

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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2016, 02:14:15 pm »

You are mistaken.  30sec delay will really screw things up.

If you are talking about 30ms (0.03 seconds), then that is a totally different issue.

30ms is right on the edge of where we detect 2 different arrivals.

Yes it can "fatten up" the sound-maybe-but will also detract from the details in the sound source.

It is like an effect and understood as such.

So it depends on what you are "looking for" in a sound.

What works for somebody DOES NOT mean that it will work for you, unless you are trying to "get the same sound".

So "it depends" on whether it will work for you the way you want.

As with any effect-it is important to understand exactly what is going on (and what you are trying to achieve) in order to be able to use it effectively.

It's got to be 30ms. 30sec you would definitely be suprised. Lol
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Steve Garris

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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2016, 02:26:46 pm »

It's got to be 30ms. 30sec you would definitely be suprised. Lol

I'm curious as to how much pre-delay is used, and what is meant by "on one side of a group".
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2016, 02:47:15 pm »

A "trick" is something like using the same EQ (say, -12dB 500Hz Q0.9) on every drum input except the snare.  It may not be what the drum kit needs, but hey, you heard about it on the internet because some big-time guy allegedly said it....

Tim H, there are several participants here that spend a lot of time talking about mixing and lament that too many live soundpersons are not skilled in the craft of mixing.  Because it's a craft there are no genuine shortcuts or tricks, only the knowledge and wisdom that come with experience.

The technique that Pooch mentioned is something he used when he was mixing a band that presented a fair bit of stage SPL that he had to work with/against/over.  Using the delay created a wider sonic image even for the folks on the delayed side of the PA (referenced against the guitar amp on stage).  It sounds different if you can't hear the stage contribution - it still kind of works but it presents a different auralization.

The real take-away is that he was having to use the guitarist's stage sound as part of mix, an input over which he had no control.  Pooch had to find a way to add to that sound and spread it around without making it louder.  Whether or not the resulting sound is what YOU need is another matter entirely.

Don't get hung up on what other people do until you've got the rest of the mix happening - your killer guitar sound won't mean shit to the 90% of the audience that are tying to hear the singer, for example.  Also avoid the idea that you need to do something to an input simply because you can do it.  We mix *songs* as much or more than we mix *sound* so our job is to make the song work, based on the way the band is playing and the singers are singing, as best we can in the acoustic environment we're working in with whatever the Rig du Jour happens to be.
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Re: Live sound tips and tricks
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2016, 02:47:15 pm »


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