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Author Topic: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH  (Read 13182 times)

Dave Bigelow

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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2011, 08:40:08 am »

The keyboardist thinks he's the star. Comp the shit out of him and give him a loud monitor or ears. If he hears that he's louder than everyone else, regardless of whether he actually is in the house, he will be happy.
Yep, trick him a little and you'll both be happier
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Ned Ward

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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 05:49:45 pm »

I run FOH for a growing cover band: Drums, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Three Vocals.  It's been going very well, gaining speed for almost two years, and now the Keyboardist is speaking up because I'm not consistently pushing him at equal level with the rest of the band.  If I did, he'd bury the mix.  Right now I've got him rolled off at 125, and bumped at 3k, with just a hint of compression at a high ceiling.  The guitarist (generally bumped in the low mids, and at 1.6k) still gets buried sometimes when he attempts a solo because the keyboardist (for example) lays into full chords with both hands on his Hammond.  I don't want to tell him how to play, so I need to find a way to even out his dynamics without killing them, or further fattening his tone.  So far the best treatment has been to know all the cues, and ride his faders.  Are there any rules to taming Hard Rock Keys?
Matt, Does he have an amp on stage?

Matt said he was hitting a Hammond pretty hard so I would assume he has plenty of sound on stage from the organ, and maybe a Leslie as well. I have to think Bennetts statement combined with a GF and a huge ego may be the sum total of the problem here. Combine that with a little hearing loss and that equals pain in the ass.
 
If the stage mix is fine but the guitar player can't hear his solos it may just be positioning that is the problem. Push this dude as far left as you can facing across the stage. Look at some old Allman pictures and you'll see what I mean. Put his Leslie(s), if he has any, behind him. Have the guitar player buy a clean boost, a good one, and have him angle his amp up a little if possible. I recommend an Exotic AC for the boost, or a Klon, in that order.


I'm with Bob. If he doesn't have a real Leslie(s), get a powered monitor like a QSC HPR122i or a K12 and put it on a speaker stand at ear level for him. He'll get all the keyboard he needs, and you can mix the band so it sounds good in the room.


What does the keyboard player use to hear himself - IEMs, dedicated keyboard amp, Leslie cabinets and Marshall stacks, or the monitor mix? This may help get you even better answers.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 02:15:51 am »

Instead of a monitor, get him Grado open-air phones - better sound than a monitor, and he can still hear everything on stage.
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Paul Dershem

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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2011, 10:36:20 pm »

Unless the keyboard player has figured out how to simultaneously be on stage playing and out in the audience listening, correcting his monitor mix could solve the problem; how can he have an objective sense of what he sounds like to the audience? If you record the FOH mix so the band can hear how overbearing keyboards are in the mix, his band mates may help him understand how important it is for the band to sound good as a group.

On the other hand, most of the organists I've worked with have been overbearing egomaniacs who thinks the world revolves around them.

In either case, good luck!
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Steve Hurt

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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2011, 11:59:59 pm »

Instead of a monitor, get him Grado open-air phones - better sound than a monitor, and he can still hear everything on stage.

Headphones do not look rock and roll.  Good luck selling that idea!

I do agree that Grado makes some fine sounding headphones.  I have a pair of SR-60's and love them.
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2011, 03:11:39 am »

sounds like the band doesnt have a leader or manager to call the shots. if they have a manager or if someone besides the keyboard player is in charge discuss the matter with he and the keyboard present . the guy in charge(if any) should tell the kbp to accept the way you mix foh. i was in a few bands that were free for all and it was always kaotic. when i started putting bands together i made it clear to all members that i was the leader and called the shots, but everyone could give ideas and suggestions. i ran a few construction crews in the day and got my stuper-visor experience. yes i was the big cheese,head honcho, stupid-nin-tindent, etc.
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Gordon Brinton

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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2011, 06:20:34 am »

I run FOH for a growing cover band: Drums, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Three Vocals.  It's been going very well, gaining speed for almost two years, and now the Keyboardist is speaking up because I'm not consistently pushing him at equal level with the rest of the band.  If I did, he'd bury the mix.  Right now I've got him rolled off at 125, and bumped at 3k, with just a hint of compression at a high ceiling.  The guitarist (generally bumped in the low mids, and at 1.6k) still gets buried sometimes when he attempts a solo because the keyboardist (for example) lays into full chords with both hands on his Hammond.  I don't want to tell him how to play, so I need to find a way to even out his dynamics without killing them, or further fattening his tone.  So far the best treatment has been to know all the cues, and ride his faders.  Are there any rules to taming Hard Rock Keys?

A compressor will fatten his tone some depending on settings. That is not what you want. Perhaps a better approach would be a limiter on his channel. It simply sets a ceiling for volume without raising the low level information in the channel.

However, I would not patch it into the channel insert which may be prior to the monitor out / aux send. (I assume you run monitors this way.) Instead, I would make sure his aux send is pre Fader, pre EQ, and pre Limiter. Then run his channel to a subgroup and insert the limiter there. The idea is to allow his monitor to increase in volume without the FOH increasing in volume. If you compress or limit at the channel insert then his stage monitor will also be tamed. (You never want to comp or limit any stage monitors, not even vocals.) Then make sure his stage monitor is hotter in the mid region. He'll soon notice that certain passages are too loud.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 06:23:56 am by Gordon Brinton »
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Paul Dershem

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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2011, 11:05:35 am »

A compressor will fatten his tone some depending on settings. That is not what you want. Perhaps a better approach would be a limiter on his channel. It simply sets a ceiling for volume without raising the low level information in the channel.

However, I would not patch it into the channel insert which may be prior to the monitor out / aux send. (I assume you run monitors this way.) Instead, I would make sure his aux send is pre Fader, pre EQ, and pre Limiter. Then run his channel to a subgroup and insert the limiter there. The idea is to allow his monitor to increase in volume without the FOH increasing in volume. If you compress or limit at the channel insert then his stage monitor will also be tamed. (You never want to comp or limit any stage monitors, not even vocals.) Then make sure his stage monitor is hotter in the mid region. He'll soon notice that certain passages are too loud.
I understand why you'd suggest limiting keyboards secretly, but why the admonition against ever limiting monitors? Is the objective to prevent musicians from turning up in an effort to hear themselves through their monitors, and screwing up the FOH sound in the process?
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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2011, 11:19:06 am »

A compressor will fatten his tone some depending on settings. That is not what you want. Perhaps a better approach would be a limiter on his channel. It simply sets a ceiling for volume without raising the low level information in the channel.

However, I would not patch it into the channel insert which may be prior to the monitor out / aux send. (I assume you run monitors this way.) Instead, I would make sure his aux send is pre Fader, pre EQ, and pre Limiter. Then run his channel to a subgroup and insert the limiter there. The idea is to allow his monitor to increase in volume without the FOH increasing in volume. If you compress or limit at the channel insert then his stage monitor will also be tamed. (You never want to comp or limit any stage monitors, not even vocals.) Then make sure his stage monitor is hotter in the mid region. He'll soon notice that certain passages are too loud.
I understand why you'd suggest limiting keyboards secretly, but why the admonition against ever limiting monitors? Is the objective to prevent musicians from turning up in an effort to hear themselves through their monitors, and screwing up the FOH sound in the process?

Yes
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Steve Hurt

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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2011, 12:34:04 pm »

I understand why you'd suggest limiting keyboards secretly, but why the admonition against ever limiting monitors? Is the objective to prevent musicians from turning up in an effort to hear themselves through their monitors, and screwing up the FOH sound in the process?

They will turn themselves up loud enough to hear themselves the way they want.

If you comp them in the monitors, the amount they turn themselves up on stage will be more than they would have turned up if you didn't comp the monitors
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Re: Need advice in trying to please the keyboardist in FOH
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2011, 12:34:04 pm »


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