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Author Topic: How do you keep your stage volume down?  (Read 12173 times)

soundsultan

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How do you keep your stage volume down?
« on: April 16, 2004, 10:07:42 pm »

Help. They just took the top off of my drum cage and moved it into the center of the stage. Now the shield is lower, has no back and has no lid. I am back to a loud stage due to the level being set by the drummer. Has anyone had any luck with getting the drum level and other instruments down to under house levels?
Thanks,
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david423

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Re: How do you keep your stage volume down?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2004, 02:32:45 am »

I am a drummer and a sound person. This is a very frequently asked question around my area with smaller churches and smaller stages. One answer, electronic drums. Yes, your drummer will probably hate even the very thought of it and you are going to spend about 4-5 grand (the church will have to spend it, your drummer is not going to) on getting a set that will sound close to acoustic. But these new Rolands are getting so advanced in their technology that you can customize them by layering two or more sounds to get the one you want to make them sound very close or almost the same as an acoustic set. I have done it.

Second answer, get the cage back

Third, tell him to play lighter and use smaller sticks (he will hate this too)or use some type of rod-type sticks with the dowels and you can get them in different sizes. They can sound good and aren't really that much different, just softer. He has to learn to rely more on the mics. You sometimes have to sacrifice yourself to get the best overall sound.

This is about all i can think of, good luck to you , i know that us drummers can be a pain.  Very Happy And on the sound side of things, i have run into many of them.

David T
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: How do you keep your stage volume down?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2004, 02:47:37 am »

Well, we have had this problem at my church and have slowly been working on it and are almost to a quite stage (before we turn the monitors on obviously, but we don't need to run them anywhere near as loud now...)

I assume by stage noise you are trying to convey.... Piano and/or electric guitar and/or bass and/or acoustic instruments and/or drums ambient stage noise...

All of these have different answers and trade offs....

Starting with drums, as thats what you have specifically mentioned, we have found a few options. The first was to get a good isolation system for them.... Clearsonic makes two good kits... http://www.clearsonic.com/isopac_s.html (kit A and B) which are semi expensive (2k range comes to mind) but work fairly well. All the parts of the system are important for the system to work...... this will achieve a 50~60% volume reduction over the set in open air.

The other option is digital drums.... The newest Roland V-Drums are very good (in our drummers opinions) good enough that we are getting a set soon to finish our quite stage quest. These are on the expensive side (5~5.5k plus some addnl hardware) and require that you have a decent FOH system, but sound very, very good (IMHO).

There are of course other dampening techniques and products, we have tried a fair amount, and of those that we have tried, none of them have worked all that well for us, or killed the tone to much for our tastes.

Now if it's a piano.... You can try using something like a Barcus Berry pickup (or one of the fancier soundboard pickups* and closing the lid. This will give least stage volume and best GBF. This solution does require a lot of very careful eq work to get it sounding right, but it can sound very, very good if you dial it in well.... Church Sound Check mailing list can give you help with installing and tweaking this item (and many other things).

The other option of course is to go digital.... Start with a good keyboard, and add a midi triggerable grand piano sound if the keyboard doesn't have a good grand sound... I personally think Clavia's Nord Electro 2 Rack sound unit loaded with the grand piano sounds, sounds the best of anything we have played with, but your tastes will vary. The key to making your pianist feel happy here would be a well weighted keyboard (to his or her taste).. We have settled on the Roland RD-700's, but this is an area where it is all up to the musicians taste.

On guitars and basses..... Normally speaking we try to keep amps off stage completely... Either they can be properly isolated and miced off stage, or we put them on PODS. This was a little bit of a longer decision, and we will bring an amp on stage is the guitarist needs it for something special... but we really try to keep that noise off the stage.... In any case, when on a POD or isolated amp, we give them a healthy amount of themselves in the foldback.


If its an orchestral type issue, the solution is purely in the person controlling there instrument more....
There is a certain amount of isolation thats possible.. but in the end, the solution for them is more physical, make sure you have them situated on stage in a way that they can be together, and preferably a little out of the way of everyone else....

Hope some of this may help you, there are things which I could be of course wrong on, I am not an acoustician, just citing things which I have learned by trial and error....

Karl "The noise is our job" P
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Merlin

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Re: How do you keep your stage volume down?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2004, 03:07:07 am »

the band I'm in, the drummer uses a Roland V-drums kit - it's just fine. Great to be able to switch kik and snr sounds between songs, and normally on stage there's a couple of Carvin 18s and a pair of Eons for drumfill [there's no volume problem there].

But the other day we played at an outside venue with close neighbors and had very little setup time. We took a small gtr amp [Peavey bandit 112] but everything else went directly into the PA, which was behind the players on stage. [DriverackPA AFS worked well:)] When the inevitable "turn it down" call came from next door, I just pulled the main fader down a bit - I was amazed how little trouble it was, I hardly had to touch anything else.

If I could convince the gtr player to go without an amp it would be complete - anyone got any suggestions for some kind of DI box with speaker/amp simulator built in, or similar idea?
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Merlin Zener
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: How do you keep your stage volume down?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2004, 09:41:06 am »

If your church is serious, sit down with your guitar player(s)  and explain the issue and that you are working towards a lower stage level for the benefit of not only people on stage, but _everyone_ in the congregation... After that you could go out with him/her/them to guitar center (or the like) and sample the various digital pedals... The ones that have really seemed to work the best for us are the line6 PODXT and PODPro..... The optional pedal board that plugs into the POD really makes the whole setup very usable and far more tolerable for the musicians....... It is an expense, but they work well, and seem to have been received well where I have seen them...

Karl "No Guitar Amps Is Bliss" P
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David G Åhman

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Re: How do you keep your stage volume down?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2004, 02:59:00 am »

Merlin wrote on Sat, 17 April 2004 09:07



If I could convince the gtr player to go without an amp it would be complete - anyone got any suggestions for some kind of DI box with speaker/amp simulator built in, or similar idea?


I have heard that "Hughes&Kettner Red Box Pro" is a very nice box. It is a DI with speaker simulator. I know some real guitarists/sound persons who prefer using a red box on the amps output rather than using microphones!
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Rich Bruchal

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Re: How do you keep your stage volume down?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2004, 10:14:57 am »

Merlin wrote on Sat, 17 April 2004 03:07

If I could convince the gtr player to go without an amp it would be complete - anyone got any suggestions for some kind of DI box with speaker/amp simulator built in, or similar idea?


One option is to simply turn down the amp.  If you suggest this, the guitar player will likely complain about losing tone.  One way around this is to use a power break type attenuator.  This will allow the amp to be driven harder, but be quieter. Make sure you follow the usual rules about pointing the amp at the players head (and not his knees). I've had some pretty good results by just doing this.

Another option is to buy or build an isolation cab, such as the one made by Demeter Amps:
http://www.demeteramps.com/proaudio/ssc1.html

Good luck,

- Rich
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Merlin

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Re: How do you keep your stage volume down?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2004, 05:23:50 pm »

thanks for the replies, David and Rich.
One of my main motivations in this case is to not have to carry/load in/load out the amp. Twice a month, it seems likely now, we have to do this gig outside from our normal venue - the whole band and equipment [V-drum kit, two keyboards, mic stands and cables, aside from the guitar amp...] get loaded into a minivan, and when we get there we have 15 minutes to get plugged in and soundchecked before start time...

I'll talk to him about the POD/RED BOX idea.
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Merlin Zener
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Rich Bruchal

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Re: How do you keep your stage volume down?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2004, 08:46:44 am »

Merlin wrote on Mon, 19 April 2004 17:23

I'll talk to him about the POD/RED BOX idea.

FWIW, I've used the red box before with good results.  Had it  paired up with a real-tube overdrive and it sounded pretty decent.
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Beefcake

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Re: How do you keep your stage volume down?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2004, 06:44:27 pm »

The thing that i just started doing this month is putting the monitors on amp stands. This helps becuase it puts the monitors (ussually feet height) to over-waiste height.

After that, i turn down the monitors as much as i can without the musicians complaining.

Those two things help a ton. oh yea, the electric guitarists amp level helps also.

Dang, i wish i had a drumcage!!
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Beefcake
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