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Why can't you guys mix bluegrass? Condenser Microphones
Old 18th August 2018
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Trouble with the UK is that the beer's just too darn good.
Although the room has bad sonics it is part of a small brewery.
Old 19th August 2018
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
His point being, I think, that by dropping the "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." in the context of this thread, you appeared to take Aretha's passing and make it about you. If you didn't actually mean that, okay, awkward moment. I really hope you didn't actually mean that.
No. Lownotes appeared to be making it about himself.

If it really was in tribute to Aretha it should have been a new thread.

So much for Mansplaining.
Old 19th August 2018
Gear Addict

Has anyone figured out why this does not belong in the moan zone?
Old 19th August 2018
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by abrokentenor View Post
Has anyone figured out why this does not belong in the moan zone?
This thread firmly belongs in the Moan Zone.

Several pages into a thread titled, "why can't you guys mix Bluegrass" he finnaly admits that its only the occasional gig that upsets him. Most are great.

We also pointed out to him that standard Bluegrass technique involves the band mixing themselves.

This thread is 100% MOAN.

Last edited by AnthonyG; 19th August 2018 at 01:52 PM..
Old 19th August 2018
Gear Addict
chazmar's Avatar
When I listen to blue-grass it makes me smile.
Old 3rd September 2018
Gear Addict

Well. I think the OP should probably watch the movie "Waiting." The moral of that movie (Don't Fvck with the people who handle your food) is applicable in the live performance world. You state that you've worked in the the business for 50 years. Maybe you've gotten a reputation that's not the best. Judging from your disparaging demeanor on this thread, I wouldn't be surprised if the word has gotten out.
Old 17th September 2018
Here for the gear
gunjabeans's Avatar

It's 1 or 2 of 3, or All of These Factors

Why can’t 'you guys' mix bluegrass?

In my experience a good engineer can mix anything to sound at least pretty good because they use their ears and they know how to use their gear to achieve balance. I don't think genre was the issue.

It is more likely 1 or 2 of 3, or All of these factors:

1 Inexperienced Engineer
2 You pissed him off
3 The band was in a bad mood, was nervous, and/or sucked and blamed the engineer

Sound is subjective and a bad mood translates to bad sound.
Old 4 weeks ago
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vernier's Avatar
It can be good, notice them sharing a mic, old school style

Old 4 weeks ago
Gear Guru
Brent Hahn's Avatar

Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Maybe sorta. If you listened with your eyes closed you'd never know the fiddle solo even happened.
Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear

I can not resist this opportunity to drive home a very important point: Technical and performing skill need to be matched to approach anything resembling a synergistic performance.
1) Flatt Lonesome is essentially a family trio that grew up singing in their father's church. Their harmony blend is their calling card and for the record, it's about as good as it gets.
2) The subject "On & ON" video would never have been released if it had been my decision, for the following reasons.
a)Technically limited, one camera, visuals and sub standard audio: fold back monitor too hot and questionable mic choices given the fact the band has not mastered the choreography necessary to successfully pull off a center mic vocal capture.
b) There is nothing unusual about fundamental instrumental leads and rhythm execution in todays Bluegrass music: However the abject failure, in this case, to advance the band's long suite, Vocal harmony, is hard to understand.

A much much better video of the Flatt Lonesome band is the 2015 IBMA awards show that features their nominated single of the year "You're The One". I believe Steve Chandler, a seasoned Nashville Bluegrass & Country Music engineer, was controlling the audio console for that performance. The SM58 mics the IBMA furnished unfortunately are ubiquitous vocal fixtures in most Bluegrass events for many reasons: they are cheap entry level gear that most everyone starts out with and many performers never want or need anything better. As I have discussed with Steve on several occasions if the trio all had single high end tube mics to capture their performance the audio would go to an even much higher level. My friend Cliff Miller, owner of SE systems, had the great opportunity to provide most all of Alison Krauss's concert SR work. While he did not deploy tube mics he did select absolutely the very best gear to deliver the best SR sonic quality the Bluegrass genre has ever enjoyed.

The important factor to understand is the fact that individual micing usually can be more successful than a single mic capture of vocals ---IF--- the FOH, monitoring gear and engineering protocol are up to speed. In either case when the gear is properly set up the performers will have an opportunity to shape their own sound.

Last edited by hughshouse; 4 weeks ago at 12:20 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
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GreenNeedle's Avatar

Originally Posted by vernier View Post
If a sound person can't make that band sound good they should find another hobby. Amazing players and singers. I had goose bumps when i mixed them. Mostly from the lady not pictured.
Old 3 weeks ago
Gear Head

The best sounding show I’ve ever seen in my entire life was a recent punch brothers concert. Unreal. Obviously we’re talking next level talent in every category.
Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear

Next level picking skill, Oh yeah: nothing extraordinary in the Punch Brothers vocal delivery department---They are not close to Flatt Lonesome, Balsam Range or the Daly & Vincent level in that skill level.
Old 3 weeks ago
Gear Head

Yeah you’re probably right... their music, to me at least, is just so fresh and dynamic compared to a lot of the old traditional bluegrass structured tunes ( which I also love by the way)
Old 3 weeks ago
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gurubuzz's Avatar

Same old story No.1.

Not many people see the value in experienced engineers and are only willing to pay the same for a noob out of an audio course and someone with many years of experience. Let alone hiring a second engineer to do Monitors.

Same old strory No. 2

Some engineers, and this can transcend experience, mix with their brain instead of their ears..
it can also be that someone is critical of their mixing so they are trying to impress someone else's ears instead of their own. It's a big trap..especially when under pressure.....trying to think how someone else will perceive your mix is a vicious circle. Trust your instincts.

Other Valuable advice

Take a selfie when you are upset with your monitor mix (as a performer)....
it's important to keep your body language in check. Your frown, that you don't realise you have, can be intimidating to the engineer and no one mixes good when afraid of the talent..
Old 2 weeks ago
Here for the gear

Banjos are very resonant instruments, and can create a lot of feedback around 300~400. Pretty high for most HPF
Upright basses with subpar electronics (read: need high gain) are especially unwieldy around 100-200, a very necessary range for the instrument.
Acoustic guitar DIs need a lot of eq to sound natural and less 1-2k 'twang'.
Vocals need to be compressed with a little less heavy handedness for dynamics, but can be very dependent on the singer(s) to contain those dynamics.

It can be a difficult genera if you're not used to the peculiarities of the instruments and the way the acoustic elements are used as percussion etc. Not to mention monitor mixes can be unwieldy with feedback, and the performers can be kinda 'needy'.
That being said, a good bluegrass/acoustic outfit can be the easiest thing in the world to mix, it practically does itself! A bad outfit however, with subpar instruments and unreasonable expectations, can be quite an excercize in compromise and EQ bands.
I've never worked festival environments (soon!), But I can imagine that that style of reinforcement could present a lot of problems, especially if the band right before was a loud rock band. There can be pressure on a engineer to make the 'energy' between bands consistent, IE high.

It's not easy, but if the engineer did fine for the rest of the night, maybe there's a common denominator? ?
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