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Help, Please –Amplification Setup for Jamming with Elec. Guitar, Elec. Piano and Voca Studio Monitors
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Help, Please –Amplification Setup for Jamming with Elec. Guitar, Elec. Piano and Voca

Hi,
A friend of mine and I are going to be jamming in my living room, with
• My friend on electric piano
• Me on electric guitar
• Both of us singing

Past experience jamming elsewhere with a mixture of acoustic and electric instruments suggests two things to me – if I just play acoustic guitar while she is playing electric piano, we will each probably have to struggle to make our singing heard.

Hence my thought of us each having an SM58 to sing through.

Also, playing electric guitar will give me more control over volume, as well as giving me more tones.

Equipment I have available:
• Several guitar amps 20 W, 30 W, and 40 W
• Zoom R 16 recorder / audio interface / controller ("The R16 offers eight inputs on combo connectors which can accept
either XLR or ¼" balanced or unbalanced cables. All can handle mic- and line-level signals, and Input 1 can also
handle instrument-level signals from passive or active electric guitars and basses". There is also a headphone output -
see photo).
• Roland FP4 Digital Piano Keyboard (with stereo outs – see photo)
• KRK Powered Rokit 5 monitors (with ¼” balanced TRS input, RCA unbalanced input, and XLR input – see photo)

My initial thought is that I can route everything (keyboard, two 58’s, and guitar amp – or DI guitar) through the Zoom R 16, then go out and into the Rokit 5’s, but I am unsure how to go about that.

So, given what I have said above, the questions I would appreciate some help with are:
1. Does going into the Rokit 5’s sound like the best idea of where the signal should end up?
2. How should the amplification here be achieved?
3. What cables should I use in terms of balanced / unbalanced (never plugged the keyboard in before)?
4. If I take a mono out from the keyboard, should I unplug the second Rokit monitor from the first one, or does that not matter?
5. Will plugging the keyboard into one of the amps work? If so, should I presume that I should use the Aux. In, rather than the guitar inputs
Attached Thumbnails
Help, Please –Amplification Setup for Jamming with Elec. Guitar, Elec. Piano and Voca-irfan-view-fp4-sharpened.jpg   Help, Please –Amplification Setup for Jamming with Elec. Guitar, Elec. Piano and Voca-g-rokit-5-back-panel.jpg   Help, Please –Amplification Setup for Jamming with Elec. Guitar, Elec. Piano and Voca-back-zoom-r-16.jpg  
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
JayTee4303's Avatar
If this is just a jam session, the zoom will act as your front of house 8 x 2 mixer, and your powered rocket monitors will act as your PA stacks.

If, however, you're also planning to record this, there are a couple of issues.

1, your front of house mix, what you actually hear in the room, is going to affect the levels of what is recorded. Typically a mixer for this application is more complex then the simple 8 by 2 set up you have with the zoom. Often, each track input feeds one or more aux sends, or one or more buses, at which point you can have one mix for what you hear in the room oh, and a different mix controlling what goes on to tape.

2, you're going to get bleed, and potential noise, that's going to affect your ability to overdub these recordings later on. One thing I do in situations like this, is minimize room bleed as much as possible. In this case that would mean turning off the electric pianos internal speakers, and perhaps using an electric guitar over an acoustic guitar, since the acoustic guitar, will drive the room, and therefore the vocal mics. Another thing I found useful, is to use a pick up, instead of a microphone, where possible.

A potential downside using a pickup is increased noise. But since I know there's going to be bleed into the vocal mics, I also know that I'm going to rerecord every single part. If I mic an acoustic guitar, there will be vocal bleed in the guitar mic. Later on , when I mute the scratch vocal, to record Vox, play back of the guitar track will cause the vocal bleed to phase interact with the new vocals, causing problems for the vocalist.

Using an acoustic guitar pickup avoids this, and since I'm going to rerecord it anyway, who cares about pickup noise?

Later on, while re-recording acoustic guitar, by itself, I'll use microphones, to avoid pickup noise, and potential tone issues.

By and large, you're going to get the best performance using balanced connections wherever you can.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Hi JayTee4303,
Many thanks for the thorough and very conscientious reply.

I really appreciate it.

I am only jamming in this case, and thought that I had better make an effort finally sort out some of the gaps in my knowledge about balanced and unbalanced cables, and the like.

I am used to tracking at home, and so am conscious of things like bleed, and all that stuff, but thank you very much for mentioning those things anyway, as I might not have been aware.

Thanks again.

Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Wyllys's Avatar
 

There's an old saying:

If you can't play together without a PA, the PA won't help.

My advice would be to turn down any electric instruments to match the unamplified stuff. Using mics in such a situation has a tendency to create a dependence rather than build vocal strength and projection. In the long run you'll likely be better off turning the keyboard down to a workable level.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
There's an old saying:

If you can't play together without a PA, the PA won't help.

My advice would be to turn down any electric instruments to match the unamplified stuff. Using mics in such a situation has a tendency to create a dependence rather than build vocal strength and projection. In the long run you'll likely be better off turning the keyboard down to a workable level.
Hi Wyllys,
Many thanks for the reply.

Yes, I would agree with you, but past experience playing together has shown that our voices get drowned out by the keyboard and (even) acoustic guitar together.

We will see what happens.

Thanks again.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
ccg
Gear Maniac
 

Try to do it acoustic.

If that proves difficult, run the vocal mics to the R16, which you're basically using as a mixer, and out of the KRKs. I can't see any reason to run a bunch of other stuff through the mixer for a living room jam. Keep it simple and play.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gvdv View Post
Hi Wyllys,
Many thanks for the reply.

Yes, I would agree with you, but past experience playing together has shown that our voices get drowned out by the keyboard and (even) acoustic guitar together.

We will see what happens.

Thanks again.
OK.

This simply points to your needing to build up your voices. Even if you're going to use microphones later, a mic can't do much with a weak input.

Good luck. Sing out!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccg View Post
Try to do it acoustic.

If that proves difficult, run the vocal mics to the R16, which you're basically using as a mixer, and out of the KRKs. I can't see any reason to run a bunch of other stuff through the mixer for a living room jam. Keep it simple and play.
Thanks ccg.

Will try it acoustic again, but will have the amplification as 'Plan B'.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
OK.

This simply points to your needing to build up your voices. Even if you're going to use microphones later, a mic can't do much with a weak input.

Good luck. Sing out!
Thanks for the encouragement, Wyllys.

I appreciate it.

I will have to respectfully disagree about us having to build up our voices (well, that is true of me at the moment - because I have not been singing much - but in the past when I have done this, I have been singing at my capacity but have had to strain to be heard above other instruments).

My friend, though, is a good (and trained) singer.
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