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Issues with consistency from one show to another
Old 2 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Issues with consistency from one show to another

I'm in a band and we have been using some backing tracks with ableton, which usually I send a mono signal out of ableton to the sound guy and we try and blend it with the live instruments, Drums/bass/guitar/vox. Usually it doesn't work that well and either can't be heard or just doesn't mix well. It's especially difficult for us in the band to hear it on stage. Long story short, I've decided to automate bass/kick through ableton as well and bassist is going to switch to keyboard/guitar and the drummer is playing mainly percussion on roland drum pad and some live drums. I'm hoping this will get more consistent sounds.

Having said that, we played a place the other day, outside, and we could hardly hear anything that I was running out of ableton on stage, and I don't think it was loud enough for the audience either. There was no sound guy and just a passive mackie mixer that was running to active top and bottom speakers on both sides of the stage. I'm sick of the uncertainty of knowing whether or not it will sound good live, regardless of how my band performs.

I have a couple of basic questions about live sound given these issues. First, I have my own PA that consists of an EV active sub and two Yamaha active tops. Would there be something wrong with running my own PA in addition to the house PA? For example, could I run stereo out of my focusrite interface from abelton to my own PA, through my sub and highs, and then chain out from my highs into the house passive mixer so they can carry the signal on to their PA with mine? Or would that cause issues?

That's the first option. Another would be to run 2 outs to my own PA and 2 other outs to their PA, and run both at the same time not chained together. The point in both of these options is just to ensure that we're at least getting the volume of my PA.

One final option I was wondering about but I know it probably is a bad idea. If I'm playing a big outdoor space, could I run my own PA, like vocals, backing track and everything, mixing it myself, and then just ask the house PA to mic my PA just to make it louder? I imagine there would be feedback or something.

Sorry for the long post. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it. Thanks!
Old 2 days ago
  #2
Gear Head
 

Hi friend. You have a lot of questions and a lot of "solutions" that will not help things sound better.

First off you need to know what YOU need in your monitors, because what you need is USUALLY different then what the house needs.

You also need to make room, a LOT of room for your live vocals/instraments in your backing tracks.

1. Backing tracks that sound full and "mastered" will not blend well with live instruments. Bass

2. Bass heavy sounds in the backing tracks will KILL any live stuff in the bass area.


"Long story short, I've decided to automate bass/kick through ableton as well and bassist is going to switch to keyboard/guitar and the drummer is playing mainly percussion on roland drum pad and some live drums. I'm hoping this will get more consistent sounds."

If you have progammed kick, just make sure your percussionis isn't ALSO playing anything kick related.

What you need for good sound is to get a multi output soundcard and send each thing on it's own channel to a small mixer.

Channel
1. Kick
2. Bass
3. ETC

1. Run these outputs to a small mixer that YOU can control.
2. Get YOUR own backline monitor that can double as a PA for small venues, this way you will always know BOTH you and the crowd are hearing something.
3. Set the system up so you can send the backing tracks to FOH if needed/for bigger venues.

A personal line array allows you to hear/monitor at a low enough level, then the line array is louder out by the crowd area.

Im not saying to get the Bose, but this is an example.




So, there are MANY ways to do this. some cheaper that will work 80% and some that cost more $$$$

The simple mixer in this set up would allow you to wire things in many ways.

You could send L/R out the 1/4 unbalanced to the JBLs rca inputs(these should sum both L/R to mono.

Then you could send the master L and R out to Foh via XLR. This allows you to send 2 unique signals to FoH, via the pan pot.

Pan Kick far left, and bass far right. Now you can monitor everything via the JBL(or other) and the Foh can atleast have some control over balance, and EQ each one if needed.

The set up in the picture only works well in smallish venue, or with 2 backing tracks.
Other options include.

Only using the JBL to monitor your backing tracks and have guitar/vox monitored another way like backline or FoH.

The more complex option involves using an XLR splitter to send all your signals to your own mixer and duplicates to front of house.

As you can see, a mic splitter will allow you to have complete control over what you monitor and if there is a person at FoH, they have a separate signal for every channel.
Attached Thumbnails
Issues with consistency from one show to another-2.jpg   Issues with consistency from one show to another-2.jpg   Issues with consistency from one show to another-splitter-set-up.jpg  
Old 2 days ago
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat alley View Post
I think it is essential to use a click track when performing live with backing tracks. Other than that, if we can't hear our colleagues clearly when playing music, more amplification might not be the answer. Playing softer and developing a healthy sense of awareness works great too!
If you want to use a click track you can get a Behringer P1 personal headphone mixer/amp.
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Behring...SABEgJcfvD_BwE

You would do this.

On you 6 channel mixer pan all the track far R
Pan the click track Far L

R goes to JBL/FoH or whatever PA set up

R and L both go the P1, it will sum to mono, use the balance knob to control between click vs backing tracks/mic, etc loudness.

with a simple set up like this, it should fix most the issues you mentioned.
Now depending on what IEM set up you use, SPL level, etc, you may not need a line array set up at all.

I would try with the small mixer, IEM to monitor backing tracks, music, and click track, and use your own PA, etc.

What your doing is complicated and will require trial and error to get the most performance.

Of course a larger mixer with many AUX sends would give you better and more options.
Attached Thumbnails
Issues with consistency from one show to another-p1.jpg  
Old 2 days ago
  #4
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by branjam View Post
I'm sick of the uncertainty of knowing whether or not it will sound good live, regardless of how my band performs.
You should be. No matter how good the band, the show can be ruined by bad sound. Ruin enough shows, and that will be the end of that band's career.

Best option would be to have your own sound person, IF THEY ARE QUALIFIED.
A bad sound person is often worse than none at all.
A good one is worth their weight in gold.

There are no rules against using your own PA. Especially in small venues without a sound person.

However in larger venues, or those with an installed PA being operated by a house engineer, you will often run into obstacles trying to run your own PA.

Better would be to create the mix you want, and give the FOH a pre-mixed line out (or stereo pair).

Most house engineers don't like this either, but if you advance the show properly, you can get them to do it most of the time.

You do not want to mic up your PA, that will sound like crap. Use a line out to the main PA instead.

Perhaps you can incorporate your PA into your personal stage rig, and use it for monitoring on stage. If you can establish a consistent sound on stage, it should enhance your performance, and make things more enjoyable all around. Once you have that sorted out, it will make it easier to get the house sound where you'd like it to be.

Whatever you decide, keep at it until you get things sounding right. Otherwise, what's the point? Good luck.
Old 2 days ago
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
You should be. No matter how good the band, the show can be ruined by bad sound. Ruin enough shows, and that will be the end of that band's career.

Best option would be to have your own sound person, IF THEY ARE QUALIFIED.
A bad sound person is often worse than none at all.
A good one is worth their weight in gold.

There are no rules against using your own PA. Especially in small venues without a sound person.

However in larger venues, or those with an installed PA being operated by a house engineer, you will often run into obstacles trying to run your own PA.

Better would be to create the mix you want, and give the FOH a pre-mixed line out (or stereo pair).

Most house engineers don't like this either, but if you advance the show properly, you can get them to do it most of the time.

You do not want to mic up your PA, that will sound like crap. Use a line out to the main PA instead.

Perhaps you can incorporate your PA into your personal stage rig, and use it for monitoring on stage. If you can establish a consistent sound on stage, it should enhance your performance, and make things more enjoyable all around. Once you have that sorted out, it will make it easier to get the house sound where you'd like it to be.

Whatever you decide, keep at it until you get things sounding right. Otherwise, what's the point? Good luck.
Thanks for summing that up with clarity.
If you want to "feel" the kick/bass then you want to get a good on stage sound. Most wedges I know of wont to bass well
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