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Live Rock + Compression, Feedback, Vocal Harmonies: I need your wisdom!!! Noise Reduction & Restoration Plugins
Old 8th July 2006
  #31
Gear Nut
 
jenkel16's Avatar
 

The signal coming out of the effects is going to be a line level signal and will go into the line inputs of the mixer. So , no worries about gain staging there. Another reason against having the processor on stage that I experienced the other night is that if it takes a dive then there is absolutely no chance of your vocal coming out of the PA. Kinda defeats the purpose of having the processor in the first place.
Old 8th July 2006
  #32
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

You can get SCREAMING loud monitors with SM58, you don't need another mic. It's about having an understanding of gain stage, mixing, speaker patterns and acoustics.

-The stage monitor needs to be in the NULL of the vocal mic's pattern.
-The stage monitor does not need the FX being used for the mains for you to hear yourself and have proper pitch and timing.
-Stage monitor mixes should be PRE, not POST fader.
-If you are having significant feedback issues when you are rehearsing (no mains PA involved) and its only in the monitors, acquire a good 1/3 octave EQ to put in line between monitor send and monitor amplifier line, and get thee a real sound person who does monitors to come to your rehearsal.

The advice about making sure your mains are IN FRONT of your mics and front of stage is not just good advice, its IMPERATIVE from an acoustic perspective.
Old 9th July 2006
  #33
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kindkind's Avatar
 

can anyone give me a head start on gain staging?

this is what:

sm 58 mic into A and H mixwixard 16:2 (gain at 1/3)

full aux send level to tc voiceworks line input level knob at halfway conection = balanced line.

into a pedal unit here is where i find we must keep gain extremely low.. then that gets sent back into the mixer with the gain usually ending up at about a little over 1/3..
i guess it should be a slower gain ramp or something else. a lot of different stages here, if i understand what i am talking about.
I need to find out what range these knobs all represent in order to do this i expect.

don't really know what im Doing.how should the gain stages be set up?
Old 5th August 2007
  #34
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underworld's Avatar
 

so this thread is way out of date. but i was looking around for some opinions on the TC Helicon pedal.

anyway. it appears that a major issue with these voice boxes is the variation in gain staging- which is obviously (if you read the thread) a confusing point for people.

in a nutshell...

a mic has a very low level (in general). you, generally, need a preamplifier to bring the microphone level UP to a LINE level. to do this, you add amplification or GAIN. gain can occur in various STAGES in the chain. when you increase the GAIN on the preamp input ... when you move the fader above 0, when you move any EQ knob above 0 ... all of those add a gain stage to the signal. if you add gain plus boost the eq, plus push the fader, you are most likely overdriving the mic signal and increasing the chances of feedback. in a proper signal, your mic would have a nominal signal around 0db. when pushed through the rest of the mains/monitors (with proper EQ themselves) you will usually avoid feedback.

with a vocal processing pedal, you have a variety of settings/presets. each preset may have a variation in gain, in EQing, in the effects being applied, in additional signal (i.e. doubling or harmonies) - all of these can affect the "gain staging". imagine you have setting 1 which has a flat EQ. and setting 2 which adds 5 db at 2KHz and 3db at 800Hz - you are effectively increasing the gain/level by those amounts. when the signal goes into the Front of House (FOH) board, and you switch from setting 1 to setting 2 - it's like boosting the gain knob on the mixer .... and therefore increasing the likelihood of feedback because the soundman has probably set your gain staging on the board for setting 1.

to properly use a pedal like the VoiceLive, you would need to ensure that every setting you use emits a similar signal level on the output. guitar players do this with their rigs to ensure the sound level from one setting to the next isn't too loud/too soft ... users of voice processors should be expected to do the same.
Old 10th August 2008
  #35
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
If you want a real world, professional answer I'll give it to you, but it isn't going to be one that you like. I've never heard you and I don't know what you sound like, but you made one statement that tells me that you are fairly "green" as a vocalist, so...

You have two choices:
#1) stay with the stuff you have, continue to use it as a crutch and never improve much
#2) learn how to sing in tune with power and use processing to embellish something that is already good

A vocalist has two responsibilities... sing in tune and sing with enough support (power) to be heard. If you need the autotune to be in tune than you are being very lazy and you'll never learn to sing in tune. You don't allow your guitarists to play out of tune do you? Why should you be allowed to? Work on pitching!
You should be able to project above the band live.
I can't tell you how... you need to learn how to do it.
Go to a vocal coach.

It isn't easy my friend! If it was I'd be a famously wealthy vocalist myself.
It takes work and there is no box of circuits that is going to do it for you.

Every vocalist I have ever know that was any good in a band situation did it without anyone's help. I have mixed for quite a few good people, but my adding compression or FX only made them "sound" better. It didn't make them sound good. In fact, I use so little FX live that most people would say it is "dry." I do use compression and even if I use a lot I do it in a way that most people wouldn't notice it. Because I have mixed for over thirty years I know how to milk stuff and finesse equipment and introduce little nuances into the sound that compliments a singer.

Seriously, you need to re-think your situation.
Quit using the TC Helicon.
It needs to be out front.

About not being heard above the GTR player:
It's called using dynamics... if the band isn't using any then you can't either.
If you can't sing parts loud enough then you need to re-think the validity of the part.
If it REALLY needs to be sung softly then why is the band playing loud?

If an orchestra has all of the parts written fff (triple forte) and the oboe has one part written f (forte) he isn't going to be heard. It's called arranging and it applies to rock bands, too... all music in fact!

I replied to your post because I felt that the answers were dancing around the true issue. The answer is not about equipment and hooking it up. It is about YOU. This is your responsibity.

If you continue to rely on equipment for your inability to sing in tune and be heard then someone who can will come along and you are out of a gig.

Take my advice and do this for yourself. Work on pitching. Learn to project.

A great (or even good) musician sounds good regardless of the equipment.
I make my living dealing with equipment and making people sound better and I'll tell you that I can't make them sound good if they don't already sound good. I wish I could, but I can't... and I'm REAL GOOD at what I do! If someone sucks... they suck and I can't really fix it.

Example: I have played guitar since I could hold one, so I'm pretty good. I can go to Guitar Center and pick up ANY guitar and sound good on it. It isn't the guitar. Some are "better" and some rigs sound "better' for some styles. I can't really play classical guitar and no guitar or amp or device will allow me to do it either. I have to LEARN to do it!

I am being honest here my friend.

Practice WITHOUT anything other than a mic and a p.a. for a few months.
Then tell me that you aren't better.
You will be and this is the only way to get better.

Also, do not use in ears at this point.
It will confuse the issues.
I have seen quite a few bands sound worse after using in ears.
I had an eight piece C&W band realize that they sound better w/o their in ears this past weekend.
Time constraints meant they had to use wedges and the CD I burned tells the tale.

LOOSE THE TC HELICON TONIGHT AT YOUR NEXT PRACTICE SESSION OR GIG!
It is not a bad piece and a good soundman can make you sound cool if he uses at F.O.H.

Also, I have run VERY large monitor rigs.
There is rarely any channel compression when using wedges.
If it is, then the compression is slight.

Are you under the inpression that that box (or any box for that matter) will make you sound louder when you sing quiet? A compressor only "turns things down." If you try to have the compressor turn down the loud parts so that the soft parts are at the proper level then when you are not singing it is going to feedback like a bitch. This is a completely wrong and incorrect use of the device. I'd like to drive my car to Europe, but it keeps filling with water!

Re-think things my friend.
I think that you already know this.

Sincerely,
Danny Brown

What a freaking fantastic answer. You my friend are a testament to why I still search topics on gearslutz.
Old 22nd August 2009
  #36
Gear Nut
 

I have been in your situation. Your band is just starting out and you play at some club with a ****ty PA and a sound guy who barely knows how to operate said ****ty PA. If you're lucky he sets your vocals roughly in the right ballpark before he walks off so he doesn't have to listen to your set.

The only REAL solution is to just play at better venue with a good PA and a good sound guy.

The main problem with the set and forget sound guy is that your vocals are only loud enough when you're at the very top of your singing range but if you're singing low in your range they won't cut through the mix of distorted guitars. Your compression setting on your pedal will help but you really can't properly set this without being able to hear the mains. This is the sound guy's job, not yours. You're more likely to mess it up and thus the feedback.

The best solution I have come up with is to have the PA set up so that your voice is the perfect volume for your quiet singing when you are all the way up against the mic. Then if you get louder, you back off the mic. This is called "working the mic." It's a lot like compression but you have all the control. This will help you immensely when you aren't getting any help from a sound guy. If you keep yourself at a constant volume in the monitors, then the sound guy should be able to 'set and forget' you and you'll still sound passable.

I really think that autotune, feedback, and compression should be left to the sound guy instead of yourself. You have no idea what any of these things sound like through the mains. Maybe you could use only a small amount of compression and be ok, but you'll lose headroom and be that much closer to feedback. Also drop the feedback killer because that can make things sound funky if it isn't set up right.

If reverb and harmonization or any other ACTUAL effects are needed for a specific song then go for it. Use them like a guitarist uses a flanger pedal.

If you ever actually get to that better venue, the sound guy will probably throw some compression on your voice and ride your vocal levels. He'll set up the compressor so that he is balance between the way your vocal sits in the mix, the bleed that the compressor induces, and feedback. None of these can you actually have any clue about when you're on stage.
Old 22nd August 2009
  #37
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jude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkel16 View Post
give the engineer or sound monkey both lines, clean and voicelived. This way he can do what needs to be done to your VOCALS to get them audible through the PA without affecting the EFFECTS. He also has the effects to play with.

and that there is the only professional way to do it. let the engineer handle the effects, not the singer.

engineer mixes
singer sings. pretty easy really
Old 22nd August 2009
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
and that there is the only professional way to do it. let the engineer handle the effects, not the singer.

engineer mixes
singer sings. pretty easy really
You would think that would be pretty easy to understand but some people never seem to understand it.
Old 23rd August 2009
  #39
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jude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie_techie View Post
You would think that would be pretty easy to understand but some people never seem to understand it.

yeah, its a worry hey.
vocalist using as many stomp box effects as a guitarist, sending a effected mix to FOH then looking at the engineer when it all feeds back and sounds like ****.

simple fact, you cant balance a vocal effect properly while on stage
Old 23rd August 2009
  #40
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
When mixing live, I prefer adding the effects and processing at my mix position, but...

I do look at vocals as another instrument (voice) within a band.
If a singer has their act together and wants to play around with their own effects on stage who am I to say no? The fair way to go with it would be to try it at rehearsal and see how it works out. If it's doable go with it; if not, you can always vote to drop it!

IMO, if done correctly, using vocal effects on stage is no different than using guitar effects on stage.

Try it; you may like it!
Old 23rd August 2009
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
yeah, its a worry hey.
vocalist using as many stomp box effects as a guitarist, sending a effected mix to FOH then looking at the engineer when it all feeds back and sounds like ****.

simple fact, you cant balance a vocal effect properly while on stage
Or complaining they dont have enough fold back because you have to cut the foldback to stop the feedback.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
When mixing live, I prefer adding the effects and processing at my mix position, but...

I do look at vocals as another instrument (voice) within a band.
If a singer has their act together and wants to play around with their own effects on stage who am I to say no? The fair way to go with it would be to try it at rehearsal and see how it works out. If it's doable go with it; if not, you can always vote to drop it!

IMO, if done correctly, using vocal effects on stage is no different than using guitar effects on stage.

Try it; you may like it!
Absolutely IF it is done correctly but IME the best is only ever semi-decent and even then they you cant give them back want they want which IMO is not good enough. I find most vocalist ive worked with who do it are to stubborn to consider any change, i hate to pull a mix that isnt up to my own standards but what can you do. I also think many guitarists go to far with effects rather than focusing on the fundamentals of playing well and i think its the same.

The best way to do vocal effects from stage either 2 separate mics or a dry and fx out from an fx box then you can get good results. There is nothing wrong with a vocalist controlling their effects but they can achieve the correct balance when they cant hear what the audience do.
Old 23rd August 2009
  #42
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Exactly, two separate mics one 100% wet and the other dry or a dry and wet output from the effects unit is the best way to make it happen for sure. You have a lot more control and a better chance at making is sound right.
Old 24th August 2009
  #43
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I have very few problems with guitar players but singers can really screw things up.
This is a raw recording straight off the mic splitter coming off stage.
Attached Files

Baby You can.mp3 (729.2 KB, 485 views)

Old 25th August 2009
  #44
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jude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Exactly, two separate mics one 100% wet and the other dry or a dry and wet output from the effects unit is the best way to make it happen for sure. You have a lot more control and a better chance at making is sound right.

exactly....

it gives you a chance to mute the out of sync delays, the harmonies in the wrong key, the over compression.... generally all the things vocalists get wrong when adding their own effects!!!
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