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Tappin off the Live Sound guy? Condenser Microphones
Old 22nd December 2010
  #31
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Well now,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyersound View Post
Yes they are mixed for the room. They don't always suck, some of us in live world are actually real professionals and can make mixes translate more than passably well to a recording. There are techniques and years of experience involved, just like the studio. No offense Jay, but I get tired of hearing sweeping generalizations about how bad board mixes are, especially from people that spend all their time in "controlled environments". There are some live guys out there like the Kevin Elsons of the world that actually do both live and studio quite well. Clearmountain has even been known to take an incredibly competent whack at live mixing now and again.

~~~

This setup in a large theater may be the exception, not the rule, but you should watch how you throw around the word "always"!
For one thing I've spent a rather fair amount of time in the live world... I'm comfortable piloting a big old MH4 or MC7L in front of a few thousand people or doing a theater gig on a small A&H. Can't even count the hours I've spent around line arrays but its been a lotta years.

There's quite a difference between that, a "real" show and what this OP is talking about... some tiny music club that holds maybe 200 people with what might be a patchwork PA rig at best.

In the small club the board mix is going to suck and be unbalanced. Mostly vocal, FX and kick drum... unless we "overmix" the room,

On a festival stage or big theater the board mix is going to be fairly kosher since there's enough space for the stage volume to be absorbed... we can get at least a reasonable amount of everything into the mix.

Not at all the same thing.

And yes, any gig involving a splitter needs to worked out WELL in advance of the show.

Generally speaking, if the shows going to be recorded on a dedicated rig with a split we're in contact with the "house" sound company to advance the gig right after the date for the artist is confirmed.

Nobody ever just "rolls up" with a split box and plugs in.

Even if you have the splitter there are dozens of other questions to be answered.

How far downstage is the setup? Are we even NEAR the stage?

How much cable do we need? To our rig? To the house rig?

Power? Where's that coming from?

Is it clean? Can anyone shut me off mid-gig or is it solid?

What if you get plugged in at monitor land, the stage is on a different circuit, FOH is on another leg and something creates a buzz that won't disappear from everywhere? Somethings always humming? Even with ground lifts on the splitter and bass rig?

What then? I've been there... had to solve it.

To pull a gig like that off successfully requires a few dozen hours of prep work, and even then things can go wrong.

Pre-planning is 80% of the battle.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #32
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mattjew24's Avatar
 

Hmmm....
These shows are not bigtime, I would barely even describe them as small shows. We're talking an old yamaha board most likely, a spx90 and an EQ/crossover for their FOH setup.

I would make absolutely sure to contact the band and the venue's live sound crew well in advance to make sure everyone is aware and in agreement.

If I get the green light, I would place my splitter and track to Logic on the side of the stage.

Now...do these rules of Live Sound Competence apply to church gigs?

One show is going to be at a hotel. Basically a mobile PA setup. I am absolutely sure that the one guy setting up his PA would let me split from it or use a splitter.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #33
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
Ultimate Solution:

1) Hire Avid Profile
2) Take to gig
3) Plug analogue console connections into Stage Rack

Results:
1) FOH Man has a really fun night putting all you fancy plugs on his mix.
2) You get direct interfacing with Pro Tools
3) Everyone wins

Only costs about $500/night
I know a lot of FOH guys who would not consider being forced to mix with an unfamiliar console "fun" - no matter how many Toys are on board.

Such toys are more fun in the studio where if you can't instantly get them working the way you want you are allowed to call a Time Out.

If I had to use one word to describe the typical FOH personality, that word would be "prickly". If I got two words, the second word would be 'conservative'.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #34
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Boschen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs View Post
No, you haven't solved your problems.

Speed is the LEAST important thing in live sound.

Being competent IS the MOST important thing.

Honestly?

Board mixes are mixed for the room... not for recording. They always suck.

Best thing to do is take the board mix to 2-tracks and hang a pair of mics... or multiple pairs of mics and blend it later.

Or if you're really daring, blend those four source signals right to 2-track.

A pair of mics on the stage, facing the audience... with the board mix... a good blend with some little smoke & mirrors... some EQ & whatnot and people will think your a genius.

I do some fly-pack gigs exactly like that when a 'bigger' setup either isn't called for or properly budget'd.

Dealing with splitters & whatnot is a whole other level. You aren't there yet.

It takes a MASSIVE investment and a pretty thorough understanding of 'monitor mixes and blah blah' to pull that off without getting in the way and fukking up the show.
This can work, depending on the room, plus it's easy and cheaper than renting a splitting snake.
I have successfully used a combo of the board mix plus a couple of ambient mics of my own for recording live rock shows. Also have used a couple of direct outs on vocals plus room mics, later blending to taste.

I sometimes record band practices this way, sending a second aux mix out
to blend with room mics.

Results will partially depend on how much the FOH has to tweak the board mix to fit the room, and how well you place your own mics.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #35
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjew24 View Post
Now...do these rules of Live Sound Competence apply to church gigs?

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got, years and years ago in my club days was from an 'old dude' who came through with a band as FOH/manager... forget who it was but it was a night filled with technical difficulties.

He made that point that in live sound we're invisible until something goes wrong. And he's entirely right!

Doesn't matter if there's 75 people at the show or 7500.

The second some terrible noise comes out of the PA, lose the lead vocalist or whatever...

The second that happens EVERY HEAD in the place is going to snap around and stare back at FOH.

Being competent also entails being able to pull solutions out of your ass at moments notice... even if the "solution" is not a solution at all, but just making the problem "invisible" until it can really be solved.

Everyone has to start somewhere and there's a steep learning curve, but its pretty clutch to know what everyone's role is and what's expected and not expected... from the FOH & monitor engineers to the stage manger, hands... musicians and where you fall in all of that.

Like, if your rig causes a problem somewhere else... you might not hear it from FOH. Could be someone else down your neck, like the keyboard player. Likewise I've had people snap at me for stuff that had nothing to do with me... just looking for someone to bark at.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #36
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Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

I recorded a few of a previous bands of mine off the board at shows to DAT back in the day...and the sound was worse than the most horrible home recording you can imagine.

All the loud things on stage are the exact opposite through the board...leaving only the weakest elements of each sound through the board. You can pretty much count on the showboats with 100 watt stacks being absent from the sound, and lots of pitchy and distorted vocals.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #37
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs View Post
Well now,



For one thing I've spent a rather fair amount of time in the live world... I'm comfortable piloting a big old MH4 or MC7L in front of a few thousand people or doing a theater gig on a small A&H. Can't even count the hours I've spent around line arrays but its been a lotta years.

There's quite a difference between that, a "real" show and what this OP is talking about... some tiny music club that holds maybe 200 people with what might be a patchwork PA rig at best.

In the small club the board mix is going to suck and be unbalanced. Mostly vocal, FX and kick drum... unless we "overmix" the room,

On a festival stage or big theater the board mix is going to be fairly kosher since there's enough space for the stage volume to be absorbed... we can get at least a reasonable amount of everything into the mix.

Not at all the same thing.

And yes, any gig involving a splitter needs to worked out WELL in advance of the show.

Generally speaking, if the shows going to be recorded on a dedicated rig with a split we're in contact with the "house" sound company to advance the gig right after the date for the artist is confirmed.

Nobody ever just "rolls up" with a split box and plugs in.

Even if you have the splitter there are dozens of other questions to be answered.

How far downstage is the setup? Are we even NEAR the stage?

How much cable do we need? To our rig? To the house rig?

Power? Where's that coming from?

Is it clean? Can anyone shut me off mid-gig or is it solid?

What if you get plugged in at monitor land, the stage is on a different circuit, FOH is on another leg and something creates a buzz that won't disappear from everywhere? Somethings always humming? Even with ground lifts on the splitter and bass rig?

What then? I've been there... had to solve it.

To pull a gig like that off successfully requires a few dozen hours of prep work, and even then things can go wrong.

Pre-planning is 80% of the battle.
+1. Nice one Jay. I can tell you're a competent guy. My only issue was that pesky "always" word. I have advanced many live recordings with the recordist, up to and including the best out there. You are correct, no one should ever even consider "just rollling up and plugging in". You bring up important issues, and food for thought for the OP as well as others here. Cheers
Old 23rd December 2010
  #38
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I know a lot of FOH guys who would not consider being forced to mix with an unfamiliar console "fun" - no matter how many Toys are on board.

Such toys are more fun in the studio where if you can't instantly get them working the way you want you are allowed to call a Time Out.

If I had to use one word to describe the typical FOH personality, that word would be "prickly". If I got two words, the second word would be 'conservative'.
You've never used a Profile have you?

Profile's are so easy to get onto that every engineer I've ever seen jump onto one is doing fancy things with it within 10 minutes, they are so simple and logical to use.

I thought to myself 'Ah it's a digital, I'll be lucky to get a good sound but I'm not going to start messing with FX' the first time I used one. By the time the show started I had SSL channel strips on half the instruments. Superb consoles and you'd have to have a complete noob at the desk if he could not work one. Just a shame they crash a lot.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #39
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
You've never used a Profile have you?

Profile's are so easy to get onto that every engineer I've ever seen jump onto one is doing fancy things with it within 10 minutes, they are so simple and logical to use.

I thought to myself 'Ah it's a digital, I'll be lucky to get a good sound but I'm not going to start messing with FX' the first time I used one. By the time the show started I had SSL channel strips on half the instruments. Superb consoles and you'd have to have a complete noob at the desk if he could not work one. Just a shame they crash a lot.
I'm a huge Venue fan, have been using the DSHOW since it first hit the market. To this day I have ONLY looked at the manual for the entire Venue family once---that was to make sure I had the cabling and power sequence right. I've never once had to consult the manual to figure anything out--it really is that easy of a console.

I'm concerned about your comment about "they crash a lot". I've never seen nor heard of the Venue crashing.....
Old 23rd December 2010
  #40
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
Superb consoles and you'd have to have a complete noob at the desk if he could not work one. Just a shame they crash a lot.


Hey, what's a crash or two when you are having so much "fun"?

Just explain to the band that you are enjoying yourself so much by putting plug-ins on every channel that any downtime they experience is "worth it"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs

Being competent IS the MOST important thing.
Sorry Jay, according to therealbigd, shiny new toys are MORE important than an uninterrupted show.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #41
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyersound View Post
+1. Nice one Jay. I can tell you're a competent guy. My only issue was that pesky "always" word. I have advanced many live recordings with the recordist, up to and including the best out there.
Howz about "always be prepared" or "always have a backup" for anything?

More then once being able to yank a solid 50 foot extension cord out of a work box has saved the day.

But I dunno, what's mixing on a Venue 'mouse' have anything to do with recording a crappy club gig on a patchwork PA?

Not much...

But since we're on the subject I had a REALLY TERRIBLE experience with a Venue about a year ago.

Got to the place and we unpack, start a line check and there's some terrible noise coming from the stacks. Crazy tone... not like 1kHz... its way higher... like 6k blasting out with a terrible click, clack... like bad clock or something.

Me and the other bands engineer... we're both ON the house crew like a cheap date, can we make that go away? Like, now? Maybe please?

Meanwhile the bandmembers and assorted people are all walking around the floor of the theater going "You guys hear that?!? What IS that sound???"

Yeah yeah man... we hear it... Look, Mr House guy...

Had to do our soundcheck with that racket and went to dinner. Came back later and the rig was silent... they said it was some sorta phantom power issue.

Whatever. Terrible. Not a fan. Good when it works.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #42
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Back on topic...

Sink your money into a few key pieces;

1) GREAT pair of mics or stereo mic

2) Totally solid recorder/interface/backup

3) Location mixer & monitors

4) Cables! All sorts of cables, adapters & misc stuff... have the toolkit with gaffers tape, flashlights, handtools like pliers, allen keys, all that junk. It'll save your ass.

That's all way more important then a splitter... without that stuff its more like splatter.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #43
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mattjew24's Avatar
 

whew, thanks for all the info guys. Can't hide the fact that i'm a noob.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #44
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post


Hey, what's a crash or two when you are having so much "fun"?

Just explain to the band that you are enjoying yourself so much by putting plug-ins on every channel that any downtime they experience is "worth it"


Sorry Jay, according to therealbigd, shiny new toys are MORE important than an uninterrupted show.
A) Never said anything about interrupting a show.
B) Never said they crashed because of using a lot of plug-ins.

In fact the reality is neither of those. They have plentiful processing power, during the Montreux Jazz Festival 2008 we were putting stupid amounts of TDM plugs on every channel (of huge bands 40+ members) and not crashing them, and then crashing them turning up an auxilliary. Odd desks in that sense. But it's not 'regular' crashing, just regular compared to Digico SD series or Midas Pro series desks - probably the main 2 real competitors to the Avid.

And even if it does crash, it doesn't interrupt a show. You can switch the desk off completely and the mix racks will continue with whatever the last setting was (unless you unplug them too!), a crash does not interrupt the show. If you have a second console, you can tell that to takeover should the first fail, too.

So I never said that shiny toys are more important than not interrupting your show. I just said that using an Avid Profile would be the simplest way to record a set to Pro Tools whilst still getting excellent FOH. Which it is. And it's just a bonus that you can play with fancy plug-ins whilst you're at it.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjew24 View Post
whew, thanks for all the info guys. Can't hide the fact that i'm a noob.
I thought you were some super duper college dude?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #46
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
A) Never said anything about interrupting a show.
So they can crash but still keep working? Impressive. Almost as impressive as not crashing in the first place.


Quote:
B) Never said they crashed because of using a lot of plug-ins.
? neither did I

I am certain that they are highly desirable mixers for some.

I am less certain that the house sound guy at mattjew24's local club is going to be overjoyed to see matt walk in with one of them
Old 23rd December 2010
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
ly desirable mixers for some.

I am less certain that the house sound guy at mattjew24's local club is going to be overjoyed to see matt walk in with one of them
I also am less certain.

I had meant it as a light-hearted thing originally which you took a bit far. I did provide a serious answer as well.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjew24 View Post
whew, thanks for all the info guys. Can't hide the fact that i'm a noob.
What you want to do is easily done, though not commonly done.

You need a splitter because you need to capture the close-miced sound, and because it is not very often that you will find the ideal spot to place a simple pair of mics in a small club, and because if the board mix sounds like ass, the FOH mix will not sound better, and because with the close miced individual tracks, you'll have some control over the final mix, making all the work and effort to capture the original recording worth the trouble.

You can often rent a splitter from a local PA or AV supply house.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #49
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
I also am less certain.

I had meant it as a light-hearted thing originally which you took a bit far. I did provide a serious answer as well.
sorry about that
Old 9th February 2011
  #50
Gear Nut
 

If you dont consider yourself a MacGuyver of audio, dont bother with the split. With all things in audio, especially live, there is always a bit of stress and pressure before a show. The more complicated the system, the more likely it is to have problems (why do you think tours roll with system tech?!).

My advice to you is to take a 2 track out from the board and set up room mics. Put 2 on the stage facing the audience and 2 in a XY at FOH (assuming its dead on with the stage and not offset). The stage mics will pick up pretty much everything you need (band & crowd), the XY will give you a nice stereo image of the room (be sure to use a HPF on these!). The board feed is usually crappy (comically gated/compressed), but it can give you a nice "dry" signal to blend with the room mics. As a self proclaimed "noob" you will have an easier time blending 6 channels. I do alot of remote recording for public broadcasting, Im on interviews for touring bands etc... this method is pretty proven, and works better than you would expect. Sadly my job is generally walking to FOH and asking for a board feed (I know its horrible, but its the nature of the job), most of the time its a line level output, make sure your rig can handle line level if your in a similar situation. If you put line level into a preamp of a Firepod or some other home recording box you will get really hot distorted signal...make sure you have the ability to compensate. Good luck, I'm sure it will turn out great!
Old 10th February 2011
  #51
Gear Addict
 
Buss-me's Avatar
 

In addition to studio work I run live sound at a small venue in Hollywood. Roughly 200+ capacity.
I haven't read all the responses here, but one thing I would bring up is, some venues do NOT allow people to hook up to the console for recordings. This is the case where I work. People are welcome to set up a small mic in the room for their handheld recorders, but no connections to the board are allowed. We provide CD recordings for a fee, at the performers request.

I agree that many club board recordings (especially small rooms) do sound ****.....and I have plenty of them from my playing days .
One reason is that what you mostly get are drums and vocs. This is because often times the stage volume from gtr and bass amps are loud enough for the room. So those channels don't even get turned up. Also because most small venues don't have room mics. They make all the difference, imho.

Over a period of time I've developed a method of recording that gives very nice results.
We have a 32ch console.....chs 1-22 are for stage inputs, 23 & 24 are for room mics, 25-32 are what I call "tape sends"......this is how it works.
I have the DI outs on ch's 1-24 hard patched to our Alesis HD24 for multi tracking. I have the drums, bass and gtr amps on ch's 1-8. I take 1-8 out from the HD24 and send them to the line ins on ch's 25-32 on the console. 25-32 are then bussed only to the CDR machine. Now I have separate control of drums bass and gtrs, and can mix them into the recordings as needed. Of course all my voc, DI, piano, and room mic channels are also bussed to the CDR. I don't know of many other venues around town that do this, but I think it works very well. The trade off of course is losing stage inputs. However, I rarely if ever need more then 22 inputs for our venue. heh
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