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Reverb set-up for live vocals... tips/advice please!
Old 27th December 2010
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Reverb set-up for live vocals... tips/advice please!

Hey,

We want to be able to control the reverb ourselves for gigs, rather than rely on the FOH to do this. I see a lot of people saying NOT to go this way, but there are a ton of reverb units for vocals out there, so people must be doing it!
So was just wondering what (if any) solution everyone has come up with?

Being shoegazey and effectsy, our sound relies on a good dose of vocal reverb dreaminess. This freaks out a lot of the sound guys at gigs, they don't like it. For some reason. Do y'all have any super-duper tips for us?
Old 27th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Any good rack mount reverb unit will do what you want. That said, the FOH sound guy is in the best position to know when your reverb is set right. If you put on too much (or even not enough), and you are in control, there is nothing the sound guy can do about it without stopping the show. Your best bet is to give the sound guy a CD or "your sound" and let him match it. Room dynamics come in to play so much that what sounds "good" on stage may suck out front. Maybe you could just put your personal reverb on the monitor mix and set it as you like, but leave the FOH mix to the guy who controls it and can hear what is going on. My 2 cents.I've played a lot of shows with a full band where there was nobody to run sound and I had to set it up from the stage myself. End result was my mic usually had the worst sound of any because I couldn't be in two places at once.
Old 27th December 2010
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Nigel Go View Post
Any good rack mount reverb unit will do what you want. That said, the FOH sound guy is in the best position to know when your reverb is set right. If you put on too much (or even not enough), and you are in control, there is nothing the sound guy can do about it without stopping the show. Your best bet is to give the sound guy a CD or "your sound" and let him match it. Room dynamics come in to play so much that what sounds "good" on stage may suck out front. Maybe you could just put your personal reverb on the monitor mix and set it as you like, but leave the FOH mix to the guy who controls it and can hear what is going on. My 2 cents.I've played a lot of shows with a full band where there was nobody to run sound and I had to set it up from the stage myself. End result was my mic usually had the worst sound of any because I couldn't be in two places at once.


Thanks Nigel -
I'm wary of letting the sound guy deal with the reverb, though I do see why it's necessary! :( We did that at one gig, and the guy put next to no reverb on the vocals, which does not suit our sound at all.
Old 28th December 2010
  #4

Do you have a friend or a college that you could bring along as your mixer? This is common practice at a lot of gigs.

The guy has to know what he's doing and you should pay him a cut if you're getting paid.....




-tINY

Old 28th December 2010
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
Thanks Nigel -
I'm wary of letting the sound guy deal with the reverb, though I do see why it's necessary! :( We did that at one gig, and the guy put next to no reverb on the vocals, which does not suit our sound at all.
A lot of live sound guys are afraid to eq a reverb send or return. So if they bring up the reverb too much you may hear a bunch of rumble on the bottom and 'ssssssss' on the top. So they just keep the reverb tucked way back.

Good communications is the key. Not the band doing their own reverts.
Old 28th December 2010
  #6
Here for the gear
 

I agree that its a communication problem. 9 times out of 10 the FOH engineer knows what he's doing. Just (kindly) let him know what you want and make sure it is understood. Try and get a proper sound check in if it's really that important. Bring your own processor for him to use for your set. Because introducing your own fx inline, especially in a live setting, just makes things more difficult for everyone. Most artists I work with that want to use pedals for their vocals do so because they want really super wet, long tail effects, and running them inline makes monitoring your vocals a headroom/feedback nightmare. It's just better all around to have dry vocals with fx on a different fader. Trust me. I've been mixing live for a long time.

And never forget, the stage is the worst place in the room to asses the room sound from, second only to the actual mix position in most small clubs. Let the guy out in front of the speakers decide what sounds good, or hire your own engineer if you don't trust the house guys.
Old 28th December 2010
  #7
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Theo Desktop's Avatar
 

The most ideal sit for a band like yours with a lot of effects or specific settings per song is to hire your own soundguy. I've used a submixer with effects racks on stage that I ran keyboards and vocals to and sent the line outs to the FOH mixer.

Works pretty well, but I would always introduce myself the soundman before each gig and let him know exactly what I was doing so we could get on the same page and make sure all of your effect levels are consistent. Most soundguys aren't gonna do more than try to get the mix to sound good, but they have no idea what your sound is about and do get sick of bands with a lot of requests. If you control effects on stage yourself they really don't mind at all.

Theo
Old 28th December 2010
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by farallonlivin View Post
Bring your own processor for him to use for your set. Because introducing your own fx inline, especially in a live setting, just makes things more difficult for everyone. Most artists I work with that want to use pedals for their vocals do so because they want really super wet, long tail effects, and running them inline makes monitoring your vocals a headroom/feedback nightmare. It's just better all around to have dry vocals with fx on a different fader. Trust me. I've been mixing live for a long time.

When you say bring my own fx unit - is that really a viable option? Would a sound guy be willing to integrate that into his set up for one gig? If so, that would be huge for us....
Old 28th December 2010
  #9
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Drooh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
When you say bring my own fx unit - is that really a viable option? Would a sound guy be willing to integrate that into his set up for one gig? If so, that would be huge for us....
For the most part; of course the sound guy will be willing to run your FX unit through the system. It's literally just a few cables to plug in AUX sends and returns.

For that one gig the sound guys job is to make your band sound good, and how you want it.

As said above, I would suggest hiring your own sound guy so he is familiar with what you want.
Old 28th December 2010
  #10
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audioboffin's Avatar
 

What you are looking for is more dependant on communication than gear. Hiring a sound guy who understands your music and you have good dialogue with is by far your better move. Some rooms are so reverberant that all a FOH mixer will need to add to your vocal will be appropriate delay/s, while others will eat 2.6 second reverbs. Having a familiar pair of ears out the front that controls your sound will by far give more consistent results than having preprogrammed effects or balances and strangers on the board. If you then have your own effects rack etc.. even better.
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