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Mixing Your Bands Live Sound JUST LIKE the Record with a Computer *Questions* Dynamic Microphones
Old 31st July 2015
  #1
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Mixing Your Bands Live Sound JUST LIKE the Record with a Computer *Questions*

Should this thread be in Live Sound???

Very curious to hear if anyone has been mixing their band live with MainStage type software. Any thoughts or tips?

I've been running a small live show for the past couple years. I'm a one man band -full set of drums, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, and a vocal simultaneously. I run all of this direct into a fireface800->macbook pro->PA. All of the mixing, and effects are added digitally in MainStage where I can switch effects and settings for every instrument and vocal with a click of a button seamlessly during and between songs, I can't be kicking around on foot pedals while I'm playing 4 instruments and singing at the same time, so this way of doing things is necessary for me.

I wonder if any of you mix your 'multi' person bands in this way??

I have a theory, as follows.

So many bands are recorded with computers these days and so much of the processing and mixing/mastering process is done within the computer. Why can't what you did in the studio apply directly to your live shows? and why wouldn't that sound really really great? For instance, if you recorded your vocal track with a beyer m88 + avalon737 straight into your audio interface then added compression fx etcetera in the computer... then did that with every other instrument in the mix, couldn't you effectively record a great album then apply most everything you did there to your live performance with only minor changes (such as dialing down a compressor so it won't feedback etc)?

Anyway, I'm effectively doing a lot of this stuff. This is the road I'm traveling down. I haven't heard of many people doing this and I think this avenue hold great possibilities so I created this thread.

My aim is to getting my live show sounding as close to the record as possible.

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I just bought a couple Neve 542 Tape Emulators. After I get done messing around with them in the studio I'm going to try using them live. Can you imagine- vinyl sound for a live band??! ^^

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So ya, has anyone been doing this kinda stuff? Can you think of possible challenges one might encounter running a show this way for bigger 1000+ person events?

As far as big live events go where there is a mix engineer sound guy you just met. It has been suggested to me to hand him separate outs for each mic and instrument with indicators of which ones might be feedback prone. I've never done this before but I also theorize if I already have my show very dialed in and hand him a set of cables like this it may make his job much easier---- the overall volume between the instruments will be dialed in from the start as well as effects and tone etc--- he'd be able to focus more on sweetening things up and finer details to get stuff sounding great fast. What do you guys think?


Thanks
Old 31st July 2015
  #2
Maybe I don't understand the question but isn't that to a large extent what people are doing already? Digital mixing consoles are basically computers with knobs and faders, running a gazillion effects like computers. Some even run VSTs.

But the surrounding conditions live are different compared to studio. Gear has to be more sturdy to survive rough handling. Rooms are very different. The listening situation and expectations from the audience are different. Latency has to be very low which excludes using some types of effects. Etc etc.

Technically, live sound often uses similar approaches to studio. But the working situations do have profound differences which means that different approaches are needed in many areas.
Old 31st July 2015
  #3
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I don't know many bands that run everything through a computer. You know, traditionally they show up drums amps etc play and the sound guy mics/mixes them. I've seen a couple great sounding shows, some 'decent', and plenty of shows where the live sound could have been so much better.

I think using this method can have bands showing up with their sound much more dialed in. Just wondering if anyone is doing this. What their thoughts are on it. What are the pluses and minuses of this method.... I haven't heard much talk of anyone doing this and I am! so curious see what would come of a discussion.
Old 31st July 2015
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
Maybe I don't understand the question but isn't that to a large extent what people are doing already? Digital mixing consoles are basically computers with knobs and faders, running a gazillion effects like computers. Some even run VSTs.

But the surrounding conditions live are different compared to studio. Gear has to be more sturdy to survive rough handling. Rooms are very different. The listening situation and expectations from the audience are different. Latency has to be very low which excludes using some types of effects. Etc etc.

Technically, live sound often uses similar approaches to studio. But the working situations do have profound differences which means that different approaches are needed in many areas.
I don't know any bands who carry around Big digital mixing consoles. Maybe big bands?? Idk, this thread is for ppl who develop their live sound through a computer- questions and thoughts on this

Yeah, so what would be some things to focus on as far as 'rooms being different'. Sure some rooms can be very different, but I bet they fit into certain categories. If you are touring a lot you could do a general mix for type a room type b type c etc.

And yes, some of the stuff you do in the studio will never be replicated, but a band with the processing power and versatility of computer software and plugins I'd think could get close, or even do something different but very dialed in as far as the live version of the song goes.
Old 31st July 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
This all sounds very cool! Got a video of your workings? I don't have much to contribute to your dilemma, but I've been pondering the some same stuff, clicktrack for the drummer , maybe plugin automations, definitely easy to pull out different sounds and vibes for each song!
Old 31st July 2015
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneSoundRanger View Post
I don't know any bands who carry around Big digital mixing consoles. Maybe big bands?? Idk, this thread is for ppl who develop their live sound through a computer- questions and thoughts on this

Yeah, so what would be some things to focus on as far as 'rooms being different'. Sure some rooms can be very different, but I bet they fit into certain categories. If you are touring a lot you could do a general mix for type a room type b type c etc.

And yes, some of the stuff you do in the studio will never be replicated, but a band with the processing power and versatility of computer software and plugins I'd think could get close, or even do something different but very dialed in as far as the live version of the song goes.
You don't have to be a Big Band to have a digital console. Look at for ex X-AIR.

But if you want to limit this thread to computers that actually look like computers (which is fine) then EDM acts come to mind. They are often very much computer based. But they don't typically have much in the way of acoustic instruments...

Another difference with the live situation is the unpredictability. Often you want to adapt to what's happening in the audience and/or the mood you're in at the moment. To handle this some kind of hands-on control (i.e knobs and faders) is way better than a mouse and keyboard.

My live playing nowadays is mostly in church settings. There I want as little preprogrammed as possible because anything can happen. Parts of the service may drag out and we may want to play totally diferent songs than we decided on in beforehand. I set up my Surface Pro as a tablet on a music stand with all sounds and effects I want to use pre-loaded (in Cubase - no MainStage in Windows...). Then I use a cheapo midi controller keyboard with knobs and faders to dial in what I want. And if I want to change anything in the computer I have touch input. This is very diferent to your approach but it works in the conditions I play in
Old 1st August 2015
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
This all sounds very cool! Got a video of your workings?
Thanks for asking! Search #lonesoundranger on instagram ppl upload stuff there all the time.
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Old 1st August 2015
  #8
Gear Nut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
You don't have to be a Big Band to have a digital console. Look at for ex X-AIR.

But if you want to limit this thread to computers that actually look like computers (which is fine) then EDM acts come to mind. They are often very much computer based. But they don't typically have much in the way of acoustic instruments...

Another difference with the live situation is the unpredictability. Often you want to adapt to what's happening in the audience and/or the mood you're in at the moment. To handle this some kind of hands-on control (i.e knobs and faders) is way better than a mouse and keyboard.

My live playing nowadays is mostly in church settings. There I want as little preprogrammed as possible because anything can happen. Parts of the service may drag out and we may want to play totally diferent songs than we decided on in beforehand. I set up my Surface Pro as a tablet on a music stand with all sounds and effects I want to use pre-loaded (in Cubase - no MainStage in Windows...). Then I use a cheapo midi controller keyboard with knobs and faders to dial in what I want. And if I want to change anything in the computer I have touch input. This is very diferent to your approach but it works in the conditions I play in

Yes, computers that look like computers and bands with real instruments. Perhaps there are EDM artists that will have some kind of valuable input? But I'd gear this thread to live bands. I don't know about digital consoles but I have the notion that computer software will have so much more versatility than a dig mixing console. So many bands buy a computer recording software interface and do their album that way. I'm looking for people who have done that- then used what they did there in the live show. So easy to just take what you did in logic, transfer channel strips to MainStage or software of the like and dial in your 'album' sound for the live show. And yes, if tactile feel is required so easy to just get a midi controller with faders.
Old 1st August 2015
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneSoundRanger View Post
Thanks for asking! Search #lonesoundranger on instagram ppl upload stuff there all the time.
Wow. That looks spectacular!!
Old 1st August 2015
  #10
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Something like this is also done within the "bigger world". For example Linkin Park replicates their analog recording chains via digital console using plugins.
Old 2nd September 2015
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneSoundRanger View Post
Thanks for asking! Search #lonesoundranger on instagram ppl upload stuff there all the time.
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