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How do you get the mix to sound good live?
Old 17th March 2017
How do you get the mix to sound good live?

Hey Paul

Given your use of external synths & drum machines in your live set up, I'm interested to hear about how you get the mix to sound good live.

From my experience, the raw audio from synths/drum machines can be somewhat unruly and often needs taming with EQ to make it fit in the mix or to avoid excessive low end.

So I was wondering - do you have each synth patched into a channel on your live mixer with the eq set up before hand?

And if so, what happens if you want to use the same synth for a different track where the eq needs to be different? e.g. on one track the SH101 is a lead sound, and on another it's a bass sound.

Was thinking a digital mixer would be the solution to this - where you can store eq settings and recall for each track - but note that you appear to have been using a Midas analogue mixer where recall isn't possible.

Also to what extent do you rely on the Front of House Sound Engineer? Do you use the venue sound engineer? or do you tour with your own?

Also for synths without recall, how do you remember and change the paramater settings if you're using the same synth on different tracks? Or do you keep things simple by having one sound per synth?

Old 18th March 2017
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paul h's Avatar

Hi Solon.

It's all a lot simpler than that! We just use the synth/drum machine as is put through a desk or more recently into the sound card and then mixed in abelton. In the Midas we just eq as needed per track , in abelton I don't have anything , just the raw sound. I find the trick is to use the right sound from the start that way your in the right place .

With regards to synths like the Macbeth M5n I just reset the sound per track and make a feature of it or have it out of the track while I quickly set it up. Then when I bring it in I fine tune the sound. It's always diferent but always in the same ball park. It goes from lead to bass and back again a lot in a set . some times I'll use osc1 and 2 for the bass while prepping osc 3 for the next lead line and then when the change comes between tracks you can cross fade and get creative on the fly.

For orbital shows we always take a front of house engineer who knows what's coming so they can compensate for any wayward frequencies . For smaller solo shows I just send out stereo and use the in house engineer , who are usually very good if something sounds bad.
Old 18th March 2017
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paul h's Avatar

How do I remember the peramiter settings on synths? Easy, practice !
Old 19th March 2017
Cheers Paul - really interesting to get your perspectives on this!

Inspiring to hear that you keep things so simple and that you're dialling up the synth sounds live.

It's been a real treat to have the chance to hear about your production techniques and approach to playing live - thanks for putting the time in!

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