The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Live Sound - what dirty tricks do other engineers play?
Old 31st January 2007
  #91
Lives for gear
 

Seriously guys... I am 51 and I have been running sound in every type of venue possible since I was in high school.
I have owned and built FOUR full studios since 1975.
I have built or re-built about eight rooms in that time.
There is not a lot of audio that I have not been involved in.

Your statements in the "flame war" had even me confused!
I didn't know what you were talking about.

It is simple:

The pre amp or mic gain sets an optimal gain level for the console's circuitry that follows.
It is VERY easy to see the proper gain setting for any given source on most all consoles.
Generally, there will be a meter that shows the amount of gain when you solo the channel.
Another good test is if you can set all of the faders at "0" and have the main output meters in the proper range. Most current design consoles have good enough gain staging that this is possible. Some older consoles fall down in this dept.

The mic gain or pre amp has nothing to do with how much gain you will get before feedback. Obviously, if you have the system at a level right before feedback and and increase the mic gain the system wil feedback. You increased the gain, but ANY gain stage would create the same thing.

Don't worry too much about knowing what to do on a large rig because there is going to be a system tech and he is responsible for the rig. If he doesn't think that you are capable of handling the rig then he won't let you mix on it.
I value our medium sized rigs at about $145K and I am not going to allow anyone to learn or play around on it.
It might seem like a "dirty trick" but it isn't a toy or a carnival ride!

I have seen an "experienced" monitor mixer toast THIRTY TWO 18" drivers within two weeks on a MAJOR tour. This was in two events!
He was hired by the artist, but he didn't hang around after the second "incident."
That'll follow him around for a LONG time.

I have seen "experienced" F.O.H. guys that were hired by the band try to mix the show in a remote truck for broadcast and render the broadcast un-airable.
These were "name" guys, but they knew live and nothing about mixing a live show in a remote truck.
I didn't care because I was pre-paid.
It only happened twice because I only let it happen twice.
Call me slow.

Live event production takes a completely different discipline than studio work.
There is a lot of work to be done in a short period of time.
There are probebly only a few people at the venue who know what the complete rig looks like when it is set up.
The rest of the people are hired to do the LABOR and they need direction.
Since people have a lot of different personalities, levels of intelligence (sp?) and personal agendas they need to be "guided" in [plain simple terms.
In almost ALL set ups there will be a time when you have to be forcefull and upset someone's world, but that is part of life.

Yes... a lot of people at live events do think that they are the end-all / be-alls.
The worst ofenders are guys who have worked a few years and are not completely clueless.
They realize that they do know something, but they want you to believe that they know EVERYTHING.
The sad truith is that no one is asking what they know!
For some reason they feel compelled to tell you though.

The classic statement:
"I absolutely require a Midas XL What-ever."
The classic question that occurs once the person requesting the Midas gets behind the console:
"Your rig is different. How do you route the outputs?"

Don't get too far ahead of yourself.
Don't worry about stuff before it's time.
Old 31st January 2007
  #92
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by synthoid View Post
I have measured this effect myself, not in a live setting, but in the studio. The "sensitivity" setting, as it is often called (and for good reason), does not have the same effect on a microphone as amplification after the preamp. I am not sure why this is so, but it is not hard to measure. It can change the "reach" of a microphone, and dramatically so.

-synthoid
Are you sure that both both controls were calibrated? Maybe you were hearing the added electronics in the chain after the pre.

Don't forget that the mic-pre is the first gain stage in the chain, and by reducing mic-gain you affect everything else in the chain. So to measure this empirically you must remove the EQ and/or any other processing inserted in the chain.
Old 31st January 2007
  #93
Lives for gear
 
synthoid's Avatar
 

Microphones have different pickup patterns. Some are very tight cardioids. Some are very wide-reaching omnis.

The sensitivity setting on a preamp input can change this pattern. I've measured it.

I'm not saying it happens with every mic and preamp. But I'm saying that it does happen. And if you don't believe that pickup patterns make a difference to feedback, then take your 58s away and put up M-149s set on omni at your next festival.

-synthoid
Old 31st January 2007
  #94
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by synthoid View Post
Microphones have different pickup patterns. Some are very tight cardioids. Some are very wide-reaching omnis.

The sensitivity setting on a preamp input can change this pattern. I've measured it.

I'm not saying it happens with every mic and preamp. But I'm saying that it does happen. And if you don't believe that pickup patterns make a difference to feedback, then take your 58s away and put up M-149s set on omni at your next festival.

-synthoid
Oh boy....Mic-pre gain does not in any way shape or form, affect the pickup pattern of a microphone.

Mic-pre gain affects the sensitivy of the system...not the sensitivity of the microphone.


Yes, the pickup pattern of the microphone will have a great effect on gain before feedback ratio, but this fact was never in debate.
Old 31st January 2007
  #95
Lives for gear
 

This thread is going crazy. the thing anyone needs is experience. Suggestion like not using compressors is total bs, with most bands you have to crank compressors which means the rest of your gain structure has to be right or your in trouble.

anyway my advice is simply this, find a small local venue talk nicely to the engineer and try and get some experience. expected to be turned down several times and when you do find someone who will take you on you have to be proactive and get stuck into whatever is going on, biggest problem I’ve had with people that say they want to lean is that they stand on the side and in most shows there isn’t time to explain every part of a system. Don’t expect to be paid at first, do and do expect to be yelled at but don’t take it personally people in this industry people aren’t trained to be managers and how to deal with people and often you will just get yelled at, fix your mistake move on then after the show have a beer with them.

if you go out with out any experience you will get your ass handed to you on a plate, that’s assuming the house engineer will even let you touch the system. there are so many things that are so different live and its a very different workflow there are so many limitation of a system you have to be mindful of and not just moving from studio to live but every level of a live system.

only use the mics the venue has been tuned for which 99% of the time will be sm58s, and dont **** with the house eq until you know what your doing. if you have the channels split your vocals to separate channels for FOH and monitors so you can use the channel EQ.

Never drive a system to hard, particular be mindful of your monitor send levels, some musicians are just deaf and you have to know the limits of the system if you continue to crank a fold back and you end up blowing a horn you wont be looked apon very kindly next time you want to mix a band.

when people dont know the system they often will drive it a little hard so it isn’t uncommon for the house engineer to slightly slower the threshold of the master compressor. keep an eye on your levels and gain reduction and keep

and always carry a sharpie a roll of tape so you label everything, you may not see the point at first but when everything turns to **** you will know why, unfortunately you will also find most venues are poorly labelled. it also helps to carry some tools, spare cable, cable tester, spare 57 and 58 and some decent ear plugs.
Old 31st January 2007
  #96
Lives for gear
 
xmostynx's Avatar
 

The mic pre 'gain' has every thing to do with how big the polar pattern of the mic gets...

Also with how sensitive that mic is to things two feet to twenty feet away.. These are just random distances!

The man said the same thing I said... He repeated what I said...


I had to explain myself all day...but he said what I said... If nobody believes it.. Try it.. That's it! This thread has gotten nuts!!!!
Old 31st January 2007
  #97
Lives for gear
 
analogtodd's Avatar
 

wow...
just wow

This thread has decided to defy the laws of physics...

I've said all I'm going to say.
Old 31st January 2007
  #98
Lives for gear
 

the gain changes the relitive size of the pickup if you want to look at it that way but it does not in any way change the pickup pattern.

what can effect the pattern due to changes in frequency responce is the input impedence of the preamp. IMO the input impeedence is to high on most live console for the common mics that are used if you are only running a single console.
Old 31st January 2007
  #99
Lives for gear
 
analogtodd's Avatar
 

Wait...
Forget what I just said.

Dude, you seriously need to stop posting stuff like this:

"The mic pre 'gain' has every thing to do with how big the polar pattern of the mic gets..."


Its not true
it never has been true

Please please please
instead of making a bigger hole for yourself, just
let it go.

As a matter of fact, this is EXACTLY the kind of BS, I was speaking of earlier
that people come up with and try to pass off as fact.
Old 31st January 2007
  #100
Gear Nut
 
o---'s Avatar
 

I'm suprised I'm saying this, but it may be possible that the GL-4000 just has pre-amps that have hi-frequency stability issues.

Nothing in electronics (in the overall system) is linear. You encounter varying level of capacitance at several different voltage levels not on a linear scale. Or you could seperately or simaltaneously find that the electromagnetic fields inside the pre-amp change the way the spectrum being transduced by the mic are amplified or transfered to the next gain stage. All kinds of weird ****!

Last edited by o---; 31st January 2007 at 04:38 AM.. Reason: poorly thought out spelling and ideas - just clarifying
Old 31st January 2007
  #101
Lives for gear
 
xmostynx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyt View Post
Wait...
Forget what I just said.

Dude, you seriously need to stop posting stuff like this:

"The mic pre 'gain' has every thing to do with how big the polar pattern of the mic gets..."
are you kidding me? what the hell is the gain knob for? is that just to make the whole damn console look pretty? you turn up gain to pick up MORE from the mic..hello man this is ****ing common sense, i'm getting pissed off now-

if you have a weak signal, -20dB you turn up the gain to get MORE of that signal..

when you have a weak signal that mic is picking up LESS of the source-

you turn it up to get MORE of the source- a mic with a gain of -20dB is NOT going to pick something up20 feet away-a mic cranked up real hot to -3dB IS going to be able to pick up something further away like 20 feet away-

i'm not digging any god damn hole-
its ****ing the basics man...

the dude said it himself..you CAN turn down the gain of the mic, and give it a bit MORE of the monitor and still not get feedback because the mic is less SENSITIVE to the monitor sitting on the floor..

and cranking up a mic is not going to make a directional mic omni- no where did i say anything like that- its going to let a directional mic have a further distance that it can pick up..


thats all i'm saying- thats all I have BEEN saying
and for christs sakes! this man argued with me all day and then AGREED with me-did you forget to read that?! jesus christ
Old 31st January 2007
  #102
Old 31st January 2007
  #103
Old 31st January 2007
  #104
Lives for gear
 
xmostynx's Avatar
 

now i'm gonna state this one more time

if you LOWER the gain on the mic 3dB- with a mic dynamic microphone

http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/Produc...M58-CN_content

properly rung out. you will be able to push the send back into the monitor-3dB AS WELL as a few MORE dB 2-3dB more BEFORE FEED BACK.

there is no defying physics-or bull **** about this

everyone go and try this- and when you have a hotter MONITOR, with no feed back..try doing it the opposite way..by turning the monitor DOWN 3dB-the mic gain down 3dB and then give the mic 2-3dB MORE what will happen? the hollow ready sound of feedback waiting to take off..

go try this-PLEASE go and try this.
Old 31st January 2007
  #105
Lives for gear
 
Jim Kerr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmostynx View Post
are you kidding me? what the hell is the gain knob for? is that just to make the whole damn console look pretty? you turn up gain to pick up MORE from the mic..hello man this is ****ing common sense, i'm getting pissed off now-

if you have a weak signal, -20dB you turn up the gain to get MORE of that signal..

when you have a weak signal that mic is picking up LESS of the source-

you turn it up to get MORE of the source- a mic with a gain of -20dB is NOT going to pick something up20 feet away-a mic cranked up real hot to -3dB IS going to be able to pick up something further away like 20 feet away-

i'm not digging any god damn hole-
its ****ing the basics man...

the dude said it himself..you CAN turn down the gain of the mic, and give it a bit MORE of the monitor and still not get feedback because the mic is less SENSITIVE to the monitor sitting on the floor..

and cranking up a mic is not going to make a directional mic omni- no where did i say anything like that- its going to let a directional mic have a further distance that it can pick up..


thats all i'm saying- thats all I have BEEN saying
and for christs sakes! this man argued with me all day and then AGREED with me-did you forget to read that?! jesus christ


The Diaphragm of a microphone whether it "is plugged in or NOT" is designed to have a reliable and consistent pickup pattern, physically. (It does not change).

When you increase the gain on the present signal that is picked up by the physical diaphragm you ARE increasing (Magnifying) the signal that exist after it/sound has been "vibrated" onto the diaphragm. The gain will not make the diaphragm vibrate more (unless you achieve feedback) nor will it "change" the character of the diaphragm (Microphone)/pickup pattern. The gain will increase the conversion of electrical information after it has left the microphone.

Yes you can turn the gain up to hear things that seem more "quiet".
Old 31st January 2007
  #106
Lives for gear
 
Jim Kerr's Avatar
 

and cranking up a mic is not going to make a directional mic omni- no where did i say anything like that- its going to let a directional mic have a further distance that it can pick up..


thats all i'm saying- thats all I have BEEN saying
and for christs sakes! this man argued with me all day and then AGREED with me-did you forget to read that?! jesus christ[/QUOTE]


I know what you mean but you are incorrect.

Microphones don't get louder. Speakers do!
Old 31st January 2007
  #107
Lives for gear
 
xmostynx's Avatar
 

I know what you mean but you are incorrect.

Microphones don't get louder. Speakers do!


now this is like-hey lets undermine xmostynx..

i'll continute to push my monitors like this- and you all can continue to think this doesn't work..or its impossible. ok? sounds good.
Old 31st January 2007
  #108
Gear Addict
 
Tim Abraham's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmostynx View Post
The mic pre 'gain' has every thing to do with how big the polar pattern of the mic gets...

Also with how sensitive that mic is to things two feet to twenty feet away.. These are just random distances!

The man said the same thing I said... He repeated what I said...


I had to explain myself all day...but he said what I said... If nobody believes it.. Try it.. That's it! This thread has gotten nuts!!!!

I'm not sure that you understand what the term "polar pattern" refers to.

A polar pattern is the description of a microphone's sensitivity relative to the angle of the incoming sound wave. It is not said to get "bigger" when more mic pre gain is applied.
Old 31st January 2007
  #109
Lives for gear
 
xmostynx's Avatar
 

you know what-

if everyone wants to sit here and pick apart how i describe this and that and what adjective i use to describe sound- lets put the money where it matters..

someone post up a mix of some stuff they did live. and compare it to some mixes that i've done live..

and if my mixes suck ass compared to yours- you can know, that your a 'better' engineer than me..

i'm willing to do this- anyone else?
Old 31st January 2007
  #110
js1
Lives for gear
 

OK, if I can slightly change direction here ask a question...

I've started wearing ear protection at live shows (as an audience member) since I'd like to keep what hearing I have left. Last year, in 3 different shows for pretty major bands, I could clearly hear major feedback/ringing on the kick and (in one case) the floor tom that destroyed the low end. It wasn't obvious when I pulled them out and my ears were getting pummeled.

So, do you live sound guys ever wear ear protection (like "musician" earplugs?) for loud shows? If so, were they easy to get used to?

js
Old 31st January 2007
  #111
Lives for gear
 
xmostynx's Avatar
 

i'm only aloud to mix at 95dB-peaks hitting nothing above 100dB

so my SPL meter stays around 95-98 sometimes hard kick hits to the system or the singer yelling makes me hit 100
Old 31st January 2007
  #112
Lives for gear
 
Jim Kerr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmostynx View Post
I know what you mean but you are incorrect.

Microphones don't get louder. Speakers do!


now this is like-hey lets undermine xmostynx..

i'll continute to push my monitors like this- and you all can continue to think this doesn't work..or its impossible. ok? sounds good.

Dood, what your saying works, no doubt. You turn it up and it gets louder. Yes "gain structure" IS the key.

You also argued that microphones get louder and have a larger pickup pattern when turned up. That is incorrect actually. I know it sounds weird, I had to think about it myself and no I'm not undermining you. Really

Gain is a weird topic. When gain is set properly (to each's own) things are good lets say. (Live/Monitors) At that point if you increase the db's in ANYFORM to where there is feedback it is because a speaker has gotten louder and has traveled further into the mic's path to which point the mic reacts..etc, not because the "mic got louder".

However its normal to say "Turn this mic up".
Its really relative
Old 31st January 2007
  #113
Lives for gear
 
xmostynx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kerr View Post
Dood, what your saying works, no doubt. You turn it up and it gets louder. Yes "gain structure" IS the key.

You also argued that microphones get louder and have a larger pickup pattern when turned up. That is incorrect actually. I know it sounds weird, I had to think about it myself and no I'm not undermining you. Really

Gain is a weird topic. When gain is set properly (to each's own) things are good lets say. (Live/Monitors) At that point if you increase the db's in ANYFORM to where there is feedback it is because a speaker has gotten louder and has travel further into the mic's path, not because the "mic got louder".

However its normal to say "Turn this mic up".
Its really relative
allright i'm wrong!
Old 31st January 2007
  #114
Lives for gear
 
Jim Kerr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by js1 View Post
OK, if I can slightly change direction here ask a question...

I've started wearing ear protection at live shows (as an audience member) since I'd like to keep what hearing I have left. Last year, in 3 different shows for pretty major bands, I could clearly hear major feedback/ringing on the kick and (in one case) the floor tom that destroyed the low end. It wasn't obvious when I pulled them out and my ears were getting pummeled.

So, do you live sound guys ever wear ear protection (like "musician" earplugs?) for loud shows? If so, were they easy to get used to?

js

When I mix as a monitor engineer I will wear attenuating earplugs WHENEVER needed, which has been 50% of the time. It does get insanely loud. Especially 20 feet up directly off and above stage right in monitor world where a snare hit just kills. Plus when its a complete bass trap. The Job of a monitor guy is....well you know.

I like to vibe with the band and sometimes amazing things happen, where the band will actually be dynamic in/with the house and the performance rips. At that point you can feel what the band might need monitor wise. Actually Patti Smith re-introduced that "that's whats up!" feeling to me. She's work monitor wise.
So earplugs? (Monitors) When the band has earplugs themselves no problem, If its just to loud yes! FOH engineer no!
Old 31st January 2007
  #115
Lives for gear
 
Jim Kerr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmostynx View Post
allright i'm wrong!
You had said if you lower the mic gain you could get more out of the monitor,
I agree.

Same thing like puting a mic through a super "high gain" distortion. That mic will feed back and there can be a whole less amount of output to or from the amps.

I see what you mean.
Old 31st January 2007
  #116
Here for the gear
 
rikvee's Avatar
 

How to be a nice guest sound person

Hi Matt,

if you're still around, here's some advice from a fellow Australian soundman:


- prepare a tidy stage plot with the date, the act and your name and number on it and include thick lines for monitors, and indicate mic and stagepower positions

- contact the main soundperson a few days earlier and ask them what would be a good time for you to be there, and ask if you can have time for a soundcheck

- once there, make sure you introduce yourself to people way before you need to ask them for their help

-walk the room and listen while the PA is on so you know how ballpark your mixing position will be.

- ask the main soundperson how the fx are routed, and if you have to do monitors, walk the stage till you are happy yourself before you ask the performers to comment

- appear confident to the performers, while getting as much help as you can from the other soundcrew (this is quite a trick, but very important!)


You'll need a lot more experience to do a good job, but with a polite and helpful attitude you will be around long enough to actually get that experience....


Greetings from Fremantle,

Rik the Fly by Night Soundman.
Old 31st January 2007
  #117
Lives for gear
 
Harley-OIART's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie_techie View Post
the thing anyone needs is experience. Suggestion like not using compressors is total bs... {SNIP - Rest of Post Informative -Harley}
That is BS, unless of course you are reffering to the monitor engineer, where Compression in the Monitors is generally a poor idea.

[For those who might not know why, It is because compression in the monitor mix gives the preformer a "false" sense of level. So a vocalist might strain his voice trying to get louder as an example. Maybe maybe you can sneak a little on the bass guitar, snare, or overheards (probably a fair bit more on the overheads) but in general it is a no-no.

compression @ FOH is a whole other situation. "Slam away" =) j/k Dynamics are good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmostynx View Post
you know what-

if everyone wants to sit here and pick apart how i describe this and that and what adjective i use to describe sound- lets put the money where it matters..

someone post up a mix of some stuff they did live. and compare it to some mixes that i've done live..
I understand the frustration at the time of posting this. Just gonna say though that in reality : you can't post a live mix. Live Engineering is merely sound reinforcement, not audio postproduction where you have balance control over every element. If I posted a board mix of some of the shows I have done I would get criticized all day long on this board by inexperienced people who might not understand why there is no guitar, bass, or heck even snare in my mix. Things like bastardly loud stage volume because the guitarist secretly cranked his amp like a prick, (same with bass amps), or perhaps an out of control monitor engineer who is letting the stage push 299dB SPLa

Commonly live engineers end up having to take a channel right out of the mains cause the stage volume is doing a fine job as is. Its sound 'reinforcement'.

Get the band sounding good, and mixed well, then give them the bare minumum as far as monitor needs go, get everybody really happy and ready, then mix front of house when the show starts.

Best sounding show I ever did was in a tiny restraunt, with a bit of vocals, and a hint of guitar in the mains. 6 peice jazz band. Sounded phenomenal IMHO.

Anyhow I'm just saying you can't really do that.

Technically you could record with a set of QTC50's in the middle of the mostpit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kerr View Post
Gain is a weird topic. (Live/Monitors) At that point if you increase the db's in ANYFORM to where there is feedback it is because a speaker has gotten louder and has travel further into the mic's path, not because the "mic got louder".

However its normal to say "Turn this mic up".
Its really relative
Thanks Jim for the good post, and for helping clear up the heatedness of the thread

P.S.

To : xmostynx

At what settings do you typically have your channel faders? Zero / Unity?

Just curious
Old 31st January 2007
  #118
Lives for gear
 
waveterm's Avatar
 

Patrick,

although I confirm what you have experienced in regards to being able to push the 2-3dB´s more than the cut in the preamp, I´m amazed that you still fail to see the difference in arguments and why the anomality is happening.

Facts :

Lowering 6 dB in one place in the signal chain and then adding 6dB at another place in the signal chain equals no change.

Microphone polar patterns are not changed by micpreamp gain. The only thing that changes a microphones polar pattern are the influence by cold temperature and/or other magnetic objects.

WT
Old 31st January 2007
  #119
Gear Addict
 
bobby yarrow's Avatar
 

This thread is another reminder of how much I love our soundguy and assistant. I'm comfortable in just about any studio, but I think I'd **** my pants doing live sound.
Old 31st January 2007
  #120
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby yarrow View Post
This thread is another reminder of how much I love our soundguy and assistant. I'm comfortable in just about any studio, but I think I'd **** my pants doing live sound.
If this thread is indicative of the level of modern engineering talent, (barring a very few)....then heaven help us.

I had hoped that this discussion would not be about "winning" but about learning instead, but apparently this is not the case. No wonder more experienced engineers have decided not to participate.

If you only knew...........
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump