Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Live setup advice

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
November 22, 2004 2:31:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

Hi,
I have a limited number of compressor channels (4 RNC's) for the following
live light rock/folky band set up : -

1 - Drums kick
2 - Drums snare
3 - Drums O/H
4 - Bass
5 - Elec guitar 1 - mainly rhythm
6 - Elec guitar 2 - mainly lead
7 - Vocal lead
8 - Vocal backing

I'm worried about grouping channels and putting them through the
compressors. My thoughts are currently :-

Group drums, put through RNC 1
Group vocals and put through RNC 2 (super-nice mode)
Bass through RNC 3
Elec guitars through RNC 4

Normally I have as many channels of compression as I need in a DAW
environment and occasionally running out to the few outboards I have, but
I'm starting to get into live sound too, so being limited is a bit new to me
(its terrible, I've been spoilt!), so any advice would be much appreciated.

My concerns are:
Snare and kick will cause weird affects with the cymbals in the O/H's.
Perhaps the O/H's do not need compression. Same problem with vocals, if one
singer suddenly hits a loud spot, the backing singers volume will be
reduced, and vise-versa, same problem with guitars.

I could get some more compressors, but I'm not convinced I need them yet,
and I am starting to run low on my current budget, and this gig is before my
next pay day !

I know this is all a bit vague, but I'd be interested in any advice or
experiences people may have. I know when I record and mix this band I use a
fair amount of compression, it is especially needed on the bass in this
particular case.......

PS, I am also sticking an Aphex Dominator II on the mains to catch
transients mainly from the drums and bass.

Cheers,

Mark.

More about : live setup advice

Anonymous
November 22, 2004 2:31:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

In article <41a12404$0$113$65c69314@mercury.nildram.net>,
>
>I know this is all a bit vague, but I'd be interested in any advice or
>experiences people may have. I know when I record and mix this band I use a
>fair amount of compression, it is especially needed on the bass in this
>particular case.......

Do a sound check without any compression at all. Hell, you may find you
don't even need to _mike_ the drum kit let alone compress it. Once you
have heard the rough sound check THEN it's time to start worrying about
what needs dynamic processing. Until you've actually heard the thing
live through the PA, set aside all your preconceived notions from doing
the recording work. When you're using the PA, you're reinforcing the live
sound from the band itself, not replacing all of it. It's a very different
ball game.

>PS, I am also sticking an Aphex Dominator II on the mains to catch
>transients mainly from the drums and bass.

Why? Transients are _good_.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
November 22, 2004 2:31:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

"Mark" <marks@nospamhere.net> wrote in message
news:41a12404$0$113$65c69314@mercury.nildram.net...
> Group drums, put through RNC 1

Do that but mix the original uncompressed sound in with them and use heavy
compression. Instant fat drum sound. DO NOT compress cymbals.

> Group vocals and put through RNC 2 (super-nice mode)

Will only work properly if the singers work well together.

> Bass through RNC 3
> Elec guitars through RNC 4

Again, mix in the uncompressed sound by routing the channels to LR as well
as to the groups. Fattens the sound right up.

Phildo
Related resources
Anonymous
November 22, 2004 4:01:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

> >I know this is all a bit vague, but I'd be interested in any advice or
> >experiences people may have. I know when I record and mix this band I
use a
> >fair amount of compression, it is especially needed on the bass in this
> >particular case.......
>
> Do a sound check without any compression at all. Hell, you may find you
> don't even need to _mike_ the drum kit let alone compress it. Once you
> have heard the rough sound check THEN it's time to start worrying about
> what needs dynamic processing. Until you've actually heard the thing
> live through the PA, set aside all your preconceived notions from doing
> the recording work. When you're using the PA, you're reinforcing the live
> sound from the band itself, not replacing all of it. It's a very
different
> ball game.

Agreed, an entirely different animal, and a wilder one too. There is no
pattern that can apply to any one venue hosting different performers, nor to
any one band playing different venues. I love it when a guitarist says "put
the mic here, and use this EQ setting".

That being said, I generally use compression only on vocals and only when
headroom is tight and stage volume is high, or if something's dynamics are
intolerably erratic, heaven forbid. That's mostly my preference, but I
certainly do not recommend applying compression arbitrarily or as standard
practice. I especially hate when it's used as a cosmetic effect.
November 22, 2004 4:58:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

Sugarite wrote:


> I generally use compression only on vocals and only when
> headroom is tight and stage volume is high, or if something's dynamics are
> intolerably erratic, heaven forbid. That's mostly my preference, but I
> certainly do not recommend applying compression arbitrarily or as standard
> practice. I especially hate when it's used as a cosmetic effect.

Yep. The best use for dynamics processing in live work is to protect HF
drivers. (here you need a limiter, unfortunately, not something the RNP
does well). Second is to fix SPECIFIC problems.
Anonymous
November 22, 2004 6:48:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< DO NOT compress cymbals. >>

Unless you like the way Ringo sounded.


Scott Fraser
November 22, 2004 11:17:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

Ok, there is a small detail I left out of the problem. The P.A. _might_ be
a tad underpowered. It is certainly powerful enough to play CD's through in
this venue with room to spare, but since a live band's dynamics are a bit
wilder than a produced CD (because of compression and limiting and the fact
players are more eratic live), I was hoping to tame it all a bit, just in
case. I have now got some extra power in the form of another amp and a
couple more speakers of equal power so that might help.

Any further suggestions ? Perhaps the limiter I have will be the main route
for saving the small P.A. I know I can usually get an extra 3 or 4 db from
using a limiter (sparingly!) when I'm pseudo "mastering" for demo purposes.
I know I should upgrade my P.A. sometime soon already ;-) Also I realise
its just re-inforcement, so again I am probably worrying about nothing. Its
a toss up between getting an extra 2 compressors or a nice Neumann KMS 105
for vocals ;-) I think perhaps I'll go for the mic....

Thanks very much for your help so far ! :-) Any further constructive
comments would be much appreciated. I think this whole experience will be a
good learning experience, and make a interesting change from just recording.

PS to the person who asked if I'm recording the gig too, yes I am, into a
DAW. I'll be using the direct channel outs on the Crest XR20 console
(switched to pre-fader) so (I think) that'll be bypassing all compression,
etc, so I can apply that later in the DAW.

Cheers,

Mark.
--

"Mark" <marks@nospamhere.net> wrote in message
news:41a12404$0$113$65c69314@mercury.nildram.net...
> Hi,
> I have a limited number of compressor channels (4 RNC's) for the following
> live light rock/folky band set up : -
>
> 1 - Drums kick
> 2 - Drums snare
> 3 - Drums O/H
> 4 - Bass
> 5 - Elec guitar 1 - mainly rhythm
> 6 - Elec guitar 2 - mainly lead
> 7 - Vocal lead
> 8 - Vocal backing
>
> I'm worried about grouping channels and putting them through the
> compressors. My thoughts are currently :-
>
> Group drums, put through RNC 1
> Group vocals and put through RNC 2 (super-nice mode)
> Bass through RNC 3
> Elec guitars through RNC 4
>
> Normally I have as many channels of compression as I need in a DAW
> environment and occasionally running out to the few outboards I have, but
> I'm starting to get into live sound too, so being limited is a bit new to
> me (its terrible, I've been spoilt!), so any advice would be much
> appreciated.
>
> My concerns are:
> Snare and kick will cause weird affects with the cymbals in the O/H's.
> Perhaps the O/H's do not need compression. Same problem with vocals, if
> one singer suddenly hits a loud spot, the backing singers volume will be
> reduced, and vise-versa, same problem with guitars.
>
> I could get some more compressors, but I'm not convinced I need them yet,
> and I am starting to run low on my current budget, and this gig is before
> my next pay day !
>
> I know this is all a bit vague, but I'd be interested in any advice or
> experiences people may have. I know when I record and mix this band I use
> a fair amount of compression, it is especially needed on the bass in this
> particular case.......
>
> PS, I am also sticking an Aphex Dominator II on the mains to catch
> transients mainly from the drums and bass.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Mark.
>
>
Anonymous
November 22, 2004 2:53:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <20041121224807.10458.00000617@mb-m25.aol.com>,
ScotFraser <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote:
><< DO NOT compress cymbals. >>
>
>Unless you like the way Ringo sounded.

Or the Ventures!
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
November 22, 2004 3:41:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

"Mark" <marks@nospamhere.net> wrote in
news:41a19f7d$0$103$65c69314@mercury.nildram.net:

> Ok, there is a small detail I left out of the problem. The P.A.
> _might_ be a tad underpowered. It is certainly powerful enough to
> play CD's through in this venue with room to spare, but since a live
> band's dynamics are a bit wilder than a produced CD (because of
> compression and limiting and the fact players are more eratic live), I
> was hoping to tame it all a bit, just in case. I have now got some
> extra power in the form of another amp and a couple more speakers of
> equal power so that might help.

Start off with just the vocals going through the PA and the backline and
kit left to their own devices. If you have sufficient volume that way your
work is pretty much done. You may possibly want to also add in a bit of
kick through the PA as well.


>
> PS to the person who asked if I'm recording the gig too, yes I am,
> into a DAW. I'll be using the direct channel outs on the Crest XR20
> console (switched to pre-fader) so (I think) that'll be bypassing all
> compression, etc, so I can apply that later in the DAW.
>

In this case the backline would need to be micced (obviously), but it may
not be necessary to actually send it through the PA. I find it handy just
to set up a couple of ampient mics for recording gigs, even when using the
direct outs on the channels, in order to catch the audience response and
the general sound of the room.
Anonymous
November 22, 2004 4:51:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

Mark <marks@nospamhere.net> wrote:
>Ok, there is a small detail I left out of the problem. The P.A. _might_ be
>a tad underpowered. It is certainly powerful enough to play CD's through in
>this venue with room to spare, but since a live band's dynamics are a bit
>wilder than a produced CD (because of compression and limiting and the fact
>players are more eratic live), I was hoping to tame it all a bit, just in
>case. I have now got some extra power in the form of another amp and a
>couple more speakers of equal power so that might help.

Wait, the PA is underpowered, so you're going to put more stuff through the
PA so you can control the dynamics? Do you see something wrong with this?

If you are worried about the PA, take as much of the backline out of the PA.
For God's sake, get the drum kit out of the PA. The less you amplify, the
less work the amplification system has to do.

>Any further suggestions ? Perhaps the limiter I have will be the main route
>for saving the small P.A. I know I can usually get an extra 3 or 4 db from
>using a limiter (sparingly!) when I'm pseudo "mastering" for demo purposes.
>I know I should upgrade my P.A. sometime soon already ;-) Also I realise
>its just re-inforcement, so again I am probably worrying about nothing. Its
>a toss up between getting an extra 2 compressors or a nice Neumann KMS 105
>for vocals ;-) I think perhaps I'll go for the mic....

By all means the KMS105. Tighter pattern microphones are a huge deal in
keeping leakage down, and keeping leakage down is the whole name of the
game.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
November 22, 2004 8:45:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

Hi Mark,

I'm not a professional but I'm using a similar setup, that is 4
Compressors and same band setup.

I usually use this setup:

Lead Vocal(s) to Group and Comp 1
Backing Vocal to Group and Comp 2
Kick - Comp 3
Snare - Comp 4

The e-guitars are usually EQed and compressed by the backline. I don't
care about that; my guitar players are doing that themselves. I just mic
the backline boxes.

It might work to group Kick and eBass and put in into 1 compressor.
Havn't tried it extensivly but works.

Give it a try.

Cheers
Frank


Mark wrote:
> Hi,
> I have a limited number of compressor channels (4 RNC's) for the following
> live light rock/folky band set up : -
>
> 1 - Drums kick
> 2 - Drums snare
> 3 - Drums O/H
> 4 - Bass
> 5 - Elec guitar 1 - mainly rhythm
> 6 - Elec guitar 2 - mainly lead
> 7 - Vocal lead
> 8 - Vocal backing
>
> I'm worried about grouping channels and putting them through the
> compressors. My thoughts are currently :-
>
> Group drums, put through RNC 1
> Group vocals and put through RNC 2 (super-nice mode)
> Bass through RNC 3
> Elec guitars through RNC 4
>
> Normally I have as many channels of compression as I need in a DAW
> environment and occasionally running out to the few outboards I have, but
> I'm starting to get into live sound too, so being limited is a bit new to me
> (its terrible, I've been spoilt!), so any advice would be much appreciated.
>
> My concerns are:
> Snare and kick will cause weird affects with the cymbals in the O/H's.
> Perhaps the O/H's do not need compression. Same problem with vocals, if one
> singer suddenly hits a loud spot, the backing singers volume will be
> reduced, and vise-versa, same problem with guitars.
>
> I could get some more compressors, but I'm not convinced I need them yet,
> and I am starting to run low on my current budget, and this gig is before my
> next pay day !
>
> I know this is all a bit vague, but I'd be interested in any advice or
> experiences people may have. I know when I record and mix this band I use a
> fair amount of compression, it is especially needed on the bass in this
> particular case.......
>
> PS, I am also sticking an Aphex Dominator II on the mains to catch
> transients mainly from the drums and bass.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Mark.
>
>

--

------------------------------------------------------
Frank Kopp
Schlehenring 9
85464 Finsing

tel: +49 8121 771350
fax: +49 8121 771351
vanity: +49 700 - frankkopp (+49 700 372655677)
mobil: +49 176 245 173 35

email: frank@familie-kopp.de
Anonymous
November 24, 2004 6:53:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Or the Ventures! >>



Oooh, now I want to walk, don't run, right out & pick up a Ventures greatest
hits & hear what they did with drums.


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 12:20:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,alt.audio.pro.live-sound (More info?)

Mark wrote:

> Ok, there is a small detail I left out of the problem. The P.A.
> _might_ be a tad underpowered. It is certainly powerful enough
> to play CD's through in this venue with room to spare,

Being polite we can assume the average level to be around -15 dB.

> but since a live band's dynamics are a bit wilder than a produced CD
> (because of compression and limiting and the fact players are more
> eratic live),

Natural sound sources (full ensembles naturally recorded) tend to have
an average level - way simplified, the real world is a lot less simple -
around -27 dB for chamber music sized ensembles, jazz groups included.

> I was hoping to tame it all a bit, just in
> case. I have now got some extra power in the form of another amp and a
> couple more speakers of equal power so that might help.

You need 10 dB more apparent power for live music than you need for
playback of canned music. The first 6 dB of those can be gotten by
clipping the PA *if* it is by design "clip-tolerant".

> Any further suggestions?

Major sound processing is not - imo - likely to be appropiate unless the
situation is one of replacing the direct sound from the stage as with a
large festival size PA.

> Perhaps the limiter I have will be the main route for saving
> the small P.A.

I see a lot about technology solving problems and not much about the
sane use of the equipment by the operator in your post. Sound
engineering is something that YOU do. A simpler setup is quite likely to
sound cleaner. Yes, having limiting integrated in the PA to have the
limiter acting rather than clipping the amps can be wise, but one should
define the amp and loudspeaker setup prior to making too precise
statements about this.

> I know I can usually get an extra 3 or 4 db from using a limiter
> (sparingly!) when I'm pseudo "mastering" for demo purposes.
> I know I should upgrade my P.A. sometime soon already ;-)

Just remember that hearing- as well as loudspeaker damage is largely,
but not solely, a matter of the average power, so banging the mix
against the limiter may void the asumptions behind the powerhandling
specs of your rig.

> Also I realise its just re-inforcement, so again I am probably
> worrying about nothing. Its a toss up between getting an extra
> A 2 compressors or a nice Neumann KMS 105 for vocals ;-) I think
> perhaps I'll go for the mic....

Good poweramplification and good loudspeakers and dynamic mics is likely
to do more for your sound than less good loudspeakers, less good
amplification and costly condensers. One does of course always have to
obtain a sensible balance, <read slowly> but you yourself say that you
need more to carry the sound more than you need more to capture it with
</read slowly>. If it if a choice between extra hardware compressors or
KMS 105, of course the KMS 105 wins.

> Thanks very much for your help so far ! :-) Any further
> constructive comments would be much appreciated.

In your long term planning you should think digital mixing and
processing, also for live PA. From a long term viewpoint money spent on
analog sound processing contraptions could be seen as money unwisely
spent.

> I think this whole experience will be a good learning experience,
> and make a interesting change from just recording.

Hopefully it will also be a _nice_ learning experience!

> PS to the person who asked if I'm recording the gig too, yes
> I am, into a DAW. I'll be using the direct channel outs on
> the Crest XR20 console (switched to pre-fader) so (I think)
> that'll be bypassing all compression,
> etc, so I can apply that later in the DAW.

Wise, less is more. Notice how this style of writing makes it easy to
grasp the context of the comments made.

> Mark.


Kind regards

Peter Larsen

--
*******************************************
* My site is at: http://www.muyiovatki.dk *
*******************************************
!