Need advice on setting up sound at a gig

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by slayersid18, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. slayersid18

    slayersid18 New Member

    Just general advice technical knowhows and stuff what to do to nail the great tones at a gig: both outdoors and indoors. Spread your knowledge with those who need it!!!
  2. distorted

    distorted satan

    Nice thread! I always wanted to know dis...
    Aftr screwing up at lots of gigs, i pestered a lot of experienced guitarists fr hw to get the desirable tone on stage, hw to manage monitors n all...
    all of dem said, ''dont wry, it will come wid experience, evn i had this seeemingly never ending phase''
    Can anyone help here?
  3. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    What kind of gig are we speaking of. Would there be a PA.
    what kind of gear do we have?

    If we are talking about PA from proc, Make sure you set the tone with a flat amp/speakers.

    Hours of tweaking can leave your ears a bit tired and you may miss a lot of things. So, Keep a reference tone, Something that you like or know is good, so that You dont get too disoriented or too off the mark (balance wise), trying to get the perfect tone.

    Thats just my 2c.
  4. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone Well-Known Member

    Make sure they set up and switch on the ****ing monitors. All my gigs have been ruined because the sound guy decided we didn't need them.

    If you're using your own amp, try micing it rather than going through the speaker-out. Too much gain on that setting, at least with my amp.
  5. distorted

    distorted satan

    Yes, n a sound engineer to set up evrything.
    yes, i set the presets on my zoomG2.1u by running thru a stranger at certain tyms.
    N at place where i can carry my spider30, i wud use its effects only n give a line out. (so dats almost a similar condition)

    I had this tone problem at places where the PA system ws absolute crap, worst ws my own college.

    But the major problem is monitors... pls shed some more light on it... if sumbdy can pls elaborate how to set them up perfectly... Wt shud be highlighted on each monitor? N wt effect it makes on the sound carried to the PA system?
  6. distorted

    distorted satan

    N as 100th said micing the amp...
    The mics must be gud, n at least two mics shud b used, one close to the amp, n one at a distance.

    PS: i never miced my amp, dis wt i know frm a friend of mine who is quite experienced.
  7. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    The monitoring problem comes because the sound guy don't manage their gain correctly. They rarely set the correct preamp gain or trim as needed. Instead what they do is they take what ever signal level is coming to the board and then tries to ride the fader. I.e if your proc output is low they would just raise the faders to the maximum. So what happens is that if there is need to increase the faders further there is no more room. And the monitoring problem is also related to this.

    Suppose your Proc is outputting -15dB. The ideal thing to do would be to raise the level of the signal to 0dB with the channel preamp and then reduce or increase the levels as required for the mix with the faders.By doing this what you have is an assured 0bd (and + 15dB, depending on the mixer) available on the auxes to be sent to the monitors. Instad what they do is they let the low level come on the fader and then riase it to balance the mix. So you would have only a maximum of -15 dB signal for the auxes to be sent to the monitor.That means if one of your monitor mix is low there is nor way for them to further increase it.

    What you can try out is increase the output of the proc to a higher value. Even that doesn't necessarily work because the operator may turn down the preamp and mismanage the gain.

    Another thing you have to be careful about is the relative balance between to tones that you have. They have to be set relatively equal(depending on the song) For example, your clean tone for song 1 shouldn't be too loud compared to your dist tone on song 2. What happens is the guy turns down the level when it becomes too loud and then doesn't bring it up when you change to a quieter patch.
  8. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    You wouldnt do that in live shows. Chance of feedback. You would want to eliminate as much of background noise and leakage form drums. So an sm57 close to the cone is the standard.
  9. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone Well-Known Member

    I went through the speaker out of my amp and the gain was insane. My patches were FUBAR. I turned the gain down as much as possible on my channel and my processor to no avail.

    So the time I tried recording I did the same thing and got the same result with gain being too high. My phones out gives me no output, which I'm looking into.

    So the end result is that the tones I set up with my amp are of no use while playing live or recording, until I figure out how to actually use my freaking amp.

    I think for Indian gigging you need to be able to do as much as possible at your end and leave as little as possible for the sound-guy.
  10. satch_attack

    satch_attack New Member

    These are whatever i know

    I set all my patches using a pair of headphones.I set my tone and volume using them.Its easier for me since i use a digital multi effects pedal and hook my analog pedals into the effects loop if required.

    I always go direct to PA.This is another reason why i set patches using the headphones .The "tone" does not change much or is very difficult to notice in the mix.

    I try my best to make sure my patch volumes are equal.But sometimes it could be a problem where in, like previously stated patch maybe dramatically louder than the other.Personally,i always set higher volumes for clean tones when compared to dirty ones simply because i want them to be heard in the mix and the chances of them getting drowned are higher.

    Monitors are the only tools we have on stage to hear ourselves and setting their gains is tricky to say the least.It all comes down to the number of people playing on stage.Just make sure you tell the sound guy to balance the sounds correctly.You cant expect a lot from them.I have been in countless gigs in which i have played solos without me even being able to hear a single note.I just listened to the drummer and tried my best to stay with the beat.

    Never go on stage with "buzzy" cables.I have seen so many bands going on stage especially in competitions telling the people there that they will use their own cables .Half way through the first song, you get to hear pops n buzz's n what not.Noise of any sort(other that what you are playing lol) should never happen on stage.

    And the most important thing,practice playing your instrument.Look for note clarity rather than speed.So many bands go on stage n play crazy solos which sound like utter crap simply because they are not playing it "cleanly".What ever you play on stage,make sure its clear and precise.

    that is everything i know.People with amps especially half stacks must always mic there cabs.Since you are mostly going to be using analog pedals with your expensive amps ,volume equalization shouldn't be very difficult.Maintaining yours tones will also be easy because you will probably be setting all yours tones after listening to it through your amp after coloring.Be wary of feedback.
  11. thepacifist2013

    thepacifist2013 V.I.P Member

    You don't need two mics. A) Feedback. b) Phase interference. You might want to sound like Hetfield and end up putting out Hendrix tones.

    The standard is one dynamic mic with a cardiod pattern like a Shure SM57, Sennheiser E609 . Without getting into the technical details, a cardiod pattern eliminates stage noise as it picks up most of its sound coming from where it's pointed at. A super-cardioid, for example, should give you -10db at 90 degrees.

    Also, there is nothing wrong with mic'ing the amp. Cabs have been mic'ed successfully throughout the ears, and any fairly good sound engineer should be able to help you with that. Mic placement is also important. Watch to get an idea.
  12. wylder

    wylder Member

    A useful thing I learned off youtube is mic placement when micing the amp... the brightness of your amp can be varied by where you place your mic with respect to the centre of the cone of the speaker, the distance of the mic from the speaker and the angle the mic makes with the speaker.
    My favorite method is to place an SM57 midway between the center and the edge of the cone, perpendicular to the face of the amp and just touching the grille cloth. This works for my Mahogany bodied guitar through a Laney 15W Tube amp. Brighter guitar like Strats may need the mic to be more towards the edge of the cone. Similarly a darker amp will need the mic to be closer to the center for more highs.
  13. slayersid18

    slayersid18 New Member

    ummm....i might sound like a complete noob out here as i havent even gigged properly, done mostly acoustic sets with no mics on got chance to show off my line6 and an electric at our college fest....i'm talking pretty simple things here dont flame me for this but tell me can I take the amp output, mics output and get it mixed and EQd on a PC that runs into the PA??? If yes, how? (all we ppl know is the chords and stuff. we score zero at technical details.)
  14. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone Well-Known Member

    If you like high latency, go ahead.

    Mixer's are there for a reason. To give your sound a good mix. I can't imagine that your college will have a fest without a sound man. All your mics and other instruments will go to his mixer and what you can do is work out the best mix with him, note down the settings and ask him to put exactly those settings on when you guys are on stage. Don't expect miracles though, this requires a patient and co-operative sound man.

    Use the line out of your amp. It will bypass the cabinet and hence the PA will be your cab. Nothing you can do about that, at least the signal will be line level.

    Don't forget it's more important that you guys can hear yourselves and co-ordinate than sound like professionals.
  15. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    You would need a multi i/o audio interface for that. whats wrong wit the regular mixer anyway.
  16. angel_of_sin

    angel_of_sin bassist.....

    twice my gigs have been ruined because the sound guy decided to channel the vocalist through the PA and instrumentalists through the amplifiers...........the people at the back could only hear the vocalist and people in the front could only hear the instrumentalists..........

    .........i guess for such gigs middle seats are the
  17. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Whoa, I've had similiar problems. And we finally have answers ^^

    Great thread, I've learnt loads from this, looking forward to more here...
  18. wylder

    wylder Member

    That's a nice idea but the problem is latency. Latency is the delay that happens between the time you play a note and when it plays back through the PA.
    Fortunately electric signals travel fast enough for you to not notice much latency when you play through analog systems. But when you hook up a PC, a regular sound card is bound to have significant latency when converting signals from analog to digital for processing and back to analog. (I don't know much about high end sound cards n devices but latency is a big issue with the inbuilt ones you get on most comps).

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