Live Sound Engineering Tutor?

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Roy Roy 5 years ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 35 total)
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  • #46698
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    What RC said!

    Find an engineer – ideally one that knows the Qu & has an iPad – and have them come to a gig when there’s decent soundcheck time. They’ll probably be able to sort your problem with you and with the desk on stage as normal. Though getting a pfl headphone mix to them would be very helpful.

    I’m not over the sea, but still the best part of 200 miles away. But if you’re ever heading South, then shout!

    #46699
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Again, any gigs Brum/Cov way…

    #46701
    Profile photo of Lee7
    Lee7
    Participant

    I am only based up the road nr Preston so if you are ever this way I can help you out. Feedback is never an issue at our gigs, but we are very disciplined with a quiet back line. Been using the QU since January 2014 and for me it has to have been the best £1700 I have spent on gear. Made life so much easier, especially when I do PA & Back-line hire for a promoter I work for during the year, multiple bands and acts on during a 3 day & night music weekend.

    Lee

    #46702
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    If there is feedback, then what is feeding back?

    That certianly is the million pound question.

    I totally appreciate everyones responses and some interesting ideas have been knocked around which I will look into but this post was to help me find a tutor. That was why I didnt put much information in my initial post. We seem to be going off topic here.
    I am still looking for a tutor local to Staffordshire.
    Again, mnay thanks.

    Given your other questions posted previously about counteracting guitar/drum bleed into vocal mics, your interest in gates and your statement that “I’m currently depressed with my very basic skills as a sound engineer and after one too many gigs with ridiculous feedback coming through vocal mics the second the drummer plays anything”, I’m pretty sure you’re using gates on the mics and when the drums open them up you are faced with the fact that your entire setup is out of adjustment from the git-go.

    I understand if you don’t want to post the info that would expose the weaknesses in your setup/knowledge, but hey…isn’t that what we’re here for…to share our experience and insights with one another? No need to be embarrassed about it.

    If and when you find local help, look for basic system setup knowledge. While the Qu is an integral part of the system and incorporates many of the tools necessary for FINE TUNING, it is not within the scope of the desk itself to address issues of speaker deployment and DSP. It is this knowledge I recommend you seek.

    Good luck and don’t buy the magic beans…

    #46707
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    I try to get all my feedback out of the way in the soundcheck – I’m not always successful – something normally changes when you get a large number of meatsacks into a venue… But ringing out in the soundcheck is still useful.

    I now have more than half of the band on IEMs, and all of them trusting me for volume (which is often difficult for a band to concede). The others have personal monitor mixes, but through wedges. That gives a good balance between stage volume and everyone being able to hear – it also makes setup easier (since a headphone amp takes less setup than a set of wedges, and much less room!)
    Personal monitors can feed more guitar back to the lead guitarist – this does two things:
    – Lowers the required output volume of the amp for the guitarist to still get thumped in the chest…
    – Points half of the remaining on stage volume AWAY from the audience, and the vocal mics (although the drum mics get it of course)

    Similar thing apply to other sources…

    The positioning of the FOH speakers is also key, and it just an experience thing…

    Off Topic – I’d love to have seen a headphone amp built into the QU outputs, probably selectable via a dipswitch over each mix output. I *know* it’s added cost for a limited audience, but it would make shifting to IEMs really easy…

    #46712
    Profile photo of coffee_king
    coffee_king
    Participant

    Hey All
    Embarrassed? Nah, I’m never embarrassed.
    As people request knowing more, I shall divulge

    3 piece rock (ish) band
    1 x electic guitar amp – Mic’d with an SM57
    1 x bass amp – DI’d
    1 x lead vocal while playing bass – AKG D5 (Thats me) – At front of stage
    1 x lead vocal while playing guitar – Sontronics STC-80 – At front of stage
    Drums – All drums individually mic’d (Including overheads) but I cant remember what mics the drummer uses – At rear of stage

    2 x Yamaha MSR400 tops
    1 x Yamaha MSR800 sub
    QU16
    Qu-Pad

    Speaker deployment: What do you mean as in where do I put the speakers? – Further towards the audience than the mics. Pointing inwards a little towards the dancefloor.
    DSP – What do you want to know?
    Usual size of venue: Never really any larger than 10m x 15m
    Usual number of guests: Under 150
    Usual venues/types of gigs: Wedding/Birthday/Corporate at wedding reception halls, conference centres, marquees etc etc.
    Usual position at venue: Tucked into a corner, but I will always try to get the client to have the band instead be at the one end of the room, playing out the full length of the room.

    Notes:
    I usually mic everthing so we can record the band live.
    I dont always put everything through the PA.
    Vocally we had been using SM58s all our lives until we found the D5 and STC-80 had such better presence and clarity.
    We all use IEMs.
    We don’t play overly loud (We play to the volume of the drummer whose not a massive hitter)
    I dont have my QU16 in front of me now as its stored away. (But can pull it out if requested)
    Pretty much once the soundcheck mix is done, thats it locked in unless I feel like uping the volume of the vocals later in the set.
    I dont know what the term “GBF threshold” means, nor a lot of terminology that is spoken on here as I am self taught in everything Ive ever done in my life after leaving school many moons ago.
    I would prefer to know how to not have these issues/deal with them myself than buy something that will work, but just mask the issue. Must that PA2 does sound like a great bit of kit)
    Ive always seemed to have had trouble with spill from the drums and guitar amp coming through the vocal mics when someone isnt standing in front of them.

    So there you go….
    BTW should I NOT be using gates on vocal mics?

    Cheers

    #46713
    Profile photo of dcongdon
    dcongdon
    Participant

    “GBF”=Gain Before Feedback.

    Knowing what DSP you have on each input/output is going to play a big part in what the forum can offer as possible solutions. What are your EQ settings for vocals? How much compression are you using on kick/snare/vocals/outputs? Can you upload your show file for QU users to inspect?

    IMHO, if I were mixing from the stage, I would stay away from gates on everything but toms and possibly kick/snare. If your drummer plays softly or dynamically, gates are more trouble than they are worth. I would also make sure to only cut/compress content (e.g. cut frequencies vs. boosting frequencies, compress but do not use make-up gain, etc.). Without an extra set of ears at FOH, boosting/adding anything is risky. I would also use short delay and reverb with all FX returns EQ’d with a HPF around 250-350Hz and a LPF around 4-6kHz. That is where I would start.

    Again, seeing your show file might reveal a completely unrelated issue that is causing feedback.

    #46714
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    So there you go….
    BTW should I NOT be using gates on vocal mics?

    BINGO!!!!!!!

    #46720
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    “So there you go….
    BTW should I NOT be using gates on vocal mics?”

    BINGO!!!!!!!

    I had to add another reply as the “edit” function times out….

    I fear what has happened as that you took MarkPAmans suggestion of using an Optogate and figured any gate would do. NOT SO!!!!

    Even an Optogate presents problems in that, although it is activated by the physical presence of the vocalist, when the gated mic “slams” open (as is the nature of hard gates…nada to infinity instantly) you get a lot of ambient sound in a rush even though your physical presence may occlude PART of the sound.

    ANY kind of gate in live vocal performance is generally a no-no. Things like this are meant for unattended presenters mics for speeches, church sermons, etc…NOT live sound on stage.

    Dump the gates. Then you can start to work on the REAL problem(s).

    #46723
    Profile photo of debzdoodle
    debzdoodle
    Participant

    I think folks realized that you had asked if anyone local to you could help you learn, but the comments here, with the limited information you gave were attempts to help you out meanwhile – assuming you might not find anyone to help you right a way – if at all. My comment assumed you needed help becoming familiar with using the processing as you had said you had ‘very basic skills as a sound engineer’ but I also suggested setting up everything the way you do live when you have plenty of time and spend some time with the system in a live setting as ‘practice makes perfect’. It is easier to tame feedback as and when it occurs and to take note of what you did to stop it so the live setting could still be of benefit to you whilst you gain knowledge from others and what you might read. Guidance and education are essential but spending the time to try different things would benefit you.

    #46726
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    Fx channels HPF at 250-350 would make for some pretty thin sounds. Especially verb. IMHO. But that’s decades of studio preference coming out. Plus a ton of live work. I want some fullness. Natural verb has low end.

    #46731
    Profile photo of dcongdon
    dcongdon
    Participant

    I would agree for the most part. My personal preference is still to HPF the FX return around 150Hz, but it depends on the situation.

    My previous suggestion was intended as a conservative approach. If I were dealing with feedback while mixing onstage, I would look for ways to eliminate low and high frequency transients that could cause or create the sense of instability in the mix.

    It has been said before, but using feedback supressors or gates is a poor way to manage GBF…better to have all channels wide open and stable. Use those tools only as a last resort or for artistic preference (e.g. gate drums for a tighter mix…not to manage feedback).

    #46874
    Profile photo of coffee_king
    coffee_king
    Participant

    Hi all
    As requested here is a SHOW FILE (Ziped) from my last decent sounding show.
    Please note that there ARE gates on vocals etc (Which I am now no longer using)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/i6koaugqwm71mx9/SHOW0000.zip?dl=0

    Let me know if youd like to know anythign else.

    Thanks

    #47610
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    Have a look at the first of these:

    http://www.britanniarow.com/training/

    #47611
    Profile photo of coffee_king
    coffee_king
    Participant

    Hi Mark
    Great idea, but its way to far away from me I’m afraid.
    Plus I LOATHE London. 🙂

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