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Not only will this send the soundman scrambling to the monitor EQ assuming there are monitor EQs , people in the crowd will yell obscenities. Drummers: Cut a roughly six-inch hole in your front kick drum head—near the outside edge, usually on the side. This is so the soundman can position the kick mic to pick up the beater s hitting the rear head. It will take more time for the soundman to gate out that ring and in some cases such as if there are no gates in the PA system , he might attempt to EQ the ring out, which can very easily result in drum sound suckage.
Their drum expert will likely be glad to help. Stick with only one kick drum. While on the subject, avoid an overly big kit. If you absolutely insist on bringing a big kit, also bring in some additional good quality mics and cables. This should be obvious, because the different drums in a kit require different treatments—in particular, EQ. What matters is what it sounds like out front.
Of course, the better it sounds on stage, the more stimulation you get to perform better. But the purpose of the monitor system is not for you to have a concert on stage. The purpose of the monitor system is for all band members to hear what is going on, and to hear each other. Open your ears and listen! But the truth is, more often than not, you are not listening. What most of you hear in your rehearsal space and what you hear on stage are not the same thing. In your rehearsal space usually a smaller room for most of you , you hear the sound of everything bouncing off the walls.
But on stage, the sound of everything kind of disperses into nowhere. This is where some ear training is necessary, which comes mostly from stage experience. Invest in an in-ear monitor system, but only if you can afford it and learn to set it up and use it correctly. But for that to work requires a good monitor system, so a silent stage will probably not be feasible in most situations. Small venues might have only an eight to channel board—and you have four vocalists, two guitars, a bass, drums, keyboard, hand percussion, a trumpet player, a synthesizer, etc.
So check out the PA before you expect the soundman to work miracles. Also, if you notice the FOH cabs are the equivalent of a pair of monitors on stands, you can forget about that uber-deep kick sound. For instance, you want your keyboard player to start off the third song. Let the soundman know ahead of time. Some actually can. Most bands are better off by far using the house soundman.
Because the house soundman knows the room and the house PA. Tell your people to leave the soundman alone. Do yourself another big favor and tell your people not to talk to the soundman, and just let him do his job. What your audience hears is in the hands of the soundman. He can be thought of as a hidden member of the band. He is just as passionate about what he does as you are. Live sound is largely correcting problems with subtractive EQ.
Compression should be used sparingly. The lead vocals should be the center of your attention. Focus on creating consistent dynamics instead of adding punch. Sure, there are plenty of excuses to compress the kick and snare, but the cymbals? The mandolin? Same goes for gates. Their main purpose is to reduce drum bleed.
The equipment on stage, the placement of the mics and even the temperature of the room that day can affect the way a show sounds. Similarly, if your presets were made for an indie rock group, why would you assume the same frequencies will work for a jazz trio or a metal band? Walk around the room and see how it sounds to the crowd. This is usually a problem for people who mix on digital desks or in the box.
The graphic on the screen is there to guide you, not make decisions for you. Use your ears. Or would it be Use your ears and make an assessment on how something sounds before you grab a knob to fix it. The 1 most important part of the mix, regardless of the genre, is the vocal.
You can hear the instrumental really loud at home. At a live show, the vocal is the center of attention. A common mistake is to mix all of the instruments evenly. That may sound good in headphones, but people are here for the vocals — so turn them up!
Another common balance problem is too much kick. Vocals and other instruments are very easily masked by the low end, so excessive subs can kill a show rather quickly. Finally, and this is difficult to type… there is such a thing as too loud. Honestly, your mix will sound cleaner and clearer at a reasonable level. If you want to work in live sound you need a thorough understanding of both.
Another common problem area is miking technique. Proximity effect and phase relationships can ruin a mix and are easily undetected by the untrained ear. Changeover can be tight. The fans will be mad. The band will be mad. Your boss will be mad. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
Depending on the quality of the kit, you'll need to compress. Overheads and cymbal microphones are of low priority. Even some small clubs that hold less than 1, people may not need amplification on the overheads. Sometimes, I'll mic the high-hat in a small room if the drummer plays it softly, but generally, it's not necessary. I prefer to compress the kick drum separately, and EQ with a boost in the mid frequencies. I also, as usual with most channels, cut out everything below 80Hz.
Here's another tip: if you've got a loud snare, but still want to add reverb to it, you can switch the reverb send on that channel to pre-fader instead of post-fader. That way you can still send the snare signal to the reverb unit while not actually putting any in the house! Quite simply, in most small rooms, you won't need to mics the guitar amps and bass cabinets.
In fact, I'm almost always finding myself having to ask the players to turn them down because they're too loud in the house. Sometimes you'll find you need more definition in the bass guitar , or your drummer will want more in their monitors. In this case, I'll put a DI box between the guitar itself and the amplifier. That way, you're in total control of the tone, and the amplifier on stage can still do its job as the player wishes. Acoustic guitars are a different matter. Sometimes, you'll find players with an acoustic amp, but those generally don't cut through the mix well.
Putting a DI box out for the acoustic is the best way to get the best sound; you'll need to carefully EQ it to avoid feedback. I always keep a Feedback Buster — a specially-designed round disk of rubber sold in most music stores — to lend to guitarists who don't have one. These block the majority of the frequencies from entering the guitar's soundhole, which prevents the major feedback problems you usually get. Mixing live sound isn't easy, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be doing fine.
It's really a lot more than just riding faders and setting gain, though; don't be afraid to really dig into the more technical concepts like compression and EQ. You'll be a much better engineer for it. Of course, mixing in a large club is completely a different deal — you have much more flexibility and you're fighting less with the loudness of the instruments in the room.
But for most situations, following these tips will give you the best sound possible! Joe Shambro. Audio is essential to delivering a professional live stream, after all. So make sure you remember to give yourself ample time to minimize room noise, test acoustics, and configure your audio encoding settings , and more. Test your stream with a backup account. A good way to test your stream before going live is to stream to a backup account.
In Facebook, for example, create a new account with no friends and set all publishing notifications to private. While your backup account is streaming you can log into your main account and view your broadcast from the perspective of your audience. Double-check automated publishing. Facebook Live and YouTube have settings that, when enabled, automatically publish your stream at a certain time.
This is called scheduling a live event. We recommend always double-checking that the scheduled event published correctly. Alternatively, you could simply publish the stream manually instead of using the scheduling feature! Topic generation gets easier with experience. Struggling to generate topic ideas? As you gain experience interacting and engaging with your viewers you become increasingly familiar with what topics resonate most deeply with your audience.
Streaming tips for a professional show Your pre-show activities are complete and your setup is rock solid. Monitor your stream with an external display. Confidence monitoring is essential to ensure a reliable and professional live stream. An extra display provides valuable perspective by letting you see your live show through the eyes of your viewers. For example — with our social media streaming device, Webcaster X2 , you can monitor your stream, see comments, and engage with your audience.
Look at the camera — not the monitor! Reference monitors are a fantastic tool for confidence monitoring purposes. Many live streamers us included like to place the reference monitor directly below the camera for easy access, but this location makes the monitor very tempting to look at for longer than needed.
Resist the urge to stare at the monitor to ensure your eyelines into the camera lens are correct! Respond to comments live if possible. Comments have a short shelf life, so get to it! Interacting with your viewers in this way helps boost engagement with your audience and keeps them coming back to your show for more.
Give yourself lots of pre-show prep time Getting prepared for a professional-quality live show can eat up more time than you think! Being organized and mentally ready is essential for delivering a top-quality live stream. Allow yourself more pre-show prep time to reduce stress levels and help ensure you deliver the best possible broadcast. Avoid placeholders — start right away. In the past, we used pre-roll placeholder images when our live streams began to give ourselves a bit of extra prep time.
Have someone monitor your stream if possible. Having an extra set of eyes on your live stream is very important. Add an extra host or guest. Not only is live streaming more fun and engaging with two or more people, but the added company offers fresh insights and perspectives to make your live show more interesting.
Having a guest on your live stream is also an excellent opportunity for cross-promotion i. Trim heads and tails if needed. Record your show locally. Professional live streaming made easy Epiphan Pearl-2 and Pearl Mini all-in-one video production systems are both easy to use for beginners and offer the high-end feature set AV pros need. Streaming tips to grow your brand Live streaming helps to nurture the growth of your brand in the online space. Share your live video in Facebook Groups.
Facebook Groups contain users that have a particular affiliation or share an interest in a specific topic. For example, there could be a Group for dog lovers, live streaming enthusiasts, or entrepreneurs. If there is a subject of interest, you can bet there is a corresponding Facebook Group. The trick is to find and join groups that are relevant to your live video content, and then spread the word about your live stream to attract new viewers and grow your brand.
Walking in and out of the little space, with the drums playing in the room, I was slightly disappointed with the lack of attenuation this offered. It did give a few decibels of reduction and dulled the cymbals slightly, but I made a note to think about how I might better seal off an area for future sessions. Mic-wise, I briefly entertained the idea of using two figure-of-eight mics to capture the guitar and vocals, as the rejection you can get from their side nulls can be seriously useful at controlling bleed.
The safe choice for the vocal, then, was my Shure SM7 dynamic mic. As the singer always knows to get right up close to the front of the mic, it also ensures a relatively consistent capture of a vocal, and tips the wanted sound vocal to spill ratio in your favour. The acoustic guitar was the real challenge. Although I could have captured a tighter acoustic sound with, say, a hypercardioid dynamic mic, I wanted to make sure the off-axis sound was as good as possible.
I chose my Neumann U87 for the task, and briefly experimented with the optional polar patterns available on the mic before committing to the cardioid setting, whose balance I preferred over the omni or figure-of-eight patterns.
A Neumann U87 capacitor mic, set to its cardioid polar pattern, captured the acoustic guitar while also picking up relatively clean-sounding spill from the drums — so effectively doubling up as a drum-room mic! Feeling satisfied that I had the three musicians set up and feeling comfortable in the live room, I headed back to the control room to make sure Edd and his upright bass were in position too.
The session relied on everyone, myself included, using headphones. This is one of the areas I like to set up before a band turns up when possible — even something as simple as ensuring all the different headphones have a good, consistent level can save you time when you need it most. A Neumann U87 was used on the double bass, along with the output of an in-built pickup. With just a few hours to get the songs down, it felt like people were getting a little stressed and feeling it might become rushed.
I got the band to play through the first track a few times to get used to the setup while I fine-tuned the mic preamp gains and worked on the headphone mixes a little. As the band would be taking the session away to complete the track themselves, I made a point of getting them to listen to a few things before we started recording properly. I briefly explained a few of my decisions, and it also gave me a chance to double check what we were capturing.
We were then up and away, and pleased to find that the first track went fairly smoothly. It was interesting for me to note, though, that as the band had been using this song to soundcheck as well, without the metronome, they were playing it a great deal faster than the tempo at which they planned to record it. I then got the band to settle into the prepared click speed for a few dummy runs of the take which I was recording, of course and just relax into the session.
The next few hours went really well, and the only real issue we faced was debating whether the songs were being played at the right tempo. Usually, we agreed that they were being played too fast. I wonder if Glyn Johns had to put up with stuff like this An Earthworks SR25 mic, placed just outside the sound hole, was paired with a Realistic PZM mic taped to the body, to capture a good, full sound from the Cajon.
We spent the remaining part of the first day listening back to the takes we had captured and doing a little editing between our preferred versions. Marcel had brought one of his new PZMs pressure-zone microphones — a half-omni boundary mic to the session. I combined it with my Earthworks SR25 kick-drum mic, which, placed just outside the hole, lent the cajon sound a nice, full low end. Sometimes you get lucky, and everything just falls into place, but this is usually with a group of musicians who have a natural balance, and where the style and performance lend themselves to a simple setup.
The drum-kit sound and the upright bass were the key ingredients for this sitting, and these were sounding really solid to me. First, somehow anyhow! I went in an hour early on both days, but I could easily have used another half-hour at least each time — particularly on the first day. Second, although I was forced to wear headphones during this recording, I think the session really benefited from me doing so.
Not only did I feel much more a part of things because I was hearing what the performers were hearing , but I found that I spent much more time fine-tuning the headphone mixes than I normally would have done, and this no doubt helped the musicians, which gives me food for thought.
Finally, I was reminded just how important finding the right tempo is to a successful recording — even if you do no other pre-production work at all, you should definitely work on getting the speed right. Alongside her vocals and acoustic guitar are Marcel Kunkel on keys, Edd Evans-Morley on a variety of bass instruments, and Paul Richard on drums and percussion.
The band play a colourful, uplifting selection of styles with hints of soul, jazz, folk and general acoustic goodness. You can find them online at:. Some audio excerpts from the session are available to download here: session-notes You can find them online at: www. Audio Examples Some audio excerpts from the session are available to download here: session-notes Buy PDF version.
Previous article Next article. New forum posts Re: Panorama T6 controller. While on the subject, avoid an overly big kit. If you absolutely insist on bringing a big kit, also bring in some additional good quality mics and cables.
This should be obvious, because the different drums in a kit require different treatments—in particular, EQ. What matters is what it sounds like out front. Of course, the better it sounds on stage, the more stimulation you get to perform better. But the purpose of the monitor system is not for you to have a concert on stage. The purpose of the monitor system is for all band members to hear what is going on, and to hear each other.
Open your ears and listen! But the truth is, more often than not, you are not listening. What most of you hear in your rehearsal space and what you hear on stage are not the same thing. In your rehearsal space usually a smaller room for most of you , you hear the sound of everything bouncing off the walls. But on stage, the sound of everything kind of disperses into nowhere. This is where some ear training is necessary, which comes mostly from stage experience.
Invest in an in-ear monitor system, but only if you can afford it and learn to set it up and use it correctly. But for that to work requires a good monitor system, so a silent stage will probably not be feasible in most situations. Small venues might have only an eight to channel board—and you have four vocalists, two guitars, a bass, drums, keyboard, hand percussion, a trumpet player, a synthesizer, etc.
So check out the PA before you expect the soundman to work miracles. Also, if you notice the FOH cabs are the equivalent of a pair of monitors on stands, you can forget about that uber-deep kick sound. For instance, you want your keyboard player to start off the third song. Let the soundman know ahead of time.
Some actually can. Most bands are better off by far using the house soundman. Because the house soundman knows the room and the house PA. Tell your people to leave the soundman alone. Do yourself another big favor and tell your people not to talk to the soundman, and just let him do his job. What your audience hears is in the hands of the soundman. He can be thought of as a hidden member of the band. He is just as passionate about what he does as you are.
He takes pride in his mixes, gear, etc. So it only makes good sense to respect the soundman and cooperate. Just having an understanding of what makes the soundman tick can go a long way toward getting a great mix on your next gigs. You can find it at Amazon. For a FREE sneak preview, click here. The book is also available in PDF format.
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