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Old 11-26-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
WesM.Vaughan
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Questions about live sound

I am surprised that there is not a live music forum and after searching not even a live sound thread.

According to this thread, it is best to be able to play without monitors in small venues:
http://www.drummagazine.com/plugged...monitor-mix/P2/

1. Guitar amplifiers are directional which also means uni-directional?

2. How is it possible to place your amp on stage so that everyone is able to hear it including yourself?

3. if an amp is on an amp stand, is it possible that some one who is shorter is able to hear it better than someone who is taller?

4. Why do people want more of certain instruments in their monitor mix? If you do not hear what the audience hears, then how can you gauge your dynamics?

Another thread with possible setup. I like the setup diagram.

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f203/...ctional-779299/
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:46 PM   #2
tim_mop
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I'll try and answer all those:

1: At lowish frequencies they are near omnidirectional, i.e they radiate everywhere. As you move up the frequency spectrum they effectively become more directional. High frequencies only really go forward.

(this is why when you mic an amp it can sound awful: if the guitarist doesn't point the amp directly at himself then he doesn't get the high frequencies, so compensates by boosting them, making the front of house sound really tinny!)

2: Its not really. The only place that it might work is on a stand, facing the audience, in line with the back of your head. Not very practical! Hence amps are mic'ed often.

3: Not better, but they might hear a different sound because of the HF beaming (I explained in 1)

4: Some parts of a mix are more important than others. Obviously, most people want to hear themselves clearly, so they want more of that in their monitor feed. Bassists might want to hear more kick and snare, so that they can better lock on to the drummer's timing.

The reason its best not to use monitors in small venues is that they're detrimental to the front of house sound. Because its balanced differently in the monitors and again because of high frequency beaming it can really unbalance the front of house sound.

Hope that helps!
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
omidmash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesM.Vaughan
I am surprised that there is not a live music forum and after searching not even a live sound thread.

According to this thread, it is best to be able to play without monitors in small venues:
http://www.drummagazine.com/plugged...monitor-mix/P2/

1. Guitar amplifiers are directional which also means uni-directional?
-what?!
2. How is it possible to place your amp on stage so that everyone is able to hear it including yourself?
-place it behind yourself.
3. if an amp is on an amp stand, is it possible that some one who is shorter is able to hear it better than someone who is taller?
-audience wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
4. Why do people want more of certain instruments in their monitor mix? If you do not hear what the audience hears, then how can you gauge your dynamics?
-some bits require playing in harmony, except that it's all down to personal preference. I like to have Bass and drums dominating in my IEM and have keyboard and lead guitar lower.
Another thread with possible setup. I like the setup diagram.

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f203/...ctional-779299/


Answered your questions. I think you are paying too much attention to small detail. Unless you are playing for 10000 people, none of it would make a difference once the tech dude mics your amp up. Then it's all up to PA and what they do.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesM.Vaughan
I am surprised that there is not a live music forum and after searching not even a live sound thread.


that is getting worked on. here is a great place to start.

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/...utions/columns/

phill has some great articles on working with live sound and PA's, there is a 3 part PA series and also "A Guide To Live Sound" that should be useful

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesM.Vaughan
According to this thread, it is best to be able to play without monitors in small venues:
http://www.drummagazine.com/plugged...monitor-mix/P2/

well, that is a little misleading, from what i gather from that article is they are advocating in-ear monitoring over wedge monitoring, this helps keep excess sound off of a small stage. if you want to do in ear monitoring then you will need the equipment to pull it off.

[QUOTE=WesM.Vaughan]1. Guitar amplifiers are directional which also means uni-directional?


kinda/depends. speaker cabinets use speakers that don't have a totally flat projection surface (the speakers are coned shaped). in a closed back speaker cabinet most/all the sound will be projected out the front in a shape that may be considered 'uni-directional'. but certain cabinets are open backed (like combo guitar cabs) and sound will be projected out the front and the back (this can actually be useful and open back cabs can help 'fill a spece' with sound with proper placement).

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesM.Vaughan
2. How is it possible to place your amp on stage so that everyone is able to hear it including yourself?


not 100%, especially if you are using closed back cabinets. if you place an open back guitar cab a few feet away from the wall then sound will fill a room more. a bass player's notes are lower than a guitarists, and lower notes are not perceived to be as directional as the higher notes of guitars (this has to do with wavelength and reflection), so bassists can generally fill a room with their sound better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesM.Vaughan
3. if an amp is on an amp stand, is it possible that some one who is shorter is able to hear it better than someone who is taller?


i was going to bring up a 'speaker stand' in the last statement, but you ask the question here so... a speaker stand will point an amp upward projecting the sound toward the ceiling, the sound will then bounce off of the ceiling and into the crowd. also, if you stand in the right place you will be in the direct path of the sound projection. this can be favorable when using stage volume but is generally not that effective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesM.Vaughan
[QUOTE=WesM.Vaughan]4. Why do people want more of certain instruments in their monitor mix? If you do not hear what the audience hears, then how can you gauge your dynamics?


monitoring isn't always about hearing what the audience is hearing. personalized mixes can be beneficial for individuals. like the drummer might not wanna hear as much vocals in his mix as much as the audience would (he may want more bass guitar and rhythm guitar), while the singer may wanna hear more drum and personal monitoring, etc. it really depends upon the preferences of the individual.

personally i use a mostly 'stage volume' setup at most of my gigs cuz we had no sound guy, the gigs were small and i didn't have the equipment. i actually used two guitars on either side of the stage to help project the guitar better into the crowd, with the bass and drums placed in the middle of the stage.

a more ideal setup would be to keep stage volume to a minimum and use a sound guy to control the mix and monitoring.
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Last edited by gumbilicious : 11-26-2012 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #5
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Check this out:

http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/EM900

Just get a receiver for everyone who needs to hear themself. They cost less than a lot of wedge monitors.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:27 PM   #6
WesM.Vaughan
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Thanks a bunch for the replies! A few follow up questions:

(this can actually be useful and open back cabs can help 'fill a spece' with sound with proper placement)

How do you accomplish this exactly?

So did the dual amps help you hear yourself better or was that because of the stage volume of the other players?

It seems to me that unless you are standing right in front of your amp (when i do this, I can hear myself fine) that you wont be able to hear your self without some sort of monitoring system, without cranking your amp and destroying FOH.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesM.Vaughan
Thanks a bunch for the replies! A few follow up questions:

(this can actually be useful and open back cabs can help 'fill a spece' with sound with proper placement)

How do you accomplish this exactly?


you just place the OB cab a few feet from the wall ~3' or more. this allows the sound to bounce off it an disperse. if you place the cab too close to the wall it doesn't disperse as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesM.Vaughan
So did the dual amps help you hear yourself better or was that because of the stage volume of the other players?


first off, i raised both cabs off the ground (they were 1 speaker cabs) to a little above waist level. this got it close to my ear

i actually stayed near my cab when playing for my own monitoring. but the bass player on the other side of the stage could hear me better with the 2nd cab. really i didn't run the double speaker setup for monitoring as much as amplifying out to the crowd. we were a power trio and i wanted to sound full, so i'd run the cabs on either side of the stage and point them toward the middle of the audience.

i did also do some stereo effects to abuse the spacial offset, but that was not really the point of the setup. the real point was to reinforce the projection coverage. mind you, i wasn't using FOH mains at most of these small gigs, i was using stage volume.

if you have monitoring systems, then you wouldn't need two amps at all (unless you just wanted them for tone purposes..

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesM.Vaughan
It seems to me that unless you are standing right in front of your amp (when i do this, I can hear myself fine) that you wont be able to hear your self without some sort of monitoring system, without cranking your amp and destroying FOH.


this is where the mic stand would come in handy, you could mic the amp, lower the volume and point it right at your head if you wanna run it that way. but i just raised the cabinet off the ground and put it closer to ear level.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:24 PM   #8
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Some guys will place the amp sideways so everybody else can hear it. But usually it's just the guy on the other end of the stage that can't hear you and he's probably just the bass player anyway so who cares? His main job is to fetch beer.

But seriously, the answer is - mike the cab and send some of it to the foldback for the other guys to hear if they need it. Individual foldback mixes are good for this because you can send some to the bass player who needs to hear it without the singer cracking the shits because he can't hear himself over you.
Getting a good foldback mix is an art in itself.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbilicious
that is getting worked on. here is a great place to start.

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/...utions/columns/

phill has some great articles on working with live sound and PA's, there is a 3 part PA series and also "A Guide To Live Sound" that should be useful



You're making me feel guilty now as I haven't finished the series I promised. Too many gigs recently.

There has been a perennial problem about live sound, threads appear in GG&A, Recordings, and Bandleading (Musicians Talk) and I've approached the mods of all three to find a permanent home for live sound. Recording has a whole forum so it looks as if UG thinks the point of learning guitar is to stay in your bedroom. I think Dan (gumbilicious) is having more luck so watch this space.

Anyway the idea of splitting the speakers in a stack so you have one each side of the drums was the common way of dealing with the highly directional nature of guitar cabs when I used to mix in the seventies. Some of the older guys still do this. The other solution which I have moved onto is to put a little of the guitars through the front-of-stage monitors.

Unless you are looking at a full stack with speakers at head height I'd always use an angled stand for a guitarist so they hear what the audience hears, otherwise the temptation for them is to have too much top to their sound as this will miss their ears.

We all want a different mix depending upon our personalities and skills. If as you say you hear the same mix as the audience you can control the dynamics of your playing better and play more sympathetically with the rest of the band. If you are louder than the rest of the band in your mix you can hear yourself better and control things like intonation more accurately, things like bends and vibrato often go to pot if guitarists can't hear themselves. Some people are better than others at picking themselves out of the mix and it is a skill that can be learned. Some people just want to hear themselves and are a liablity as they will drown out other players on a small stage where we share the same sound pretty much. Trying to hear what the audience hear would make you a dream to work with, wish you were in one of my bands!
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