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Phil Starr
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Join date: Oct 2007
575 IQ
#41
Yes, I'm a fan of these mics too, lovely clean sound with just a bit of top end lift to help cut through. Always liked Sennies. It's good to all use the same mic's tooif you get the chance as the critical feedback frequencies are the same for all of them making it easier to kill the howl.
AlanHB
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Join date: Aug 2008
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#42
I have a preference for the Beta 58 and Sennheisser e945. These mics seem have the best combination of sound and feedback recjection for the price, as well as being good multi-purpose mics.I wouldnt say one is better than the other, it simply depends on your voice.

I have a Beta 57, which is great for vocals, but I simply prefer the sound of the others. My Beta57 has been issued to cajun drum duties.

Any reason you guys didn't look at the Beta58?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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Phil Starr
Tab Contributor
Join date: Oct 2007
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#43
Essentially the E935 and the E945 are the same mic in a different mounting so that the 935 has a cardioid pickup pattern and the 945 is the supercardioid so the 935 is more forgiving but the 045 will give you better feedback rejection if used well.

the Shures are again basically the same mic, both super cardioids but the Beta58 has a tailored response to cut the bass and give a boost to mids which will brighten the vocal sound. The 57 will be warmer sounding, Which you choose depends upon your voice really and the 57 reputedly flatters female voices more than the 58.

The only way to choose between these is to try them really, though the Sennhesers are cheaper. All good mics really.
AlanHB
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Join date: Aug 2008
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#44
^^^ in Australia the Sennheissers are more expensive. Weird.

I've found one thing about the Beta 57 is that it tends to cut straight through the mix if there are other vocalists using other types of mics. Obviously you should try to keep all vocal mics the same, but it's something that might need to be taken into account if you have more than one singer in a band, and they aren't all armed with a Beta 57 - whoever has the Beta 57 will dominate all. I find it an issue when mixing harmonies.

I try to avoid general sweeping statements like "x mic is better for girls". That said Ive found that the e945 is better for girls and the Beta 58 better for boys . Thats just based on my own preference though. One day I'd like to have a full set of both to accomodate for different situations
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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AlanHB
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#46
Quote by Phil Starr
A full set of boys or girls?


Whoever the lead is I guess.

While Im here Id like to give a big shoutout to the DBX DB12 and DB10 direct boxes. They are ridiculously good. Previous to them I used Berhinger and Art DIs, and whilst they did the job, they kinda sucked the tone out of my acoustics. The DB12 is quite simply brilliant, especially for the price.

So basically if you play an acoustic guitar live, you owe it to yourself to get one of these DIs and take it to gigs.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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Phil Starr
Tab Contributor
Join date: Oct 2007
575 IQ
#47
Just thought I'd do an update on the mic front now we've tried the new condenser mic. Remember, the reputation of these is that they sound lovely but are fragile and prone to feedback.

They sound lovely, they really do. Not in a slap you round the face, listen to me way but a subtle filling in of detail. It just gives you more of the work the singer is putting into their vocals, subtleties of tone come out. Our singer at least shows more confidence in her vocals due to the improved sound and is trying things she only ever did before when singing acoustically. It's all so natural sounding. If you have pride in your vocals you are going to want one of these.

Feedback isn't a problem, I didn't try getting my level meter out but we A to B's with an SM58 we use for backing vocals and the KSM9 gave us at least 3dB extra gain before feedback. In my acoustically nasty front room that meant that from not quite being able to lift the vocals over the band we could afford to run as loud as we liked with a bit of headroom to spare. Shure at least have cracked this problem. The pickup pattern is pretty tight, you have to really address the mic straight on and the pickup falls pretty quickly as you move away from the mic so you have to have decent mic technique. Our non-techie singer soon worked this out though, this mic is a great teacher. If you couldn't adapt this particular mic has a switch to make it into a cardioid.

Fragility will have to be assessed over time but I've since talked to a friend who uses the Shure Beta 87 which he has dropped 'more times than enough' with no problems so far.
Phil Starr
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Join date: Oct 2007
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#48
I've updated the setting up and soundchecking section for anyone following this.

If any one has any questions or comments it's be good to hear from you.
Phil Starr
Tab Contributor
Join date: Oct 2007
575 IQ
#49
Personal vocal monitors.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with these. I've just tried out two The Mackie SRM150 and the Behringer clone, the B205D. Basically what you get is a little box with a 150W class D amp built into a box with a three channel mixer and a dedicated 5" speaker. The idea is that you put it on your mic stand and use this to monitor your own vocals, or if you are performing in a small space you can use it as a mini PA.

The first thing to say is that these things sound pretty poor, think very loud transistor radio. The second thing however is that they work. They don't need to sound good, they just need to let you know how your voice sounds over the band. You don't need bass because there really isn't any in your voice and you don't need lots of presence because this would only give you feedback problems, as a vocalist all you really need is middle and enough of it to hear yourself over the racket the band are making.

Setting up is simple, you have two choices, unscrew the boom from your mic stand and screw in the supplied adaptor. Put the amp on this then screw on the second adaptor and the boom goes on top of the amp. It's a bit wobbly but it works. If you have space on stage and you want something a bit more stable just use a second mic stand and the amp can sit anywhere around you. Now plug your mic in the front and take a lead from the back to the PA and you are away. One thing, don't put them too close if they are less than 1m away they are too much and you won't hear the rest of the band properly and if they are closer to the mic than your ears you will get feedback.

There's a second input for your guitar or another mic' and a third for an ipod or similar. three tone controls and a master volume. The balanced output is switchable between mic level and line. This output is post (after) mix and tone controls but pre the master volume so set up the volume with the master half way on the monitor then set the PA to that and only adjust the master once you start the performance so it doesn't upset the PA mix. The tones are useless, there isn't any bass or treble to adjust and you'd want a flat response to avoid feedback anyway.

These won't completely replace floor wedges either. You can't hear them if you don't have a monitor of your own, the drummer is going to hear nothing of the vocals in most cases. Ultimately though this isn't the point, the monitors sit at about an arms length away from you and you can turn them up as loud as you like without it getting into the sonic field of the rest of the band. You can effectively have your own vocal as loud as you would practically want and without too many problems of howlround. With someone as useless a singer as me it gave a huge confidence boost with pitching, for our proper vocalist the ability to really nuance her vocals and to stop trying to strain over the band. they are going to transform you performance.

Mackie V's Behringer.

there is very little difference in construction between these two apart from the controls being mirror image. The Behringer feels slightly more solid if anything but I may have imagined the difference it is so slight. The sound is broadly similar too, loud transistor radio as I said. the Mackie claims 120dB which I seriously doubt, the Behringer only claims 113dB but the difference between them isn't that great and the Behringer is closest to the mark. However at anything less than 2m from the mic they both feedback long before maximum volume is reached so the limit is theoretical, they both go louder than you need. The sound of guitar through these isn't great either, again if you needed a guitar monitor they'd do a decent practical job in a noisy band or if you were busking they'd be OK but not really as a PA despite the claims

The main conclusion is that the concept is absolutely spot on and they both do a great job for vocalists, if you play in a loud band they are really going to get your voice back to you in a way no other monitor can, without the feedback problems some floor monitors give and you control your own volume. They are not quite hi fi but eminently practical. Reader, I bought one.

http://www.gak.co.uk/en/mackie-srm-150/4216
http://www.studiospares.com/stage-monitors/behringer-eurolive-b205d-x1/invt/383180?VBMST=b205d
Last edited by Phil Starr at Apr 29, 2014,
Cajundaddy
60s throwback
Join date: Feb 2014
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#50
I actually prefer personal monitors to wedges or IEMs. We send the monitor mix only to them which just has vocals and maybe a little guitar. When blended carefully with the sound wrapping around from the mains they sound fabulous with plenty of bass and lots of detail.

Benefits:
1. small and lightweight.
2. simple setup.
3. plenty of detailed sound for vocal cues.
4. can get away from them if you choose unlike IEMs or most floor wedges.
5. allows you to stay connected with the room and the audience unlike IEMs.

Disadvantages:
I don't like the way they look onstage.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis
Phil Starr
Tab Contributor
Join date: Oct 2007
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#51
I'd pretty much agree with you except in a loud band we don't get quite enough of the singer going back to the rhythm section. I'm thinking of combining them with side fills. However when I'm singing, thankfully a rare event, you are spot on about the benefits.
Cajundaddy
60s throwback
Join date: Feb 2014
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#52
In our band everyone has a personal monitor so they can dial in as much or as little vocal mix as they want. Side fills work too but at louder stage volumes. House sound techs don't like side fill.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis
Phil Starr
Tab Contributor
Join date: Oct 2007
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#53
Yeah it's interesting. I started as a sound engineer for about 15 years, then much later started playing bass and playing in a gigging band, just recently I've been doing some backing vocals and each change changes your perspective. As a sound engineer I hate the idea of side fills, It just invites bleed through into the vocal mics, a really messy approach to on-stage sound.

As a gigging musician we often get called on to work in very confined stage areas and don't have much/any space for conventional wedges. there's always space just behind the PA speakers. I'm desperate to hear what the audience hear and we don't have a sound engineer. I mix from the back of the stage. With the move to hyper and super-cardioid mics there isn't the same problem with sound from the side that you get with the cardioids I grew up with so it's something I think I'll try, might need a wedge for the drummer though.
Phil Starr
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#55
Thanks for the Bump

Cardioid or Super Cardioid mics?

Continuing with the microphone thread for a while. I've joined a new band and am singing more now. I thought I'd share my experience. As a sound engineer I really like the tight super and hyper-cardiod mics like the AKG D5 and the Audix OM7 for the high gain before feedback. There's a disadvantage though, you have to be really tight on the mic to get a good sound, 3 finger widths away is minimum really and absolutely in line with the mic. there's a strong proximity effect too where moving close emphasises the bass a lot. these mics reward good mic technique.

As a singer though I can't get on with tight pattern modern mics so well. I dance around a lot when playing and am often jumping back to the mic to deliver my bit of backing vocal. TBH I was struggling with my D5 so I tried an SM58, which improved my vocals in freeing me up from having to be still and in exactly the right position to sing. The vocal quality of the 58 was nowhere near the AKG D5 though so I borrowed a couple of Sennheiser Cardioids to try the E835 http://en-uk.sennheiser.com/live-performance-microphone-vocal-stage-e-835 and the e935 http://en-uk.sennheiser.com/vocal-microphone-dynamic-cardioid-e-935 The 835 was OK but a bit dull sounding, no better than the SM58 to be honest. The e935 was great and I bought one on special offer at £100. Lovely clean open sound with good mid range detail and a very flat neutral response. It kind of does nothing to your voice. I've since had a Shure Beta 58 in for repair so I A/B'd them. The Shure has a slightly brighter sound I liked, and although it is described by Shure as a super-cardioid I don't think it really is, I've found you can treat it as a cardioid and it is certainly very tolerant of mic technique. I'd recommend it.

So, my advice:

If you have a loud voice and trouble with mic technique go for a cardioid. I'd be very happy with either the E935 or the Shure Beta 58

If you have a quieter voice and trouble with feedback go for a super or hyper cardioid. Bargain of the moment is the AKG D5 though there are others worth looking at higher in this thread.

Microphones are as personal as guitars though so ideally try before you buy and once you have found the one learn to use it properly so it becomes an extension to your voice.
bassofthe
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
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#56
The Live Sound Thread… Guess this is where my question goes.

I will soon be doing FoH for a friend's band for the second time. I will be using cheap, old, crappy analog gear owned by the band members.

I don't want to keep doing that. So I'm thinking I should invest in a decent mixing console for myself. The one I have been looking at the most is the Midas PRO2C. Would that be a good choice for a freelance amateur sound engineer hoping to someday make a living off live and studio sound? Or should I instead go for something like an equivalent Soundcraft, Allen&Heath, Avid Venue, or Digico?
Phil Starr
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Join date: Oct 2007
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#57
Analogue doesn't need to be crappy of course. I'm assuming you will be mixing not playing. At the moment the intuitive nature of analogue means it would still be my first choice for someone mixing their own band but there's no doubt in my mind that digital gives you so much more that if I was starting I'd bypass analogue. However I didn't, so you'll have to look elsewhere for practical advice. One interesting debate and a place to ask questions might be here http://basschat.co.uk/topic/160827-yamaha-02r-digital-mixing-desk/page__hl__soundcraft%20yamaha There's also been some discussion elsewhere on the forum about midas which has been taken over by Behringer's holding company. Midas themselves have joined in the debate.

Apparently all bass players are nerds, including me
bassofthe
Registered User
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#58
Yeah, analog can be good; but, having used a couple digital desks, I really want the features that a good quality digital brings - layers, sends on fader, assignable routing, parametric and dynamics on every channel…

And I care too much about sound to try to play and mix at the same time.
Rickholly74
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2014
120 IQ
#59
Some good stuff here. As for the post on the personal monitors I use the Behringers because unlike some people I have had great luck with Behringer gear all around and because I spent quite a bit of time at a store A/B testing the Behringer vs Mackie and found no significant difference other than the extra $100.00 for the Mackie (most of my main PA gear is Mackie). Since I was buying three monitors, that added up as quite a savings and after about four years of heavy regular use the Behringer's have held up well. One thing I would note about the Behringer B205 is that they are very directional. Inches make a big difference when you are using them. This makes them good at keeping down feedback but you have to get use to where that "sweet spot" is. They can get plenty loud for club/pub/bar work.

One more thing. The Behringer monitors come with an adapter so you can attach a mic boom to the top of the monitor so hopefully you would only need one mic stand. Forget about trying to use this. The boom will just keep spinning/falling to the right because the top of the monitor is slanted (as it should be) and that means the boom is at an angle that makes it almost impossible to keep tight. It will spin to the right in the middle of a song. Maybe someone knows how to keep it upright but I can't get this feature to work.

As for mics I have always been a big user of Shure SM58 mics and still have my first one from about 35 years ago and it still works perfectly but about three years ago I was offered a pair of Shure 87A condenser mics and they have become my regular vocal mics. The difference is pretty startling and I would recommend them if you have the money but I know they are expensive at $250.00 each. (I did a favor for someone who inherited a large amount of pro PA gear and recording equipment from someone who passed away and he was trying to sell it. I helped him move it, shot pictures and place a value and get some listed for sale via the internet and my reward for a days work was the pair of Shure 87's.)
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Aug 11, 2015,
Phil Starr
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Join date: Oct 2007
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#60
It's nice to see this thread being used again

I absolutely agree with both the previous two people. Firstly digital offers so much more and as a sound engineer turned bassist I find it is sooo frustrating not to be able to set up a decent sound and then mix from song to song. A decent sound engineer makes so much difference.

Behringer have done a lot on the reliability front and I did an A/B test on the two personal monitors and found very little difference between the Behringer and the Mackie.

The Shure 87A would be my mic of choice though I might go for the 87C which is the Cardioid version, lovely sound and $250 isn't too bad for a singer to pay compared with the cost of a MIA guitar.
bassofthe
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#61
So… The three mixers I'm looking at right now.

The Midas PRO2C has all the features I want, at a price I can justify. However, it's only really meant to interface with other Midas gear - no MADI or Dante without an external converter - and Midas' higher consoles have some quirks that make me not want to use them (sixteen input faders on a one-hundred-and-ninety-six channel mixer? Really, Midas? Really?), so any system upgrade that would keep the PRO2C compatible are out of the question.

The DiGiCo SD9, on the other hand… It also has everything I need (except that the bundled stagebox has 32 inputs instead of the Midas' 48), and it has built-in MADI and can easily interface with anything. The higher DiGiCo consoles also seem like something I would want to use. I can't find the Norwegian price for it, but my Googling has led me to believe it's a bit more expensive than the Midas, so I'm not sure I can justify that price. Also, the Norwegian distributor's website is ridiculously unhelpful. Perhaps my dealer can help me find out what I'd need to know.

The Soundcraft Vi1 has 32 inputs on the surface, while I would prefer a stagebox and digital snake. However, unlike Midas and DiGiCo, I have actually done a show on a Soundcraft Vi series console (Vi4), and I really liked the mixing interface. The copious local IO is really my only complaint with this mixer.

My research has lead me to completely disregard Avid Venue and Yamaha consoles for my use.

What do I do?
Phil Starr
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#62
I'm staggered by how much money you must have. the cheapest of these mixers is EU12,000

Given that these need to be matched with equally good equipment you are talking about potentially spending well in excess of EU30,000 (£20,000) for a live sound set up?

From your previous post I gained the impression you were just starting out. This is serious high end touring band gear, way beyond what most people here will ever encounter. Good luck to you but this is way beyond my pay grade. I doubt that most people here would be able to advise you either.
bassofthe
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#63
It will take me a while (months/years) to save up for this, and I won't be buying an entire rig at once. My first priority is just getting the sound from the musicians to the PA and monitors. Getting my own of the latter comes later.

I was originally looking at the Allen & Heath Qu-16, but I realized that it would be a better idea to get something where I wouldn't immediately be maxing out the input channels. Then things started spiralling, since I can't stop thinking big, and I figured I should get a small-sized touring-grade console.

Music is a hobby to me, which means I don't care about cost or profit. I just want to have fun with the best equipment I can get my hands on. Because really, if doing sound gave me a paycheck, guess what I'd spend that money on anyway?
Phil Starr
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#64
Hmmm, I'm wondering if you would be better off with the Behringer X32. You get the Midas preamps and more facilities than you would use, so plenty of chances for you to grow as a tech. They are highly rated and used by a lot of touring bands. About £2000 so not exactly cheap but very functional and you wouldn't lose too much if you wanted/could afford an upgrade in a couple of years time.
bassofthe
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#65
Quote by Phil Starr
Hmmm, I'm wondering if you would be better off with the Behringer X32. You get the Midas preamps and more facilities than you would use, so plenty of chances for you to grow as a tech. They are highly rated and used by a lot of touring bands. About £2000 so not exactly cheap but very functional and you wouldn't lose too much if you wanted/could afford an upgrade in a couple of years time.
That "upgrade" is exactly what I don't want to do. I don't buy gear with the intention of ever selling it. And then there's the B name - I'd much rather get the Midas M32 in that case.
the chemist
Resident Session Player
Join date: Nov 2007
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#66
Quote by bassofthe
So… The three mixers I'm looking at right now.

The Midas PRO2C has all the features I want, at a price I can justify. However, it's only really meant to interface with other Midas gear - no MADI or Dante without an external converter - and Midas' higher consoles have some quirks that make me not want to use them (sixteen input faders on a one-hundred-and-ninety-six channel mixer? Really, Midas? Really?), so any system upgrade that would keep the PRO2C compatible are out of the question.

The DiGiCo SD9, on the other hand… It also has everything I need (except that the bundled stagebox has 32 inputs instead of the Midas' 48), and it has built-in MADI and can easily interface with anything. The higher DiGiCo consoles also seem like something I would want to use. I can't find the Norwegian price for it, but my Googling has led me to believe it's a bit more expensive than the Midas, so I'm not sure I can justify that price. Also, the Norwegian distributor's website is ridiculously unhelpful. Perhaps my dealer can help me find out what I'd need to know.

The Soundcraft Vi1 has 32 inputs on the surface, while I would prefer a stagebox and digital snake. However, unlike Midas and DiGiCo, I have actually done a show on a Soundcraft Vi series console (Vi4), and I really liked the mixing interface. The copious local IO is really my only complaint with this mixer.

My research has lead me to completely disregard Avid Venue and Yamaha consoles for my use.

What do I do?


I'd take a gander at the A&H iLive series. While they may not have the native MADI support you want, you can buy expansion cards that allow you to interface with most of the major digital recording processes (MADI, Dante, ADAT), and has the CAT5 remote stagebox that you appear to want with your set-up.

The only console you listed that I'm not a fan of is the Soundcraft. The interface on it is not overly intuitive, but I'm sure that like the DiGi Co, once you get over the curve it's relatively easy to use.
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bassofthe
Registered User
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#67
I'm actually looking at the new DiGiCo S21 right now. Seems more or less exactly what I want.
Cajundaddy
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#68
Quote by bassofthe
It will take me a while (months/years) to save up for this, and I won't be buying an entire rig at once. My first priority is just getting the sound from the musicians to the PA and monitors. Getting my own of the latter comes later.

I was originally looking at the Allen & Heath Qu-16, but I realized that it would be a better idea to get something where I wouldn't immediately be maxing out the input channels. Then things started spiralling, since I can't stop thinking big, and I figured I should get a small-sized touring-grade console.

Music is a hobby to me, which means I don't care about cost or profit. I just want to have fun with the best equipment I can get my hands on. Because really, if doing sound gave me a paycheck, guess what I'd spend that money on anyway?


Rent sound when you need big instead of buying some overkill semi-touring system. Modern digital consoles are very hi tech these days and become obsolete in just a few years. Most pro live sound companies change out their console every year for the latest and greatest to match their needs. Besides, you want to focus on making music, not getting into the moving and storage business.

I have owned 5 different live sound rigs over the years and each one has been successively smaller. When we need to mic out the whole band (once a year or so) we rent sound with crew and add it to our performance fee.

For someone who describes himself as a "freelance amateur sound engineer hoping to someday make a living off live and studio sound" I would treat it like a business from day one and only buy gear that will pay for itself quickly through regular paid use. Pro racing teams don't start out in F1, they start with Karts and learn to master the sport with simple tools on a shoestring budget.

In your shoes I would look hard at a tablet based system. Everyone who has done this for a while knows sitting behind a console is the dead zone. You gotta move around the room and listen from the front, the back, the sides, and from the musicians perspective. A tablet based system makes digital mixing on-the-fly a breeze. Food for thought.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun14/articles/spotlight-0614.htm#Top
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Sep 5, 2015,
Phil Starr
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#69
Wise advice from Cajundaddy and if you go the digital route you will upgrade, simply because the tech is changing so rapidly.
bassofthe
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#70
Quote by Phil Starr
Wise advice from Cajundaddy and if you go the digital route you will upgrade, simply because the tech is changing so rapidly.
A production that needs more than the S21 has has the budget to hire. I won't need to upgrade.
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