#1
Our band is havnig a few issues with the singers microphone picking up all of the other instruments through the pa, which is very annoying because it dosnt sound great.

What could we do or buy to stop this from happening?
Also are there any ways to cut out feed back as well
And are there any ways we could improve the vocal sounds like (something like Auto Double track)
#2
? wtf? no, there is no magic box that you can buy to selectively delete things from your signal path. The best you can do is get away from the instruments, point the mic further away from the instruments, tell the singer to sing closer to the mic and reduce the gain, and use an expander.

feedback: stay away from speakers. if your consumer ***** conscious urges to buy something, try either a graphic or parametric equalizer, or if you really must, a feedback eliminator.

any ways to improve the vocal sounds? sing better. harmonize. use reverb. buy a tuning box. buy a harmonizer box.
#4
Get a microphone designed for live, such as an SM58. That will reject most sounds from the sides and back.

Then there's correct microphone technique. Make sure your singer sings into the mic (lips to the grill), not to the bloody side. And obviously, don't point the microphone at the instruments either.
#5
Also, how high is the gain on your mixer? Do you know how to set the gain structure using a PFL if your mixer is capable? Get your singer to do that. Move it farther away from instruments, and lower the mic gain. If you need more volume, that's what the fader is for. The gain on the mic is for signal input...keep that as low as you possible can with it still picking up your singers voice.

That's why those headset things got so big...right next to the mouth, you could have the gain much lower. And why I HATE lavalier/lapel mics in any situation. Those suckers have to have the gain cranked.

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#6
Quote by BaffAttack
and lower the mic gain. If you need more volume, that's what the fader is for. The gain on the mic is for signal input...


so turning down the gain, but turning up the volume (gain) does what exactly?
#7
^ probably reduce the Input volume to prevent those instruments in the background from being picked up as much.

Like how if you roll of the volume from a guitar it sounds different to how it sounds if you roll of the out put master volume.

I guess. will try that out though. I think a good vocal processor type pedal would be a good buy. Some thing with abit of reverb and maybe a couple noise gates ect on it but what would be a good choice for not too much money (200 pounds max)
#8
turning gain down early, and turning it up later in the process, does absolutely nothing except add noise. Depending on the design of your board eq, it could maybe change that, but it's not going to change the ratio of desired pickup to undesired pick up. You turn everything up and down the same amount.

I wouldn't bother with a vocal processor. I don't think it's going to help as much as you think it's going to.

Depending on the gear you have now, I'd opt for a graphic equalizer. You can cut the 1/3 of an octave you're having feedback in, roll out some of the ultra lows, and just generally sculpt the signal to get what you want. Of the solutions I proposed, it will remain the most useful if it fails to solve your problem.

Adding reverb will not solve your feedback or background noise problems. If used poorly, which is very easy to do, it will reduce intelligibility and even increase the chance of feedback.

Get a good clean signal first, then play around with the fancy effects.
#10
Quote by DanielQ
didn't read all replies, but my first impression is that it's a low quality mic. If that's the cas,e youre out of luck till you get a new one.


no.
#11
Quote by The_0thersid3
^ probably reduce the Input volume to prevent those instruments in the background from being picked up as much.


That's exactly what it accomplishes. You only want as much gain as you need. Gain and volume are not interchangeable. Gain is the amount of input signal you're allowing to go through the mixer/amp/whatnot. For a mic, it's picking up everything it can at all times. So the higher the gain, the more of what it picks up gets through. You want the gain set so it picks mainly the singer. In a band environment set up, that's near impossible, obviously, but you can get as close as you can. I know, I do it all the time. The closer the singer is to the mic helps, too. You can reduce gain if he's right up on it (just as long as he doesn't "swallow" the mic which just sounds bad) when he sings.

This kind of reminds me of when I was in my first real band. We got ourselves a vocal PA, and a friend of the bassist who he knew from the A/V club in high school was tapped to man the board, because he apparently knew how to run sound from that experience in the A/V club. The first few times we used it, I was thinking "wow, that sounds really hot and distorted." I was afraid we got hosed on the deal. So I wandered back to the board, and saw that he had the faders really low, and the gains turned almost all the way up. I patiently explained to him that he had it backwards, soundchecked the band myself with him watching, and the PA was actually quite serviceable with the gain structure run properly.

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#12
Quote by Spazz128735
turning gain down early, and turning it up later in the process, does absolutely nothing except add noise. Depending on the design of your board eq, it could maybe change that, but it's not going to change the ratio of desired pickup to undesired pick up. You turn everything up and down the same amount.

I wouldn't bother with a vocal processor. I don't think it's going to help as much as you think it's going to.

Depending on the gear you have now, I'd opt for a graphic equalizer. You can cut the 1/3 of an octave you're having feedback in, roll out some of the ultra lows, and just generally sculpt the signal to get what you want. Of the solutions I proposed, it will remain the most useful if it fails to solve your problem.

Adding reverb will not solve your feedback or background noise problems. If used poorly, which is very easy to do, it will reduce intelligibility and even increase the chance of feedback.

Get a good clean signal first, then play around with the fancy effects.


This is also good advice, however, if you're operating with really hot gains, you might start cutting frequencies that will modify the sound of the human voice (1k, 1.5k, that area generally). You really should have both, to be fair. Proper gain structure AND a decent graphic EQ to ring out the system.

Edit: I also agree that you shouldn't turn gain down and turn it up. You set the gain initially, and you leave it there. The volume then comes from the faders (or pots depending on the design of the PA mixer). If you can't get enough volume for your vocals at that point, well your PA doesn't have enough headroom. Either turn down the instruments or get a better PA amp.

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Last edited by BaffAttack at May 8, 2008,
#13
Quote by BaffAttack
... Gain and volume are not interchangeable. Gain is the amount of input signal you're allowing to go through the mixer/amp/whatnot. For a mic, it's picking up everything it can at all times. So the higher the gain, the more of what it picks up gets through. You want the gain set so it picks mainly the singer...


You are correct for the most part, and I don't think I need to tell you that =). it's nice to see someone on this board for once that's both informed and confident.

I disagree with what you are saying about gain staging however. Gain and volume are two different concepts, yes. But applying gain to a signal, and then attenuating it later accomplishes the same result as applying less gain, and less attenuation. The relationship between separate sounds in the same signal does not change through either of the processes.

edit: you posted again, and I need to clarify a point I agree with you on: As long as your gain is set properly to begin with, there is nothing to be done with it.

edit 2 (bolded text)
Last edited by Spazz128735 at May 8, 2008,
#14
I did edit, sorry about that. Yes, I believe strongly in setting your gain structure properly from the word go, and not messing with it. But you're right, you can tweak it up a little, within reason, to get more volume...but I really don't like doing that since I always try to set the gain levels 5x5 from the start.

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#15
Quote by Spazz128735
You are correct for the most part, and I don't think I need to tell you that =). it's nice to see someone on this board for once that's both informed and confident.


Thanks for this compliment, by the way. I'm a general technician for a university events department, so I deal with sound reinforcement in a lot of different applications (as well as other general A/V stuff). I've done everything from a mic in a room sound system (speaker ceilings) to a huge arena reinforcement for things like commencements (not concerts unfortunately, production companies are generally brought in by the bands. I do get access to those guys, to sponge info and gawk at their gear, though). So I sorta have to be informed and confident.

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VOLUME SWELLING OCTAVE MONGER σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

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