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help with running sound

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Darin_god, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Darin_god

    Darin_god Member

    Jun 17, 2011

    I am in need of some information that seems very hard to find by just googling vague keywords.

    My band just booked a free show at our house venue, and it's incredibly unlikely that it will be a small turn out. This place is new to hosting live bands, and booked this night on a weekend the sound guy is out of town. Without hesitation, the employees (and my band mates) assume I know how to run everything.

    I know how to run a soundboard for recording, and pretty much anything else in the recording process.

    My problem is, I don't know how to get the sound to come back to us for monitors. I have no idea how that works. Recording is always just headphones.

    I'm very smart about these kind of things, and can usually catch on very quickly, as long as I'm going in the right direction.

    The Soundboard looked very basic with the 10 or so channels. all wired and numbered. With one equalizer and four or more power amps underneath it.

    I haven't a clue on what to do. Any help will help out.

  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    Try to get the make and model of the mixer and download the manual. There should be instructions on how to set the input gain on each channel. Usually it goes something like this:

    Have the musician play their instrument the loudest they will get. Solo the channel (PFL, pre fader level) and turn up the gain until the meter reads about 0dB on the peaks. Repeat on each input.

    There should be a knob (or two or four) on each channel that is marked "Aux" or "Mon". There should also be a master knob or fader for each aux send. There may be a switch that selects between pre- and post-fade, per channel or globally. Use pre-fade for monitors. If there's more than one pre-fade aux send then you may have different mixes for different places on stage, and you'll have to repeat the following procedure for each monitor mix.

    Start with the channel and master aux knobs down. Have the lead singer sing strongly into his/her mic, turn up the aux knob on the channel to 7 (if it goes to 10) or to U (unity) or 0 (if it has + and - numbers), then turn up the mon/aux master. Have the band play and adjust the master to give the singer good volume. If there are other singers bring their channel mon/aux sends up until they have adequate volume. Making the band control their volume is critical for good live sound, on stage and for the audience. If anything else needs to be in monitors, like instruments without amps, add that after the vocals. If there is feedback you will need to back off the monitor levels a bit and/or have the band lower their volume. There may be eq to help control feedback in monitors, but unless you are practiced at identifying frequencies you can cause more harm than good. Use it minimally by cutting only the first two or three problem frequencies.

    Set up the main mix the same way. Pull the master fader down and put the lead vocal channel fader at unity (0dB). Then have the band play and raise the master fader until the lead vocal has a good level relative to the band's stage volume. Then put the other vocals in and anything that doesn't make its own noise from stage, like acoustic guitars and keyboards without amps. Finally, add in any of the loud stuff (drums and amps) if needed. You may simply not bother to mic up amps and drums, or you may mic them up and leave them out of the mix.
  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Great advice Boulder --- Only because I had the same problem 30+ years ago and we had to rent everything for a gig. Remember to have an amp for monitors AND mains (or use powered speakers) - we didn't (I've learned a lot since then : )
    I would also plan to get there a few hours in advance if possible (with your band mates) and do a dry run of a few tunes. Put vocals in the monitors and as little of anything else as possible to make your life easier.
    If there someone running sound during the show or are you doing it from stage?

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