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Keyboard Killer

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by MadMax, Jul 5, 2002.

  1. MadMax

    MadMax Distinguished Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    What to do?!?

    I'm tracking a project that unfortunately has me a bit frazzled around the edges.

    The keyboard player is driving me NUTS!

    He's a great player, but he has a tendancy to turn his signal up and down while tracking or during a live performance. He's trying to mix himself to blend in to the overall sonic saturation. (make sense?)

    I've talked to him, pleaded with him, begged him, threatened to break his fingers, taped the volume controls and even had the other guys in the band do the same thing. All to no avail.

    I've suggested that we put him on a seperate mixer and take the aux for tracking and FOH. He's so wired to adjust level from the keyboards themselves, I doubt that the habit is going to be easy to break without me pulling my hair out.

    Any suggestions?

    (We start working on his tracks tomorrow... no pressure there.)

  2. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001

    - if he's playing a MIDI keyboard, record the MIDI. If he uses a pedal for volume (CC# 7 or 11) you can strip it out (or even keep it) later.

    - put his monitoring level lower in the mix so he has to be more "up" than "down".

    - put a compressor on his monitor level so his volume changes don't do as much (to him).

    - if he plays the master volume (which doesn't send out any MIDI info) MIDI him to _another_ keyboard witha similar (that is, acceptable) sound. Let him monitor the one he's playing and record the other one.

    You can do this if he plays the pedal too, just filter the volume info going to the second intrument.

    - farfetched and specific, if he's playing something with CV out, record the CV to a track and reroute that track back to CV in.

    - finally, just live with it. Maybe his volume changes are actually worth it!
  3. MadMax

    MadMax Distinguished Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    He's playing MIDI patches from an OLD Clavinova thru an Alesis QS8.1 and the otherway around. He plays each one straight through too. I'll try to snag the MIDI.

    This is REALLY wierd... I put him way down and he whines he can't hear and yet won't turn up past half way. Then the next song he's complaining he can't get quiet enough. Is it possible that the ol' Clav is varying that much? (as much as +/-12db) Kinda' doubt it, but there's always the possibility.

    I'll definitely give that a go.

    Unfortunately, there aren't that many keys available on hand, but it might be worth it to rent one for the sessions. I'll DEFINITELY check that one out.

    I wish I could live with it. The last 4 shows, I ended up with the gain and faders both gagged and still couldn't pull him though for his solos.

    The problem seems to be getting worse as the guys are progressing up the ladder. Am I dealing with a problem that is fixable by technology or am I trying to deal with something that I should let someone else deal with? I know how fragile ego's are... well not from my standpoint... I'm a percussionist... I've busted a few egos before and it wasn't for the best. I don't want that kind of vibe.

    I don't want the guy wiggin' out, I just need a consistant signal to make him sound as good as he really is. Any ideas how you have handled the classic "prodigy who doesn't believe in themselves"?

  4. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    simply explain to him the problem like this.

    IF he wants to have the OPTION of being heard clearly, throughout the entire song, AND for his keyboard to sound the BEST it can; he must change what he is used to enough for you to properly record him.
    Barring that, compress him pretty good (say 4:1, 4-7 db compression) and use his rides to your advantage. To be fair to him...if he IS anygood....his rides (compressed) should be able to "work" in the mix.

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