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it looks as if i will be heading up vocals in a band that i am joining, so i would like to have my sound tailored to me, regardless of where we play. i would like to put together a small, quality rig (rack mount perhaps?) so that i can just give an XLR cable to the sound guy at a gig and tell him to run it my signal dry, and just EQ as needed.

my question is, what do you guys suggest for a good outcome (what style? ROCK!)? eq, compressor, reverb, delay, tube mic preamp, all around effects processor such as Lexicon mx200 or tc m350, bbe 362, or what?

i dont know much about perfecting live vocals, so any insight would be greatly appreciated =)

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hueseph Fri, 05/09/2008 - 09:47

rockstardave wrote: [quote=rockstardave]wait, you mean that YOU want to set compression, eq, delays, reverbs, etc ?

but.. but you are on stage and dont know what it sounds like in the audience. .???

that would be a terrible idea.



If you plan on using specific effects for your show it would be best to have your own sound guy that will do it consistantly every time. Otherwise it'll be a crapshoot. You can't expect your sound to be the same in every venue. You need someone behind the console that knows what you are trying to achieve.

Certainly there are vocalists out there with their own rack but they usually have a sound guy to run it for them.

bent Fri, 05/09/2008 - 16:18

+1 Bad idea - due to this statement:

i dont know much about perfecting live vocals, so any insight would be greatly appreciated =)

+1 on Codemonkey's hair.

+1 because Hueseph's here, and so am I.

+1 On Rockstardave's personally attributed to his own post's +1...

There's no problem purchasing gear you want and building a rack for the FOH guy(s) to use, but running the dynamics and FX from the stage - ehhh, that's tricky.

anonymous Fri, 05/09/2008 - 19:47

bent, my internet is not working well right now, and im only able to look up the Klark Teknik, but im assuming they are priced similarly....which is way way out of my budget.

i am no pro, but i do want to put together a budget friendly rig in which i can get a decent sound. im talking realistically around $ a $1700 EQ is a bit over the top!

from the items ive listed, if i could just get suggestions as to what i could use and what i dont need, i will base my decisions on that and go from there to find a unit in my price range. what im getting at is, im not going to get a BBE 362 if its not going to help me. If I should get a processor like the Lexicon MX200, great, should i get anything else? I'm just not familiar with what people include in their budget vocal rig, so pardon my ignorance :)

anonymous Fri, 05/09/2008 - 20:17

A nice cold beer sounds good! *walks to kitchen*

Ok, so I'm thinking of just a basic 31 band EQ, FX unit such as the Lexicon MX200 (or similar - suggstions?), and a single CH. Compresor.

Anything else? Ive heard good things about the BBE 362, but havent heard if its needed just for vocal use (probably not). Also not sure if a pre amp of somesort should/could be used in conjunction with all of this.

As always, you are the man, Ben!

hueseph Fri, 05/09/2008 - 20:17

I would put my trust in the FOH engineer for now. Until you know exactly what you want the effects for, there's no point in getting them. They're not going to make you sound any more professional than the existing PA system. Listen first, play later. This is a difficult thing to do because a lot of the time we think we're listening but really we're just enjoying the music.

I'm sure you've heard it before but I'll say it again, a great band can sound great through the crappiest gear. A lousy band will sound lousy through the best gear.

In other words, you've just joined the band. Don't worry about gear just yet. Get the songs and performance down first. Once that's taken care of you will have a good idea what gear you will need and likely, the gear you will want as well.

There's lots of gear I want but in all honesty, unless I gigging again soon or selling some jingles, it's just a waste of money.

hueseph Fri, 05/09/2008 - 20:23

stealthy wrote: Hueseph....I agree and understand what you are saying. However, I have no plans to go out tomorrow and get this stuff. As you said, I will get the performance side of things down first....I just like to plan ahead and use it as motivation. (if that makes any sense!)

Makes fine sense. Just don't jump the gun is all I'm saying. I've wasted plenty a good dollar that way.

anonymous Fri, 05/09/2008 - 20:39

For sure, hopefully we can get everything show worthy soon.

As for the Compressor's....I know you suggested the DBX 160..any reason for that unit over (for example) the DBX 266XL, Ashly Audio CLX-52or TC Electronics C-300, since they are a bit more affordable?

Also, why the TC M350 over the Lexicon MX200?

rockstardave Mon, 05/12/2008 - 07:17


i guess everyone else had the same thought i did -- about letting the sound person run it. it seems you've accepted that, so great. let's continue.

you'll want some sort of reverb effect. lots of reverb units also include a multi-fx processor (phase, delay, flanger, echo, tremolo, etc). look into the TC M350 or any of the Lexicon MX series. whatever fits your budget.

if your reverb unit does not work, get a separate multi-fx unit.

get a compressor - dbx 266xl is about $150 new.

maybe an EQ - the brand shouldnt really matter too much, especially in the budget we're working with here. i'd throw this item at the end of the list, since nearly all consoles will have an EQ built in.

thats probably it for now, besides the cables. oh, get a power conditioner too. probably one of the furman M-series (m8, m8-d, m8-l, etc) since they're pretty standard and inexpensive.

oh, get a rack case to keep this shit in too!


anonymous Mon, 05/12/2008 - 11:48


you may want your own gear in the future,
but for now I would advise spending your money otherwise:

good personal in ear monitoring
decent mic (sm58 is good enough)
a micstand you feel comfortable with
a simple small & cheap mixer for at home

so you can really learn how to use the mic
and be able to hear what you and the band are doing on stage

a performance is foremost about...
performance, not gear


pmolsonmus Mon, 05/12/2008 - 13:22

Let me throw a small (but fervent) argument in favor of handling "your sound". I agree you will want a FOH guy to handle the details, but after years of dealing with knob twiddling wankers if you learn what you're doing you can send him a signal and have him ride levels and a little eq only.

No guitarist in his right mind would trust a FOH guy for his sound. "Take a direct out" or "mic the cabinet' are the only options. Dave Weckl has been sending a stereo mix to the FOH guy on his drums for years. Why?- control BABY. He wants as close to the sound he's worked on to come out. Not someone else's vision or lack of skill.

I will agree that vocals are a slightly different beast - and as a vocalist understand that my sound and mix are what 90% of the audience is listening to/for. and are what dominate in a house PA.

I think it can (not necessarily should) be done but handled with care and with advanced communication - you could end up with "your" sound going out in the house and that's the ideal situation.


anonymous Mon, 05/12/2008 - 14:58

Dave - Im undecided on the TC unit or the Lexi, but those are the two reverb/processors im looking at.

the dbx 266xl is also the compressor that fits my budget best.

for an eq, i was looking at a dbx 131

i already have a furman m8-d and plan to go with probably a Gator 6space rack so i can also mount a wireless IEM (looking towards a shure psm 200)

all of this should set me real close to my proposed budget of $700 (minus IEM, and power conditioner (which i already have) after getting cables as well.

GentleG - as mentioned earlier, i am not getting this rack gear tomorrow, im just tying to plan ahead for what i will need in the near future...just some ideas. ive already got an sm58, and i am looking into a shure psm 200 wireless IEM. the sm58 and IEM is whats important now, the rest will come later.

Phil - i agree!

thanks everyone for their input, its greatly appreciated!

hueseph Mon, 05/12/2008 - 15:39

If you're going for a lower end DBX unit, go for the 166 instead. I have a 266 and have used th 166. The 266 does not have much headroom which is kind of ridiculous for a compressor. When it clips, it sounds really bad. The 166 is only $50 more but is considerably better quality. You could also try the FMR Audio RNC. The DBX 160 really is a decent compressor though for the money.

rockstardave Mon, 05/12/2008 - 20:12

sonic maximizer isnt that great. killer name for a product, but it's more trouble than help a lot of the time. great for program music, not so great for live.

i dont really like the reverbs in the tc m300/m350, but i'm not familiar enough with the lexicon mx reverbs , so i cant recommend one or the other.

if you really want a great sound though, get something more unique than a sm58.

anonymous Tue, 05/13/2008 - 02:14

IIRs wrote: [quote=stealthy][quote=IIRs]Suggestion: don't spend your money on gear, use it to hire a FoH engineer to run your shows instead of the house guy.

i will have about $700 wrapped up in it.....what would i do after 2 months of paying an FoH engineer?

Start looking for paid gigs?
obviously, or just save money and go the original route.

good personal setup + bad sound guy = good sound
poor house setup + bad sound guy = poor sound

i think ill just stick to my own stuff to help matters out.

anonymous Tue, 05/13/2008 - 02:23

IIRs wrote: [quote=stealthy]
good personal setup + bad sound guy = good sound

Who told you that?
ok. im ASSuming that the venue atleast wanted DECENT sound, so they atleast had the brains to hire a DECENT sound guy, therefor im HOPING they can make something sound DECENT. again, im ASSuming.

if this is not the case, i will simply take my sm58 that someone told me to ditch and use it on the horrendous sound guys' head at the end of the set and then thank him for ruining the sound.

fair enough?

rockstardave Tue, 05/13/2008 - 06:31

stealthy wrote: if this is not the case, i will simply take my sm58 that someone told me to ditch and use it on the horrendous sound guys' head at the end of the set and then thank him for ruining the sound.

ha, nice.

stealthy wrote: dave - more unique than the 58? why? what other mic is as good as the 58 and more importantly able to pound nails and still cost $100?!

dude, relax. you came here asking for suggestions, and then when you get them you shoot them down. why'd you even post?

the sm58 is a great mic, i never said it wasnt. i said get something more UNIQUE .. not better. every mic is great for one reason or another (except the mxl 604, which is terrible for everything). it's a matter of flavor.

but the 58 is super ubiquitous. if you want sometime different and UNIQUE, get a different mic. what kind of music are you singing? if you're into hard rock / metal / dirt rock, check into the EV n/d series. if you're into something more smoothe, check into the Audix OM5. if you need a crispy sound then go for the sm58/beta58. experiment and keep an open mind thats all.

oh ps - +1 on the whole "good setup + bad soundguy = good sound". who said that?? a bad soundguy wouldnt know what to do with your "good setup" and there's even more potential for trouble.

"i accidentally gated your voice for the whole show"

anonymous Tue, 05/13/2008 - 19:26

stealthy wrote: dave - more unique than the 58? why? what other mic is as good as the 58 and more importantly able to pound nails and still cost $100?!

dude, relax. you came here asking for suggestions, and then when you get them you shoot them down. why'd you even post?
im relaxed. i was relaxed :?

i didnt shoot anything down.