Live Vocal Rig

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by BoosterKitty, May 3, 2009.

  1. BoosterKitty

    BoosterKitty Guest

    We're going to start gigging soon and I want to have as much control over my vocal sound as possible. Whenever I have gigged in my old bands I've just put up with whatever the soundguy did at the time, but after running my voice through the tube preamp, and having control of the effects through a zoom G9.2tt, I am keen to build my sound on a few channels.

    I'm trying to get a list together of what my rig should contain. So if you guys can weigh in - much appreciated.

    Microphone - I guess the standard is the Shure Beta 58? I don't want to worry about feedback too much. My volume varies a lot.

    In ear monitoring - I guess Shure again.

    Tube preamp - no idea - something inexpensive.

    Vocal effects rack with midi control.

    I want to spend about 2G at most.

    Do the soundguys get pissy? I just want to know that what is going into the desk is as close to how I want it as possible.
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Pissy soundguy?!?! Outrageous !! Unheard of !! How dare you?!?

    .... Yeah, some might get bent out of shape. Some soundguys are worse prima donnas than the lead singer.

    But if you put together a great sounding rig, I can't image any reasonable person could complain.

    The fact that you're going in-ear will help. At least that way you're getting a pretty good representation of what you're going to send the FOH mix. It may take some give and take with the effects level and intensity, etc. until you're both happy with what you're hearing. When a keyboard player sends a sub-mix of his stack of keys, sometimes the way he/she wants to hear the blend of the keys isn't what the FOH mix needs to balance the nature of the room with stage monitors and other weirdness of the live sound. Hopefully you can find a sound that is universally going to sound just the way you want it. Sending more than one channel, as you've indicated, should alleviate most of that - hopefully you're thinking one channel is going to be dry (no effects).

    A regular SM58 ($100) is still industry standard for good reason, so unless you LOVE the beta, save the money.

    Shure IEM stuff is fine, PSM200 ($600) or PSM400 ($800) being the more affordable, Sennheiser ($950) and AKG would also be worth looking into. The AKG just dropped in price from $1799 to $999.

    The ART Pro-Channel ($320) might be a good fit for the Tube pre-amp with compression and EQ plus a place to insert the FX processor if you want.

    I don't have any idea what kind of effects you're shooting for, so it's hard to say. But for reverb / delay / chorus / etc. the Lexicon MX200 is really a ridiculously good sounding unit and great dollar value at ($200).

    All highly recommended gear and you're way under budget - but feel free to stimulate the economy further.

    Good luck.
  3. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    I gather that your band does not have a dedicated sound engineer and you are using house systems with a house engineer. There can be compatibility issues with you having a preamp/processor rack on stage especially in the area of gain staging and how your unit connects with whatever snake system the house has set up. A good engineer spoken to with courtesy and respect should not get pissy, though a lot of nightclub engineers are paid in alcohol and sometimes not very knowledgable when dealing with "curve balls."
    What are you looking for in monitoring? Your vocals, the band, and what is the rest of the band using?
    The Beta 58 (if this sounds good with your voice) is a hypercardoid mic this type of mic has high off axis signal rejection so any dynamic mic with a similiar pattern will help with the feedback issue. Also speaker/monitor placement and gain settings.

    Tube preamps ART MP, Presonus Blue Tube single channel, though a great solid state preamp would probably do more for your tone.

    Vocal effects I assume some type of rack mounted equipment but what is it exactly you are looking for reverb/delay or pitch correction or?
    Yamaha SPX2000

    I have used the yamaha 900 series good rig, and I have used other TC Helion equipment which I thought was very good also.

    The biggest issue with trying to do what is you want is to figure out how you can integrate your equipment (gainstaging, connectivity, etc.) with the house systems so that you send them what you want and give themwhat they need. It might be a learning curve.
  4. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    I'm not convinced its a good idea.

    As a FoH engineer I would be very uneasy about the gain staging for the main vocal being out of my hands on stage, especially if that included compression: I wouldn't even know how much gain reduction was being applied!

    Another way to look at it: if the engineer sucks he will still ^#$% up your sound, but he will blame it on your rig. If the engineer is good however, you are tying his hands and preventing him doing his job properly.

    I suggest you spend the money on hiring an engineer that you trust to run your shows for you.
  5. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    I think that is the best solution a dedicated engineer, then you can have your rack, preamps, effects but be certain that it is being used to it's full potential.
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