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Can you hear the singer really good when you play live?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by paf77, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. paf77


    Dec 3, 2008
    This is a dumb question, but I'm playing my first show here in a few weeks and I'm just wondering if you can hear the singer pretty well through the moniters when playing live. I know it's probably not the best way to do it, but to help me tell where I'm at in the song, I listen to the singer. And of course the drums to stay on... haha
  2. deaf pea

    deaf pea

    Mar 24, 2005
    Cuernavaca 1 hr S Mexico City
    Seymour Duncan/Basslines SMB-5A Endorsing Artist
    IME, it's VERY important to hear the lead singer really present in the monitor mix . . . it's EVERYBODY'S #1 job to accompany the singer . . .
  3. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    If you have multiple monitor mixes, make sure to ask the sound person to put the lead singer in yours. Some people don't care, or only want to hear themselves. When we run our own sound, we have 2 seperate mixes for 3 people across the front (our drummer uses in-ears) - we have a bit of everybody in each mix, with our own vocals louder in our own mix. Same thing when using a bigger system and each having our own mix - I could never understand how some people play without listening to each other. For one thing, if a bunch of people sing, you HAVE to hear the other people you're harmonizing with to have it gel. And even if there's only one person who sings, everybody should be able to hear them. Play to the song as a band, not to the part or by yourself.
  4. I cue off of vocals constantly. I've tried tracking in the studio a couple times without a vocal scratch track and it sucks!
  5. DeluxeRed


    Jun 2, 2009
    If you're working solely from a chart, you can get away with not hearing the vocals (or lead horns, etc.), since you're following the chart, not the singer.

    However, in Pop/Rock situations, as mentioned before, accompanying the singer is your major job. Repetitious rhythm parts are hard to keep track of without the lead voice, among other detriments.

    But most importantly, vocalists have been known to miss a cue before. And you can't just drive on past them without making it look like you all suck, so you have to be able to react to changes as they happen. That's why they call it "live". And make sure they can hear you, too. You might be suprised how much they cue off you, even if they don't realize it.

    Position yourself so you can not only hear the drums, you can SEE the drums, too. That'll help.

    Break a leg and have fun on your gig! We expect a full report...
  6. paf77


    Dec 3, 2008
    Thanks for the replies everyone! I'll be sure to tell you all how the gig goes. :)
  7. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I only have the singer up high enough that I know what he/she is doing. Since I usually know the words better than they do, it's not like I really need to know what they're doing. BUT, if they skip a verse or repeat a chorus or something else flaky, you need to hear that so you can adapt. And when I'm singing backing vox I need them up high enough so I can harmonize. So I usually place the lead singer about third or fourth in my monitor mix after kick drum, hi-hat, and rhythm guitar (if he's good).

    The biggest reason I'll have a singer turned down in my mix is if they have bad rhythm. If they're out of tune it sucks but I can live with that. But I NEVER want ANYONE with bad rhythm blaring in my monitor so if the singer doesn't have their time feel together I treat them just like a bad rhythm guitarist or other instrument.
  8. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    We have two monitor mixes via a Soundcraft MXFi 8 mixer.

    Aux1 - Female lead vocalist with a little of me, and even less of 3rd vocalist who rarely sings.
    Aux2 - Me with a little of female vocalist and 3rd vocalist.

    Both have varied amounts of bass, guitar, and kick in them also depending on the stage and venue.

    (We use a QSC K-series rig with 1 subwoofer, and 2 QSC K10's as floor monitors. 'Enough' monitor has not been a problem at all with this rig. In fact, the lead vocalist often asks me to back off a bit on monitors which is very refreshing)

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