Need opinions on situation with my band and ownership of live sound; How would you handle?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by npbassman, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    People don't generally stop performing in the middle of a song to tell you their problems, and most changes are made between songs.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  2. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    In my experience it is rare to find a singer who even owns a mic. A unique skillset is required to front a band and a different skill set is required to run sound. I don't see a lot of vocalist with an aptitude for audio, but it's fairly common in bass players.
  3. chupacerveza


    Jan 3, 2011
    Austin, TX
    THIS person right here... owes you an hour's pay. Who the hell unplugs the mixer to make room for their wall wart?

    Also, you're not a sound guy, quit playing one on stage.

    If you wanna pick up that baton you need to figure out how to make it worth YOUR while (start by learning how to save your settings "early and often").
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  4. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I do agree that each person should learn to control their own monitor mix, but this is not without problems. As I mentioned earlier, people who don't know how to mix tend to make corrections by turning up what they need to hear rather than turning down the channels that are too loud.

    Years ago we had an IEM based system with a couple of Crest XRM20s strapped together in a large rolling rack. When one of the musicians needed a correction to their monitor mix, they walked up to the rack and took care of it. This system was used for a couple of years and the audio tech had to go in every couple of days and reset all of the faders, because none of them were able to grasp the idea of turning down.

    Also if you soloed any of their mixes you would be amazed at how awful they sounded. It's unlikely a self mix situation would have worked with this band if they were on wedges, because everyone would have pushed their wedge into feedback on a regular basis.
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  5. DanGroove


    Apr 27, 2017
    I agree about wedges being a potential problem for the reasons you stated. Which leads to another tip for the OP, that will not solve this problem but can help, the UI24r has a bus EQ for each AUX that you can use to great effect, as well as an automatic feedback supression.

    As far as how bad the wedge mixes sounded, I don't know how much of an issue that is in my opinion. If you were to go listen to my IEM mix, as a mix it is terrible... unless you like a mix overwhelmingly dominated by kick, snare, bass, and vocals, with brass and toms only coming through on mic bleed, and only enough guitars and keys to hear cues for changes. It doesn't sound anything remotely like a good mix, but it's a great mix for me to hear where we are in the song and the nuances of my playing and focus on the groove with the drummer.
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  6. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    Unless you have a singer who suffers industrial deafness, and is constantly wanting his monitor mix adjusted or 'somethings not going right - I can't hear myself',
    then proceeds to dial something which starts feedback.

    What I was implying was you can only do one task at a time, and this would be a good (although passive aggressive) way to get the point across to the band.

    I usually save a new mix scene after sound check, and then overwrite the same scene at the end of the night.

    most times the previous show saved mix is sufficient for the next show, since we use the same gear each time.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    If I am mixing and playing bass, people learn to wait till the break between songs to ask for corrections. They also learn to keep their fingers off the board. The bands I did dual duty in ran an extensive sound check to make sure all the monitors were dialed in before the show. It was very rare for us to have problems, and when we did, the problems were usually very minor. When problems did occur, the musicians I worked with were professionals and most of them would not throw a fit in the middle of show. If the monitors suck, the show must go on. You do the best you can instead of acting like a baby.

    I haven't done dual duty since the advent of digital mixers gave everyone the ability to control their own mix. You have described the primary reason why I don't think it's a good idea for people people to control their own mix if they are using a wedge. I takes a subtle touch and a bit of skill to balance a mix and avoid feedback in a wedge, and I don't believe most musicians can learn to do it.
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  8. Nevada Pete

    Nevada Pete Guest

    Nov 22, 2016
    My mother used to say, "Get that out of your mouth! You don't know where it's been!"
    Wasnex likes this.
  9. That would just make OP's head explode when said melon head does strike again.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  10. But what about my tone, man, how do I get my tone without tweaking the amp?geeze! :bag:
    Wasnex likes this.
  11. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Perhaps this is the part that is being ignored. I never move my amps or speakers. I just head down to the basement and plug in after I yell at the neighbor kids to get off my lawn :rage:. Sometimes an amp will sound great to my ears and sometimes it won't. So the question is, has the sound of the amp and speaker changed, or has my perception or hearing changed? My guess is it's the latter. Regardless, gotta tweak the tone controls from time to time. So what works in theory, is not quite so neat and tidy in real life. In other words, the audio tech should expect to make some adjustments :poop:.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
    Stumbo likes this.
  12. I will say this; my band that has 2 guitars, drummer ( electronic drums, another thread) a keyboard player with multiple keyboards, a singer and me on bass...We have a pro sound guy that gets an equal cut of the $$ and to me it is money well spent..I've heard a lot of times how great we sound out front. Plus he does some effects like delay on the vocals on a couple songs, tastefully done..I had a wireless unit that I used once and I stepped out front to hear the mix and I was amazed how good it sounded. really don't hear the true mix for monitors, I don't use one..the guitar players, keyboardist, and and singer has them, only the singer uses IEM..I don't pay any attention to that. I hear what I need to hear on stage without I follow the drummer I would vote for getting a sound guy that is good at what he does though if your band has any more than 4 members. just my $.02 as always, ymmv....

    Edit; everybody in the band goes through the PA so that is an important factor for having a good sound engineer..I joke that I'm just plugging into the snake and that as far as my sound seriously its important if you have everyone going into the PA and want to sound great IMHO

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
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  13. Nevada Pete

    Nevada Pete Guest

    Nov 22, 2016
    Patch me in, Scottie!
    murph7489 likes this.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Here's another take: Keep working the PA 'til you have it down, got the setup organized and can do it in a standard and efficient way.

    Why? Another skill to take with, especially if some sound only gigs come along later on. Just sayin'
    chupacerveza likes this.
  15. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Hey OP, here's a transgressive thought:

    If you're a bar band, and your sound rig is that complicated to set up, maybe you're playing too loud. A lot of the problems you're talking about could be reduced considerably by turning all the knobs counterclockwise.

    Let's look at the question by taking it to the extreme:

    Two guys playing guitars and singing duets, with no amplification whatever. How tough is their PA setup? No PA! No setup! No trouble!

    Of course, you can't hear them, and they're not a rock and roll band. But for a slightly more realistic scenario, consider if your volume was a third what it is now. Right off the bat, issues of feedback largely disappear. The drummer doesn't NEED a monitor mix, because he's playing soft enough to hear what's coming off your (hypothetical) one small wedge monitor, and the bounce back from the room. Bass, guitar, and keys can hear themselves easily; vocalist probably needs one small monitor. Less stuff to carry, less stuff to hook up.

    To do this, the band members have to act like professional musicians, which means listening to each other and getting a balance on stage rather than expecting the sound wizard to create a balance where none exists.

    Bar owners and customers will probably be happier, too.
  16. npbassman


    Apr 25, 2002
    Hey everyone, OP here.

    Thanks so much for the responses to this thread. To address some of the ideas that where suggested, I actually have enabled AFS on the Ui24. I watched the video, set the hard parameters and then let the live parameters to their thing but for some reason or another, there I was ringing out monitors before every gig. It seemed like to me in order to get AFS to kick in, the feedback had to get to ear piercing levels for it to kick in. Yes, I adjusted the AFS sensitivity across the spectrum left to right to see if it would kick in sooner. No luck. I also had the same issue when using the RTA to identify problem frequencies on the main FOH Master EQ. Once again, I could make the system feedback but I'd only get the peak indicator to appear if I turned the master it up to dangerous levels and I didn't feel like causing permanent ear damage to the kids sitting in the corner booth having dinner. So, I guessed best I could.

    As for dedicating a practice or two to dial the system in, I suggested it because obviously, I was the one on the hook but it never went anywhere. I also asked if I could take the mixer and a few wedges home with me so I could learn, test and practice my live sound skills during the week but the drummer usually says he needed the mixer to record himself at home. I was able to bring the board home once but it never happened after that so there I usually am, always trying to figure it out in front of the dinner crowd before the gig. Not ideal but it doesn't matter anymore because...

    As far as the "issue" is concerned, the bottom line is that I don't want to do double duty. I want to sing, play the bass and I'll happily help the band load/in and load out but I don't want to own sound, I don't want an extra cut to do sound...I just want someone else to do sound and I made that very clear to the BL. Luckily for me, our BL is really cool. He said he understands and that "the problem would be solved by our next gig". I guess I'll find out exactly what that means soon but I take him for his word and I consider myself off the task.

    thx - Mike
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  17. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    My guess is it means someone else in the band will attempt to do sound, and do it far worse than you. That would drive me nuts since I am a bit OCD about sound :confused:. Hopefully whoever takes it on will eventually figure it out; in the mean time it might be :poop:. Good luck! :thumbsup:
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