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Nothing was miked

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Twobass, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Twobass


    Aug 12, 2009
    My band played a show at bar last weekend, now this bar is decent sized. So if you're more than 20 feet away from the band it probably doesn't sound great. So this was our first time playing at this bar and we had nothing miked, just the vocals going through the Pa. No monitor for anyone. After the show the drummer told me that he had difficulty hearing everything. After the show I asked the singer/guitarist if we should mike the instruments next time we play there. He pretty much said screw the people in the back.

    In my opinion I don't think bands sound good with this kind of live setup. I mean to you sound good up close buy you move a few feet away it might not sound good. I would have like having the bass drum miked because by the end of the night I couldn't hear it. I just need some opinions on doing live sound.
  2. Daedraziel


    Aug 19, 2013
    Toms River NJ
    everyone wants to hear things differently. In your specific case, my opinion is simple and non-negotiable. If the PA can handle it and the sound guy (yourself or whoever) is capable, abso-friggin-lutely mic/DI everything. It consolidates the outgoing "product" into one CONTROLLABLE entity.

    Tell the singer/guitarist to go see another live band and really listen to the sound. Pick apart what they are doing (for better or worse) and analyze what you need to do to emulate (if its working them) or avoid (if its not working for them). A good band has to sound good, musicianship alone wont cut it.

    Monitors are an absolute necessity...no questions
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  3. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Totally unacceptable. At an absolute minimum, you need vocals through the monitors and everyone needs a monitor, or to be within hearing distance of one.
    Unless you are all 13 years old, this is also totally unacceptable. Sounds like you need a new guitarist, or a new band.
  4. Twobass


    Aug 12, 2009
    I did talk to him after the show and we will probably do things a little different next time. I was surprised that he said that also his guitar was going out of tune in the middle of almost every song. It wasn't until the second set that he started using a different guitar.
  5. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    He doesn't sound like the sharpest knife in the drawer. Your guitar is going out of tune in the middle of almost every song and you don't switch guitars???

    Just my two cents, but I'd sit down with the whole band and agree to some standards. The drummer not being able to hear the rest of the band is asking for a train wreck. How can you and the drummer lock in if he can't hear you? This is just band 101 stuff.
    viper4000 likes this.
  6. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Stage monitors for vocals are a must. I personally don't like being redicu-loud and for most small rooms oonly vocals go through the PA. As the room gets bigger (and if the PA can handle it) then kick drum, guitars, keys, etc.
    Gaolee and Plectrum72 like this.
  7. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    Depends on the PA.
    Lvjoebass and Gaolee like this.
  8. Twobass


    Aug 12, 2009
    I did notice the drummer being a little off at times, that's when I knew that he couldn't hear himself.

    I guess he really wanted to play that guitar but wow it kept going out of tune, I was surprised that he kept playing it.
  9. _Some Dude

    _Some Dude

    Sep 14, 2016
    Wonder if maybe he was just as frustrated and p*ssed off as the rest of you? May have gone into I don't care lets just get this over with mode.
  10. Twobass


    Aug 12, 2009
    I don't think so I've seen him in angry mode and he wasn't there.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    You need a band meeting, a guitar that stays in tune, and possibly a sound person.
    Grumry likes this.
  12. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    Was the band member positioning the same as in rehearsal, as in did you switch which side of the drums you stand on, or did the guitar move sides?
    And yes, a band meeting is needed.

  13. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    That is why I think it's a good idea to own an 8x10 rig. Basically if there is a problem I turn up the volume. Drummer cant hear me? Point it at him. Guitarist sucks? Set up right next to his rig. Singer makes the band sound bad? Raise Master volume.
  14. morgan138


    Dec 10, 2007
    At the end of the day, the bar is what it is. But there are still things you can do to make sure everyone hears as best they can...get guitar combos off the ground and up on chairs, point amps in towards the middle of the stage (or "stage area" ;)) a bit, turn down the low end in guitar stacks, move the drummer forward so they're not back behind the amps...

    I'm not saying this will make a crummy venue with limited PA support sound awesome, but it'll make your playing experience more functional/fun!
    Lvjoebass likes this.
  15. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    IEMs or I don't play
    If Sound support is in play mic everything
    If not, mic what you can set and forget.
  16. Nothing NEEDS to be in the SR* unless the walls are more 50-75 feet out. Also monitors before worrying about mic'ing** things through the mains. How far sound travels is primarily a function of it's acoustic power. Stuff only needs to go in the SR when its own acoustic power isn't enough to reach where it needs to go. To my mind and to my experience mixing in bars and clubs 30 years ago the whole band can start to be in the SR when the room reaches about 2500-3000 sq. mts depending on ceiling height and acoustics or the space. IMO, that's when it starts to be necessary/advantageous to be able to balance/manipulate the mix. Before then, it should just be the stuff that needs the help, small percussion, the ocarina, acoustic guitar etc. I know a lot of guys like to put some kick and snare in the mains before that but it needs to be judicious and more for sound quality than for simply adding volume to a room that's already loud enough.

    In the typical bar set-up. Keep the bass amp near the drummer and get him some vocals in a monitor. As long as the rhythm section can hear themselves and hear the vocal the other can follow that.

    In ending, this is a big case of there is no one and only way to approach this. In the end, what matters is if you're getting the results you want.

    *even though I'm old-fashioned in most things, I prefer Sound Reinforcement over the archaic Public Address system moniker.

    ** yes I'm pedantic (at times) but mike is a man's name and not the shortened version of microphone. Now, before you get all uppity about this, look in you own hearts and think on what happens when you see someone spell it base(sic) guitar. That's how I feel when I see mic' written as mike. I'm not trying to change people fast and loose ways with language; I'm just explaining why I write it the way I do.
    tfer, Lvjoebass, ctmullins and 4 others like this.
  17. mikeyjm2

    mikeyjm2 Keepin' it simple.

    Dec 31, 2014
    Houston, TX
    Getting some of the guitar and bass in addition to vox going through the PA and at least a couple of monitors would help immensely, even in a small venue.
  18. Manticore


    Feb 27, 2016
    And thus the genesis of the great volume war. I'm afraid I'll have to respectfully disagree. When there are no monitors, my personal opinion is it is better is to turn the volume down one instrument at a time, starting with the loudest, until everyone can hear. In the meantime, find the scratch for some sort of monitor system or stay out of larger rooms.
    Gaolee, btmpancake, mikeyjm2 and 2 others like this.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    No excuse in this day and age with all the affordable sound support and monitor gear out there.

    Get yourself the necessary tools or stop playing out. You'll make it look bad for all of us. Eeek!

    More seriously, if you can't hear each other, you need monitors. Because even though you can't hear yourselves, your audience sure as hell can. And they won't be coming back if they don't like what they're hearing.

    And neither will your band.

    tl:dr - At the very least, get some sort of monitoring in place.
    Lvjoebass and Manticore like this.
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member