Harmony Central Forums

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Adventures of a new live venue engineer

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Adventures of a new live venue engineer

    A local venue placed a craigslist ad looking for an entry to mid level "live audio tech". Despite me JUST starting my first job in three years since I finished school six months ago, I still applied. Three nights per week are the only days they have live music. This month, there are six shows out of fourteen possible dates.

    I know the pay is gonna be bollocks compared to what this brand new job is and I'm going to work hard, but I'm not daunted. I don't need a ton of income, plus it would be nice to have an in at this venue. My band would like to play here at some point. .png" alt=":smileywink:" title="Smiley Wink" />

    And of course the knowledge. Wow, could I ever use some knowledge. Mark at Audiopile knows people local to me and has given them my name, but they haven't needed someone with my *ahem* level of skill as of yet.

    I'll need to weigh everything out obviously. My acoustic duo is also starting to do more gigs, so I need to make time for that. but if the sound gig has solidly planned dates, then I can work around that as needed.

    Crossing my fingers for at least a call back. I was kind of funny in the email, too:

    This is my dream job! And part-time is fine with me.

    I'm in a band (I'm sure everyone says that), but really I am. We don't play out very often by choice, so most of my weekends are free.

    I have a strong ear for balance between instruments and am always striving for that in my own group.

    The over-under cable wrap is the ONLY way to coil cables, isn't it?

    Please contact me for an interview!

    http://www.stlband.com
    http://www.youtube.com/sweepthelegband
    http://www.facebook.com/sweepthelegband

  • #2
    Good luck! Hope you get it ....
    Funny on the over/under - my band members just can't get the hang of it. They leave the cables for me and I prefer it that way

    Comment


    • nousername
      nousername commented
      Editing a comment

      RiddimRyder wrote:
      Good luck! Hope you get it ....
      Funny on the over/under - my band members just can't get the hang of it. They leave the cables for me and I prefer it that way

      Thanks. Yeah, they aren't allowed to coil cables in my group either.


    • cappttenron
      cappttenron commented
      Editing a comment

      How about the people who think they did a great job wrapping the cable around your shure 58. haha 


  • #3

    Well done, young padawan.

    Write something...

    Comment


    • #4
      Why send in stereo? (Hint, unnecessary waste of time and redources

      Comment


      • BlueGreene
        BlueGreene commented
        Editing a comment

        There's something zen about wraping cables at 4:00+ in the morning. 


      • nousername
        nousername commented
        Editing a comment

        agedhorse wrote:
        Why send in stereo? (Hint, unnecessary waste of time and redources

        It appears though I misspoke. I'm planning to use 21-22 L (reverb) and 23-24 L (delay), not L&R for both input channels. Tonight was just 21 L and a single effect. I labeled the scribble strip for that channel FX in big letters. I adjusted the input of the Lexicon to where the meter would rarely get out of the -6 range, then adjusted the trim for channel 21 to where it was not clipping, then the main fader to unity. I would then adjust the two vocal mics #5 aux to add some of the vocal plate effect I chose. Channel 21 was muted in between songs.


    • #5
      Unless I read the manual incorrectly, running L&R back to the mixer would allow me to have two effects at the same time.
      http://www.stlband.com
      http://www.youtube.com/sweepthelegband
      http://www.facebook.com/sweepthelegband

      Comment


      • #6
        Are you using this in dual effect mode? You might start out with a simple mono send, stereo return reverb and work on that first to gain experience.

        Comment


        • #7
          Correct.

          Comment


          • #8
            Sometimes you have to mix the band down to the loudest instrument coming off of the stage. It's a good skill to acquire.

            Comment


            • nousername
              nousername commented
              Editing a comment

              That makes sense about the competition for prevelance at the same approximate frequencies.


              agedhorse wrote:
              Sometimes you have to mix the band down to the loudest instrument coming off of the stage. It's a good skill to acquire.

              It was something I was trying, for sure. As with another recent "high volume on stage" band, the bass guitar didn't even need to be in the mains. I ran his fader to zero, but left it unmuted so the drum monitor could still hear.

              I have a sneaking suspicion we are underpowered as far as amps/speakers are concerned. It's not THAT loud. It seems like a couple (maybe four for wider coverage?) mid to high end powered speakers could do fine in that room. I know for sure stage right's 10" main was unplugged last night. Who knows for how long.

              I'll get a complete rig list next week.


            • RoadRanger
              RoadRanger commented
              Editing a comment

              agedhorse wrote:
              Sometimes you have to mix the band down to the loudest instrument coming off of the stage. It's a good skill to acquire.

              Often that instrument is highly directional so you are tempted to put some in the PA for coverage - good way to start a volume war with yourself . IMO float the vocals over the stage volume and if there's room bring up other stuff. No prob with leaving a fader or 10 at -infinity .


          • #9
            Lets play "whats wrong with the picture"! I love that game

            Comment


            • cappttenron
              cappttenron commented
              Editing a comment

              I wonder how long a sea box full of racks of computers would run if they didnt have a hell of an AC pumping that heat out.


            • sibyrnes
              sibyrnes commented
              Editing a comment

              " I don't know which amps are running which speakers."

              I would say that should be your first job.  You can't improve or get the most out of a system you don't understand.


            • nousername
              nousername commented
              Editing a comment

              sibyrnes wrote:

              " I don't know which amps are running which speakers."

              I would say that should be your first job.  You can't improve or get the most out of a system you don't understand.


              I agree. As was the advice of more than one person here, I do want to be careful recommending capital outlays that are coming from a n00b engineer. But I do need to know the basics so I can quickly troubleshoot problems.


          • #10
            Why use the mute switch? The fader is a better tool to drop the level down when walking near a main speaker.

            Comment


            • Craig Vecchione
              Craig Vecchione commented
              Editing a comment

              nousername wrote:


              agedhorse wrote:
              Why use the mute switch? The fader is a better tool to drop the level down when walking near a main speaker.

              I thought using mute would allow me to get her back to the same level as soon as she was back on stage.




              It would, but having the mic drop out completely is way more noticeable than even a fast fader drop. It's like the difference between abruptly switching video feed from one camera to another, versus a fast wipe. One calls immediate attention to itself, the other is smooth.


              Even if you forget where the fader was, it's not too hard to get the level where you want it to be, expecially for the lead vocalist.


            • nousername
              nousername commented
              Editing a comment

              I talked to a local pro sound guy this week. He spent thirty minutes with me, going over all kinds of topics. The most ambitious being to purchase a Driverack +, then he would swing by and help me optimize it. I almost laughed, cause there's no way my boss is going to spring for that unit. Even used. As an alternative, he suggested I download AudioTools for my iPhone, then run the RTA (pink noise) and look for large peaks or valleys in the readout. I pleaded that I didn't really have enough experience to fully understand what I was getting into, but he assured me it wasn't a huge deal.

              Fast forward to tonight, I'm early, so I connected my phone to the mixer and started up the pink noise generator. I set my phone on the mixer and started moving EQ sliders.

              Before, with a flat EQ:

              rta.before.png

              After, with specific frequencies boosted or cut:

              rta.after.png

              It seems like everything is closer to the average SPL (maybe 53dB?) after I made changes to the EQ. I was a bit freaked out to push the EQ sliders to max boost or cut, and I still don't think they should be. But if our speakers are old and worn out, maybe the EQ is our only hope.

              What seems like a good idea would be to make the pink noise, but take averages from all over the room and apply adjustments to fix most bad spots. I think saw this on a sound engeineer video. Maybe the head FOH for Rush a few years ago? I'd either need a pink noise .wav file for my iPod, or another RTA. Maybe with a better mic than my iPhone...

              One thing is for sure, when I press both channels' EQ Bypass buttons, it sounds BAD. Really bad. Should I stop meddling about with this, or are the changes I've made an okay thing even without a full understanding?

              p.s. How's that response above 11kHz in the before pic? hahaha

              p.p.s Here's the band from tonight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOl78Kgs2Lw

              REALLY nice guys, and a joy to mix. I even got to have some fun with delay during the harmonica solos on Orange Blossom Special. It seemed like a good place for some effects.

              https://www.dropbox.com/s/unjxgud622d1yy0/OBS.mp3

              Attached Files

            • monthlymixcd
              monthlymixcd commented
              Editing a comment

              Hey, if it sounds better with the EQ changes you've made... then it IS better. In my experience, it's almost always better in the long run to cut rather than boost frequencies which can create other problems more often than not. Also, keep in mind that the mic on your iPhone is NOT of the same quality as a dedicated RTA mic and it is the "ear" for what the RTA app is showing... but it's better than nothing. Just always use YOUR ears to make final adjustments.

              EDIT: A little delay can really add to a harp solo, but best to ride the FX return fader and kill the delay when the harp is doing runs or quick work as the delay will remove much of the articulation and muddy the performance.


          • #11
            If you are using full boost of cut and getting those RTA results, you are trying to correct time domain issues in the frequency domain. Something else is responsible and you are using the wrong tool for the job.

            We have discussed this topic before in depth, if would be worth a search.

            Comment


            • #12
              Different iPhones are totally different too, yet another unknown.

              Comment


              • #13
                One quick thing you could try as well. Turn on your pink noise. Quickly mute it. Watch the display to see if there is frequencies that stay up longer than others. The ones that stay longer than the others may be caused by room build up of these frequencies at this measurement location. Pull down on the eq these frequencies. The trick is to have all bands go down even. This is a old trick to even out room problems. Or at least identify them.
                Dookietwo

                Comment


                • #14

                  nousername, just a gentle reminder regarding language/profanity. Profanity in non-English languages is still profanity. And if your post is quoted, I have to edit those posts too. Please....

                  Write something...

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Typically, thought not always, the foh guy will use house Left, cntr, right rather than stage right, etc. it depends. What's clear is that it will be is identified as such

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X