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Advice reinforcing small swing group?

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  • Advice reinforcing small swing group?

    I'm playing a dance this weekend in a room about half the size of a basketball court. I've never done sound for a band like this before, but we found out last night that the house PA no longer exists, so I stepped up and volunteered to do what I could (I'm the piano player, and new to the group).

    Piano, string bass, trombone, cornet (trumpet), tenor sax, clarinet, drums. Sensible drummer. The band has a good stage sound.

    I was thinking of throwing up a couple of powered 15s (NX55P) on sticks in front of / beside the band, pointing a dynamic at the horns, hanging another over the reeds, and using a 57 as a vocal announcement and solo mic.  I'm not a sound provider, so my mic selection is extremely limited.  I have some cheap Behringers I sometimes use for my Leslie, and the band has some AKG dynamics (D190S?) that must be a thousand years old.  (My rock band owns a better mics, but they aren't mine to take).

    The other thing I was thinking of doing was throwing a Behringer C2 condenser up in the air instead of the dynamic, if I can find one in stock locally. I have been wanting to try these anyhow.

    Thoughts?  I'm on a shoe-string budget here, but reinforcement requirements should be minimal.  Bass and keys will each have their own amps for stage sound, run right into the board.  Mixing tips will be appreciated, too. I'm actually not sure how the heck to set levels when I will busy at the piano..I guess I will have to rely on somebody else's ears for my FOH own level.

    Thanks,
    Wes

    --Hammond: BC, M3, Split L111, L122 / Leslie: 51, 760 / Yamaha: DGX-620, PF-85Follow my new band, Dr. Bombay! We're going to be organasmic!

  • #2

    In an overly live room (gym, etc) distance miking anything tends to just add to the mud. Assuming that and that you're not going for loud try to close mic everything - on the drums just the kick and use the level of the drums as your mix level. Trumpet doesn't usually need to be mic'd. The bass and keyboard amps can carry the room.

    Comment


    • monthlymixcd
      monthlymixcd commented
      Editing a comment

      You had me at "sensible drummer". lol

      Have him play sensibly... it's a very nice thing to just have to get the band level up to that of the trumpet.


  • #3

    I believe vocals only could work. However in the past, I've run a few lines like bass, keys, and kick. I check them and then leave them off. If it turns out I need them, they are there, and I'm not scrambling in the middle of the gig. I might also have a solo mic (or even two re:below) for the horns - it can help save their embouchure. Also, if the general volume (ambient and band) is loud, have some way for them to hear themselves - either by FOH or monitor. And as noted if you're going to mic, close mic.

    Of course if the band can all mix themselves that's the easiest way.

    A sound story - I was once doing sound for a band that had two horns. I get to the gig and the leader had hired two more horns without telling me. He had cheaped out on my end, and so I had brought one monitor for the two horns to share, except now it was four, so things were going to be tough. Two songs into the first set, the petite lady sax player in her elegant dress, leaves the stage and comes over to me. She screams at me, "turn the F'n monitor up". Needless to say, I was not impressed.

     

    Comment


    • dedmeet
      dedmeet commented
      Editing a comment

      I always love posting this video from one of our gigs as an example of how to mic a swing band for a small to medium crowd.  Try to guess what is and is not in the PA (Carvin TX rig, big Crest board, piles of Sennheiser wireless - these guys came loaded for bear).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALnikmoCoZU


      Btw, that's me on bass.


  • #4
    I have used a variety of mics, 414's in cardioid mode is probably my favorite but 451's are another I like,

    Not Piano Jazz (one of my all time favorites) but Riverwalk Jazz.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

    Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

    Comment


    • dbMontana
      dbMontana commented
      Editing a comment

      agedhorse wrote:

      Not Piano Jazz (one of my all time favorites) but Riverwalk Jazz.

      Gee, and I used to listen to Riverwalk Jazz all the time but my local Yellowstone Public Radio doesn't carry it any longer.  I always assumed it originated from San Antonio -- ie. their Riverwalk.  Not so -- or have you not always lived in No Cal?


  • #5
    Their club "the Landing" is on the San Antonio Riverwalk, but they took the show on the road to Sacramento for 5 years and also Stanford University for a year or two. I handled pa for all of the Sacramento shows. Some really great players.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

    Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

    Comment


    • wesg
      wesg commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for taking the time to share you knowledge here, Andy. I have very little experience performing in this type of band and none with reinforcing one. I have a feeling I will get asked to help out with this again, and I now know, basically, to do as little as possible and try to get the different pieces to match loudest instrument on stage...which hopefully shouldn't be too hard to do, as there are only seven pieces to worry about.

      Thanks for the kind words dedmeet and PSG, I'm really looking forward to playing a few more gigs with these guys. A few more gigs together and we should all be really tight. They are great players and that really pushes me to improve!


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