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  • Ran sound for a hip-hop show, things I learned

    I did sound for a well known rapper last sat and learned a few things. It tool place at a local club in Marysville WA, small town with no "ghetto" but that didn't seem to matter. System was 2x JBL SP225-9, 4x SP128 (bass!), Yamaha P7000 1 channel per box, triamped. CD player, GL2400, 4 wireless mics.

    The bass was sooo loud it hurt. in the gut. The opening acts gave me CDs that the bass was cranked prolly +18dB or more. Treble was also maxxed out though not as bad as the headliners. No soundcheck BTW. I got the CD 30sec before they went on.

    The headliners used some kind of akai sampler and their DJ used Serato into a rane mixer. Rane mixer ran into hard clip. With the bass maxxed out and treble maxxed out. So on my end (50' away) I cut bass, cut 3k, cut 12k. The high limiters were engaging before the low ones on the drpa! Harsh is a nice way to put it. I also strapped a limiter on the subgrouped DJ/CD player subgroup and it really really came in handy around 11ish and kept working til 2:15am. I also strapped a limiter across the vocal subgroup but the PA was plenty loud enough to carry without hitting the threshold.

    Bar power sux, took 20 min to find AC that didn't have issues.

    An older power conditioner shut down for no reason mid show, it powered 4 wireless mics and one sub amp. Maybe undervoltage but my meters said 122-125 all night. Still a mystery. Akward.

    WHat else, oh yeah, speakers also can keep people from jumping on stage if you lay them down in front with monitors on top.

    My favorite part was one group takes a huge was of $1 bills and throws it at the crowd. I found abuot 10 bux behind my speakers later on.

    more later...
    www.rock-bot.com
    Live-Band-Karaoke

    bassist and sound reinforcement

  • #2
    An older power conditioner shut down for no reason mid show, it powered 4 wireless mics and one sub amp.
    "Power conditioners" on power amps is a waste of perfectly good snake oil .

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    • #3


      The bass was sooo loud it hurt. in the gut. The opening acts gave me CDs that the bass was cranked prolly +18dB or more. Treble was also maxxed out


      That's called "style"
      Don Boomer

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      • #4
        What did you learn? Not to take rapper gigs anymore?!?
        Dale Christenson
        Sound4U
        A local sound provider serving Oklahoma and surrounding areas.
        http://sound4u.co

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        • #5
          I have learned that you need to bring 5X the monitors than you would need for a stadium rock show...

          For some reason, these guys who are eating the mike, and cupping it from behind, and screaming their profanity into it, really want the music cranked, and then want their vocals over that...

          Buddy of mine emailed a bill for damages half-way through a show... to the show producer... three very nice wedges were toasted.. He was renting the gear and there to 'supervise' but the band engineer was slamming everything, despite having been told not to several times... The producer wrote him a check that covered the damaged gear (to buy new) and he let him keep the other boxes... it was a really, really big name act... but still would have pissed me off.
          Fender Acoustasonic Tele
          Gretsch 9220 Bobtail resonator
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          1984 Martin Shenandoah
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          Yamaha RBX 260F Fretless 4
          Essex (SX) B-205
          And a cool old Kingston Bass that looks good on my wall....
          Aphex Punch Factor
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          Ibby Toneloc Digital Delay
          Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III *Red October limited run*

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          • #6
            I've done a few rap gigs for the local radio station. Each time was just a big pain in the ass.

            The second, and last. gig i did for them just irritated the hell out of me.

            Spend the afternoon setting up, another hour cupping the mic running around on stage screaming to ring out the monitors for maximum spl. Supposed to start at midnight. Midnight comes and goes, 12:30 comes and goes, 1 comes and goes.

            1:45am the guys come in and people go ape****************. Noone has given me the music cd. They took it to the booth for the club. So there I am, trying to get vocals over the entire club system that's being run in the red. No dice on that at all. Then the crowd started to rush the stage. The guys were up there for approx. 3 minutes. Everything was stopped and that was the end. Very ghetto crowd, luckily I had 5 of the clubs bouncers around me and FOH. Then while loading out I hear shots being popped off in the parking lot on the opposite side of the building.

            I won't be doing another gig like that for them.

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            • #7
              the crowd.

              uh... the past... oh... 10 - 20 hip-hop/rapper gigs I've worked there was generally more folks on-stage at any given time that out in "the crowd" (2's company, but generally there's got to be at least 3 to be considered "a crowd"... so I assume by your use of the word "crowd" there was actually more than 2 folks out in the audience at some time during the performance?). One of the more recent shows I worked I figure cost easily in-excess of $1K per ticket sold for the production alone... <10 total paid attendence (peak "crowd" surge of 2 that I saw in attendance at any given time), 16ea. bi-amp monitors REQUIRED, pair of 40ch. boards, 100KW sound rig, dozen wireless mics, >200 lighting fixtures (approx. 40 intel-lights), etc... (I don't know what the bands were paid, or what the venue rent and advertising costs were?) Oh... and the "sound checks" and show was basically 8 hours of dumping on the production crew about how bunk everything was. My price for being a whipping boy went up directly after that show.

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              • #8
                So Farmington, WA isn't a hotbed of hip-hop/rap? Who would've thunk it? oke: They probably wouldn't have much better crowds unless they advertised that they would be giving out free coupons to KFC grilled chicken, like Oprah did last week, pretty much wiping out the whole supply of it for thousands of locations. (Thanks, Oprah, I beat my neighbors to it.) $1,000 per person buys a _lot_ of chicken.

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                • #9
                  uh... the past... oh... 10 - 20 hip-hop/rapper gigs I've worked there was generally more folks on-stage at any given time that out in "the crowd" (2's company, but generally there's got to be at least 3 to be considered "a crowd"... so I assume by your use of the word "crowd" there was actually more than 2 folks out in the audience at some time during the performance?). One of the more recent shows I worked I figure cost easily in-excess of $1K per ticket sold for the production alone... <10 total paid attendence (peak "crowd" surge of 2 that I saw in attendance at any given time), 16ea. bi-amp monitors REQUIRED, pair of 40ch. boards, 100KW sound rig, dozen wireless mics, >200 lighting fixtures (approx. 40 intel-lights), etc... (I don't know what the bands were paid, or what the venue rent and advertising costs were?) Oh... and the "sound checks" and show was basically 8 hours of dumping on the production crew about how bunk everything was. My price for being a whipping boy went up directly after that show.


                  Oh I feel your pain brother
                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  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

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                  • #10
                    So Farmington, WA isn't a hotbed of hip-hop/rap?

                    Uh... no.

                    But, then it's arguable that Farmington isn't a hotbed of anything. The biggest drawing event of the year here in Farmington I suspect is the annual Fire department day: Rides for all the kids on the fire trucks, BBQ, soda pop for all.

                    I believe Farmington does have the tallest wooden flag pole in the state... which sounds more impressive that it is... since the power poles are as tall or taller in the general vacinity of our famous tall flag pole.

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                    • #11
                      Hi-pass and limit your subs, keep your vocal gates and comps handy, keep a pre-emptive "frowny face" EQ, hypercardioid vox mics are your friends, pay special attention to the sidefills (oftentimes they like it as loud or louder on stage as it is out front), and pay special attention to security and crowd control.

                      I keep a full-size maglite in my FOH rack just for these shows, used it a few times.

                      I was FOH for a somewhat estabolished hip-hop act in Toronto for a few straight dates before they were off on a tour of some kind. Some of the shows were the rapper + guests playing with a DJ, some of them with a full band + DJ. Lots and lots of young drunk guys in one place with something to prove gets dangerous and fast. I have no problem mixing rap/hip-hop shows, however, both for the environment and the music. I got used to what to listen for and come across a lot of artists, and sometimes actually talk to the ones that impress me. I myself play in a hard rap/rock band so I find myself part of rap shows all the time, and no kidding they're always the most fun. I just make sure to bring my own techs whenever we're playing as part of a rap concert because these guys are rarely prepared to handle a loud-ass rock band.

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                      • #12
                        We do a few hip hop/rap acts a year...

                        One year we gave the DJ/Sampler person a SB850 with a KF650 ontop on each side of the table (8'-10' apart). We gave it to him as loud as he wanted, it was funny to watch him hit the 808 track, and then CD player would start skipping.

                        We also give the "rappers" an OM7.
                        Which rig to take out to a show?
                        Aspects over B2 or the QRx212 over QRx218 rig

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                        • #13
                          We gave it to him as loud as he wanted, it was funny to watch him hit the 808 track, and then CD player would start skipping.


                          and yet it is still somehow your fault this happens. i'm done with this crowd.
                          band status - "its complicated"

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                          • #14
                            I believe the saying for these situations is "You cant have crap without rap."
                            "A performer without techs is standing naked, on a dark stage, and no one can hear them. A tech without a performer... has marketable skills."

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                            • #15
                              We do a few hip hop/rap acts a year...

                              One year we gave the DJ/Sampler person a SB850 with a KF650 ontop on each side of the table (8'-10' apart). We gave it to him as loud as he wanted, it was funny to watch him hit the 808 track, and then CD player would start skipping.

                              We also give the "rappers" an OM7.


                              HOLY ****************!!!!!

                              Hehehe... I used to wonder why Rap records sounded so thin... until I saw some sessions... and the SP level must've been 110 or higher.

                              I used to think metal was bad.

                              T
                              My Rig:

                              EAW LA325's (2)
                              EAW LA400's (4)
                              QSC PLX 3402 (2)
                              QSC PL1.8
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                              Ashly ProTea 3.24c
                              Ashly ProTea 4.24G
                              EAW LA212 Monitors
                              JBL PRX-512M Monitors
                              Whole Lotta Cables

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