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One of the things I really like about what my band is doing and one of the best signs that we're progressing is our ability to salvage gigs that are otherwise headed for disaster: gigs where the first set goes badly, the crowd just isn't that 'ready' to go, or there are other problems. 3 or 4 years ago, we'd have lost these crowds and tried to solace ourselves with comments about "nice to get out of here early" or "paid rehearsal". Now, we're consistantly turning them into successes.

 

Last night was a perfect example. Played a small wedding. Maybe 75 guests there. Nice crowd with a mostly 25-40 age group (always nice to see at a wedding) but I knew right away it might be a tough crowd when I walked into the small reception hall and saw that the dinner/bar area was a separate room from where the band would be playing. Never a good sign when you have to try to drag people in from the other room where they are all congregating. Plus, this wedding didn't have the usual collection of bridesmaids and groomsmen, so a lot of our usual schticks and gimmicks that we pull out at weddings weren't going to work.

 

Add to that the fact we got no soundcheck. This is common in situations where we are setting up close to where the ceremony is being held. The best I can do is just make sure all the mics are working. And weddings, with the usual "Father/bride dance" "bride/groom dance" format doesn't lend ourselves to the extended jam piece we sometimes do in lieu of a formal soundcheck. 9 times out of 10 this isn't a big deal, but we had some sound problems in the first set which took us out of our usual flow. By the end of the first set, instead of the crowd size growing it was about 1/2 what it was at the early part of the set and I thought we had lost them. We were all talking about it maybe being an early night.

 

Instead we rallied. I figured out the sound problems during the break (mostly a result of too much reverb in the monitors) and the fact that everyone else was in the next room worked in our favor here and gave me the ability to soundcheck a bit. So we re-doubled our energy and kicked ass for the next two sets.

 

So much so that the bride who was writing the check at the end of the night gave us a $1,000 bonus! (our new single-night bonus record!)

 

Remaining focused on the end goal--entertaining the crowd and giving them the party they came for regardless of whatever issues we had going on on stage (which they obviously couldn't care less about)--is what it is all about. Stay Focused. Work Hard. Kick Ass. = Please Clients/Make Money.

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Same here. I got a little drunk playing a back yard BBQ yesterday. Rallied back (after saying over the PA, "Stop bring me shots...You're all bad people!"

 

The DJ working the show hired us on the spot for a BBQ over Labor Day weekend.

 

Never quit.

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The problem is never
the music
, is it? I hate all the tech stuff that is required to do the fun part.

 

 

I"m at the crisis point with the sound. We hire a sound man for the bigger rooms, but I often just decide to run it myself from stage for the smaller ones. Sometimes it's even an issue where we would set up the mixer if we brought a sound guy. Plus, we all tend to be cheapskates. And now that we've added a 6th member to the band, everyone is even less excited about the prospect of paying out another cut.

 

But nothing ruins my night more than sounds problems that keep me from concentrating on what I'm there to do: play keyboards and sing and entertain. So I think I've really got to put my foot down with the band and tell them we're using a soundman at all gigs from now on.

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mostly a result of too much reverb in the monitors ??

Why would there be any reverb in the monitors ? I don`t understand this or maybe a knob got hit by accident

 

 

A couple of the guys like to hear a little effects in their monitors. Not anything I've ever found necessary, personally.

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We used to have our keyboard player running sound also for most of our gigs. The only time we have a sound man is for the casino gigs where we have to use our PA. We decided about a month ago to hire a soundman. This will free up our keyboard player to concentrate on playing keys and yes entertaining. Yeah, some of us didn't like paying another guy until some of us brought up the fact that the soundman will also be helping set up & tear down. This will cut down on time. :thu:

 

 

as far as salvaging a gig. That does feel good and we have been there many times. Glad to hear it working out for you guys!

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mostly a result of too much reverb in the monitors ??

Why would there be any reverb in the monitors ? I don`t understand this or maybe a knob got hit by accident

 

 

Plus one, Monitors are so you can hear yourself and whether you are on pitch. Leave the effects out.

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I don't get the FX in monitors. Seems silly. :idk:

 

I like the saved gig. I have done this with music before. The sound was good, the tunes were done well, just not the right style. Shifted gears, busted out the hip hop and hard rock, good to go. The people that made the requests were the prudes not dancing or drinking which made the dancers and drunks :poke:. Hid the tip jar for a set

 

Happy endings are beautiful.

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Same here - I'm also the keyboardplayer in our band and do sound on-stage.

My monitor's signal is coming from the sum out on the mixer so I'll be able to hear exactly what the crowd hears - so yes there's always reverb in my monitor - been doing that for the last 25 years and it still works for me - having at least a little effects in your monitor is a also lot less tiring for your voice . . .

 

Will

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Can I clarify something here?

 

I assume when referring to wet monitors you all mean wet only in addition to whatever effects are already going into your amp? I.e. effects added at the mixer?

 

Just 'cause, so far every gig I've done, all of my effects (distortion, delay, chorus etc) have all been coming from my pedalboard, meaning I get them in my monitors.

 

I assume that's not much of an issue?

 

Sorry if that's a stupid question, I'm still young and lacking knowledge about many of these things =P

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Can I clarify something here?


I assume when referring to wet monitors you all mean wet only in addition to whatever effects are already going into your amp? I.e. effects added at the mixer?


 

 

In this case it is effects on the vocals. The mixer has separate controls so you can send whatever reverb or other effects you are using on the vocals outfront to the monitors. (Or turn them off in the monitors). My guys like to hear a bit of the same effects they have on their vocals out front in their monitors as well. I had it up in the monitors a bit too much.

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mostly a result of too much reverb in the monitors ??

Why would there be any reverb in the monitors ? I don`t understand this or maybe a knob got hit by accident

 

 

He's right. I don't run any effects in the monitors. They become a source of feedback and musician distraction. (Delay is the worst offender.) I have had problems when the primary singer is able to hear the FOH speakers over the monitors. (Very rare occurrence. It's happened twice in nearly three years.)

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He's right. I don't run any effects in the monitors. They become a source of feedback and musician distraction. (Delay is the worst offender.) I have had problems when the primary singer is able to hear the FOH speakers over the monitors. (Very rare occurrence. It's happened twice in nearly three years.)

 

We've never really had any problem with effects in the monitors in 8 years. We did this gig because I had them set too hot in at least one channel. Mostly a problem because I had some feedback I couldn't immediately source, have a mixer with (what sometimes seems like) 8,000 knobs on it and I'm trying to play and sing at the same time.

 

Now I know that if a similar problem happens again to check the monitor effect sends first. Or make sure that the soundman I will insist on having does. :p

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In this case it is effects on the vocals. The mixer has separate controls so you can send whatever reverb or other effects you are using on the vocals outfront to the monitors. (Or turn them off in the monitors). My guys like to hear a bit of the same effects they have on their vocals out front in their monitors as well. I had it up in the monitors a bit too much.

 

 

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks

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My philosophy is people ought to have their monitors sound the way they're comfortable with.

 

But I do think the idea that a monitor is going to let you know exactly what you sound like out front is wishful thinking. :wave: We use a couple of 12" EV floor wedges w/horns and a couple of small speakers on sticks for sidefills. Unless you're using the same speakers out front and the audience is standing 10 feet away from them, you aren't going to sound the same to their ears as you do onstage.

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Off topic, but a little monitor trick a sound tech friend of mine showed me to cut down on stage volume and feedback is to EQ much differently than the fOH mix.

I use my powered mixer with two channels, each with it's own EQ, for two monitor mixes. On each, he cut the bottom end way down and boosted the mids and highs, allowing the vocals to cut through the stage sound without being loud. No more muddy monitor mixes and loud onstage sound!

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I thought the other reason for a dry monitor mix is that people start singing off key, depending on the effect.

 

 

I'm sure that can happen. I worry that if there is too much 'verb in the monitors that the guys will be able to use it to mask pitch problems to some degree. But as far as special effects stuff goes, we don't really do that. We only use 3 effects settings on the vocals the entire night: our standard reverb with small bit of delay setting; a special effects setting with longer/louder delay for songs that have that big DELAYDELAYDELAYDELAYDELAYDELAY ending or middle section that gets used maybe a 1/2 dozen times a night, and a heavy slapback setting for one song.

 

If we were using chorusy/flangey type effects, I think pitch issues would DEFINIATELY be a concern.

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Off topic, but a little monitor trick a sound tech friend of mine showed me to cut down on stage volume and feedback is to EQ much differently than the fOH mix.

I use my powered mixer with two channels, each with it's own EQ, for two monitor mixes. On each, he cut the bottom end way down and boosted the mids and highs, allowing the vocals to cut through the stage sound without being loud. No more muddy monitor mixes and loud onstage sound!

 

 

For EQ I'm running 4 monitor mixes through 2 Driverack PAs. Which means that monitors 1&2 and 3&4 have to share EQ settings. But since we're using 4 identical (in theory) monitors (JBL EONs) that usually isn't a problem. Plus each monitor has it's own treble and bass control.

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I thought the other reason for a dry monitor mix is that people start singing off key, depending on the effect.

 

 

Too loud bass will throw a singer off key if they use that for a reference pitch. For my ears, too loud bass just muddies the sound.

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Off topic, but a little monitor trick a sound tech friend of mine showed me to cut down on stage volume and feedback is to EQ much differently than the fOH mix.

I use my powered mixer with two channels, each with it's own EQ, for two monitor mixes. On each, he cut the bottom end way down and boosted the mids and highs, allowing the vocals to cut through the stage sound without being loud. No more muddy monitor mixes and loud onstage sound!

 

Yeah unless you have great monitors with bass,kick, and other instruments with a lot of low frequencies in them you can pretty much drop everything out below 100hz. :thu:

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Got bandmates on the other side of the stage who insist on having the organ in the monitors. I'm playing through a Leslie. If they can't hear it over their guitars, the audience probably can't hear it either. One of these days, I'll take my video camera to the gig and check out the tape.

 

And no. I don't mic it.

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Good points here. I quit a band 2 years ago simply because the singer couldn't "rally" during the less than perfect gigs. If we had an uninterested crowd or something, he'd simply say the crowd sucks and give a crap performance.

 

Turns out, he'd never sung in a band before.

 

Lesson learned was that you always put out your best, even if "the crowd sucks". You never know who's watching you.

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