Running sound from stage with everything mic'd.

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by HoboMan, May 8, 2016.

  1. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Anybody doing this?

    I don't like doing it but my classic rock/pop cover band has a couple of shows coming up and we may not have a sound guy available.

    I have no problem running sound from the stage at smaller gigs where we only mic vocals and bass drum.
     
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  2. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I do from time to time. Definitely not optimal!
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    same rules apply; you need one of you to go out front and maintain the mix periodically, and ideally you need time for a real soundcheck.

    it's also more important for the players to keep themselves under control so the source sound is itself closer to balanced to begin with.
     
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  4. RCM78

    RCM78 Member

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    Our sound guy is treated like a band member. If he's not available I have a sub. If the sub isn't available I'll pass on the gig.
    We place a very high value on a good sound tech being out front.
     
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  5. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm currently on the search for a full time soundguy since our band seems to be getting larger and better gigs.
     
  6. Geetarpicker

    Geetarpicker Member

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    I run sound from the stage and I'm also the lead guitar player. Two main things have helped with this task.

    One, is a digital board (Allen & Heath QU16) where I can save settings and always have a decent starting point based upon prior gigs plus the settings can't get bumped around like might happen with an analog board. That said, I have several settings saved for the different line ups our band performs with, plus indoor or outdoor typical settings.

    Two, I use a wireless on my guitar so I can step out into the venue during soundcheck and performance.

    After several years of this I can often handle a gig without even much more than a line check, though we optimally usually do about a 15-20 minute sound check. We are micing a full 4 piece drum kit w/5 mics, 2 guitar mics, DI for bass, DI for keys, DI for backing track, plus 5-6 vocals. We also run 4 different monitor mixes on floor wedges. On my guitar I usually use a volume pedal to boost up solos and gain ride things.

    The most time consuming issues during sound check is usually ringing out the monitors if needed, and tweaking the main PA EQ if needed if there is any low end ring or boom. Sometime a swap of the main PA phase is all that is needed via my speaker processor. Anyway full band PA micing from the stage is a bit much to handle but doable with practice and experience.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
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  7. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I've done this a lot. We ordinarily have our own SE, but often he isn't available or whatever. Generally if the gig is small enough that I don't "Need" a soundguy, it's small enough to let the bass and guitar amps carry themselves. Nevertheless, the drum kit is always close mic'ed and very often I have the guitar and bass cabs mic'ed as well.

    Like Walter said, make sure you get there early enough to do a complete soundcheck and make sure you are wireless so you can get out front fairly often. Try not to make it too obvious that's what you are doing.
     
  8. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    We mic pretty much everything. Depending on the room the drums might only be the kick. Usually 6 mics on the drums though. As mentioned earlier being wireless helps so you can go out front to listen.
     
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  9. mixwiz

    mixwiz Member

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    This. If you are balanced without a pa, it's really pretty easy. A quick trip out front to do some tweaks and you're good to go.
     
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  10. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Member

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    Our band does this on a regular basis. Over time it's proven to be pretty effective. It usually takes no more than half a song to be dialed in.
     
  11. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

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    We do this as well. Been doing it for years now. Mic everything, the band as to be able to play together as a group, vs 4 or 5 people who want "the me" show. Both guitarist have volume pedals to bring ourselves up for leads. I have to get after the keyboard player now and then to remind her it not LEAD KEYBOARD ALL THE TIME.
     
  12. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    I have for about a 1000 gigs over the last 8+ years. We play a rotation of about 8-10 100-250 seat bars, and I know those rooms and my band's needs better than any typical walk in club sound guy. All the bigger places we play have large house systems.

    I have a digital mixer and save the previous show mix settings for each venue. my band mates all mix their own monitor send via iPhone app. I usually just walk out at front at end of sound check and visual cues from trusted regular band friends/helpers in first couple tunes. Typically about a 30 minute set up start to finish. Super easy and low stress.
     
  13. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I'm actually quite surprised at how many of you guys are doing this. I'm still a bit reluctant to try it but I may not have a choice if I can't find someone for some upcoming shows.
     
  14. Jim234

    Jim234 Member

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    All the time. Everything is mic'd unless its a small gig.

    The settings on the mixer are what I consider a good average for every room. As a guitar player I plug in the wireless and stand out front to check the sound levels EQ etc. The bands principle singer will also stand out front as well while testing my vocals and also profer an opinion on the sound. Whole process takes about 15 minutes. People who come and see us regularly say the sound is good, I always ask.

    Where I live is great to see live bands, loads of places to play. Very rarely over the years have I seen anyone running the sound.
     
  15. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    As much as I have had to do it, in my opinion, try real hard to find someone to mix for you. Anyone who is competent will do a better job than you can mixing from the stage.
     
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  16. Badstrat

    Badstrat Member

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    We are only three piece and never use a sound guy. Most of the gigs are 100 people max. We don't mic bass or guitar. Only thing is I sometimes forget to turn the vocals up towards the end of the night when we start to get real loud and it drowns out the vocals. All the levels and settings are kept from the previous gigs so all you really have to do is turn it on. Most times the foldback EQ's are good from gig to gig but may need a tweek here and there.
     
  17. Aaron Mayo

    Aaron Mayo Member

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    Wow, that's a lot to deal with. I've heard you play and I can only assume the results are in the same ballpark. Count me impressed!
     
  18. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    I do this a lot with my 3-piece band. We run direct to the PA though most of the time through modeler's and mic the drums up. Running a Digital Board (PreSonus) with enough Aux's helps when one of those Aux's is pretty much a mirror image of what is going out on the FOH feed. Keeping balanced sound is a lot easier then. Even though we have the Monitor Feeds, it helps when we have someone in the audience to alert us to when something isn't set correctly or needs a "touch-up" (this usually falls to one of our wives who knows how we are "supposed" to sound).

    We occasionally play places that have a PA system already. Usually, we have small amps on stage mainly to monitor ourselves and mic them or use the modeler's to feed the House PA. One of the recent gig's we did with a house PA, we couldn't get monitor feeds set up because of how the PA was wired. The "Sound Guy" showed up almost at the last minute and was running around like a Chicken with it's head cut off, trying to get the PA up and running. We/He fought feedback all night long. I was going to set up our PA, use their speakers, but the Sound Guy said he would do the sound with his system because when we took a break, he was going to play music. We got through our first set, took our break, and in that break, next thing we heard was a bunch of Rap over the PA. Loud, very very LOUD! People ran for the exits, it was so loud. We took the stage, it was coming through the monitors so loud we couldn't even talk on stage to each other. Our Drummer unplugged the Monitor pointed at him which shut off one of the mains. Sound Guy went ballistic. The Bar manager finally got involved, told the sound guy to leave, my wife took over the board, figured out what needed to be turned up or down, and we finished out the rest of the gig. So, just because there is a "Sound Guy" on site, doesn't mean the "sound" will be what it should be.
     
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  19. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

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    I also run lights from the stage as well. ;) we too have different scenes on my moxer for different venues. There's some dialling in but it usually goes pretty smooth.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  20. Uncle Pat

    Uncle Pat Member

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    I've just about quit doing this. Two band members were getting increasingly late showing up for a gig and not allowing me time to get them hooked up and at least a line check, so I said to hell with it. Hired a soundguy, but still they show up at gig time.
    So, it's amps or nothing and they get a vocal mic. We may not sound as good, but that's the hand dealt so I play it. :)
     
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