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watch4king

Need help with live setting - sound not cutting through

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this would probably work in a church setting. A loud rock club with a full FOH PA w/subs and 10k watts, you would have to crank the monitors just to get them over the room noise. 

Actually not really.  You'd be suprised.  I've done this on some pretty big stages.  Yes, bigger=louder, but no where near the volume of normal monitors..  As I said, if they pull their IEM's in the middle of song,  they don't hear the monitors, or at least not enough to where they are useful...  it's a weird thing/effect.  But put the IEM's back in... and it sounds like sound is everywhere.  Turn monitors off (or forget to turn them on after a break) and they're all like... "why can't I hear in the IEM's."  

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They exist, yes. But I'll bet you every dime in the collection plate that you're not gonna find any of those acts at your local parish on Sunday morning... ;)

 

Well there are a couple around here (Pacific Northwest) and there was a huge one that was more "classic rock" sound back in PA.   They are more "concert hall" than church.   One of the ones around here is open mic on Sunday.   Yes, it's a church...  They study... they rock.   It's not my scene, but I thought it was pretty cool when I heard about it.

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They exist, yes. But I'll bet you every dime in the collection plate that you're not gonna find any of those acts at your local parish on Sunday morning... ;)

 

I think, generally, you're right as far as most conventional churches which tend to be very "Praise and Worship" oriented in their music programs.  But many folks would probably be surprised at the range of styles that are incorporated nowdays into worship music.  This is especially true in more specialized ministries that focus on certain types of groups.  For example, we play every week at a biker church, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a lot of differences between the styles of songs we play and those played at your typical nightclub.  The topic of the songs is different, but not so much the style of music.

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Lots of good info in this topic so this reply is "in addition to" and not "in place of" it.

 

Most people say it's the sound man's job to make the band sound good. I approach my job as a worship musician differently. It is my job to make the sound man sound good, and the sound man's job to create an atmosphere conducive to worship. With that as my starting point, does it matter if people can hear my guitar solo? That said, let's dig in.

 

Start by asking the FOH engineer about this. "Hey John, some people are telling me they can't hear the guitar solos I play. Is that your experience from the booth as well?" Maybe John will tell you about the sonic dead spots in your room where people will never be able to hear guitar solos. Maybe he'll tell you he doesn't actually know how to mix guitar solos to be heard. Maybe he'll tell you the guitar solos are really distracting and he's burying them in the mix to preserve the atmosphere. Maybe he'll tell you there's no sonic space to sit you in unless the keys stop banging away while you're playing a lead. Maybe he'll just shrug. Maybe he'll tell you to put more mids in your tone. Maybe your entire service is being mixed through a single PA speaker fifty feet above the stage that was installed in 1972 with a frequency response from 240hz to 3.8khz and there's nothing you will ever be able to do to get modern sound out of it. Point being it is a partnership and you have to work together. If you just start adding more and more mids to your tone he might be thinking, "man, that tone is mid-range-y!" and just keep cutting more and more mids each week.

 

If you get "the shrug" from FOH then you're sunk. Insert wise saying about chains and the weakest link.

 

Bottom line for church: if people are worshipping it doesn't matter if your solo can be heard or not. Still, take all the good advice others have offered in this thread in your quest to approach your craft with excellence.

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If you get the "shrug" you can always write it off to the fact that most sound men are frustrated wannabe musicians anyway...  ;)

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Lots of good info in this topic so this reply is "in addition to" and not "in place of" it.

 

Most people say it's the sound man's job to make the band sound good. I approach my job as a worship musician differently. It is my job to make the sound man sound good, and the sound man's job to create an atmosphere conducive to worship. With that as my starting point, does it matter if people can hear my guitar solo? That said, let's dig in.

 

Start by asking the FOH engineer about this. "Hey John, some people are telling me they can't hear the guitar solos I play. Is that your experience from the booth as well?" Maybe John will tell you about the sonic dead spots in your room where people will never be able to hear guitar solos. Maybe he'll tell you he doesn't actually know how to mix guitar solos to be heard. Maybe he'll tell you the guitar solos are really distracting and he's burying them in the mix to preserve the atmosphere. Maybe he'll tell you there's no sonic space to sit you in unless the keys stop banging away while you're playing a lead. Maybe he'll just shrug. Maybe he'll tell you to put more mids in your tone. Maybe your entire service is being mixed through a single PA speaker fifty feet above the stage that was installed in 1972 with a frequency response from 240hz to 3.8khz and there's nothing you will ever be able to do to get modern sound out of it. Point being it is a partnership and you have to work together. If you just start adding more and more mids to your tone he might be thinking, "man, that tone is mid-range-y!" and just keep cutting more and more mids each week.

 

If you get "the shrug" from FOH then you're sunk. Insert wise saying about chains and the weakest link.

 

Bottom line for church: if people are worshipping it doesn't matter if your solo can be heard or not. Still, take all the good advice others have offered in this thread in your quest to approach your craft with excellence.

malhavok you said it!

Bottom line for church: if people are worshipping it doesn't matter if your solo can be heard or not. Still, take all the good advice others have offered in this thread in your quest to approach your craft with excellence.

 

Every building is different, everybody's ear is different, and everyone's taste's are different.

I was a technical director at a church for 6 years. I have been play guitar and running sound for 30 years. I have used IEM, stage monitors and amps, and amps hidden off stage, etc... hence my love for the Helix, I have a love hate for IEM's. Hoping the Helix will cure that, because I miss having my amp on stage with me for some gigs. I have only used the Helix once with IEM's and I liked it. The other times with my amp, and can't wait to try out my new L2t.

 

I have played in many church's here in Southern Cali and ran sound in many, have installed and taught how to run their systems. Have pushed on "Your room needs to be treated!"

Many churches have sound people that are volunteers, and many never trained properly. Every church I visit I can't help myself, I stand or sit or walk by the sound booth and watch how they mix, so many times I want to say, "That's a vox lead, bring her up!" "That's a guitar lead bring him up!" or my most common one, why can't I hear all the instruments?" because when I mix you will hear everyone! I want everyone on that stage to shine. Sometimes it is talking to the musicians and have them learn to compliment each other. I.E Dynamics.

And if it is a church I have taught or know the engineer, I will comment, and then all of a sudden there it is, so sometimes it is just the engineer just needs to be let known as they are paying attention to something else. Of coarse there are some that give excuses, and many times it is the room... So many run Bass way to loud, wide, I will suggest tightening it up, EQ and lowering the volume.

 

So many churches I visit, I don't hear rhythm or lead guitarist in the mix. I have been told more times than I can count in the last 19 years of playing worship, that my guitar wasn't heard. It has been a struggle, but I also have learned to watch the congregation and are they being moved, then it was good even if they didn't hear me.

 

Now last night at a church I hadn't visited yet, they had the greatest mix! I heard all instruments, very pro setup, great auditorium built for music and speaking, great musicians great sound engineer! I love when I don't have my ear's playing critic and just enjoy and engage! 

 

So for you watch4king:

I have designed my patches to have EQ mid boost and volume boost, anywhere from a 3db to 5db boost.

And having someone I trust in the congregation to give me the nod or thumbs up if they hear me. As I have learned when I'm on stage with IEM's I can't hear the true level changes in the FOH. Actually I have tried to have this for the past 25 years.

 

Also work with the sound engineer, let them know they are in the band! They need to know their instrument too, and they need to know the songs and arrangement of the songs too. When I was the TD I used to stand next the engineer and point out solo coming up... or that vox that has been background vox in all the songs is now lead vox in this song. They should know this or taught to know it. And they need to learn to EQ and know when to use it instead of volume at times.

 

Also if you haven't already, purchase Glenn's or Freeman's patches and look at how they have used the EQ boost and volume boost or snapshots to change EQ or volume.

I purchased both of their work to learn from and see what they have done, just little tweaks to your desire and perfect!

 

I love reading all your posts Helix lovers! Great advise!

Rock on!

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malhavok you said it!

Bottom line for church: if people are worshipping it doesn't matter if your solo can be heard or not. Still, take all the good advice others have offered in this thread in your quest to approach your craft with excellence.

 

Every building is different, everybody's ear is different, and everyone's taste's are different.

I was a technical director at a church for 6 years. I have been play guitar and running sound for 30 years. I have used IEM, stage monitors and amps, and amps hidden off stage, etc... hence my love for the Helix, I have a love hate for IEM's. Hoping the Helix will cure that, because I miss having my amp on stage with me for some gigs. I have only used the Helix once with IEM's and I liked it. The other times with my amp, and can't wait to try out my new L2t.

 

I have played in many church's here in Southern Cali and ran sound in many, have installed and taught how to run their systems. Have pushed on "Your room needs to be treated!"

Many churches have sound people that are volunteers, and many never trained properly. Every church I visit I can't help myself, I stand or sit or walk by the sound booth and watch how they mix, so many times I want to say, "That's a vox lead, bring her up!" "That's a guitar lead bring him up!" or my most common one, why can't I hear all the instruments?" because when I mix you will hear everyone! I want everyone on that stage to shine. Sometimes it is talking to the musicians and have them learn to compliment each other. I.E Dynamics.

And if it is a church I have taught or know the engineer, I will comment, and then all of a sudden there it is, so sometimes it is just the engineer just needs to be let known as they are paying attention to something else. Of coarse there are some that give excuses, and many times it is the room... So many run Bass way to loud, wide, I will suggest tightening it up, EQ and lowering the volume.

 

So many churches I visit, I don't hear rhythm or lead guitarist in the mix. I have been told more times than I can count in the last 19 years of playing worship, that my guitar wasn't heard. It has been a struggle, but I also have learned to watch the congregation and are they being moved, then it was good even if they didn't hear me.

 

Now last night at a church I hadn't visited yet, they had the greatest mix! I heard all instruments, very pro setup, great auditorium built for music and speaking, great musicians great sound engineer! I love when I don't have my ear's playing critic and just enjoy and engage!

 

So for you watch4king:

I have designed my patches to have EQ mid boost and volume boost, anywhere from a 3db to 5db boost.

And having someone I trust in the congregation to give me the nod or thumbs up if they hear me. As I have learned when I'm on stage with IEM's I can't hear the true level changes in the FOH. Actually I have tried to have this for the past 25 years.

 

Also work with the sound engineer, let them know they are in the band! They need to know their instrument too, and they need to know the songs and arrangement of the songs too. When I was the TD I used to stand next the engineer and point out solo coming up... or that vox that has been background vox in all the songs is now lead vox in this song. They should know this or taught to know it. And they need to learn to EQ and know when to use it instead of volume at times.

 

Also if you haven't already, purchase Glenn's or Freeman's patches and look at how they have used the EQ boost and volume boost or snapshots to change EQ or volume.

I purchased both of their work to learn from and see what they have done, just little tweaks to your desire and perfect!

 

I love reading all your posts Helix lovers! Great advise!

Rock on!

Very insightful reply. Thank you

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I respectfully beg to differ, there are many instruments including the human voice that can overlap frequency ranges with the guitar. Particularly when there are multiple instruments that are too loud or EQ'd incrorrectly they can cover up every square inch of the guitar's portion of the frequency spectrum. Granted timbre plays into differentiating instruments as well but timbre alone will not guarantee cutting through in a poorly setup PA. As I said earlier, the keyboards in particular can potentially cover up the entire range of a guitar depending on the patch being used and the range being played in. Even vocals can interfere with or be interfered with by the guitar. Ever try to hear yourself singing with badly EQ'd guitar in your vocal monitor, or conversely, hear your guitar over the vocals when you don't have enough high end in a dull guitar sound? It can also be a function of band size and as amsdenj mentioned earlier how much 'space', dynamics, and good listening/responding is being employed in the music. A large band with multiple vocalists can start to provide a wall of sound that can be hard to cut through. Correct EQ along with the right volume is better than just cranking up alone. 

 

The link below shows charts with the frequency range of various instruments. You can see how much overlap there is between various  instruments and between instruments and vocals. Utilizing varying EQ and different parts of the frequency range to empahsize specific instruments can really help them cut through when necessary and reduce the amount of volume required for a specific instrument to be heard clearly..

http://www.guitarbuilding.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Instrument-Sound-EQ-Chart.pdf

http://www.stormythursdaywebcasttheater.com/info/audio_frequency_equalization_charts.php

 

Multiple guitarists in the same band can also be a challenge. Natively different EQ curves among other things are part of why it is easier to pick out guitar parts when each guitarist is playing a different guitar with different pickups (e.g. one guitarist has a Strat, the other a Les Paul) . The guitarists can be further differentiated by slightly varying their board EQ from one another.

 

I think as alluded to earlier, if you are still having problems cutting through once you have the volumes leveled, and are playing with appropriate space and technique, start adjusting EQ rather than just adding volume to allow individual instruments to be clearer in the mix. Otherwise, you may find yourself to be in a constant war of volume between band members. 

 

A good article on different instruments and where to focus their EQ.

http://blog.sonicbids.com/the-ultimate-eq-cheat-sheet-for-every-common-instrument

Although i both appreciate and respect your efforts you are making some assumptions, which in turn are adding a lot of needless clutter to the thread. Ive been producing records for over 30 years, in the music industry for nearly 17, and working exclusively with signed artists for the last 8, (let alone the fact that ive been playing guitar for 39 years) so im well aware of frequency interaction, whether it be live or to tape. 

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Although i both appreciate and respect your efforts you are making some assumptions, which in turn are adding a lot of needless clutter to the thread. Ive been producing records for over 30 years, in the music industry for nearly 17, and working exclusively with signed artists for the last 8, (let alone the fact that ive been playing guitar for 39 years) so im well aware of frequency interaction, whether it be live or to tape. 

 

This is not your topic so I believe it is a bit presumptuous of you to describe my efforts on it as 'adding needless clutter'. The OP did not seem to feel that way (at least I would like to think they did not). I also have been making music and running sound for quite a long time although I think diminishing other's contributions by trying to position yourself as the 'expert' is usually an act of hubris and results in a 'measuring' contest as others have so humorously pointed out.  I made my points and did my best to add some value and stopped responding to this thread days ago so for the life of me I don't understand why you felt you needed to make this comment now. I will do my best to keep my mouth shut in the future and treat you as the 'authority' you so clearly are.

 

Btw, as long as you are 'respectfully' calling my posts 'needless clutter'  I would 'respectfully' say that your earlier statement regarding guitar stating that "there is nothing else on stage that resembles its sound even remotely" was wildly inaccurate in the context in which we were discussing overlapping frequencies and cutting through a mix and not reflective of the level of 'expertise/experience' you are claiming. If you feel you need to clarify your original comment regarding the guitar I would be genuinely interested to know what you meant. However, I would try not to be rude enough to characterize it the way you have my posts.

 

Anyway, not sure why you took offense to my earlier posts which simply included information and references to back up my comments regarding EQ in response to your post which dismissed what I had said out of hand with no supporting evidence or facts. Providing your experience or supporting your opinion with facts is always a better approach than just insulting someone else's posts and opinions. I don't claim to be an expert although I have been doing this like you for quite a long time. I am just offering up my opinion which is the result of my experiences and trying to learn from others. 

 

Ultimately I would disagree with you, I believe this topic lead to several people making helpful contributions as to how to make your guitar cut through all of which when put together I find assist to form a more complete picture and answer to the question posed in the beginning of the topic. I found valuable and accurate contributions from almost every post here.  The only 'needless clutter' here is the totally unnecessary post you just made to me and now mine responding to it.

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 Ive been producing records for over 30 years, in the music industry for nearly 17, and working exclusively with signed artists for the last 8, (let alone the fact that ive been playing guitar for 39 years) so im well aware of frequency interaction, whether it be live or to tape. 

Lets hear some of those records!

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Here we go again! Welcome to another episode of "My Credentials Are Way More Awesome Than Yours"...

 

What time is recess over? ;)

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Ummm that kinda depends on the church... Heavy Metal Praise music has been around for awhile... then there's TSO, and Stryper.. just say'n.

Well yeah, there's also Demon Hunter, Red, and a bunch of other newer bands. All good stuff.

 

Of course you know what I meant, the typical modern family church where you have a mixing pot of people of all ages and background. It's already a miracle that everyone can mostly get along. Not sure if aggressive Christian genres will help here :)

 

But even in metal and all its variants, some younger folks these days are wearing earplugs at concerts. Authorities are putting new emphasis on hearing health related issues. And there's growing criticism over the whole loudness wars in the music industry.

 

So people are starting to see that louder is not always better. Even in metal (someone scream blasphemy!)

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So people are starting to see that louder is not always better. Even in metal (someone scream blasphemy!)

Clarity is always better than loudness.

....but if you can have both.....

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Am I the only person that utterly hates IEMs?

 

Ban loud drummers.

 

Uninvent IEM's (unless it's a big stage and you MUST go walkabout)

 

Job done

 

MAGA

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Am I the only person that utterly hates IEMs?

 

I despise IEMs. That's why I wear a full sized pair of studio cans on stage!

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I love my IEMs! Everybody stays tight, no going back and forth with a lollipop sound guy on a monitor mix, we can run clicks for the whole set, all of our samples are perfectly timed.... Do they sound the greatest? No, but the benefits more than make up for a slight decrease in volume and "feel". At least IMHO.

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To much human voice occupies the same range as guitar. Rather impossible to accurately pink noise a big church like area as all the people would completely change the sonic characteristics. I've never seen or heard a guitar in a church but haven't been near one since I was like 9. I do not look for such environments to produce good sounding anything. But to each his own. 

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If helpful is agreeing all the time or supporting things I find out of my paradigm, do excuse me, freedom of speech and allowed to present my opinion which carries at least as much weight as yours. Patronizing things which seem pointless or absurd to me is not really anything I am capable. Cutting through the mix in a church, just offering a bunch of people singing makes that rather impossible. 

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