I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

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Stab Frenzy
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:52 am

madtheory wrote:Ya, it's an essential part of a gig rig. A rack with a mixer, effects, and maybe a few rackmounting synth/ sampler modules also.
I wouldn't say essential. Depending on how you have your live show set up you can get away without one, some of the variables being:
1. The size of the venues you're playing ie. what gear your engineer is going to have access to. Most places we play have a D2 and at least a couple of M1s so we don't have to worry about it.
2. The lineup of your band. If you've got three vocalists and a live drummer you'll probably need to use the FOH verb on them, if you're instrumental and just synths the FOH fx will be available for you.
3. Where you want your synths to sit in the mix. If they're sitting low in the mix onboard fx can work, or you could share a verb with another instrument in the mix.
etc.

When we used to play live we had 5 or more synths and an MPC on stage, all going to a stage mixer and some fx. Now that we're a two-piece (from 4, even 5 for a while) we've ditched a whole lot of the gear and just have two synths on stage going through some pedals (MEK -> RE-20, Micron -> Crybaby -> Small Stone -> Digital delay) and things sound a lot better than they used to. I seriously think that a lot of bands sound worse live than they should because it's hard to mix and play at the same time, and you can't hear the FOH properly anyway.

Then again if you're in a 5 piece rock band and you have a couple of synths your FOH engineer is going to have their hands full mixing the whole band so it could make things easier if you just send them a stereo mix of your stuff, with fx. Just remember to do a proper soundcheck so your engineer can let you know if you've got too much verb on your mix or whatever.

This is advice from someone who's played and mixed hundreds of shows, and learnt quite a few things the hard way. :thumbright:

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Re: I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

Post by spookyman » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:45 pm

And you're absolutely right Stab Frenzy... =D>

When the keyboarder only have 1 or 2 keyboards, it's allways better to give 2 stereo signals on 4 jack cables, and the FOH can make the mix like they have too, with the other band members.

I have 4 keyboards on stage, 2 are stereo, the 2 other are mono...and there are 9 other musicians in our band (funk combo, with brass...) so the FOH was not allways happy when our manager gave the stagerider, and the keyboarder comes with 6 channel, the drummer with 8 or 9 others, the percussion with 4, etc...at least, 32 channel console where necessary.

So i had to take a mixer for all my keyboards, Leslie, etc...to give only a stereo signal to the FOH, in order to give 4 free channels to other musicians. It's not easy to manage the sound on stage. In some songs, the Fender Rhodes has to be louder than the other keyboards, in an other song, it's a huge Moog bass in front, or a Hammond Organ, etc...and of course, the FOH engineer can only set my signal louder or less. And put some EQ, etc...not more. He can't (like before) act on all my instrument. So i try to put all my instrument on a maximum level (on the instrument it self) and then mix all the instrument on a same general level on my mixer (mostly 0 dB). And i have a volume pedal on every instrument to control the volume. But only to reduce the volume...so the other band members has to go back when i'm playing a solo. :wink:

As you see, it's not easy. But it's easier to limit myself, than allways give more volume from my sub-mixing console.

On stage, i have a Mackie 1202 mixer, with a TC-Electronic M-300 mulit-effect.
It is much easier to be a good equipment purchaser than to be a great musician.

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Re: I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

Post by shaft9000 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:36 pm

propel wrote:
could you guys maybe give a example of a mixer or two that would do the job?

thanks
stay AWAY from behringer for live stuff. it will slowly (or quickly :!: ) break down on you.
instead, in the sub-$150 mixer category check out the Yamaha MG series - if it has to be new. Solid design and good electronics. You can also find a used Mackie or Carvin on Ebay for that kind of cash... if you're patient.
OR, look at a line-level mixer for the rack which would be a nice small space, unike a mixing board which needs shelf/table space. the thing with the 1U or 2U mixers is that it is not very ergonomic or even musically accessible compared with the mixing board. they're more set-and-forget, because they lackany faders and everything is crammed together.
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
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Re: I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

Post by propel » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:33 pm

Thanks for the advice, shaft. So for a 2 keyboard rig with some room to expand, would these do?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/ ... sku=630138

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/ ... sku=630343

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Re: I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

Post by shaft9000 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:13 pm

you're welcome.
don't disregard stab & spooky - those guys know a great deal.

re: the mixers you linked.
they should do fine.
faders are a big plus, though. put a strip of tape across the bottom and write each synth/inst. name on it's respective channel. this makes it easier to see whats going on.
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
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Re: I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

Post by propel » Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:58 am

lol i didn't mean any disrespect to either of them and i read their posts carefully :wink: , it's just that you were answering my question more directly so i figured i'd say thanks :D

i think i'm going to go for the yamaha simply because it's cheaper and well, to be honest, i think it looks neat

now it's just a question of do my local music stores carry them (curse musiciansfriend and zzounds for not delivering to quebec :| )

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Re: I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:50 am

propel wrote:i think i'm going to go for the yamaha simply because it's cheaper and well, to be honest, i think it looks neat
Should be fine unless you plan on running it over with a car... ;)



I think the Yamahas sound pretty good for the money, they're a good choice.

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Re: I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

Post by propel » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:00 am

wow lol, they took that seriously..on a side note it was the yamaha the first to get eliminated :wink:

i was looking at my local store's catalog (i don't think they have the yamaha :( , might have to dig deeper for that) and was wondering if the mackie DFX 6 would do? with my luck and clumbsiness being able to be ran over by a car is quite a plus

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Re: I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

Post by propel » Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:02 pm

scratch that, i went to order my micron today (i can't wait to get it) and the yamaha was 120$ canadian :D going to have to wait until the micron is paid off first though

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Re: Re:

Post by madtheory » Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:13 am

I like having a mixer because I like to be in control :)
Stab Frenzy wrote:Most places we play have a D2 and at least a couple of M1s
What are they?

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Re: Re:

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:05 pm

madtheory wrote:I like having a mixer because I like to be in control :)
No point being in control if you can't hear exactly what the audience is hear, that's why I leave it up to the FOH engineer. Also I'm too busy playing to be mixing too.
madtheory wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:Most places we play have a D2 and at least a couple of M1s
What are they?
Effects units made by TC Electronic.

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Re: I'm 16 and beginning to gig...does this rig sound good?

Post by madtheory » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:19 pm

Yes, of course that's logical, but it assumes that the FOH person is good. I can count on one hand the ones I know who actually listen to the band before powering up the PA, and who put out the whole band, not just drums and vocals. And most places here still have one SPX 90 and nothing else, although those Yamaha digital desks are getting very popular.

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