GET ROCKING LIVE SOUND 101 : A step for a great GIG

Managing live sound is damn tricky, there are lot of things that has to considered while mixing stuff live, i mean live production is a daunting task but one the most fun way of recording a number.

So as a musician the big game that you have to consider is that while you are playing live, the live sound has to be real vibey, i mean you can choose any live sound you feel like, but it should be vibey, by this i mean it should have feel associated to it, if the guitar, drums, wind instrumental are tuned the right way then they carry lot of vibes and punch with em and that is what we are looking for in live setups.

See if you are playing in a small setup with a nice reverb hall and few audience then even a nice acoustic setup without any digital setup can create magic, this goes really well with the instruments that are more on high and mid end for eg flute , in a hall a flute can create high amount of reverberation and can sound magical, so when you are kinda playing without mics and any form of digital support then the amount of absorption and diffusion by the walls will somehow dictate the sound, i mean reverb changes the real sound a lot, it make it more angelic and filled and if this effect is naturally rendered due to the acoustic space around you then it is the best, the more raw , the more clear the more better it is.

I mean if you take a look at pink floyd and led zep live and studio albums we will see the huge difference, i mean i am a big fan of live albums and i still listen to live version of the songs, i have been performing live and love the energy the sound and the rawness, live production is all about delivering the energy and message across, see if you want high level of aesthetics etc in a stadium filled with screaming fan , best of luck with that, i like to mix the audience hissing and clapping sound with the LIVE INSTRUMENTAL BUS to add the feel to it, i mean if you just record it the way it is on stage it sounds crazy, because every musician will have a monitor and if two musicians are close to each then the monitor sounds will conflict with each other resulting in audio distortion and uncontrolled feedback, to counter this you gotta EQ and mold the dynamics in the right way or take an easy post-production route. ….

CHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHssssss, this kinda sound, who wanna hear that kinds sound, so better stay away from this ghostly sound and stick to the best LIVE PRODUCTION PRACTICES and PROTOCOLS, FOH / MONITOR / SYSTEM Engineers are the soldiers which makes the band sound real cool live.

So lets play it out, You are with 3 band-mates, and you guys feel like jamming for the audience, now you will have few mics for each person , 3 drum mics for drum , 3 instrument JACKS, now these mics will be connected VIA XLR CABLES TO THE MIXER CHANNEL and same process for all of them, now all the mics are connected and then once the sound board or mixer is powered up you can see all the mics are working fine etc , NOW THE REAL GAME BEGINS , now you have to listen to the sound of each instruments multiple times to get the right sound, and trust me it is the most annoying process in the sound check process, i mean lot of feedback, blah blah lah moment but once you are done tweaking the knobs to get the right low, mid and high you are kinda done, you just cant jam now come on, a dry run of the collective channels (MASTER BUS) is imperative to see if all the INSTRUMENTAL BUSES ARE WELL DIRECTED and to make sure that there is NO FEEDBACK ON EACH CHANNEL.

When you play together lot of times the OUTPUT OF THE AMP will be sent back to mics and this sustaining loops is called feedback, so see if the sound of each mic and instrumental cluster is balanced and once you get the balanced sound , go for the monitors and check them are they not resulting in any kind of feedback or distortion, once you monitor mix is clear , FOH mix sounds good then you can start the show, even an average sound check can take few hours, and the time of soundcheck is directly proportional to the input nodes, output nodes and the processing nodes you have.

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