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Thread: Vocal EQ settings & soundman communication

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by sage View Post
    Thanks for the tips mr softie! And... thanks for the stickies!

    "- Don't sing certain part sooooo soft and then suddenly scream/shout."
    Yknow that's a good point... I generally sing softer in some parts and louder on the rest, but I really can't help it cos I'm doing some soft backgrounds and breathy talking parts.. :/ And I'm too shy to project during soundcheck sometimes :X Urgh I never thought about that..

    "What you hear on stage is from the monitor speakers. It is different from the front-of-house speakers."

    How so?
    Particularly in musical terminology, there must be dynamics at some areas. Like for instance you may see on your musical scores like p,f,mp,mf,ff,pp. You don't play straight volume all the way. That shows how the event of the song being played upon. So for your case, if you know where's the climatic changes should be it is alright. I think James is trying to say that some people aren't consistent as they are unsure or not confident enough with his or her singing.

    The monitor speakers as it's called are for the musicians on stage to monitor how they sound. The settings are different from the main speakers out for the crowd. A good sound engineer, would know how to balance the output speakers to be sounded optimum. But sometimes a good sound engineer can't help much on the sound of the band too. Example if the band is blasting on their amplifiers, in turn he will lower down the volume at the mixer. Hence, the mixing quality plus the raw amp output became unstablely unbalance. So, it goes both way. That's why the soundcheck is very important. Musicians will set their volume ideally on their amplifiers. At the same time, the sound engineer will see what setting suits the band best. So when time to play, you just stick to the volume. On the mixing side, if the some instrument volume got drown due to some dynamics on other instruments the sound engineer will push up the volume accordingly.

    Only in God I trust!

  2. #12

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    I don't know what my band does and stuff, but sometimes I know they like to play loud; could it be possible that them playing loud has affected the mixing on my vocals?

    Die lah, very useful info there but I'd need to check this out on our next gig...

  3. #13

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    wrt the soft and loud aka dynamic, it should be felt rather than actual level(spl).

    Just like when we watch a movie, whenever the actor/actress are whispering, we still can hear their speech clearly.

    In pop music context, when singing soft passage, move closer to the microphone. Make sure that there is enough signal going into the microphone. The audience will still feel that you are singing softly because of the expression and delivery.

    During loud passage, move slightly away from the microphone or else the signal will be too hot and cause the sound to distort.

    In a perfect audio setup, there will be this gadget call "Compressor" that will help to even out the dynamic so that it will sound comfortable to the audience. Seldom see them in used at local gigs.

  4. #14

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    How is this compressor thing used? On stage plugged with the mic?

  5. #15

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    wow, i thought compressors are only used with guitars and basses. it's too seldom until i've never seen it before.
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  6. #16

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    Compressors are for controlling the dynamic range of any audio signal. For vocals, usually it is controlled by the sound engineer. Some digital mixer has this built in. Some engineers like to use outboard ones for easier control.

    Compressors / Limiters |

  7. #17

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    hello peoples, I think this's one of my 1st or 2nd time posting in the Vocal department. sage invited me.

    well first of all for those who go jamming studio and rehearse got problems : read this thread

    to answer sage :

    >> .. aka that black box at the corner of the studio that you switch on to have your mic work...

    a preamp/mixer/powered mixer etc whatever you call it, it's like a guitar amp to a guitar. so it's a Preamp to a microphone for vocals.but live on stage, you seldom (or never) have access to the mixer cos that's what the live soundman is for.

    but if we're talking in terms of jamstudio, where you can tweak the EQs etc. always make sure you remember (use your handphone take photo) of the default setting. so in case if it keep feedbacking and mess up, you know how to set back without the owner on your ass.

    there's not much to EQ though usually , low/mids/highs. unless there's "Q" (parametric EQ) then you can flexibly control the inbetweens of mids like "low mids/mids/high mids". too much EQ may cause feedback if the PA speakers and mics are all in the wrong place etc. I'll be typing this information on the jamming studio setting thread cos currently there's a misconception about "guitar mids drowning the vocals etc".

    >> Also, how do you check your sound during live sets?
    I've never performed on stage before...except for my wedding duet. but I know for sure this will help :

    read the following on stage
    Tongue Twisters > Example tongue twisters

    and say "mic test mic test 1,2,3. testing testicles to test the mic test.mic test stop."

    and then "fuzzyduck, duckyfuzz, fuzzyduck, duckyfuzz" really fast. try not to say "duzzyf*ck" or "f&ckyduzz" heh

    and then "tragedy strategy tragedy strategy tragedy strategy tragedy strategy"

    and finally say "new album of mariah carey e=mc square, i would like to ask a mariah carey question mariah carey question mariah carey question mariah carey question mariah carey question" really fast 5 times.

    then sound check your song that has your lowest vocal pitch range + highest vocal pitch range. the slow soft singing songs and the active high energy singing songs. you don't have that much time to sound check so do like 1verse 1 chorus of each.

    the tongue twisters is for the soundman to control your sibilances etc and warm up your mouth's pronounciation and make a fool out of yourself also so you remain humble. have fun.

    >>> What are your requirements to the soundman before you start your gig?
    make sure you can hear yourself. and get a friend to hear from the audience , make sure he/she hears everything clearly. sometimes like what james(soft) says to be nice to everyone. that's true. but most of the live soundman I've met have some kind of "I IS elite human being" attitude. so yes you are at the mercy of the soundman. you can only ask nicely "sound man I cannot hear myself on the monitors" or "soundman I receive sms from my audience say cannot hear the vocals on the PA speakers."

    >> you might want to add some reverb as well to give the voice some warmth or to smooth it out.
    this may work nicely for slow paced songs. but too heavy reverb on fast paced songs will sound weird.

    >> Any suggestions on how to make sure the soundman does his job during the sets?
    buy him a redbull. it's a long tiring day per event.

    80 worth

    oh yeah I forgot something ,compressors! yes!
    during sound check don't sing with your mouth on the mic. that makes it VERY upclose/loud and the live sound engineer will have to lower your vocals to the max and you'll find yourself trying to swallow the mic during the song just to get heard. cos you sabotaged yourself.

    compressors, as you can see performers professional performers , when they hit very intimate and whispery / low notes , they bring the mic close or yes they put their mouth almost on the mic to get heard. then when they start singing the chorus or the climax of the song , they pull themselves / or the mic away from their mouth. that way, when your voice sings LOUD, your mic is FAR, when your voice sings SOFT, your mic is UPCLOSE. and that is DIY human "compression". practise that and you don't need to buy any fancy compressors that makes you look more noob than professional. besides. compressors is the live soundman's job. not yours.
    Last edited by sage; 12-06-08 at 05:43 PM.
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  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueprintstudios View Post
    and then "fuzzyduck, duckyfuzz, fuzzyduck, duckyfuzz" really fast. try not to say "duzzyf*ck" or "f&ckyduzz" heh
    I think there's a high chance of me falling victim to this tongue twister lol.

    Thanks for the tip and responding to the invite! Looks like a hell lot of useful things to cycle through, I hope the vocalists here can benefit from them when they need help on it..

    I'm gonna read this properly when I get back, that's a whole load to think through for noobhead like me :P

  9. #19

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    Compressors is a good tool for sound engineer. But as stated, yes it's the sound engineer stuffs to worry about.

    When I used to manage sound engineering, all of our system comes with the compressor, delay, chorus, etc. in a rack form. The positional of mics are very important. Likewise, in a jamming studio proper tweaking of the mic settings can hinder to too many unnecessary feedback. The 'bouncing' of sound within confined space makes it more easier to have feedbacks. That's why beside adjusting the sound system, the musicians must also know how to balance the sound so that everyone can be heard. As stated by blueprint, a self 'compression' effect is also possible for vocalist. So particularly in a jamming studio, the basic will just work for everyone provided everyone plays their part. A human voice will have no match to an electric guitar equipt with distortion. As a guitarist myself, I am very particular in sound balancing especially in a practice studio.

    Only in God I trust!

  10. #20

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    Thanks for the tips guys! Oh boy. Lots to experiment on the next jam...

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