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Looney Tunes



Joined: 02/10/04
Posts: 49
Loc: Scotland
Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new
      #26430 - 03/10/04 12:02 PM
Hi, had a gig last week, where i was doing lead, and backing vocals. Only my second gig really singing so, still abit unsure about some things. Anyway, i asked the sound engineer if he could put some reverb on the vocals through the stage monitors, but he refused, saying people never get any reverb on the stage/vocal monitors, as it can make them sing out of tune...

We only had a 10 minute sound check, so didnt have time to discuss it with him, but is this the norm ?

The vocals to us sounded totally dry, and uninspiring, and didnt help my performace i feel. I also dont think a little reverb would have made me sing out of tune. And since our music is at times very atmospheric, and produced, i wanted to hear my vocals with some reverb, and at times some delay.

I know he said he was putting on reverb through the FOH pa rigg, but we cant hear that.

Anyway, just wondered what other peoples views are on this ?

Im about to by the Digitech VX 400 Vocal Modelling floor processor, so i can create my on effects and textures for my vocals, that will be going directly into the pa desk, so luckly for that sound guy, i didnt have that yet, or he may have moaned at me. But hay, im the artist right, and if im happy to have effects onstage, surely it will bring out a better performance from me / us.

Any thoughts ?

Cheers..


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PedroCruz



Joined: 07/09/04
Posts: 14
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #26452 - 03/10/04 01:21 PM
If you want reverb on monitors, they should put reverb on monitors! thats the usual apologise for when they dont have any effect processor on the stage system... but try to forget the delay, if delay its not well acurate with the song BPM it will damage your performance almost for sure...
The most important "goal" for the monitor tecnician is to make musicians happy with they are hearing and help in everything possible to make the musicians performance better.


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Grim Audière



Joined: 02/09/04
Posts: 375
Loc: UK and France
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #26458 - 03/10/04 01:35 PM
Sack the engineer!

There are some good reasons to avoid reverb in the monitors:
  • Reverb only "makes sense" when in the mix as heard from the FOH, so just putting in the same type and amount of reverb into the monitors as FOH can make the monitor mix sound strange and unnatural - putting singers off their pitch and performance (maybe what your engineer meant).
  • There also can be technical difficulties in smaller (amateur) rigs as the mix going to the reverb unit will be different from the monitor mix and hence, again, won't make sonic sense, if you see what I mean, and without a 2nd reverb unit and/or some very flexible patching at the desk, this presents a real technical hurdle.

However, in the old forum there was a discussion about this and I think it was Hugh who mentioned that reverb can actually help tuning as it prolongs notes an hence helps the singer hear the pitch more clearly. I rarely put reverb in the monitors due to the reasons mentioned above, but I would never just say "no" to a singer who asks for it - I may present the problems and suggest we try a song to see if it helps!

As always, though, it's best to ask for things at the start of setting-up so the engineer has time to think things through amd maybe experiment during the set-up. The one time I do say "No!" is 5 minutes before the gig starts and the band leader comes to me asking for another singer to be set up, for the mix to change or announces that he/she is unhappy with their guitar sound so they've reset their amp and volume controls, etc etc.

Muscians - the music so often sounds better without them ...

--------------------
Andrew


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Grim Audière



Joined: 02/09/04
Posts: 375
Loc: UK and France
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #26460 - 03/10/04 01:48 PM
Quote Looney Tunes:

Im about to by the Digitech VX 400 Vocal Modelling floor processor, so i can create my on effects and textures for my vocals, that will be going directly into the pa desk, so luckly for that sound guy, i didnt have that yet, or he may have moaned at me. But hay, im the artist right, and if im happy to have effects onstage, surely it will bring out a better performance from me / us.


On another note - I must say I hate it when people do this to me on the desk. I don't mind people saying "can I try this on my vocals" but I think, if you trust your engineer, let him or her have the final say on whther the unit stays in or out of the mix.

The issue is that the engineer is balancing the musicality of the mix and effects against the acoustics of the room and the style and requirements of the sing. This will change from room to room and even song to song in a given room. Taking control away from the engineer can really screw up the sound of the band. Especially effects that sound really good in one song in one place (e.g. your bedroom) can sound rubbish, over powering or completely lost, etc. in a real gig and only the engineer and the audience will hear it.

As always, provide for lots of time - maybe ring up the engineer a few days before - and enter into a dialogue about your requirements.

Even I, the paragon of virtue, sweetness and light, will probably get a touch testy if I find out about it 10 minutes before the gig!

--------------------
Andrew


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Looney Tunes



Joined: 02/10/04
Posts: 49
Loc: Scotland
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #27260 - 04/10/04 09:11 PM
Thanks for your views guys. I think we all mean the same thing. Basically though, i still want reverb on stage, when feasable. I can totally understand all the possible complications though for the sound engineer that may come with doing this though, ie, not having a second reverb unit, or making the stage monitor too muddy..

I think it is important when possible to have a good working relationship with the engineer, and yes, he is in total control of how the band will sound to the audiance, so hopefully you get a good one.

We did try and get things ready for this gig, as we went for a sound check and rehearsal 2 days before hand, with the guy who was meant to be doing the sound, in the venue. But apparently he went crazy, and was sacked the day before the gig, and some other poor engineer was drafted in at the last moment. He actually done an amazing job just getting the 4 bands playing and ready, as the guy who was sacked, decided to mess all the cables up etc, so the show was nearly cancelled. That is why we only got a ten min sound check, so i have no problem with the engineer saying no to stage reverb under those conditions.

Another engineer though, who was present at our 1st rehearsal, was totaly brilliant. Like part of the band. I was hoping he would be doing our sound on the night. He was curious to all the gizmos i brought down, such as my Vocoder, vocal effects,( that were eventually bined as they werent hot enough), and all my guitar modelling settings. The sound that night was very good, even though i had to drop the vocoder as well, as i found out i need a head mic for it to work properly.

So yes, alot of issues, and in some circumstances, if there is little time, you just have to run with whatever is on. But yes, if you have time, get a good working arrangment with the engineer, talk about everything that is wanted, and try things out. And if it doesent work, fair enough.

What i have discoverd though, the same as everything i guess, is that some engineers are total pro's, and a pleasure to work with, and others, even tho perhaps nice, can totaly f*^k up the sound, like another gig i had recently. So better try and get a good sound check.

Thanks for your input tho guys. Its made me think more. Bottom line though, i still Dont want to hear my vocals dry, after spending months on the music production. I'll try and get some reverb on stage when possible..


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #27339 - 04/10/04 11:32 PM
Sometimes there are not enough channels for reverb in the monitors - but is IS possible and often desirable for pitching notes - think of singing in a nice reverby church - easy-peasy, as opposed to singing in a dead-dry acoustic. So insist. A long reverb will be more apparent, and reduce the risk of feedback.

so many people want different things in the monitors, and i, as an engineer, want to do what the performers want. Because, in the end, that's what will be best for everyone.

G


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John G
member


Joined: 13/11/01
Posts: 290
Loc: UK
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #36593 - 17/10/04 04:28 PM
If the artist wants reverb on stage, give them reverb on stage. As a monitor engineer, that's what you are there for - although obviously you have to make sure that there is a happy medium between what each individual wants and how that effects the band as a whole. Everyone wants different things in their monitor mixes, hence the need for a monitor engineer.

Perhaps this guy didn't have enough channels left, or a spare fx unit... in which case a suggestion that he should invest in more kit might not be a bad idea, although he'll probably tell you to f*** off.

Oh the fun life a live sound.

Cheers,

John G


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #36909 - 18/10/04 10:26 AM
Quite. Anyone else? We could do with more feedback, here!

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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Nathan



Joined: 13/09/04
Posts: 1885
Loc: lincolnshire government experi...
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #36994 - 18/10/04 11:58 AM
judging by the non-plural use of "engineer" i guess the monitors were mixed from FOH. its not always possible to add dedicated vocal reverb when mixing from FOH if there's not the fx gear, sends and spare channel to do it with.

i don't understand the theory of wedge reverb contributing to out of tune vocals though i've heard it before, i would speculate it was a fob-off. far more honest to say it couldn't be done in the time-scale or i'd rather not with the gear i've got, you'll get other instruments reverb included, it'll contribute to feedback, etc...

--------------------
planet nine
lincoln, uk.


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Nathan



Joined: 13/09/04
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Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #37002 - 18/10/04 12:05 PM
oh, and john, that wouldn't be a prudent suggestion to the engineer unless you were paying the bill. and you'd spec'd reverb in monitors even though the was no monitor console.

its not a good idea to dictate anything to the engineer unless this is the case or the contract says you can!

--------------------
planet nine
lincoln, uk.


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jimbob
posting's fun


Joined: 23/09/03
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Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Nathan]
      #39560 - 22/10/04 03:26 PM
I am always told to not have reverb on, but delay is ok, we brought a TC-Helicon voice live, and it works well, i think thre reverb settings will vary from venue to venue, so it may sound great at one place, but crap at another


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
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Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #39606 - 22/10/04 05:32 PM
" am always told to not have reverb on, but delay is ok,"

? delay in monitors is very weird!

As for FOH, then anything goes, if it fits the band, and the venue.

G

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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Ric_westyorks
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Joined: 27/10/03
Posts: 82
Loc: W.Yorks. UK
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #48207 - 10/11/04 11:59 PM
From my Uni days driving a monitor desk on occasions I found that adding reverb to a vocal on the monitor feed reduces the apparent gain before feedback possible. So when you compare dry to slightly reverberant sound then the feedback can be worsened, particulary if you are monitoring near the edge already.

I like a little reverb on monitor as helps with confidence, helps tuning for both instrumental (violins)and vocals.

I definately find that some Engineers are not capable of getting what is possible out of a rig and maybe should be sacked but you are best treating nicely.

Most of the time when I am playing, I have an engineer that I trained on FOH/monitors . I know that he or she (there are a few) will do right by me and expect a good sound from his mixing. Its about trust. You need a good working relationship with the FOH and monitor engineer. Forget that and you make the job tough for the engineer and not likely to want to help you. Also you could become "that band that was annoying".


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #48234 - 11/11/04 12:55 AM
Yes - Annoying bands (I include managers here!!) - I won't do them again, the promoter/venue will have to find another engineer - Life's too bleedin' short . . .

Mind you, I do a good job, and remain polite (nowadays)

G


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jimbob
posting's fun


Joined: 23/09/03
Posts: 315
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #48306 - 11/11/04 09:32 AM
i think it works both ways round, i find it with sound engineers as well, you get some right bankers, who seem as though they hate music, and cannot be bothered, why are they there. But you get some great sound guys who love their job and appreciate new music. We refused to play certain venues, or ask for the sound guy not to be working that night.


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John G
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Joined: 13/11/01
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Loc: UK
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Nathan]
      #48320 - 11/11/04 10:13 AM
Quote Nathan:

oh, and john, that wouldn't be a prudent suggestion to the engineer unless you were paying the bill. and you'd spec'd reverb in monitors even though the was no monitor console.

its not a good idea to dictate anything to the engineer unless this is the case or the contract says you can!




Yes. I agree. I'm really actually suggesting you should tell an engineer to go out and buy more kit, because as I said - he'll tell you where to get off.

Cheers.... John G


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Psyco-Sean
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Joined: 01/10/02
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Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Looney Tunes]
      #54550 - 25/11/04 04:09 PM
Couple of things i'd like to point out - been a live engineer on major concerts for about 14 years on and off.

1. If you want reverb in your monitor, you really should let the engineer know before the gig.

2. He might not want to use reverb in the monitors because of several facts. 1) It makes getting decent level out of the wedge in question before feedback difficult. 2) It muddies the mix for everyone else on stage. 3)You'll probably sing more in tune without it.

I agree he should have explained this to you rather than say no, but monitor engineers are under a lot of pressure and rarely get a pat on the back for doing a good job but are the first to be fired for messing up.

If i was you, i'd try working without it just to see if you can get used to it as it really can help with tuning and then you'll also be less likely to keep asking the monitor guy for more level that he can't give you. Then again, if you want it, you should be able to have it as long as you let the venue/engineer know in advance.

Just my opinion....

S


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jimbob
posting's fun


Joined: 23/09/03
Posts: 315
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: Psyco-Sean]
      #54706 - 26/11/04 01:15 AM
I agree sound guys do have a difficult job sometimes, with late bands, and the problem of venue opening time looming. There is always some sort of problem, which has be fingured out

I always make a point of thanking the sound guys, and try and be clear as possible, we (the musician) are in their hands we when play, they make us sound good, if you go round being and arsehole the sound man is not going to do his best to make you sound good, you loosing straight away.

I send a PDF of our stage set up in advance, and a printed set list which i give to the sound man, showing what songs, which order, what the song has, so he can turn mics off when not needed, and any extra sub bass or things in songs.

Every time we go back to a venue and it is the same sound man, they remember us and we have a laugh and it works well

sorry bit of a ramble there. late

--------------------
http://www.moefoe.co.uk

Edited by jimbob (26/11/04 01:16 AM)


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John G
member


Joined: 13/11/01
Posts: 290
Loc: UK
Re: Wasent allowed vocal reverb live in monitors ? new [Re: jimbob]
      #54860 - 26/11/04 02:44 PM
Yes.

As a house engineer tech specs in advance are a godsend. There is nothing worse than a band arriving and demanding the world, and you not being able to provide because there was no prior warning!

All muso's / managers should send out a stage plan and tech spec in advance. That way - I can normally have the vocal mics in and wedge's EQ'd, backline power drops (including 110 volts - watch out for US bands that turn up and require 110 but don't carry transformers), and I can even get a rough monitor mix planned in advance.

As an engineer I always try to be as accomodating as possible, but without prior notice sometimes it just connot be possible.

I rememebr one gig where the main artist turned up on time, but his band didn't turn up till ten minutes after the doors opened! So much for a soudn check! This guy was extremely fussy about his monitors (due to hearing loss) and did not bring a mons engineer, so that was a difficult gig initially me.

A couple of days later they did the Albert Hall - bet they weren't late for that gig!?!

Cheers...

John G


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