Quote Exalted Wombat:Quote Sheriton:Quote Mike Stranks:
make everything else sit around the vocals
Absolutely. EQ is your friend here. Each instrument needs its own space in the mix. How each sounds on its own isn't really important (although explaining that to the musos isn't easy...) For example, I'll quite often take a lot of low end off the rhythm guitar so it won't fight with the bass. On its own, it might sound a bit weedy but with the bass, the two sit together a lot better. Guitars and keyboards often sit in the same frequency ranges as vocals so you'll frequently have to carve out some space from them for the vocals to sit in. Again, the instruments might sound a bit odd on their own but in the context of the mix, it will be fine.
In small venues where most of the guitar comes from the backline, it's more of a problem of course. If it ain't coming through the PA, you can't EQ it...
Well, yes...but you shouldn't be having to do this at the sound board. The musicians should be choosing sounds (and, even more important, choosing what to play) so that they DON'T fight with each other. They should also be aware of when they're accompaning vocals, and leave room for them in the musical arrangement.
Well, yes, if you've got a band/group that's:
* of a very high standard musically and
* actually listens to the other members and
* knows enough sonically to know what to do to 'blend' and
* is willing to sacrifice "my sound" for the greater good of the whole band
* working with a strong leader who's respected enough by the others to change their method/style etc to achieve this blending.
In the un"Exalted" circles that most of us inhabit most of the time life's not like that. Good bands that know their limitations welcome the input and expertise of a good sound tech to be able to help them achieve what they can't necessarily do themsleves by controlling their own dynamics etc.
Life ain't all jazz, classical, and big-band!