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Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

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Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby Zappafan » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:17 pm

Hi guys, how are ya?

A more ambient direction on my bands new album has required me to be-gruddgingly give in to the use of live fx pedals on my vocals. As a play guitar aswell, i dont want to have too much going on with my feet & too much to think about as our music is quite challenging aswell! I need a bit of fuzz on one track & on another I need a heavy airplane flange with some ambient delay or something.

So far I have tried connecting a 2nd mic to my Pod using an impedence regulator adapter to convert from xlr to jack & then going from the output of the pod into a d.i. box to the desk. However, Im getting a lot of high hiss that i cant get rid of for love nor money! Apart from that though, the signal works well & the quality of the fx is good (not totally the flange sound I was looking for though). The other thing that happened was - the mic was picking up everything else in the room ,even though I had the pod's noise gate on full, so that option doesnt look like its going to work.

The other consideration I've got is - I'm going to be doing quite a few shows over sea's very soon & will be renting most of my gear over there & want to conserve my packing space for whatever gear I can squeeze in that is more important, rather than using it to transport vox fx that is only used on 2 songs!

SO...I've been wondering if the Pocket Pod would be the way to go as (its very small!) & has a much bigger capacity for sounds than my old Pod2 as you can download them online etc. The problem I'm still going to have though is 1) this blasted hiss & 2) how to stop the drums etc all spilling through the 2nd mic when its not in use.

Whats your thoughts guys? Am I on the track here or am i missing something obvious!?

Any help would be massively appreciated!

Cheers guys

Z
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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby shufflebeat » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:57 pm

I suspect the Pod would be happier with the mic signal if it had been through the desk already and was being accessed via a channel insert or an aux send if you're using it for gtr as well. How much do you trust the sound tech?

Fuzz normally involves an element of compression which can play havoc with feedback in a live mic situation (this would also account for the mic picking up everything else in the room). Chorus/flange effects don't usually have the same problem.
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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby shufflebeat » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:08 pm

...but I see you've been told all this already. Are you by any chance... a goldfish?
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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby Zappafan » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:02 pm

Hey! Thanks so much for the help!

Sorry if I've asked these questions before - I can't find my previous threads for some reason!

Do you think the pod with perhaps a mute switch to get around the spill issue when I'm not singing would be a good, capable system or would there be a much better and easier way to do this?

Thanks again mate

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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby shufflebeat » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:04 pm

See above.
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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:07 pm

Zappafan wrote:Sorry if I've asked these questions before - I can't find my previous threads for some reason!

'Tis here:

Previous Post

To find such things, click on your user name on the LH side of anything you've posted then click on "show all user's posts".

HTH
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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby shufflebeat » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:10 pm

Good work Mike but having looked at previous posts I suspect the OP is well aware of that... or maybe I'm just an old cynic.
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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby Zappafan » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:40 am

Thanks Mike!

I checked the post & it was posted years ago! So its fair that I'd forgotten about it (and the answers posted) Shufflebeat. Back then it was just something that seemed like a good idea, which quickly got forgotten about as the reality dawned that it was likely to be more hassle than it was worth - now, however, its kind of a neccessity!

Is there any way I could achieve this without having to rely on the sound engineer using insert points? When we play on multi-band bills, its generally chaos & I think it would be easier if we avoided that avenue! I'm going to need the thing near me too so that I can control it.

So...whatever fx unit I end up using - has anyone got any ideas as to how to get the signal clean & get rid of the spill?! As it wont feature heavily, I was thinking of a mute pedal to just kick it in when I'm on the mic - or a really heavy duty noisegate! As for that hiss, Ive got no idea!

Whats your thoughts guys!?

Thanks again

Z
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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby James Perrett » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:30 pm

Zappafan wrote:I need a bit of fuzz on one track

Fuzz is bad news on a vocal mic. It will only work if you mute the monitors and have the main PA fairly low and pointing away from you.

It might be better to see if there was an alternative way to give a similar artistic impression - maybe drastic low and high cut or some form of distortion that doesn't involve adding gain and clipping.

James.
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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby grab » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:15 pm

A mic splitter box would be a good move, so that you can present the desk with processed and unprocessed versions. The more gear you have, the more potential points of failure you have. A gig can probably carry on without vocal FX, but it can't carry on without vocals!

It'd also give more options for FOH and foldback. On foldback you could have mostly the unprocessed mic feed, with just a bit of processed so you know what's doing, which would help to reduce the risk of feedback. On FOH there's a definite risk that the FX could make it impossible to hear your voice, and you won't know about it bcos you can't hear FOH, so giving the sound engineer the option of adding a bit of unprocessed vocals would help there too.

Using a Y-cable for splitting the mic is possible but is probably not a good idea here. One end of the mic signal is going to the Pod, and if the mixer has got phantom power on the mic channel then you're stuffing 48V up your Pod's input, which will make your Pod rather unhappy. ;) A transformer splitter box (cost £25ish) prevents that happening.
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Re: Live vocal fx problems - noise etc! Help please!

Postby Zappafan » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:43 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions guys, i really appreciate it!

My concern with going down the route of routing the fx through the sound guys insert points etc is that in a lot of gigs we play - i.e. club gigs with multi band bills - there's only 10 minutes change over time & its generally chaos & running late, so I fear that any approach other than a real simple, quick & easy solution that is incorporated more into the 'bands' setup, rather than the sound techs, will probably end in either the sound not coming out at all, which happened regularly when we experimented with using live samples & some other form of chaos! I'm probably being negative here but if i can find a fairly fool proof system & have it all patched up on a pedal board or something, then there'll be less room for complication & error & it'll be quick & easy to set up!

I've been looking around - and as I play Guitar as well sing - the ability to use my feet would be handy, so I've been thinking about going like this :

Mic 2 > Impedence transformer > Pod > Boss NS-2 > D.I. > Desk

I thought of the NS-2 as I can either set a real hard noise gate on it to try & minimise the drum spill/feedback (possibly) or as a mute switch to only 'arm' the mic on the songs that its being used on - and if something start going wrong or squeeling, I can just stamp on the NS2 and cut all signal from that mic to the desk!

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again guys, I really appreciate it!

Z
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