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advice with pa settings

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advice with pa settings

Postby snakebit » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:06 pm

Band rehearsal today with my new PA set up as follows,

kick drum (miced with a 58) - Ch 1 desk (compressor insert)

bass (split at DI going to Ch 2 desk and amp - with compressor insert)

Outputs of desk to L and R ins on sub then out of sub into EV top boxes.

Vocal Chs 1 and 2.

Vocals and bass guitar sounded great yet was disappointed with kick. Had to dip quite a bit of bottom and low mid on desk as there was a nasty ring after each kick so it was rather lack lustre.

What sort of gain settings should I be using at the kick input on the desk (trim)? I'm thinking the lows I dipped out affected the sub response.

Any advice as to general starting points to this sort of thing would be very welcomed indeed.

Cheers,

Jamie
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:07 pm

Sounds like you're getting a bit of feedback.

Is the 58 inside the drum?
Is the drum tuned well?
Is there any padding in it to dampen things down a bit?

I'd probably start without the compressor, and only add that if needed later on.
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby Guy Johnson » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:58 pm

Often is that nasty ring, and with a 58 there'll not be much low bass. Tuning the drum helps, as does damping the skins with a pillow/blanket. Sadly many drummers especially jazz drummers like that silly boingy sound that (even acoustically) often gets in the way sonically of the music.
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:08 pm

+1, a 58 is not ideal for kick as it lacks bottom end and the presence peak is counter productive too. A gate may be more useful than a comp on the kick, some compressors have a rudimentary gate built in, if yours has you could use it to help control the ring/resonance on the drum. Also compressors make a source more susceptible to feedback so live less is more.
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:44 pm

I get the impression you're dropping the lows/mids on the whole system to deal with the kick. If so this will certainly kill your overall sound and is not the way to go.

For a good kick sound out of the speakers first out a good kick sound into the mic. Tune the kit as suggested, damp it with plenty of suitable material (if that's the sound you're going for). Then EQ it at the channel rather than any master EQ.

There's nothing wrong with using a '58 but it will sound like a '58.

Use the gate on your compressor and lean towards high ratio/high threshold (ish) if you do want to use it. I would.

Gain settings are dictated by what shows up on the PFL meters and compressor meter.
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby damoore » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:51 pm

+1 on the gate.

Another thing is to try the mic in different positions on the drum, and also moving it in and out a few inches. If you use a cardioid mic, turning it partly sideways also can help. The PA is part of the equation on this since it couples to the drum at low frequencies, so get that set up before you go after the kick drum sound.

Cutting the bass in the monitors can also help, but overdo that and the first thing a male singer will ask for when they get up is more bass in the monitors.
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:08 pm

shufflebeat wrote:
Use the gate on your compressor and lean towards high ratio/high threshold (ish) if you do want to use it. I would.

I just realised this might be ambiguous - use high threshold and high ratio on your compressor so it works like a limiter, squashing only the higher peaks.

Then gate the spaces between the beats.
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby snakebit » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:18 am

Brilliant advice!

Our drummer has a ful skin on the front of his kick so I have been putting the '58 as close as possible, on axis. I think dampening the kick is a great place to start so I will suggest it to him. I only have access to a mono eq and have been inserting that into the L insert jack on the master buss and using it to ring-out the room and then eq - ing the kick using the channel eq.

Is it best to have a reasonable gain setting (12 oclock) and running the sub at full capacity?

What crossover settings would be best for this situation? Sub @ 80, 100 or 120Hz low pass and top boxes 80, 100 or 120Hz high pass.

I am aware of the limitations with my rig, obviously obtaining a gut thumping kick with a 15inch 1000watt sub is going to be a stretch, but I was hoping to solidify the sound we have already.

Also, would it be more beneficial to have a kick front with a mic hole or is it much of a muchness?

Again, thanks for the advice. This is the most professional and informative forum I have found.

Regards,

Jamie
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby shufflebeat » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:23 am

Some light reading:

http://totalproaudio.stevebunting.com/?p=297

http://www.rane.com/note135.html

Sack the mono EQ. If it is doing anything useful it's only doing it to one side. If you find it really makes a difference then run the system in mono. It might be argued that you could use it on the channel insert but in my experience if you find yourself doing this you've slipped up somewhere else.

Search SOS and elsewhere for drum micing techniques. It's all been tried before and there is a lot of wisdom to be gleaned without leaving the house.
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:15 am

snakebit wrote:Band rehearsal today with my new PA set up as follows,

kick drum (miced with a 58) - Ch 1 desk (compressor insert)

bass (split at DI going to Ch 2 desk and amp - with compressor insert)

Outputs of desk to L and R ins on sub then out of sub into EV top boxes.

Vocal Chs 1 and 2.

Vocals and bass guitar sounded great yet was disappointed with kick. Had to dip quite a bit of bottom and low mid on desk as there was a nasty ring after each kick so it was rather lack lustre.

What sort of gain settings should I be using at the kick input on the desk (trim)? I'm thinking the lows I dipped out affected the sub response.

What does the kick drum sound like acoustically? Does it need tuning/damping? Why are you compressing it? Why are you micing it with a vocal mic?
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby snakebit » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:33 am

Thanks Shufflebeat, informative articles indeed. Pretty sure my gain structure isn't too far from the mark. I am thinking that my issue was trying to deal with the eq settings on the kick drum channel and the master eq.

The reason I am using a vocal mic is because my Sennheiser Blackfire has given up and the 58 was my only option. Having said that, have read in a SOS article to not underestimate the sonic capabilities of the 58 on a kick drum.

My thinking behind compression was to keep each kick under control and then increase the overall level.

This is a new PA and we are still getting to know each other, any further suggestions would be welcomed and I will keep any interested parties informed.

Cheers
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Re: advice with pa settings

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:04 pm

snakebit wrote:My thinking behind compression was to keep each kick under control and then increase the overall level.


Compression, with certain settings, can add sustain to a sound. Maybe it's the culprit for some of your ringing.

I suggest you work on accurately amplifing the actual sound of the instruments before trying to modify them.
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