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Sound Check Routine

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Sound Check Routine

Postby Modde » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:36 pm

Hey guys, does anybody have any clips/tutorials on the routine you do once everything's plugged in and start the sound check on an analog mixer (like 1604)? Thanks!!
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Mike Monte » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:25 pm

This is what I do when mic'ing a band, regardless of the mixer that I use:
- wire up the rig
- power up the entire rig (with power amps attenuated all the way down)
- using a wired mic I get a level reading on the mixer (to make sure that it is working)
- once a level is established, I "turn up" the power amps
- test FOH
- turn FOH faders down (on mixer)
- test Monitors
- leave monitors up and turn FOH faders up on mixer
- test monitors/FOH at moderate volume
- check for feedback
- connect the rest of the mics and line check

That's about it.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:10 pm

As above then set gains on each channel, HPF everything except kick, bass guitar and (possibly) keys. Send vocal mics to each individual singer's monitor, and any acoustic instruments where they need to be heard (unless it's a big, festival sized stage, the less that's in the monitors the better, lead guitarists do not need their guitar in their monitors). It's usually better to set the stage up so all the muso's can hear their own instrument and the rest of the band from the backline without foldback.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Wonks » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:22 pm

Sam Spoons wrote: lead guitarists do not need their guitar in their monitors).
That supposes guitarists playing with backline amps turned up fairly loud. Whereas you might have a guitarist with an amp emulator going straight into the PA, or someone with a very small amp playing quietly and miked up that does require some guitar in the foldback.

You just have to be flexible and adapt to whatever the situation is.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Music Wolf » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:09 pm

As a lead guitarist who uses a profiler, Wonks is spot on.

In addition to going into the PA I have a small powered cab (an Alto TS210) on stage with just my guitar going through it as 'backline', however, I plan to ditch this approach and have both guitars going to the PA without backline. Because we mix from the stage, and usually there is little or no chance for a sound check, the more we can balancing things up in the rehearsal room and then store the mixer settings the better.

When it comes to monitors - less is definitely more but we're also moving towards IEMs anyway
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:39 pm

Yes, sorry for the sweeping generalisation there chaps. I could edit to say "(except those using Kemplers and such like)" but I'm too late for that. :blush:

As you correctly surmise I was referring to the majority of 'lead guitar players' (of whom I am one) who use a conventional amp. Even a small amp which needs miking is usually loud enough for stage volume except on big stages. I use an 18 watt combo with a pretty loud drummer.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Luke W » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:50 pm

Just typed a reply to this and then closed my tab before posting :madas: The thing I ended with is a non-technical point and I think it's rather important...

It really pays to be friendly and helpful towards whoever you're working with, as obvious as it may sound a lot of people manage to get it wrong, and it's amazing how much easier a difficult gig can be when everyone is getting on well and feels like they're on the same side.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby MarkPAman » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:15 pm

Luke W wrote:It really pays to be friendly and helpful towards whoever you're working with, as obvious as it may sound a lot of people manage to get it wrong, and it's amazing how much easier a difficult gig can be when everyone is getting on well and feels like they're on the same side.

Spot on!

Soundcheck in a way the band are happy with - if they like to sort monitors first then do that, if the drummer want's to spend 5 mins (+) on each drum, that's fine as long as there's time. If they want guitar in their monitors, it's not automatically wrong.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby blinddrew » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:33 pm

It will vary a bit with the style of music as well. If you're working with an act who are used to playing un-amplified (folk or acoustic styles perhaps) then you'll frequently get a request for 'everything' or 'whatever's going FOH' in the monitors. The reason being is that they're used to balancing themselves and can only do that if they can hear what's happening.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Wonks » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:47 pm

I also suspect that there are two different meanings of the word' soundcheck', depending on whether you are in the band or looking after the PA.

There's the basically checking everything works stage, which has what has mainly been described above, then there is the getting the band on stage to run through a couple of numbers to make sure that the FOH levels are balanced and that the monitor levels are correct for the band.

So you'll need to make sure that they run through a really loud number, so that you can check that when the guitarist goes for the boost pedals for his solo, or the keyboard player pushes his volume control up for his solo etc., that the levels still remain OK at the desk and a channel isn't suddenly overloaded and sounds awful. Or if someone plays several instruments over different songs, that one of them isn't significantly louder/quieter than the rest.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:58 pm

The earlier point about being nice/helpful/cooperative is easily the best thing said in this thread :clap:

I know I came across a bit dogmatic earlier but in the real world I do try to give the band what they want. However it's usually better to get the amp pointing at the guitarist's head than to make up for his lack of ears behind his knees by sticking a load of guitar in his monitor.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Luke W » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:52 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:However it's usually better to get the amp pointing at the guitarist's head than to make up for his lack of ears behind his knees by sticking a load of guitar in his monitor.

:thumbup: Guaranteed to get the “Oh THAT’S how loud I am!?” face every time.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:27 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap: :bouncy:
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby plodsmeade » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:47 am

Many engineers have a few test tracks they know well which they play to audition the system, checking for coverage and to apply output EQ if necessary, before line and sound check. That's fine, but I find that there's nothing like the human voice to reveal problem areas. Either always gig with the same willing human, or get used to the sound of your own voice - how it should sound through a vocal mic you're actually going to use live. "One Two" not obligatory.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby awjoe » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:23 am

plodsmeade wrote:Many engineers have a few test tracks they know well which they play to audition the system, checking for coverage and to apply output EQ if necessary, before line and sound check. That's fine, but I find that there's nothing like the human voice to reveal problem areas.

Commercial reference tracks for mixing, live voice for live sound? Rule of thumb? Or it depends?
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby MarkPAman » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:26 am

Combination of both.
I know how my voice sounds and can get a good idea of the room/system from that alone, but it will not tell me much about what's going on below 100Hz. Something with a good solid bass line & well recorded percussion usually fills in the bits my voice can't do.
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Re: Sound Check Routine

Postby plodsmeade » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:33 pm

MarkPAman wrote:Combination of both.
Yep
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