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What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

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What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby Deyarn » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:06 am

Hi,

I currently have a Audio-Technica BP40 and a Yamaha P-125 but I'm not sure what equipment I need as I'm new to this.

I was thinking I need a DAC and Audio Interface? But I also heard a DI would be good as well? Or maybe I only need an Audio Interface? It's quite obvious I have no idea.

I do want both my Mic and Keyboard to connect through the same device.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks :D
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:46 am

Hello Dyarn and welcome to SOS.

How long have you got?! Yes you need an audio interface but that choice in itself could take many words to explain and some interchange with you to pin down things like, what exactly do you want to record and how. Very important too is budget. AIs start at under £50 but I strongly suggest you should at least double that figure.

Oddly perhaps I shall start with the Yamaha. The kbd outputs left and right siganls on 1/4" jacks so you will need two 'TS' (guitar) jack to jack cables if you want to record both channels. You can get away with just one if you use the left, mono, output. Now, most budget AIs only have two inputs. Usually for two microphones but do triple duty as 'line' inputs for the kbd and 'high Z' for passive electric guitars. That of course leaves no input for the mic if you intend to sing and play.

The next raft of AIs will give you 2 mic/line/HZ ins plus two more line inputs. More money will get you almost as many inputs as you could want. One of my favourite interfaces is the Native Instruments KA6 but others by Focusrite, Mackie, Tacam and many more will also serve.

You will need some means of hearing your results. Many newbs start with headphones but it is generally thought that better results are wrought using GOOD monitor speakers. If you have some decent 'hi fi' speakers they could well serve.

NOT incuding good monitors you need to think £300+

Dave.
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:55 am

Edit :- Dave has covered the recording side of it but, as In your heading you refer to 'live sound' (and you've posted in the 'live sound' forum), I'll stick to that (it is my area too).

Firstly how much is your budget and how big an audience do you expect to be playing too?

You won't need a DAC, or an audio interface (unless you want to record your show to a computer). Whether a DI will be useful will depend on the PA system you end up buying.

Your mic is not designed for live sound but may work fine for your needs, if not then you'll need to budget for a 'proper' live vocal mic*.

Welcome to the forum BTW :thumbup:

* Shure SM58, Sennheiser E835, AKG D5 or similar.
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby CS70 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:11 pm

Deyarn wrote:Hi,

I currently have a Audio-Technica BP40 and a Yamaha P-125 but I'm not sure what equipment I need as I'm new to this.

I was thinking I need a DAC and Audio Interface? But I also heard a DI would be good as well? Or maybe I only need an Audio Interface? It's quite obvious I have no idea.

I do want both my Mic and Keyboard to connect through the same device.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks :D


For live sound, all you need is a mixer with at least two channels. Most venues would already have one but anyway, here you go.

Both the digital piano and the microphone can produce analogue signals that plug into the mixer. For the microphone you will need an xlr cable and you’ll plug it into one of the the mixer preamplifier. For the piano, you’ll need two instrument cables (for stereo) with jacks, which will plug into the AUX left and right on the back of the piano into either two mono line inputs on the mixer, or a stereo channel (depending on the mixer you may need different cables). If you use two mono channels, you’ll use the mixer pan control to pane them left and right.

The mixer stereo output will then go to whatever Public Amplification system exist in the venue (or f the venue has none, you’ll need your own, with enough power rating to reach the audience).



If you want to record,,as dave write, you’ll need an interface - or a digital mixer with recording option, such as QSC TouchMix or others.
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:56 pm

Ooops! (bloody eye, age, meds brain.....!)

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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:09 pm

:) I had pause for thought when I read the OP but decided to take the title and where he posted at face value. Hopefully he'll be back to enlighten us in a while. :thumbup:
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:13 pm

Sam Spoons wrote::) I had pause for thought when I read the OP but decided to take the title and where he posted at face value. Hopefully he'll be back to enlighten us in a while. :thumbup:

Yeah, one could go mad awonderin'!

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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby Deyarn » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:02 pm

So sorry! I can't believe I forgot to specify what I was going to use it for! The mic isn't going to be used for vocals just to talk but I wanted both devices to go through one device like a audio interface for simplicity's sake. However, my intention is to stream on a live broadcasting platform, I.e. Twitch.tv or YouTube. So I need to connect it to my computer for live sound, not to record.

Budget: Under $1000.

Hope that clears some stuff up, sorry again!
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:33 pm

In that case I refer you back to Dave's (ef37a) post above. The requirements of streaming and recording are very similar WRT the gear needed to get the audio into the computer just the software will be different.
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:43 pm

Phew! In that case and with that budget...

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/ro ... caster-pro

I doubt you couls do better for the purpose?

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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:48 pm

Good call :thumbup:
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby Deyarn » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:56 pm

Would be it fine if I get an audio interface with 2 XLR inputs, get a DI box, plug a keyboard into the DI then the DI into the XLR input? And have my microphone plugged into the other XLR input?

Would that work?
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby ef37a » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:27 am

Deyarn wrote:Would be it fine if I get an audio interface with 2 XLR inputs, get a DI box, plug a keyboard into the DI then the DI into the XLR input? And have my microphone plugged into the other XLR input?

Would that work?

Yes but you don't need the DI box. Mic in ch1 and left(mono) keyboard in right line input.

But I fear you will find such a simple setup limiting, much depends upon the recording software *you intend to use and how you want to present the recordings.

*Called a Digital Audio Workstation. Examples of DAWs are, Cubase, Reaper and simplest of all perhaps, Audacity which is also free.

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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:13 am

ef37a wrote:Phew! In that case and with that budget...

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/ro ... caster-pro

I doubt you couls do better for the purpose?

Dave.

Just a note on this. In his review Paul said:

Note that if you want to erase recordings or transfer them to a computer for further editing, the Micro SD card has to be removed and then hooked up to the computer via a card reader, so capturing your recording to a suitable DAW on your computer as you go along will save time. I'm hoping that a future firmware update will make file transfer possible without having to remove the card, as having to do this adds an inconvenient step to the otherwise silky-smooth workflow.

I can report that his wish has been granted. You can now delete files or transfer from the Micro SD card to a computer.

I think it's a great tool, & found that it only takes a couple of minutes to teach students how to use it. It may be OTT for this particular project though.
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:32 am

It is a very nice tool but has no line inputs. Perhaps a zoom livetrack L8 instead?
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:15 am

ef37a wrote:
Deyarn wrote:Would be it fine if I get an audio interface with 2 XLR inputs, get a DI box, plug a keyboard into the DI then the DI into the XLR input? And have my microphone plugged into the other XLR input?

Would that work?

Yes but you don't need the DI box. Mic in ch1 and left(mono) keyboard in right line input.

But I fear you will find such a simple setup limiting, much depends upon the recording software *you intend to use and how you want to present the recordings.

*Called a Digital Audio Workstation. Examples of DAWs are, Cubase, Reaper and simplest of all perhaps, Audacity which is also free.

Dave.

#Deyarn? Do you plan to record your live podcasts or only only stream live? If the latter some kind of live streaming software would probably be better than a conventional DAW (I know nothing about such but suspect it would allow you to record anyway).

I echo Dave's suggestion that a two input audio interface will become limiting fairly quickly, you'll probably want to record/stream the piano in stereo at some point and maybe even have another singer or instrument. An AI with 4 inputs will be much more future proof and still fall well within your budget.

Also consider the room you will be performing in, if it is an ordinary domestic space anything picked up by the mic will sound very amateurish* and some kind of acoustic treatment will be necessary if you hope to produce professional sounding results.

* singing/talking very close (around 1-2" away) to the mic will help reduce the amount of 'room sound' getting into the mic.
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby ef37a » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:32 am

blinddrew wrote:It is a very nice tool but has no line inputs. Perhaps a zoom livetrack L8 instead?

Did not realize the Rode had no line inputs. Right then! OP's idea of a DI box is valid.

I do think Rode have missed a trick there though? I mean EVERYBODY fits Combo XLRs these days!

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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:26 pm

I guess the phone socket is technically a line in (and out).
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:18 pm

True, but I'm not sure what the specs are.
I'd definitely look at the Zoom L8 as an alternative for this use case.
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Re: What equipment is required for high quality live sound with Mic + Keyboard?

Postby Deyarn » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:39 am

For now, live sound. Perhaps in the future I could do some recordings, unsure at this point.

I'm interested in the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (Gen 3) 4-in/4-out USB Audio Interface and I think it may be suitable for me at this point, thoughts?

If I end up wanting to do recordings, what would I need in addition to this AI? Or do I need a totally different setup?
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