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Best way to talk to the audience at live gig so they can hear you


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I have a "talk" button on my Yamaha keyboard that you can push if you want to talk to the audience. Cancels out reverb and whatnot so they can hear you better. When I go to gigs, seems nobody uses anything like this, they just talk through their regular settings. And I can't understand a dang thing they say. If you do DO something so they can understand you better, what is it?

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Well, killing the effects is the first thing, but sometimes it's tricky to do, and if you're running sound from stage, it can be a pain to always remember to turn 'em back on. Other than that, have someone out front make sure that they can understand what you're saying...and remember, don't mumble into the mic. Speak a trifle slowly, articulately...and PROJECT your voice, just as though you were singing...
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Just don't talk. You'll probably say something stupid (not you--but anyone). I've got friends who have a terrific little band, great original bar band, somwhere between Jane's Addiciton, G. Love, and Shudder to Think. Singer can't shut up between songs. On and on he goes. Kills me. Makes me want kill them.
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[quote]Originally posted by Tedster: [b]Well, killing the effects is the first thing, but sometimes it's tricky to do, and if you're running sound from stage, it can be a pain to always remember to turn 'em back on.[/b][/quote]Yes! [b] [quote]Other than that, have someone out front make sure that they can understand what you're saying...and remember, don't mumble into the mic. Speak a trifle slowly, articulately...and PROJECT your voice, just as though you were singing... [/b][/quote]Thank you, TED! I've wanted to strangle vocalists before for this very reason! They project when they're singing, then turn into some coy toddler when they're speaking to the audience. The audience wants to blame the soundman because they can't understand a word of it, but at the level the artist is speaking all hell would break loose with the monitor system, if the mic is turned up. Killing or reducing the level of the monitor is not an option. It freaks most musicians out if you play with the monitor level, "for no reason," during a show, even during speaking breaks. :eek: :rolleyes:

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The "speak slowly, clearly, and project" thing isn't limited to singers with effects on. So many people, in so many public situations, don't realize the necessity of this. Even if you end up being a little slower than the audience can hear, no one objects, and they appreciate you taking the time to get your point across. I'v never played with a big sound setup. Is it worth having an extra mic set up without effects to use for talking? Tom

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[quote]Originally posted by Tom Capasso: [b]The "speak slowly, clearly, and project" thing isn't limited to singers with effects on. So many people, in so many public situations, don't realize the necessity of this. Even if you end up being a little slower than the audience can hear, no one objects, and they appreciate you taking the time to get your point across. I'v never played with a big sound setup. Is it worth having an extra mic set up without effects to use for talking? Tom[/b][/quote]That, to me, would be almost as awkward, maybe even more so, than remembering to turn the effects off. I will turn effects off, if we have a guest coming up to speak, i.e., a wedding where the best man wants to do a toast. What kills me...have you ever noticed a group of kids, like Cub Scouts, doing a skit? Before the skit they're the loudest things on earth, but the minute you have to be able to hear what they say, they clam up. Why is that??? Should be the other way around... :D
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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uh....a little banter? Lets face it, some audiences don't give a damn what you say. SO focus on the ones who ARE listening and talk to them....emphasis on talk to them. If you can BS, you're there dude.
Down like a dollar comin up against a yen, doin pretty good for the shape I'm in
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Hey Duke, If you're up there & doing your thing with your eyes open, you'll see who is paying attention to what you are doing. Tune your show to those people or groups, make eye contact & play/sing to them & during your banter breaks, talk to them. You'll be surprised how much interaction you get and how easy it is then, to be heard talking. Basically, it's easier to talk TO someone than to just talk into thin air. Try it. I believe you'll find it helps more than trying to remember to[b] e n u n c i a t e [/b] clearly, or turn off effects.

 

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Not sure I understand the problem or the need to get rid of the effects when talking. I haven't gigged since 94 so I'm sure things are different these days. Always seemed if it's set where you can sing and be understood, ya can talk thru it with the same success. If talking comes across all jumbled so will the singing... seems to me that's the way it always worked.

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You could also just set up a separate microphone for announcements on its own stand. This mic should have a mute switch and no effects at the mixer. When you want to talk so the audience can hear you, step away from the music area, turn on the mic, make a legible announcement and step back to the music. It would of course be simpler to have a competent sound tech who could mute the reverb return when you announce from your singing mic!
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O.K. folks. I'm here to answer your question with something so simple you will not believe it. We run sound from stage. Nothing makes me crazier than hearing some idiot talking with the reverb on. Since I use a programmable LX1 delay unit I needed some way to know when it was on or off. Radio Shack to the rescue. I built a small foot pedal box out of 1/4" panelling and mounted a double pole double throw footswitch in it. One side shuts off the reverb unit. The other side is wired to a 9 volt LED stuck into a rubber grommet that fits in a 1/4 inch hole on top. Wire a 9 volt battery positive to the switch, one leg of the LED to the other side of the switch and wire the negative of the battery to the LED. VOILA! A red light when the reverb is on. Cost is about five bucks and the battery will last a year. I use regular 16 guage lamp cord with a 1/4" male jack on the end with about 12 feet of cord to reach the reverb unit. I have hook side Velcro on the bottom of the footswitch so it sticks to carpet and I duct tape it down if we're on a slick stage. I've had mine for about 15 years now and the footswitch has never failed. It's about four inches wide two inches high at the back and an inch high at the front and about three inches deep. Thank the U.S. Navy for all that electronics training...

Mark G.

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