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Keyboard players submixing before FOH


Adam Burgess

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Hiya. I just posted this over at ProSoundWeb in reply to this subject...

 

Unlike a few keyboard players I've heard in other forums {like this one!}, I would prefer the sound guy to mix my sounds. Usually they say: he doesn't know MY sound. Well, rehearse and get the man in is what I think. I do sound now and again for pub and college bands and I know I'd rather have control.

 

In my covers band I used to play a single Triton Extreme, MIDI'ed with another Triton just for control (no audio) mixing the sounds MIDI-wise before the main out and didn't like it.

 

So I started using my piano (Yammy P120) and the two Tritons for Pianos, Strs/Brass and Synthy stuff. I wanted to use three lines (plenty of channels spare (A&H GL2200 24 ch. only using around 14 at the moment) and our sound man said he'd rather I mix them on stage and send him one line. Yeah - that many hands to operate the boards and a mini mixer, cos you just can't tell how that single-note high-string line fits with the vocals and the piano comp underneath... and the guitar, and bass, and kit, and backing vox!!

 

He said he wouldn't be sure which board I'd be playing at any given time, even though I'd said Piano, Strings/Brass,Synth. This guy always gets us good sound out front two of three times per week, but I know I don't trust myself to give him something good to work with. If the string line is too loud down it comes along with my rhythm part - no good!!!

 

Sorry for the long one, just a different perspective to the norm, I think.

 

Adam

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Adam

I submix everything before it goes to the FOH. I keep everything set to midi channel 1 and use volume pedals to bring whatever sounds I need. This way strings can swell, horns can stab etc. Try getting a sound guy to figure that out.....its not going to happen.

Set up zones for every song if you are that involved. I create setups on my Kurzweils where ceartain songs need special attention

It's your sound it's your mix,don't trust a sound guy for anything other than contolling the over all volume in the mix.

 

Hawiian Bill is no more...Uma is back in town

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Man, I can't imagine how you would have someone else do it. Mix your stuff in practice, before you even get on the stage. Don't really need a mixer, just need to set your volumes. I'm sure if you had a dedicated soundman it would be fine, but trusting a new guy to do it every show when most of the time they can't get the guitar right... You've got some balls!

"...Keytar in a heavy metal band is nothing more than window dressing" - Sven Golly

 

Cursed Eternity - My Band

Dick Ward - My Me

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I would prefer adjusting my sounds just by volume controls. The rule of thumb would be: If you find yourself having to do too many cumbersome things besides the playing, then consider simplifying your rig.
We have time, but none to waste.
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Sub-mixing and normalizing your signal before it goes to the FOH is your job. If you leave it up to the sound man, he's going to pull ALL of your keys out of the mix on the first brass stab that pegs his meters. Expression pedals are a good way to control these "hot" patches and add dynamics to your music.

 

JC

Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. W. C. Fields
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The FOH engineer should be as much of a musician as I am. The best ones are. If I submix my keys, the FOH doesn't have the ability to shape the sound in the way that the individual rooms dictate. I use ear monitors, so I always get the mix I want. But that doesn't mean that the rooms sound the same from day to day, and a patch that got buried in the arena may jump out in the club the next day. Since I can't tell those things from inside my cosy ear mix, I have to rely on a trained, competant, FOH engineer to make those calls for me.

 

k.

 

 

 

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Are you working with pros at Opryland or the guitar players drunken brother-in-law? Usually, the skill level is somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. If I don't know the guy, I mix myself. If I know and trust the guy, I send the raw signals and let him mix it.
Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. W. C. Fields
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Originally posted by The Real MC:

Most FOH engineers will thank you for providing them with a submix instead of throwing twelve channels of keyboards at them. They have enough to do up there.

Maybe so...but I'm pretty considerate of what I send him--I try to be consistent. He won't have to ride organ; it's on an expression pedal. He only needs max volume. Same with the strings. He may bump the piano up for solos. So there's not that much for him to do--aside from the daily venue corrections.

 

I'd still prefer him to have control. It would be no different in a studio.

 

k.

 

 

 

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Thanks ksoper - pleased I'm not the only one. It's the same sound guy every time so he knows the tunes by now. I know what you mean about being consistent.

 

Blue JC - If my brass hit is too hot when he's got one channel of keys, then they all do come down, including the rhythm part or pad or whatever. If he has separate sends then he can leave the rhythm section set and worry about the offending noise.

 

Main thing is: some sounds have to almost match the vocal in level. Not at the same time, obviously, that would be bad arranging. How can I tell where the vocals are FOH?

 

Adam

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I pre-mix my rig onstage, then send to FOH.

We have our own FOH man, so he knows the show and all of our rigs.

 

During setup we go over max signals. I don't touch my onstage mixer after that.

 

Our sound guy know song by song what presence my keyboards need in each song, so I trust him.

 

Based on live show recordings I listen to of us, he does a good job.

 

If I didn't pre mix, I'd have to take up a minimum of 8 channels on the snake to FOH.

 

This way I only send two lines, left and right. (we run a stereo PA).

David

Gig Rig:Depends on the day :thu:

 

 

 

 

 

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Same here. We establish comping volume and solo volume for each keyboard in the rig (usually two, or three if I'm feeling saucy), then I don't touch the submix after that. Running keyboards in stereo, a lot of small and mid-size clubs don't have enough channels to do it any other way.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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If I am mixing for someone I prefer to have separate sends. As a keyboard player myself I know I can make you sound better than you can while playing.

 

The biggest problem for me is when singing, many sound people fail to balance the piano versus the vocals in the monitors - the balance will be totally different to FOH. The only way to fix that would be to submix the vocals too. So pretty soon why do you need a sound person at all?

 

I tend to think if your TO is that bad, you should get rid of them because they are going to mess up far more than just your keyboard mix.

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