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OT - Getting the band's sound on stage
Posted by: MileHigh ()
Date: April 8, 2018 00:58

Here are somethings I have been wondering about for years.

When a band plays an arena or a stadium, are the guitar players and the base player still playing on their own little on-stage amps which are then picked up with microphones a few feet in front of each amp? Presumably then the signals go to the main mixing console to then go to the main PA system. If this is indeed true is this done to allow the individual players to personalize their sound by adjusting their guitar controls/pedals and their on-stage amp settings?

Or am I totally wrong, and the guitar signals go out to the main mixing console and then everything is handled from there?

When I think of the main mixing console that is typically 200 feet away from the stage on the floor, there might be between 20 and 40 channels to mix and set the levels on. It makes you wonder if sometimes there is a "battle" between the musicians on the stage and the guy at the mixing console for what actually comes out of the PA system.

Another related question is how you get a stereo mix from the main mixing console for those "soundboard" bootleg recordings? In the sense that most of the time things like the guitars must be a mono mix so that they play out of both the stage-left and stage-right speakers of the PA system.

Re: OT - Getting the band's sound on stage
Posted by: buffalo7478 ()
Date: April 8, 2018 19:14

I do not know how it is done now, especially in the age of wireless. I had a horrible experience promoting the remains of Little Feat (Barerre, Clayton, Gradney and Hayword....in 1981 missing the deceased Lowell George and Bill Pain following Lowell's death).

The sound in the venue was horribly loud and distorted. Guitars getting louder, then louder then bass would go up then more guitar then the drummer playing harder. People in the crowd were leaving. Some that knew me shouted it was unlistenable. I went to the sound board and the guy running it was throwing his arms in the air and yelling at guitar techs. The tour was just starting and the band was having trouble. When a band member could not hear themselves, they were dialing things up onstage, causing the soundboard guy to try to adjust the mix. Total mess. In 1981, on college campuses, Little Feat was still very popular, but a chunk of the crowd left before the end of the show. It was unlistenable.

I would hope that technology for better sound monitoring onstage, via in-ear, helps everyone hear how they sound much better. And bands like the Stones are sober enough and trusting enough to let the sound engineers do their job on the mix. A good question on how it's done now. Hopefully someone has a more current answer.

Re: OT - Getting the band's sound on stage
Posted by: tommycharles ()
Date: April 8, 2018 19:47

Quote
MileHigh
Here are somethings I have been wondering about for years.

When a band plays an arena or a stadium, are the guitar players and the base player still playing on their own little on-stage amps which are then picked up with microphones a few feet in front of each amp? Presumably then the signals go to the main mixing console to then go to the main PA system. If this is indeed true is this done to allow the individual players to personalize their sound by adjusting their guitar controls/pedals and their on-stage amp settings?

Or am I totally wrong, and the guitar signals go out to the main mixing console and then everything is handled from there?

The first of those - the amps have mics in front of them which capture the sound and send it to the PA.

In terms of whether there’s a “battle” between the Stones amp volume and the front of house mix - in the size of venues the Stones play, it’s not really an issue. An arena/stadium PA can comfortably obliterate the mightiest of amps.

There have been a myriad of attempts to do something different over the years, from various digital amp emulators (which are just about starting to sound realistic, but it’s been a long bumpy road), to attenuators (which take some of the amp signal and convert it to heat before it hits the speaker, allowing the sound of the amp to stay at full blast without the volume), to more moderate ideas like keeping all the amps at the back of the stage facing away from the crowd (Green Day does this - any “amps” you see facing forward in their stage set are just props).

Re: OT - Getting the band's sound on stage
Posted by: hopkins ()
Date: April 8, 2018 23:33

I would guess it would be a 'mix'ture of direct feeds from the amps outputs in a signal chain that could variously include 'racks' of digital emulator/effects, similar to the recording studio racks....
and the mics in front of the amps being mentioned.....
i would guess that huge computerized Main board has endless channels...
...and that this would be what that they've got him doing during each sound-check; it's certainly variously programmable WAAy above my limited understandings...but would needbe tweaked each time. gosh then there's the monitor mixing board....yikers....
to sum up comprehensively, commensurate with my skill-set: I don't know... smiling smiley

Re: OT - Getting the band's sound on stage
Posted by: electricmud ()
Date: April 9, 2018 00:30

As far as I know the sound on stage differs from what comes out of the pa-system. The onstagesound is mixed seperately. The mixing-desk is often on the side or back of the stage . And of course the musicians on stage prefer a different mix on their monitors. The drummer wants the bass high in the mix and the singer wants ...and so on. In general as a musician you don`t know if the sound in the stadium is good or bad or If the sound of your guitar is right or loud enough. You just hear your amp and the monitorbox.

Tom

Re: OT - Getting the band's sound on stage
Posted by: hopkins ()
Date: April 9, 2018 00:45

thats interesting to me electricmud. I always wondered what Mick needs
in his monitors to work effectively; it's just incredible how massive
these shows are. omg for The Stones a small room is an arena; holy smokes.
i know i should be used to it by now; but just incredible.
mick's singing great. For me I guess, unless you're in a real sweet spot
as far as acoustics go; or fortunate as to how their speaker systems are generally targetting your position in the audience....etc...
imo it's an obvious compromise sonically. I feel totally spoiled having
just once with taylor and once with ronnie in an arena; the other shows,
some of them really super, were stadiums....
i would guess interview with their main sound mixer on the road would be
fascinating; I think I saw some interesting stuff relative to that a long time ago.....sorry can't find it now...looking.......

sometimes people say he just has one or two major elements, to 'key' off of...
he's got them in both ears I suppose....
Gosh how much does he hear from the stage monitors, over and above,
or relative to what's in those ear pods?

Re: OT - Getting the band's sound on stage
Posted by: RockingLonestar ()
Date: April 9, 2018 14:05

The miked amp sound and a line signal from the amps go to a guitar rack with effects, equalizers and so on. From there it goes to the onstage mixing console, where the stage monoitor/ in ear monitoring sound is mixed.
The PA sound is mixed by another sound guy at the PA mixing desk, especially concerning delays and the synchronisation of the sound in the arena and the movig pictures on the big video sreens.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-04-11 17:26 by RockingLonestar.

Re: OT - Getting the band's sound on stage
Posted by: Hopiman ()
Date: May 8, 2018 10:42

Here's a very detailed article about the equipment they use on stage:
[www.production-partner.de]

It's in German but if you scroll down you'll find a list of equipment.

Re: OT - Getting the band's sound on stage
Date: May 8, 2018 10:54

Some time ago there was a very interesting interview with Dave Natale posted on this forum.



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