Can’t Hear Yourself Sing Live? Try These Tips

Can’t Hear Yourself Sing Live? Try These Tips

March 08, 2017

Singers in bands of all styles tend to face a very familiar problem: the inability to hear themselves when singing along with the band. This frustrating problem can cause vocalists to strain their voice trying to over project and have problems with pitch ultimately giving less than their best performance. The human voice has its own distinct limitations- unlike an electric guitar or bass, a singer cannot simply turn up the volume on his or her amp if they are not cutting through. However, taking advantage of technology can help vocalists hear themselves over the din of a loud band.

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Speaker Specs

Speaker Specs: Making Sense of the Technical Gibberish Part 2

February 07, 2017

Speaker Specs

In Part 1 of this series we covered Frequency Response, Sensitivity, and SPL. This segment will explain Power Ratings, Crossover Systems, and Coverage Specs.

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Understanding Speaker Specs

Speaker Specs: Making Sense of the Technical Gibberish Part 1

February 02, 2017

Understanding Speaker Specs

When trying to choose the best speaker system for your application you may find yourself confronted by a bewildering list of specifications. You might be thinking, "I just need to pick a speaker that is a good fit for my power amplifier. Why does this say 600 watts in one place and 2400 watts in another? What do all these numbers and unfamiliar words mean?" There seem to be a lot of variables to consider but what do they tell you about the system's capabilities? Let's take a look at some commonly published specifications you might encounter and become familiar with their meaning and application.

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Protecting Your Rig With a Rackmount Power Conditioner

Powering Up and Protecting Your Rig: Surge Protectors vs. Rackmount Power Conditioners

February 01, 2017

Protecting Your Rig With a Rackmount Power Conditioner

Once you’ve assembled the pro audio or bass rig of your dreams and racked it in a road case for good measure, it’s time to think about the best way to keep all your valuable equipment powered up and protected.

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How to Choose a Mixer: C1648

How to Choose a Mixer, Part 2: Understanding the Different Types

January 03, 2017

How to Choose a Mixer: C1648

In the last segment, we discussed the basic functions of mixers and why they are essential to a live sound setup and the everyday gigging musician. In this piece we will discuss the different types of mixers available and help you decide which one is best for your setup. 

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How to Choose a Mixer: RX1200L 12 Channel Mixer

How to Choose a Mixer: An Everyday Musician's Guide

December 21, 2016

How to Choose a Mixer: RX1200L 12 Channel Mixer

A good mixer is an essential component of a live show. Even though the band and audience members alike may go the whole night without even seeing the mixer, this little piece of equipment has a big role in providing the best possible sound to the stage and the house.

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How to Choose the Right Earplugs

How to Choose the Right Earplugs

September 14, 2016

Earplugs

Whether you’re jamming with a garage band or playing stadiums, it’s essential to protect your hearing. Our hearing is one of our most valuable tools we have as musicians, and once it’s gone it’s gone for good. In fact, if you leave a gig with your ears ringing, permanent damage has already been done to your hearing. Furthermore, if you constantly expose yourself to excessively loud volumes over a long period of time, you may develop Tinnitus, which is a constant ringing in your ears. In severe cases, that ringing may turn into buzzing, humming, or even singing sounds. Any kind of additional voices in your head is definitely something you want to avoid.

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How to Provide Audio For Outdoor Events:  What Do I Need to Know For a Successful Show?

How to Provide Audio For Outdoor Events: What Do I Need to Know For a Successful Show?

September 03, 2016

Throughout the course of my career in audio production I have provided audio systems for hundreds of indoor and outdoor events. While the tools I utilize are often very similar, the approach I have towards each situation can vary significantly. Let’s take a look at what goes into the logistics behind each and what you can do to improve your audio quality in each situation. This article will deal with preparing for an outdoor show and how to decide what speakers to use.

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Concert with active speaker system

Active Speaker Systems vs. Passive Speaker Systems Advantages and Disadvantages of Each to Help You Choose the Correct System

August 12, 2016

Concert with active column array system

I am frequently asked “which are better, active or passive speakers?” The short answer is “Neither.” The real answer is dependent on many variables. My production company currently has inventory of both active and passive speakers. We use both very frequently and often at the same events. Here are a few ideas that you might consider when choosing between active and passive speakers.

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Man Setting Gain Knob

What Your Mixer’s Gain Knob Does and How to Adjust It

August 09, 2016

Man Mixing Console

Knowing how to properly set the gain on each channel of your mixing console can go a long way in ensuring an optimal live or studio mix for your band. The gain knob, also referred to in some instances as the trim knob, is the first point of amplification and entry into your mixer. The term “trim” is also used, because it relates the high gain of the microphone pre-amp and the knob’s trimming back this gain. The purpose of the gain knob is to control the input volume of any instrument or microphone that you have plugged into that channel of the mixer or console.

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Tips to Help Deal With a Reverberant Venue

Tips to Help Deal With a Reverberant Venue

July 28, 2016

Stage with lights

While there’s no doubt that intentionally adding some echo or reverb to your band’s vocals can be a nice effect, the overbearing natural reverb and echo that results from the acoustical properties of certain concert halls, churches, and other venues can be a huge problem for your band’s overall sound and result in an unintelligible mess! If your band is all mic’ed up through the PA, playing and hearing mostly echo instead of instruments can make it really difficult to perform well, let alone stay in time and in tune with one another.

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Guitar Player with Band

Mid Sweep Controls: Extra Tools for Your Tone

July 28, 2016

Guitar Player with Band

The standard three band equalization system has long been a mainstay of mixers and guitar and bass amplifiers. Even minor adjustments to an amp’s bass, midrange, and treble controls go a long way in shaping your tone. These EQ controls, sometimes called Low, MID, and HI on mixers, are very common, intuitive and effective. However, in a dense band mix, some extra flexibility may be needed to dial in your amps tone or fit each player in their spot for a cleaner mix. Many guitarists can quickly address these issues by engaging an equalizer pedal or toggling to a different pickup. However, using and understanding an amp or mixer with a mid sweep can open new doors of tone shaping without having to add any additional components to your setup.

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