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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / small venue question

6 Cylinder Slim

north woods

It just needs more voltage
Dec 12th, 2018 09:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've retired from music, but still plan on playing small venues locally with a trio. I have no experience since I've mostly played bars and dance halls. I was wondering if anybody here sets up the front end behind the band instead of out front. It seems like it would work since volume will be quite low and there's no need to run the mics very hot. But I've never tried it.Sure would be nice not to have to bother with hot spot monitors. There's certainly no room for floor wedges in these tiny rooms, but it would be nice to hear a clear shot from a speaker rather than relying on bounce back from the room.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Dec 13th, 2018 11:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

Are you talking the PA speakers? That may be problematic. Even a low-ish volumes, you run the risk of feedback. Even if it doesn't feed back, it may sound weird to you because of the mics picking up the sound. Also, it may be louder than you want in your ears, to accommodate the room mix. And it will have to be set louder in general, since it's behind the instruments and further from the audience. If you were to put the speakers back there, I'd put them pretty high up on their stands, so much of it goes over your head.

(This message was last edited by gdw3 at 01:36 PM, Dec 13th, 2018)

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Dec 13th, 2018 11:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

(This message was last edited by gdw3 at 01:35 PM, Dec 13th, 2018)

Laker

Forgive your enemies

but never forget their names
Dec 13th, 2018 12:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

When I first started in bands back in 1960 we always had the PA speakers behind us as no one ran monitors or used mics or direct lines on anything on stage. Feedback was a tad problematic since the speakers and mics of that time were not very good.

For smaller venues today I would use a Bose L1 system as the sound reproduction is very natural and it will function as mains and monitors.

Bose link

scott-s
Contributing Member
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Dec 13th, 2018 01:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds like your just talking about the vocals, what kind of music is your trio playing? Are you playing mostly acoustic instruments in the arrangements? The reason I ask is because I sometimes play at open mics in small rooms with PA's and the person running the board has to almost always adjust for every single act and the acoustic guitars can be a big problem. Every stage is different so you might get away with the PA behind and off to the side, If your strumming unamplified guitars and only micing up your vocals a bit my guess is your OK ... sometimes there's only one way to find out.

I find doing sound is one of the hardest parts to get right and I don't like that side of playing out sometimes.

6 Cylinder Slim

north woods

It just needs more voltage
Dec 13th, 2018 01:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, vox only in the PA. Drums, bass and electric guitar.I'm just using 2 10" powered speakers on sticks. The 2 places I have lined up are nothing like dance band venues. Small restaurants, sit down crowd. I hate the thought of more gear, more spaghetti on the floor and setup time for this sort of gig. Although, I am free to play all sorts of music I like but never had the chance to perform before. I think I'll set up early and give it a shot and have enough time to change it if there's feedback problems.

(This message was last edited by 6 Cylinder Slim at 03:30 PM, Dec 13th, 2018)

scott-s
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Dec 13th, 2018 01:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

In big rooms the sound can get lost and in small rooms Shock and Awe are the problem, Hope you get it right first time around. Good luck and make it fun!

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Dec 13th, 2018 01:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

I set up the mains behind me in small venues where I don’t have room for a monitor. I point the speakers off axis somewhat to prevent feedback and don’t have any issues at all. I’ve never done this for anything more than a duo though. The sound you hear from the speakers isn’t as clear as monitor pointing at me, but it’s good enough for me to hear my vocals and guitar.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Results not typical.

Do not try this at home.
Dec 13th, 2018 05:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

It can work, but you need to do the following to prevent feedback from FOH to the mics:

- spend some money on good hypercardioid mics. I've used Electrovoice ND967s for years and they are insanely good; they reject off-axis sound better than any vocal mic I've used

- keep the mics stationary on stands; move them or go handheld and feedback can be a problem

6 Cylinder Slim

north woods

It just needs more voltage
Dec 14th, 2018 07:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the responses. Hobby playing is new to me and I'm glad to have your advise. These first two places will be played at dinner set volume, so I think I can get away placing FOH in a way we can all hear them. I figure it will be a bit like setting up for rehearsal in a living room. And just about as much space to set up gear. I'll learn. I do think I'll have fun with this.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Dec 14th, 2018 01:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

There are some feedback destroyers out there as well. just run these and they can kill a lot of feedback issues if set correctly.

In a lower volume setting I would set up PA stuff behind us and be conservative with levels until you see what the gear will do.

The better mics will help as well. They pickup less off axis and will help tons. In general till you get to a certain price point mics tend to pick up everything in the room.

I used to play with a chick drummer who sang. She was good at both but insisted on "her" mic. We had to get rid of the overhead mic on her kit and keep her low all night. That mic picked up everything and I mean everything in the room.

6 Cylinder Slim

north woods

It just needs more voltage
Dec 14th, 2018 05:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

Unfortunately, I have the same SM58 I've been using for...well...a long time. Upgrading sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the tip Peegoo. Anything that helps isolate vocal mics is good. I need keep things as light and simple as possible. Sometimes, there's just not enough room for stage monitors. I'm going to do my best without them. We'll see how it goes.

Tony Wright

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Dec 14th, 2018 09:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

I use two Yamaha DBR10 speaker cabinets (self powered) and I use the first generation Mackie ProFX12 to drive the two DBR10. Typically I set them on the floor standing upright (meaning horn on top, woofer under that) for "house parties" and small coffee shops. For typical outdoor gigs, I will put the DBR10 slightly behind the "plane" of our shoulders...just far enough back that we can hear the speaker (standing on the floor OR on speaker stands so that the horn was about parallel with my forehead)...I will often make sure that the angle of the speaker basket barely catches my hearing...I will move so that I can hear that "front of house speaker" eliminating the need for monitors. Basically, exactly what you asked about. IT DOES WORK, but it IS a balancing act.

Like you, we are a 2 piece or a 3 piece ensemble. Vocalist also plays acoustic/electric guitar, myself on electric bass and occasionally we have a hand percussionist sit in (Cajon kit, to keep the volume from a "trap set" drowning us.)

Guitar and bass are typically direct into the PA along with two SM58 vocal mics. IT WORKS.

I am inclined to push the speaker on a stand a little more "outboard" rather than pointing more towards the middle of the room.

We did a back patio birthday party for about 35-40 in the audience....all were "50-something years old". We do some soft rock, some straight out country, Americana, folk, singer-songwriter stuff. (Guy Clark, John Prine, W A Ramsey, Jimmy Buffet, and we throw in a few blue grass style gospel tunes.) It works in the venues I mentioned and where people like that type of music.

In the interest of full disclosure, we do not use a percussionist more than one out of four gigs. Our last guy was "Joe College" and he graduated and moved to DFW metro. I have a couple of guys I could call, but why? We play to really small house parties and back patio gigs (NOT in the winter in Oklahoma!) and maybe 1 or 2 clubs a year. The term "hobby band" probably fits us.

It gives us an excuse to get together and play2 or 3 times a month in my living room. When you say soft volume...my wife can watch her "Dancing with"...and she never complains that she couldn't hear the TV while we played.

Do I ride the fader...not once I get a decent sound without feedback. Easier than many think. Point the mic away from the speaker. Position your body such that you block direct sound from speaker to access your mic capsule. Mark and I have done this 2 or 3 piece project off and on since 2004. Now that we are both geezers, we don't tend to care as much whether we play LOUD or not.

Not sure but I think we are taking a break right now....haven't spoken for a month.

6 Cylinder Slim

north woods

It just needs more voltage
Dec 15th, 2018 07:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's tough for me to retire entirely from music. I still have some entertainment value left in me. I just need to adapt.Good thing is that I don't have to adapt musically. I have mountains of material that's well suited for these small restaurant sort of jobs. On top of that I have bass and drums that know how to play this kind of venue. 3 part harmony even. I'm all set. I just need to figure out gear, stage setup and a way to keep things easy and fun.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Results not typical.

Do not try this at home.
Dec 15th, 2018 04:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've seen some small dinner-music combos that use a single 1x15 PA speaker on a stand. And it really works great.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 09:35 PM, Dec 15th, 2018)

Fast Lane Pablo

USA

Mar 11th, 2019 09:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

We've been doing that for small lower volume gigs. A single powered JBL speaker behind the drummer. We use a Soundcraft rack box that you control with an iPad. With the anti-feedback filters, it works great. We used to use a Bose L1 but it requires more trips to bring in then the JBL. We just run bass, vocals and acoustic guitar through it. We have a larger conventional PA for larger gigs.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 11th, 2019 10:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

Also, one of the really great things about playing small joints is you really need no monitors because you get a bounce off the back wall right back toward the stage. The FOH is your monitor :o)

6G6

Texas

Fender power to the people!
Apr 19th, 2019 10:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

I like the Bose suggestion.
They seem to majically just have even sound everywhere.
You might find some benefit from going to SM58 Betas.
Much the same as 58s, with a little smoother response and a little tighter pattern.

Peppy

Mesa, AZ

Apr 20th, 2019 03:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

How did it go 6 Cylinder Slim?

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / small venue question




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