Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:32 pm Post subject: Acoustic guitar live setup?
Doing a solo gig this weekend with my luvley Martin steel string. I'm no sound engineer (playing guitar well and singing is enough for me), so I was wondering if anyone has any good tips on how to setup for a good live sound?
To me, it sounds great unmiked but some of that magic is lost when I put it through a PA. I know I'm probably going to get anal responses like that depends on your PA speakers, desk, preamp etc. But considering all that is fine, does anyone use delay or lots of Reverb?? I've got an anolgue delay i was thinking of using. Just listening to Bernard Fanning's "Yesterdays Gone" for instance... Hmmm nice!
Thanks for any positive feedback
Don't over-think it, because when you get out there, there'll be people talking/laughing/yelling, walking past, clinking drinks and even trying to talk to you while you're playing...
Describing your current gear will help others a lot in trying to offer more detailed advice, but I'll assume three things and offer my thoughts:
1. You have one or more powered speakers of around 300w RMS. You you don't need large sound levels, I recommend only pointing one speaker at the patrons and the other at you; on the floor. Run a 'link' from the front facing speaker to the one on the floor and turn the gain control for the floor speaker down a touch.
This setup will allow you to hear a very accurate version of what the patrons are hearing. Accurate tone wise and level balance wise. If you have more than two speakers, just expand the front facing set of speakers to suit the volume and directional requirements. If you have one speaker, place it slightly behind you at just above standing head height. You won't get feedback if you're careful and you'll be able to really hear what the patrons are hearing along with good foldback for your guitar and vocals.
2. You have a standard-form mixer, mic and a decent guitar with a decent pickup system. Be careful of boom-y bass from the guitar, so begin by rolling off the mixer EQ from around 90Hz down. You've gone too far if the sound starts to get 'thin'. The guitar usually doesn't require any spatial effects and adding them can be distracting for you and the patrons. If you're new to this stuff, be careful of effects! Once you start amplifying, things can easily be overdone.
To my taste, delay on vocals is more useful and spicy than reverb in most small to medium venues, but of course it's entirely up to you. Just start small and ease up to it.
Finally, bring a bag with spares of whatever you can. Strings, leads, picks, tuners and anything else. Don't forget power boards and extension cables too!
Yes I have -
2 speakers (loaners so I cant give brand atm), one powered the other links to it
A basic desk, was pretty cheap but i figure the PA speaker quality is more important - has no graphic band EQ, just Highs/Mids/Low on each channel, and quite a few preset effects of which the reverb doesn't sound too bad
A Martin 000C cutaway with the Fishman built in preamp. There is quite a few knobs on this, including a basic EQ. If anyone has some hints on this I would be pretty grateful. Why do they call one knob "Notch" that doesn't make sense to me. And the reverse polarity or something to do with how the mains electricity is wired. OMG! Lol
You're welcome Phil. I forgot to mention that you might like to try cutting the mid control a bit on the vocals. It will soften them, but they don't need much help in that frequency range and they'll come across more naturally. Because you only have basic controls on the mixer, you can't pin-point a setting for your particular vocals, but give it a try and set to taste.
The 'notch' control on your Fishman preamp is part of the parametric EQ system. It probably refers to the 'Q' amount, which is a mathematical representation of the shape of the curve you would see on a graphic EQ. In other words, how sharp the sides of the curve are.
The best way to understand what the controls do is to alter one of them at a time and listen to how the sound is affected. There will probably be a frequency control and that is to hone in on a particular area of the frequency range. The level control will have a positive and negative range and that controls whether you're boosting or cutting the frequency range you've honed into with the frequency control.
Getting back to the notch control now, that controls how 'wide' either side of the chosen frequency is affected; or the width of the valley/hill shape on a graphic EQ.
I find the best sound when I use my accoustic is a chorus pedal.
Just gives a nice warmer rounder sound. I don't profess to be a sound engineer but that what I use if going accoustically.
Give it a try
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