Live Sound Questions

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Hi all!

I'm know I'm going to induce a bunch of face palms here, but I don't have any money and neither does the organization I'm helping so we have no choice :D

I'm doing live sound for an event (very small). Here's where the facepalms will start: I'm using my MOTU 896 as the mixer :facepalm:

I also don't have enough dynamics so I'm also going to use small diaphragm condensers :facepalm::facepalm::facepalm:


I'm not worried about latency. Cue mix helps me with that. I just have a few questions regarding this:

1) What are the risks with using a converter as a mixer?

2) I know condensers aren't the greatest when it comes to feedback and bleed, but can this be avoided given how small the venue is? For instance, one of the two bands is a jazz quartet. I think the ONLY think I'm going to amplify is the upright bass. Everything else should be sufficiently loud enough.

The first band has vocals, so I have the two dynamic microphones for the vocals, and maybe one guitar has a condenser. I hope this gives an idea about how small this venue is--a 50 person event in which the priority is mingling/talking over listening to the band.
 
Hi all!

I'm know I'm going to induce a bunch of face palms here, but I don't have any money and neither does the organization I'm helping so we have no choice :D

The first step in Professionalism is to know your limitations. Very well done!

I'm doing live sound for an event (very small). Here's where the facepalms will start: I'm using my MOTU 896 as the mixer :facepalm:

The main objective is to be able to get the sound into the recorder. I have no knowledge of the 896 but I would highly suggest that you do a few dry runs if possible to see what results you can achieve. Never do anything in public that has not been practiced in private.

I also don't have enough dynamics so I'm also going to use small diaphragm condensers :facepalm::facepalm::facepalm:

This should not be a problem if they are set up correctly.

I'm not worried about latency. Cue mix helps me with that. I just have a few questions regarding this:

1) What are the risks with using a converter as a mixer?

I have no advice other than to hook everything up and do a few test runs. Even if you have to play some audio from your phone into each mic to see how it fills the room.

2) I know condensers aren't the greatest when it comes to feedback and bleed, but can this be avoided given how small the venue is? For instance, one of the two bands is a jazz quartet. I think the ONLY think I'm going to amplify is the upright bass. Everything else should be sufficiently loud enough.

I use dynamics combines with condensers all the time for live as well as recorded events. Depending on the mics, it will mostly come down to mic placement as well as trying to separate the distance between the band members as well.

The first band has vocals, so I have the two dynamic microphones for the vocals, and maybe one guitar has a condenser. I hope this gives an idea about how small this venue is--a 50 person event in which the priority is mingling/talking over listening to the band.

Since you have no desire to blow the roof off the building like a concert, I think if you can get your 896 to do what you need it to do, you will be just fine. If and when you can scrape up around $149.00, buy this and you will simplify your next project tremendously!

 

bouldersoundguy

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Not having a real fader or knob to grab when feedback starts is a substantial drawback.

Condensers can work fine is some situations, like when performers know how to stay on a mic. If they can't stay in the sweet spot and you try to gain up to compensate, you're looking at a feedback prone situation. Shelving down the HF can help.
 

bouldersoundguy

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Cool deal! It will definitely help that I plan on using the condenser for the upright bass! Thanks!

Will there be drums? It can be difficult to get adequate gain from a mic on a bass when there's a drum kit involved. Of course it depends a lot on how the kit is played. If it's a jazz combo and the drummer knows what he's doing it will probably be fine.

I've used headphones as a pickup on upright bass. Clamp the headphones on the body of the bass at the bottom of one of the cutouts (one ear cup on the front of the body, the other on the back), then plug them into an unbalanced 1/4" instrument input. If your interface only has balanced line and mic inputs you'll probably want to use a direct box. It's been a decade since I've done that, but I seem to recall it working pretty well.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Will there be drums? It can be difficult to get adequate gain from a mic on a bass when there's a drum kit involved. Of course it depends a lot on how the kit is played. If it's a jazz combo and the drummer knows what he's doing it will probably be fine.

I've used headphones as a pickup on upright bass. Clamp the headphones on the body of the bass at the bottom of one of the cutouts (one ear cup on the front of the body, the other on the back), then plug them into an unbalanced 1/4" instrument input. If your interface only has balanced line and mic inputs you'll probably want to use a direct box. It's been a decade since I've done that, but I seem to recall it working pretty well.

I'm still communicating with the band. As far as I know, there won't be drums.

Wouldn't it be simpler to just go to Guitar Center and rent a small mixer for $20?

I live in SWVA. I don't think there's a GC for a 100 miles. :( There's some mom and pop shops around here that I've done business with. I've gone to one a couple of times and he's always been incredibly nice, especially since I've pointed out labels that were wrong (i.e. $150 headphones marked for $50). He might let me rent his stuff. I can find out.
 

ashcat_lt

Well-known member
I mix live through a computer pretty regularly. As long as it's stable at low enough latencies, there shouldn't be any problems.

Condenser mics are more sensitive than dynamic mics. That means ONLY that for a given gain setting, the condenser will be louder. A cardioid condenser is not inherently any more prone to feedback or bleed than a dynamic. You'll compensate for the extra sensitivity naturally and everything will be fine. Well...it'll be what it is, but any problems you run into won't be because you plugged in a condenser mic.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Awesome, thanks! I'll be using my iPad as a control surface. It'd be better to use a physical mixer, but it's not too bad!
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Just wanted to provide an update:

The condensers sounded FANTASTIC. Definitely using them as an acoustic mic in a small setting in the future.
 
Just wanted to provide an update:

The condensers sounded FANTASTIC. Definitely using them as an acoustic mic in a small setting in the future.

That's great. Two questions. 1. What make and model did you choose? 2. Anyway we can get a sample when you finish your M/Ming?
 
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