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Not Over Singing - Live

JoshuaJoshua Member, Enrolled Posts: 106

Just started using ear-plugs to sing live. I have the ear-plugs that are filters. They technically cut 12db or so.

My question is, how do you maintain that bright sound, if you can't hear it and how do you keep from over-singing?


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    I would suggest that instead you use In-Ear monitors.

    Get some good ones, that are fitted to your ears by an audiologist.

    You should have a monitor mix fed to the in-ear monitors that is (A) vocal-predominant, so that you can hear yourself well above the din of the band, and (B) low enough in overall volume so as to avoid high volume levels all together in your ears.

    If you do this right, you will also save a lot of wear and tear on your voice, as you won't be straining to sing above the level of the band. 


  • JoshuaJoshua Member, Enrolled Posts: 106
    I have both of those things; I've moved away from them for a couple of reasons.

    1. I'm the sound engineer for my band.
    2. I'm the front man.
    3. Only the keyboardist and drummer where in ears.
    4. I can't hear the on-stage communication when my fitted ears are in.
    5. Getting my mix to a comfortable level has been a challenge to say the least; I'm always the last to get dialed in.
    6. I can never hear the crowd; I'm hugely interactive; always talking to people and getting them to interact with the band so I have to be able to hear them say their name or ask me stuff.

    It's frustrating for me that I can't figure out a way to do this that doesn't add more complexity to my setup.

    I'd love to move back if I can solve those issues.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    Another way to go about it would be to have the band volume reduced.  Again, that's probably not going to happen, but it would work wonders for your problems.

    Wearing earplugs is just adding more complications to hearing all of the things you need to hear.

    Yeah, I run the sound in my band, too.  That's why I don't use in-ears, as well.  I need to hear what's happening in the room, and if someone is trying to get my attention I need to know that, too.

    I do have my own monitor mix for my personal monitors (I use two monitors). 

    Our monitors are actually lounder than the band as a whole.  We have loud monitors and run the mains relatively quiet, for the sake of the audience.  Each person onstage can have whatever vocals and instruments they want at their own chosen levels.

    That way, each person can have "more me" in their own speaker monitor.  The mains are at a sane level.

    You'll have to tame this beast or it will cause you to oversing.  You need a monitor with a lot of your own vocals in it, and at some level below what will cause your molecules to disintegrate.  If your band sounds like a 747 taking off, you might want to see if there are some alternative methods to getting the sound you want both onstage and out front in the house. 

    If the volume levels are a nuclear arms race, your voice will ultimately lose that escalation.  Score: Marshalls on Ten, Vocals nothing.  Amplified Instruments can go all night long, night after night on 10 or 11; they can blow a speaker and load up a new one and keep on going.  Your voice can't compete with that.  Not for long...



  • JoshuaJoshua Member, Enrolled Posts: 106
    I do have a talk back mic port on my board. This could solve band communication, potentially, but I'd have to get everyone to walk over to the "talk-back" mic to communicate band change stuff. I'll try it and see what happens. Thanks guys.
  • smpzpiratesmpzpirate Member, 2.0 PRO Posts: 9
    Hi Joshua,
    You may have found this already but you need to put up one o a couple of ambient mics somewhere on stage pointing out at the audience.

    A friend of mine recommends 'compressing the living shit out of them' and pulling the levels back (easily done on a digital desk). That way they disappear when the band starts and reappear when it stops and you'll likely have your audience interaction back and hear your band mates too. Use a cheap pair of pencil condensers perhaps?

    Rock on

  • billthebaldguybillthebaldguy Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 54
    This may not be the "right" way of doing it but I too am the frontman and sound guy; what I do is put ONE in ear monitor in and make sure my vocals are at proper level for room/gig; between the two, I can hear myself very well and still hear the crowd/other guys on stage. I tried both I/e monitors in but didn't like that I couldn't hear the crowd/room, plus it forced us to mic everybody-which led to more mixing problems:) Floor wedges were never louder enough, so went with in ear. Been great ever since...
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
    The whole band needs to get together in agreement on how to deal with the volume in the venue so that the vocals are never drowned out and so that the vocals are the dominant sound in the mix, clean and clear. If you don't have clean, clear vocals at a listenable volume, there is no point in playing. You must always be able to hear your vocals in the monitors without having to sing harder. You should be able to lay back and let the monitors or in-ears do the work.

    Immature musicians can all work against one another, but there is no point in performing with a bad mix if the intent is to have a professional-sounding group. Most of us are not playing in arenas as the headlining group, so there is no reason to blast out or bang at unreasonable volumes. When the solo comes up, the guitar can boost his signal. When it's time for a drum solo, the drums can come up. The whole night should not be the whole band playing like soloists. They should be playing, lifting one another up as a group that has a great sound TOGETHER.

    I have an acoustic drumset that triggers a Roland TDK30. I have the drum mix pointed at myself, and it sounds like a million bucks, but it's not super-loud, just fat and punchy. I don't have to hit the drums hard at all, but I can if I want to. Our band plays at moderate, sane levels and you can hear every word and nuance of the vocals at all times, both on stage and in the audience. The vocal monitors also sound like a million bucks.

    The drummer, just like every other member of the band, should be on board to play cooperatively to make the overall mix sound as good as a record, not like a volume contest.
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