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the Balance of Power

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  • the Balance of Power

    OK, it seems the number of controls in the food chain are driving me crazy! I need balance and continuity...what's the best methodology for maintaining the correct volumes and limits. Here's my pecking order:

    1) Module settings internally by instrument
    2) Kit volumes internally
    3) Fader volumes externally on the module
    4) 4 outputs going to 4 EQ channels....separate each for KICK, SNARE, ALL TOMS, ALL CYMBALS (in that order)
    5) 4 EQ outputs going into individual channels on a sub mix board (each channel has a gain pad as well as individual sliders
    6) stereo outputs from my sub board (controlled now by 1 slider, goes into 1 channel on Main FOH board

    Where's the best place to set volumes to have a unified control over 15 kits. Are there limits to how high I should push the individual instrument volumes before I even get to the EQs and Board manipulation...I'm lost in a sea of balance issues...
    Don't even tell me us old farts still don't have something to say and learn! Just give me some ghost notes and I'll Purdie your brains out!:cool:

    Playin' for over 50 years (21 years 5 & 6 nights a week) and still lovin' every minute of it!!! TD-12 noob and growing!:p

  • #2
    Hmmm....interesting becuase there are so many variables when switching kits....live application....recording.....floor monitoring....headphones or IEMs...etc. The best suggestion I can give you is to start off by unifying all the kit sounds for every kit so that they register the same level across the board at the module(by ear or meter)....no matter what the actual "setting" results are. EQ will then be a matter of taste for carving the tone you want for individual instruments(or channels in your case) You should then be able to control the gain of the groups at your console. Tweaking will be inevitable until you reach results that please you. It's all a tedious process but worth the time. Be aware that just like any application the console settings will change from venue to venue as will the EQ for the FOH( which you are looking for a basic "flat" result allowing the instruments to occupy their own frequencies as best they can given the particular environment with it's own ambient "reverb" and overtones etc) and balancing that many kits will be a task unless you have a very capable sound tech riding the faders. The only saving grace will be once you have everything set in the modules to your desire they won't change and you need to leave them alone so that you have a solid base line every time in any given moment. Oh...write all your final tweaks down so that you know what you've tried and what works for each and every application that way you can revisit them upon returning to that venue and or have a good starting point for similar venues. This makes sound check and setup much less of a headache. besides...inevitably something will happen at some point, some how and you may need to re enter your settings.

    Another suggestion would be if you have way too much trouble finding that sweet spot of compromise and you have absolutely no other choice...go with multiple digital EQ settings and have your module send midi to tell it to switch appropriately each time you change a kit.
    8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
    http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

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    • #3
      Thanks Daniel...I've tried to do the balancing by recording the wave forms and checking amplitudes. Some sound bigger than others but if they are hitting the same volumes, I have to assume they are balanced. I've been doing this by instrument. Once I get a consistent kick and snare, I then build each kit around it. But let me ask you, are there numbers that I should not go above internally to prevent any distortion or overmodulation of certain frequencie? I've got a coupl eof snare sounds that have a on of compression on them, so I have had to give them a ton more gain in the individual setting. But I'm wondering if I should lower the snare down and bring up the entire kit and then back down the other instruments...kind of like "if I can't raise the bridge, lower the river and vice versa". I mean with this many variables, I just want to send an appropriate clear generous signl to the EQ's and to the board...
      Don't even tell me us old farts still don't have something to say and learn! Just give me some ghost notes and I'll Purdie your brains out!:cool:

      Playin' for over 50 years (21 years 5 & 6 nights a week) and still lovin' every minute of it!!! TD-12 noob and growing!:p

      Comment


      • #4
        It's a balancing act for sure. This is why I like old school meter lights. To me it's much easier than trying to figure out what frequencies are going be best for all the pieces. I always try to "bring up" as few pieces as possible to avoid overloading the signal. So I would take the lowest peaking(or sounding) piece and build everything around it. Then raise the level to the meter. However, once I do find the balance I desire and "peak it"...I usually bring the whole kit balance down a notch just to make sure the signal stays clean. The reat can be boosted from the console. Basically though....you need to trust your ears and the Peak Meter. You can almost always tell if the signal is too hot. Watch the peak meter especially if you can't demo these on your full PA. If you are blowing up the peak meter on the channel so that it stays lit(in the red) all the time....your signal is way to hot. You just want it to register intermittently(barely in the red) during the most aggressive moments. Same basic process for finding that Unity Gain on the console. You have to leave some headroom or when you do boost the FOH, it will be nasty muddy distortion.
        8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
        http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

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