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What can I do to prepare?

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  • What can I do to prepare?

    Hi folks.

    I was recently hired to play in a pit orchestra. The man who hired me (one of the guitarists, I think the music director, though I'm not sure) worked with me the previous summer in another pit. He asked if I cuold bring my e-kit in. It would be used for the following:

    -The director wants to have a pre-taped prologue for the nights of the show, but the tape would be laid down by the band and the cast. It's a big Drum 'N Bass/Techno/Dance-sounding number.

    -I was told that the band would be either in the "catwalk"(I'm hoping the don't mean the ones that are the dozens of feet above the stage), or on stage itself.

    Because of the stage conditions, I thought I might want to use the e-kit for the shows itself so the drums don't bleed all over everyone else's mic; so I won't have to just tippy-tap with tiny sticks, etc. Either that or they'd ahev me set up behind a screen. But I don't think they'd have me set up behind a screen. Anyway, the last time I tried to use my e-rig in a pit orchestra, it ended really poorly (See Drumming In The Pit post). I do not want to have to deal with that again.

    Like last time, we'll be rehearsing in different venues before the actual venue of the performance.

    Here is all the equipment I have at my disposal in terms of electronics:
    -A kit based around the TD-5.
    -An SPD-6
    -A TMC-6
    -An SP-202 sampler
    -A Yamaha DD-8
    -A Gorilla brand practice amp (wattage/db range unknown)
    -and if it makes any difference, an SM-57 microphone.

    I'll definitely be bringing at least one acoustic cymbal; the music calls for a lot of rolls and swells, and the samples on my system just won't hack it.

    From the looks of things, it looks like I'll be using this system for everything: recording, rehearsals and live.

    So, is there anything I can do to prepare my system and myself for a better performance than what happened last time? I was thinking about playing some licks using the Patches I'll cook into the sampler, and perhaps taking the sampler to the venue on an off-day as a mini-sound check.

    Well, that's my situation. Any help that you all could render would be greatly appreciated. I really want to make the system work this time, especially for the recording number. I've tried using the search engine for advice, but there's so much data to go through, I just can't process it all, so if there are posts that address these things, please feel free to point me towards them.
    Thanks a lot all. Take care.


  • #2
    sounds like you have plenty of sound sources to work from, just a bit concerned about your amp or are you using the house PA and monitors??

    Get to know your soundguy - get there early.
    www.royfulton.co.uk, www.zendrum.com ,Tempus Drums, Istanbul Agop, Regal Tip, Alesis DMPro, D4,Garageband, HK Powerworks PA


    • #3
      From MustangMick:
      "...just a bit concerned about your amp or are you using
      the house PA and monitors??"

      Both worry me, actually. For rehearsals, the Gorilla amp might cut it, but I doubt it's going to be enough for the show. I'm not sure what the monitoring/broadcasting situation will be for the show. the band consists of bass, 2-3 guitars, keyboard, and drums/percussion. Either the instruments will be run to the sound system, or the amps will be mic'ed. I know at least one of the guitarists wants to go with the mic'ing approach, since all of his effects come from his amp.

      Sonically, I think my three conerns are thus:
      -I need the rest of the band to hear me
      -I need the people on stage to hear me (I guess, I'm assuming
      the stage will be monitored?)
      -I need the audience to hear me.

      The last venue I worked, the sound tech said he could fix it so my sound went out to the house, but not the pit. That really doesn't do me much good since I need the band to hear me as well, and I know for a fact that the little Gorilla amp wouldn't work in that pit.

      Here's another thing: I'm not sure how big the house will be, but I'm assuming that due to echo and such, my sounds wouldn't sound quite the same as thru my monitor mix or 'phones. What do I do about that?



      • #4
        Sounds like you're going to need some type of moitoring for yourself. Just got a Roland KC-500 amp for my Zendrum. it also has a stereo line out so you can send that to the house PA.

        KC-300 is pretty good to but only a 12" speaker rather than a 15".

        Only way to go sorry....
        www.royfulton.co.uk, www.zendrum.com ,Tempus Drums, Istanbul Agop, Regal Tip, Alesis DMPro, D4,Garageband, HK Powerworks PA


        • #5
          For my own personal monitoring, why couldn't I just use the headphone out in the module? Also, what about the Mix-In jack? Is there any way that could be of use?


          • #6
            I was thinking of the KC-500 etc.as a monitor for you and also the band with the stereo out on the back of the KC-500 feeding to the house PA.....

            If the venue is providing full monitoring then you don't need to buy/borrow a bigger amp - your own amp though leaves you with more control of your sound rather than relying on a monitor guy at the back of the hall??

            Any chance of checking early with whoever is doing sound for the gig to see what will be available?

            www.royfulton.co.uk, www.zendrum.com ,Tempus Drums, Istanbul Agop, Regal Tip, Alesis DMPro, D4,Garageband, HK Powerworks PA


            • #7
              I'll ask about meeting with the sound guy. I have a rehearsal this weekend with the band, I can bring the practice amp for that, then I'll talk to my contact about meeting with the sound guy.


              • #8
                It's a day before my first rehearsal with my electric kit. Thought I'd share what I've odne so far, try to solicit some last-minute advice

                I've built my kit in an approximation of a four-piece. I've got my hats dead-center in front of me, and my two toms to my right side. On my left I mounted an SPD-6 and MIDIed it to the TD-5. One cymbal pad which I'm using for a ride, and an acoustic crash cymbal, also mounted to the rack. So far, no x-talk or false triggering issues anywhere. The cymbal is a Sabian 15" HH Sound Control crash. Possibly going to be switched out for a 17" Virgil Donati sig.

                Sound-wise, I've created two Patches, and copied one. They wanted to hear some drum machine/techno-type sounds, so I cooked a Drum 'N Bass Patch. I also designed a general-purpose Patch, again, your basic four-piece; and I copied the stock "Jazz" Patch. No effects, except some slight plate reverb on the jazz Patch. All sounds and everything panned to Center. My bandmate is lending me an amplifier for rehearsal. I'm not sure what the wattage/decibal range is, but the amp itself is a heck of a lot bigger than my little Gorilla. For practice, I think it should do all right. I think it's a keyboard/guitar amp.

                Physically, I've wound all my cables and such around the rack at various points; anchored them w/ cable clips and Velcro cble stays form that Roland tool kit. I can get enough slack to adjust the length of the cables, but they should be staying put. My goal is to be able to unplug everything, and bring the rack in with the cables on it so I can just throw the pads on and go. My only concern in this area is that there's a snake that lays right across the clamp that holds the A-cymbal to the rack, but I haven't had any problems so far.

                Well, that's about it. I don't think I forgot to do anything, and barring complete dissatisfaction with the sounds from my module, I think I'm just about ready to go. If anyone can think of any last-minute tips, please, by all means, share! Wish me luck.