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Soundman Problems

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  • Soundman Problems

    Recently I played a live show in a small club,and i had nothing but problems with the soundman.I own a V-pro set (with the td-10 head), the soundman told me that "that kit is a piece of s#%t and that i should do myself and him a favour and take it back" I had a very bad sound that night although i cant give him all the blame cause it was my first time playing that kit live. The way i had the set running in to the board was with 2 di boxes(oops) I now know that i should be running in with more boxes if there is anything else that i can do any pointers would be greatly appreciated.I realy want to go back and put this **** in his place.

  • #2
    I am no expert, so take this advice at your own risk.

    The first thing you want to do is "unmix" your output so it can be manipulated on a more detailed level at the board. Say, 4 seperate outputs minimum (bass, snare, toms, cymbals) although I believe the TD-10 supports up to 8 seperate outs. This will put more responsibility on your soundman.

    Second, turn off your built-in effects (ambience) and EQ for all pads, on all kits that you will use live. The quality of these features is questionable and will sound much different (worse) through a PA than through your headphones. This will also put more responsibility on your soundman.

    Third, consider the addition of a BBE sound processor, which many on this board endorse for PA use. The BBE will make your samples sound more natural over the PA. (Search for "BBE" on this board for more info.) Most people use one channel for bass, and the other for snare.

    Fourth, always tweak your samples/kits over an open-air speaker, not the headphones. The speaker is more true to the reality of PA sound, and gives you a better idea of what you sound like to the audience.
    Roland TD-20 v1.08, various v-drums and v-cymbals, Yamaha KP65's, Axis pedals, Gibraltar hardware, Mackie 1202/SRM450 (pre-china)


    • #3
      thanx UFOTOFU, i've read lots about the BBE and it sounds like a good investment.


      • #4
        I agree with ufotofu 100%. That is the way I run my output and I get great results in small clubs playing rock music. Try not to let the soundman bother you. Soundmen just wish they were as cool as drummers.


        • #5
          I think UFOTOFU's advice is right on target, however I'd like to share another point of view. I normally play in a Church for 350+ people. We use the master outs with the on board EQ, effects, etc and the sound is "ok". We use the V-pro's w/TDW-1.

          Last week I had the opportunity to take my personal kit on the road. The hall held ~700 people. The sound system and room were good, but we had a large group and used a lot of inputs on the board. I only had 1 input open for the V's! So, I used my regular kits, we spent about 40 minutes tweaking the sound to match the hall and their system (using the EQ on their mixer) and we were amazed at how good the sound was. We got many compliments. I did the V's through a BBE. The only negative was I don't like running the cymbals through the BBE. My snare volume was a problem but I cranked it up to max pad volume 127 and we EQ'ed it back to health. In fact, my Peavey KB/A-300 (monitor) sounded 10 times better than in my basement. Man did the hall size and acoustics plus ability to crank it up slightly make a difference.

          If you are going to use the direct outs (definitely the ideal way), you need to make sure you have the equipment to make it happen. I have my global settings set up to use the direct outs in case I need to make the switch - message: be prepared for both.

          My gut reaction is to call the soundman a jerk, but, you mention it was your first time playing the kit live. Your set will sound difference from room to room or with different sound equipment and will typically need some tweaking. Sitting behind the kit will not allow you to properly evaluate the sound either. You can use the "Drums" pattern #1 to put it on automatic pilot so you can leave the kit and see what it sounds like. Then, rather than listening to him trash your kit, maybe you can get some constructive feedback and tweak the problem away.

          Hope this helps in some way.
          Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.


          • #6
            Thanx for the help guys, this board is great. Your help has been GREATLY appreciated, cheers!!


            • #7
              Not to be harsh here but your soundman comes across as completely unprofessional. One of the real skills of a good sound engineer is how to keep the muso's happy, telling them their gear is crap is not a good start.
              I have been a sound engineer (and a cool drummer! ) for a lot of years now and I have dealt with a lot of bands with crap gear. There has not been an instance where I have criticised a band members gear like the way you describe. Apart from the fact that I would lose my job, what sort of repeat business is there likely to be from that sort of feedback? Most muso's give the soundman a hard time - it sounds like this guy has a chip on his shoulder and feels it best to act like a complete [email protected] in order to feel better about his failures.

              There are tactful ways of addressing these types of issues; 'Your bass guitar sounds like it has a poor connection, if I could ask you to not move around too much during the performance to minimise that loud cracking noise (otherwise known as the FOH speakers destroying themselves)'

              Next time anyone tells you that your drums are crap, ask them to tell you what exactly they don't like about them. Then sort out if there is anything that you (or the sound engineer) can do to aleviate the problem.

              On a side note, the TD-10 has 8 outputs - where possible, use all of them.

              'I only ever quote myself - except when I quote someone else' - me

              , plenty of , and , , triggered acoustics, , and a plethora of PA blah blah freakin blah...I mean does anyone care about the specifics of pedals, speakers, processors, hardware or anything that I'm using?? :confused: Hmmm, maybe this is an appropriate place to mention that I tried out a new cymbal stand the other day...


              • #8
                And if talking with the soundman doesn't work, string him up by the snake, fire some hot coffee on him and beat him silly. You may spend your gig money on bail, but it would be alot of fun.
                V-Custom w Roland TD-8 and and Alesis DM5, DIY edrums


                • #9
                  I have been using just my master outs for years. We usually run without a sound man so the less to mess with the better. My drums sound fine all the time. There are times at gig where we use a house pa and I have to adjust a couple of things but I have never ran into your problem and I have only used the master outs. The sound guy sounds like he was having a bad day. There is a thread in the tip section on sound check tips I would visit it there are a lot of good ideas. The best I feel is to make a sequence that uses all your sounds and play that through the PA and adjust for that PA. Some sound guys like stuff different thats all and some PA just have more high end or low end and some tweaking will be needed. The key is not to be discouraged you have the cream of the crop. If you can have a sound guy all the time I agree that multiple outs are the way to go.

                  Ted H.
                  Ted H.


                  • #10
                    Your soundman should be thanking you for using the TD-10. Low stage volume, no drum spill into other mics, no overtones or tom head buzz, killer kick drum sound, unlimited level without feed back, no need of noise gates or compression, no tom ring, no mics to position, no snares rattling or buzzing, NO FEEDBACK!!! That sound man hears with his eyes. He sees E Drums then is perplexed how to get a good sound???? wow!! Fustrating isn't it!! Be patient and try to work with him. It probably his first time with E Drums. Explain to him what you are going to do and ask him exactly what the problem is he's having with your sound. Get him to isolate the problem at the sound check and ask him to be specific with his assesment. if he's not co operative, bye bye sound guy! Your the boss. After it's worked out everyone will feel better.


                    • #11
                      I have a problem with this concept of turning off ambience when playing live. I feel this is a mistake. I find that when playing through a pa, your normal(headphone) ambience becomes exagerated. Instead of turing it off completely, why dont you jsut lower it to a decent level. Granted, I have only gigged with the v's a few times, so I may be completely out of line here. I feel the ambience sounds that I have added to my drums play a large roll in how the drums sound. Turning it off completely is not an option. You guys who kill the ambience totally when playing live, How do you deal with that?

                      -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,
                      -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,


                      • #12
                        soundman?????? more like someone who had their mommy and daddy shell out some money for equipment...not at all professional.....
                        personally i would not have paid him/her...for not keeping their end of the contract....professional/as opposed ameture....
                        BRIAN KEITH SOLOMON


                        • #13
                          If somebody uses V-drums, with all settings(eq and effects) adjusted to play in headphones, it would probably suck very much when played back through a sound system. So if you'd give any soundman just your two outputs with that sucking sound, nobody would be able to "fix it in the mix".

                          I see a lot of negative comments on the sound guy, but I think that would only be relevant if the V-drummer who posted this topic did his preparation; switching of all effects and eq-ing, using direct outs for all sounds.

                          Music was my first love...


                          • #14
                            actualy, i dont play through headphones i play through a pa even when i'm just jammin


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dedger:
                              actualy, i dont play through headphones i play through a pa even when i'm just jammin


                              Outboard gear: Focusrite Compounder, Drawmer MX-30, BBE-482, Aphex C-104, Behringer T1951 4-Band Parametric Tube EQ, Lexicon MPX1, Mackie 1402-VLZ, (Crown K2 amp & Cerwin Vega V-253 speakers = 1600 watts @ 4 ohms continues power, peak at 3000 watts) and Sony MDR-V700DJ headphones.