How to sing on stage?

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TESLA_EL34
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How to sing on stage?

Post by TESLA_EL34 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:50 pm

Many of you know the problem. Despite the very very few gigs where you have a great monitoring,
8 out of 10 times you can't hear youself over the band. Even if you get down really low to the point where nothing rocks anymore... it doesn't help if you can't hear any dynamics. What happens?

This leads to kinda overly "rock" sining, which kills all the nuances and the overall tone of your voice, it's also very monotone. I'm more of a smooth singer with dynamics but i think this situation is not easy to rock. I always wonder how Dinosaur Jr. get their vocals over their freaking loud amps. I had gigs where the guitar sound was a dream but the FOH sound of the vocals was just dull and i sounded like having a cold.

What dou you think?
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by ScottyDanger » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:06 pm

Most bands just use in-ear monitors, though dinosaur jr seem like a band that just scream/play real loud and have a good personal soundguy who has learned how to tame the noise through a PA over the years.

Also, check this out: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... 01087#used" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

They're out of production, but they might have a current model or something. Could be a solution for you!
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jason41224
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by jason41224 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:40 pm

^most PRO bands use in ears. weekend warriors or small time-gigs probably aren't going to use much of that, though :D
just make sure you have a good sound guy, or do the sound yourself. that way if you still aren't getting the mix you want, then you don't have anyone else to blame. it also wouldn't be a bad investment for your band to buy its own PA system, so you can be guaranteed a somewhat consistent mix from gig-to-gig
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chinese fork tie
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by chinese fork tie » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:41 pm

i've found that singing in a practice room with shite monitors has got me used to not having good stage sound well enough that i can sing without monitors and it's not too problematic.

and really, j mascis just kinda mumbles in most of his songs, so it's not that hard to do over cranked amps.
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irish_admiral
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by irish_admiral » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:48 am

Lower stage noise and in-ear monitors.

We had a couple of threads discussing this, more specifically in relation to stage noise from amps, but the principles are the same.

Basically, having just a drum kit pounding away behind you acoustically is loud enough, then add in all the bass frequency mud you get from being behind the speakers, and then you want to add stage monitors and still hear yourself clearly?

It can work ok, but usually comes back to ending up being a bit of a rock performance where you shout louder to hear yourself. The main problem is that most people have used wedges in the past and so are 'used' to them. IEMs take some getting used to, but are mostly better, especially for vocalists keeping their tuning.

Get some IEMs, and get the sound guy to plug them in as 'your' monitor. If there's a stage box with the Aux returns that your wedges are normally plugged into, just run the XLR for yours into the back of your IEM box instead. Or just plug it in at the desk. Get a mix dialled in and away you go.

You can use in-ear earphones, and even get moulded ones if you want some more isolation.

I do sound. I also sing & play guitar, so I see it from both sides.
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Bensen
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by Bensen » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:37 am

I'm lucky with that. 99% of all gigs we got great sound guys + I play in a trio, the only thing that can get in the way of my singing is my guitar and there is no annoying 2nd guitarist that tries his soloboost while I sing the second verse :D

Orphin
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by Orphin » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:28 am

TESLA_EL34 wrote:Many of you know the problem. Despite the very very few gigs where you have a great monitoring,
8 out of 10 times you can't hear youself over the band. Even if you get down really low to the point where nothing rocks anymore... it doesn't help if you can't hear any dynamics. What happens?

This leads to kinda overly "rock" sining, which kills all the nuances and the overall tone of your voice, it's also very monotone. I'm more of a smooth singer with dynamics but i think this situation is not easy to rock. I always wonder how Dinosaur Jr. get their vocals over their freaking loud amps. I had gigs where the guitar sound was a dream but the FOH sound of the vocals was just dull and i sounded like having a cold.

What dou you think?
Firstly, it depends on what kind of singer you are. If you sing quite high, like me, you get a lot of volume and naturally have less problems. If you sing low, you will have more problems.
But there is some kind of technique to sing in a band setting like this. Don't know what it is, but I always feel rusty if not rehearsing for a while. I don't get the same volume of tone in my voice. I think a lot of it has to do with experience. Rehearse a lot.
Another thing is to play with as low volume as necessary and be dynamic. Play soft on the soft parts where you naturally often sing lower notes. This is a common problem I see in 90% of all bands. A total lack of dynamics. I'm being all H!tler every rehearsal with my bandmates over this, but d@mn it's starting to sound good. (Only took 10 years to discipline my drummer. My bass player is comming a little short, but I've only played with him for about 4 years.)
David
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Bensen
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by Bensen » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:38 am

Orphin wrote:... I'm being all H!tler every rehearsal with my bandmates over this, but d@mn it's starting to sound good. (Only took 10 years to discipline my drummer. My bass player is comming a little short, but I've only played with him for about 4 years.)
:lol:

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Frank H
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by Frank H » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:13 am

Good soundman= no problem hearing my vocals onstage; and I play in 2 very loud bands. I only hope it sounds as good out front as it does on stage.

TESLA_EL34
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by TESLA_EL34 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:55 pm

yesterday the monitoring was fantastic.
yes my voice is pretty low. the lower frequencies don't cut so well...
i think im already quite dynamic but theres much room to improve!

being h!tler about that is a good thing for you band :lol:
i think in ear is quite expensive?!
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jason41224
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by jason41224 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:03 pm

^quite. for a good set, anyways. otherwise everyone (including myself) would have them.
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irish_admiral
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Re: How to sing on stage?

Post by irish_admiral » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:44 pm

TESLA_EL34 wrote:yesterday the monitoring was fantastic.
yes my voice is pretty low. the lower frequencies don't cut so well...i think in ear is quite expensive?!
If you use a Shure mic and get up close, they've got a strong bass response, so the bass actually comes through really well. It's possible that the tech cuts the bass from your voice, as that's where all the plosive pops and rumbles come from.

IEMs aren't that pricey if you buy used.
Joe

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