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Battle of the Bands

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Schniapereli, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    Location:
    Provo, Utah, United States
    My school is hosting a Battle of the Bands at our school at the end of January, and I was wondering if I could get a few pointers. I have done a few audio setups for some bands at the community theatre where I work, but I have never had to deal with 10 bands each with their own demands. I just want to make things as organized as possiblefor the transitions between bands.

    I would like to DI or mic all of the amps for better sound, and possible recording, but trading between amps could cause problems. For some amps, our DI boxes work fine, but some (one particular Fender amp...grr...) had to be mic'ed in order to obtain peace. I know a lot of musicians are very touchy about their equipment, so I was wondering if micing the amp, and letting them switch is the best Idea, or if it is a good idea to get an amp that most agree on.
    (We will try to get one drum set for them to share, to simplify things)

    Our school also wants to rent some subwoofers or some extra speakers. How do I determine what we need, and what are good companies in Utah. (Poll sound?) But, I am also wondering if bringing in subwoofers would be messy with the delays in the rest of the system, and if you guys recommend just getting an entire full set of speakers. (I do not know what our budget is yet, but any input would be great)

    Any other tips, or things I should be concerned about?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Where is this going to take place? In a cafeteria? A theatre? How big is the room and how many people are you expecting? Those questions will determine how much PA is needed. Last BOtB I worked, we had one EV dual 15" + horn per side with four single 18" subs center clustered. FOH was a Yamaha LS9. Worked well.

    As for mic'ing things, my plot was pretty simple. Four vocal mics, SM58's, three DS, one US for the drummer. Each band had two guitarists, so they got a Sennheiser e609 on the cabs. I hate DI'ing guitar amps. Being a guitarist myself, I always want my speaker mic'd, since the amp adds so much to the sound. Bass I DI'd, and had Audix on the drums, i5 for snare, D2 on rack toms, D4 on Floor, D6 on kick, and an SM81 on the hat. The drum mics just clipped onto the rims, while everything else was on a stand. Simple changeovers.

    We had everyone set up the same; bass here, drums here, guitar cabs here and here. Changovers took less than five minutes with a quick line check. I wanted a full soundcheck, but the bands didn't show up until five minutes before they went on anyway, so we only got line checks. We had four monitor sends, but the only thing running through them was vocal, so we could've cut back on the number of mixes.

    The photo album from this is in my profile, but I get a fatal error when I try and access said profile. I'll try and post it later. I should mention that the system tech and I were the only two people who knew anything about what was going on, and were the ones running the changeovers. Just beware of the diva attitudes.

    If the system is properly set up, you won't have problems. If you aren't able to rent more equipment, what is your current set-up? Best to see if what you have will work before you go spending money on more gear.

    As for good companies, I'm sorry, I can't help you on that one. Good luck! If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask.
     
  3. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    Location:
    Indianapolis
    In order to DI an electric guitar, you need a DI with cabinet simulation such as the Radial JDX or H&K Red Box. If you use a standard DI, instead of mean distortion tones, you'll get what sounds like hives of bees.

    Otherwise, pretty much what Eboy said.

    Have everyone to sidewash their amps, so the knuckeheads who are too loud (which will be most of them) won't kill the crowd with icepick highs.
     
  4. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    Location:
    Provo, Utah, United States
    It is athe school auditorium which seats 1025 and it is about 100 feet to the back wall from the proscenium. We expect it to be pretty full. And, with our current instillation, the first 5 rows don't get real good sound.
     
  5. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    Location:
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    I've hosted a couple of similar events - one suggestion beyond the technical ideas above is just to require groups to use community gear, or give them all a set time to perform - say, eight minutes total, including setup and take down time. Watch how quickly they decide to share equipment and learn to be efficient.
     
  6. Gretsch

    Gretsch Member

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    Location:
    Logan, Utah, United States
    To make things fair for all the bands I make them all use the same mic and mixing set up that way no one can say another band did better because they were allowed to use "x" equipment. I typically like to stick with a 5 piece drum set up (kick snare 3 toms and 2 over heads) and let each drummer use their own kit. I just move the mics quickly out of the way durring the change over. I like to use sm57's on the guitar amps (3 max) and di the bass head if it has a direct out, other wise they have to use one of the 57's. I then do 3 sm58's for vox and thats that. I allow each band 10 min for strike and 10 for set up and line check. I don't do any sound checks so that each band starts off at the same place and I set general monitor levels and thats what they all start with. I feel this keeps all the bands as equal as possible and they all have to work with in the same perimeters. As for sound rental PM me and I can give you the names and numbers of some sound rental companies in Utah that I have worked with.
     

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