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Help boost?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Artemis133, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Artemis133

    Artemis133 Member

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    So, I'm a lighting designer who was asked to be a sound tech for our current show, and I'm kind of at a loss. I know how to run everything, but I have a question. We are running Thoroughly Modern Millie, but our Millie is kind of a weak singer. For Gimme Gimme, there's that boost in strength at the last verse, but she can never hit it. Is there a way to hit that boost with the sund equipment? I'm a high school tech, so I don't have much to work with. If you can help me, that would be amazing!
     
  2. deadlygopher

    deadlygopher Member

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    There's not really that much you can do.

    For the most part a sound system doesn't make a singer sound louder. It only increases their volume. The singer really will have to do it with their voice.

    On a related topic, Millie is such a fun show. We did it last year and had a blast with the silly insane musical universe.
     
  3. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    You could likely get what you want by tweaking the EQ at that point, instead of just cranking the volume. It's a little hard to give exact directions without hearing the singer, but I'll give you a place to start from.

    If the EQ on her channel has what's called a "sweep mid" you can not only turn the mid frequency up and down, but also change what that frequency is. Most of the time for a female vocal, for example, I'll set the mid gain to -6 or so and try the mid frequency anywhere between 400 Hz and 1.5 kHz. That can take the tinny or shrill aspects of the female voice out and reveal the warmth of the lower register that they were covering up.

    So, to give your Millie some power in that section, set the mid gain to boost a little, like +3, and sweep the frequency back and forth between 200 and 600 until there's love commin' out. Then just save your settings and treat it like another cue. If your console has a four band EQ with no sweep, just touch the low-mid knob. If you've only got a three band, the mid is likely around 1.5 kHz and won't do you much good, boositng that will just make her shrill. The low knob could be anywhere from 80 to 300 which may do it for you, but may also make her boomy or cause bad feedback in the system. Try and get 15 minutes where you can work with just her in the empty aud. Have her run that section a few times while you tweak and when you're done, tell her she sounds great!
     
  4. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    Tell her she isn't getting a mic if you can't hear her from the back of the auditorium...that's what I do with choirs all the time. I'm not giving someone a mic if I won't be able to do anything with the mic because it's squealing like a stuck pig wihtout EQ and with EQ, it sounds like crap.

    She's just going to have to sing her little heart out if that effect is to be achieved. Otherwise, you are addressing a symptom and not the problem itself.
     
  5. mixmaster

    mixmaster Active Member

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    The quick answer to your question is "no"

    Even if you find a way to boost her volume for that segment, chances are the audience is going to hear the difference between her "unboosted" voice and the "boosted" voice during that section of the song. This will be especially noticeable if the rest of the cast is not miced as loudly.

    I'm not familiar with that show. Are there other things (like background noises or music) happening that could get turned down at the appropriate time to make her seem louder?
     
  6. deadlygopher

    deadlygopher Member

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    In our version it was just Millie singing at the time.
     
  7. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I can think of is boosting the upper mids, but that doesn't completely solve the issue. You can't make something out of nothing. Plus, as with all things in audio, it's a compromise. You can boost the snot out of the upper mids, but most likely all it'll do is make her sound terrible, and make the mic unstable, ie, it'll feedback very easily. It's a problem we all run into, and the only real viable solution is to work with the actor/actress to give it that extra bit during the song.

    Sorry I can't be of more help. Apologies if that all was mentioned before.
     
  8. erikwithak

    erikwithak Member

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    this seems to be the best idea...one of my favorite sayings comes in to play here:

    you cant polish a turd;)

    try to get as much as you can out of her before pushing the system to try to get it, it will always sound better if its natural...maybe even try to get your vocal director or whoever is in charge of the singing in your school to work with her on it

    if all else fails, blame whoever cast her:p
     

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