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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:31 pm 
 

Alright, I'm a noob when it comes to this, so I have some questions/concerns. I'm the guitarist in my band, and I'll be playing live sometime this year. I'm currently gearing up for said upcoming shows, and so far I have basically everything I'll need for myself. I'm unsure of what I'll need exactly for vocals (for my fiance...female vocals obviously).

I've seen a lot of singers seemingly go onstage without anything to aid their voice--no pre-amp with compression or anything? Do most singers basically just rely on whatever the venue has to offer? I'm guessing the venue can set EQ, reverb, etc. with their mixer, but what else besides a microphone does a vocalist usually have for live shows?
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12159
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:34 pm 
 

All depends on the vocalist, honestly. Every vocalist I worked with, and including myself never used anything else aside from our own natural voices. Also never counted on eq or even having a mixer, i've played shows with no PA were we screamed over the amps. Back then I was a lot more powerful from doing it so often so it didn't hurt or strain us in anyway.
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TheUglySoldier
Metalhead

Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 3:44 am
Posts: 1679
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:46 pm 
 

Yeah, most gigs I've been to the singer doesn't seem to provide anything except perhaps their own microphones - most venues will have a set up for the vocals. However, if you do need something specific, it would be better to contact the venue before hand and figure out if you need to bring anything to get that set up.
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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 1995
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:48 pm 
 

First of all, don't depend on sound guys for anything. I've worked with some who are great and help us achieve a better sound than when we are in our own studio/practice space. And then I've worked with others whose sole contribution has been to fuck everything up completely. Also, many mixers don't have onboard effects and I've had sound guys use effects on vocals. They usually suck. So don't rely on anything being done to make vocals sound better than they do during rehearsal.

As far as effects or eqing go, like SLK said, it depends on the band/vocalist. Some do it dry, some don't. It just depends on the sound you're going for. I've done vocals dry, I've done a project where I ran my mic through a distortion pedal, and my current band's vocalist uses a dedicated vocal effect pedal because we want a reverb heavy sound.

Ask yourself how things sound during rehearsal. If she sounds good and fits what you guys are going for, a mic is all she needs.

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Iron1
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:04 am
Posts: 73
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:28 am 
 

I just about always used my own mic (SM58) simply because I don't want to stick my mouth on a mic someone else was spewing halitosis all over the night before and I know what I get with my own, soundwise. I also always had my own mic stand (but didn't always use it) as some venues either don't have one or have one that sucks. Beyond that, any venue that's worth playing in will have a pro PA, cables, snake, etc.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5011
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:48 pm 
 

If the venue has a PA and a competent sound engineer, you shouldn't need anything. If you or another band is bringing a PA, then it might get a bit rough if nobody there is experienced in using it. A bit of compression and reverb and EQing can help, but too much will adversely affect the sound. Not much that you didn't know, just knowing when it sounds right is the tough part if you're mixing it.

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Arkhane
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:39 pm
Posts: 1648
Location: South Texas
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:58 pm 
 

I've played a show where we had to tell the sound guy to put a lot of delay on the vocals because we had an incompetent vocalist (shortly after, he was fired haha). if you need a certain effect you can try to tell the sound guy before the show, but dont expect anything stellar. like it was stated before me, your best bet is to just rely on your own voice.
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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:30 am 
 

Thanks for all the input! I basically had no idea what to expect. I'm just trying to get an idea of what I should buy, if anything, to prepare for rehearsals and shows. I guess a nice mic would be a good start. I hear that SM58's are pretty much the way to go for most uses, but is there anything that's great for clean female vocals and screaming in particular?
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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 474
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:22 am 
 

Get an SM58. Don't even consider anything else. An SM58 will probably outlive you. Invest in one now and you'll never need to buy another live mic again.

Mic choice isn't that important for live vocals. As a general, things either sound crap, sound good but break, or are an SM58. They're the industry standard for a reason.

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somefella
Veteran

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:57 pm
Posts: 2662
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:46 pm 
 

SM58 Beta, by the way. The regular SM58 is decent but the Beta is better.
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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:04 pm 
 

somefella wrote:
SM58 Beta, by the way. The regular SM58 is decent but the Beta is better.


I've heard a few mixed things about the Beta 58....like that it's got a higher output and boosted mid/high range. While that would be great for me, I'm not so sure about how that would work with female vox. I think I'll probably try to find one or the other on Ebay though. lol
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5011
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:51 pm 
 

Be cautious buying those on eBay, there are a lot of fakes. While you can save some money, it's not worth the hassle of potentially getting a fake one - real ones cost $99 and you can probably find a coupon/promotion with one of the major music retailers to take a bit off of that. They're immortal, so you'll only need to buy one.

Here's a guide showing the differences between a real SM57 and one fake: http://bbs.espguitars.com/showthread.php?t=19266

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Iron1
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:04 am
Posts: 73
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:15 am 
 

Get an SM58. Don't even waste your money on anything else.

Awblaster wrote:
An SM58 will probably outlive you.

I bought my SM58 in 1988 and used it last weekend. Still as awesome as it was on day one. That includes a few hundred shows, thousands of band practices and several trips to the studio. It's even outlived a few mic stands.

xpsychoblissx wrote:
somefella wrote:
SM58 Beta, by the way. The regular SM58 is decent but the Beta is better.


I've heard a few mixed things about the Beta 58...


I had one for a few months, used it live and in the studio, and didn't like it. It just added qualities to my voice that aren't there without amplification, mainly in the midrange. Overall, it seemed to be much brighter than the SM, which might be okay for different vocal styles, but not for hard rock or any form of metal.
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