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cheap channel strip for live vocals
Old 11th February 2009
  #1
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🎧 15 years
Question cheap channel strip for live vocals

is there a good channel strip for around $100 that does a good job with female vocals for live sound?

what do you guys use?
Old 11th February 2009
  #2
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tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years


Usually, I just use a channel on a board. sometimes I need a compressor.



-tINY

Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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moon_unit's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Can't say I've ever used a channel strip for live vocals.

But if I ever did, I would probably just use a Behringer.

Most PA systems suck, and they're run by monkeys in horrible acoustic environments. Might as well just use the cheapest thing you can get your hands on.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
For live stuff, you don't need a channel strip, for the studio, a strip is essential but not necessary. I suggest you get a decent preamp and go from there. I haven't heard many people who compress or EQ before mixing. with the right mic and the right preamp, you shouldn't have to EQ beforehand anyway.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
I haven't heard many people who compress or EQ before mixing.
Then you probably haven't spoken to enough people. Compression before hitting the box is a common practice.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Arrow

behringer
art pro audio
dbx 200 series or 500 series
roland mmp-2
presonus
spl channel 1
tc electronic gold channel
focusrite liquid channel
etc...
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
..., a strip is essential but not necessary...


???



-tINY

Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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JoeyM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Tolentino ➑️
Then you probably haven't spoken to enough people. Compression before hitting the box is a common practice.
Wouldn't compression bring with it heinous feedback?

-edited- Are you talking about splitting the live vocals, one routed to "PA" and the other to DAW?
Old 11th February 2009
  #9
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Fast_Fingers's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
$100?? The only channel strip I can think of that's in that range is the dbx 286a...assuming it's used.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
Oh damn I just noticed he asked about live stuff! Well I don't know if a 100 channel strip exists... Usually venues have their own gear don't they? All the venues I've played had great gear to work with.

I thought you meant for recording... I don't compress vocals when I'm recording, nor do I EQ much. I usually do it after the tracks are recorded.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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right now we're just plugging the mic directly to an old tascam mixer. It sounds ok but the sound lacks body and when all the instruments are playing the voice gets buried. This is a drum set + 2 guitar + bass + keys.

The only thing going through the mixer are the keys and the vocals.

So I'm just trying to make the voices sound bigger/fuller.

I thought a dedicated channel strip would be the way to go but maybe a compressor is enough? the mixer has inserts but I've heard that going this route loses signal and it's better to have everything in series pre/eq/comp before hitting the mixer.

I don't want to spend much on this but any advice is highly appreciated. we're using a SM57 for the vocals. I know a 58 would be better but this is what we have atm.

Is getting a SM58 a better investment than getting a compressor for the 57?
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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aclarson's Avatar
I wouldn't bother with the 58 over the 57, the 57 might actually be better depending on the voice. Is it a problem from the audience perspective, the vocalist perspective, or both? Do you have stage monitors? Is your PA loud enough? No effects trickery will fix an underpowered PA, but make sure your EQ is tweaked while everyone is playing to get it dialed in with as much presence as you can. A compressor would help this a little, and I do think a compressor live would be a wise investment to make the level more consistent, especially if the singer is inexperienced. A little delay on a live vocal is usually nice as well, depending on style, of course.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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GordZilla's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
When doing live... if I can't hear the singer too good... I get the band to turn down a bit... or a lot . Then work on the EQ.

If you are not putting the drums through the PA, then you need to bring all your levels down to balance with them (so turn down them amps there guitarists!).. and then have the vocals sit just a bit on top of the drums. There are few things lamer than an under-powered PA trying to keep up with too loud of guitar amps

You could try a SM58... but as other folks have said, a 57 should work fine. Personally... I like beta 58s, as they seem to have slightly more output, and presence...but sometimes ya just gotta use whatcha got.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
I agree with Gordzilla, turn down the band!
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemoon ➑️
..and when all the instruments are playing the voice gets buried. This is a drum set + 2 guitar + bass + keys.
For live compression is nice icing but it's down the list in priorities. What ever volume you had available is still restricted by the point of feedback. It can only go down from there. Job #1 first then..
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
For live stuff, you don't need a channel strip, for the studio, a strip is essential but not necessary. I suggest you get a decent preamp and go from there. I haven't heard many people who compress or EQ before mixing. with the right mic and the right preamp, you shouldn't have to EQ beforehand anyway.
+1 on the decent pre, but as far as live sound goes, EQ on live vocals is normally ESSENTIAL. You'll usually need to notch out between 600-800hz for the nasal qualities, circa 300hz for mud, maybe a 100hz HPF to clear up the lows and aid in the separation and clarity. 5k normally sounds sh*te, especially with most crappy live desks. For a high quality pre, something like th EH 12ay7 tube pre would be great, nice and open, detailed and warm + creams over the sibilance a little. I'd also recommend a de-esser, maybe a DBX MX50 or something of that ilk. With a good pre and a de-esser you will need to use less eq and ultimately retain more detail. Hope this helps. Oh actually might be worth checking out the DBX 286a, as its a fairly good pre, compressor, de-esser, expander, gate etc. Great combo for live, the pre aint a touch on the EH but will do the job just fine.

Toby

Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years


Think hard about trying some other microphones. Hyper cardioid is good if the band is loud.

There are a lot of good vocal stage mics out there in the $150 - $275 range. Try a few out to see what sounds good on her voice.



-tINY

Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY ➑️


Think hard about trying some other microphones. Hyper cardioid is good if the band is loud.

There are a lot of good vocal stage mics out there in the $150 - $275 range. Try a few out to see what sounds good on her voice.



-tINY

Exactly -now we're tackling job one and two and at the same time.
After dinner- then cake'.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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jproc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Instead of using a compressor just on the vocals, I use a eq/limiter/feedback supressor between the mixer and power amp..

Behringer (yeah, yeah, strike me dead for saying it) makes some EQ's with feedback supression and a limiter (forget what model mine is)...

Basically the comp/limiter lets you crank the PA volume up a bit more without clipping your poweramp, while the feedback supressor and eq tame the frequencies that would become a problem.... works well for us....your milage may vary...

But it has worked wonders for getting the vocals over loud rock bands in small clubs..even with really crappy PA's (sometimes only 2 ****ty 12" 100watt speakers....)
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by lerone ➑️
+1 on the decent pre, but as far as live sound goes, EQ on live vocals is normally ESSENTIAL. You'll usually need to notch out between 600-800hz for the nasal qualities, circa 300hz for mud, maybe a 100hz HPF to clear up the lows and aid in the separation and clarity. 5k normally sounds sh*te, especially with most crappy live desks. For a high quality pre, something like th EH 12ay7 tube pre would be great, nice and open, detailed and warm + creams over the sibilance a little. I'd also recommend a de-esser, maybe a DBX MX50 or something of that ilk. With a good pre and a de-esser you will need to use less eq and ultimately retain more detail. Hope this helps. Oh actually might be worth checking out the DBX 286a, as its a fairly good pre, compressor, de-esser, expander, gate etc. Great combo for live, the pre aint a touch on the EH but will do the job just fine.

Toby

Yeah I know, I misread, I thought it was for studio usage, geeze leave me alone people! Haha.
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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Coyoteous's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Joemeek threeQ - paid $150 for mine as b-stock. I've seen them used for $100:

Joemeek
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
Yeah I know, I misread, I thought it was for studio usage, geeze leave me alone people! Haha.

Sorry xxx
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
Yeah I know, I misread, I thought it was for studio usage, geeze leave me alone people! Haha.
No, man it was just too spacey. You're going to have to suffer over it for a while longer.
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
nothing that cheap would be better than whats on any decent desk. that said it sounds like the first problem is lack of EQ, learn how to use the channel EQ and if your mains/foldbacks need EQ get a dbx 1231 or 2 (or 3)

a Beta58 might do you better with its brighter sound and more detail for a female voice. modern Betas are also less sensitive to the load than SMs, which can be a big thing on cheaper desks.

dont be tempted to buy anything behringer, it all sucks, the EQs and comp are so horrid and will make more trouble than they are worth.
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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Heartfelt's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyoteous ➑️
Joemeek threeQ - paid $150 for mine as b-stock. I've seen them used for $100:

Joemeek

It is a bit thicker and the EQ isn't bad for a cheap box but it lacks some definition and the comp is impossible unless you are doing drums, then it rocks.

May be good for a screamer though.
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit ➑️
Can't say I've ever used a channel strip for live vocals.

But if I ever did, I would probably just use a Behringer.

Most PA systems suck, and they're run by monkeys in horrible acoustic environments. Might as well just use the cheapest thing you can get your hands on.
that kind of logic is well illogical, if something already sounds like crap why would you want to make it sound even crappier by using crap?

do you buy the cheapest crappiest instruments using the same logic?

if your happy feeding your monkey crap fine, but if you dont want it to sound liek crap hire someone who knows what they are doing and put some money into a system.
Old 15th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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Coyoteous's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartfelt ➑️
It is a bit thicker and the EQ isn't bad for a cheap box but it lacks some definition and the comp is impossible unless you are doing drums, then it rocks.

May be good for a screamer though.
Well, what do want for a hundred bucks? heh

For me, it sounds better than you're giving it credit for... I'd replace "thick" with "unhyped" and I've had good results from the comp, even on vocals... it can be unpredictable in many setting combinations, though. Putting a HPF on the insert helps a lot.
Old 15th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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GZsound's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Maybe I'm missing something here.

He ALREADY HAS a channel strip.. It's in his mixer.

How adding another channel strip would help is beyond me.

Proper live mixing with a mixer is the answer. You simply cannot have everything louder than everything else and expect one element to suddenly stand out in the mix simply by adding an outboard channel strip.

I suggest learning how to mix the various elements so the goal is achieved. Maybe the vocalist is using the wrong vocal mic..maybe not.

But proper mixing technique is the answer not adding a cheap channel strip to a channel strip..

In my opinion..
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