Is there any way an effect (in this case reverb) can be controlled from the stage by the vocalist, as opposed to being controlled from the desk, via some sort of footswitch?
Or alternatively can you get the same thing as a "Joe Meek" box of vocal fx for use in the live situation, again with foot pedals?
If this exists, where can i buy it and how much is it likely to cost? Does it use and xlr input?
I would rather control things like reverb myself rather than trusting the memory of a soundman.
[edit: changed topic title ~rog ] Edited by: fastfude at: 7/7/01 12:52:56 pm
Basically, any FX unit can be used on your vocal, provided that the mike is :
A) either run directly in to the unit, or:
B) the unit is placed as an insert on the channel your mike is in on the desk, if the desk supports it. For this you'll need a "Y" cable, which will feature two mono jacks going to a stereo jack, which is placed in the insert.
However, this may need to be pretty long if the desk is some distance away.
Problems are that A will degrade your signal, utterly chnage the sound even when no effect is present,and may introduce some side effects which may be nasty, but which may also make things more interesting.However, a lot of checking of levels at the soundcheck will be necessary, to ensure there's a balance between the normal vocal sound and the effected one.
Another possibility is to run a normal vocal and an effected one side by side, which with a bit of faffing around could be interesting.
The best way is probably to get a little sub-mixer thing for ewer vocals,
and add the FX there, and send the result to the main front desk.
For instance, for the Feline Dream vocal "rig", we purchased a dinky little
4:2 Behringer mixer (£69 or sthg), into which our our 2 headset mics
go, by XLR (it also provides them with phantom power).
(At this point, we could use the aux-s on the wee Behringer to add
reverb/echo/compression etc etc..the woacalist could control these
himself from the stage)
...and then the whole thing goes on a stereo pair of XLRs into the
multicore link out to the main front desk.
I would always caution against adding excessive reverb to anything in
a live setting though, because bear in mind that the natural reverb
of the room will be added on top of it -
if for example, you are trying out the reverb settings you want for
a gig in The Empire, but you're currently just in a little practise room,
you can simulate the Empire's natural reverb by putting about a 1 second
reverb trail on your vocal to start with - you may well then think that
you don't want to add any more at all!
Keysers, ewe typed that whilst I was typing :-O
I note ewe seem to be suggesting using un-balanced lines for
vocal signals, over long runs to a desk.
Surely this would just result in a dirty unlistenable hell,
somewhat like Napalm Death?
Dave (our vocalist / my brother) uses two guitar pedals (distortion and delay) and he's playing around with a guitar multi effects rack at the minute.
The pedals are placed on a table or something, so as he can work them by hand.
The signal path basically goes:
Mike -> Dist -> Delay -> DI box - ... -> desk.
(maybe Delay -> Distortion)
You need to set the distortion fairly low, or it will feedback to feuck, but a bit of experimentation can give a fairly decent distorted vocal.
We have had mixed results, mainly because the gain on the desk needs to be quite high, and a couple of folks have taken a while to get around to working that out. However, on the ocassions that it has worked (most, recently) this gives a fantastic control over a big range of vocal effects, mainly with the many controls on the delay pedal.
I think the main reason for trying this was to see if it would work at all - thus meaning that we didn't have to spend any money. If we were all rich, we'd probably buy something dedicated to vocals. It does degrade the clean sound, but not (IMO) so much that you would notice, through any of the PAs in Belfast, anyway.
Hope this is of some use. Come and see it in action sometime...
The problem with this Dave Flummox approach is that he is feeding
a very low-level, unbalanced signal (from a dynamic mic, yes?)
into a disortion pedal, which basically cranks up an immense amount of
gain on the unbalanced signal.
This could be a recipe for Spinal Tap radio-pick-up feedback buzz disaster!
If ewe do it the Feline Way :-)
by connecting your mic, XLR-to-XLR, into a small
balanced mixer first, you can safely, cleanly pre-amp
the (balanced) mic signal before it goes into your
effects (and the effects path just
takes place in a very short aux-loop in the domain of
your submixer), and then send the (again, balanced)
result of this to the main desk/PA.
Remember - unbalanced is bad, mmm'kay? ;-)
No...using decent (and expensive) cable, you'd get away with it no problem.
Ciaran's talking about using it live...and I'd imagine we're looking at a Katy Ds /Aunt Annie's setup...so, you'd get away with 4 or 5 metres of it. Some of my insert leads are already 2-3 metres long.
Using the insert way, you're also dealing with a balanced signal.
It's good fun using FX like that...I do it very regularly in the studio...and the beezwaX single had it's main vocal put thru a Boss delay pedal n'stuff which was manipulated in real time as the vocal went down.
Edited by: Eamonn P Keyes at: 7/3/01 1:08:55 pm
Ewer inserts are not balanced at all!
(a TRS-jack insert on a desk generally has unbalanced audio in on the Tip,
unbalanced audio out on the Ring, with a common shield)
Neither are our aux-loops balanced.
And indeed, most FX units (and certainly not "guitar" pedals) don't
have balanced ins or outs.
However, both the Feline & the Keysers methods will be OK,
because the signal in the aux loop or the insert has
already been pre-amped to line-level by the (sub)mixer,
so is not so susceptable to interference, despite being
The Flummox method, however, involves effecting the unbalanced mic
signal while it is still at mic level.
This is much more problematic.
It's all to do with signal-to-noise ratios y'all.
I still prefer the Feline method, cos ewe not only
have the FX in front of ewe to play with,
ewe have a full channel strip on a mixer at ewer
fingertips, so ewe can pan & EQ ewer vocal
too, and make drastic level changes
(normally, this would be a rash thing for a performer
on stage to do, since they couldn't properly
monitor the results... but if ewer in KDs or DoY
and Bill Gaheiney has rendered ewer vocal inaudible,
it's mice to have 50 dB of gain at ewer fingertips...)
Yes but a thread like this could usefully be archived or FAQed or sthg.
In my experience, the "can I ewse geetar pedals on vocals?" question is
a fairly common ponderment...
But only as a crap chat up line.
i saw Watercress a few years ago and their songy-man had his mic (happy F1?!) going straight into a geetar multi-fx which he then used to do all manner of crazy things to his vox - delay, phase, fuzz, bloody everything
heehee, just had a flashback of wandering about in a studio when i was about 8 and asking the engineer where the 'vocals' were, having seen this crazy instrument credited to someone on almost every CD i had ever seen.
damn naivety Edited by: Niall Harden at: 7/3/01 10:23:21 pm
IT IS "MIC" EWE FEWLS
SHORT FOR "MICROPHONE"
WHICH IS SHORT FOR "MICHAEL"
(in indignant tone, like... "SorrrrEEEE!!!")
so it is though
mic mic mic mic mic
Interestingly I was talking to my brother about this last night, and he now goes straight into a guitar multi-effects thing before going into the other pedals. The point being that the first thing in the chain boosts the signal to line level, before any other effects are added.
This does seem to work well enough for us.
Yes that should probably produce a serviceable solution...
I just like to have my woacals balanced from the minute
they leave the microphone
(let's face it, they need all the help they can get... ;-)