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I just had a frustrating gig at a 100+ person cocktail party. Before the gig, I set the PA and volume of BIAB to what I thought was a good level. However, during the party the people got so loud, I could not hear the BIAB backing or myself playing. I got lost playing a few time making it a bad hair night. I figured if I turned up the volume the people would get louder so I just dealt with it.

I'm fairly new to playing gigs by myself. I have an Eon10 PA and Roland KC350 KB amp. I play keyboards thorough the KC350. BIAB also feeds into the KC and I feed the KC signal into the Eon for additional support. I sing only through the Eon. I have a monitor but I didn't use it tonight because I was playing right next to the KC. Perhaps that was the problem.

Just wondering what I could do different or should I do anything at all?

Thanks
Rachael

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In ear foldback is discrete and probably easier to use in a loud environment than a monitor... Can cost for good gear though.


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We used Hot Spot monitors and found them to work extremely well in these types of situations. We used the ones with a volume control as it gave each musician control over their monitors and also virtually eliminated feedback. They have a very small footprint, can be placed on a mic stand (that’s how we used them – we raised them to ear level) and only cost around $130 USD.

I hope this helps.


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Hi Rachael,

I have been gigging for many years and I think the answer is one you touched on, you need to get louder or be lost! I don't use monitors but I always have a good line of sight (or ears) to my PA. I don't intentionally play loud but if it gets noisy, so do I. I like to stay on top. Alternatively you could always scream at them to be quiet ! (Just kidding ;o)

Good Luck,

Regards,

Dave.

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When this happened to me a few months ago, I fired an 1847 Walker Colt replica pistol into the air. People got quiet in a hurry. Unfortunately, I shot out a mini-spot and choked myself on the smoke, so it's not always a practical approach.

Probably not recommended outside of Texas either.


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I appreciate the replies. I figured if I turned the volume up, the people would talk louder to be heard. Maybe if I lowered the volume, they would talk softer...nah! Well I guess that comes with providing 'background' music. I hate that term.

I think I'll keep the volume low and use my monitor.

Rachael

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Quote:

When this happened to me a few months ago, I fired an 1847 Walker Colt replica pistol into the air. People got quiet in a hurry. Unfortunately, I shot out a mini-spot and choked myself on the smoke, so it's not always a practical approach.

Probably not recommended outside of Texas either.




Hey Axegrinder, I used to play joints where they issued you a weapon at the door if you forgot your's at home. I know where you are coming from.

Later,

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Rachael,

The answers are in your question and comment. Your monitor is like your American Express card, never leave home without it. (I use a little powered Roland Cube built into my music stand right under my PA head) The second part is crank'er up man!

I start with what to me is a very nice volume level. One that people can hear conversations over and still hear the music. But as I am in control of the dial, I adjust accordingly. With that said I dare them to get louder than me.

Later,

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Next time try elevating the keyboard amp.

Like set it on a chair.

Or perhaps tilt it back to the wall such that the speakerboard is at least pointing at an angle upwards.

Can make a huge difference in what you hear in a pinch like that, midrange and treble being most of the information content and directional.




--Mac

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Quote:

Rachael,

But as I am in control of the dial, I adjust accordingly. With that said I dare them to get louder than me.

Later,




You got it Danny! ;o)

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When this happened to me a few months ago, I fired an 1847 Walker Colt replica pistol into the air. People got quiet in a hurry. Unfortunately, I shot out a mini-spot and choked myself on the smoke, so it's not always a practical approach.

Ha-ha! LOL. Love it. I can smell it now!
In the UK that would cause complete PC pandemonium followed by three to five in chokey.

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In our band we break the cardinal rule and have the pole mounted PA cabs slightly behind our 'ears line' and therefore the mic line. Careful setup is necessary to avoid feedback but it works for us in terms of overall foldback.
Like all of us here I guess we try and moderate levels to the needs of the gig (much louder if there's a lot of soft furnishings and closeup people, etc.) but err on the louder side so we keep people's attention and the level of 'excitement' up. Also, a large Mackie sub helps.

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Quote:

. . . I think I'll keep the volume low and use my monitor.

Rachael




Actually, that is an old soundman's trick--if the crowd is talking too loud, turn yourself down. Sometimes it works.

LOL,

R.


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We used to do the party volume test trick. Well that is, we did it on parties, not on gigs. We would graduattelly move up the volume until everybody was screaming their lungs out. Then in a second we lowered the volume completely. People get a bit embarrassed when they scream and everybody can hear them. We always saw people all of sudden start to whisper and looking a bit around them. then we would put the volume back to a normal level. Ah well, maybe not really a practical approach when doing gigs, it might be your last performance there, but I thought I just share an old story here...


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I think that is what has irratated me most when playing at a party or whatever, when I start losing their attention. It happens at gigs, or small parties. Keeping audience involvement is hard. It's not easy to keep yourself from thinking, "Why am I even here?" . Probably dialing in the demographics of the crowd quickly, by trying different sets, and mixing the songs up, detirmines what mood they're in. If they're in a raunchy, drinking rock/blues mood, and you play a country ballad, they will light up cigarettes, grab a beer, and talk all the way thru the song. Only clapping when the song is over, because of habit, not because they even heard any of it.

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How about buying another KC350. Would give you better monitoring options, plus the two amps would link up for that rich stereo effect. They'll listen.

Plus, learn to play the old chestnut, "Your mind is on vacation (And your mouth is workin' overtime)".

Or, just get drunk and play "The wreck of the Old '97" over and over. The inebriates love it.

Brad


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Rachael

I like the Hot Spot mounted right on the mic stand. A few times outdoors, or at the beach, there could have been something with a little more oomph but it worked.

A lot of the posts here stress being heard above the noise no matter what. I know that was not the original question. I would like to politely suggest that the nature of the gig be considered. Many performers have forgotten what it is like to be in the audience. I have been a sound man for 10 years and we get a lot of feedback. NPI

My voice does not carry. Projection lessons might be in order. If the entertainment is so loud that I have to get in someones ear just to be heard then I will just shut up, be polite and listen. Not that I am interested in the performer but that competing is not worth it.

Are you the show? Are people there to see you? Then crank it up.

Are people there to visit with friends in a pleasant atmosphere? Are you just the "Entertainment Provided"? Then be reasonable. If you were hired to provide background music then be the background. Provide a level where people who are paying attention can move closer and folks that want to chat can move to the back. During the break ask the host or manager and provide them with your reading of the crowd.

Here is what I go by. Are the chairs facing you? Let em have it. Are the chairs arranged around a table? Then show a little moderation until the audience turns their chairs of their own accord.

In many strict songwriter venues the audience will actually "shussh" the chatty ones around them so the performer can really be listened to at a moderate level.

Cheers - to having more chairs turned your way!

Dave G
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If you have a small MP3/FM reciever (Ipod or the like) Go buy the accessory FM transmitter for it, the reverse it. Plug the headphone out of the mixer to the line in on the transmitter, tune your Ipod to that station and plug the ear buds in. WaaLaa instant ear monitor system. Cheap but not to bad.


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I love these recommendations, all very good and interesting, because it really isn't about the program, it's about playing live I saw one post that said to elevate the speaker, that's good, and another, don't forget your monitor, that's good And, if it was there, I missed it (forgive me), point the speaker at YOU (with a lil distance, and not directly)...They'll still here it, and you will too

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You could also stop at your local audiologist and order a pair of Westone custom fit ES49 earplugs, which have a user-adjustable attenuation that is rather flat across all frequencies.

http://www.westone.com/index.php?load=content&page=index&page_id=190

Disclaimer: I now work for Westone.

-Scott

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