Live Sound Compressor Question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by slice723, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. slice723

    slice723 New Friend

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    Aug 12, 2008
    Hi my name is Rachit. I play trumpet in a ska band. My question is does anyone know anybody that uses a compressor for live shows, and if so what do they use? I am currently playing on a bach strad and a wireless system so i can move around. The wireless system is a Audix Rad-360 with a adx20i instrument mic. The mic is more for a sax but it works excellent for me. The problem im having is when i play high notes with the mic on it overpowers the 2 sax players in the band and sometimes the entire band. I dont want to leave it up to the sound guys becasue most of them set a level and walk away. I am thinking a solution to the problem is a compressor/limiter maybe with a pre-amp (maybe without a pre-amp). Any input I can get on the situation is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to TM, slice723!

    Back in the days when I was playing rock and funk we had those good old Shure 57's, and it worked fine--we could move away from the mike when needed.

    A compressor will chop off the peaks, and while great for making weird guitar noises and obnoxious TV commercials, dosen't do the trumpet justice.

    If you can overpower the whole band, that is a cool thing for trumpeters to do, and the sound-man should be on call the entire set.

    This problem of yours doesn't belong to you--it belongs to the sound-man. Make him work!
     
  3. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

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    A compressor is not the solution to your problem. A compressor provides very fine control for 'squishing' the amplitude of the frequencies in a signal. Trying to apply this to the gross task of controller the overall volume of a screaming trumpet will likely not work and will probably just cause the sound of your horn to be very weird.

    Your problem can be handled in one of two ways:

    -either the sound person can set the level of your mic such that it peaks when you are playing high, that is, it doesn't drown the other horns when you play high (I know that this is probably wishful thinking in most places where ska bands play.....I feel your pain)

    -can the wireless and MAKE the soundperson set you up a mic on a stand. At least that way you can use the proximty of the horn to the mic to prevent your overpowering the saxes.

    This really is a sound person's problem though...or at least should be.

    bigtiny
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  4. slice723

    slice723 New Friend

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    Aug 12, 2008
    I agree its the sound guys problems but in the last 50 shows ive played ive had 1 sound guy actually decide to listen to what i was saying and turned me down as needed. I agree i can always go with the mic stand but i truly feel that the show is just as important as the music. I do a lot of stage movement actually im in the crowd playing more than im on stage. I can see the compressor is not the way to go. I currently turn down a little more than i should and just play the low stuff hard. even so I feel as though there must be something that wont force me to do that so i can save my lip for the high stuff. what about some kind of pre-set volume controller. I mean what do the sound guys use to fix the problem or what is used in a studio that fixes the problem because ive never had this problem in a studio before.

    also thank you for the responses ive gotten I really appreciate the help but please im looking to fix the problem with equipment not take away the mic or have to hire a sound guy.
     
  5. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

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    What typically avoids this problem in the studio is two fold: an engineer sets proper peak levels when recording and during mixdown, can change your level dynamically at different points in the tune. That's why everyone keeps saying this is the sound person's problem....

    bigtiny
     
  6. jsimpher

    jsimpher New Friend

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    Aug 10, 2008
    Hey man I play in a Funk Band and deal with the same problems. One thing that helps is to play physically at 80% physically and 120% Mentally. Through reading allot of literature and watching countless video's. I have discovered that if you spend the time to find the sweet spots on your horn. You can actually play louder by using less air, and a more relaxed embouchure. Heck sometimes it feels like the horn is playing the note not me.

    BTW what is your upper range currently at. I hover around a E/F# above the staff, depending on how my chops feel.
     

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