live vocals - controlling delay from stage

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2121TrumbullAve
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live vocals - controlling delay from stage

Post by 2121TrumbullAve » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:21 am

hi -

new band i'm in, the frontman likes to run his 58 into a boss delay pedal (impedance mismatch) then sound guys usually route from the pedal into a DI to get it to the console...

i'm thinking a low-z source like an sm58, into a pedal which is expecting a hi-z source (guitar), then into a DI cannot be good for the signal - there has been trouble getting the vox hot enough w/ this setup.

what are some better options so my singer can control delay from stage?
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Post by JGriffin » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:27 am

The Digitech Vocal 300 is designed for this purpose. There are certainly other, similar devices out there as well. Mic level in, mic level and line level out. Reverbs, delays, chorusing, pitch shifting. I got mine at a garage sale for $20.
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2121TrumbullAve
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Post by 2121TrumbullAve » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:51 am

cool thanks. i think that unit is a bit complicated for his needs - he needs reverbs and delays, and they do not have to be pristine by any means.

are there any workarounds to get the signal flow healthy w/ a regular guitar pedal?

am i correct in assuming his signal is being mangled by running a mic into a guitar pedal?

thx...
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Post by GooberNumber9 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:27 am

There is a thing that is like a reverse DI box which Shure calls an impedance matching transformer for taking a mic signal and making it into an instrument signal for going into a guitar effect or amp.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Shure-A95UF ... 1134507.gc

So you would go:
58 -> device above -> Boss Pedal -> DI -> Mixer

And that would be one way way to put that inline.

A better way would be to put the pedal in a channel insert, but then it would be impractical to have it on stage for the singer to stomp on it.

In terms of sound quality, ideally all delays would come from the FOH mixer area and outboard effects. The downsides to using a guitar effect on stage are due to the negative effects of the transformer and the DI, and most importantly the crappy sound of Boss pedals (I know famous people use them, but I think they sound terrible).

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Post by 2121TrumbullAve » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:52 am

that looks like the ticket - thanks!

PS - we like the low-fi character of stomp boxes...

thx
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Post by ashcat_lt » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:50 am

It's not so much a problem of impedance, really. In general, for voltage sources, it's preferable to go from a lower-Z out to a higher-Z in. You'd like the ratio to be at least 1:10, but it doesn't really hurt anything to go lower on the output.

The 1M resistor in the pedal is way higher than it needs to be for the mic input which means you're adding more noise than necessary to the signal, but that noise will be there no matter what is connected to the pedal. This is a design issue.

The real problem is one of volume. The mic level is a bit too low for a guitar pedal. Most will work fine anyway, but you'll be giving up some resolution in a digital delay. Also will be hell for that whole signal:noise thing. Then, by unbalancing the mic signal in such a wanton manner, you're essentially throwing away half of its voltage output. So one would expect the signal to be 6db down by the time it gets to the board, and it sounds like you've noticed.

The line matching transformer will help with that, but it also introduces an transformer, which might cause it's own concerns. Of course, if you're shooting for lo-fi anyway...

The best bet is to have a nice clean pre before the pedal. This is a safe way of unbalancing the signal and adding the gain required to have a usable level. This could be achieved either with a pre on stage or (I think most FOH engineers would prefer) by running a send/return via the snake from the board.

If you're going to do the send/return thing, you'll want the signal to be balanced for as much of that run as possible (for noise reasons). That means you still need the line matcher/DI pair.

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Post by PeterSawatzky » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:12 pm

Use a high-impedance mic like the Shure 545SD.

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Post by Holy Wolf » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:43 pm

I use to do the same thing and I used a shure beta58a with a lexicon mpx 500 with a footswitch and it worked very very well

I also used an audix om7 mic sometimes.

I found this to be a really cool setup and sound very amazing.

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Post by calaverasgrandes » Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:39 am

I'm surpised nobody mentioned the obvious solution. Get a hotter mic. Shure Betas are about 6 db hotter. Most vocal condensers are gonna be 12-20db hotter than a 58.
A hi impedance mic will help a little, but they usually all suck.
Some mics (like older shures and EVs) have switchable impedance. But they arent terribly loud.
You could also pick up a Bellari or ART preamp. Both of em make little stompbox-ish pre's. Of course giving a vocalist anything with gain is a recipe for disaster.
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Post by Meriphew » Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:48 am

How about something like the TC Helicon Create pedal?

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Post by jmiller » Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:02 pm

calaverasgrandes wrote:I'm surpised nobody mentioned the obvious solution. Get a hotter mic. Shure Betas are about 6 db hotter. Most vocal condensers are gonna be 12-20db hotter than a 58.
But how are you going to supply phantom power to a condenser that's plugged in to a pedal? :shock:

How did Ogre (Skinny Puppy) do it? He usually had a rack of vocal processors I think. Certainly wasn't lacking character.

I have no idea what kinda music you're doing, but it seems like you're going for the lo-fi sound so I suppose you could always have a hi-imp mic for the pedals and a 58 for when you want an untreated vocal.

I was in an electro-industrial band way back and we would run the vocalist through my on-stage mackie and I'd treat his vox with outboard processors, then I'd bus to one of the subgroups and send that group to the soundguy. Then I'd also have to mix all my keyboards and the backup DAT through the other subs, all while trying not to catch fire from the junkyard drumset that was lit up behind me. Total pain in the ass.

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Post by calaverasgrandes » Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:11 pm

jmiller wrote:
calaverasgrandes wrote:I'm surpised nobody mentioned the obvious solution. Get a hotter mic. Shure Betas are about 6 db hotter. Most vocal condensers are gonna be 12-20db hotter than a 58.
But how are you going to supply phantom power to a condenser that's plugged in to a pedal? :shock:
A lot of them have provisions for a battery.
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Post by Meriphew » Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:50 pm

jmiller wrote:
calaverasgrandes wrote:I'm surpised nobody mentioned the obvious solution. Get a hotter mic. Shure Betas are about 6 db hotter. Most vocal condensers are gonna be 12-20db hotter than a 58.
But how are you going to supply phantom power to a condenser that's plugged in to a pedal?
Beta 58 doesn't need phantom power.

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Post by TRIFECTA » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:01 pm

Holy Wolf wrote:I use to do the same thing and I used a shure beta58a with a lexicon mpx 500 with a footswitch and it worked very very well

I also used an audix om7 mic sometimes.

I found this to be a really cool setup and sound very amazing.

This is pretty much what I just used. It was fucking loud enough and sounded amazing. This is not that hard of a fucking thing to accomplish.

Maybe your PA system's your going through are fucking shitty?
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:46 pm

I used to run 2 mics for my vocals in one of my old bands. One ran to an effectron, the other was clean. I used a low imp mic and some DOD or MXR clean boost pedal. It worked such that I stomped on the gain box a few measures before the effected vocal part. That way it wasnt constantly outputting an obnoxious delayed version of the whole band behind me.
Because it was an effectron I always ended up htting the hold repeat button the front and shifting it up and down while I tweaked it into chaos.

ps.I mean, they hardly ever moderate this board for anything but spam. But 3 'fucking"s in 3 sentences is a bit much.
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