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  #1  
Old 12-05-2017, 09:27 AM
rmsstrider rmsstrider is offline
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Default Help with Open Mic Setup

I am to be the host at an Open Mic at my Retail store after hours. This is part of a winter seminar series we put on. The owner thought this would be a nice change from just having speakers. The area will support 60-70 people seated in folding chairs on the carpeted area of the store with high ceilings. We roll out the softgoods racks for this. I have not done this before, so I am asking for advise.
First, my setup. I will be using my Bose L1 compact. I normally go through a TC Harmony Singer to a Bodyrez pedal to an RCF Lpad 6 channel mixer and then to the Bose. I have both a Sennhieser e835 and a Shure Beta 57a mic.
1. Should I place the Bose on the ground and use the tower or raise up on a table. I am afraid the base will get lost at floor level. I don't have access to a raised platform.
2. Which mic?. I am thinking the E835 might be best.the Shure could be too Hot?
3. Should I eliminate all the pedals and just go straight to the mixer?
4. Should I provide a stool for those that like to play seated?
5. Anything else?
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Zoom H4N
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2017, 09:43 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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I recommend you keep it simple. Use the Bose L1C with the tower as intended. Use the E835 mic. Do not use any pedals. People can be surprisingly hard on your stuff at open mics. Don't offer up the best stuff. And, don't offer your best guitar if someone asks. Bring your "beater."

Cheers!
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:10 AM
troggg troggg is offline
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While it is you who is in charge of technical matters, so of course these are important in your mind, the reality is your audience is going to be way more into personalities than technicalities.

The aspect of making your performers feel as welcome as possible is probably going to be more important to the overall success of your open mics than how magnificent the sound is going to be.

Really, without doing a sound check for each performer, chances are sonically things will never be great. But the audience isn't going to care. They're going to care about what's going on in the moment with whoever is playing.

As someone relatively new to hosting and playing open mics, I have been constantly astonished that some of my best received performances are when I really went into the unknown, playing some song I never or barely rehearsed, just cause it seemed like the time to bring it out. It almost seems open mic audiences are more impressed with a performer being in the moment than a perfectly played performance or a perfect sounding performance.

So, sure, sweat the sound ... but not at the expense of the overall experience.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2017, 10:32 AM
Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
The aspect of making your performers feel as welcome as possible is probably going to be more important to the overall success of your open mics than how magnificent the sound is going to be...
Definitely, and I say this as someone whose main (not only) venue at the moment is open mics. Although I'd be mighty pleased to find myself playing through an L1 Compact compared to some other setups I've encountered.

Another reason to do with as few pedals as possible is that they can be very guitar-dependent. And you don't want to give people an excuse for trying to dial things in. There's a guy who runs open mics in the Northern Virginia area (DC region) who is an expert at 1. Keeping things moving and 2. Making *everyone* feel welcome. I did one of his recently and his chain was Guitar>Fishman Platinum Pro>some mixer>QSC K10 or K8, something like that. Sounded fine. (Might not have been a QSC but if not, that type). And of course mic/s through the same chain except for the Fishman.

Just me, but yeah I strongly advise bringing a stool. Lots of Open Mic types normally play only at home, sitting down, and it's a tough adjustment; others strongly prefer standing (me, it's better for singing). Be ready and expert at swooping in and changing the mic height.

Sounds like it'll be a great night, way to go!
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Last edited by Chriscom; 12-06-2017 at 06:18 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2017, 10:42 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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The Beta 57 can handle no-pickup guitars or other instruments, and is rugged. Rugged is what you want. No, no pedals. I'd go with a cheap rugged dynamic mic for the vocals and announcements, maybe an SM58. I'd buy a few of those "snowball" foam windscreens meant for outdoors use and put them over the ball of the vocal mic. You may be surprised how grungy those will get, you can wash them out a few times before they fall apart. A sturdy bar-stool height stool would be nice for those that want to sit and play, it let's them be seen without a raised stage, and it will keep you from having to make as many large microphone adjustments between standing performers and sitting ones.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2017, 11:01 AM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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I agree with the consensus here:

Use the L1 on the floor.

Set up the Sennheiser for vocals and have the Beta57 available on another boom stand for guitars that have no pickups.

A stool is a good idea for the folks who want to play while sitting.

No pedals.

But I will add that you should get a simple DI box to make it easy to have all the pickup signals go to one mic channel on your little mixer. This will also let you put the mixer where you want without having to worry about the length of the performer's cable. All you'll need to do for each performer is to quickly set the gain on the channel and maybe do a little EQ adjusting, along with balancing the guitar and the vocal--although no one will be performing all that long, so you won't have time for any ideal dialing-in. Get two DIs if you think you may be getting some duos, etc.

Bring a few instrument and a few mic cables. They fail, and people don't always bring their own. Keep the instrument cables fairly short. 10-12 feet, just long enough for the performer to plug into the DI box at his or her feet. The mic cable can be as long as you need it to be to reach the mixer.

Pay attention to where you put the L1 with an ear to possible feedback problems (especially for the people who need to use the mic for their guitars). It may take a little experimentation before you find a compromise position that works for most performers. You won't need a lot of volume, so it shouldn't be that tricky.

Louis

Last edited by lschwart; 12-05-2017 at 11:14 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2017, 11:08 AM
endpin endpin is offline
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5. Anything else?

Be on the lookout for the ASCAP enforcers
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2017, 12:22 PM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endpin View Post
5. Anything else?



Be on the lookout for the ASCAP enforcers

Amen. They donít like regular people making music for free. :-)
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2017, 12:30 PM
rmsstrider rmsstrider is offline
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I appreciate all the advise so far.

I think if I understand everyone so far:

1. No pedals - use the mixer only- ok
2. Use the e835 for vocals -ok, buy foam windscreen.
3 Use the Shure 57 for non pick up instruments-ok - I need to get a second mic stand. or i do have a clip on K&K meridian condenser mic. That way they dont have to know how to play into a mic on a stand.
4. Have a stool set up -ok I have one.
5. Use a DI box- HMMM dont own one, not sure need?
6. Keep the Bose on the floor
7. MAKE EVERYONE WELCOME.
__________________
1991 Martin D16H
2016 Martin OOO-18
2017 Composite Acoustics Legacy
2018 Journey OF660
Bose L1 Compact
Rcf Lpad 6
Tc. Helcion Harmony Singer
Bodyrez
Roland Ac-33
Shure Beta 57A
Sennheise E835 x2
Blue Condenser Mic
K&K Meridian condenser mic
Zoom H4N
Fishman Aura 16
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2017, 01:50 PM
troggg troggg is offline
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Sorry for the sidetrack question ... but if I play "Harvest Moon" at a wine bar, how much do I owe Neil Young? And how am I supposed to get the money to ASCAP?
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2017, 01:51 PM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmsstrider View Post
I appreciate all the advise so far.

I think if I understand everyone so far:

1. No pedals - use the mixer only- ok
2. Use the e835 for vocals -ok, buy foam windscreen.
3 Use the Shure 57 for non pick up instruments-ok - I need to get a second mic stand. or i do have a clip on K&K meridian condenser mic. That way they dont have to know how to play into a mic on a stand.
4. Have a stool set up -ok I have one.
5. Use a DI box- HMMM dont own one, not sure need?
6. Keep the Bose on the floor
7. MAKE EVERYONE WELCOME.
You do need a DI (it doesn't have to be an expensive one). Your mixer does not have a high-z input, which means that if someone shows up with a guitar with a passive piezo pickup, you won't be able to connect them to the mixer in a way that will sound good. Maybe they'll be OK with the mic, but if they like their pickup, and that's what they're used to, you will want to be accommodating.

The DI box will turn the signal into a balanced, low-z signal that can go into one of the mic inputs. This has the added advantage of letting you put the box next to the performer, but putting the mixer wherever it is easier for you to control it while the performer is performing. Even with active pickups, you will need to keep the cable fairly short to avoid the possibilities of noise and signal loss, and that will constrain you in terms of where you put the mixer.

The Meridian mic does have the advantage you mention in terms of playing to a mic on a stand, but it's also more complicated to set up, so you want to be sure you're up for fitting it on and then taking it off of guitars as the performers take their turns on stage--you don't want there to be a lot of time between performers.

Louis
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2017, 01:55 PM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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I don't think he needs a DI if he is using the Bose L1C. It's designed for high impedance pickups, no?
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2017, 01:57 PM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
I don't think he needs a DI if he is using the Bose L1C. It's designed for high impedance pickups, no?
But he's going through the RCF mixer.

Louis
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2017, 01:58 PM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lschwart View Post
But he's going through the RCF mixer.



Louis

Ah, I see. I suggested he ditch the mixer and plug mic and guitar straight in. If anyone needs more than they they can share, or bring their own. :-)
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"Lift your head and smile at trouble." "You'll find happiness someday."
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2017, 02:03 PM
rmsstrider rmsstrider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lschwart View Post
You do need a DI (it doesn't have to be an expensive one). Your mixer does not have a high-z input, which means that if someone shows up with a guitar with a passive piezo pickup, you won't be able to connect them to the mixer in a way that will sound good. Maybe they'll be OK with the mic, but if they like their pickup, and that's what they're used to, you will want to be accommodating.

The DI box will turn the signal into a balanced, low-z signal that can go into one of the mic inputs. This has the added advantage of letting you put the box next to the performer, but putting the mixer wherever it is easier for you to control it while the performer is performing. Even with active pickups, you will need to keep the cable fairly short to avoid the possibilities of noise and signal loss, and that will constrain you in terms of where you put the mixer.

The Meridian mic does have the advantage you mention in terms of playing to a mic on a stand, but it's also more complicated to set up, so you want to be sure you're up for fitting it on and then taking it off of guitars as the performers take their turns on stage--you don't want there to be a lot of time between performers.

Louis
I do have a red eye preamp for my K&k pickups in my other guitars i can offer, But then it starts to get complicated doesn't it.
__________________
1991 Martin D16H
2016 Martin OOO-18
2017 Composite Acoustics Legacy
2018 Journey OF660
Bose L1 Compact
Rcf Lpad 6
Tc. Helcion Harmony Singer
Bodyrez
Roland Ac-33
Shure Beta 57A
Sennheise E835 x2
Blue Condenser Mic
K&K Meridian condenser mic
Zoom H4N
Fishman Aura 16
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