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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #158441  by TRG
 Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:46 am
SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:"Some of the tips Dan has shared with me over the years going as far back as 1988:"
Thanks again for offering up this info - very helpful!
 #158443  by gratefulfork
 Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:06 am
I suppose if I'm running Hi Passes on everything, only the lowest bass notes are going to get routed to the sub by the crossover, so it shouldn't muddy things up, right?
The QSC K Series has internal crossover. If you have your tops set to "EXT. SUB" (external sub) everything below 100hz will be routed to the sub.
 #158446  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:40 am
gratefulredhead wrote:So Brad, another question if you don't mind (and thank you very much for taking the time to share this information with us!), Would you think that running a sub woofer would tend to be counter productive then? My system is a QSC powered K series PA. I use K-10s with a K Sub. Would I be better off with K-12s as my main and no sub? I'm thinking this is probably a silly question, as I'm writing it. I suppose if I'm running Hi Passes on everything, only the lowest bass notes are going to get routed to the sub by the crossover, so it shouldn't muddy things up, right?

Seems to me that the subwoofers should pretty much only be carrying the lower end of the bass guitar and maybe hints, just hints of toms and kick. But really it's all about bass guitar down there. The K-10's sound better on vocals than the K-12's, so I kind of prefer them sonically. But yeah, they won't quite reach down as low as the larger K-12's. In a smaller room, you really may not need subs with the K-12's. But the K-10's will reach down there if they aren't asked to be too loud or fill a large or outdoor space. I think the K-10's with subs is a pretty ideal small system. That stuff is great sounding.

And now seeing that the QSC crosses over to the sub at 100Hz, yes, there will be some kick drum "meat" in there too, but just not much because of the hi-passing done to the kick channel.

B
 #158447  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:56 am
gratefulfork wrote:Brad,
Glad we agree on the compression as limiting approach to live drums. My thresholds are pretty much only set at the "ouch" volume for drums.

Matt
I will admit though that I mostly tend to adhere to Healy's fairly strict philosophy of never doing anything with compression or limiting to drums at all. Only with maybe a really bad drummer with terrible dynamics and a tendency to get too soft and disappear at times will I reach for tools to clamp down and squash the sloppy dynamics, basically allowing the soft quiet stuff to be kept UP and preventing the loud stuff from being too much.

There's just generally something a bit un-appealing that can happen to a drum's tone and attack if comp/limiting are applied. Done right with really good tools, it's very cool, and it's something very often done in the studio to fit a drum into a mix and control the dynamic variances. So when doing it live, it just takes very careful settings, very conscious choices around the attack time (which is critical), to preserve enough attack impact without dulling the power of the drum hits. With the Dead, he very much wanted an absolutely pure drum hit and the peak levels were perfectly addressed in soundcheck knowing how loud the very loudest hits would be. And you can kind of cheat with drums since the attack transients are so brief, you can throw them at a PA system pretty hard without hearing clipping. Amps can handle brief excursions like that, even when they exceed the RMS rating of the amps. Was there ever a better big-concert drum sound than what Healy got? Ever?

B
 #158464  by Pete B.
 Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:45 pm
Is there a brand/model Limiter that you could recommend for us weekend warriors?
 #158465  by zambiland
 Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:48 pm
gratefulfork wrote:Thanks for the info! A note on compressors from someone who does live sound for up and coming groups - Healy was working with the most dynamic band possible in very large acoustic spaces. No other group plays with the dynamics of the dead. Other deadish bands - fine. However I would hesitate to apply the compress nothing rule when it comes to general live sound - especially in club settings and with bands that haven't gotten their live show to the point of the dead (so most people) as compressors can be valuable dynanic and tone shaping tools when applied to drums and vocals. Most musicians are not on the dead's level of dynamics and tone control and therefore could use the help from the FOH. Just my two cents, take it or leave it.
Back in the mid 80s, when I got my Tascam Portastudio, I used to practice keeping the VU meter consistent, from finger style to slap. Last year, a sound person friend of mine was describing to someone how me mixed and then he brought up bass and how he would eq and compress things and then pointed to me and said "Except Edwin, he sends me a pre-EQ'd and compressed signal and I just bring up the fader." He was surprised to find I've never used a compressor live.

Practice pays off. Each note counts.
 #158466  by strumminsix
 Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:18 pm
Pete B. wrote:Is there a brand/model Limiter that you could recommend for us weekend warriors?
My experience: love my PreSonus Eureka
 #158467  by gratefulfork
 Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:55 pm
He was surprised to find I've never used a compressor live.
zambiland you are every sound engineer's dream! I cannot stress enough how much easier people like you make the job! :cool:
 #158473  by zambiland
 Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:21 am
gratefulfork wrote:
He was surprised to find I've never used a compressor live.
zambiland you are every sound engineer's dream! I cannot stress enough how much easier people like you make the job! :cool:
Seems like it's all part of the gig.
 #158563  by zambiland
 Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:15 pm
gratefulfork wrote:Hey Brad,
Any info on what mics the crew used on the drums over the years?
Thanks,
Matt
They started out with EV RE series mics, through the Wall of Sound era (love the dynamic mic overhead sound!), but I bet after that it changed constantly.

Could be wrong.
 #158566  by gratefulfork
 Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:30 pm
zambiland, do you know which ones they used on what within that? I have a pair of RE 15s that I use on guitars, but maybe I should give them a shot on drums.
Thanks,
Matt
 #158567  by zambiland
 Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:08 pm
gratefulfork wrote:zambiland, do you know which ones they used on what within that? I have a pair of RE 15s that I use on guitars, but maybe I should give them a shot on drums.
Thanks,
Matt
I think basically RE15s and RE16s, and I heard that Bear also used omnis here and there, for improved off axis response. Beyond that, I'm not sure.
 #158575  by Brandon Bowlds
 Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:59 am
Thanks Brad, I'm glad somebody is saying it. I experience the curse of too much sub on the kick very often. Drives me up a wall, especially when I am playing bass!!!