38 votes
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In live performance, what is a "monitor"

In many live music contexts, musicians have the problem of hearing themselves clearly. Typically when playing loud, musicians are positioned behind the main speakers (heard by the audience) to avoid ...
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  • 35.7k
24 votes
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What is balanced audio all about?

A balanced setup prevents electro-magnetic interference from corrupting an audio signal, such as one going between a microphone and a preamp, for example. Cables themselves are not balanced, but an ...
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  • 4,700
23 votes
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Why would a guitarist use a microphone and direct output from an acoustic guitar?

As others have noted, the properties of the signal from the microphone and from the piezo pickup will be different. The microphone picks up the same kind of air vibrations your ear does. The piezo ...
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22 votes
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Using two microphones for vocals

In these pictures it's likely that one mic is for the PA and the other mic is for recording. Either they didn't have mic splitters or they didn't trust them! This was a very common way of doing things ...
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20 votes

Loudness of A Contrabass

This is partly a myth and partly due to the physical size of the bass. Some people (even professional musicians) believe that low frequency sound waves "need room to develop". That's completely false....
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19 votes
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Mic use for masked performers

I'm going to offer a non-technological suggestion. As several answers have already observed, you're fighting some impossibilities (not the least of which is "I have been assigned to improve the ...
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  • 7,644
17 votes

Mic use for masked performers

There are three things I'd recommend in terms of PA-settings that do usually make a significant improvement on intelligibility in excessively reverberant rooms: Cut the bass. Like, properly. Many ...
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16 votes
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What type of microphone is this?

It's not a microphone; it's directional antenna for wireless microphone systems. See http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/wireless-systems/wireless-systems-antennas for details.
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  • 2,639
13 votes
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How does a DI box work together with guitar?

The most important difference between passive and active DIs is that the latter have a much higher input impedance: usually something like 200 kΩ, whereas a passive DI "inherits" the low impedance of ...
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12 votes

Why acoustic-guitar often use direct output instead of amp miking while on-stage?

Amp miking is basically a ridiculous thing to do: a speaker is, in principle, a device to make an electric signal audible. A microphone is a device to do the opposite. Neither does its job perfectly, ...
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11 votes

How does a DI box work together with guitar?

A DI ("Direct Input") box converts a signal on an unbalanced lead into a signal on a balanced lead (that is, usually a lead with XLR connectors). The advantage of a balanced lead, of course, is that ...
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  • 35.7k
10 votes

Why would a guitarist use a microphone and direct output from an acoustic guitar?

The sound from a microphone inside the guitar (or piezo pickups as in the case with Clapton) is different from the sound outside of the guitar. The signal from internal microphones or pickups will be ...
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10 votes

In live performance, what is a "monitor"

As a sound technician for my church, one of the most important roles is making sure the musicians can hear themselves. This is done by controlling the levels in the monitors. Often, these sit on the ...
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  • 201
10 votes
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Why acoustic-guitar often use direct output instead of amp miking while on-stage?

Feedback, bleed, clarity in the mix. All these apply to both miking an amp and miking the guitar directly without using an amp. These apply to using microphones in general, in any instrument, with or ...
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  • 15.9k
10 votes

What does a DI box do?

A DI box breaks the galvanic connection. It's most important use is breaking ground loops, and also for changing unbalanced signals to balanced (the latter transfering better over long connections). ...
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  • 101
9 votes
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Pop filters and dealing with plosives in live performance

I can't recall ever seeing it, but do people use pop filters in a live/concert/performance setting? I see where you are coming from. We see all these vocalists almost eating the mic and screaming and ...
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  • 15.9k
9 votes

Pros & cons of in-ear monitors (IEM)

I play both cello and E-bass live with rock bands. For cello (this would probably extend quite well to most other acoustic instruments) in-ears are nothing short of a blessing. With conventional ...
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9 votes

Loudness of A Contrabass

If the sound 'developing' includes adding some reverb, I can see what they're talking about. But this isn't unique to bass instruments. There's a rule-of-thumb in 'classical' recording that you ...
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8 votes
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How to put PA speaker so I can't get any feedback?

The standard for big gigs is for the PA speakers to be in front of the performers, pointing at the audience. So as not to block the view, they're typically in front and to the side, or above the stage ...
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8 votes

What's the difference between bass and guitar heads?

The demands on an amplifier/speaker combo designed to reproduce the sounds desired for bass guitar are different than for a regular guitar. To accurately and faithfully reproduce the low ...
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8 votes

Cheap way to make sound from a MIDI keyboard, without PC

Firstly, does your USB keyboard have MIDI out (DIN) sockets as well... ...or is it USB only? If it is USB only, then it is possible to get a hardware converter (from USB to traditional 'DIN' MIDI) ...
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8 votes

Cheap way to make sound from a MIDI keyboard, without PC

If you're willing to do it DIY, single board computers like a Raspberry Pi have enough processing oomph to act as (simple) synthesizers. They come with a USB and sound ports, it's just a matter of ...
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  • 17.5k
8 votes
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How to reduce noise in a mixing console

Mixing consoles don't have space to house top-notch (and expensive) discrete preamps. The Soundcraft preamps may be, well decent – that is, sufficient for any typical source: condenser mics and active ...
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8 votes
Accepted

How do musicians synchronize with the playback keyboards/ambience when live?

The drummer usually has a click (and the track) in his (in-ear) monitor. The rest of the band can choose if they want the additional track in their monitors or not. As long as they can hear the ...
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  • 19.5k
8 votes

How to close the gap between the engineered drum sound and the live drum kit?

I'm not sure you'll achieve this completely in a 200-seater, because the sound of the kit itself in the room will still be fully audible even from the cheap seats at the back, unless you are a loud ...
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  • 22.9k
7 votes

Why would a guitarist use a microphone and direct output from an acoustic guitar?

Adding to Meaningful Username's answer, the different sources (piezo pickup vs microphone) emphasise different parts of the guitar's sound. Not only is it used to help the sound be more consistent etc....
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  • 71
7 votes

In live performance, what is a "monitor"

Another term for monitoring is 'foldback', which sums it up quite nicely. The sound is re-routed via speakers- on stage or in ear,in order to be useful to each muso. Care needs to be taken that the ...
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  • 174k
7 votes

Who plays the chords during a live performance when lead guitarist is soloing?

Led Zeppelin was impressive for many reasons, including the fact that they relied on musicianship and live performance to produce live arrangements of heavily produced and overdubbed songs that ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Advantages/Disadvantages of a line out compared to a close mic system

The biggest advantage for line out is that you don't have to worry about feedback, and that you can model the tone without worrying about positioning, angles, mics, bleeding, etc; which is a ...
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  • 15.9k
7 votes
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Microphone pick up patterns for live performance - advantages/disadvantages of cardioid, supercardioid or hypercardioid?

I see in the comments that you are already familiar with the polar patterns. For the readers that don't know them, here they are: Polar pattern: A microphone's directionality or polar pattern ...
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