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Viewing topic "Usin XS on stage sounds terrible"

     
Posted on: March 31, 2009 @ 03:04 PM
msavard
Total Posts:  200
Joined  07-22-2004
status: Pro

I have a problem. Using the XS at home sounds fantastic. Using it with headphones sounds fantastic. When I see/hear others use it live, it sounds fantastic. When I use it on the platform playing at my church, it sounds terrible.

My church uses a fancy new large yamaha mixer, has plenty of sound ‘power’, but it still sounds terrible. It almost sounds like I’m listening through a little radio or something.

One thing is that I have to go mono because that is all we have wired at the moment. We also have a Korg Trinity (I always thought it was neat/funny to be using a keyboard called the Trinity in a Christan Church)and despite its old sound, it sounds really good through the same system.

Any ideas what could be going wrong? I have a big performance this Sunday and am almost embarrassed to play the XS. I would rather use the ice pick piano on the korg.

I am going to try going out in the sanctuary and listen from out there. Maybe it’s just the monitors, but if anyone has any ideas of what to try, please let me know.

Thanks.
Matt

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Posted on: March 31, 2009 @ 04:58 PM
SpongeBob
Total Posts:  1588
Joined  11-19-2006
status: Guru

First, make sure you’re hooked up properly in mono by using the Left output only. Make sure nothing is plugged into the right output. Then you have to experiment around to find the right sound. EQ is very important as well. Big church systems usually have to pull everything back (subtract) to keep from booming, which can flatten out the sound as well.

What you’ll need is yourself, the keyboard, a knowledgeable sound-man and some time to sort things out. I assume you’re trying to use a piano voice. If this is the case, then try an EP voice like Dyno Chorus (pre 1 038) or Galaxy (pre1 059) instead. These voices play well everywhere I’ve tried them. Other, more piano-like voices, are Ballad Key (pre 1 010) or Ballad Stack (pre 1 012). Piano sounds can be really tough to get set up correctly. T

Also keep in mind that things sound different in a live setting from when the speakers are closer at home, or using cans. There is an almost disembodied sound in some places, if you know what I mean. You press a key, and the sound comes out way over there. Self-monitoring can solve for you, but does not fix the house sound.

Just a few thoughts.

Bob

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Posted on: March 31, 2009 @ 06:29 PM
motif8mine
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Total Posts:  1743
Joined  10-22-2004
status: Guru

If the keyboard sounded good enough for you to purchase and you’ve heard others sound good playing in other venues, including live, I’m not sure why the XS should garner the blame here…

As SB said, you need time and somebody that knows what they are doing. Mixing is a lot like playing an instrument- you have people that toy with it; some who sound good in a garage or basement; some who are good enough to make a little money on weekends; some who can tour and record; and, every now and then you run into a Tuck Andress, John Mayer, Kirk Whalum type who do things with your own instrument / mixer you didn’t know were possible…

Anyway, you really didn’t give enough details to suggest much of anything helpful and most Churches are not necessarily built with the acoustic concerns of the musicians in mind…

There are just so many things that could be going on…

Has the room been EQ’d or treated in any way… (Before I EQ’d our Church nothing sounded good: mics, instruments, speech was unintelligible, bass was boomy, mics always fedback, etc… Now it is just the opposite)

Is the floor Carpet / concrete? Brick walls / wood / drywall / acoustic treatment? Low or high ceilings? Do you have a lot of feedback problems in general? Boomy bass? Dead spots? Excess natural reverb? How are you connecting to the mixer? Directbox? Quality of cables?

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Posted on: March 31, 2009 @ 06:36 PM
motif8mine
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Total Posts:  1743
Joined  10-22-2004
status: Guru

Also, what exactly does ‘sounds terrible mean?

Too much mid-range? Muddy? Trebly? Bassy? Distorted? And, are effects being added to the internal effects of the XS?

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Posted on: March 31, 2009 @ 08:12 PM
msavard
Total Posts:  200
Joined  07-22-2004
status: Pro

Thanks for all the replies. I will try and explain it all in a little while. I have to practice right now.

A couple of quick answers though…

-I know the XS isn’t the problem, that’s what is frustrating about it. The whole reason I wanted to play it instead of the Korg Trinity is because it sounds so much better.

-I am playing pianos and organs. I am actually using a piano from the free sounds on the Yamaha Japan site. It seems to be a bit brighter when you hit hard than the preset one.

-All the connections are fine (going out just the left channel mono, nothing in the right, etc)

-The sound man is pretty good (he does it for a living)

-I haven’t heard the sound out in the church yet, just from the stage, so possible just the monitors

-The sound sounds boomy in on the lower end of the keyboard, but in the mid section, almost squashed or like preset A09.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer. I’m sorry I didn’t give you much to go on.

Matt

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Posted on: March 31, 2009 @ 08:51 PM
motif8mine
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Total Posts:  1743
Joined  10-22-2004
status: Guru

I’m in no way trying to diss your sound man, let’s face it, most of the people doing it at their Church are volunteers, whether they know what they’re doing or not… The point I was making is that even with being able to make a living at it, there are infinite levels of expertise… In another post, I listed the most amazing thing i had ever heard musically…

1) Stevie Wonder in a hockey rink (Riverfront Coliseum) with absolutely crystal clear sound and no echo. {the sound engineers (well versed in Physics), pointed several speakers at the nose bleed sections that were producing echo, took the sound waves out of phase, delayed the signal to match when the echo would occur, and effectively made it impossible for the human ear to hear the echo}, simply amazing… I was in the nose bleeds, it sounded like a studio…

So, the sound in a live setting is ultimately a collaboration. It’s only as good as the acoustics, the expertise of the sound engineer, and your ability to both play and articulate what you are looking for in the sound..

A few years ago I led worship at a Mega Church. And, despite my articulating my needs to the sound persons, they pretty much refused to EQ the low end of my tracks properly, (I think they must have cut all bass response below about 400K. The bass drum sounded like a piece of paper). Anyway, it led to a very awkward time of trying to sing to what sounded like amateurish tracks, being completely unable to discern where the beat was. Five minutes after I finished, their worship leader sang a solo and the main sound engineer had taken over the board. In the first three notes of the song, you could hear the difference: sub-woofers are a beautiful thing!

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Posted on: March 31, 2009 @ 10:55 PM
JerboDaPianoGuy
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Total Posts:  37
Joined  02-05-2009
status: Regular

Howdy!  Are you sure that the Master Effects aren’t on by accident, and set to something like a wacky compressor?  That could squash the sound in the way that you’re hearing, possibly.  Good luck!

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Posted on: April 03, 2009 @ 09:18 AM
msavard
Total Posts:  200
Joined  07-22-2004
status: Pro

Thanks for all the feedback. When I went to practice again, I checked the sound by recording a little piano peice and playing it back while I went out in front of everything to listen. It did sound good out there. Also, I had a monitor just for me (instead of sharing it between 2 keyboardists and not pointed directly at me) and that helped a lot.

Thanks again.
Matt

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