This is the tenth installment in guest blogger Steve Lagudi’s series on Guitars & Bass in a Live Setting – if you missed Part 1 of this blog on Acoustic Guitars, you can read it here.
*This post is a continuation of Part 1…
Life on the road.
Mic choice can get a little tricky here. Using condensers is the best way to go, but you have to keep in mind, this increases the probability of feedback – not only in the monitors, but from the PA as well. So please be careful when setting your gain and your proximity to the monitors and PA speakers. It is very important that the monitors get rung out to avoid any potential feedback issues. Same goes for the PA. If you think feedback will be an issue, then play it safe and just use dynamics. On a day when you have time to experiment using condensers, then by all means go for it then.
Treatment on these can vary. Once again, it all depends on what is being played. Soft, gentle strumming material that is dynamic, I might not treat at all – I will let the player create his own dynamics. Other times they might be all over the place, in which case I will add some compression. 2:1 ratio, medium attack and release getting around 3 or 4Db of gain reduction. I might go a li’l higher on the ratio if I have someone really digging in. As I always say, I just wanna smooth it out, nothing dramatic.
For effects, simple and straightforward – I just add reverb. Plates or halls, both sound amazing. Decay times vary of course, but anything between 1 to 1.6 seconds is the area that I tend to be in. Just be careful not to drown it in reverb. I hear people do it all the time and I know it might seem cool and fun, but too much can just ruin it. Just my opinion.
That pretty much covers it. I don’t like to go too crazy with things. I am fortunate enough to work with a lot of really great musicians, some of whom are big gear heads, and take a lot of time to get their sound right. Not only do I appreciate that, but so does the audience. You can no doubt hear and appreciate a great sound, and when you have a great sound directly from the source, then it will just make your job that much easier.
Stay tuned to the Where It’s A-T for more blog posts from Steve Lagudi!