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First time festival

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IainB View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 May 2019 at 3:52pm
Hopefully not a stupid question, but thought I would ask here first :-) 
A local charity close to my heart is running a fund raiser Festival in July (think local bands in a small marquee) and Ive offered to help out with the PA side.
We have our first meeting mid-week and Im wondering what questions I should be asking about band requirements, this side is all very new to me, DJ setups - not a problem, bands is a new kettle of fish so to speak and the organizers are also new to setting a festival up so everyone is a bit in the dark (and yes with only 7 weeks to sort, im sure its going to be 'fun' getting everything in order) 
Thanks for any assistance 
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KDW32 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KDW32 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 4:01pm
Can you live mix a band or is someone else doing that?

Edited by KDW32 - 20 May 2019 at 4:01pm
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MattStolton View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattStolton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 4:14pm
What scale? How many bands of what size, and how many punters?

First thing to get them to do, is appoint a stage manager. They will get the next band on, in the wings ready to go on, and get the current band off. Saves you running around looking for the talent, when your busy mixing. They will also deal with the bands that turn up 3 hours early, and deal with where to put their stuff, off-stage.

See if sharing a drum kit is feasible. Each band bring snare and cymbals, but saves ages getting kits on/off.

Work from the biggest (headline) band backwards. If you can accommodate the headline act, then anything smaller is generally covered.

Typically 4 or 6 monitor mix for small stage, with side-fills if bigger. FOH to suit number of punters. Compared with a DJ rig, double it for number of punters for live sound, for headroom.

A typical small festy for me is 4 radio mics up front deployed to meet that acts needs. DI's everywhere to simply plug in as required, and some 57s on stands for guitar cabs. 5 or 6 mics on drums. 4 mons for 4 vox, and a couple for instrument players. Covers typical 4/5 piece covers bands in most instances.

Doing a small outdoor one in a few weeks (perhaps 500 peeps, 8 bands in 7 hours, plus acts to cover changeover time). Luckily the promoter is a control freak, so I get a stage manager, and a rider, in advance, for every act. usually no more than 5 minutes late at any one point in time!

Prior information is key for planning, last minute "additions" are always a clusterfuck. Time for band on/off is also critical to smooth running.
Matt Stolton - Technical Director (!!!) - Wilding Sound Ltd
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GAZ. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAZ. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 4:34pm
Where abouts are you?
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Chris Grimshaw View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Grimshaw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 5:14pm
There's quite a difference between live sound and DJ-only events.

Assuming you've got a reasonable system for DJ use, here's what you'll need:

- More mics
- Lots of mic stands
- Lots of XLR
- Stage monitors (plus amplification)
- A mixing desk with a minimum of 16 inputs, preferably either digital or with a rack of outboard
- Someone that can mix live sound, including monitors.

I don't want to scare you, but I do want to make sure you're being realistic here.

Chris
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Jo bg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jo bg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 6:10pm
Originally posted by Chris Grimshaw Chris Grimshaw wrote:

There's quite a difference between live sound and DJ-only events.

Assuming you've got a reasonable system for DJ use, here's what you'll need:

- More mics
- Lots of mic stands
- Lots of XLR
- Stage monitors (plus amplification)
- A mixing desk with a minimum of 16 inputs, preferably either digital or with a rack of outboard
- Someone that can mix live sound, including monitors.

Chris


... and DIs and more cables, and a digital or analog snake.
It takes a lot more gear and a different skillset to deal with bands (if you need to mic more than voice only).
do you know how to mic a drumkit or a guitar amp? when you need a DI?
do you know how to ring out monitors or to deal with feedback in a live situation?
have you ever mixed a live band?

if you miss this tools and skills, either team up with someone who has them, or simply offer to provide just FOH pa clarifing that they need backline/monitors/mics... and an engineer.

you will still help them but you will avoid to ruin the event and your reputation if something goes wrong.


Be extremely clear about what you can provide and what you NEED to run the show (power, more working monitors, a set of mics or system tech...)
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IainB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IainB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 6:42pm
Thanks all, as always much appreciated 
Gaz - im over in WGC
Currently Ive said I will provide the PA, I haven't mentioned stage management, mixing the band or indeed setting up mics for guitars / drums, I do have an old analogue Berry MX3242X and a snake, but would need to acquire additional mics/stands 
I will be open and honest at the meeting and see what happens.
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KDW32 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KDW32 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 7:16pm
get the tech riders in for the bands asap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacethebase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 7:26pm
Find a small local PA company and get a quote of them for everything except racks n stacks.

Watch what they do and slowly start buying the bits you need, then in a few years you can do it alone.

Best of luck :)


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GAZ. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAZ. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 9:48pm
Originally posted by IainB IainB wrote:

Thanks all, as always much appreciated 
Gaz - im over in WGC
Currently Ive said I will provide the PA, I haven't mentioned stage management, mixing the band or indeed setting up mics for guitars / drums, I do have an old analogue Berry MX3242X and a snake, but would need to acquire additional mics/stands 
I will be open and honest at the meeting and see what happens.


In that case if you want to take a 10 minute trip down the road to hertford, I can help you with any advice and kit you need.
100% Earth Moving Bass
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IainB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IainB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 10:13pm
Originally posted by GAZ. GAZ. wrote:

Originally posted by IainB IainB wrote:

Thanks all, as always much appreciated 
Gaz - im over in WGC
Currently Ive said I will provide the PA, I haven't mentioned stage management, mixing the band or indeed setting up mics for guitars / drums, I do have an old analogue Berry MX3242X and a snake, but would need to acquire additional mics/stands 
I will be open and honest at the meeting and see what happens.


In that case if you want to take a 10 minute trip down the road to hertford, I can help you with any advice and kit you need.

You sir are an absolute star, let me see how the meeting goes and I will be in touch Smile
2Kool4OldSkool.co.uk
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GAZ. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAZ. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 10:25pm
If this event doesn’t clash with anything else I’ve got on I can most probably work with you.
No disrespect, but there’s a lot involved with doing live sound and throwing yourself in at the deep end and trying to do your first event with no experience will not end well!
100% Earth Moving Bass
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