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Tech: Pedal for extra volume

GUEST,Herge 05 Apr 10 - 05:42 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 10 - 06:33 AM
Bonzo3legs 05 Apr 10 - 07:16 AM
Bonzo3legs 05 Apr 10 - 07:40 AM
matt milton 05 Apr 10 - 08:08 AM
Bernard 05 Apr 10 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Herge 05 Apr 10 - 02:30 PM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 10 - 04:46 PM
Tootler 05 Apr 10 - 07:49 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 10 - 08:19 PM
reggie miles 05 Apr 10 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Apr 10 - 08:42 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 10 - 08:55 PM
GUEST,punkfolrocker 05 Apr 10 - 09:05 PM
reggie miles 05 Apr 10 - 09:11 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 10 - 09:12 PM
reggie miles 05 Apr 10 - 09:15 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 10 - 09:16 PM
reggie miles 05 Apr 10 - 09:29 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 10 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Herge 06 Apr 10 - 04:19 AM
Bernard 06 Apr 10 - 07:11 AM
Bernard 06 Apr 10 - 07:23 AM
mandotim 06 Apr 10 - 08:06 AM
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Subject: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: GUEST,Herge
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 05:42 AM

In our band set up we have a SM58 for a singer - he will occassionaly play the banjo and we have to use the same mic. The settings for the banjo requires more volume and its not practictale to turn up and down each time he changes mic use. Is there a pedal that can do this?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:33 AM

Sort of.

Assuming your SM58 uses balanced line connectors and so terminates at an XLR plug, you want an unbalancing plug (XLR in, jack out - the sort with an internal transformer, not the sort that just shorts out half the signal - readily available from Maplins) then put it into a guitar graphics pedal set flat but with the necessary amount of gain, then into a DI box and then on to the desk.

But the unbalun will be about £10 to £15, the guitar pedal about £20 to £40, and the DI box about £20 to £40. You might as well buy an SM57 on ebay - or, cheaper and just as good, an AKG D770 - to use for the banjo.

Or for a little more money, get a decent pickup for the banjo.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 07:16 AM

Erm......nothing is "readily available" from Maplins!!! Don't forget that they employ peabrains.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 07:40 AM

Craplins jokes aside, I agree with Richard's suggestion. If you can use a soldering iron, I'm sure there are circuit diagrams (schematics) for a suitable unit which will do the job, some manufacturers kindly post circuits for their products.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: matt milton
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:08 AM

"he will occassionaly play the banjo and we have to use the same mic"

Whole question seems a bit unusual to me, as most venues have their fair share of mics and DI boxes. I frequently turn up to venues and just ask them to mic up my banjo.

Are you saying every time you play a banjo song, your singer moves the mic down from his face to the banjo? Most sound engineers I know would simply mic up his banjo with one of their in-house mics (which are often SM58s!)

sounds like your singer is too cheap to just buy a second microphone. The idea of buying any pedals so that you can use the same mic in two different contexts mid-gig is a bit absurd. It's like trying to wire your toaster so it'll also wash the dishes.

So let's get this straight: in your current band set-up your singer's vocals are EQd identically to his banjo?!? Volume-levels aside, it must sound pretty ropey.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: Bernard
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:36 AM

I'm constantly amazed by the way people look for a quick, cheap fix to a complex issue. Getting it right in the first place often works out cheaper!

If you're short of channels on your mixer, the cheapest and simplest solution is to add a sub-mixer - the Behringer Xenyx 1202 is cheap but effective.

If you want your singer/banjo player to be in control because you don't have a sound man (it seems to me), then the 1202 is small enough to rig on a mic stand, and there are dozens of ways it can be done.

Don't try using the same mic for both jobs - as has already been said, a banjo pickup is cheap enough. You don't need to use a DI if the pickup is going straight into a 'local' sub mixer.

You may find the unbalanced output of the 1202 needs a DI (cheap passive is okay) if you're working with long mic lines, say more than 5 metres, although running it 'floating' (disconnecting the shield at either end) rather than unbalanced can often be sufficient, unless running lines of over 30 metres (roughly).

Yes, we're talking about spending a little cash, but if you're doing paid gigs you owe it to the people who pay to see you to to make a little effort and reinvest some of the cash to improving your on-stage presence.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: GUEST,Herge
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:30 PM

What is wrong with a 'cheap quick fix'? if one is available - if not I'm prepared to pay. I'm only asking advice - if it cant be given in the tone it is asked dont bother - this is one of the things always annoyed me about Mudcat - there is sometimes a bitchy, snobby, elitist attitude to a non-expert asking what may appear a stupid question.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:46 PM

Well, as pointed out above: -

1. The quickest and dirtiest fix is about the cost of another mic.
2. It is not a very good fix (although you could use the guitar pedal crudely to alter EQ).
3. It is not illegitimate to suggest that a band working with a PA rig will be working for paying audiences and so might be wanting to work to a reasonable standard.

The answer in the best tradition of the Mudcat would have been "Why amplify a banjo?"


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 07:49 PM

Guest Herge,

No one was saying there was anything wrong with your proposed "cheap quick fix". What they were saying is that there is a better solution which at worst will cost you no more than the one you were proposing.

I suspect you are just a little bit touchy because you didn't get the answer you wanted to hear.

If you ask a question such as you did on Mudcat, you can expect to get a whole host of suggestions from people who have years of experience in using PA systems - each, let alone combined.

These people are trying to be helpful, so I suggest you try to accept their advice in the spirit it was intended - to try and help you do a better job of miking up your banjo.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:19 PM

"elitist attitude to a non-expert asking what may appear a stupid question. "

"Those who think they know everything only upset those of us who do"

Now THAT's elitist!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: reggie miles
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:40 PM

Herge,

I'm not certain that there is a volume pedal that can accomplish this but then again, there are many new toys arriving every day in music stores. I don't believe volume pedals for instruments will work the same way for a vocal mic. As others here have stated already, there are means by which one can use such items to solve the issue but the cost may become prohibitive.

Here is my simple, no cost solution to your issue. This could and should work but it may depend upon your PA system, band configuration, type of music you're presenting and perhaps even the kinds of venues you are playing. You've not mentioned any of that here, only, singer, banjo, band, and SM58. It's hard to offer a better solution without more facts but you can't get any cheaper than a free solution.

Here's mine. Could it be possible to merely turn the volume of the mic up to what is needed for the banjo and then when your singer sings he can simply back off the mic to reduce volume level for his vocals? There you go, a free solution, that doesn't hurt your wallet. Let me know if it works, or if you've tried this idea already.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:42 PM

... errrmmm.. something like this ..???

I'm no techie, so you'd need to check the 'specs' to confirm if it'd work well enough with mic levels
and if it'd be too noisy without balanced DI..

http://www.artecsound.com/effect/vpl-1.htm


"Artec Volume Pedal VPL-1
The VPL-1 Artec Volume Pedal features minimum and maximum volume controls and 2 outputs (1 fixed gain and 1 adjustable gain)."

approx £40 before haggling.. + a few quid for a couple of XLR to jack converters..


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 08:55 PM

"merely turn the volume of the mic up to what is needed for the banjo"

I had thought of suggesting that, but assumed that the mic position also would be adjusted lower to 'hear' the banjo and back up for the singer - unless the singer is a dwarf.... but then again, that might have been mentioned if it was the case....


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: GUEST,punkfolrocker
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:05 PM

.. of course the cheapest option is to get the singer to hold the banjo right up close to the mic,


then train him to stand back with his mouth further away from it when singing.......

a measured length of industrial strength bunjee rope
attached to his waist and a rear wall might do the trick...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: reggie miles
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:11 PM

I've been in this situation, one mic having to do both duties, with no easy access to the board to alter volume levels and no sound man. I simply turned up the volume of the mic, to adequately offer enough volume for both my instrument and voice and then alternated the distance that I approached the mic with either. I also altered my attack on my instrument.

This is a solution that many bluegrass bands use in these parts to feature both soloists and vocalists. I've seen a whole band using just one centrally placed mike. However, that is acoustic bluegrass music. The band in question may not be acoustic in nature, especially if they are having trouble hearing the banjo. Most banjos, that I'm familiar with, have no trouble being heard but I know that there are different styles of banjo and different approaches to playing them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:12 PM

"a non-expert asking what may appear a stupid question"

and a reply

"need to check the 'specs' to confirm if it'd work well enough with mic levels and if it'd be too noisy without balanced DI.."

You see, to the ignorant (and I'm being factual, not insulting) all is easy, to the experienced, there are concepts that the 'non-expert' may never have heard of, let alone understand, or better, understand the importance and necessity of.

To the experienced, there is no need to insult those of less experience, and it is also wrong to assume that all the experienced WANTS to do is spray insults around, but having just finished a short session giving a first experience of a Piano Accordion to a couple of 11-12 year olds, I have just been over all this ground again... :-)

One sister has a fair degree of training and experience of a few years with keyboard (the piano) and 'music theory' and will sit down of her own free will at the family's old battered and partly out of tune piano and play for ages by herself, her sister has more experience on other non-keyboard instruments, and only a little keyboard experience with less 'music theory'.

'Music theory' - scales and chords - on which technical basis the P/A is built, especially the bass side, the more you know about such things, the easier the instrument is to play.

Guess which sister took to it like a 'duck to water', actually playing tunes by ear/from memory and finding some of the bass chords - she had never heard of "I IV V" before, but picked it up quickly - and which sister struggled? :-)

I think perhaps the "VPL-1 Artec Volume Pedal" is the concept that Herge wanted, but as the 'more experienced/experts' mentioned, whether it will actually 'do the job' because of the physical tecnhicalites, plug types, signal levels, noise levels, etc, etc, etc, is beyond even the guesses of the 'experts' who have never had their hands on the ACTUAL gadget...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: reggie miles
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:15 PM

Er, I meant centrally placed "mic" not "mike." If you put Mike in the middle, there's no telling what kind of sound you'll get.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:16 PM

Both punkfolkrocker and Reggie have just given elegant practical suggestions which are equally useful, but without actually seeing the physical setup of the actual bits (which for an experienced person will reveal things which a non expert giving reports of will miss), then the old saying YMMV "Your Mileage May Vary" applies.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: reggie miles
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:29 PM

That's true. I'm only speaking of how it worked for me, an acoustic guitarist and vocalist and with an acoustic bluegrass ensemble. If you're trying to pump up the volume of a banjo in some kind of an electric combo, you might encounter feedback issues by trying to turn up the volume of the vocal mic.

It depends on what else is going on around you on stage. If you've got screaming electric guitar, throbbing electric bass and a drummer that sounds like a machine gun on steroids to contend with, a little feedback might not be so bad. It might even help.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:55 PM

"If you put Mike in the middle, there's no telling what kind of sound you'll get. "

And if you put me (Robin) in the middle and play around me, you just end with a Round-Robin...


Robin


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: GUEST,Herge
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:19 AM

Hi Folks - thanks for the usefull advice. We have a very compact set up on stage (Bose L1 m2, 2 x Bose tone match ((hence limited inputs)) so an additional mini desk may be our best option. ALthough I am always striving for the least amount of gear possible for ease of set up / break down / carriage.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:11 AM

Fair enough!

Had you explained that from the outset it would have saved a lot of speculation and misunderstanding. If you're using Bose kit you certainly aren't skimping!

A mini-mixer isn't going to cause you too much hassle, and may even provide you with more flexibility than you expected.

You won't need to worry about the 'unbalanced' output, as you'll only be using short cable runs - but bear in mind it will be 'line level' and not 'mic level'. In other words, if you plug a mini-mixer into a microphone socket it could possibly distort, so make sure you either use a line input, or a mic input that can be attenuated to line level.

If your line level input is already in use, remember that the mini-mixer will have spare line level inputs, so it doesn't matter.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:23 AM

It looks as if the 'Tone Match' unit has four independently programmable inputs (I've not had my hands on one yet), so you should be able to find a preset that provides a suitable input level. I'm guessing that 'General Keys' (a keyboard preset) will be near enough to start with.

We used to be Bose agents until they had their shake-up a few years ago. We've got twenty 802s, ten 402s and an assortment of 101s and model 25s in our hire inventory...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Pedal for extra volume
From: mandotim
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 08:06 AM

I've got a Tonematch for my BOse L1 rig. One of those will do the job very nicely.


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