MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

First gig in ages - technical rider?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author First gig in ages - technical rider?
jbucks
In late January I'll do the first gig I've done in more than 10 years, and it will be the first with my modular. I'm doing the paperwork for the venue, including filling out a technical rider - how best to fill this out? To what level of detail?

I have a 9u modular in 2 cases, plus a desktop Mackie mixer. So I just need a small table, three power outlets, and a stereo channel into their house mixer. Anything else I'm forgetting? The venue is pretty small...
thesnow
flo
Monitoring? Free Guinness ftw!? hmmm.....
Navs
Our stage at Basic Electricity is small - I would find out exactly what size table they can offer and whether it will accommodate your rig. Will you be seated or hunched over the table? Where will you put your patch-cables?

If you need any special cables, make sure you bring them or discuss your needs with the venue. Light is also oft overlooked - I had to play a gig at the Musikmesse with a torch in my mouth d'oh! Last thing, leave enough time so you can set up and soundcheck in a relaxed manner.

And make sure you bring a screw driver and spare fuses for your modular!
flo
Navs wrote:
Light is also oft overlooked - I had to play a gig at the Musikmesse with a torch in my mouth d'oh!


I've done that so many times meh Definitely take a torch to each and every gig.

Also a fresh T-shirt hmmm.....
Arturo00
Ask for:

- DI x2 (active or passive, as long as you get enough)
- Table(s) (dimensions)
- Chair(s)
- AC at table
- Monitor(s)
- Mic(s) (if required)

I personally would never ask for personal lighting, unless it's something that a venue should provide (like stage lighting). Otherwise, I think that's something you should think about bringing yourself.

Depending on your Mackie mixer, many of them have XLR outs that can switch to mic level, so DIs might not be necessary. And like Navs said, make sure you're totally covered for cables. Nothing worse than someone coming unprepared. I used to have guitarists show up without patch cords!!! The last thing a sound guy wants to deal with is wasting time getting things for people that they should have brought themselves...like patch cords.

Then there's other stuff, like water, alcohol, meal tickets, towels, etc.
Stab Frenzy
A few things I always specify on tech riders whether it's a show I'm playing or a show I'm mixing:

- A sober and competent house engineer. Breaking this one can be subjective, but if your show is ruined because the house engineer is wasted/incompetent then you can point out that the venue broke its agreement with you.
- No Behringer DIs. I take my own Radial DIs everywhere now, but before I did that I specified no Behringer. The DI100s are noisy and destroy your tops and bottom end.
- Adequate time to soundcheck. Unless you're very confident in the skills of your engineer and the quality of the foldback system you're gonna want to soundcheck. A guitarist can get up on stage with a terrible monitoring situation and at least they can still hear what they're doing. Going DI you don't have that to fall back on.
- Somewhere backstage/side of stage to keep your modular plugged in before you go on. Nothing worse than plugging in a cold modular just before a show and having the tuning go out each time you tune it because it's still warming up. Lesson learnt the hard way. MY ASS IS BLEEDING
jbucks
Thanks everyone for the helpful feedback! A few further points/questions:

Table - I did think about that, I'm bringing a couple of things (including a guitar stand) to set my modular on, and I measured the table space I needed.

Light - Good point! Will look for something to bring.

Screwdriver and fuses - Oh, great point. Now I need to figure out how to replace the fuses, and even where they are…

Soundcheck - Dumb question: how long would you allow for a sound check? Is there a particular method for doing a soundcheck, in the context of a modular?

DIs/mixer - I've got a Mackie 802 VLZ3, which has XLR main outs which can be switched to mic level, so that's covered.

Cables - Dumb question 2: Is it normal that I bring long enough cables to attach my mixer's main outs to the house mixer, or is it normal that the venue supplies this?

Tuning/cold modular: Yes, I thought of this. I'll either use either the frequency counter on my O Tool oscilloscope or a small guitar tuner, and leave the modular turned on to warm up.

Thanks again!
flo
Dumb question 1: I usually tell them I need an hour. Setting it up and checking the sound usually takes a lot less for me, so I'm in no hurry. Just guess what time you need and then put something on top...

Dumb question 2: I personally don't do this. This is usually the only cable that I want from the venue... Which I also tell them in the rider or personally (don't forget to mention what you can supply - XLR in this case).
Hainbach
A large sheet of black Molton is always helpful - sometimes the tables you have to set your stuff on are fugly.
Stab Frenzy
jbucks wrote:
Soundcheck - Dumb question: how long would you allow for a sound check? Is there a particular method for doing a soundcheck, in the context of a modular?

I'd ask for an hour, be happy with 45 minutes and manage if they just gave me 30 minutes.

Make sure in soundcheck that you give them the full range of what you might be playing; the loudest and the quietest, the highest and the lowest. If you're going stereo out make sure the phase is correct on the two channels, if you have phase flipped on one side it can destroy your bottom end.

Once you're happy with the level and sound on stage go out the front and make sure it sounds good there too. I always try to make sure the tonal balance out the front is similar to what you've got on stage; if you have a really bright mix on stage you'll tend to wind down your high end to make it sound right for you but you'll end up with no tops out the front.
jbucks wrote:
DIs/mixer - I've got a Mackie 802 VLZ3, which has XLR main outs which can be switched to mic level, so that's covered.

You may need to use DIs anyway, I've got one of those too and I've had situations where I had a ground loop because the stage power and desk were on different circuits and the VLZ has no ground lift to combat that.
jbucks wrote:
Cables - Dumb question 2: Is it normal that I bring long enough cables to attach my mixer's main outs to the house mixer, or is it normal that the venue supplies this?

The venue will have mic leads to get to your desk or to DIs if you're using them. You should bring leads to go into a DI if needed.
Soy Sos
I'd strongly suggest you bring your own powered monitor. (even a small one)
Unless it's a super nice club with a delux P.A., I wouldn't rely on their monitors. +1 on your own table and work light.
Steevio
for me monitors are the most important thing at a gig, and as has been mentioned club monitors can be a lottery.
i always ask in advance what kind of monitors are in house, and if they arent up to spec i ask for good quality monitors to be installed for my performance, left and right around 1 to 2 metres away from my playing position, and controllable by myself from an onstage mixer.

i'm intrigued about everyone talking about DI boxes, ive been playing live electronic music for over 20 years and ive never once used a DI box, but maybe its because i'm normalling playing dance music clubs and an onstage mixer is standard. i always plug directly from my own mixer into that.

the guy who mentioned stage manager/engineer is spot on. there should always be a competent engineer within visual contact incase anything goes wrong. there's nothing worse in the middle of a performance, than turning for the help of a non-existent stage manager and the gig falling apart.

any club worth their salt should have all the cables and connections you need, but i always take my own just in case.

i run an annual electronic music festival. and receive 70 or so tech riders from the artists, and some people ask for very little but then seem shocked when things arent exactly as they want, whereas others give me very detailed riders and that is exactly what i want so that there can be no complaints on the night, however some demands are unreasonable or impossible due to stage ergonomics or soundcheck time limitations, so artists should try to give clear instructions but also be aware of possible limitations.
my advice is to talk to the engineer at the venue directly well in advance of the gig and not rely on a tech-rider alone.
anthonybisset
It seems most everything is covered above... Only thing I can think to add is the line requesting the venue runs your output through a limiter or speaker protection circuit like a aphex dominator 720 or cloud cx335 or dolby whatever (in a pinch a RNC can be used, but I'd still use limiting on my side before hitting the RNC).... Modulars often put greater demands on loudspeaker systems than guitars and mic'd drums do (consider what a square wave is asking the physical speaker diaphragm and it's grams of mass to do). Mic'd strings just can't generate this type of information that practically demands time travel for reproduction.

Venues that are used to DJ's and their compressed to hell playback won't be expecting 30dB of dynamic range let alone 60 dB.

Nothing worse than having a surprise transient take out some or all of the PA. Smaller places are the most likely to overlook this, so definitely communicate about limiting and the reasons for it, this and if they won't/can't do it, then play with your own limiter and be even more methodical during the soundcheck --->

During soundcheck make sure their engineer calibrates their max level with your max level so you don't have much more gain above what the max level on the floor should be... (again especially for smaller places because often nobody is riding the faders)... if possible to do this with some percussion and synthlines going so you have a real measure of how loud it is on the floor... And like people said above, get monitors an have them calibrated during soundcheck so that you know what "loud" actually is for the audience and can work your dynamics around that.

& don't be too professional, it's a drag. throw up a fur ball occasionally!
slow_riot
Bring every cable and connection that you might conceivably need and don't assume anything. The advice to contact the organisers/venue/engineer in advance is really sensible.

Sound check every possible thing and check and double check every connection. If you have a problem when you're playing it's already too late to do anything about it.

About DI boxes, I believe they are widely popular in stage type environments because they are a very simple way for engineers to get a balanced output from a synth that is able to drive a cable over a distance long enough to get to a mixer located away from the stage. However, this is not really optimum as it introduces all the noise that will go from dropping a line output to instrument/mic level and then putting it into a preamp that turns it back into live level. This might be OK for a single synth player in a band but for me, my modular is providing ALL the sound frequencies so I wouldn't be happy about this.

If you're in this situation the best thing to do is to get a suitable balanced Line Driver (Intellijel offers a module which does this), and to plug this output into balanced line in on the mixer (usually TRS type). You'll probably have to fight against the engineer who will want to get you to go into their DI.

I believe in an electronic music type situation, the mixer that the venue uses provides the balanced Line Driver output to the FoH equipment as well as the booth monitors, as opposed to a bigger mixer located off stage. If you plug straight into this mixer they're generally designed for consumer gear with unbalanced RCA connections. I think you can get about 6 feet out of a typical synthesizer output before you start to have problems where the output cannot drive the capacitance of the cable so be aware of that.
Stab Frenzy
slow_riot wrote:
About DI boxes, I believe they are widely popular in stage type environments because they are a very simple way for engineers to get a balanced output from a synth that is able to drive a cable over a distance long enough to get to a mixer located away from the stage. However, this is not really optimum as it introduces all the noise that will go from dropping a line output to instrument/mic level and then putting it into a preamp that turns it back into live level. This might be OK for a single synth player in a band but for me, my modular is providing ALL the sound frequencies so I wouldn't be happy about this.

If you're in this situation the best thing to do is to get a suitable balanced Line Driver (Intellijel offers a module which does this), and to plug this output into balanced line in on the mixer (usually TRS type). You'll probably have to fight against the engineer who will want to get you to go into their DI.

As a professional sound engineer who also plays a lot of live synth gigs I can state that this isn't the case.

A quality DI won't introduce any perceptible noise to the signal, whereas running a line input can introduce a lot of issues. Number one is that sound systems are very rarely configured to have 1/4" line runs from stage to the FOH console, and the reason for that is that you want things to be electrically isolated to prevent noise and hum issues. Run your gear into a DI, it's the correct way to do it. thumbs up
slow_riot
To say that something is the 'correct' way isn't a helpful paradigm, perhaps it would be better to provide references and specifics.

I've been informed this information by a very well qualified sound engineer who has a long history of experience of designing and building electronics for broadcast, mastering and live use, as well as working in live environments and studio installations. I trust his judgement absolutely.

One of the other things that he said is that it's quite hard to get a good quality line level transformer, which also encourages engineers to drop your signal to instrument level.

Assuming it's possible to get a proper run to the mixer at FoH, what issues are likely to be encountered? I don't believe it's necessary to use transfomers to isolate 2 electronic systems if they are both properly designed, although I am certainly no expert.
Stab Frenzy
slow_riot wrote:
One of the other things that he said is that it's quite hard to get a good quality line level transformer, which also encourages engineers to drop your signal to instrument level.

Quality of transformers has nothing to do with it, the inputs on a mixing console are at mic level so that's what you send to it. There is no issue with noise being picked up over a balanced cable run, a DI'd line level signal is hotter than most mic signals and you don't see people saying that you shouldn't run mic signals off stage cause they're too weak or pick up too much noise.
Quote:
Assuming it's possible to get a proper run to the mixer at FoH, what issues are likely to be encountered? I don't believe it's necessary to use transfomers to isolate 2 electronic systems if they are both properly designed, although I am certainly no expert.

If your stage power is on a different circuit to the FOH power then you can get earth hums and shocks through the system. Put a DI with a ground lift between them and the problem is negated.

The real problem however is the assumption that you can run a 1/4" line level signal to FOH. The multicore at a professional venue will be XLRs which are connected to the mic inputs of the desk. Larger venues and festivals will have a monitors desk at side of stage being fed by a split (usually transformer isolated) from the stage box. These splitters are all XLR inputs, you don't have the option of running a 1/4" cable into it.

I'm sorry you don't think I was being helpful. Your friend is right that theoretically running line level balanced from the stage will pick up less noise than running at mic level through a DI if everything is working optimally. However the reality is that venues aren't set up to work that way and a strong signal through a good DI (I use Radials) will not have any perceptible distortion or noise added to it, the difference we're talking about here is lower than the noise floor of your instrument.
jbucks
Once again thanks a lot everyone for the detailed replies! This is all pretty helpful - especially the tip about just simply speaking to the sound guy at the venue!

One thing I would like to do sometime well before the gig is rent some kind of practice room with a bigger sound system for an hour or two, and simply test out my modular there. Obviously every room is different, but it will give me some clues as to what to listen for, which is something I can't do at home (I live in a flat with thin walls, therefore I can never really play very loud).

So if anyone knows of such a practice room in Berlin, let me know!
Orb
This is a really useful thread.

Regarding lights, I've found Mighty Bright LED music stand lights to be perfect. They clip directly to the casing of my mini-modular, with a nice soft lining on the clip so it doesn't damage anything, and the little pool of clear white light they give out is just the ticket for showing me which knobs to twiddle. Thomann has the single LED one for 10 euros.

Also I'd say +1 for a tuner, for quick mid-set tune-ups. But then I mainly gig in Finland, where indoor temperatures are high (24C) and every time someone opens the door you get a blast of -30C. Oscillator he no likee. Plus I play with bandmates who have digital tuners in their guitar and bass racks (and are professional enough to use them frequently...), and we play discrete songs with gaps between them, so I have time to tune and fettle. If you're doing a solo performance maybe absolute tuning is not so important, so long as your oscillators stay in tune with each other...?
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
Don't forget the condoms, becuase the chicks are gonna be all over you. Chicks + modulars = Sexy time!
oisin
i always make sure they have a sound guy that speaks one of the languages i do and who can be there for both the soundcheck + show.
NYMo
One thing about the Mackie mixer using its xlr outputs....
If you are plugging it into a house console that has phantom on the Mackies inputs ( some consoles only switch phantom by 8 channels) the phantom from thehouse console will cut out the mackies monitoring section !
I learnt this the hard way

Cheers
soul
Label everything that's yours, bring your own DI boxes and power conditioners, and when they tell you how much they're going to pay you ask for an additional drink tab (for das ladies.). It's motherfucking bacon yo
Kingnimrod
Maybe a stupid question, but I'll be using a small mixer. What is the best way to interface with the club system? I had a bad experience with a club running my mixer into their board via some old crappy DI's and it was smothered in buzz/hum.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Page 1 of 2
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group