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Horn Section - Any Tips for Amp Effects & Monitors ?

rhysonsax

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I am playing tenor in a seven piece horn section for a show in a 550 seat theatre tomorrow. Three saxes, two trumpets and two trombones as well as three guitars, two keyboards, bass, drums, lead singer and three backing singers.

As well as the usual dilemmas preying on my mind (jazz hat/soul hat/no hat; great reed on its way out/new reed from the box; dance moves/studied calm) I am thinking about the amplification situation and would like some tips, as the sound guy in the theatre may not have worked with a big horn section before.

We will probably be given some dynamic mics on stands, maybe one between each two players. What would you ask for in terms of the mix for the monitors and also what effects on the horn sounds ?

Thanks

Rhys
 

Colin the Bear

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I'd stop fretting and let it happen. If the theatre has a pa and a sound engineer just be there for the sound check and turn up for the performance. The engineer will be familiar with the acoustics. With a 550 seater and a 7 piece horn section I wouldn't have thought any effects would be needed.

Check your instruments, pack any spares you might need and play your part. Chill and don't forget to enjoy it. The audience will reflect your mood. If you enjoy it they will, regardless.
 

Pete Thomas

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I agree. My experience with sound engineers is that if they are good, you hardly need to ask for anything special. If they are not good then often asking for anything is pointless.

best of luck, just enjoy the gig. Wear a bowler hat.
 

rhysonsax

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OK for effects then. And good tip on the bowler, but I think I will give the stripey waistcoat a miss.

But I do wonder about the mix for the monitors - there are so many people playing and singing, but what are the most important to be able to hear so that we (horn section) play in time and in tune ?

Rhys

PS I would really like to get it right as it is a charity gig for Alzheimers and I have put together the horn section and our arrangements.
 

Pete Thomas

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OK for effects then. And good tip on the bowler, but I think I will give the stripey waistcoat a miss.

But I do wonder about the mix for the monitors - there are so many people playing and singing, but what are the most important to be able to hear so that we (horn section) play in time and in tune ?

you won't know until you are actually there at the sound check and know how much you are actually hearing on stage form the instruments and/or from their monitors.

the horn section will probably be checked last. So just wait and hear what you need.

it'll all be totally different on the gig anyway.
 

aldevis

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but what are the most important to be able to hear so that we (horn section) play in time and in tune ?

I would say keyboard, bass and maybe kick drum, but only have them in your monitor if you cannot hear them in a different way.
I usually start with nothing in the monitor and add the essential things I cannot hear. It is very easy to end up with a noisy stage, where everyone wants everything, and make the show sound horrible.
Singers are usually the worst offenders, when they want their own voice seriously loud on stage.
 

Fraser Jarvis

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We've had trumpet, bone and sax all sharing one monitor without a problem, now it's just me and the trumpet I like to have the singer going through my monitor also.....guess you lot completely outnumber us though so be advised by the sound guy, the one we had last week at the Ska fest really new his stuff but unfortunately there are sound guys who know very little.
 

Merryfisher

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I am playing tenor in a seven piece horn section for a show in a 550 seat theatre tomorrow. Three saxes, two trumpets and two trombones as well as three guitars, two keyboards, bass, drums, lead singer and three backing singers.

As well as the usual dilemmas preying on my mind (jazz hat/soul hat/no hat; great reed on its way out/new reed from the box; dance moves/studied calm) I am thinking about the amplification situation and would like some tips, as the sound guy in the theatre may not have worked with a big horn section before.

We will probably be given some dynamic mics on stands, maybe one between each two players. What would you ask for in terms of the mix for the monitors and also what effects on the horn sounds ?

Thanks

Rhys


Me thinks you are in the hands of the sound engineer. hope you have a good one, who has'nt had his hearing mashed over the years by guitar bands! horns are nearly always soundchecked last, and usually they will scrabble around at the bottom of the mic box and pull out an SM57 'that'll do for the sax' NOT! Not a lot you can do once things are underway, but if you can at least ask to be heard in the monitor mix, so much the better. I offer to get the pa guy a drink early on - hopefully he'll be sympathetic to my cause as the evening goes on!
 

dooce

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I play regularly in a band with a similar make-up, albeit with fewer players - most important feeds to monitors for our horn section are ourselves, voices and to a much lesser extent, keys. Everything else makes enough din on stage that you will wish they would just shut up.......
 

Captain Clive

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PS I would really like to get it right as it is a charity gig for Alzheimers and I have put together the horn section and our arrangements.
Doesn't matter they won't remember what you played let alone how you played.:thumb:
 

daveysaxboy

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Most Theatres have good sound techs so dont panic.If theres brass behind you well thats a bitch but just go and enjoy.You will get some sort of wedge monitors.Have you got a perspex soundback .These little things help some also.
 

daveysaxboy

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I have this for some rehearsals,its great.UK seller.Cheap and quick postage.
 
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daveysaxboy

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What have you got against 57s?

Exactly along with 58s they are the industry standard?

SM58'S are the same mic as a SM57 its just the 58 has the mesh head on it i've heard.There legends for sure.Hard as nails.They are fantastic.I used them for donkeys for pub gigs but sold mine after getting the cheaper Samson CS 2 headed mic.Just for my personal taste i prefered the Samson CS as there warmer sounding for me.Theres a head for intruments and a head for vocals.Both heads sound sweet.I would tell people though the best ever stand dynamic mic i've ever had and used is my EV RE320.£300.00 but holy cow what a sax mic.Its just so much warmer with a very rich overall core.If any of you guys have a chance of buying 1 or trying 1 i would say your in for a treat.The EV RE320 is the same as the USA made EV RE20 which is £500.00ish.Hope this helps someone.
 

thomsax

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Sweden
I use a SM57. But the best one for me is Sennheiser 421. Expensive so that's why I use SM57!
 

Merryfisher

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Hampshire
What have you got against 57s?

yes, they are rugged - but i feel they deliver a narrow and harshness to the sound. i carry with me my own EV RE320 mic, and without a doubt in my mind, the sound it delivers is totally top draw.
 

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