1. Alex Ketenjian
  2. Live Sound
  3. Saturday, 29 February 2020
  4.  Subscribe via email
I'm on tour, bored in the van.

Well my boredom is to your benefit...
We re currently on tour supporting kvelertak for 20+ shows all over Europe. Venues range from 700 to 1000+ capacity, and are very well equipped. Most shows are already sold out.

We carry our own production, meaning backline, mics, subsnakes and cables, most stands and mixing desk.
So do kvelertak, so does the opening act. Foh has 3 desks, and a joy to witness. 3 desks take up less space than an old school analog mixing desk.

Changeovers are fast, really fast. We have the whole thing setup in less than 15 minutes, and tear down is less than 5.

Most venues have a strict db limit of 100dba (over 5 mins), which is something you need to adapt to it seems.

Here is a pic of the venue in hamburg yesterday.

IMG_20200228_153207.jpg
Attachments (1)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Keep those photos coming Alex.

I have seen Planet of zeus live, fantastic live band.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Amazing you work with these guys.
Stumbled through their music upon youtube.
Great band!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Yesterday was Cologne, going to Luxembourg now.

Excuse the randomness of my thoughts, I hadn't really planned this, so now you get to hear me rant. Ha.


Big room yesterday, old rcf line array with even older bss processor. I don't have time to play system tech... But I do have time to "tone" the system, make it sound like MUSIC. I find that most engineers lack in that department. They are preoccupied with what smaart tells them (arguably very important), phase aligning everything etc and forget how people EXPECT to hear music. Do not get me wrong, system tuning is very important, and will get you a long way to not having to "fix" every source. But after that, or despite that, people want one thing. A BETTER LOUDER VERSION OF THE ALBUM. Nothing less.

This directly translates to low mid punch, midrange clarity, complete absence of harshness. At least to my ears. Subs... Not so much. The constant sub energy robs from the rock experience.

When I play meshuggah through the pa, it needs to sound a certain way. You need to feel the sheer power of the music. If it plays at 105dba you should feel fear too... I can get very technical about it if you want me too, but when i try to fix it, I don't think technically, it's a instinctive process.


My mixing desk is the perfect artistic platform. It poses no limitation on how you should do stuff. Want 3 filters and 2 comps, one distortion and 2 eqs on a channel? Fine. How about multi band stereo. Sure thing. How about 8 cascaded doublers? I don't know why, but you can do that to. Easy work flow, great sound, no specific signal path. That's what you need. Even if you don't know you do. Heh
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The constant sub energy robs from the rock experience.


That reminds me, I was on a rock/metal concert last summer, and there was a constant 60hz hum coming from the subs. it was awful. masking everything. very fatiguing. people were asking what's going on with the sound. I was close to the console so I don't think it was phase related.

CUT THAT THING!!!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
We're in Luxembourg, playing rock Hall.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
2 IMG_20200301_142331.jpg
Attachments (1)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation

When I play meshuggah through the pa, it needs to sound a certain way. You need to feel the sheer power of the music. If it plays at 105dba you should feel fear too... I can get very technical about it if you want me too, but when i try to fix it, I don't think technically, it's a instinctive process.

That's one of the things that make a good engineer.
Combining the technical knowledge with musicality.

It's like playing an instrument. You practice millions of hours so that when you get to perform, you're doing it instinctivly.

And you've nailed that!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 9
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Case in point,

A cellphone recording of the show in cologne.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
It seems i cant post videos yet. Working on it though.

The show in Luxemburg went surprisingly well. :)

I'm notorious for hating the imposed dB limits. Paraphrasing the ever-wise Dave Rat, "its like a roller coaster ride, you don't expect it to go slow, but you do wear a seat belt".
If its loud for you, wear earplugs. But you cant have that visceral feeling where you feel the music at 100dBa. sorry.
Also, and that is the most important thing, sound engineers are not automatically loudness junkies (fine, some are). You have to surpass the stage volume, otherwise, nothing is clear, nothing is punchy. Its a phase nightmare. Unless you think that the guitar cab along with the P.A 4 meters in front will sound "cool".

The industry has, in essence, "forced" bands to move to kemper/axe fx and in-ears. If your stage volume is 100dba, how does turning up the P.A result in 100 dBa still? Planet of Zeus traditionally hover around 98 dBa on stage, hence my 105-107dba pa volume. You're aiming for double the perceived acoustic loudness so, 10dB.

Rockhall in Luxemburg has a db limit of 100dBa over 15 minutes. Which means that, if the songs and playlist allow for it, you can be at around 98-103 dba and still be well within the average. The band has made tremendous efforts to lower their stage volume (we're still on wedges) and are around 90-94 depending on the venue and distance from FOH. The guitar cabs make the most difference since they are facing in front and have heavy midrange info.

We managed to do the show at around 98dBA (remember when vocals come in, and if you know your shit, the volume jumps 5 dBA easily) and be psychoacoustically "loud" and punchy. At that moment, I had a revelation. "we can do it", I thought.
If we lower the stage volume more, switch to in-ears, we could provide the audience with the desired experience.

Now to scale the mountain that is the damned in-ear experience. More on that in another post.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 11
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 12
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
IMG_20200302_144506.jpg

Day off.
Attachments (1)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 13
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 14
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Right. Let's discuss eqing the PA.

IMG_20200304_203618.jpg

This is a picture of yesterday's master EQ. It's apparent I have complete disregard for the initial voicing of the system. Am I right in doing so? I don't know.

There are two schools of thought on this: Work with the tone of the PA provided, and let it be reflected in your outcome, or try to make it sound how you like it to sound, risking phase issues, distortion, and of course making it sound worse in the end.

I'm firmly in the second camp. Because I listen to a lot of music, and I'm a studio guy. So I have a (hopefully) good reference of how it should sound.

It takes no more that 5 minutes to arrive to the curve you see above. Not really thinking, just referencing my headphones and listening to the same tracks I've been listening to for years.
If the system is dull, as was definitely the case in the system above, I'll move the eq till it sounds like it should. I don't really care about how many db I boosted. It's a gig, and it's gonna be over soon. Ideally yes, I'd like to have done it "properly", but lacking the time to do so, I do this instead.

We got compliments from the second most difficult person to compliment on somebody else's sound. The resident sound engineer. :)
Attachments (1)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 15
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Right. Let's discuss eqing the PA.


That's reversed batman EQ! :D

Just wondering. Did the other guys EQ the PA?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 16
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
They did, but to a much lesser extent than I did.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 17
  • Page :
  • 1


There are no replies made for this post yet.
Be one of the first to reply to this post!