While recently mixing a Pro Tools session of a live concert, I was struggling to acquire some clarity and definition in the mix from the instruments. The mix was lacking that punch I am used to when mixing in a studio. After awhile I had muted the vocal microphones to just work on the instruments. All of a sudden my mix was tight!! So I went back and soloed the vocals to hear what was going on there. The vocal microphones were receiving almost as much of the instruments as it was receiving of the vocals. Especially the electric guitars......... Which were in a pretty close vicinity to the vocal microphones.
I decided to explore some options, some of which we have written about before in our blog here.
1. You can take the guitar amps and face them backwards or under the stage to avoid them becoming a nuisance in the vocal microphones.
2. Use a microphone with a tighter cardioid pattern and place the guitar amps somewhere where they are less likely to interfere with the vocal microphones.
3. Place the guitar amplifiers pointed straight up so that the guitar amp speakers are pointed to the venues ceiling and not at the vocal microphone or audiences. This will also help tighten up the Front of House mix by not having those guitar amplifiers compete with the main system.