Band lineup complete - 7 guys! Overkill?

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by lewis, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    So i have effectively completed my new bands lineup. Its taken a while and gone through several people to reach this point but I feel we are locking in on the finished lineup and sound now.

    We have:
    2 out and out vocalists
    2 guitarists
    drummer
    bassist
    DJ

    the idea is that we are playing/writing to a click track. We have pianos, efx and strings on the backing track but DJ scratches are obviously happening in real time as are Bass drops and he (DJ) is overlooking the whole session on his laptop. Wanted the drops to remain organic for the fun and because its crowd dependant etc.

    2 out and out singers is hopefully going to work great. 1 is focusing on the lows ala deathcore and the other is more high mids/highs and clean singing so is covering all basses.
    Plus our bassist can also sing cleanly so we can have 3 sets of vocals in places which will be massive.

    Im all about creating different and exciting sounds and really trying to experiment to create something original.

    Anyone feel that 7 is overkill though?. Im willing to look at things objectively.
     
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  2. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    I'd just ask myself if it would be possible to cut down the personnel and still deliver the full experience you have in mind. If the answer is yes, why not cutting down. If not, well so be it.

    For instance, I think that Slipknot could manage to cut down to just 1 guitarist and 1 DJ plus sampler (in a single member) while still being proficient live.
    Also the 2 singers thing has always felt lame to me, but for instance in Sikth they do serve -indeed- to deliver the live experience to the fullest (constant tight overdubs and harmonies in the albums). So to each his own, as long as each member is actually indispensable.
     
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Sounds awesome! Everyone is doing something that serves a unique function, so from a purely technical standpoint, this should be a blast.

    In my mind, it's all about making sure everyone gets along. I've mostly done power trio stuff, simply because it's fairly easy to get three musicians to get along well enough to get work done efficiently some of the time. Four seems to work almost as well, and, I've had bad luck with five, since there is always someone who wants to be a jerk to someone else.

    If you do any serious touring, you'll need two vans to haul everyone and all of that equipment.

    I mean, there have been bands with more personnel than that before.
     
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  4. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metalâ„¢

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    My last gigging band had 3 guitars, a bassist, a drummer and 2 singers at one point.

    If it achieves the sounds you want then I say screw what people think. As long as each instrument has it's sound 'space' you should be ok. We EQ'd every guitar completely different from the other ones.

    The one thing I will say is, take into consideration the size of the stages you regularly play. We had a couple instances where there was a 'stage' that held my drummer, myself and 1 guitarist, while the rest of the band was on the 'floor'. We also played stages where we couldn't do that because of the crowd (generally violent and overall to intense for me and my gear :lol: ) so we all crammed onto one pretty small stage.

    :2c:
     
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  5. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    thanks everyone so far. This seems like it could turn into a great discussion :)


    to answer a few so far. Yeah Guitars are sounding completely different which is good to give each one its own space. Im using super tight kemper sounds and the other guy is using non boosted Blackstar HT amp currently so covers the more lo mids and balls frequencies and is much looser and has alot less gain.
    On this actually, atm we are both panned central so I can peel off in places doing overlays/leads whilst he carries on doing rhythms without people losing parts live if they are standing over to one side in the crowd.
    Is this the best way to carry on doing it?

    the small stage thing actually sounds like fun. Everyone trying to throw down in really close quarters or in the crowd? haha. Amazing. There needs to be more gigs like that imo.
    Im looking forward to that.
    I did already get a Wireless unit sorted so thats super helpful for gigs especially when the venues are tiny.
    Played shows like this years ago where members accidentally step on guitar leads and pull them out of amps because of how little room there is so this is a must.

    I do appreciate keeping everyone sweet could be a nightmare haha. Its been a struggle for us to find these personalities that seem to click.
    Ive struggled with 4 piece band lineups before so there could be a complete struggle with 7.
    Still, up for the challenge.
     
  6. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Singers are often egotistical asshats, so you may have more drama and fighting with two than with only one, but if they're cool, you can make it work.

    Playing live, you want the entire audience to hear everything, so you generally run a mono mix. Stereo leaves room for half the audience to miss something.
     
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  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Hell, I've played places where we went to set up and couldn't even fit the drummer on the "stage" by himself. But some of the shows around here just don't have room for bigger bands.

    There are plus sides, though- if everyone is dedicated to promoting the band, you can reach out to more people earlier on.

    On the other hand, there's a higher chance that you'll end up with one or more members who drag everyone else down.

    There are just more variables, that's all.
     
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  8. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    its not overkill if you wanna do it. sounds cool

    that said you're gonna get some dirty looks from local sound guys when you turn up with all that plus a laptop to deal with

    Is the DJ using vinyl or software for the scratching ?
     
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  9. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Defo no vinyl here. His desk (which I have no clue about) has got like CD sized decks on which he does scratching with and yeah I presume its Ableton + the desk which produces the digital "scratch" sound?. Haha
    Its his field so we are basically putting our faith in him. We kind of assumed Vinyl and needle would throw up huge "skipping issues" if it got too loud and vibrations jolted the needle around or whatever?. Plus digital age just..because.. haha
    (he does DJ professionally at a club and also a second venue during the days so at least has great experience haha)

    EDIT: haha yeah I cant wait until local "soundguys" see our setups.
     
  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Just please don't be the band tearing down before us, :lol:
     
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  11. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    :lol::lol:

    you are legit going to only be left with 10 minute set time....
     
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  12. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    My only advice would be get everyone DI'd and have as much stuff in one place for the sound guy to hook up (rack with all your DI's or similar) so you're not spending half your set line checking or getting mic's set up. If it requires 7 people to get the sound out, thats what it requires. I'm guessing the DJ is probably not a necessary band member, though, since you have backtracks/click already, and I have not heard scratching in hard rock/metal that actually sounded good, but thats my opinion.
     
  13. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    yeah thats a good idea actually.
    I might get a Rack for all the DIs
    good call.

    regards to DJ yeah he came in when the drummer we were jamming with at the time "couldnt play to a click" so the idea was to get him to do alot of the backing track stuff organically.
    However that dude is no longer in the band and since then we have started using click tracks.
    He is still adding stuff ontop of the click though because he wants creative input. Like I say he has a midi keyboard upthere with him aswell as the decks.

    I wanted that Chimaira setup in the band. It was always an idea I wanted to realise and its taken until now to finally be able to pull it off haha.
     
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  14. iron blast

    iron blast Northern Winds

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    Running your own monitor mix going ampless/di and having rack mounted equipment may be key here. My band are constantly looking on ways to improve setup and tear down times the less things you have to plug in the better and make sure cables are all labelled /snaked if you can afford to get patch bay/panels made for your rack and pedal boards jump on it. The one thing always hard to save time setting up for us has been drums. I'm still looking into ways to streamline that process sadly.
     
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  15. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    dying fetus and rush are proof that all you need is 3 ridiculously talented people. guitarist, bassist and drummer. :p but yeah for us lowly mortals, have as many bandmates as needed to get the sound you want.
     
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  16. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    as an update:

    The "Dj" and the "Drummer" did not work out whatsoever. (The former was a complete time waster)

    So we actually decided to go forward using backing tracks so the "DJ" stuff can then just be on the backing instead and interestingly enough also go "drummerless" too.

    The plan is to programme our drums. Get them mixed and mastered then sent back as single wavs with the production applied so that we can use an interface (Probably the Focusrite 18i20) to send each separate part of the kit to the FOH via a Laptop with our whole set open.

    This way our "drummer and backing track" will all be the size of a 2U rack case. Laptop being the top on a pull out drawer and the interface being directly underneath.

    output 1 > Snare
    output 2 > Kick
    output 3 > Toms
    Output 4 > cymbals
    output 5 > strings/ambience
    output 6 > guitar overlays
    output 7 > bass booms etc

    this is kind of the idea. Love the idea of being setup and packed away super fast, being super super tight (therefore super heavy and groovy) with the Drums programmed and also every stage will feel huge when we headline as there will be no drums haha.

    so now its:
    2 guitarists
    2 vocalists
    Bassist

    \m/
     
  17. downburst82

    downburst82 SS.org Regular

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    NOT GOOD ENOUGH! You definately still need a drummer..and 2 dudes banging garbage cans...and a DJ...and a ..sample prgrammer? (WTF does Graig do??)

    Seriously though do what you have to do to keep going for now but I would definitely keep looking for a drummer. Program drums can sound pretty great live but the performance aspect is always lacking for me.
     
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  18. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    my Area is completely and utterly devoid of any kind of drummers.
    The only small handful of dudes that may be good enough are either already loyal to bands OR would be completely out of their comfort zone. I.e most of the bands in my area are thrash or hardcore style bands where as we are modern progressive/groove using 7s and with ambience.

    Regards to the live show lacking without a human drummer, I was conscious of this so Im making sure that all 3 of the guitarists/bassist all get wireless sorted before our gigs to ensure we can roam anywhere and really party to make up for a lack of a drummer visually. (I already have a wireless, I just need to make sure the other 2 get it sorted)
     
  19. iron blast

    iron blast Northern Winds

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    I've done backing tracked drums in my band its cool but lacks stage presence big time. The best part is setup/ tear down time and sound check are stupid easy alows more room for stage props wich I highly reccomend you need to make up for the lost stage presence any way you can.
     
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  20. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    yeah i already have 2 band scrims on frames, and want our own lighting and smoke machine setup etc.

    but in general ive never had a drummer that ever added anything to visual performance live so im honestly not scared to bin them off in place of programmed drums. Especially with 5 dudes jumping around and throwing down.

    infact, if anything a conventional 5 piece band where only 4 of those members (and 1 drummer) can be right upfront with the crowd, compared to no drummer and 5 dudes upfront with the crowd, is surely worse in the "stage presence" department?
     

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