Geoff Thorne

Geoff attended our two day live sound engineering course and decided he wanted to follow up with some individual training on his own equipment. Geoff owns his own small venue and had purchased some previous equipment but was not convinced he was getting the most out of it. He also wanted to purchase some additional monitors and incorporate them into his existing set up. His equipment included a Peavey powered mixer along with a 1500w EV speaker system. Whilst the mixer itself seemed to cover his needs the internal amplifier was not powerful enough for the EV's, and Geoff was concerned he may have wasted his money. Luckily we managed to manufacture some custom leads and were able to re-configure the mixer so that the internal amplifer was not routed to the main outputs but only on the monitor outs making it ideal for driving smaller stage monitors. With this sorted we were able to supply Geoff with a new 2,000 Watt, Crown Amplifier to drive his main EV system and also some new Martin Audio F10+, 250w Stage Monitors. We also racked up all his out board equipment and provided all new cabling to ensure the entire rig could work to it's best. With all his equipment sorted a final morning of training ensured Geoff was able stage his own live Gigs and deliver a great sound!
Alan Stevens

Alan Stevens is a freelance Audio Visual Engineer who works on a broad range of audio visual projects such as conferences, exhibitions, product launches etc for a wide range of clients both in this country and abroad. Although he has sound engineered on many of the events he has worked on they have largely been corporate events so he had not engineered many bands or musicians. As he wanted to engineer more live bands he decided to book a one to one training day to cover specific areas. His main focus was to improve his understanding of Equalization, so he could feel more confident micing up and mixing a multitude of instruments including drums, guitars etc. He also wanted to get some training on compressors and gates so he could incorporate them into the mix to gain greater control of the overall sound.

The first part of the day we went through the use of equalization on both electric and acoustic guitars and vocals, and created both F.O.H and monitor mixes that were then altered to improve the sound and also to control feedback. We went through gain structure and how to keep checking it throughout the mix. We then spent time using compressors for both lifting vocals out of the mix and for fattening up sound such as Bass Guitars, Kick Drums etc and also frequency conscious compressing to allow you to compress particular parts of an instrument. Through out the day Alan was able to try a variety of different mics to allow him to hear the effect that different mics can have on the instrument sound. The latter part of the day was spent micing up the drums with a variety of mics, using the desk eq to improve them individually and then compressing the mix to give it and extra lift.

The day proved very successful and enjoyable and Alan now feels a lot more confident to start taking on more live band engineering.
Gary Follett

Hi Howard,
Hope you are ok just to let you know that I carried out my first gig as sound engineer for the band I dep for. It was a bit nerve racking at first but I got some good comments about the sound especially when I was all set to mic the drum kit up and the drummer comes along with an electric kit, I thought "oh no its going to sound horrible" as I dont like the electric kits myself although it did save a lot of time miking it all up. Yet it sounded much better than I anticipated and the band said that I'm welcome to do the sound again whenever I want, so I must of done something right! Normally when I play with this band I can not hear the vocals very clearly as they are very muffled with a lot of feed back as the singer uses a radio mic but I got them as clear as day with little or no feedback. I was told the onstage sound was pretty good as well. I do hope I can get a few more gigs under my belt as doing sound engineering is great.! I dont know what's better actually playing or doing the sound. All I know it's a great buzz!

Anyway all the best
Gary .
Habib Khan

Hi Howard,
Just thought i'd update you once again on whats been happening. I've done another 2 gigs with the Sex Pistols tribute band that I work with. In the first gig we used a 2000 Watt PA and we had kick drum, snare drum, floor tom, rack tom, bass, guitar and 4 vocals going through it. We had a delay and reverb unit as well and the kick drum being compressed as well as one of the vocalists. It was amazing because even in the past, i've had slight problems with feedback but with them that night we had absolutely no feedback what so ever. Also, I managed to get a good monitor mix as well, infact the entire band said that the onstage sound was perfect and everything was clear. We were running 2 passive 600 watt monitors but using a mono mix due to the limitations of our desk.
I also engineered the first band as well and the singer had a compressor on him and it helped no end. He has a bit of a strange voice that peaks about 6K and can cause feedback. The compressor just tightened everything up and allowed for EQ to kick in more effectively as well.  I've done the first band a number of times becuase they always support the Sex Pistols Tribute band and everytime I do them, people come up afterwards that follow them and say it sounds better and better. Infact I managed to get the reverb quite well for them. They too are a covers band.
The 2nd of the gigs was this Saturday just gone, we had a much smaller set up. It was only 1200 watts. Purely because we were in a place a third of the size of the first gig and it was a double set by the Sex Pistols Tribute band. Ther was a problem with feedback purely because of the limitations of space. The vocalist often was near the speakers, and at times infront so instantly the microphone would feedback. We were just using standard SM58's. So possibly a Beta 86 might be a worthy investment. Also I managed to find a pretty good slapback reverb as well. So the more rock & roll numbers didnt just have a standard reverb on it. The way i got around it was a bit of a bodge job but to ride the levels and watch the vocalist like a hawk. Thankfully enough he was aware of what was happening and tried to limit how much he did it. Also, as it was such a small venue we didn't bother with montiors purely because there would not have been any space. Even still, the big numbers by The Pistols made everyone get up and moving. I love that feeling when you are at the back and you've got a load of people in front just moving and genuinely enjoying themselves. Myself and the band have been so lucky to actually achieve that at both gigs and at the end we've all had an incredible buzz.
I've got a couple more gigs coming up as well, an alt-rock band in the same little venue and a psychedlic-power pop band as well. But again, without your help and your course I would not be in the posistion that i am in. I'm still saving up my money for a better effects processor. The setup we have now is good, but ideally a dbx 266xl or two and some lexicon effects could help alot. Luckily enough its a fairly decent 12 channel soundcraft that i'm able to use with sweepable mid as well. Also we're in the market for another 2 Peavey Pro 15 Mk2's. Not the top end gear but more than adequate for us and because it has a 15" woofer, we get a good bass response from it if we trickle some bass drum through as well.
Anyways, I'm sure you'll get an update soon from me just letting you know how the future gigs go as well.
Take care,
Habib Khan                    
                     
Drew Black

Attended the Base Sound September 07 Weekend Training Course.
Drew came on the course having spent many years playing the guitar in various bands and decided he now wanted to learn all about the world of sound engineering. Whilst attending the weekend course he quickly got to grips with all the equipment and by the end had mastered the Allen & Heath 32 channel desk, all the outboard and was doing 4 way monitor mixes. Within a couple of weeks of the course we were able to get him some freelance work with a London based sound company called Encore and almost immediately after were able to arrange an interview for him with a major London based Sound equipment rental company called
Delta Sound. Although new to the world of sound engineering and up against many other applicants Drew was able to secure a full time job within the very busy sound department and all within just 6 weeks of attending the course! Well done Drew.
Andy Green

Attended the Base Sound September 07 Weekend Training Course.
Being a musician Andy came on the course wanting to learn how to sound engineer for live gigs with a view to setting up his own rental business, providing professional PA equipment hire and engineer services. After the course Andy took the plunge and purchased a complete sound system through Base Sound and has now formed his own company called
Reality Sounds. Andy had his first professional engineering gig on Saturday 6th October at Burton Town Hall in Burton on Trent. The band playing that night were Circa and they contacted Andy through one of his adverts and asked him to to provide the equipment and engineer. With just under 400 people there, this was some first gig but Andy took it all in his stride. Both the band and the crowd commented on how good the sound was and more bookings are now following. Well done Andy we wish you all the best in the future!
Base Sound Student Case Studies & News

Below are some more emails and news stories that we have received form some of our past students