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I play in a rock band 'with a twist of sax' around Hampshire, Wilshire and Dorset. Our singer deals with the mix thru the PA going thru all the usual sound checks and real-time adjustments. I use a stand mic (shure 57). The prob is he puts the sax way down in the mix, probably around the level of the other vocal backing mics. To me this is too low. Even with the foldback speakers I can hardly hear myself and various sax lovers listening complain they cannot hear the sax. After a row with our singer (not recommended!) I gave up with the PA and now use my Boss guitar amp on the accoustic setting. Actually this works well and puts me in control. Anyway my view is that the sax in the mix needs to be very nearly the same vol as the lead vox mic which means I can stand well back when I need to be in the background but can move in closer for solos. But this means I have to transport the amp as well as my sop, alto and tenor .... oh, and deal with feedback probs / mic positioning. Anyways I would welcome thoughts?
 

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Your solution seems like a good political one, but it sounds like the situation is a drag as far as band relationships go and generally, yeah...sax players don't usually haul their own amps to a gig when a PA is there already.

Your supposition, IMHO, is accurate. You should be able to go thru the board just like anyone else. And although it works well enough for you, and likely the audience...keep in mind it's likely some band members are not really hearing you given your amp solution, as it cannot possibly be throwing back your sound to everyone.

The fact that audience feedback confirms your sax was too low in the PA mix should have been enough to back up your assertion that you needed to come up.

The only other solution I would conceive of is if there would be some way to negate or turn down the sax from the monitor closest to the vocalist while keeping it in the other monitors so you and the rest of the band could hear you.

My final suggestion might be, during soundcheck: set your PA levels where you think they should be....ask the singer to have a seat somewhere in the club or venue.....have the band kick in a tune with a backing vocalist singing the lead for a couple minutes and you playing some horn....to illustrate to the lead singer that - in the audience - a higher setting for sax is actually appropriate.

Best of luck.
 

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Problem #1: The singer is adjusting the mix through the PA for everyone.
Problem #2: See #1

Ask the singer if he would be opposed to someone else in the band adjusting his mic. level? I'd bet you'd get a "hell no" response. Realize you're dealing with a moron and live with it, or find another band.
Sorry to be blunt, but that's what it boils down to.
 

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I've never understood this mentality. What's the point of even having a sax (or any other instrument) if you can't be heard in a live setting? Just tell the guy to not have a sax if you're not going to be audible anyway.
 

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+1 to the responses above. Just a couple of additional thoughts:

I definitely wouldn't want to haul an amp for the sax when the P.A. is a perfectly adequate (and, imo, preferable) solution to your sound enhancement. As to the mic level, I don't think the level for the sax should be the same as for the singer. Almost certainly your sax input will be much louder than the vocalist's input, so it makes sense your mic would be turned down in comparison. However, you still need enough volume to be in the mix and also, as you say, enough to be able to back off the mic when playing background lines (if you do that, keep it minimal and don't play over the vocals) and then be able to move right up to the mic and be heard during solos.

If the singer has an issue with your sound on stage being too loud in the monitor mix, then as Jaye suggests, the monitor can be turned down or if the singer has their own monitor, off in that one. But you still have to be able to hear yourself. You could get a plastic 'sound back' monitor (see below) to mount on your mic and then not need to be in the stage monitors at all. Those things do work and are very inexpensive.

Finally, if the rock band is so loud that you are blowing your brains out to be heard, maybe it's time to look for a different band. Say a GOOD blues band that doesn't play so loud. But that may not be an option, especially if you like the music you're playing now and just need to solve the volume issue. Good luck.

Sound back monitor:

http://www.woodwindandbrass.co.uk/acatalog/saxophone_microphone_accessories.html

p.s. The one I got several years ago seems to not be available anymore in the U.S. (the one above is in the U.K.), but with some research you might find one.
 

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Sound levels on stage should be such that everyone can hear each other acoustically. Let the sound reinforcement deal with what levels need to be for the room. (Yeah, just tell that to a bunch of rockers!)

Singers will, in my experience, care absolutely nothing about the monitor mix except that they be dramatically louder than everything else. They'll hassle the soundman about it. The louder they get, the louder guitar, bass and drums will play. It gets louder and louder as the gig goes on, and eventually you can't even hear yourself. That happens on every rock/R&B gig I play. It's a drag, but in a fairly unregulated environment, you have to deal with it.
 

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When I see rock/R&B/Blues bands on TV with horn sections the balance is almost always bad.

Horns are low, guitars are high.
 

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Having been fighting this fight for 60 years, have someone take some phone videos while you are apparently playing so you can look at them later and see if you actually are 'getting out' or not. You are dealing with an egomaniac who really doesn't want anyone else to be the center of attraction. Him controlling the PA is the worst possible scenario.
 

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Let the people in the audience complain that they cannot hear you, and get yourself out of the contention.

Play for the love of playing, and leave your ego at home. Not saying that you shouldn’t be proud of your playing, just suggesting that you don’t make it a negative experience for yourself. You’ve tried to change it, and here you are.

Bottom line: Find a way to enjoy it before you drive yourself away from it.
 

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You need to get a sound man or another musician to handle the sound. The only thing that could possibly be worse is to let the drummer do the sound.
Sounds like your singer guy has LSD.
 

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Let the people in the audience complain that they cannot hear you, and get yourself out of the contention.
Good advice.

Play for the love of playing, and leave your ego at home.
I don't see how wanting to be adequately amplified in a live mix - when you currently are not - is egoistical in any way.....

.... just suggesting that you don’t make it a negative experience for yourself.
Bottom line: Find a way to enjoy it before you drive yourself away from it.
If we take OP at their word, it isn't OP who is making it a negative experience for himself. Suggesting one bend in a currently unsatisfactory situation in order to somehow to make it enjoyable, sorta sounds to me like a losing proposition....
 

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Problem #1: The singer is adjusting the mix through the PA for everyone.
Problem #2: See #1

Realize you're dealing with a moron and live with it, or find another band.
Singers will, in my experience, care absolutely nothing about the monitor mix except that they be dramatically louder than everything else.
You are dealing with an egomaniac who really doesn't want anyone else to be the center of the attraction. Him controlling the PA is the worst possible scenario.
Yes, perhaps. It might just be this is calling the spade a spade in this instance....
 

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I don't see how wanting to be adequately amplified in a live mix when you are currently not is egoistical in any way.....
No, I am not saying he is egotistical. I am suggesting that he not take it personally, and to also be mindful of making it personal. Yes, he should be heard in the mix - but if he is not, it is not something to be upset about.

If we take OP at their word, it isn't OP who is making it a negative experience for himself. Suggesting one bend in a currently unsatisfactory situation in order to somehow to make it enjoyable, sorta sounds to me like a losing proposition....
“Unpleasant” is one’s personal take on a situation. For example, in this instance, people in the same venue are hearing the same music as the OP, yet they are not upset about it. Choosing not to be upset is exactly the way out of it being a losing proposition - choosing the path of being upset is what makes it unpleasant.

Bottom line: We can choose how to respond to a situation - even situations that are out of our control.
 

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This seems to be a universal problem for sax players. It's just as bad as when you're playing through the venue's board and the club has its own "sound man". I don't see how in h3ll the singer (or anyone in the band) can mix from the stage. You need to hire someone who knows what he's doing and can do it on the other side of the room. Hauling your own amp is too inconvenient. Try playing a little softly and a few steps away from the mic during the sound check, then eat the mic during solos.

Even in studio work, you'll find yourself out of the mix if the "engineer" can't mix horns. (e.g. Ronnie Scott's solo on Beatles first release of "Lady Madonna" and Bobby Keys' solo on "Brown Sugar").

I played on eight tracks once only to find that only the trumpet and the trombone could be heard on most of the mixes, and the tenor was the middle voice!

It happens and it's infuriating.
 

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Wear a wireless rig and go out in front of the mains when you need to hear yourself. Or stand close to a main. Walk out in the audience area and listen when you do your sound check, thats key especially if they are eq ing you. I really get the depression when you feel like the lead singer is setting it up so you can't hear yourself. If its not fun unless you get alot of money , leave and find a better situation. Ive been in very good and terrible ones. I don't need the money now so I won't suffer bad crap more than once K
 

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I have a volume pedal and keep it around 80% then punch it up for solos. EQ pedals sometimes up the gain just enough for a solo level as well. Generally sounds guys are a pain. What really drives me crazy is that the first set is perfect but somehow the levels are completely screwed up the rest of the night.
 

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My advice, in a cover band or band with serious guitars and loud drummers, you need a louder setup. I'm using a 57 on a stand, but I can almost get by without it. IMO, you missing a vital component of that style of sax (rock), without raw volume and edge.
 

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My advice, in a cover band or band with serious guitars and loud drummers, you need a louder setup. I'm using a 57 on a stand, but I can almost get by without it. IMO, you missing a vital component of that style of sax (rock), without raw volume and edge.
So sacrifice your concept of sound and play a paint peeler to compete with guitar amps that go up to 12 and a vocalist going through mains??? Yeah, okay. In my experience, there's NO saxophone mouthpiece that can compete with that and if there is, I sure as hell wouldn't play it.
 
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