Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Current Look What I Did Live Vocal Rig (Music Gear Enthusiast Content Herein)

To whom this may be of interest, I submit to thee my live vocal rig.

This is my Sennheiser e945 mic. I picked this one up on the cheap on Ebay for around $170 nearly a year ago. It sounds crisp and full, though I EQ the lows out pretty substantially as Look What I Did's overall mix is a bit heavy on the dirty and rich bass, and too much low end can turn our sound into a wall of mud thus muffling the vocals. Turning the bass frequencies down tends to resolve this issue, and I love the sound of this mic. Chris uses the Shure Beta 58A and Skeet uses a traditional Shure SM58. The blend of the different tones of the mics works quite well, and, ever since we switched to this rig, we've had no problem getting the harmonies out into the front of house mix even when we're running two full stacks on each side in smaller rooms (depending of course on the strength of the PA).

After struggling for years to explain how to mix our vocals live to local sound engineers that we've never met before (imagine saying, "OK, we are very heavy and loud as much so sometimes as a death metal, grindcore, or hardcore band, but we have delicate three part vocal harmonies that appear periodically. Oh yeah, and Skeet and I scream bloody murder very frequently at a loud volume, and Chris is soft on the mic. So... just figure that out."), we decided to take matters into our own hands. I use this Behringer 1204FX mixer to mix down all three of our vocals live on the fly, and I run the effects through it on a loop, allowing me to apply them to each or all of the vocal channels.

This particular mixer comes with more channels than I need and 4 XLR inputs. It has on-board effects which I sometimes use, the most frequent one being a very light application of the chorus effect listed as #63. The outputs are balanced which makes using it live far more practical. I have had very few problems using this mixer in nearly any venue. I picked it up for under $200 on Ebay and scored a USB interface attachment with the deal.

For additional effects and samples, I use:

The KORG KP3 KAOSS Pad is primarily marketed to DJs, but I find it quite useful for live vocals. I have yet to take advantage of the sampling features, but intend to in the future. If anyone would like to collaborate with me by providing me with some sample tracks via email to load onto an SD card to use live, I would be open to discussing such matters in the comments. I'd love to have fun experimental or electronic samples to play with live during technical difficulties or interesting speech samples and other such content to play during and between songs.

A Future Addition?

I'm considering adding a microKORG to my live rig, pictured below.

If any of you have experience with it, I'd appreciate your input in the comments. Should I get one and incorporate it into my existing live rig? Your thoughts may well influence my decision as I am on the fence.


This is a crucial component of my live rig for when "alertness is required." Look What I Did is in no way responsible for any of the jittery feelings you might experience if you choose to incorporate this element of my live rig into your setup.

In Other News

Look What I Did will soon go open-source. We can't yet explain what this means, but it will be innovative, and you will hear more about it very soon. Also, I wrote a new article for Gazzmic called A Seasoned Road Warrior's Grab Bag of Tour Tips, and the Gazzmic blog got a visual upgrade!


  1. Found this very interesting! It's not often you here about a band's live vocal rig as much as guitar or bass rigs. Though I am interested in LWID's amp/pedal set-up.

  2. So you guys ever going to come around to Fairfax, VA so I can hear how this live rig works for myself?

  3. We may have some information about that subject very soon Josh! :)