First Outdoor Gig

Beater

Member
This Saturday for a birthday party with about 50 people.

I've only played 4 gigs so far and none outside.

I won't have my kit miced and am wondering about any things I should be aware of. I read through a few threads on this subject and I believe one of them is not to overcompensate and hit too hard.

I'm also curious on PA set up and ideas would be welcome as well.
Normally in a room, I would have the PA above the heads of the patrons, and am wondering if this should also be the case outdoors.

This is an average size yard that opens up into a large greenspace.

Thanks
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Only 50 people? Maybe just mic your kick. If you use brushes, mic your snare. Otherwise, you should be fine.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
This Saturday for a birthday party with about 50 people.

I've only played 4 gigs so far and none outside.

I won't have my kit miced and am wondering about any things I should be aware of. I read through a few threads on this subject and I believe one of them is not to overcompensate and hit too hard.

I'm also curious on PA set up and ideas would be welcome as well.
Normally in a room, I would have the PA above the heads of the patrons, and am wondering if this should also be the case outdoors.

This is an average size yard that opens up into a large greenspace.

Thanks
Keep the PA and amps turned down a bit and you shouldn't have any problem. You probably don't want them turned up too much anyways in a residential area in any case, but the space you describe doesn't call for very much in the way of volume - on top of which, it's a birthday party. Despite the fact that you will be there playing music (and I assume people may dance), the main draw there is not the band, it's the birthday celebrant. So treat it as a corporate gig and you should be fine.

Unless you're all a bunch of bikers into very loud punk rock. Then, whatever!
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I'll tell you right now that if you have too much damping on your toms, people won't hear them in an outside environment that's un-mic'd. You'll probably want to have a bit more decay/ring on the toms than usual.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
In my experience, one key factor is to play the kit very evenly, except for the occasional—orchestrated—accent. If you have a cracking snare that drowns out the thump of your kick, you'll kill the feel of every tune. Same with playing the hats. Keep its volume in sync with the rest of the kit.

If you muffle your kick, you might want to remove all padding for max volume and punch.

Mount the PA speakers above 6' high, over everyone's head. This helps distribute the sound to the rear of the yard.

Enjoy the gig and when someone compliments you on your playing or the band's sound, tell them you appreciate it.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
open air spaces - nothing comes back. all those reasons to muffle in small spaces go out the window.
unmuffle everything, tune resos high, large cymbals for volume.
do some recordings so you learn how it sounds for next time.
learn 'Birthday' by The Beatles
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I don't even like playing a new space until I've had someone whose ear I KNOW I trust listen in during soundcheck or rehearsal. I have Sensory Processing Disorder, and I HATE the thought that somebody in the audience is also really sensitive to loud noise, and is suffering because the drums are too loud. The thought worries me quite a bit.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
open air spaces - nothing comes back. all those reasons to muffle in small spaces go out the window.
unmuffle everything, tune resos high, large cymbals for volume.
do some recordings so you learn how it sounds for next time.
learn 'Birthday' by The Beatles
Plus highs get eaten up faster than lows, if there's not much around for sound to reflect off of. You can hear the low bass drum from my high school marching band from several miles away on a quiet night, but nothing else unless you're much closer.
 

Beater

Member
Thanks for all the helpful information.

I've been playing my small but punchy dw frequent flyer kit indoors, I'm wondering if this is the time to bring out my full sized Yamaha Power V Specials?

This is a two set gig from 9pm to 11 pm. By then the guests should be loosened up.

This will be an up scale crowd so volume control as usual will be an issue.

btw I don't have any drum mics (yet)
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
The lack of a ceiling means it will seem much quieter to you, and you won't hear the rest of the band as loudly as you're used to. But the audience will hear you fine, so don't play louder to compensate.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
I'll tell you right now that if you have too much damping on your toms, people won't hear them in an outside environment that's un-mic'd. You'll probably want to have a bit more decay/ring on the toms than usual.
Great advice and remember, the drums out front will sound very different than they do from your throne so don't panic when you hear the extra ring and overtones from the lack of dampening.
 

Beater

Member
Thanks for all you replies

I tuned up the toms, and the kick had a nice thunk off of the wooden platform.

By all accounts the gig went well and the sound was good.

I'll have to take peoples word for it though

 
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