Do you panic when you don’t get a signal from the stage? “Why can’t I hear the singer!?!”
No more worries…this list explains the common line check problems and how you can fix them, meaning less time spent on line checks and more time making the band sound great!
Doesn’t that sound better than “oh no, what do I do?”
1. Bad Cable
Cables goes bad and if you don’t test your cables on a regular basis, then the issue will most likely show up during a line check.
Or, worse, during the service!
A standard issue cable tester can tell you when a cable has gone bad and the issue with the cable. Keep spare cables of all types because you will need them.
On a related note, having the right tools like a line tester helps a lot.
2. Bad Connection
Connectors aren’t always pushed all the way. Typically I see this with guitar cables into the guitars or cables into guitar pedals and DI boxes.
A simple reseating of the plug should resolve the problem. This goes for all cable connections including XLR, TR, and TRS.
3. Dead batteries
These might be in an effects box or, where I usually see it, in the onboard EQ/Amp in an acoustic guitar. Keeping a few 9V batteries in the booth comes in handy in these situations.
4. Improper Wiring
Was A plugged into B, not C? Following the signal from the source to the mixer, you should be able to find where the wires are plugged into the wrong place.
Often times the issues is as simple as an input being plugged into an output.
We, in the sound booth, see everything coming into the sound booth. Musicians, on the other hand, see wires coming to the stage. Fix the wiring and then educate the musicians if they do any of their own setup.
5. Poor Microphone Location
While you might see a signal, if it’s not in the right location, you might not get enough signal for proper gain structure.
You might not even get a signal because the microphone is too far away. I can see this point as more of a sound-check issue but I say the sooner you can resolve it, the better