Problem frequencies when performing solo

CactusWren

Member
Messages
810
So I often perform in bad environments. I'm background, people are talking and eating and sometimes it gets very loud. Worse, I often need to play with my amp or PA within 2 or 3 feet of me. Here are a couple sample setups:
1. I sit and the guitar amp is right next to me on the ground.
2. Bose L1 is 4 feet behind me.
3. K10 on a pole is 4 feet to my left.

In all these situations, I get nasty feedback or resonance problems. My guitar is a nylon-stringed Cordoba; my ideal setting is using half piezo pickup and half interior mic. The goal is to retain that setting for sound.

There are two basic areas where I get problems. One is a low-mid frequency boom. A slow feedback might occur if I hold the note. More typically, it just resonates in that particular area and makes the sound unbalanced. The second occurs at the high C (8th fret, 1st string). When I play that note, it seems 2X as loud, ear-piercing. These two problems really give me problems and it's just no fun to play in these situations.

When I am able to get a reasonable distance and setup between me and the speakers, I do fine. But the reality is, I am often cramped.

The tools I currently own are: notch filter, phase switch, 3-band eq on the guitar; Zoom G3 which has mediocre graphic EQ and para EQ; mixers with 3-band EQ of various ability. Can these things be solved by tech?
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,232
I have had the same kind of problems with my Martin dread. One thing that helped was using this:



Costs $5. Outside of that, mess with the phase switch, and try to locate which freq. is giving you that low mid howl and the upper high note feedback, then bring it down a little. Sometimes, when performing live, one has to sacrifice tone a little to get the volume loud enough. EX: I like to hear the deep bass my Martin has, but at louder volumes, it can feedback easily, so I have to roll back the bass just a little. You also may want to look into other pickup systems and pickup preamps. K&K are really good, but there are others that are good as well.

I also noticed being right next to the PA or my Fishman amp, my guitar can feedback more. Always try to have a little distance between the guitar and PA/amp. I usually can work out the guitar feedback issues with eq and phase adjustments.
 

sants

Member
Messages
2,287
My guess is your feedback is happening in the area of 250hz. Try cutting in this area.

It sounds like you have too much going on for a small production. Why not use the L1 alone or L1 with guitar amp?

A duo acoustic act I work with plugs right into to an L1 with guitars and vocals. Stands right in front by about 4 feet. Never an issue with feedback and gets plenty loud.
IMO you have to many sound sources for what you are doing.
 

MrTAteMyBalls

Member
Messages
4,068
First thing I would try is isolating which frequency it is. As mentioned above 250 is a good place to start. Use an EQ and kill that frequency and see if that helps.
 

Papanate

Member
Messages
19,859
The First thing I would address is your speakers. Lose the K8 and utilize the
Bose L1 only. For the most part you should be able to eliminate 99% of
your feedback issues.

I have a single act that plays acoustic - and uses the Bose L1. He's usually
about 2.5 to 4 feet away with a Vocal Mic and the Guitar sent direct.
I'd be hard pressed to tell you the last time he got any feedback.
What kind of Microphones are you using?


So to get tech - download Studio Six's Audio Tools on the App store.
They include a FFT and a RTA for free. Set them to 1/3rd octave
and 'see' what is feeding back. If you are indeed getting a High C
feedback - then you need to notch out 523.3 hz. If it's the C above that
then notch out 1047 hz. The lower frequency is probably around the
125 hz - 285 hz range. You'll need to find it and notch that out as well.
 

CactusWren

Member
Messages
810
OP here: guys, those systems are separate systems. I don't use them together. The Bose was a house system I used for the last year at a casino (that gig just ended last week). The amp and the K10(s) I bring for different applications.

Besides that, thanks for the info.

Anyone know any Android apps that could help?
 
Messages
6,128
A middle C note is at 261.6 hz, use your notch filter to notch it all the way out. This might fix your low end ringing as well, if not, try a cutting at 400-600 with an EQ. Try the phase switch in and out too.
 

CactusWren

Member
Messages
810
A middle C note is at 261.6 hz, use your notch filter to notch it all the way out. This might fix your low end ringing as well, if not, try a cutting at 400-600 with an EQ. Try the phase switch in and out too.
Thank you. I need to get in the habit of sounding these things out before I start.

I keep looking at the Empress Para EQ. Any other options that could help in this sort of thing?
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,115
Thanks for the suggestion. I do have the Source Audio EQ. The problem is, the problems never seem to lie right where they can be got at by these little EQs.
Yeah, that's one of the issues with graphic EQ's. Noise is another. I prefer parametric EQ's for things like this. You can pick up a used Symetrix 551 or 552 (the stereo version if you need stereo) for pretty cheap. That's a decent parametric EQ to get the job done with. They used to be really expensive, but with modern software being able to do the same job, and with even less noise, they're not really that desirable for most people, so they sell for dirt cheap. They're still great for situations like yours where you need precise EQ control, but don't want to lug around a computer or mess with software and plugins. There are other cheap parametric EQ's on the used market that you might want to consider. I just recommend the 552 because that's the one I own and have the most experience with.
 

Jdstrat

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,872
Thanks for the suggestion. I do have the Source Audio EQ. The problem is, the problems never seem to lie right where they can be got at by these little EQs.
There's a parametric EQ in the Line 6 M5 that lets you make a wide or narrow Q and sweep across the frequencies. I'm just trying to think of the pedal size form factor.
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,232
I have the MXR M108 10 band EQ pedal. Nothing but problems and has been sent to Dunlop 2x's to be repaired, only to fail again within months. I guess I got a lemon. I don't think it's very useful for EQing an acoustic guitar. But the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI sounds like just the ticket for a pedal. Not quite as precise as a parametric where one can tailor the freq and shape the cut/boost better. Your Zoom G3's parametric MAY work, since it has two adjustable bands. You may need to work with it a bit more.
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,605
Man, I am not keen on lugging a 32-bander to work every day. But it is something to consider. Thanks...
Here's my whole kit and caboodle.



K12...rack case with f/x & graphic EQ....mixer....Fishman amp

with a speaker stand and prop guitar in front.

Kinda old school but never any insurmountable feedback problems.
 

Totally Bored

Member
Messages
9,058
^^^^ Nice. I win tho cause I bring even less gear than you :)


Here's what I bring and I never have any feedback problems btw.

Guitar - SA220 - Mic Stand - Gig bag full of misc stuff.

One trip from the car. I can setup, grab a beer and be ready to play in 10 minutes.

 




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