The good advice thread to help your PA and band sound better.

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by louderock, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. louderock

    louderock Member

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    Lots of experience with some of the members here. I've been helping some other guys out with their systems lately so I figured I'd put some of that advice here and invite others to chime in with their tips. There are obviously variables within all of this stuff.

    Use your Hi-Pass filters

    A key thing about live sound is getting rid of unneeded frequencies or mitigating problem areas. The hpf on each channel goes a long way for this. If you're on an analog console, you may be stuck with a single pushbutton at 100 Hz. Use it on pretty much every channel except kick, lower toms and bass guitar. If you have a digital console you should be able to set a specific frequency. For lead vocal, I hpf around 150 Hz. You could even go a touch higher for Backup vocals if you want. For kick and bass guitar, somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 Hz is good. Guitars can be around 100 Hz unless you're playing some chug chug heavy guitar music... but even then..... Floor toms can have some pretty low frequency info and I find somewhere around 55-60 Hz good and each smaller tom as you get to rack 1 a bit higher. Electric keyboards often have a ton of low end. Depending on the style of music, I'll hpf around 100 Hz. Drum overheads around 300 Hz.

    These are basic guidelines and you can also set these by ear. While soundchecking the instrument or vocal through the PA, turn the hpf up slowly (frequency is getting higher) until you hear a noticeable change in the low end. Then, back it down just a touch. This will really clean up your sound out front. Ideally, you want this hpf to be active in your monitor sends for stage also. If you're basically using your wedges for vocals only, keep that low low stuff out of there. You'll be happier.

    Powered speaker levels/ input settings

    This may seem like Captain Obvious to many of you but use the LINE INPUT setting and not MIC on your powered speakers with a mixer. I've walked in on too many rigs where someone will have their master fader on -20 and their powered speaker set to the MIC setting on the input because that setting is louder. The MIC setting is only for plugging a microphone directly into the speaker input without any sort of PA mixer. Mixers operate at LINE level and so should all of your speakers.

    For volume level settings on powered speakers it's really okay to have them set wherever you need as long as your gain structure feeding into them is good. Ideally, your master fader on your mixer would be set to Zero (unity) and the mix levels on your output meters of the mixer would be around 0 VU. You would then adjust the volume controls on your powered speaker to a level that suits the room. I usually start with all of my powered speakers at 2 o'clock or 7/10 on the volume. I'll then use the master fader or Aux masters to get the volume where I want it. For most of my bar gigs, this gives me the best gain structure and performance.

    Most of the time, the volume on a power amp is actually an attenuator. The amp is always running at "full blast" and the volume control is turning down the input level feeding into the amp. If you find yourself with your volume control all the way up on your powered speaker, it's okay. Just keep an eye on your clip/overload/limit indicators. Also, if you find that you need to turn your speakers to 100%, it's a good idea to check your signal levels further upstream to see if you are somewhere close to 0 VU at your output stage. Proper gain staging means you have somewhere around a 0 VU level at all points in the signal path. If you have your master fader on -20 and your speaker turned up to 10, no bueno.

    Monitors

    Less is more is often a good approach for a clean stage. I've played plenty of less than ideal stages (if there even is a stage) where you are in a corner, against walls with a ceiling 8 feet above. There's low end reflecting everywhere and this is why you can't hear anything even though you keep turning stuff up. We could go deep into physics here but just understand that some frequencies build up and multiply with these conditions. Most of the new digital mixers have RTAs on each output that can help you identify these problems. Once again the hpf button is your friend. You basically want to get rid of the problems and not have that sound from those frequencies being reinforced on your stage.

    My approach is to have less in my wedge instead of trying to make each instrument louder and louder. That's a losing battle and will fatigue your ears quickly. For messy sounding stages, the quieter you can go with everything, the better. Also, if your amp is on the floor and hitting the back of your shins and you can't hear it, put it on a stand or tilt it up. Capt Obvious once again. As you move to bigger stages, not against walls, no low ceilings....these problems aren't nearly as bad. Outdoor gigs are easiest for me since there usually aren't standing waves.

    For eq on monitors, I'll start flat and then roll off some low end if there isn't bass drum or other low end material in the mix. Then, with the RTA visible on the output, start raising the monitor level on the Aux master up, with the vocal mic on its stand as it will be during the performance, until you start to hear some feedback. Identify those frequencies on your RTA and start notching them back a few db. Now do it again a bit higher on the Aux output level and find the next offender. It's also good to cup the mic just a bit to see where that's gonna feed back. Also tell your singer to NEVER cup the mic. Physics once again. I'll usually do this until I'm able to get it louder than I think I'll need during the performance. In other words, say 0 (unity) on the output fader is plenty loud enough, I'll make sure I can push it to +4 or 5 without feedback just as a safety net. Lastly, ringing out monitors in a bar is and excellent way to make new friends.

    For my own gigs, I've gone to In-Ears and couldn't be happier.

    PA Mains and Subs

    If you're running more than just vocals, a sub is a great addition. It will give you that lower octave of reinforcement you'll need for kick drum and bass but it will also take some of the load off of your mains since they will no longer be trying to produce really low frequencies. Your mains become more efficient and clean sounding. 60 Hz causes a woofer to move a really long distance front to back. It's easier on your mains if they're not trying to do that. Let the sub handle it.

    Most powered mains have some sort of crossover built in and will work easiest if everything is the same brand. I use the Yamaha DSR series. The main line out from my mixer goes into the sub and the sub has an output that feeds my main speaker. That speaker has a HPF button on it that I press. Done. The crossover is determining what frequency ranges go to the different speakers. The sub has a built in crossover that is essentially a Low Pass Filter set at 120 Hz. Any sound higher than 120 Hz falls off (gets quieter) quickly. The HPF button on the main speaker causes all sound below 120 Hz to fall off quickly. If you don't have a good crossover network built in or if you're using passive speakers with external power amps, the DBX Drive Rack is still probably the best and most cost effective solution. There will be a bit of overlap at the crossover frequency which becomes less and less as you go higher or lower in frequency. This is where phase alignment and additional eq comes into play but that's a much deeper topic.

    I see a lot of bands put their mains as high up on poles as possible, often close to the ceiling. Not really ideal in my opinion. The high end content coming out of the tweeter/horn is very directional and you're shooting it over the heads of all the people up front. Low end turns corners and will travel around stuff. High end doesn't. Set those speakers up to where the tweeter/horn is just above everyone's heads up front. If you want to get super geeky, look up your speaker's directivity pattern.


    That's all for now as I patiently wait on the UPS guy to bring my new Midas MR18. I got mixin' on da mind.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Kingpin2

    Kingpin2 Member

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    Learned a few things here already! I've bookmarked this thread! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
     
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  3. Vcaster

    Vcaster Member

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    This thread would make a great sticky for this Recording/Live Sound subforum.
     
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  4. suparsonic

    suparsonic Member

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  5. Jason Fieldhouse

    Jason Fieldhouse Member

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    Brilliant, just been asked to engineer a band in a large, lively bar. I know most of the common sense issues from reading these kinds of threads and posts the past couple of years, but having this as a sticky and a place to add these insights is brilliant...

    Here's some I thought up for a big echo chamber of a room....


    Some little things you can do to help things.

    Stage treatment:

    Before you put any instruments on stage, try find a rug, or off cuts of carpet, for under the drum kit. It dampens the boom of the kick drum, in an echoey room it's the low end boominess that travels to the corners of the room that causes some of the feedback problems. It doesn't come from the whole of the kick though, the beater head on the skin of the inner drum is the thud that you need, but the outer drum causes the sub frequencies that cause problems, so something you could do is instead of putting anything inside the drum(that'll dampen the bits of the hit of the beater that you want as well) if you put the blanket or towel, over the front, and make sure the mic is right in the drum, facing the beater, your getting the bit you need and stopping the stuff you don't need... If you can find some blackout curtains too, to put behind the banner, that would help stop reflections off the back wall. I've noticed at many gigs bands tend to be very close to the back wall, something between that and you will stop the monitor bouncing back from behind you. Even if you just throw some towels or sheets over them?

    Bass and guitars:

    Try not to use too much bass on your bass, sometimes the kick and toms are in the same frequency range so cancel each other out, if you can cut bass and bring some mids and highs in to help poke it out a bit you'll get heard better, just not too little bass that it loses balls.

    Guitars:

    So many bands I've seen, their guitar amps tend to be on the floor, have they thought about or considered lifting them up? Now, I know it does sound better on the floor when played on its own, and the reason it sounds fuller and bassier is because the speaker isn't directed at your ear drums, your getting it from above, which muffles the shrill of the speaker, but the second everyone starts playing it can be difficult to hear themselves because it's pointed at their legs and all the frequencies that make it sound full are been used by the bass and drums, cancelling out the guitars.... so, eq is important in rooms with more echo, reverberation, and boominess... less gain helps too(but we don't like to admit it! Haha!)
    Also, having them on the floor creates a thing called bass coupling, where the floor starts to resonate at a low frequency from the vibration of the speaker, adding to the mud!

    Vocals:

    Just always make sure they are loud and clear, for more singers eq them differently for separation, cut bass as theres not much information there, even cut highs because who sings up at 12k? That Should cut feedback. Make sure they can hear themselves in the monitors, make sure mics are posistioned where they cannot pick up the monitors, and if you can cut more bass from the monitors that'll help with afformentioned 'bass coupling' and mud!

    Last thing to look at then is what's relaying the vocals out to the audience?
    2x 15" speakers? Try not to point these towards the walls, and you don't want it to reach the back wall as that will bounce back at you, so you have to manage the volume and have it only as loud as it needs to be for the people to hear the vocals, if you can safely tilt them towards the audience even better.

    But my approach might be smaller, lower volume speakers and have say 4 of them, spaced outwards a little, facing inward to the audience.... that way they're not hitting the walls, or ceiling so much, and the floor space they're facing is full of absorbent punters, :)

    Don't need to go overboard or anything, these are just things I thought of, but don't spoil the experience, the important thing is to have fun, it's just nicer when you can hear yourself too, :)
     
  6. AuntieDiluvian

    AuntieDiluvian Member

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    Generally good stuff.

    I would add two things re: monitors:

    1) BEFORE you go to a gig, take your monitors into a relatively dead, large open space, and set a baseline EQ to get them to flat response. This will eliminate 90% of the ringing problems you will run into later, and your singers will thank you. If you have really bad ringing notes you can notch them out when you get to the gig, but the rest of the range will still be very close to flat.

    2) NEVER put compression or limiting on the monitor mix. This is a very effective way destroy a singer's voice - and a trained singer may well drop the mic and walk off-stage if they run into it. FX are also a no-no for monitors, both for adding to potential feedback and also for making it more difficult for the singer to hear their true pitch.

    Both of these have to do with a relatively simple basic principle that many mid-level rock players/techs don't understand. The monitors are there so that the singer can hear what they are doing and adjust as needed, so it needs to be as accurate as possible. If the EQ is bad, they can't hear the overtones and can't match pitch. Compression and limiting make it impossible for them to control level to balance, and they will end up over-singing and damaging their voice. Time-based FX messes with both pitch and timing. In short, the monitors should ALWAYS be as close to flat EQ aas you can get them, and have absolutely nothing else added. Yes, there will be singers who swear that they need reverb/echo whatever - go ahead and give it to 'em if you can, because they are used to having it as a crutch to make them think that they sound better than they do.
     
  7. Mike Monte

    Mike Monte Member

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    A suggestion for a band:

    What I found useful: The tuning of a drum kit's toms can limit the kit vs bass guitar frequency range battle.

    Years ago I experimented with my son's drum kit (he had a rock band while in high school) which afforded me the opportunity to play with the the kit's reaction/blend with the other instruments.

    Since I view things from a musician's standpoint I find that most rooms (outdoor gazebos are the worst IMO) have some sort of resonant frequency (to me: a note that makes that location resonate / start ringing). To continue: I found that, when a bass guitar + guitar + and a drum (in a kit) played that particular note, it would get things ringing. I found this happening with my son's band.

    Rather than messing with the PA's EQ to notch things out I decided to concentrate on the drum kit tuning. First I found that the kit's high and floor toms sounded good when tuned to a D up to E and the mid tom sounded good when tuned to a G up to Bb.
    Since the band played mostly in E and A (usual high school garage band keys, I guess) I decided to tune the kit's toms as follows: Floor tom = Ab, mid tom to = Eb, (a fifth higher than the floor tom), and the high tom = Ab (an octave higher than the floor tom).

    With the above "toms tuning" I found that the it cut down the reaction of the band to a location's resonant frequency.
    It also made the drum kit sound "cut through the mix" without being louder as it had its own tonality.

    *Every couple of years I have the opportunity to perform in an outdoor summer concert series in a gazebo where the resonant frequency is a C. This past June we gigged there again.....and the C was still there!!
     
  8. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    Here are a few tips about "ancillary" gear that a lot of bands take for granted, but not having them can definitely make you sound worse than you deserve to sound.

    ELECTRICAL SUPPLY
    Have a consistent strategy for powering your stage reliably.

    My preferred method is to use a heavy duty rackmounted power strip connected to a single outlet with a heavy-duty 12-gauge extension cord. All band gear should plug into the band's power rack. This ensures that all amps are using the same ground, which eliminates a lot of noise issues.

    Get a couple of those extension cords that have outlets placed every 4-5 feet. Run one across the backline for amps, and another across the front for pedalboards. If you get a big enough rack for your power supply, these cables can fit inside the rack so they're never forgotten on the way to a gig or back home.

    MIC CABLES
    You should have high-quality mic cables available to you all the time. Better clubs will supply them, but a lot of crappy places have crappy gear and that extends to crappy cables.

    Audiopile.net is a good source for high quality cables at a reasonable price. You need to get cables that are clearly identifiable as belonging to the band, so don't buy black on black unless you're willing to add an identifying feature to them. I prefer to buy a different color jacket. This will keep you from leaving good cables behind.

    SNAKES
    Audiopile also sells several kinds of snakes. I highly recommend buying a couple of "studio snakes" which are basically several mic channels encased in one jacket. These are incredibly handy for running 3-4 channels from one side of the stage to the other, whether they are inputs like mics or outputs like your powered speakers.

    If you use snakes you can use shorter mic cables to make your connections. I'd rather have 100% 10' mic cables plus two or three snakes than have a whole bunch of 30-50' mic cables. Your stage will be cleaner and your gear will be easier to store and organize.

    MICS
    Every singer is different. That's why it's important for every singer to audition a lot of mics and find the one that fits their voice and style best. And they should take that mic with them when they gig.
     
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  9. louderock

    louderock Member

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    That can happen with a stage that isn't built very well also. I'll stomp around at different points on a stage to hear if it rings at certain frequencies. You may have plywood stuck on 2 x 4 framing that isn't super solid. Many times you'll get a resonant frequency that you must find. Once you find it, notch it out a LOT with a graphic or parametric eq. Otherwise, your stage deck becomes an instrument that's constantly producing a tone. Maybe it's tone is a B and you're playing a song in C. Hmmm why does everything sound so weird?

    Also, good tip for tom tuning. Use the first notes of the Star Spangled Banner. If you have 4 toms, it'd be Oh (T2) -Oh (T3) Say (FL Tom) Can (T3) You (T2) See (T1)
     
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  10. Funky54

    Funky54 Member

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    I don’t know if I want to change how I do things. I haven’t had a feedback issue in years live.
    However, that doesn’t mean I’m doing things right. I run all Passive and will not go to active.

    I wouldn’t mind someone looking over my method and offering suggestions though. I also have a very very unusual gig coming up in a bazar venue that does have me worried..

    Anyway I’ll quickly run through my method for PA ran from the stage. (Trio, sometimes 4 piece)

    Monitors First - (vocals only)
    I set up with general rules of thumb for speaker placement. 3-4 wedges (12” 2way Bag End)
    I hook up in Stereo and run a dual 15 band eq. Set it all flat line (both channels) low cut on.
    Set channel eq flat, set all vocals on unity gain and turn channel mic gain to about 11:00

    Crack on effects, just a tiny smidge. (It’s my belief that an artist should hear somewhat of what the audience hears, it builds confidence to hear a smidge of effects, you can always pull Em out if you have sound trouble)

    Turn all channels to left (Balance pot) only.. slowly turn Left Master up and try to get to unity gain.
    When I start to hear bad stuff I turn it back down just a tad.

    If I can’t get most of the way up, I’ll take a serious look at monitor placement.

    From there I start raising the left 15 band eq until I find the culprits and then I drop those frequencies 2-3 db. Then I go back to getting left master to unity gain.

    I next start the process over doing it all using the right channel. Once both channels are at unity gain on the channel and master, it’s time to make it sound pretty per location using the channel eq. You may need to slightly pull out or add a touch of mic gain if one mic is causing grief.. I like doing it with all mic’s hot at unity gain and one at a time make each pretty to the person using it.

    I find setting my monitors up in stereo sounds better than mono with a 31 band. You wind up with each side being notched completely different from each other. I think it balances the stage better.

    Mains - Second
    I set the sub in the center of the stage on the dance floor if possible firing straight out. (Never need the extra db by putting it in the corner and it makes for a better mix with less cancelation then against a wall. If I run two I put them together in the middle.

    Mains in stereo, on poles, 4 of them (12” 2 way Bag End) I angle the front ones to the center of the dance floor or audience. The second pair I only use for bigger venues (weddings usually) I set these way wide about half way into the audience both angled in but less than the front ones.

    Play Music of a live band you know well.

    Turn Main Master up to unity gain with dual 15 band eq flat. See if it gets there? If it does make it to unity gain, mess with the eq to make it sound pretty. If it does, move on to next step.. If it doesn’t, you might have to notch the 15 band some ringing it out. (Truthfully not rare, but not often)

    Next turn the music down quit a bit but leave it running with the monitors hot and all mic’s turned on. (I already mic’d the bass guitar and bass drum at set up, they just are not in the monitors) Now I want to hear the kick drum hit good and hard. I measure db with phone app. Set mic’d bass guitar about as loud as the kick (knowing the bassist probably has some reserve with his guitar pot)

    Might be done right here, unless it’s a larger venue with mic’d everything.

    Mic guitars
    Next set my own Wet amps L/R and set each almost as loud as the kick matching the previously measured db. Last I mic the Dry center amp and the other guitarist and set them about equal to that kick knowing there is likely a little reserve with the guitar pots.

    Generally we’ll pull all faders down to about half way by channel and see what we have running through a song. Backup vocals maybe down a smidge, lead vocals up a smidge, maybe a smidge more effects at this time. Maybe bass drum up a smidge.

    Keep stage volume as quiet as possible. If guitars don’t cut through, don’t turn up, pull bass out at the amps.

    ok, open to suggestions?

    Tough venue coming up-
    We have a large gig with a very large room. Like gymnasium size. 24’ ceilings, marble floors..... and two entire walls are exterior curtain glass. 24’ High... gym length size.

    Kinda scared walking into this one. Beyond I doubt well use any reverb.. any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  11. Jason Fieldhouse

    Jason Fieldhouse Member

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    Good post, well presented, thanks for some useful tips there, pinching em! :)

    Dampening man....

    Do you have any blackout or thermal curtains?
    Can you put rugs down to dampen the drums?
    Cover the front of the kick, just throw a black towel over it, you've got a mic inside anyway, also can that mic be put closer to the beater?

    And I think your speaker placement is spot on, smaller speakers, spread out and more of them is a brilliant way to cover the room...

    I got told this about echo chamber rooms, 'take the room/audience, and split it in to quarters, 25%. 4 speakers, a speaker for each quarter. Now, you only need the speakers to be loud enough for 25% of the people, so you can have smaller speakers, lower volume, no feedback issues.'
    And because those speakers are gonna be directed at the audience more than any walls and ceilings, they will soak up some treble and and make it feel like theres more bass, probably too much bass, than what is even available from the smaller speakers..... but that's what you have a sub for anywhere, so, losing nothing... :)

    Make sure guitar can hear them selves by having amp or speaker cab elevated or tilted back.

    Vocal monitoring, yeah they probably won't need any reverb...
     
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  12. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic Supporting Member

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    Excellent thread, and I agree on its sticky-worthiness.

    I'll add my 2 cents from the perspective of a solo/duo performer who has to manage it all...

    1) Follow the OP's advice re: gain staging to the letter, with the addendum that you need to give yourself a little room to breathe. You often can't be managing a mix while you perform, so especially with digital equipment, make DARN sure you won't be peaking at any point in your performance. This means you need to rehearse well, and record yourself if at all possible so you can hear when things go awry and fix them ahead of time. Mixing live music is not normally a set-and-forget endeavor, but to some extent it will have to be. Learn to manage your upstream devices (floor FX, rack gear, etc) to boost, cut, and make way for others where appropriate.

    2) Related to the above note about recording, use a looper or whatever recording and playback facilities you have to hear what you sound like through your FOH solution WITHOUT you playing. It is really tempting to dial in tones on your instrument(s)/vocal as you perform them, but the best way to know what you sound like to everyone else is to disconnect yourself from the instrument and hear it more objectively. You don't have a sound tech to lean on here, so put on your engineer hat.

    3) Practice good stagecraft: simplify the rig as much as possible, keep it tidy, and in good working order. You've already got enough to worry about when you're the one doing literally EVERYTHING at a gig. Measure out the footprint of your ideal setup and know how much space you need OR can work with. Related to this, manage your cables well. Loom together runs as necessary and use strain relief where you can.
     
  13. mixsit

    mixsit Member

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    In some (typically smaller) venues when there's too much -or not useful- low mud on stage from the vocal mics in the mains, I'll do even more low cut on the monitors, so what remains is what's needed for articulation. Let the mains provide the body' / heft' up on stage.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  14. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

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    That is what the old Galaxy hot spot was based on, Just enough for the vocal to cut through the mix really close to your head and let the mains help with the low frequency extension.
     
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  15. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

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    Don't be scared. It is a no win situation. I deal with rooms with bad acoustics all the time. Play as quietly as possible. use as little low frequency information as possible. If possible tilt the main speakers down toward the people. Not typical straight out on top of a speaker stand or pole. JBL made some models that have dual pole inputs and one of them faces about 15 degrees tilted down. Keeps the sound focused on the area near you and not at the ceilings or walls.
     
  16. louderock

    louderock Member

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    Not a ton you can do other than try to identify any frequencies that really ring out in the room. It can be tough to soundcheck in those types of places when they're empty. I always say "if only I had a bunch of fat guys in wool coats sitting in all these seats". I ran sound at the Tacoma Dome in Washington a few months back:

    [​IMG]

    The decay time in that building is so long I swear I still heard a snare drum ringing out from the show that happened the week before. In the back corners, it sounded like that low rumble they add during an action movie trailer. Luckily we had a good system tech with the sound company and he got the PA sounding really good but still.... it can be a struggle. Each room has its own frequency anomalies and you can use eq to help notch out standing waves that cause buildup. If you look at a RTA, it can show you a 2-dimensional graph of frequency. To get a better understanding of a room, you would need to produce a waterfall graph which includes frequency decay times. You may hit a bass drum and find that 86 Hz takes 5 seconds to decay in the Tacoma Dome. Not exactly great for getting a punchy sound. That's also why a super fast punk band doesn't sound good in a place like this but Back In Black by ACDC does.

    More about waterfall graphs:

    https://www.gikacoustics.com/understanding-decay-times/

    Just be conservative with your low end and stage volume. Hopefully you won't get a slap echo off the back wall. That's always fun for the guys who aren't on in-ears.
     
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  17. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    Great stuff here.

    I’m fairly new (2 years) to digital mixers and I’ve had trouble with gainstaging. I’ve set the mic input gain the same as I’ve done for years on analog mixers, only to have nasty clipping everywhere.

    on my XR18 I found the setting the input gain to about 22Db has the meter just hitting 0 with full power vocals. On an analog mixer this would be fine, but on the XR all of the mics clip. I’ve dropped them as low as 18Db and they cleaned up. The meters are now peaking at about -4 or 5.

    the remaining gain staging seems straight forward. I set the sliders at 0, input and output, then adjust the powered cabs to the volume required for the room or monitor.

    on another note, it amazes me at how often I see EQs set at a smile. One guy I worked with a few weeks ago insisted that was how it had to be, but complained he couldn’t hear his monitor. I flattened the EQ, cut a few DB from below 200 and above 8k and suddenly he could hear. This guy also set the volume slider at 0 and adjusted his mic volume with the gain control. This is a guy who’s been gigging at least 40 years.

    Thx for starting this thread, great stuff!
     
  18. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Over there.
    If you haven't figured it out already...welcome to digital mixers :D You can afford to give yourself quite a bit of room with them, and should be aiming for channel peaks in and around -12dBFS. When you gave full power vocals peaking at "0", that was more like +24dBu in analog land.

    The method of setting the fader at unity and adjusting the preamp gain isn't necessarily wrong, it just depends how you like to work. Having the fader at unity allows you the finest control since it has the most resolution there, as opposed to near the bottom of its travel. It doesn't necessarily optimize your signal/noise ratio, but unless you have an annoyingly quiet source, it can work.
     
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  19. louderock

    louderock Member

    Messages:
    4,699
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    What vocal mics are you using? For a Beta 58, I find somewhere in the neighborhood of +27 db of gain to be good. A regular 58 would be a few db higher.

    Metering can be tricky on digital formats because it's often difficult to figure out what ZERO really is. I just got a MR 18 so I'll try to figure out a good reference point.
     
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  20. bob-i

    bob-i Member

    Messages:
    8,700
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    Central NJ
    I’ve used a beta 58 but my main mic is a Senn e935. I started at +25 but found even +22 to be too much and dropped back to about +18. Seems really low to me but it’s clean and quiet.

    I agree that finding 0 on anything digital is not as easy as analog and certainly not as forgiving.
     
    Funky54 likes this.

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