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Feedback eliminators?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Danny Adair, Nov 21, 2000.


  1. Does anyone have any experience with using feedback eliminators? I have done some web research on these apparently scarce items to see if they would be a viable option for reducing feedback on the double bass. Unfortunately, this research has yielded very little. Has anyone used or known someone who has used one of these little boxes? Thanks very much for your help!
     
  2. Rockinjc

    Rockinjc

    Dec 17, 1999
    Michigan
    I have used the Roland model and was realitivly happy with it. But no amount of electronics will make an upright bass as feedback proof as a solid body. If you want to stand in front of your amp, play with folks who play too loud or use a microphone and turn up, there is only so much electronics can do for you. I play mostly electric bass for electric gigs. It is simpler that way. IMHO

    What style of music do you play are you working with a rock drummer or electric guitaristÂ…no kidding?

    best of luck
    jc


    [Edited by Rockinjc on 11-21-2000 at 02:58 PM]
     
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I own a Behringer Feedback Destroyer. This is a rack mount unit and stereo. I used to use it to control feedback in PA monitors, for which it worked pretty well. Funny thing was that once we upgraded some of our PA I found we didn't seem to have feedback problems any more so just stopped patching the unit in!!! The main application for these things is in "set and forget" sound installations like theatres, conference rooms, etc. or anywhere where there is noone to tweak the sound gear during a performance (like my band, who had no sound man).

    I have tried it at home (NOT on a gig) to see if it would help with feedback on the string bass. Yes, it does, with some caveats.

    At each gig you will have to "ring out" your rig. It takes a few seconds for it to filter out feedback frequencies so you need to figure out where you're going to stand, EQ your rig and then SLOWLY bring up the amp volume. As the first bit of feedback becomes audible you have to let it ring until the unit filters it out. Then you raise volume further to get the next feedback frequency, etc. The trick is to raise the volume very gradually and listen carefully for the rings so you don't suddenly get huge blasts of feedback out of your amp. Ideally after a half dozen frequencies are filtered out you should be at a much higher volume setting than you need to be, so turn down the amp and play.

    Keep in mind that ringing out your rig at gigs like weddings and bar mitzvahs should best be done before the guests arrive!!! Also if the box is powered down it "forgets" the frequencies it had captured, so once you ring out your rig you need to leave the box powered up (you could turn your amp off, though).

    You have a choice of "single shot" or "roving" filters. The single shot grabs a frequency and holds it until you turn the unit off. The roving filters will hold a frequency until all filters in the unit (12) are activated, then one will release to try and grab the new frequency. These are supposed to be good for performers who move around but the problem with bass is if you sustain a note for a long time (like when bowing) it can detect THAT as feedback and try to EQ it out! Probably best to stick with the single shot filters.

    The programming interface is ugly but you should only have to program it once (you can store 128 presets...talk about overkill!!!).

    The unit is intended to work with line level signals so is best placed in an effects loop. While you could patch it between your bass and your amp, I wouldn't do so if you are not using some sort of preamp with your pickup.

    It's a single rack space unit so if you aren't currently racking your gear, it's not a real convenient form factor (main reason I haven't used it yet on a gig for bass). Luckily it does a built in AC supply, no wall wart. Sound coloration is minimal, there is a bit of digital hash on the output (sounds like video game sound effects) at a VERY low level but if you have golden ears that may annoy you.

    The unit is really cheap, they just dropped the price so you can buy them new for under $150!! I'd recommend renting or borrowing one before buying to see if it will work for you.

     
  4. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I might also check out a regular PA parametric EQ, such as the Rane PE-15, which will allow you to select very specific frequencies and bandwidths to knock out - should allow you to isolate the feedback without sacrificing tone. Another thought is the smaller version of this - like the Fishman Dual Parametric DI box, which has a two band parametric EQ on it. Haven't tried any of these feedback units, but they sound pretty good too.
     
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The feedback eliminators work on MUCH narrower bands than most parametric EQs. Most parametrics have a minimum bandwidth of about 1/10 of an octave while a 31 band graphic is a whopping 1/3 of an octave. The Behringer can narrow down to 1/50 of an octave and can do 40 dB of cut! It also has 12 bands of filtering vs. 5 on the Rane and 2 on the Fishman.

    Still, the idea of using a good parametric EQ is quite sound. I'm not going to say that a feedback elimnator is the best way to go, but will point out that the Behringer sells for half of what the Fishman goes for and is only about 1/3 the price of the Rane. The Rane is also a rack unit (yuck).

    A good argument for the Fishman is it can double as a preamp for your piezo pickup. It has also has a phase reversal switch which can yield another few dB before feedback. I'd probably recommend this over something like the Rane.
     
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Bob Gollihur has addressed the feedback issue at great length in some of the previous threads on this topic. I can't remember/find the name of the particular thread I'm thinking of at the moment, but I know it's out there....He also sends about a page of feedback-reducing tips with all K&K pickup purchases. I found it very helpful. If you'd like a copy, I'd be happy to send one.
    Good luck.
     
  7. I have played with a pretty loud rockabilly band, using my SWR SM400S (500watts) and 4x10. I found after much experimenting with all manner of ideas, that the best control of feedback was simply a combination of standing in the right place relative to your speaker cab, and using good left and right hand damping techniques. BTW, I knew a guy in another band who filled his bass up with towels (!) It worked OK, but his missus was pretty pissed!
     
  8. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    echoing Chris' offer, I'll be happy to email anyone the text from my blurb on fighting the feedback monster.
     
  9. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Just one comment on Brian's "yuck" to rack units: you've got to be kidding. The *problem* with most DB gear out there (in my opinion!!!) is that it's NOT rack mountable - for those of us who have always preferred multiple units in tandem with a power amp as well as those of us who play both electric and DB, a rack is a must, and the only pain I have is unloading and hooking up all the little gadgets necessary to make my DB sound good. My rack stuff is always hooked up and protected - easy. I only wish that more of this stuff was rackmountable...
     
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    OK, I'll qualify my statements. We are talking double bass amplifcation here, how many of you guys are using racks? When I see amps like the Clarus and Polytone MiniBrain, it seems to me that there is little demand for rack gear amongst string bassists. In fact, it seems like most string bassists hate amps so much they'll buy the smallest and cheapest they can and then complain about it for years :)

    I use a combo amp and it has cooling vents on top that have to be kept clear, so I can't stick a rack there. Even if I could, racking just the Behringer and nothing else isn't cheap and makes the thing bulkier than it needs to be (the rack itself would weigh a LOT more than the Behringer does). As I said in my original post, rack mountable units are in a poor form factor when NOT racked and are relatively fragile (easy to bust off knobs, etc.). So for a combo amp user with no other outboard gear, the Sabine Solo units seem to make more sense to me.

    Sure, if I was already using a rack system then it would be a no-brainer...well, assuming I had an empty rack space to stuff it into, otherwise, I'd have to go buy a bigger rack :)

    Caveat: There are a few combos out there that offer a built in rack space (SWR Redhead, Fender Bassman 400, Eden Metro), I wish more did. If I owned one of those, I'd probably have the Behringer in there now.






    [Edited by brianrost on 11-27-2000 at 03:50 PM]
     
  11. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Seems to me that if more of the stuff was available for rack, more people would use racks. I agree rack stuff is no good w/out a rack, however, only a rack user knows the advantages, right?, so its kind of a chicken/egg thing. I don't think most DB players are Luddites, they just tend to feel that its difficult to get the correct sound w/amp. Hence the advantage of modular gear to suit your needs.

    Also, for example, my fishman Blender gets SO much more abuse outside of a rack than it would inside (input jacks, knobs, general wear) that I would even buy a single space rack for it if it was rack mountable and I didn't have a rack to begin with...

    A silly point to argue, just stating my case.
     
  12. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I play electric in addition, and I like the overhead I can get with a power amp/preamp set up. Combos and heads rarely give me enough breathing room. I really don't care about a few extra pounds or I would go buy a combo. My real peeve is with these Blenders and preamps that sit on the floor or wherever, necessitating an extra bag, plugging cords in and out, and very possibly damaged gear. A rack is safe, always hooked up, and you can reconfigure it you need to. If I cared too much about having gear, I wouldn't bother with any of it, its the clutter (on stage and off) I care about.

    Also seems to me that anyone who gigs would know without having to pose a rhetorical question why it's better to have your stuff in a hard shell case than in a soft shoulder carry bag.
     
  13. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Ed,

    I was just reading one of your earlier posts. Where you are saying that in cities because of public transportation and/or lack of parking, bassists tend to have smaller, more portable rigs.

    I thought you played the upright bass? When was the last time you saw them let someone on the bus with a double bass and a combo amp?

    I'd say there is a real fine line between my 6 space rack and speaker cabinet and your 3 space (guessing, sorry) amp and speaker cabinet.

    I live in a pretty big city. And I'd say that my biggest/most fragile piece of gear is my double bass. There's no getting around it - I gotta drive to gigs no matter what. And I gotta drive to the after hours gig. Even if they have gear there, then I usually would take my stuff home first anyway, or can always just bring my rack (or just my blender) and double bass and borrow an amp.

    I guess what I am saying is gear is part of the gig, and most people don't complain about it unless they can't find what they want. All I want personally is a blender that rack mounts (or a way to rack mount the one I have). I think people on the electric side of the board are probably a little TOO obsessive with gear, but its a necessary evil, and you can't minimalize (make it small) it too much - you've always still got the bass, unless you buy one of them stick basses, in which case you can go sit in the corner. Just kidding...
     
  14. lerm - a propos of nothing, years ago when I went to catch Brubeck at Birdland, Eugene Wright emerged from the Subway with his Prescott bass.
    I work mostly trio, but sometimes 5 or 6, and I have certain rules regarding equipment:
    1. ONE trip from the car into the club with everything.
    2. Two wire maximum, one of which is the power cord.
    3. If I need more than a G-K Mb, or an AI, I probably won't like the gig.
     
  15. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Don,

    If you played an electric at gigs in addition, you *would* most likely need more than one trip from the car - the biggest problem when using the same gear for an electric and an upright is having a setup where you can not only A/B, but where you can also be confident levels/settings will be right on when you switch back and forth. Which means for me having either a head with two channels or an electronic rack unit (I use a ADA MB-1). However, I've been playing bass (gigs) for 15 years (and I have been using RACK MOUNTED gear all 15 years hehe), and its the playing that counts most, not the gear (tho it sure can help). All gear can be overcome, but KNOW THIS (in the voice of Darth Vader), although I strive for minimalism and efficiency, it is not MY rule. My rules are consistency and quality. That said, I need at least two trips to the car, but I can blow open the barn doors if I need to. And crap, who's complaining? Not me! I just like to play, and usually offer to carry half the band's equipment in too.

    Also - damn! How the heck do you carry ANYTHING else when you carry your double bass? I would love to know that trick!
     
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Lermed Fugalieuqua,

    Here in Lou Oval it's the best (and worst) of both worlds. I can walk to my mailbox, but the public transportation sucks, so I have to drive to the gig. After playing keyboard gigs for many years (that's a minimum 3-tripper), I am pleased to say that I have pared it down to one trip for DB gigs. I started with a small (4-space) rack and a cabinet, but it got on my nerves pretty quick, so I got a combo amp, a small folding cart, and a bungie chord. The load in is as follows: Remove gear from Honda Civic hatch; load amp, folding stool, and small amp stand on said cart; sling bass over left shoulder using handy Lemur strap; drag cart w/ right hand, and proceed to gig. STAIRS ARE THE ENEMY, but other than that, I call it one trip, although I'm not sure I'd try to drag all of that crap onto a subway. As for the outboard gear, I stuff my K&K blender and a small stomp-box graphic EQ into the bow pocket of my handy-dandy Lemur padded bag, and I'm rack free. I'm with Don & Mr. Ed on this one. Less is more.... but then I don't have to double....
     
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Actually you can rack a Blender really easily. There are a few sources of "blank" rack shelves that you can either bolt down or velcro your Blender to.

    Most URB preamps have belt clips, you can clip them to your bow quiver, mount them to the tailpiece with tie-wraps, velcro into your rack or of course hang them off your belt :)

    I keep my preamps mounted to the bass and plugged in at the instrument end (all of them apply power when you plug into the OUTPUT jack) so at the gig it's no more complicated than plugging in my bass guitar.



     
  18. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I guess another advantage to having non-rackmounted DB preamps is the minimal cord run. I am still trying to adjust to the un-racked world of the DB (I only started playing DB 2.5 years ago), so as you can see I am having a tough transistion to the gear side of it.
     
  19. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    One more ;-)

    However I do hate the velcro tailpiece mount, the belt clip, AND the infamous let's stick it on a mic stand. When I say things can get damaged, its precisely because of this. It's a loose thang floating around, and in my experience, the velcro just didn't hold it in place (that was my old Barcus Berry). I want an invisible, weightless preamp.
     
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    lerm (Slimgallitoe? wha?...),

    3M makes a product which is like velcro on steroids - it literally takes 2 hands to unhook it, so if you use this stuff, whatever you velcro down ain't goin' nowhere. I use it to attach my blender to a leg of my stool (where I can reach it), but if I didn't use a stool, I'd probably strap some of it onto my tailpiece (so I could remove it and it wouldn't ruin the finish) and stick the blender onto that. I think reedo does something similar, and he seems happy with it.