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How do you tune to a room?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by fod, May 4, 2006.

  1. fod


    Nov 18, 2005
    Louisivlle Kentucky
    Ive have heard bits and pieces about tuning to a room, but never really got a whole picture. So how exactly do you tune or set your eq to a room?
  2. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Without the aid of some expensive gear, the easy way is to set all your mics up and crank the master up on your PA until you get feed back then find the frequencies that are feeding back and cut them until they stop ringing. That's the 5 minute poor mans way if you don't have a measurement mic and an RTA.
  3. fod


    Nov 18, 2005
    Louisivlle Kentucky
    thanks for that tip, but was meaning more like how do you tune your amp to a room? is that even possible or did I miss understand?
  4. FriscoBassAce


    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    I get you. You're talking about if you plug in your amp, and then it sounds either very tinny or very boomy and you want to make it sound normal again. A lot of that depends on where you set your amp up. I've always heard that you should avoid putting speaker cabinets in a corner because it can cause the cancellation of sound waves, resulting in a very "small" sound.

    Also, sometimes the stage "sucks" up your sound. In that case, you should use some type of isolator to put between your cab and the floor. There are some pads out on the market...can't remember what they are called, but I'm sure someone will help me out!

    The other thing you can do is use a wireless or your longest cord and just go stand out at a distance to hear how it sounds. Of course if you're using the PA to do most of the work, your sound man should be able to take care of a lot of the problems. Ultimately you want to use your cabinet and amp as your own stage monitor.

    That's all I've got....anyone else?
  5. It's important to do any adjustments at your performance volume, else the balance will change if you turn up or down.

    Walk around the room if you can and listen for certain frequencys or notes that resonate.

    Remember, it doesn't take a lot of tweaking to make a difference. The same goes for tuning a PA. When I mix for bands I go for between 4 and 8 bands of cut on a 1/3 octave EQ and certainly no more than 10.
  6. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    If you see the tweeker's teeth rattling out of their skulls then you know you've got it about right....
  7. One piece of advice I was given is to start by turning the amp bass down, set the mids and top for the sound you want, then turn the bass up to the point where it starts to boom, then back it off a touch.

    Does that work for anyone else?
  8. The reason I mentioned tuning at performance volume is that the louder the sound source, the more exaggerated the bass and treble will be. This is sometimes known as the "loudness" effect.

    So, if you make your bass sound nice at low volume then crank it up and you'll discover that the room is shaking and your tweeter diaphragm is embedded in somebodies forehead. Meanwhile, all that nice midrange you dialed in is nowhere to be heard.

    Start flat, make minimal tweaks - especially if using a graphic, and keep in mind that what sounds good to you doesn't necessarily mean that you will be heard or enjoyed by the punters. Most bassists I see fail to add enough presence to their sound.
  9. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    My bass teacher once gave me this advice - set the highs where you want them, and then turn up the lows as much as the room can handle.

    That's served me well.

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