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Room Acoustics Frustration!

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by powermans, Apr 7, 2004.


  1. I was unsure whether to place this query under "Technique"however, as we don't have a "Frustration"column this will have to do!

    Last Friday night my Trio worked a gig in a Carpeted Function room sitting about 100-130 people. I used my fullsize into a GK RB400 X 2 .10's. I have a realist/ K& K DBT / and a Bass Max fitted. On the sound check I was getting a clear/solid sound with the Realist and decided to stay with that set-up for the night.... ALL WENT WELL! :hyper:

    Saturday Night, a NEW gig at a new restaurant sitting about the same amount of people , same gear except this time we were on a wood stage about 12 inches above the rest of the restaurant which was also had polished wood floors and brick wall on 2 sides. Well , from the first tune in I was constantly turning to my amp to make adjustments then after I tried EVERY available setting I started moving from the Realist / to the DBT /. on to the Bass Max and back again. finally , I said to the guys to drop the volume right down and I played the rest of the night Acoustically....( No meat left on the right hand pinkies this week) Incidentally, my keyboard player was having the same problem so , at least I wasn't alone! Anyway, I would LOVE to hear if any of you have any advice on this COMMON problem we ALL face at some time in our lives.... Does someone have a trick to these situations? :help:
     
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    That's what EQ controls are for. You didn't say WHAT the issue was with the tone in the second room.

    Regardless of what pickup or amp rig I am using I always treat the problem the same:

    1. Deal with the low end first. Basically reduce bass EQ until there is no feedback and notes on the E string don't boom. This is the one I have to adjust most going from room to room.

    2. Deal with the mids next. Dial out any nasal honkiness.

    3. Deal with the highs last. Usually I have a slight cut in the treble but if the bass sounds indistinct I increase it a bit.

    If the stage is boomy I put the amp up on milk crates or a chair to avoid coupling to the floor; sometimes I'll put the amp in front of me if there are strong resonances on one particular note (a weekly gig I did for two years had a stage that resonated like crazy at "A").
     
  3. I always try moving the amp/speaker first - close to a wall usually emphasizes the bass and can make it boomy. Even when not close to a boundary moving it around can make a profound differrence. Tilting it back and being careful what its ponting at (reflective surface?) can change things too. I don't know of any hard and fast rules. However, I could always move the amp with one hand!

    I agree with Brian on lifting from the floor, dialing out the bass if then necesary etc but you did say you tried every setting. Some venues seem to reduce any amps to an aural mush - but sometimes this is only the case for the performers - the audience may well have heard things clearly (which was the case for frustrated me last week - alos on a wooden stage in a wooden floored bare-brick hall). This can mean that eq twidlling can be changing the sound to the detriment, as it isn't being adjusted from the perspective of the listner.

    I got an AI at the moment which doesn't seem so sensitive to movement but sounds best flat on the deck (read: sounds crap if not)so I'm doing more eq twiddling these days. But I'd rather play accoustic if the band would quiten down!
     
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    If the back wall of the stage-area is reflective (brick or something similar, but not glass -- too bright), you can angle the cabinet up and point it at the wall. I've had this straighten out a few bad spaces.

    I've only played in a handful of good sounding places. Ever.
     
  5. Thanks Lads for the comments ,and Brian I did try eq-ing the boom-in-ess out but, to little effect plus the fact that you're in the middle of a 45 minute set I'm taking the vocal on 8 out of the 12 songs and I'm in charge to decide what the next song is going to be! plus there's people on the dance floor waiting to be entertained.....not a lot of time between songs to start eq-ing to any degree. OK Mike on the aural mash ...that's about what I was producing all night. and RAY, thanks for putting my faith back in ME ....that you only played a handful of good sounding venues EVER..... How True!

    I suppose we couldn't have been to bad....just got a call from the venue wanting us for another 8 gigs between now and and the beginning of May! I'll take ALL your advice on hand and start by turning the GK towards the back wall and off the ground! Thanks....
     
  6. Good luck Powerdude - let us know what happens! BTW, I seem to play the same type of venue as Ray - I could post them all on Dons crappy environment thread but life's too short - guess it just goes with the territory.