Stage in the basement

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by vgbassman, May 5, 2019.

  1. I was in a venue this weekend that would probably seat 1,500. It was beautifully designed for acoustics--lots of soft surfaces, no parallel walls, lots of sound absorption. It also had an excellent sound system run by a skilled technician.

    I was there for a two day event. The first night, the band sounded bad. The drums were just too loud and had the sound engineer turned up the rest of the band to match everybody's ears would have been bleeding. The next morning I came in to find the drum riser wrapped in a drum shield. Everything sounded much better.

    This drummer was good in the sense that he kept good rhythm and had solid technique, but he was loud enough that despite every other element working in the favor of good sound the audience still got a muddy mess.

    All of this is to say that I'd focus on sound abatement first of all. Rockwool sound panels and a drum shield are a great start but electronic drums and IEMs are even better. Good luck!
    derrico1 likes this.
  2. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef is modulating in time. Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Southern California
    I agree “sound abatement” is good to focus on in a small room like that, and then build from there. But I gotta say, if the sound guy needed to enclose the drums in plexiglass for a 1500 seat venue (that’s also beautifully designed for acoustics), then dude should probably do something else for a living. A couple of overhead mics just feathered into the mains with some kick drum should sound perfect for a room that size, no matter how hard the drummer plays. There a ton of sound guys out there who feel they must mic the crap out of the drum set even in a small/medium size venue, and then the drums sound so huge that the rest of the band has to be loud as hell to keep up. Just becomes a competition then. A good sound guy knows that an acoustic drum set with a rock drummer will usually fill up a decent size room sometimes 80-90% on it’s own.
  3. Sorry, I should have been clearer—the drums had mics for a live feed but I don’t think there was any of that in the mains. The drummer was, on his own as far as I could tell, filling up the whole room. This wasn’t a rock show, but a conference, so I think the sound guy was trying to keep the max volume to about 95db, hence there being no room to match the drums.

    So yeah, I don’t blame the sound guy but rather, in true TalkBass fashion, I think they should fire the drummer. :roflmao:
    The Bass Clef likes this.
  4. DonaldR


    Mar 26, 2012
    I have not read all the replies, but my friend (where we are playing at some party) is doing something similar.
    For instruments:
    - Drums: we started with acoustic drums but now have electronic drums, big improvement in overall sound.
    - Electric guitar is direct using a modeler (Avid Eleven Rack)
    - Bass is direct using Ampeg SCR-DI
    - going everything direct is a good way to lower the sound level and keep things in control

    For PA:
    - using a Behringer XR12 digital mixer, acting as a stagebox so no snake and cables to minimum. Similar digital can be used and will reduced audio and power cables and will save space used by a rack instead
    - 2x Yorkville NX55P powered speakers and Yorkville LS700 sub, this is way enough and even a bit too much, maybe 2x EV ZXA1 tops and 1x EV ZXA1 sub can be enough/better and take less space on stage
    - no monitors as we are all direct, just put the 2x tops not to far on stage, will also save space

    For Stage:
    We only have a drum raiser and I think it's enough as we don't need electricity on stage (for our setup). If you need to plug pedalboards I will suggest a low stage (6" max) where you pass the electricity underneath. Otherwise, just something to delimit the "stage" and keep people with drinks a bit away from equipment, maybe just some lower handrails can work.

    For Lights:
    Nothing very elaborated, I will suggest buying only LEDs to keep the power requirement to minimum and not heat the space too much.

    For Electricity:
    Nothing special as we have no amps, Class D power amps for tops/sub and LEDs lightning.

    For Sound proofing/tuning:
    - Suspended ceiling lowered only by 2"/3", absorbs some reflections and easy the cabling if needed later
    - Carpeting, except on stage and small dancing floor.
    - 2-3 couches
    - big and heavy curtains

    The sound is surprisingly good and controlled as we are all direct to FOH. Most important thing: we have fun to play with friends
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    Jul 29, 2021

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