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Author Topic: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ  (Read 3247 times)

Dan Costello

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 01:57:44 pm »

Sounds reasonable.  Have you tried delaying the system?

Just because of room geometry, the sound from the mains are already arriving at the listeners 7+ ms later than the sound from the sources on stage. (FOH is ~35' from the stage, speakers are ~25' in the air). How much more do you want them delayed?

Also, I think it's generally a bad idea to tell someone to go mucking about with system delay when their OP says they've never even modified a system eq before.

-Dan.
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dick rees

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 02:02:40 pm »

Just because of room geometry, the sound from the mains are already arriving at the listeners 7+ ms later than the sound from the sources on stage. (FOH is ~35' from the stage, speakers are ~25' in the air). How much more do you want them delayed?

Also, I think it's generally a bad idea to tell someone to go mucking about with system delay when their OP says they've never even modified a system eq before.

-Dan.

I couldn't care less what you think of the way I run a system and mix.

I'm not advocating realigning the drivers, just "moving" the mains behind the musicians.  It's not rocket surgery.  You dial in a delay enough to accomplish that and listen.  Depending on the console, you can do it on the outputs or further downstream. 

  If it improves things, keep it.  If it doesn't, return it to how it was.  It's not going to do any harm.
 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 03:17:21 pm by dick rees »
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Dan Costello

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 05:56:49 pm »

I couldn't care less what you think of the way I run a system and mix.

While I'm skeptical about your approach, I deliberately did not address its effectiveness, so I'm not sure why your panties are in such a bunch.

My question was (mostly) an honest one: how much more would you delay them?

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I'm not advocating realigning the drivers, just "moving" the mains behind the musicians.  It's not rocket surgery.  You dial in a delay enough to accomplish that and listen.  Depending on the console, you can do it on the outputs or further downstream.  If it improves things, keep it.  If it doesn't, return it to how it was.  It's not going to do any harm.

He's either buying a delay unit, or he's mucking about in the processor. One way, he's got to front some money; the other, he risks hosing some important settings.

-Dan.

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dick rees

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 07:16:25 pm »

My question was (mostly) an honest one: how much more would you delay them?

As much as necessary to achieve the desired result.  If the result is not achieved, then go back to square one.

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Dan Costello

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 07:51:36 pm »

As much as necessary to achieve the desired result.  If the result is not achieved, then go back to square one.

Ok, how about this:

In your experience, what's a ballpark estimate for the amount of total delay (natural delay from the speakers being farther away than the sources + dsp-added delay) required for this method to be effective?

I've never heard of anyone doing this. And while I can kind of see where you're coming from, I'm curious to know how much you've found to be useful.

-Dan.
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dick rees

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 08:06:22 pm »

Ok, how about this:

In your experience, what's a ballpark estimate for the amount of total delay (natural delay from the speakers being farther away than the sources + dsp-added delay) required for this method to be effective?

I've never heard of anyone doing this. And while I can kind of see where you're coming from, I'm curious to know how much you've found to be useful.

-Dan.

Dan....

In reverse order:

I not only find it useful, I find it essential.

I don't do it in the DSP, I use either console output delay or the delay in my Sabine GraphiQ's.

I already gave the needed delay determinant:  BEHIND the performers.  How much behind is up to you.  Given that delay becomes audible as an effect at around 11 milliseconds (I hear it start to become noticeable at around 8 milliseconds myself), a BALLPARK figure for this to work is no more than 11 milliseconds.

HOWEVER, you have to do it by ear.  Any numerical measurements given are in retrospect, having been derived from setting this up BY EAR over the course of some 40+ years of experience.

Mark.....

Sorry for the topic swerve.  Dan wants to know about delay.

I'm curious about a couple of things yet:

1.  What are the rest of the components of your system; Console, processing, the whole ball of wax>

2.  At the other facility you mentioned, were the instruments all run through DI's as you do, or were there amps on stage?

Were the situations apples:apples or apples:oranges?
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Dan Costello

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 08:25:40 pm »

Dan....

In reverse order:

I not only find it useful, I find it essential.

I don't do it in the DSP, I use either console output delay or the delay in my Sabine GraphiQ's.

I already gave the needed delay determinant:  BEHIND the performers.  How much behind is up to you.  Given that delay becomes audible as an effect at around 11 milliseconds (I hear it start to become noticeable at around 8 milliseconds myself), a BALLPARK figure for this to work is no more than 11 milliseconds.

HOWEVER, you have to do it by ear.  Any numerical measurements given are in retrospect, having been derived from setting this up BY EAR over the course of some 40+ years of experience.

Ok, that's a start.

One of the reasons I ask is that you've got people lurking around reading this, and without any hard figures (or even ballpark figures), they could go off and delay their systems by 10+x that and think they're doing it "right," because some guy on the internet said so.

Another reason I ask is because we can see that the geometry of the room is already providing approximately that much delay. At FOH, it's about 7ms, but in the front row, it could be over 20ms. The farther you move back in the room, the less geometry-induced delay will be experienced, but at the same time, the stage wash will become lower in volume relative to the mains, so the trick will be less effective.

IOW, I think we can abandon this as a possible solution.

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Sorry for the topic swerve.  Dan wants to know about delay.

It's not off-topic to ask about (and explain) something put forward as a potential solution to the OP's problems.

-Dan.
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dick rees

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 08:50:33 pm »

Ok, that's a start.

One of the reasons I ask is that you've got people lurking around reading this, and without any hard figures (or even ballpark figures), they could go off and delay their systems by 10+x that and think they're doing it "right," because some guy on the internet said so.

Another reason I ask is because we can see that the geometry of the room is already providing approximately that much delay. At FOH, it's about 7ms, but in the front row, it could be over 20ms. The farther you move back in the room, the less geometry-induced delay will be experienced, but at the same time, the stage wash will become lower in volume relative to the mains, so the trick will be less effective.

IOW, I think we can abandon this as a possible solution.

It's not off-topic to ask about (and explain) something put forward as a potential solution to the OP's problems.

-Dan.

Dan....

You've obviously made up your mind (without any direct experience with this technique) that what I've been doing successfully for decades is either wrong or will not work.  You've misunderstood even the simplest of explanations, some of them given several times.

The section in bold above is wrong on several accounts, not the least of which is your assertion that the original sound from the stage and the sound from the speakers fall off at different rates.   

Do us all a favor and do some reading on the relationship of delay and location, try this for yourself, abandon the numbers and go for the result.  You can start with this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precedence_effect

What you're looking for is to associate the source of the sound with the performers, not the speakers.  If the sound appears to be coming from the speakers rather than the performers, delaying the speakers can help.

When you've tried it, then come back and talk to me.  Until then you're just firing shots in the dark, my friend.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 09:18:11 pm by dick rees »
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mark ahlenius

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2013, 11:01:34 pm »

Sounds reasonable.  Have you tried delaying the system?

Hi Dick,

sorry I didn't see the 2nd page of posts until just now.

From the previous discussions I understand where you are coming from Dick.  I have no problems adding delay into the main feed.

As for the rest of the gear, sure I can give that.

FOH console - Midas Verona 40 ch.
Center channel out to the main cluster (via DSP), L/R chans feed via the DSP to the side fill speakers.

Shure DSP DFR-22 (no longer made but works fine).  This is used to split the input signal (center) to 3 channels, then feed parametric EQ effect proc, crossover (for bi-amp splitting) and graphic EQ + limiter and gain adjustment per channel.

I can drop in a delay on the main cluster very easily and dial in  < 11 ms.    I already did this for the DFR-11 DSP which runs our lobby speakers and other feeds.

The DSP outputs feed to our amp room (balanced low-imedance lines) to a rack of crown Macro Tech 2400's and some QSC's to power the Martins.
There's more to the system than that, but that's what's in the signal path to the mains (I know as myself and another friend installed it all).

Subs are a pair of Martins which are an Aux-fed sub system into a group fader.  That feeds a Rane e-crossover which feeds a QSC 3600?  to feed the subs.  Subs are below the stage which is concrete.

As for amps on stage - none.  everything is done via direct outs (typically Radial D/I's).   Aviom system is fed from D/O's from the Midas and a couple of Aux bus feeds.

Its a larger band, often 1-2 keys, Sax or Violin, drums, sometimes a latin percussion set.  1 acoustic, 1 bass,  1 e-guitar and 4-6 vocals.   Yes, I would appreciate a smaller group, but that's my opinion.

The only sound we get off the stage is of course the drums.

best,

'mark
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 11:25:17 pm by mark ahlenius »
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Dan Costello

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Re: System EQ vs. channel strip EQ
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 02:25:10 am »

Dan....

You've obviously made up your mind (without any direct experience with this technique) that what I've been doing successfully for decades is either wrong or will not work.

I said that I was skeptical, not that you were wrong. I, too, understand the precedence effect, and I think there's some value to leaning on it. However, what I was trying to point out was that the sound from the speakers is ALREADY behind the performers, just by virtue of the geometry of the room. When I asked how much more you wanted it to be delayed, you got your feathers all ruffled.

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You've misunderstood even the simplest of explanations, some of them given several times.

I think you ought to re-read this thread, because there may be a post or two you think you made that you haven't. There's nothing here I've misunderstood and there's nothing you've explained several times. I've asked specific questions, and you seem to be insulted when I do, acting as if you've already explained the answers when you haven't.


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The section in bold above is wrong on several accounts, not the least of which is your assertion that the original sound from the stage and the sound from the speakers fall off at different rates.

I didn't say that they fall off at different rates. I said that as you move backwards in the room, the relative distances change and the sound from the speakers winds up becoming more of what the listeners hear. That's because speakers are usually louder than the vocalists on stage and because (excluding front fills) the speaker coverage towards the middle/back of the room is usually better than it is in the very front, whereas the stage wash is concentrated at the front and fades as you move back. So when you sit up front, you get a ton of stage wash, but when you're in the back, you hear mostly the speakers.

And as far as the other things that you bolded being wrong, please tell me what I messed up. Calculating the relative delays is a matter of basic geometry. The OP has already said that the speakers are about 25' up and that FOH is about 35' back from the stage/speakers. Using the pythagorean theorem (a^2 + b^2 = c^2), we can find that the straight-line distance from FOH to the speakers is about 43' (assuming FOH is on the ground floor). That means that FOH is about 8' closer to the front of the stage than it is to the speakers. With the speed of sound being 1126 ft/s, that would mean the mains are already delayed to the front of the stage by 7.1ms, when measured at FOH.

Now, the relative delay is greater at the front row, because there's a wider gap in the relative distances between the listener and the sound sources. Assuming that the front row is 10' back from the stage and the speakers are still 25' up, that'd put the distance from the listener to the speakers at 26.9'. That's 16.9' farther than the front of the stage, which would translate to a relative delay of 15 ms.

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What you're looking for is to associate the source of the sound with the performers, not the speakers. If the sound appears to be coming from the speakers rather than the performers, delaying the speakers can help.

I know. I also know that that's not always possible, particularly when the performer is quiet or when the distances to be covered are moderately long (or both).

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When you've tried it, then come back and talk to me.  Until then you're just firing shots in the dark, my friend.

You like to proclaim yourself correct and me wrong w/o providing much of an explanation why, despite your claims that you have. I'm not saying that your underlying principle is wrong (because it has some merit), but as a general principle, whenever I see anyone get so bent out of shape and defensive about such simple questions, I start to suspect that they're full of it.

If I'm wrong about the geometry of the room already providing the bulk of this delay, please show me how.

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The only sound we get off the stage is of course the drums.

And vocals, horns, percussion, acoustic guitar, and violin.

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Its a larger band, often 1-2 keys, Sax or Violin, drums, sometimes a latin percussion set.  1 acoustic, 1 bass,  1 e-guitar and 4-6 vocals.   Yes, I would appreciate a smaller group, but that's my opinion.

Yeah... I'm guessing that of those dozen people only 1-2 (at most) are really good, with most of the rest being just average, with 1-2 being in the "joyful noise" category. Does that sound about right?

Arranging for such a large group is hard. Arranging them to sound "intimate" is even harder. Doing it with a band of mediocre volunteers is night unto impossible.

Out of curiosity, do you have any videos or audio recordings of the band?

-Dan.
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