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Author Topic: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?  (Read 11268 times)

Fred Dorado

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2015, 12:45:36 pm »

Agreed, but I think it is a step in the right direction.... I just want to make sure that I don't stumble on that step.

Only deadening the stage may not "cure" the problem, but it sure won't hurt.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2015, 06:31:05 pm »

Agreed, but I think it is a step in the right direction.... I just want to make sure that I don't stumble on that step.

If you choose to "deaden" do your best to do it right.  Focusing only on 1" or 2" panels will only make Mid and Low frequency buildup worse.  You need to look at tuned bass traps and at focusing musicians own instruments at them rather than putting them in the monitors.  Get guitar amps up and aimed at the guitar players head.  Perhaps crossing or angling across the stage rather than flat out.  Get absorbing material between the amps and the back wall.  Move the bass amp around some and see if it creates any hot spots out in the house.  Playing band limited pink noise through it can be helpful.  You might be surprised how much of a difference giving the amp in different locations makes out front.  Also, using practice size amps of very low wattage for the instruments will allow the players to get the tone they want without having to drive them too loudly.  I can't stand when a Marshall stack shows up for a recording session.  It only causes problems.

A good drummer does not have to play like they are in the marching band.  Use heavier heads that aren't quite as loud.  Use lighter weight sticks.  Play with feeling like a jazz drummer.  Check out info that's available online from Carl Albrecht about worship drumming.  He's been a great resource.  I have had the pleasure of working with him on a number of Integrity Music teaching seminars and his insight is very useful.  Some great info there.

Try to provide to each performer only what they need in their monitors.  They shouldn't need the house mix.  If the performers rehearse in a physically different arrangement at other times during the week talk to the praise team leader and find out if they can play in that layout on Sunday (and/or other says).  Many musicians rehearse in one layout so that they can hear each other best but then perform in a different layout for other reasons.  The closer the performers can be in performance to what they are in rehearsal the better they will play together.
Also, if stage volume is quite high talk to them about trying to play with earplugs in, especially the drummer.  They will be surprised how much better and more clearly they hear what they need at lower monitor levels.  It seems counter intuitive but it can work.
You try it first during a rehearsal and walk around onstage with and then without earplugs and see what a difference it makes.

Lee
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Fred Dorado

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2015, 07:50:54 pm »

Thanks, a couple questions - I googled base traps and it says they are for low freq Low freq isn't the main problem - We don't have subs, so bass amp does all it's own work and is rarely the problem, except when we need to turn it up because stage is loud.

We don't have too many guys using big amps, in fact we have a small church amp for guitar and another for bass that everyone uses, rather than bringing their own.

The guitar amp is in a corner, so I know it is loading up and getting extra gain.... I will move it this week and see how it goes.... we had it there mostly for space considerations.

You mention sound absorbing materials between amps and wall..... but also say focusing on 1" or 2" panels create more problems in mid and low freq worse.

Should I avoid them all together - or just make sure to get something to handle mid and low freq?

What materials should I be using? How much of the wall should they cover?

I found a local place that makes acoustic panels and they will come out and do an analysis and it's free if you buy their panels or $90 if you don't.

I don't mind paying the $90, but I want to make sure I am getting an actual analysis and not just a sales pitch.


I will have the band try earplugs - any specific kind? just the cheap foam ones?

thanks for the help

If you choose to "deaden" do your best to do it right.  Focusing only on 1" or 2" panels will only make Mid and Low frequency buildup worse.  You need to look at tuned bass traps and at focusing musicians own instruments at them rather than putting them in the monitors.  Get guitar amps up and aimed at the guitar players head.  Perhaps crossing or angling across the stage rather than flat out.  Get absorbing material between the amps and the back wall.  Move the bass amp around some and see if it creates any hot spots out in the house.  Playing band limited pink noise through it can be helpful.  You might be surprised how much of a difference giving the amp in different locations makes out front.  Also, using practice size amps of very low wattage for the instruments will allow the players to get the tone they want without having to drive them too loudly.  I can't stand when a Marshall stack shows up for a recording session.  It only causes problems.

A good drummer does not have to play like they are in the marching band.  Use heavier heads that aren't quite as loud.  Use lighter weight sticks.  Play with feeling like a jazz drummer.  Check out info that's available online from Carl Albrecht about worship drumming.  He's been a great resource.  I have had the pleasure of working with him on a number of Integrity Music teaching seminars and his insight is very useful.  Some great info there.

Try to provide to each performer only what they need in their monitors.  They shouldn't need the house mix.  If the performers rehearse in a physically different arrangement at other times during the week talk to the praise team leader and find out if they can play in that layout on Sunday (and/or other says).  Many musicians rehearse in one layout so that they can hear each other best but then perform in a different layout for other reasons.  The closer the performers can be in performance to what they are in rehearsal the better they will play together.
Also, if stage volume is quite high talk to them about trying to play with earplugs in, especially the drummer.  They will be surprised how much better and more clearly they hear what they need at lower monitor levels.  It seems counter intuitive but it can work.
You try it first during a rehearsal and walk around onstage with and then without earplugs and see what a difference it makes.

Lee
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 12:08:23 am »

Thanks, a couple questions - I googled base traps and it says they are for low freq Low freq isn't the main problem - We don't have subs, so bass amp does all it's own work and is rarely the problem, except when we need to turn it up because stage is loud.

We don't have too many guys using big amps, in fact we have a small church amp for guitar and another for bass that everyone uses, rather than bringing their own.

The guitar amp is in a corner, so I know it is loading up and getting extra gain.... I will move it this week and see how it goes.... we had it there mostly for space considerations.

You mention sound absorbing materials between amps and wall..... but also say focusing on 1" or 2" panels create more problems in mid and low freq worse.

Should I avoid them all together - or just make sure to get something to handle mid and low freq?

What materials should I be using? How much of the wall should they cover?

I found a local place that makes acoustic panels and they will come out and do an analysis and it's free if you buy their panels or $90 if you don't.

I don't mind paying the $90, but I want to make sure I am getting an actual analysis and not just a sales pitch.


I will have the band try earplugs - any specific kind? just the cheap foam ones?

thanks for the help

Low and high frequency is relative.  I can see where my using just the terms low and high could be confusing. 
Don't avoid thinner absorbers altogether.  My point was that you have a lot of build up onstage due to your monitors. 
Talk to an acoustical consultant for input. 
If you only absorb high(er) frequencies with 1" & 2" panels (1" is only a fairly good absorber down to about 300Hz, 2" can be fairly good down to about 125Hz) you may leave a lot of monitor sound that will be very boomy or muddy.  Not only does this not help your musicians with hearing each other well it also makes the stage bleed into the house very muddy.  You will cut down on the brighter sounds but not so much on the range that can really make things muddy.  You will notice that this overlap is also in the male vocal range. 

You may also benefit from spacing absorbing panels off of the walls.  Using standoffs (a number of acoustical panel manufacturers offer these) can increase the effective bandwidth of the absorber.  Again, talk to an acoustical consultant or provider.

You don't want the whole stage space to be dead.
I would think that treating behind and potentially above (yes, the ceiling) the drum kit with 3" panels and then looking at a positive/negative checkerboard from there on the walls with 2" may be very helpful.  By positive/negative I mean, on one side wall of the stage where there is an absorbing panel, directly opposite there is not.  You make a positive geometric layout on one side wall and a negative on the other.  Treating the corners of the stage with something like Auralex LENRD Bass Traps is quite easy, especially compared to creating a tuned bass trap. 
It could also be beneficial to consider diffusers, especially above the drum kit to the sides of the absorbing panels and in at least some of the negative space where there are no absorbers in your checkerboard pattern.  Having a checkerboard on the back wall of the stage along with diffusion in the negatives may be helpful.  Talk to an acoustical consultant.

When I say a small guitar amp I mean 20 watts or less if possible.  Bass amp 50 or 60 watts or so is large enough for most stage areas.  Often players have something larger already.  As long as they do not have to be too loud to get the tone that the player and worship leader want you should be O.K.  In any case aim the guitar amps at the guitar players head rather than across their shins and ankles.  This allows the player to hear the actual sound of the amp rather than the off axis sound.

Many/most of the acoustical treatment manufacturers will provide you with a suggested layout for your use.  I have had very good results from Acoustical Surfaces, Inc.  http://www.acousticalsurfaces.com/

As far as earplugs go check out http://www.etymotic.com/consumer/hearing-protection.html.  They have a good selection of relatively flat frequency response plugs at low prices.

You will be best served to talk to an acoustical consultant or a designer even if it is with a reputable treatment company.  DIY can be a waste of money as it is very difficult to get a good result through experimentation.

Lee
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Fred Dorado

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2015, 01:14:09 am »

Lee - thank you for all the help and suggestions.

Roughly what should it cost to have an acoustic consultant do an analysis?

What do I look for? As an example, this is a place I found locally and would charge $90, but doesn't tell me what they actually do http://www.gmacousticdesign.com/#!testimonials/c3g8

I'm in Los Angeles and there seems to be a number used stuff on craigslist also.




You will be best served to talk to an acoustical consultant or a designer even if it is with a reputable treatment company.

Lee
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2015, 06:47:33 am »

Lee - thank you for all the help and suggestions.

Roughly what should it cost to have an acoustic consultant do an analysis?

What do I look for? As an example, this is a place I found locally and would charge $90, but doesn't tell me what they actually do http://www.gmacousticdesign.com/#!testimonials/c3g8

I'm in Los Angeles and there seems to be a number used stuff on craigslist also.

Cost can vary significantly.  The website of the company to which you linked does not give me a very good impression that they know much at all about acoustics.  They repeatedly reference soundproofing but never discuss it, what they discuss is in room acoustical treatment.  They say their products are made from natural materials but the bass traps they show are foam. 

I would suggest a couple of options. 
One, you can contact the local chapter of the Audio Engineering Society and ask some questions.  See if you can get a handful of recommendations for acoustical consultants.  The contact info is at this link http://www.aes.org/sections/view.cfm?section=152

Another suggestion would be contact a manufacturer.  Many will provide analysis for free,.  I gave you a link in the last reply, here is another to a different page on the same manufacturers website http://www.asiproaudio.com.  This page has a contact phone # for questions regarding treatment.  They will provide assistance and recommendations based upon the needs you describe to them and the size, shape and surfaces of your room.  They can provide directions to install items yourself or they may be able to recommend local installers.

Proper acoustic treatment cost will vary depending upon what needs to be done. 

Lee
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2015, 06:59:15 am »

Contact these guys. They have some of the best panels out there. They will help you with design and selecting the best panel. It's important to compare the NRC value of the various panel manufactures.

You may want to consider some treatment for the rest of the room as well.

http://www.perdueacoustics.com/

Tell them I sent you
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 07:01:27 am by Jamin Lynch »
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2015, 01:50:40 pm »

I don't hate music stands as much as some of the other posters (it's a worship service so the band's not really the focus anyway), but do make sure that they're not positioned in between musicians and their monitors. The ones I can see in the photo look good in that respect.

Anything between the HF driver and the performer's ears will defeat the purpose of the monitor. Music stands are the prime culprit -- but your stage looks pretty good in that respect, as Jeff mentioned. And I agree that the single monitor for both your guitarists isn't doing either of them a favor: it's not pointing at either of them, and when you try to satisfy both you'll satisfy neither, because A will hear B's guitar, and B will hear A's guitar.

Ideally, every monitor will have a different mix tailored to that performer's needs.

Sometimes it helps to do a "reset." Turn down ALL the monitors (leave a little of the keys in that monitor) and have the band play. (Do this during rehearsal.) Get the house mix right, and only then start ramping up the monitors.

What happens a lot of times is that the monitors end up becoming more important than the house mix, and you end up hearing the stage more than the house. When you do this reset, the spill from the house back to the stage should make up some of what you're taking out of the monitors, rather than the spill from the stage making up what you took out of the house mix.
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Irvin Pribadi

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2015, 06:41:46 pm »

I think there's lots of good advice here.

Some of my thoughts:
1. Is the drum too loud? For my small church this has always been the culprit, and like someone said, having the drummer restrain him/herself is the best way: lighter sticks (7A, maple) or even thunder rods can help.
2. In ear monitor at least for some? The keyboardist may not mind using headphones fed from a monitor mix bus & headphone amp.
3. Individual monitor mixes is a good thing but do you have enough busses to have individual mixes for everyone? If not, the monitor can simply feed "me" for each musician. A DI box, if you already use one, can easily split the feed into a powered monitor.
4. Drum shield with acoustic panels behind the drum.

For starters I would not go the acoustic panel route just yet, instead try to tame the beast from its source.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2015, 06:54:42 pm »

Place the amps in boxed enclosures off stage and mic them.

Otherwise, try and reverse the trend of seeking technical $olution$ for personnel problems.
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Re: My Stage is a great big horn - hw to tame it?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2015, 06:54:42 pm »


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