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Author Topic: Ringing Out  (Read 15733 times)

Bob Burke

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Ringing Out
« on: June 24, 2014, 10:25:35 am »

Hello all. I have stupid question #236  ;D  to ask regarding ringing out a small rig.

I have a Soundcraft EFX8 that I love:

http://www.soundcraft.com/products/product.aspx?pid=148


and a dbx 1231:

http://dbxpro.com/en-US/products/1231.


  My normal procedure is to set my GEQ flat, then adjust my channel strips EQs to where I want them. Then I bring up the master faders to look for squealing freqs, which I then cut on the dbx. Is this the proper method to use?

  Invariably, I end up cutting some frequencies on the dbx that I really need - for vocal clarity, for instance. Then I try to compensate by raising the high EQ on the channel strip – bad, I know.

  I have read tons of articles about this, but I find that in real world practice (especially in a horribly reflective space), I'm not getting the results I want.

  I'm not dealing with a lot of sources – two vocal mics and two channels of backing tracks, and we're not silly loud. I just want as much GBF I can get without any possibility of a feedback disaster in the middle of a song!

  Can you straighten this out for me?



Thanks.


Bob

 

DavidTurner

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Re: Ringing Out
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 10:55:54 am »

Although this is not how I would do it, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say if this gives you the results you want, it is the proper way for YOU.


Hello all. I have stupid question #236  ;D  to ask regarding ringing out a small rig.

I have a Soundcraft EFX8 that I love:

http://www.soundcraft.com/products/product.aspx?pid=148


and a dbx 1231:

http://dbxpro.com/en-US/products/1231.


  My normal procedure is to set my GEQ flat, then adjust my channel strips EQs to where I want them. Then I bring up the master faders to look for squealing freqs, which I then cut on the dbx. Is this the proper method to use?

  Invariably, I end up cutting some frequencies on the dbx that I really need - for vocal clarity, for instance. Then I try to compensate by raising the high EQ on the channel strip – bad, I know.

  I have read tons of articles about this, but I find that in real world practice (especially in a horribly reflective space), I'm not getting the results I want.

  I'm not dealing with a lot of sources – two vocal mics and two channels of backing tracks, and we're not silly loud. I just want as much GBF I can get without any possibility of a feedback disaster in the middle of a song!

  Can you straighten this out for me?



Thanks.


Bob

 
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Bob Burke

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Re: Ringing Out
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 10:57:41 am »

Mr. Turner,

  Actually, it's not giving me the results I want. Hence the question. How do you do it? (bear in mind, I don't have a driverack).

Thanks.

Bob

Art Welter

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Re: Ringing Out
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 11:25:56 am »

My normal procedure is to set my GEQ flat, then adjust my channel strips EQs to where I want them. Then I bring up the master faders to look for squealing freqs, which I then cut on the dbx. Is this the proper method to use?

  Invariably, I end up cutting some frequencies on the dbx that I really need - for vocal clarity, for instance. Then I try to compensate by raising the high EQ on the channel strip – bad, I know.

  I have read tons of articles about this, but I find that in real world practice (especially in a horribly reflective space), I'm not getting the results I want.
Bob,

In a horribly reflective place to get good results requires putting the sound where you want it, and keeping it away from where you don't.
Are your speakers above head height and angled down to the listeners?
What is their coverage pattern?
"Squealing" (high frequency feedback) sounds like your vocal mics are in the coverage pattern of the mains. Are you attempting to use the mains for monitors also?
Have you tried using in ear monitors (which can be as simple as using some ear buds from the headphone output of your mixer)?

Art
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Keith Billik

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Re: Ringing Out
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 11:30:14 am »

Hello all. I have stupid question #236  ;D  to ask regarding ringing out a small rig.

I have a Soundcraft EFX8 that I love:

http://www.soundcraft.com/products/product.aspx?pid=148


and a dbx 1231:

http://dbxpro.com/en-US/products/1231.


  My normal procedure is to set my GEQ flat, then adjust my channel strips EQs to where I want them. Then I bring up the master faders to look for squealing freqs, which I then cut on the dbx. Is this the proper method to use?

  Invariably, I end up cutting some frequencies on the dbx that I really need - for vocal clarity, for instance. Then I try to compensate by raising the high EQ on the channel strip – bad, I know.

  I have read tons of articles about this, but I find that in real world practice (especially in a horribly reflective space), I'm not getting the results I want.

  I'm not dealing with a lot of sources – two vocal mics and two channels of backing tracks, and we're not silly loud. I just want as much GBF I can get without any possibility of a feedback disaster in the middle of a song!

  Can you straighten this out for me?



Thanks.


Bob

 

Here are a couple thoughts:

- Your method seems fine, that is basically what I do. However, how many cuts are you making? After you make 3 or 4 cuts in the EQ, you are kind of fighting against yourself (in other words, that's as good as it's gonna get).

- High EQ normally is way above what I would consider "vocal clarity," so I'm not sure what you have going on there, but that may be part of the problem.

- If you are lacking vocal clarity, you may want to try to cut those frequencies from your tracks, instead of boosting them on the vocals. Depending on the voice, this will be somewhere in the 2k-5k area.

- Another idea: since you only have 2 open microphones, you could insert each channel of your dbx on those two channels, and have a complete 31-band EQ for each mic. Since each one may demand different settings, this may help you get the most out of them.
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Bob Burke

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Re: Ringing Out
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 12:04:54 pm »

Bob,

In a horribly reflective place to get good results requires putting the sound where you want it, and keeping it away from where you don't.
Are your speakers above head height and angled down to the listeners?
What is their coverage pattern?
"Squealing" (high frequency feedback) sounds like your vocal mics are in the coverage pattern of the mains. Are you attempting to use the mains for monitors also?
Have you tried using in ear monitors (which can be as simple as using some ear buds from the headphone output of your mixer)?

Art



Hi Art. We're using Yammy 115V's for mains, behind us (Bob Leonard's method), and have only tried this once or twice. It works pretty well. I'm using the cheap CAD189 dynamics, which have great GBF. I usually use Beta 87A's, which I prefer, but they are really hot mics. Monitors right now are Peavey PR-12 (which I hate and am returning - to be replaced with Yammy CM12Vs.)

  I can get acceptable levels, I just want to see if I can improve my system.


Regards,

Bob


Bob Burke

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Re: Ringing Out
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 12:07:45 pm »

Here are a couple thoughts:

- Your method seems fine, that is basically what I do. However, how many cuts are you making? After you make 3 or 4 cuts in the EQ, you are kind of fighting against yourself (in other words, that's as good as it's gonna get).

- High EQ normally is way above what I would consider "vocal clarity," so I'm not sure what you have going on there, but that may be part of the problem.

- If you are lacking vocal clarity, you may want to try to cut those frequencies from your tracks, instead of boosting them on the vocals. Depending on the voice, this will be somewhere in the 2k-5k area.

- Another idea: since you only have 2 open microphones, you could insert each channel of your dbx on those two channels, and have a complete 31-band EQ for each mic. Since each one may demand different settings, this may help you get the most out of them.


Keith,

  I know I'm making too many cuts. I'm a musician, not a sound man. ;D

I am currently using one side of the dbx for the mains, and the other for the monitors.


Regards,

Bob

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Ringing Out
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 12:22:25 pm »

Bob, the biggest problem I see with your method is pre-emptive channel strip EQ.  Other that setting a high pass on vocals and some instruments I know I'll use them on (acoustic gtr, mandolins, etc), I don't cut much and I *never* boost a freq band before I've heard the system, tuned the system, and then listen to each input to make voicing changes on the channel strip EQ.

I think you need to tune the rig so it sounds 'right' with a decently broad selection of recorded material germane to your performance.  Then you need to ring the monitors/PA, and only then voice the inputs.  Why?  Because if you do it your current way, you can't tell if the problem is speaker/mic placement, some oddity of system response, a peaky mic, or your pre-emptive EQ based on not hearing the system...

After looking at the picture, I also think you can safely leave one of the monitors at home.  The comb filtering from the pair (I'm presuming it's one mix, or that there are identical signals within 6dB in each speaker) is making your life difficult.  Moving your head even an inch or 2 will result in vastly different tonality, and if you try to "correct" that with EQ you're chasing ferrets thru a fun house AND creating further problems that you will perceive differently every time you move your head.  Really.  The alternative is to move them much further apart, but it doesn't look like you have the space to do that.

And while most folks will tell you to never put the PA behind the mics, my *experience* is that it can be done.  I routinely have corporate presenters wearing lavalier mics downstage of the PA (often they work the audience) in hotel ballrooms and meeting spaces.  I'm not suggesting that this is without potential peril and I'm not saying that just anyone can do this and get acceptable results the first time, but yes Virginia, you CAN put the PA upstage if you take the time to experiment away from a gig situation and its attendant pressures.

And my main finding, after years of making my own mistakes and watching other folks make their own mistakes... most of the time the mixer operator gets hung up on "unity."  I'd love to turn back the clock and remove that bit of Mackie marketing-speak.  It results in most operators sending too-hot of a signal to the amps, and they have a wall of feedback if they move a fader or knob more than 20% of travel.  Think about it like this, you're adding 30dB or more gain at the mixer, and another 32dB or possibly more at the amp.  You might need about 40dB of gain total, but, following the Mackie bullshit, you've added over 60dB.  Bob, this isn't aimed specifically at you, but I post it to address an issue I find all too often.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 02:07:53 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Bob Leonard

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Re: Ringing Out
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 12:32:53 pm »

Bob,
Your picture tells the story I need to hear.

If you're using the EQ as a system EQ (IN LINE with the main output)the goal is to adjust that EQ so that system response is flat, and then leave it alone. This can be done at a practice session before the gig. From that point the board channel strip is what should be used for individual changes to the voice or instrument running through that channel. If the channel strip isn't enough then add an EQ for that particular channel and work with that, not the system EQ.

Looking at the rig in the picture it's apparent you work smaller clubs and gigs with your duo. You have enough amplification behind you for guitars, and with the FOH cabinets behind you, something I do quite often, you may find you either don't need monitors, or that you don't need much volume from them. So what comes from front of house? Vocals pretty much.

Here's a very old school trick. Turn off the monitors, set the board EQ's all flat, and using the system EQ set the FOH to sound it's best using recorded but not compressed material, or while someone sings. Again, this can be done at home. This isn't exactly the right way to set the system, but it works and gives you a base line to work from. When you get to the club use the channel EQ's, not the system EQ to set the tone for the channel.

For the monitors use an EQ for each monitor and adjust them to taste separately. I might also suggest that you angle the monitor more towards the side of the mic and further away from each other.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Ringing Out
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 12:34:10 pm »

Tim,
You just had to beat me to the post.
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BOSTON STRONG........
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I did a gig for Otis Elevator once. Like every job, it had it's ups and downs.

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Re: Ringing Out
ยซ Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 12:34:10 pm ยป


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