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Author Topic: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics  (Read 595 times)

Issack Andrew

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Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« on: September 14, 2018, 05:01:20 pm »

Hey guys,

Doing a gig next week in this hall and the client has Mackie speakers (Thump series) and there is no shortage for for tops / mids and monitors. I know that 'less is more' is important in troublesome halls like this and I am trying to cut down on stage volume by using in ears wherever possible with the band. Will use one set of delays about half way through the audience so that I can push less volume in the front.



The hall is about 11m wide (between the columns) and 40m long. Tiles on the floor, hard concrete walls everywhere. I asked the decor team to do their best to get carpeting and curtains to cover as much surface as possible.

For low end, there are 4 Mackie Thump 18s available and I think with a hall like this I should have all 4 at the front below the raised 1 metre stage.

Was wondering what would be an ideal placement strategy for these subs? Should all of them be placed in a row next to each other in the front below the stage? Should I have 2 subs in the front and the other 2 with the delayed set (mid of hall) of Mackie Thump 15s for the 2nd half of the audience? Any other suggestions?

Will be mixing FOH about 20 meters from the stage.

If the venue becomes too busy they may have to use the upstairs area and I plan on placing 2 Mackie Thump 15s on top with the right amount of delay. Don't plan on pushing too much volume upstairs.

Thanks,

Issack
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Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 05:14:47 pm »

Was wondering what would be an ideal placement strategy for these subs? Should all of them be placed in a row next to each other in the front below the stage? Should I have 2 subs in the front and the other 2 with the delayed set (mid of hall) of Mackie Thump 15s for the 2nd half of the audience? Any other suggestions?

I would place the Thumps outside near the dumpster and then rent some better gear. 

What kind of worship service are you hosting - contemporary praise?  Spoken word only?  What are your volume needs?

General suggestions: Use more directional speakers that are aimed where you want the sound to be and not on the reflective surfaces can help sound quality dramatically.  Good luck; that room looks like it will echo for days after you leave!
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Rob Spence

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2018, 05:35:17 pm »

What do you mean by doing a gig...? Are you in a band? It this a convention? Is it paid?

If it were me (and it isnít) and I had to use the wrong gear in an awful room, I would walk away as clearly the client is more interested in cutting cost than having a successful event.

Ok, I am tired and grumpy... tell us more.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2018, 06:10:31 pm »


Ok, I am tired and grumpy... tell us more.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Maybe so....but you are right!
Bad room and bad gear? Bad results.
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Dave Pluke

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2018, 08:14:59 pm »

The hall is about 11m wide (between the columns) and 40m long. Tiles on the floor, hard concrete walls everywhere. I asked the decor team to do their best to get carpeting and curtains to cover as much surface as possible.

For low end, there are 4 Mackie Thump 18s available and I think with a hall like this I should have all 4 at the front below the raised 1 metre stage.

Was wondering what would be an ideal placement strategy for these subs? Should all of them be placed in a row next to each other in the front below the stage? Should I have 2 subs in the front and the other 2 with the delayed set (mid of hall) of Mackie Thump 15s for the 2nd half of the audience? Any other suggestions?


Knowing this is nearly impossible to quantify, but;  How much bass energy do you need for this event?

I most certainly would NOT place subs at the delay positions.  And, I would use as few cabinets (tops or bottoms) as possible to reach desired SPL's.  I'd probably center cluster the sub(s) in that room.

Then, I'd ask all attendees to wear big, puffy coats...

Dave
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Issack Andrew

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2018, 11:53:37 pm »

I would place the Thumps outside near the dumpster and then rent some better gear. 

What kind of worship service are you hosting - contemporary praise?  Spoken word only?  What are your volume needs?

General suggestions: Use more directional speakers that are aimed where you want the sound to be and not on the reflective surfaces can help sound quality dramatically.  Good luck; that room looks like it will echo for days after you leave!

Can't do anything about the speaker selection  :(

Its going to be contemporary praise and spoken word. Volume needs to be around 90db so it seems like a real challenge.

The band is Drums, Bass, 3 Keyboards, 8 backing vocals and 1 lead singer. I think having as little loudspeaker monitors on stage will make a big difference because there is a concrete wall right behind them.
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Issack Andrew

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2018, 11:57:23 pm »

What do you mean by doing a gig...? Are you in a band? It this a convention? Is it paid?

If it were me (and it isnít) and I had to use the wrong gear in an awful room, I would walk away as clearly the client is more interested in cutting cost than having a successful event.

Ok, I am tired and grumpy... tell us more.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Its true that cost cutting is happening a tad bit.

If only we could all be tired and grumpy and walk away  :(
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Issack Andrew

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2018, 11:58:39 pm »

Knowing this is nearly impossible to quantify, but;  How much bass energy do you need for this event?

I most certainly would NOT place subs at the delay positions.  And, I would use as few cabinets (tops or bottoms) as possible to reach desired SPL's.  I'd probably center cluster the sub(s) in that room.

Then, I'd ask all attendees to wear big, puffy coats...

Dave

Okay so all the subs in front (center cluster) and less speakers as possible.

And big, puffy coats..  :o (if only..)
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Issack Andrew

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 12:00:01 am »

Maybe so....but you are right!
Bad room and bad gear? Bad results.

He is right. No jokes
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Luke Geis

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2018, 12:01:52 am »

90db isn't the challenge with what you have, it's the RT of the room. I would do stereo deployed subs located at the 1/3rds of the room against the back wall ( yes behind the band ). This will give them an extra 3db boost and will reduce the amount of reflections. I would seriously eliminate any and all amplified instruments or shoot for no open back guitar cabs. Next would be to do as little amplification from the PA as possible. This will help make each instrument have its own sound path. I.E vocal amplification only. Kick and bass can be helped via the subs, but I would try and have the subs on an aux if possible. Less of everything will be more in the long run.
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Issack Andrew

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2018, 12:37:19 am »

90db isn't the challenge with what you have, it's the RT of the room. I would do stereo deployed subs located at the 1/3rds of the room against the back wall ( yes behind the band ). This will give them an extra 3db boost and will reduce the amount of reflections. I would seriously eliminate any and all amplified instruments or shoot for no open back guitar cabs. Next would be to do as little amplification from the PA as possible. This will help make each instrument have its own sound path. I.E vocal amplification only. Kick and bass can be helped via the subs, but I would try and have the subs on an aux if possible. Less of everything will be more in the long run.

Luke, can you clarify why stereo subs vs mono?

Also do you think having overheads (whether mono or stereo) for the drums is vital in such a space?
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2018, 01:41:00 am »

Luke, can you clarify why stereo subs vs mono?

Also do you think having overheads (whether mono or stereo) for the drums is vital in such a space?

Just because you have a mic on something doesn't mean it has to be brought up in the sound system. But if you find out after the show starts that you need it it is a little bit awkward to put it in place.

It might actually be better if you really know what you are doing to have more speakers closer to people running softer, then trying to push the sound from the front to the back. But it has to really be deployed and tuned just right. As other have already said you really need to aim the speakers down and into the people, keeping the sound from hitting the walls or any reflective surface. Standard speakers on standard stands isn't going to help.
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Simon_Barrett

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2018, 01:16:00 pm »

Just because you have a mic on something doesn't mean it has to be brought up in the sound system. But if you find out after the show starts that you need it it is a little bit awkward to put it in place.

It might actually be better if you really know what you are doing to have more speakers closer to people running softer, then trying to push the sound from the front to the back. But it has to really be deployed and tuned just right. As other have already said you really need to aim the speakers down and into the people, keeping the sound from hitting the walls or any reflective surface. Standard speakers on standard stands isn't going to help.

^ This ^

More speakers, running lower SPLs, dotted around but close to the people and delayed appropriately.



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Luke Geis

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 11:56:27 am »

I was going to suggest a distributed audio system, but I don't think he has enough available speakers to do it right and there is a huge challenge with running power and signal around that venue. Distributed audio is the best solution for this type of room though.

The only reason for stereo subs, in this case, is distribution. You could place all the subs in one location, but then they will be offset in the room and could affect coverage. The idea with getting them against the wall is to reduce reflections. Reflections that are out of phase with the direct sound cause comb filtering.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Low End in Halls with unfavourable acoustics
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 12:13:16 pm »

If you don't have a budget for better speakers, then sound treatment of the room is probably out of the question as well, so you have to deal with what you've got. If it is possible to put a sound deadening drape behind the band, I'd strongly suggest it.  It will make a world of difference for you!

Your biggest problem in a room like that is keeping stage volume quiet enough so that your PA speakers can actually do something.  If your drummer goes all animal on the drums, there's no way you'll be able to maintain a mix at 90db.

For micing the drums, you probably could get by with just one mic in the kick. Even that could be optional.  However, having mics on the drums means you have the ability to tweak their sound to some degree which can make mush turn into something a little more pleasant.  In this size room, amplification isn't your goal, as much as clarity adjustments, especially if you're targeting 90db.
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