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Author Topic: LF haystack  (Read 600 times)

Kent Clasen

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LF haystack
« on: April 14, 2021, 10:34:30 am »

Hello all!

When tuning a sound system for a live music venue what do you or your customer/mixer people ~usually~ like to hear for the sub low end haystack relative to mid frequencies? Obviously this is very subjective but wanted to see what other’s experiences have been.

It would seem with an aux feed sub that if you have ~15dB of hay stack that when pushing the system you would run out of headroom in the subs much quicker.
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Russell Ault

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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2021, 11:46:26 am »

Hello all!

When tuning a sound system for a live music venue what do you or your customer/mixer people ~usually~ like to hear for the sub low end haystack relative to mid frequencies? Obviously this is very subjective but wanted to see what other’s experiences have been.

It would seem with an aux feed sub that if you have ~15dB of hay stack that when pushing the system you would run out of headroom in the subs much quicker.

As a BE I (re-)tune for flat ("equal amplitude"), but I know I'm weird.

-Russ
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Brian Jojade

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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2021, 12:23:43 pm »

It would seem with an aux feed sub that if you have ~15dB of hay stack that when pushing the system you would run out of headroom in the subs much quicker.

That's only true if you don't bring enough sub for the way you want to operate it.

Personally, I like to tune my system pretty flat and then adjust the individual channels to sound the way I want them to.  If I need more low end on a channel that produces low end, I fix the problem there instead of using the system EQ to do that.
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Brian Jojade

Keith Broughton

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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2021, 01:30:11 pm »



Personally, I like to tune my system pretty flat and then adjust the individual channels to sound the way I want them to.  If I need more low end on a channel that produces low end, I fix the problem there instead of using the system EQ to do that.
You would get a better spectral balance on a "board" recording this way as well.
That said, if I am mixing a contemporary pop dance band, I like an aux fed sub so I can push the whole bottom end for different songs.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2021, 03:52:37 pm »

Another one for flat system. The PA should convey what's coming out of the mixing desk to the audience. The art/science line is (IMO) at the master outputs of the mixing desk.

Chris
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Brian Jojade

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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2021, 05:55:29 pm »

You would get a better spectral balance on a "board" recording this way as well.
That said, if I am mixing a contemporary pop dance band, I like an aux fed sub so I can push the whole bottom end for different songs.

I might disagree with you there.  If your goal is both recording AND the live performance, then you need to create the mix in the board to sound good for recording, then tweak the house EQ to make it sound the way that you want in the room.  Sometimes that can be dramatically different.
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Brian Jojade

Steve-White

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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2021, 12:53:31 pm »

I might disagree with you there.  If your goal is both recording AND the live performance, then you need to create the mix in the board to sound good for recording, then tweak the house EQ to make it sound the way that you want in the room.  Sometimes that can be dramatically different.

Recording is adding a twist to what the OP stated - but you're right it changes things.

This caught my attention as I did a system revamp in my den this week followed by full re-tune starting at the DSC. 

I got started in pro audio with a DJ system.  Working my way up the learning curve in time using an RTA for system setup and learning how to tune up a playback system to how I liked it.  Nowhere near flat.  However, for a reinforcement system I like to pretty much "flat line" the tuneup and do it all on the console.  But for a playback system flat doesn't sound good at all.  I was going to start up a thread on this topic and was considering how not to start a war in the process.

To expand on the OP's point and yours regarding creating a recording.  At the other end of the chain is playback.  Virtually any playback media for music I'm familiar with sounds pretty dull and lifeless on a system tuned flat, whereas for a reinforcement system I like to start flat or what I consider a clean slate and paint the picture at the console.

Interesting to see other views on this:  Reinforcement -vs- playback system setup tuning.
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Kent Clasen

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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2021, 04:26:34 pm »

Recording is adding a twist to what the OP stated - but you're right it changes things.

This caught my attention as I did a system revamp in my den this week followed by full re-tune starting at the DSC. 

I got started in pro audio with a DJ system.  Working my way up the learning curve in time using an RTA for system setup and learning how to tune up a playback system to how I liked it.  Nowhere near flat.  However, for a reinforcement system I like to pretty much "flat line" the tuneup and do it all on the console.  But for a playback system flat doesn't sound good at all.  I was going to start up a thread on this topic and was considering how not to start a war in the process.

To expand on the OP's point and yours regarding creating a recording.  At the other end of the chain is playback.  Virtually any playback media for music I'm familiar with sounds pretty dull and lifeless on a system tuned flat, whereas for a reinforcement system I like to start flat or what I consider a clean slate and paint the picture at the console.

Interesting to see other views on this:  Reinforcement -vs- playback system setup tuning.

I agree with playback and LF haystack sounds better. I do more system setup/design/tuning than mixing. So I tend to give the mixer person what they want/like.

So a few thoughts/questions:

-Most BEs seems to come into a new room and play a track. Do they complain if the system is “flat’?

- What about a venue like the one I am currently working on tuning that 50% of their shows are hip hop or DJs vs live bands? Flat or haystack?

I am a little surprised by the “flat” responses. I assumed it would be more of a mix or lean towards haystack.

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Steve-White

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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2021, 07:48:56 pm »

I've done a lot of DJ shows as "the sound guy" bringing in the PA, multiple DJ's playing sets, for low rider car shows, hip hop, public dance, private dance party's and club installs.

Always pump up the bottom end.

At reinforcement jobs for live acts, when the system is flattened out, I always just add some eq to the source, which is either CD deck or laptop.

And before sound check, when the promoters and band managers are loitering around I put some program on and ring the SOB out - 1) to load/stress the system, 2) remove any doubt on where the problem lies if what's coming off the stage sounds like schitt.
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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2021, 02:24:57 am »

Something to consider, a LF haystack isn't just "turning up the subs".
Usually your mains need a LF boost too so they can keep up with raised sub levels, especially on systems with small mains.
That has a impact on your available headroom, but usually makes the sound system sound more "fat" than "boomy".
IME people who enjoy mixing on a "flat" system is more concerned with "boomy" AKA loud subs. Give them a sound system that sounds more "fat" they're usually fine, and the system sounds better for DJ playback and background music.

If possible, I try to make a preset for both and have the one mixing or paying the check decide.
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Re: LF haystack
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2021, 02:24:57 am »


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