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Author Topic: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)  (Read 724 times)

Jeff Classen

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Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« on: May 17, 2021, 10:24:19 AM »

We are in desperate need of acoustic treatment in our sanctuary (multi purpose room)
The stage level is overpowering the main mix stage spl is only 85dB.
I have been looking at treating only the walls at the back of the stage and beside to help mitigate this.
I feel like this is a better move than switching to in ears since we have acoustic drums, and piano on stage.

Your thoughts?
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2021, 07:02:55 PM »

If you use "ears" you eliminate stage wedges and as a result, reduce stage volume quite a bit.
Treating the stage area, especially around the drums can help as well as having a baffle around the guitar amp.
If you are using a Hammond organ...good luck on that one. (LOL)
As for the room, it depends on what the problem is.
Most churches were never designed to have a live band and as a result, a lot of problems (and complaints)  will arise that will cost money to solve.
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Dave Pluke

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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2021, 07:07:04 PM »

Your thoughts?

There is no simple answer.

It's impossible to comment on acoustic treatments without room shape and dimensions. In very ballpark terms, the higher percentage plays, in order, might be to treat:

1) wall behind stage
2) ceiling (especially over the stage)
3) wall opposite stage
4) side walls

Read comments regarding drum set enclosures and rethink the acoustic piano. The more direct everyone plays, the easier to actually use the FOH system for its intended purpose.

Dave
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John L Nobile

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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2021, 10:30:25 AM »

I had good results putting up sheets of roxul behind a backdrop and a drumshield that only went up 1/2 way on the kit. Main thing was to block the snare. Drummer wasn't hard on the cymbals. Had the guitar amp pointed across the stage. It all helped but wasn't perfect. I'd go IEM's if I could.
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Taylor Phillips

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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2021, 11:40:01 AM »

We are in desperate need of acoustic treatment in our sanctuary (multi purpose room)
The stage level is overpowering the main mix stage spl is only 85dB.
I have been looking at treating only the walls at the back of the stage and beside to help mitigate this.
I feel like this is a better move than switching to in ears since we have acoustic drums, and piano on stage.

Your thoughts?
Is your aversion to in-ears in your situation is because you don't have mics on the drums & piano, or because you don't think they'll make a difference with the acoustic instruments on stage?  Unless you have one of the cheaper entry-level mixing consoles, you should be able to mic them for the in-ears without routing those mics to FOH, and removing the wedges will give you a cleaner sound even if they don't actually reduce the volume.     

Before you spend a lot of money trying to change things though, first consider what you've got.  Where are your acoustic instruments currently, and can they be moved away from walls?  Rearranging the stage can make a bigger difference than many people realize.

How does the room sound when you turn off the main speakers and only have the stage volume?  In some cases, it actually works well to use the FOH mix to supplement the stage sound rather than replace it.  If you can't get your stage to be quieter, focus on making it sound good.

What's currently in the wedge mixes?  The only things that should be in the wedges are things the musicians can't hear without them.  A quiet, well-mixed wedge is better than loud wedge with a poor mix, for both the musicians and FOH. 
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Luke Geis

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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2021, 04:00:30 PM »

85db on the stage!!!! That is pretty stellar really. As mentioned, deadening the sound around the instruments that are the problem will help, but only a little. I would find it hard to believe you could go from say 85db to less than 80db with even fairly crazy levels of acoustic treatment. You may be able to get -10db in attenuation, but you will be not only doing stage treatments, but you will also have to build a drum isolation room as well. Then and maybe then you can get stage level down to around talking level.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2021, 05:49:29 PM »

Is 85db the stage volume or what you want to keep the main PA level in the room at.
Measured at what distance and A or C weighted.

Jeff Classen

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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2021, 08:24:07 PM »

Is your aversion to in-ears in your situation is because you don't have mics on the drums & piano, or because you don't think they'll make a difference with the acoustic instruments on stage?  Unless you have one of the cheaper entry-level mixing consoles, you should be able to mic them for the in-ears without routing those mics to FOH, and removing the wedges will give you a cleaner sound even if they don't actually reduce the volume.     

Before you spend a lot of money trying to change things though, first consider what you've got.  Where are your acoustic instruments currently, and can they be moved away from walls?  Rearranging the stage can make a bigger difference than many people realize.

How does the room sound when you turn off the main speakers and only have the stage volume?  In some cases, it actually works well to use the FOH mix to supplement the stage sound rather than replace it.  If you can't get your stage to be quieter, focus on making it sound good.

What's currently in the wedge mixes?  The only things that should be in the wedges are things the musicians can't hear without them.  A quiet, well-mixed wedge is better than loud wedge with a poor mix, for both the musicians and FOH.

Aversions to in ears: need 9 systems: 15+ sets of ear pieces. Not currently micing drums. putting in-ears on the drummer makes him play louder which we don't need for sure.
Keys, vocals and Violin in the wedges.
Drums, Piano and A. Guitar are the only acoustic instruments.
Stage has the highest quality sound in the room.
The biggest concern is the reflection of the wedges coming back to the congregation. It makes things less intelligible.
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Jeff Classen

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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2021, 08:27:58 PM »

85db on the stage!!!! That is pretty stellar really. As mentioned, deadening the sound around the instruments that are the problem will help, but only a little. I would find it hard to believe you could go from say 85db to less than 80db with even fairly crazy levels of acoustic treatment. You may be able to get -10db in attenuation, but you will be not only doing stage treatments, but you will also have to build a drum isolation room as well. Then and maybe then you can get stage level down to around talking level.

The 85dB on stage is a great level for the musicians. It is the reflections off the stage that we want to eliminate so we can push the FOH system up.

The concern is priamarily for making the vocals more intelligible.
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Nathan Eide

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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2021, 09:33:37 PM »

This is an age old problem with no easy solutions, and a major reason that IEMs are so popular.  It will require people to change how they work, which is not easy. I have seen many times where musicians have quit over issues like this.  I donít  envy your position.

In my experience the drums have been the driving factor in stage volume.  Not necessarily the loudest, but the thing that all other sources increase in level to compete with.  Lowering the drum volume enables all the other sources, monitors, etc. to come down.

Cage the drums somehow.  A full cage or room is best for levels.  Look at ClearSonic type isolation.  Make your own if you are adventurous. Plexi shields donít hurt, but you will need absorption to go with the reflectors, so the sound has somewhere to go.

Needing to mic the drums is not a bad thing.  It will allow you to have more control over what sound goes where.  Once the ambient drum level comes down, it should enable other levels to come down while still being heard clearly.

You didnít mention any amps. Bass amps are easier to change to DI.  Electric guitar amps can be shielded, trapped, or moved off stage entirely.  If you havenít already, there are good options available for closed lid miking the piano.  Other acoustic stringed instruments shouldnít be a problem.  Well, unless you have a banjo.

With any sound source, dont forget the inverse square law.  Keep monitors, amps, etc as close as possible to the ears, and in direct line of sight.  Remember that 95% or more of the sound from a monitor goes to places other than the musicians ears.  Figure out how to reduce and control that extraneous sound.

All the little things will add up.

Good luck.

Nathan
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Re: Acoustic Treatment (stage vs room)
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