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Need help with setting up vocal monitor in rehearsal space

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Patrick Tracy:

--- Quote from: Radoslaw Andruszkiewicz on July 26, 2021, 02:17:40 PM ---Yes, I'm aware of different pick up patterns, so I made sure the 55 is angled towards the speaker

--- End quote ---

I assume you mean you angled the back of the mic toward the speaker. But the back of the mic has a response lobe, so you need to angle the back of the mic about 40 away from the mic, which is to say place the speaker 120 off axis from the mic rather than 180 off axis.

But that might be secondary if surfaces are reflecting the sound back into the mic too directly.

Matthias McCready:

--- Quote from: Radoslaw Andruszkiewicz on July 26, 2021, 02:17:40 PM ---I assumed that since Super 55 is just a Beta 58 in a vintage looking enclosure it will be okay

--- End quote ---

The beta 58 is my second least favorite vocal microphone. I do not enjoy what it does do vocals. It is great for rappers and I find acceptable for talking heads. But I avoid them like the plague for vocalists.

The Super 55 is my absolute least favorite vocal microphone. It is a dreadful sounding mic. I encounter more of them in the wild than I care to. It takes a LOT of processing work to get it sounding acceptable.


I don't think microphone quality is our biggest problem here though.

--- Quote from: Radoslaw Andruszkiewicz on July 26, 2021, 02:17:40 PM ---
I'm reading now here on the forums, that many of you find the ZLX somewhat limited in volume

--- End quote ---

As a wedge it should have plenty of volume; as the entire system that is another story.

I don't think getting a different speaker is going to fix your problems. You have already hit feedback, so louder is not the answer.

--- Quote from: Radoslaw Andruszkiewicz on July 26, 2021, 02:17:40 PM ---
Why is 31 band EQ not suitable in a vocal chain?

--- End quote ---

A 31-Band EQ is usually used to ring-out a mic. This is done when necessary for wedges (less and less common); and this usually takes place after the vocal chain proper; ie on the output to a wedge.

For a vocal chain a parametric EQ will serve better.


It sounds like your main problem is feedback.

The loudest noise at your mic wins. If that is your voice great, if that is your wedge you will get feedback.

If you getting feedback now, getting a larger and more powerful speaker will not help this problem.

Sure some microphones have more controlled pickup patterns, but this will not change your fundamental problem.

The problem is, as I see it, that your voice is not as loud as your cranked guitar amp. In a small space even a high quality microphone or wedge won't eliminate this as problem.

It should be noted that "ringing" out something with a graphic EQ usually only give you another 3-10dB before feedback. You are just wanting to grab those first 3-5 frequencies that feedback. After you grab those first few frequencies you have done what you can, as MANY frequencies will start to feedback (ie pulling down the entire top end on your current graphic EQ). This is happening because it is not frequency problem, it is a volume one.

It is also worth noting that even with a great mic, every single cut with a graphic makes things sound worse not better. Even a great mic can sound terrible with the wrong EQ. EQing for feedback is not EQing to make a mic sound more better or pleasant, it is trying to eek out the last ounce of volume when conditions are not ideal at the expense of quality.

The real influencers for feedback are:
1) System deployment (you are in small room with a wedge... this is not ideal).
2) Overall volume (competing with a cranked 2x12 is not setting you up for success).


How you rehearse sets the stage for how you will perform. And for most groups (yes not all) having a super cranked 2x12 is not ideal; even in a 3,000 seat arena the wash from a cranked 2x12 can cause issues, and I am thinking you are wanting to play smaller venues than that.

I would highly suggest looking into ways to minimize amp volume or to get rid of it all together (as suggested by others Two Notes Torpedo, IsoCab, Kemper Etc). When you are working on your own is the best time to experiment and to cultivate your ability; before having to have a difficult discussion with band mates, or having a show be a flop.

Note that there are ton of crappy amp replacement options that are dreadful (avoid those), but these days there are quite few great ones to choose from.

Most professional guitarists that I currently work with have made the switch, as tone is the same, and it is less equipment to lug around; not to mention less wear on that custom boutique amp.

If you have not, I would highly recommend checking out an IEM solution for yourself. For the amount you are spending on your wedge(s) you could probably get a pair of custom molded IEM's and a basic digital mixer, and have things sound drastically better.

Some benefits for you of IEM's:
You could choose a mic that works well for voice, rather than one for its pickup patter.
You could be EQing it to sound its best rather than EQing to feedback points out (making it sound awful).
You can hear your actual mic technique (a good set of ears will tell you exactly where you are on a vocal mic).
You can have your guitar tone, with killing anyone or your hearing.
You can have your own personal volume at whatever you want without pissing off band mates, or destroying the mix for the audience.
You can have your own custom mix.

Art Welter:

--- Quote from: Radoslaw Andruszkiewicz on July 26, 2021, 02:17:40 PM ---Okay, I will say first that I did not have a perfect sound from the monitor, then cranked the amp, and then got feedback issues; what I did is I tried to get as much volume as possible just with the vocals and through the wedge, ended up with weird EQ settings, and then played the guitar amp for comparison.
Why is 31 band EQ not suitable in a vocal chain?

--- End quote ---

The 31 band EQ can work just fine for notching out a few feedback points, and as a tone control.

You want to hear your vocal above a cranked 2x12", which may be putting out as much as 120 dB with little level change at your vocal mic.
If you don't sing at more than 120 dB, the guitar is amplified as much as your voice by the vocal mic.

Using a single 8" speaker (or an Lpad/ power soak) on the 2x12") could let you crank the amp and loose around 15 dB. The single 8" will give the speaker distortion that's half the sound of a cranked amp.
That gives your vocal a fighting chance to get over the level, as it's hard to hear yourself without around 10dB of difference (sounds about twice as loud) between vocal and instrument level (noise..) at the mic.

You have -15db ear plugs in, which generally mostly cut the highs, which you have turned all the way down on the EQ, so now your ears hear -30dB in the range you need. That's basically like turning the high frequency horn in your monitor off. The single 12" ain't going to compete well against the 2x12".

Your lips are probably right on the mic, so you have a proximity effect boost of around 6-10 dB in the "mud" range of 100-200 Hz. 8 foot ceilings common in small rooms also tend to emphasize this range even more.
So you hear the equivalent of a vocal channel with the bass wide open, and the highs cut completely.

Try the opposite EQ/tone approach, cut everything below 100 Hz, then "ramp up " to around 1000 Hz, bring up level  with your mouth in position till your first feedback squeak (probably around 6 or 8kHz) bring only that frequency down 3-6 dB.
Increase level again, whack the next frequency out, repeat. Three frequencies pulled above 1kHz is near the limit with 1/3 octave EQ if you still want decent sound.
If more than two adjacent bands are hacked, you have probably gone to far, and have reached the limits of gain before feedback.

Try your the other mics with the same routine, each will have their own distinctive gain before feedback pattern. Write down the EQ for each so you can do some comparisons.

Have fun, protect your hearing!


Dave Garoutte:
Have you considered in-ear monitors?
NO feedback.
You can run them hard-wired (not wireless) along the guitar cable.
Doubles as earplugs for the guitar.
Or headphones for that matter, can work in a studio.

Radoslaw Andruszkiewicz:
@Art, I haven't of that strategy, cutting all the lows, thanks! I do turn on any low filter there is, but I haven't thought going that drastic about it.

My ear plugs are custom moulded from KIND, company known in Europe for hearing aids; so these are not off-the-shelf plugs that muffle the sound. They do cut off the very highs and very lows, but otherwise I can hear everything clearly as it is, just quieter.

I have thought hard about IEMs, very specifically Westone AM Pro series, as they only partially insulate the sound and attenuate ca. -12db (around the level of my ear plugs, if equally flat not sure though), so (hopefully) I could use them for vocals only, and get the rest of the mix from other sources. What scares me though is that if feedback occurs it goes right in your ears, plugs protect perfectly from that as well, no matter how much the speaker wails it doesn't hurt a bit. I was almost ready to make the jump, but then I stumbled on an article where various sound technicians were saying their opinions on in ear system, and what made me hesitate again was them mentioning that although it solves a lot of technical problems, some of them thought performers being isolated from the crowd and other band members tended to give less engaging shows. That's when I thought that I'd hate to go in that direction, and figured I'd try to make wedges work after all.


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