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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => SR Forum Archives => LAB Lounge FUD Forum Archive => Topic started by: Dave Horch on May 15, 2005, 04:56:46 am

Title: Feedback elims for live theatre setup?? Advice/Opinions please!
Post by: Dave Horch on May 15, 2005, 04:56:46 am
Hi folks, this is my first post on this very valuable forum, so I want to say "hello"!  I've been doing recording engineering for decades, and just recently have been asked to do a bit of live sound reinforcement at a few small venues.  In the recording world unexpected feedback is not a real problem (for me at least), so these "feedback eliminators" that are common to live work are new to me.

Quick situation background:  I'm working on an existing theatre setup.  Decent equipment, but no feedback eliminator (which can be a big problem with live theatre at times).

The question:  I would very much appreciate advice and/or opinions on the various feedback killer boxes out there.  I've noticed they range in price from ~$100 -> ~$1000+, and many in all $$ ranges seem to have the same electronic functionality (ultra-narrow Q, auto-detection, etc.).  This application would need a "turn it on and forget it" two channel box.  Of course, the less sonically obtrusive, the better, but what's the $$ tradeoff vs. real world sound?  Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance, -Dave Horch
Title: Re: Feedback elims for live theatre setup?? Advice/Opinions please!
Post by: Tim McCulloch on May 15, 2005, 02:34:56 pm
Dave-

First, welcome to the PSW forums.  You might want to do a search on these devices... the links for the search functions are in the left hand frame...

I mix a fair amount of musical theatre and thus far have never spec'd such a device, but I've got over 20 years live mixing and system tech experience.

Do some research on the implementation of "feedback eliminators" and you'll find that they may or may not be the answer to a problem *you* don't yet have.

The main problem with these devices is that there *has* to be feedback before they can do their job.  You really want the audience to hear a half dozen squeals before things settle down?  Even if you ring out in tech rehearsals, as operators attempt to get more level from the system you will still have potential for feedback.

The primary answer to your 'problem' is competent system operators with decent hearing and mixing chops.

Tim "curmudgeonly yours" Mc
Title: Re: Feedback elims for live theatre setup?? Advice/Opinions please!
Post by: Tom Reid on May 15, 2005, 03:05:03 pm
Quote:

 Dave-

First, welcome to the PSW forums. You might want to do a search on these devices... the links for the search functions are in the left hand frame...

I mix a fair amount of musical theatre and thus far have never spec'd such a device, but I've got over 20 years live mixing and system tech experience.

Do some research on the implementation of "feedback eliminators" and you'll find that they may or may not be the answer to a problem *you* don't yet have.

The main problem with these devices is that there *has* to be feedback before they can do their job. You really want the audience to hear a half dozen squeals before things settle down? Even if you ring out in tech rehearsals, as operators attempt to get more level from the system you will still have potential for feedback.

The primary answer to your 'problem' is competent system operators with decent hearing and mixing chops.

Tim "curmudgeonly yours" Mc


A search (top right of the page) will show how this horse has been beaten.  

Sometimes you can buy a tool to make a person's job easier, sometimes it takes an experienced person to make all the tools work properly.

This is one of those times.  Get an experienced person to do the job.  
...and the Personal Bose system isn't going to eliminate the soundman either.

Title: Re: Feedback elims for live theatre setup?? Advice/Opinions please!
Post by: Dave Horch on May 15, 2005, 08:02:47 pm
Thanks guys.  I agree 100% that proper engineering is the real answer, not some qizmo to protect the inept.

The reason I'm even considering one of these things is that the venue is a high school theatre where the equipment is "operated" 99% of the time by students and (sadly) faculty who have no idea (and I mean *no* idea!), what they're doing.

So this is a case where I'm trying to save them from themselves, but perhaps I shouldn't!  I did run sound for a musical there a few weeks ago, and things were fine with me at the controls.  I jumped in to assist them because it was almost a crime what a mess they were making with no clue what to do about it.  Cheers, -Dave Horch
Title: Re: Feedback elims for live theatre setup?? Advice/Opinions please!
Post by: Tom Reid on May 15, 2005, 08:26:06 pm
My advice, run.

No really.  If you're helping out the kids, and you give them a magic box.  In two years time the ritual of the box is not passed down, and it's right back in the same situation.

The high school auditorium requires constant care and feeding.
I've spent lot's of pro bono time there myself.

But then again, that's how I found my roadies.
Now they are the guru's in the place, and I spend less time there.