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Coping with big rooms

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Coping with big rooms

Postby gsc1ugs » Sun May 26, 2019 8:10 am

I did my first suggs tribute last night and the inevitable happened, huge room in a posh gaff, my question, the volume on dxr15 can it be pushed to max? Second, i saw in this room a pair of rcf acustica subs on floor part of the hotels music system s4012 model, have any of you heard these? I do need a pair of subs for these larger rooms so looking for compact (transport issues) pair of subs. Cheers

Ps: gig went well
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun May 26, 2019 10:12 am

You shouldn't damage to the DXRs by winding the volume up (but make sure the mic/line switch is set to line) as they will look after themselves but avoid audible clipping/distortion and watch the clip lights on the speakers fo excessive clipping.

Subs will help though I'd go for a single good sub in preference to a pair of average ones. But, bear in mind that at most function gigs the punters at the back want to be able to talk so, even where the genre is one that would usually be played loud, extreme volume is not necessary (and may lead to complaints).

FWIW I could get a full band PA, including a 15" sub, into a Golf, that was 5 x tops, 1 x sub, mixer, mic stands, mic box, two tubs of of cables, a couple of guitars and a guitar amp. Still with room for a passenger.........

Glad to hear the gig went well :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby Mark Ellwood » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:50 pm

Hi, this is my first time on SOS and I could really do with some advice. I do the sound for my wife’s tribute band and when I do a big room and I push the pa hard, I keep clipping the amp - one time actually making it trip off! I have a Peavey rig with a 2.6k amp, 15” subs with built in crossover and 12” tops. I bought a crossover and a 1.4 amp to try and run the subs with the big amp and the tops with the smaller amp and when I put music through it sounded ok until the girls started singing and they sounded awful. So my question is this- am I doing this wrong? Should I buy a bigger amp and could this damage my speakers, would a bigger desk make a difference (with bigger Chanel pre-amps?) or should I invest in some powered speakers and link them out of the desk(someway) to get a greater overall sound without driving everything to hard? As you can tell I am no professional so please go easy on me, any advice is greatly appreciated
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby Dave B » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:08 pm

Mark, the answer isn't a simple one. When you say 'big room', what are you talking about? You are running a 4k rig, so you should get sensible volume levels. I don't think a bigger desk is the answer - if you have enough gain in the mic pres to get a healthy signal into the desk, then it's doing it's job. You are correct to worry that bigger amps might be bad for the speakers - it depends on their specs. What model speakers do you have (and amps for that matter)?

I'd also be a tad curious about the mix balance if it sounds fine without vocals. If their addition is causing problems then it sounds like you may be pushing them too high in the mix. Caveat - assuming you are running everything through the PA! How much of the backline is used for the sound and how much / what is going through the PA?

Also, what do you mean by 'sound awful'? Is it the overall sound of the PA? (ie, the whole mix) Or just the sound of the vocals?
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:57 pm

Hire in an experienced engineer and rig for the big rooms. If you tell them the size of the room and what sort of material you play they should bring along an appropriate size rig which will probably be better quality than yours. You can also take the opportunity to pick up a few tips which you can apply when you run your PA for the smaller gigs.
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby Mark Ellwood » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:31 pm

Thanks Dave for your reply, to answer your questions I am using Peavey pro mkII speakers ( apologises I put the wrong size speakers down on my first post, they are 18” bins and 15” tops” ) the amp is also a Peavey 2.6k amp. I haven’t yet used the other (thomann) 1.4k amp to run the tops as when I set it up through sound check that’s when the girls sounded like they were singing under water, that’s what I mean by awful, the keys and backing track had a nice sound but when I put them all together it just sounded dreadful and I just couldn’t do anything to get it sounding right. It was the first time I had used the crossover and I had it set at about 100db and I though it was going to be ok when I played the keys through it, it sounded like it had a nice range, but then I added the voxs and it was terrible. The back line is just a couple of powered monitors through aux 1. Do you think I was doing something wrong with the the cross over or even doing something wrong with the desk? One of the girl singers sound checks quietly and then belts out the sound through the show so I never have the mic gain quite right. I always try and get the pfl signal in the green touching on the yellow, is this too high as when she sings it’s she pushes it into the red? Where is the correct place to set it? Thank you James for your reply and I would love to hire a professional sound engineer in but then that price when probably double their fee! I’m afraid I’m all they have which is why I need your help.
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby Mark Ellwood » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:39 pm

Hi Dave b (or anybody else who can help!) did you have chance to read my response to your reply? I would love to hear what you think and if you have any advice about setting my desk or running my pa to fill a big room ( in big room I’m probably talking 300 - 600) I would really appreciate it. If you are reading this for the first time, the spec of my pa is in the last couple of posts, how would you advise I set it up so my amp doesn’t come close to clipping when I push it hard? Many thanks in advance.
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:38 am

I'm afraid that I didn't bother replying because I don't think your gear is enough for that size of room unless you are a really quiet acoustic act. I used to regularly use what one visiting engineer called "the best sounding Peavey rig in the country" in a slightly smaller room than you are asking about and that was something like 4 times the power of your system. So my answer is still to hire in something appropriate for that size of room.
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:27 am

I agree with James but will add that if the mic channel is going into the red frequently that may be the/a source of the distortion. I work with a singer who refuses to sing full volume at a soundcheck but I have learned how much to compensate so that when he does the signal only occasionally flickers into the red.
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby Dave B » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:32 pm

+1 for both James and Sam.

If you are running in a room that big, you need a big PA and a desk that can handle everything running through it. I'd be looking a hiring something bigger.

Here's the 'Harsh but fair' bit : If you wife's band are really a serious band who want to play these kinds of venues, then they actually need an experienced sound engineer who can do the job well and be able to handle issues when things don't go right. I'm not trying to do you down - what you have done is extremely brave and thoughtful - but sooner or later, things are going to go bad.

I know of one tribute band (very long story) who, when I raised the question of a live sound engineer, announced that it was ok, the guy who lugged the drums around could do it because it was 'just twiddling a few knobs'. Short version : it didn't go well... I snuck in to see them and it was painful to say the least. And it was doubly painful as I knew that a) I could fix some of the issues for that night, b) it completely proved the point I was making and c) even if I fixed that night (as one of the guitarists asked me to do on the sly), I knew that they would only have other issues later as I was a 'sticking plaster', not a cure.

I'm lucky enough to know my limits and when and where to get help if I need it. You've done the sensible thing asking for help. But .. with the greatest of respect .. if it's not a simple technical issue that we can diagnose, it's a 'lack of ability of the driver' type issue and we can only be of so much use. Getting a good engineer in - if only to get you to the stage where you can drive the desk for gigs they can't do - is worth every penny you would spend ...
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:32 am

Dave B wrote:Mark, the answer isn't a simple one. When you say 'big room', what are you talking about? You are running a 4k rig,

4k, but still probably low SPL/db levels as most consumer PA systems are. A genuine 4k of D&B would comfortably cover a 500 person room, 4k of your average consumer PA would struggle to do a half or even a third of that.
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Re: Coping with big rooms

Postby DanR » Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:25 pm

TheChorltonWheelie wrote:
4k, but still probably low SPL/db levels as most consumer PA systems are. A genuine 4k of D&B would comfortably cover a 500 person room, 4k of your average consumer PA would struggle to do a half or even a third of that.

+1
My first venture into a band PA was an FBT/Peavey 15” subs system.
The amps were a pair Yamaha P series with a crossover. Powerful enough but the speakers were low or average SPL rating.
Had clipping problems and although the amps were correctly matched, the speakers were on their max SPL capability.
I now have an active 4k RCF 12” tops/15” subs system. Lightweight, high SPL, great sound.

@ Mark Elwood. Your backing music lineup is quite low maintenance being keys and track and as mentioned, sounds fine.
Do the singers have sufficient monitoring? Important for them to be able to hear themselves well.
Also engage HPFs if available on vocal mics.
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