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  • How to perform in large rooms?

    Hello everyone,
    I have a problem I'm wondering if anyone else deals with.
    So heres the deal. I'm the DJ of a traveling performance group...you can say circus or dance crew or theater group..its all the same. We go to a lot of unique places to say the least.
    A lot of these venues are indoor rooms, gymnasiums, halls, cafeterias....schools, prisons...etc. I own two QSC K12 powered PA speakers with the QSC KW181 Subwoofer, I have a 8 channel mixer board, usually running 4 wireless microphones, two hand held and two headset.
    I run my music off of two iPods or iPads and mix using djay. Its heavy bass, high energy electronic music, EDM, House, Trance, Dance, Dubstep, Hiphop..etc you get the idea.
    And obviously, at these kind of locations, its absolutely unbearable listening to my music with such reverb. Its like nails on a chalk board for 2 hours straight. Even just pure vocals are extremely hard to listen to and understand.
    If you've ever been to an indoor pool, you know what I'm talking about and how annoying it can get with kids shouting non stop.
    Is there any solution or technique to help with this noise? Is there any deadener to calm the reverb effect? Besides covering the walls in mattresses of course. I personally think its pretty hopeless but I had to ask to be sure.
    Any tips, tricks or ideas are much welcomed. Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dj-name-here View Post
    And obviously, at these kind of locations, its absolutely unbearable listening to my music with such reverb. Its like nails on a chalk board for 2 hours straight. Even just pure vocals are extremely hard to listen to and understand.
    If you've ever been to an indoor pool, you know what I'm talking about and how annoying it can get with kids shouting non stop.
    Is there any solution or technique to help with this noise? Is there any deadener to calm the reverb effect? Besides covering the walls in mattresses of course. I personally think its pretty hopeless but I had to ask to be sure.
    Any tips, tricks or ideas are much welcomed. Thanks!
    Intelligibility would obviously be an issue in those kinds of rooms, but things should not sound like "nails on a chalkboard." That makes me think that there's something else messed up with your setup.

    -Dan.
    Formerly known as: IsildursBane and DanBAP

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    • #3
      Possible solutions.
      1. Do not play rooms like this.
      2. Turn the dam system down.
      3. Learn to use tone controls.
      3. Find someone with good knowledge of sound reinforcement and
      have them go through your system and get it sounding right.
      Those loudspeakers have the capability to be accurate with
      the right pilot in the cockpit.

      Comment


      • #4
        Low volume, less bass and more intelligibility all work in your favor. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get a good sound and booming bass never works in rooms like this. Are you man enough to do what sounds good and not what feels good?

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        • #5
          About all you can do it use tilters on the speakers to lessen the sound hitting the ceiling and toe them in a bit to get the sound off the walls somewhat. Here's some really cheap tilters, there are better ones that compensate for the center of gravity shift and/or are adjustable:
          http://www.directproaudio.com/access...speaker-stands
          Last edited by RoadRanger; 06-25-2014, 11:31 PM.

          "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" - Walt Kelly​

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          • #6
            All of the above. It's a real challenge to get a reflective room to sound decent. The problem is that each "trip around the room" a given bit of sound makes, the muddier it will sound. So to lessen the number of trips you need to lower the energy (lower the volume) of that sound. Then the problem becomes having enough volume for the listeners to hear, or to enjoy the experience (since a lot of what you play is high-energy). Obviously there two needs are at cross purposes.

            The only thing short of simply lowering volume or somehow acoustically treating the venue would be to employ more speakers around the venue, each delayed as needed and playing at lower volume. This would get the listeners closer to the source, since there would be a speaker nearby. Closer = louder for a given volume level. Of course, the downsides are more gear, way more complexity, difficulties in deploying this in some of the venues, and of course.....cost.

            Write something...

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            • #7
              I sometimes use a single stack aimed diagonal.rather than speakers both sides
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              • #8
                Originally posted by mkfs9 View Post
                I sometimes use a single stack aimed diagonal.rather than speakers both sides
                A central cluster will almost create far less reverb/echo than a split stack (unless you are very close to it).

                Of course being very close to it (as Craig suggested above) is the other method. Basically if everyone in your audience had a small system in their lap that would take care of it.
                Don Boomer

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DanCostello View Post

                  Intelligibility would obviously be an issue in those kinds of rooms, but things should not sound like "nails on a chalkboard." That makes me think that there's something else messed up with your setup.

                  -Dan.
                  Sorry I wasn't clear. Nothing in my sound, sounds like nails on a chalkboard. I was only using that as an example of how annoying it is to listen to that much reverb.
                  Outdoors or in a decent location, this system sounds incredible.

                  Originally posted by Pro Sound Guy View Post
                  Possible solutions.
                  1. Do not play rooms like this.
                  2. Turn the dam system down.
                  3. Learn to use tone controls.
                  3. Find someone with good knowledge of sound reinforcement and
                  have them go through your system and get it sounding right.
                  Those loudspeakers have the capability to be accurate with
                  the right pilot in the cockpit.
                  Solution 1 is not an option. Of course I would prefer not to play in such a room. Prisons down here do not have that kind of option. Its either that or nothing. I and they both prefer something.
                  2. is kind of a duh, I keep the volume as low as is functional but have you ever tried dancing or getting energy going to a low volume song?
                  3. Not sure what your referring to here. Is 'tone control' something beyond EQing? Is it an external component?
                  4(I believe you meant four rather than a second 3 lol I've been doing this for quite some time, there ain't nothing wrong with the setup or the cockpit or the pilot. The system sounds fabulous, you can't imagine the compliments I receive when performing outdoors, these QSCs are outstanding. Blow any other system to mars. Its not about accurate, its about reverb.

                  Originally posted by WynnD View Post
                  Low volume, less bass and more intelligibility all work in your favor. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get a good sound and booming bass never works in rooms like this. Are you man enough to do what sounds good and not what feels good?
                  Less bass I didn't realize, it always seems like its the high ends that carry in the reverb. When you say 'more intelligibility', what exactly do suggest? The vocals coming through are live and well delivered. In normal venues, they sound great.
                  That last sentence is right on. Number one thing all Djs need to learn and execute. Not as common as you would hope.


                  Originally posted by RoadRanger View Post
                  About all you can do it use tilters on the speakers to lessen the sound hitting the ceiling and toe them in a bit to get the sound off the walls somewhat. Here's some really cheap tilters, there are better ones that compensate for the center of gravity shift and/or are adjustable:
                  http://www.directproaudio.com/access...speaker-stands
                  Awesome suggestion. I don't use speaker stands I have custom boxes they sit on. Thanks for that!

                  Originally posted by Craig Vecchione View Post
                  All of the above. It's a real challenge to get a reflective room to sound decent. The problem is that each "trip around the room" a given bit of sound makes, the muddier it will sound. So to lessen the number of trips you need to lower the energy (lower the volume) of that sound. Then the problem becomes having enough volume for the listeners to hear, or to enjoy the experience (since a lot of what you play is high-energy). Obviously there two needs are at cross purposes.

                  The only thing short of simply lowering volume or somehow acoustically treating the venue would be to employ more speakers around the venue, each delayed as needed and playing at lower volume. This would get the listeners closer to the source, since there would be a speaker nearby. Closer = louder for a given volume level. Of course, the downsides are more gear, way more complexity, difficulties in deploying this in some of the venues, and of course.....cost.
                  Very helpful post. Thank you. You understand exactly what I face. Obviously for the high energy choreographies I boost the volume up, sometimes the audience doesn't care so much for definition and clarity and more just want the euphoria and energy, and then for the talking, I drop it down so its understandable and pleasant.
                  Yeah, unfortunately, that many speakers is not realistic. Travel far to much and all the things you named just make it unrealistic for me.
                  Thanks again for the informative and intelligent response.

                  Originally posted by mkfs9 View Post
                  I sometimes use a single stack aimed diagonal.rather than speakers both sides
                  Okay, another fantastic suggestion. Will try it out next time.

                  Originally posted by dboomer View Post
                  A central cluster will almost create far less reverb/echo than a split stack (unless you are very close to it).

                  Of course being very close to it (as Craig suggested above) is the other method. Basically if everyone in your audience had a small system in their lap that would take care of it.
                  So if I have the two speakers and the one sub (at a way low volume), I would put both speakers in the center of the room, on top of the sub, in front of my mixer and that would help?

                  Someone just suggested to me that putting a blanket or towel over the speaker would deaden the reverb... seems ridiculous to me but heck, I'd give it a go. Whatchall think?

                  Awesome gang, appreciate all the responses! Thank you for your time.

                  Dj ?

                  Last edited by Dj-name-here; 06-26-2014, 02:29 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dboomer View Post

                    A central cluster will almost create far less reverb/echo than a split stack (unless you are very close to it).

                    Of course being very close to it (as Craig suggested above) is the other method. Basically if everyone in your audience had a small system in their lap that would take care of it.
                    Yes true also, but for a band a bit tricky
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dj-name-here View Post


                      So if I have the two speakers and the one sub (at a way low volume), I would put both speakers in the center of the room, on top of the sub, in front of my mixer and that would help?

                      Someone just suggested to me that putting a blanket or towel over the speaker would deaden the reverb... seems ridiculous to me but heck, I'd give it a go. Whatchall think?

                      1 Well first ... lowering the volume will help. The less you start with, the less echo you'll generate.

                      2 If you put both speakers as physically close together as possible then yes you'll create less echo than if they are separated no matter where in the room you put them.

                      3 Putting a blanket over the speaker will only help because of reason #1. You are in effect turning down the volume and as a extra bonus the sound will suck!


                      Don Boomer

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mkfs9 View Post
                        Yes true also, but for a band a bit tricky
                        Ya think?
                        Don Boomer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Putting a blanket over the speaker would give you a warmer sound!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dboomer View Post

                            1 Well first ... lowering the volume will help. The less you start with, the less echo you'll generate.

                            2 If you put both speakers as physically close together as possible then yes you'll create less echo than if they are separated no matter where in the room you put them.

                            3 Putting a blanket over the speaker will only help because of reason #1. You are in effect turning down the volume and as a extra bonus the sound will suck!

                            Got it. Thats some great info. I'm thinking cause its not about volume, I'll just take one speaker to begins with, leave the sub behind and keep it simple.
                            Awesome, I love that extra bonus, why not? lol Also, dboomer, someone said that less bass is better, but I have always thought that it was the high end sounds that carried most in the reverb. Whats your take?
                            cheers mate, appreciate your input.

                            Dj ?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Art Flood View Post
                              Putting a blanket over the speaker would give you a warmer sound!
                              Haha! But if I used towels? A much dryer, less wet sound.
                              Last edited by Dj-name-here; 06-26-2014, 08:43 PM.

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