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Vocals seem to drop out when playing. (Small pa)


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  • Vocals seem to drop out when playing. (Small pa)

    I'm running my small mackie system with a duo. Mackie 808s, two mackie c300, and a peavey pr10 for a monitor. I sing, play guitar, and use a small 16 kick drum that is miced up with slight volume, while my partner sings as well.

    The set up is in my basement currently for practice and I run the mixer main/mon mode with the speakers set up around us so we can hear fairly clear what's going on in the mix. The overall volume is low because we are in a small basement and feedback can be an issue.

    The mix seems to be balanced fine when we play softer music, guitar and one vocal going on. But the problem I noticed last night is once I start really jamming on guitar and we both sing, the vocals seem to drop out and get muddy and the guitar is the only thing that jumps out. I've tried to compensate with turning my guitar vol down a bit, but it to me it seems that isn't helping. It's almost as if their is too much going on and the speakers don't want to handle it. I know I'm not over powering the system. But am I under powering? Could it be the practice space? Concrete walls and low ceiling?

    I've used this system before and it performs well in larger places so I just wondering if anyone has run into something similar.

  • #2

    In a smaller system like that it is easy to kill it by running too much low end where it isn't needed....first steps I would do is cut everything below 100 Hz out of the vocals and guitars, cut everything across the board out below 50 Hz and see where you end up. Those low frequencies chew up a lot of power and you won't hear a difference in those ranges....


    The other thing to look at is if you are over EQing in general, look and see where you are boosting a frequency above 0 db and approach it from what can you cut outside of that range to have the sound you want with nothing above 0 db....this approach will also generally get you more volume as a lot of the "room" feedback is caused by too much EQ at the wrong frequency.

    Did I mention the new forum sucks?


    • #3
      Thanks for your help! I will make some adjustments in EQ. I have a tendency to tweek a bit on the graphic EQ for a warmer sound. Boosting slightly the lows, and that may be my issue here. I'll try your suggestions!

      A silly thought I had, is it possible that because of the small area and acoustics of the room that their is no room for the vocals to be present? If that makes sense. It's hard to explain, it's almost as if they become lifeless and muck up.


      • tlbonehead
        tlbonehead commented
        Editing a comment
        Sure, if the room can't "hold" all that volume you lose your separation of tones and sounds and it just becomes one big wall of muck.

    • #4
      Ahhhha!!! Cutting below 100k is working like a charm! To much low end. Just taking down the 63 on the graphic, leaving the rest flat, then cutting on 80hz was enough to really make a huge difference.



      • agedhorse
        agedhorse commented
        Editing a comment

        If you drive the speakers too hard, I believe the internal compression will do this when hit very hard. Not enough rig for the gig (or too much volume for the rig you have).


        Reducing the low end will help by reducing the necessary power and thus compression. Reducing the volume a little will also help.