Live sound preparation

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by sirchick, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. sirchick

    sirchick Active Member

    Say you doing a live sound set up and the place is empty whilst you set up.. how do you prepare for the difference in sound when the place is full whilst setting up in an empty place....

    because when the venue is full i find people absorb alot of the acoustics and it creates a different sound to what the warm ups had which can be frustrating when you have found a good sound during the warm up.. what would you do to compensate the difference ?
  2. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    Most engineers continue to tweak throughout the show. Temperature/air pressure/humidity, crowd size, etc affects the acoustic feedback thresholds and gain structure.

    There is nothing you can do to get the system to perform consistantly, because people are bass traps somewhat, and do cover reflective surfaces (floors, etc).

    By the second or third song you should have it dialed in.
  3. sirchick

    sirchick Active Member

    Well i don't have a team lol i just got me on stage and the band with me.. no one else =/
  4. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    That is the biggest reason to hire a sound man. If you can't tell what is going on out in the audience it's hard to adjust for it. There are about a million factors that will change what it sounds like. Only hearing will make a difference.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Here's an interesting little acoustical story in a somewhat related situation, in an unrelated way.

    I was contracted to make a recording for Sterling Productions of Sterling, Virginia. It was to be a live recording of a choral group with instrumental accompaniment. It was recorded live at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. It was a beautiful recording, if I don't say so myself. And I do. But here was the problem. After the recording was made and reviewed by the head of the choral group, corrections were needed to be made on another date without the audience present! This was in a very reverberant church. Remove all the people in the audience and the intercut edits would never match. The owner of Sterling Productions was in a quandary how he would ever make the edits work. Well, that's why he hires the best, like me.

    Oh? You want to know how I made it work?

    Simple. I knew I had to replace the audience. But without people! (No, I didn't use those blowups sex dolls) It was and imaginative lucky stroke of genius on my part. I looked at the entire sanctuary and had to think about this for about, um, 30 seconds. This idea of mine wouldn't have worked if the cushions of the church pews were permanently affixed to the pews. Because they weren't, it was my idea to remove them all and then, place them perpendicular and on top of the backrests of the pews. We did this throughout the sanctuary. This did a great job of artificially replacing the audience members (and those without) with the cushions. Because they were also now elevated across the top of the pews, they were absorbent to both the floor and the ceiling, while also providing mass without the clergy! It simulated the audience almost perfectly yielding imperceptible edits between a live performance and replacement corrections on a later date. Bruce Kane, the owner of Sterling Productions could hardly believe his ears and my genius! That's why he loves me in spite of the marriage to his beautiful wife. Besides, I'm older and wiser than he is.

    Pretty cool eh? What do you all think about that? I don't have 3 major award nominations for nothing you know.

    Original thinker
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. sirchick

    sirchick Active Member

    So your suggesting to fill up the venue prior to the gig with hundreds of pillows to get the sound then remove them all to let the audience in lol ?
  7. Or note the differences between an empty venue and full venue. I find that if I mix a hair on the bright side during soundcheck for my church, I'm pretty close at the beginning of the service.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm not suggesting that you import hundreds of 8 foot long bench pillows. I was utilizing the cushions that were resident to the pews in the church. They were not permanently affixed to the pews and so were movable. By raising them and placing them perpendicular on top of the pews, because of their additional cushiony mass and the fact that they were absorbent to sound both top and bottom, it did a wonderful job of representing the absorbent qualities of actual people. This certainly damped down the amount of reverberation so as to more carefully equal the absorbent qualities that numerous, heavily clothed, poly cylindrical folks, equal to those known as human beings. It worked more than quite well. When we were finished, we've merely replaced the cushions on to the pews as they normally appear for Sunday services.

    You just have to envision/imagine, how much sound an average human being contributes to the acoustical absorption when sitting in the pews. This both provided the absorption and a considerable amount of heavy mass that did a good job of imitating most religious goers. Not that everybody who goes to church is that way but they do rather function in Maas, in mass. Since they are not sitting there in their birthday suits that God provided them at birth, otherwise they would be more reflective without their clothing on!

    Conversely, if the cushions are permanently affixed to the seats and were not movable? Yes, then you would be best off bringing in a couple of hundred, overstuffed pillows to represent audience members, if not sandbags. But that could be a backbreaker leading lovely little sand boxes for the children to play in throughout the sanctuary. Not practical obviously.

    Now go pray that God provides you with the same vision since it was God who suggested this to me. Who else would have been in a church to provide me with this what I thought to be an original idea? If not me? Then possibly Jesus? But I think he is still working on that house he's building up the street?? Don't think they give him much of a lunch hour? I did go down to the local pub afterwards, to see if he was there. But I may have gotten to inebriated to have noticed? Either way, I think God like the way it all sounded?

    But good audio requires just as much of a vision as it does your auditory senses.

    Pondering my auditory senses since I think I have dutiful ears. Or at least some other Doody on my mind?

    I'm always Doody full
    Ms. Remy Ann David
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    The Bacon Double I just ate has made me doody full.

    Shortly, I imagine I will once again be doody free.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I never shopped there for that reason. Sort of like Wal-Mart.

    I like shopping at Needless Markup when I'm not feeling like a big Macy
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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