Tune The Room!

We have been taking live sound classes at the HI-FI bar in West End, Brisbane and having seen so many of my favourite bands there, it feels awesome to get a behind scenes look (and smell!) at what the place is like in the day time and get hands on with the equipment. The HI-FI Bar is located at 123 Boundary Street, West End QLD 4101 and SAE-QANTM have an arrangement with them to host live sound classes in the daytime, yay!

Our fearless leader
Our fearless leader

For a full description of the HI-FI Bar’s set up click this link.

Our mild-mannered lecturer, Conor Roberts has shown us the ropes and so far we have learnt to tune the room, do a virtual sound check, set up a monitor mix, a front of house mix and a mix for in-ear monitors. The HI-FI uses an AVID SC48 digital console for the monitor mix and this was the desk that we were first introduced to. The SC48 is part of the Venue series of mixing desks from Avid, desks that are able to be connected directly to Pro Tools to enable easy recording or virtual sound checks.

There are too many live sound techniques to mention all in one blog, so today I would to talk about how to tune a room.

Tuning a room is the process of eliminating feedback from the monitor wedges by attenuating problem frequencies. So how do we find the problem frequencies?

First, set up a mic in a position that the performer will be using. Bring the gain up slowly so that it just starts to feed back, then back it off just slightly. Turn the mic around so that it faces the wedges and bring the gain up again. When you hear feedback, pull the gain down so it stops but remember the pitch of the feedback. Using a 31-band graphic eq, start raising the level of different bands, trying to find the same pitched feedback as earlier and once the frequency is found, attenuate it. Keep going with this process until all the problem frequencies are gone, the end result is that the gain can be increased significantly, which means that in the gig if the performers need more volume, they get it, without driving the audience nuts with feedback.

Tune it!
Tune it!

If you are interested in live sound techniques then make sure to check out one of my blog-buddys, MIDIMIKE. MIDIMIKE has a wealth of information on his wordpress site about live sound and heaps of other cool stuff about MIDI and recording and is continually updating his page so it’s definitely worth a visit!

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