one thing i have always noticed even in conventional systems when i have played out.
In the beginning of the evening, when things are somewhat quieter, i am always able to get a nice tone from my vocal and my guitar.
Now with the bose, it is even better. However, i have always noticed that things that sound good at lower levels, often run into problems when having to elevate the volume.
The best i have been able to do in the past, as the night gets louder and i am forced to turn up a bit, is to start cuting eq to deal with the reflections etc in normal bar sized ugly rooms.
this solves usually the fedback problems, albeit at what i consider a terrible sacrifice in tone. I have always found tone an easy thing to get at lower volumes, but extremeley difficult at higher volumes, to retain the quality. Can anyone offer me any suggestions of things besides eq that i might try to get more volume and retain a little more tonal quality?
just seems even with the bose, when i start getting to a specific point in volume when i cut the frequency(s) that is causeing me problems, i also lose the tone associated with those frequencies.
my problem is not so much with my vocals as my voice is strong. but more so with my accoustic guitar. any advice would be welcome.
accoustic treatment is out of the question for most of these places( at least major treatment). and alot of these little type pub bars ( 100 or so people) dont allow much room to get away from the tower. sometimes only a couple feet.
I would be very interested in what volumes people are using the system at. basic like bose settings on master, trim, and remote volume, and pas trim setting, and in what size venues and how far away they are from the tower.
also when at what settings and levels etc are they starting to have feedback problems, or maybe tone issues as i.
one of my problems with the accoutic is i get a great sound at a reasonable level, and nice botom from the sub. but as i increase volume, i ned to cut back on the bass, and i start losing all the nice warmth.
so far from my gigs and experiments, the bose does great at moderate volumes in moderately decent rooms. I also think it has plenty of power, but harnessing it when one gets loud can be a challenge.
again i think the bose is doing a better job than conventional systems i have used, but just would like to be able to keep the full sound at not ear piercing, but louder volumes when needed. thanks all for any feedback.i was going to start a new topic, but the menu wouldnt let me. thanks all.
if specific notch filters would help outside of an 31 band eq. perhaps they could be put into some presets. even though all rooms are different, maybe some are enough of the same problem with some experimenting, we could maybe find specific problem frequencies to pull without affecting tone as much...
Original Post
There is a good thread on this forum in which Cliff describes in great detail the technique his band used for optimizing the drummer's kick drum for amplification. As a "sound man", I've had many arguments/discussions with drummers and acoustic guitarists about eliminating all those nasty overtones, and trying to make their instruments as "dead" as possible for loud band use. I am a FIRM believer in what Cliff says on that thread...if an instrument is soley intended for amplification, optimize it for that purpose...forget the acoustic qualities. I have a beatiful high end 12 string acoustic that sounds great unplugged in the living room. But every time I tried to use it in my loud rock band, I'd get terrible feedback. I ended up stuffing the entire cavity with foam, and plugged the hole with a sound hole cover, and now the thing sounds great on stage at any volume. If I buy another acoustic guitar for stage use, it would definitely be one of the solid body styles ala Godin / Gibson Chet Atkins model, which sound like crap unplugged, but can keep up with any band volume on stage.
thanks gitter-jonz. I too believ that the best sounding accoustic in a living room can be nothin but trouble and nasty on a stage. I have prety much given up on what i would call an accoustic sound. i play solo. But i do have what i find is a pleasing sound, i have a feedback buster for the soundhole, perhaps i'll give it a whirl with the pas. its just even the pleasing non accoustic sound starts to run into problems at higher volumes...but as all the rest, guess i just keep experimenting...thanks for the input
wfs,

One other thing I'll throw at you for consideration, our ears have a different "eq curve" at different volumes ... yup, believe it or not, it may be that your ears are the "problem" here.

Check this ... go to Google and type in "Equal loudness curves" and you will get a bunch of hits that can explain it in many ways (even interactively).

Here is an example from the studies, the threshold of hearing for a 1 KHz tone is about 3dB SPL. That is, for the average human ear, until you turn up your 1 KHz to 3dB SPL, it will not be loud enough.

Now hold on to your hat, guess what the threshold of hearing is for a 20Hz tone. Almost 80 dB SPL. That is a HUGE difference, about 77 dB SPL.

And it gets trickier, as you turn up louder and louder, the equal loundess curves change ... that is the "threshold of hearing" curve looks diffenent from the "threshold of pain" curve.

Anyway, use the net to learn more about this. It may help to explain why instruments sound so differnet at home volumes versus stage volumes.
thanks steve. yea i have been tryin to learn more about all that. i do prety much understand the curve thing of which you speak. i think to what i need to do is to find some bigger rooms that need louder volumes, and really be able to spend some time workin with sound in them.
not many places of small venues,give one much oppurtunity for a rally good sound check...ya kinda have to go with it as the night goes. i believe bein able to practice and work with louder volumes would definetly help me to find and determine better ways to obtain the sound i am some what striving for.
among other factors along with using less volume at home, one has limitless time to experiment and hone in on what sound they like.
so i think the biggest thing for me to do is to find a way to experiment in some rooms where i can make some noise and try different things. basically workin on tones etc at home can give one a good starting point, but i really need to be able to learn how things work more in the live envirnment.
either way i will probably wind up getting another system, but im tryin to sell my old conventional system first.
with in reason of what one wants to lug. I still believe for the best fidelity, its all about vibrating the air. and to a certain extent the closer you can put an audience to a speaker, the less volume from that speaker is needed.
for the most volume i can see i would need at this point, i think 2 systems would allow me to get a better fidelity than the one...at leasst for the gigs where i think i need the extra volume and coverage.
i think im kinda in betwen where one system is good till i really need to crank. Thats when the eq etc becomes a problem.
i think 2 systems would put me right there on the line of needing a little more than one system, but not needing all of 2. i could push each individual system less hard. And basicaly its not til im really close to maxing the one system does all the eq etc come into play...and of course how bad the room is and how far i can get in front of my system.
thanks so much for the tips ...
Glad to help. As a "long-time" music lover I was shocked and delighted when I was taught this property of our hearing (just 5 years ago). It helped to explain sooooo much for me that I was living with but could not figure out why it was happening.

The basic lesson I live with now is that if you use an oscilloscope to measure the output of a system, you are not including the entire system. You need to include the ears in your considerations and to do that well you must understand the ear's frequency response curve and how it changes. Coooool stuff to a geek like me. Cool
There is really a bunch of things coming into play when things get loud, most of them not good. Since there are a lot of them, this will be a long post (I apologize).

There a bunch of non-linear effects that happens in your own brain and auditory system. A very clear indication that the human auditory system is not really designed for very high sound pressure levels is the fact that speech intelligibility drops rapidly with sound pressure level (all other things being equal) and is generally very poor above 100 dB SPL.
Here are some of the physiological reasons why this is the case:

1. The first one is the "equal loudness curve" (sometime also referred to as Fletcher-Munson curves) that Steve has already mentioned. The main effect is that you have to roll of the low end as level go up (or boost it as the level goes down). It basically compensates that the way humans turn sound pressure (physical property of sound) into loudness (a perception in our brain) is really not the same for all frequencies.

2. The second is the “acoustic reflex” or “middle ear reflex”. It’s a build-in protection in the middle ear that kicks in at sound levels above about 80 dB SPL. Normally sound is picked up by the ear-drum and then transferred through three tiny little bones in the middle ear to the inner ear. These bones that are basically a system of levers that transport vibration in a certain way. If it gets too loud a tiny muscles in the middle ear contracts and changes the coupling between the bones. It basically makes the levers less efficient and that protects the bones themselves and the inner ear from potentially harmful sound level. That fact also gives you some appreciation of what “evolution” regards as excessive sound levels and for what type of sound pressure levels the hearing system is basically designed for. So basically the acoustic reflex is a non-linear reduction in sound pressure level and its also frequency dependent

3. In the inner ear, vibrations are converted into never impulses by the so-called “hair cells”. These cells get wiggled by the incoming sound and as a result of that they send a nerve impulse. These impulses are all-or-nothing, i.e. they all have the same strength. More sound level leads to the hair cells firing more frequently, but not to any changes in pulse amplitude. Now the hair cells have a maximum firing rate, above which they just can’t react to more stimulus anymore. The only way to detect more sound pressure is to look at the behavior of a large group of cells which is much less exact as if every single cell would still be operating in its linear range.

4. Another effect is called “masking”. Its due to the way that vibration is transferred from the middle ear to the hair cells (through the so-called basilar membrane). Normally every hair cell is tuned to a specific frequency, but since the tuning is not perfect it will also react to frequencies that are not. The result of this is that the perception of a certain tone can be influenced by the presence or absence of a tone at a different frequency. The effect is highly asymmetric, i.e. low tones can mask high tones but high tones cannot mask low tones. Again this effect is more pronounced at higher levels and a single string bass note can drown out a lot of other sounds.

In summary, above a certain level you will operate your auditory system at a point it wasn’t really designed for and that will result in a lot of “internal distortion” that interferes with clarity, speech intelligibility and overall enjoyment. In other words you are overdriving your input.

There are also some problems with the sound system and the room.

5. Nearly all loudspeakers these days are so-called “dynamic” loudspeakers; i.e. they run current through a moving coil in a static magnetic field. The basic principle has a non-linear component to it, which gets worse as the sound level increases. You can actually operate a loudspeaker WITHOUT a magnet and you will get to hear only the non-linear component.

6. There are a few more mechanisms that can generate distortion at higher levels: these include voice coil heat up, excursion limits, non-ideal magnetic fields, non-linear (i.e. overextended) surrounds and spiders, etc. Off course in a high quality loudspeaker such as ours, these things are all carefully designed, controlled and optimized but they are still all present and may under certain circumstances at very high stress levels product audible effects.

7. In many rooms something (ceiling tiles, curtain rods, stuff in a drawer etc.) can rattle when excited hard enough and that contributes to background noise

8. When you play louder, the audience is likely to talk (or yell) louder (to have a conversation or simply to order another drink) and that again raises the level of the background noise.

9. If there are microphones (or acoustic guitar pickups) involved, these will not only pickup the intended sound but also the sound radiated from the loudspeaker. If you keep cranking that ultimately leads to feedback, but even way before that point these picked up sounds will change the frequency response and time signature of the original signal

So turning up does not only makes it louder, it also has a variety of unwanted side effects. In the end, it is an artistic decision, but maybe being aware of all the things that can or will happen can help making in making this decision.

Hope that helps

Hilmar
thanks hilmar. basically in most places i dont think i will run into this problem. but all this info definetly lets me know what i'm up against when i do.
in any concert envirnment, really i dont think a whole lot of crankin is necessary. the sound system is simply used as intended for sound reinforcement. even in large rooms if the envirnment is quiet, i'm sure many will find one doesnt need much to get the sound out to the audience.
bars etc are just tough no matter what i think. its pretty tough to fit in amongst the normal chatting and carrying on that takes place. sometimes easily rachin i'd think 80db easily. so doesnt leave a musician much room to fit in. peolple in those envirnments go for many reasons besides the music, so very seldom is it a nice quiet listening crowd, or at least a crowd that makes all the right noise at the right time (applause etc).
i agree totally sometimes the louder you get the louder they get. it usually is either the musician wins, or the audience wins . but often we deal with unreasonable folk. whom say turn it up, and then they just get louder.
hopefully with the bose and how good it can sound at very moderate levels, audience will also realize that 110 db doesnt define good.
i think when i get my other system, i'll have things prety well covered. I'll just have to decide how much to lug for each gig.
but even with my old conventional system, on gigs where i needed to be louder, i just took along 2 more speakers and added in parellel to the others. it gave me a bit more power and vibrated more air. everything was much fuller, and i dint need as much volume to be heard. all in all , i found it a much better sound than just the 2 conventional speakers. but it was a bit to lug
the bose will be much easier in that respect. thanks for all the tips..

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