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-   Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-in-acoustic-music-and-location-recording/)
-   -   Low End When the Band Is Right On Top of You (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-in-acoustic-music-and-location-recording/1273462-low-end-when-band-right-top-you.html)

Brent Hahn 26th July 2019 04:54 PM

Low End When the Band Is Right On Top of You
 
I sometimes mix live broadcasts at this venue where they have a "control room," but it's got next to no treatment, it's barely isolated at all and it's very close to the stage. To make matters worse, the performance room has a node at around 100 - 120 Hz. The fundamental of a guitar's A string is 110, as is the first harmonic of a bass' A string.

In this control room it's pretty easy to balance the mids and highs, but the low end is just this big indistinct mush. I've tried hauling in trapping -- had about 100 cubic feet of it in there last night -- and it does little or nothing. Should I give up on treatment (and trying to get the owner to pay for it), and just try to ballpark the bottom with headphones? That sort of works if I can record a bit of soundcheck and then play it back without the live racket in the room, but I can't always do that.

Bixby 26th July 2019 05:50 PM

Bass is always tricky in this sort of situation. A pair of trusted headphones can be very helpful. I use custom in-ears with construction muffs over them. Even then sometimes it's hard if you've got a lot of bass physically pumping your body, makes it tricky to differentiate between the aural and the physical.

tourtelot 26th July 2019 06:38 PM

Custom molded in-ears have become my go-to when I am mixing broadcasts "from the wings" (or a machine room, or a room with an ice-maker in it, swear to God). Not a perfect solution, but they get me in the ballpark. Worth the expense to buy the best you can afford and IMO an invaluable tool.

D.

hbphotoav 27th July 2019 05:51 AM

Ditto in-ears (with a solid room seal) you trust... and -29dB (or better) over-ear muffs designed for use with firearms. If that's not enough, I'd be real tempted to run a Ethercon snake and power and take my rig out to my van...

HB

studer58 27th July 2019 06:08 AM

You could try borrowing several friend's good quality noise-cancelling headphones, with good sealing earcups...but i doubt they'd be as effective down at those lower frequencies, compared with the typical aircraft or road noise whine they're aimed at reducing ? They're really not built for this type of critical listening application.

At least the noise-reduction circuitry would be actively responding to the dominant background frequencies that are bothering you..so it's a step in the right direction, and on that level at least worth a try ?

deedeeyeah 27th July 2019 11:05 AM

if low frequency rumble is a mix of both stage blast and room related issues (room dimensions, lack of treatment, maybe setup), chances to get it down to reasonal levels (with reasonable efforts) imo are very low.

all previously mentioned measures have their merits; if moving out/setting up things elsewhere is an option at all, i personally would favour it by far as i don't like listening with inears or headphones for any sustained period of time...

chris661 27th July 2019 12:43 PM

Is the mixing problem from the noise from the musicians, or because the monitoring room is terrible acoustically?

For the former, isolation will be key.
For the latter, it might be worth looking into a Double Bass Array.

It needs a bit of work, but the idea is sound:

Make two walls of subwoofers, front and back of the room. Doesn't have to be floor-to-ceiling cones, but a minimum of four seems to be required.
Send signal to both, but delay and invert the subs behind you.

The idea is that the front subs create a plane wave (ie, only travelling in one direction, so you've reduced the room reflections already), which the rear subs then eat. Theoretically, perfectly.

The idea is to take the room out of the equation completely, and from what I've heard, it works really well.

Of course, it's gonna mean having 8 or more 8" bass drivers and some non-trivial cabinet building, but if this is a regular gig for you, it might be worth doing.

Chris

Brent Hahn 27th July 2019 02:32 PM

Thanks so much for all the responses -- in-ears with firing-range muffs seems to be the first quick and practical thing to try.

The cancelling subs-concept is intriguing -- it would be cool to try under better funded and more sonically isolated circumstances.

Also "non-trivial cabinet building" is the most elegant turn of phrase I've read here in quite a while.

Brent Hahn 27th July 2019 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hbphotoav (Post 14117640)
Ditto in-ears (with a solid room seal) you trust... and -29dB (or better) over-ear muffs designed for use with firearms.

In these situations do you get the low end dialed in with the in-ears and then go back to speakers (and trust The Force), or do you stay on in-ears the whole time?

jwh1192 27th July 2019 06:05 PM

the room at the back of House of Blues LA was like that .. and the one Over the Stage in Chicago HOB .. impossible to mix low end in as well .. and many other venues that were less than ideal ..

Soundcheck Playback was the only was to get things dialed in (if you have this opportunity of course) - since there is No Performance Room getting in your way .. then using Gun Muffs to check during show .. but not wearing them all the time, no .. have never tried the in-ears thing but sounds like it would be a good plan to start with ..

and yes, moving out of the venue .. but understood, that cannot always be an option ..

and hopefully those pesky Video Guys are not getting in your Hair !!!

cheers john

studer58 28th July 2019 06:04 AM

Acousticians will be able to advise with more authority and knowledge, but my guess is that at those frequencies you'll either be looking to build an external barrier like this : http://noisecontrolengineering.com.au/acoustic-walls/

or a similarly high-mass walled "room within a room", with added decoupling from the existing structure...via substantial springs (think car or truck leaf springs, or the heli-coil versions, that you see at the front wheel wells of cars).

Mass...and sprung/de-coupled...your best friends...and neither trivial nor cheap

hughshouse 28th July 2019 01:34 PM

Brent has raised an issue that merits our pragmatical reasoning: very few venues offer ideal acoustical balance for multiple genre performances.

1) Hot back lines need a "dead rubber room" but carefully designed reflected surfaces are architecturally favored in the finest performance recital halls.
2) Room nodes can be a moving target in some venues: an empty seat sound check can and will change to some degree when the seats fill up.
3) F O H EQ filtering is commonly deployed to alleviate obvious room node problems, however pragmatical reasoning requires a separate mix direct from the pres for any broadcasting or multi-track recording.
4) I have been a head phone monitoring man for more than 40 years for both performance and console duties. It is the only consistent dependable reference for me.

Our local university has two primary performance venues that perfectly depicts the effects of architectural design. Rosen Recital Hall seats 440 and offers the finest sonic environment for the type of acoustic Americana music I perform. The next building over is the Schaefer Center with 1,673 seats and it is designed to accommodate multiple arts activities and an acoustical compromise obviously was necessary to serve such a wide range of events. Given the fact that live performance is driving the music industry today perhaps discerning ticket buyers should be equally concerned with the venue matching the performance of any specific talent.
I have been a strong proponent of single mic capture for singer/guitar performance and I found my capture sweet spot with a single tube mic using head phones. The immediate response learning curve using cans led me to abandon a two mic approach. There are several issues in reference monitoring that head phones alleviate however entrenched preferences for monitor speakers are a dominate priority with some folks.
Hugh

Brent Hahn 28th July 2019 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hughshouse (Post 14119585)
3) F O H EQ filtering is commonly deployed to alleviate obvious room node problems, however pragmatical reasoning requires a separate mix direct from the pres for any broadcasting or multi-track recording.

Trouble is, in the case of the venue I'm describing, two of main exciters of the nodal behavior (amplified upright bass and drums) aren't even in the PA. For those guys, I need to invent a set of faders that go about 40 dB lower than infinity.

philper 28th July 2019 03:45 PM

This is why sound trucks were invented.... But I seem to have outlived the time when they could be economically viable outside of NYC and maybe LA (in the USA). The Grammy-decorated guys that were doing that here in SF all went bankrupt years ago, and even the high end work is now done with portable rigs "in-building". For me, the Remote Audio HN headphones, all the time.

tourtelot 28th July 2019 04:27 PM

I was one of the lucky few who got to work on a couple of those wonderful NYC trucks in my youth. Ah, that was a fine way to make a recording. I digress.

Philip, do the Remote Audio phones sound good enough to do serious mixing under? Not a slur but a sincere question. My experience with these in the early days was that they had high isolation but that they sounded, well, not so great.
Maybe not really so much of a problem since, at least I, just track in most of these situations. But sometimes, on a multi-mic project, spots and such, I usually do a two-mix on the fly for the client. Hmm.

In regards to an ethernet cable off to a distant room. It certainly cures the ailment but at the cost of a much larger commitment in time and gear. Most recordings I make don't have the luxury of that due to time and money constraints. Go in, set up a few mics, plunk down your table in the wings and record a performance. Sad but true.

D.

hughshouse 29th July 2019 10:49 AM

Unfortunately Brent, there is no logical protocol to deal with stupid drummers and loud back lines. The more interesting question is why do you continue to work with this type of miserable conditions when you know full well what you will be dealing with. I am a big believer in the benefit of the word no: living a rich life is a lot more about our options than money and the materiel accoutrements associated with professional success.
Hugh

Brent Hahn 29th July 2019 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hughshouse (Post 14121089)
Unfortunately Brent, there is no logical protocol to deal with stupid drummers and loud back lines.

Maybe not. So I guess I'll have to forget logic and move on to politeness and tact. We'll see if that works.

Quote:

The more interesting question is why do you continue to work with this type of miserable conditions when you know full well what you will be dealing with. I am a big believer in the benefit of the word no: living a rich life is a lot more about our options than money and the materiel accoutrements associated with professional success.
Because, in the big picture, it's not all that miserable. I love great music and musicians, I love being accepted among them, I love recording and mixing (especially the live streaming/broadcast no-do-over kind) and I love new challenges. And my wife loves that I love all this stuff, because apparently I can be tough to live with when I don't get enough of it; that counts for a lot.

Six loves in two sentences, zero misery.

And it's not a humble-brag because there's no humble, but I'm already doing it better than anyone else has at this place and people are noticing. But the game still needs a lot of work.

As for the money, it's actually pretty lousy. But the networking is incredible (it's LA, for Pete's sake), not just for engineering and mixing but for song-shopping as well, and I've already gotten a few nice daylight-hours gigs out of it. The internet radio show I mixed for several years was also helpful in that regard, but this is already proving to be tons better.

Besides, I have no grandkids and I hate golf. :-)

tourtelot 29th July 2019 05:24 PM

If it were easy, anyone could do it!

D.

philper 29th July 2019 05:35 PM

Re: mixing on the Remote HN (Sony-driver) headphones: I guess they are ok. For one thing, most of what I do is going to be remixed later, in a studio, so I'm about "acquisition" mostly: the live mix is just a performance demo usually. Also, like we've been talking about, the real problem is the live vs headphone sound in your ears, not to mention your whole body re: low end, plus the sound of people talking etc near me and so on. Taken altogether the situation is far from ideal for making any sort of "finished" mix, so if that is what's wanted then we need to move my set up much farther away from the action. Since this almost never can happen these days, the HN headphones are what works the best for me.

deedeeyeah 29th July 2019 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brent Hahn (Post 14121606)
(...)Because, in the big picture, it's not all that miserable. I love great music and musicians, I love being accepted among them, I love recording and mixing (especially the live streaming/broadcast no-do-over kind) and I love new challenges. And my wife loves that I love all this stuff, because apparently I can be tough to live with when I don't get enough of it; that counts for a lot.

Six loves in two sentences, zero misery.

And it's not a humble-brag because there's no humble, but I'm already doing it better than anyone else has at this place and people are noticing. But the game still needs a lot of work.

As for the money, it's actually pretty lousy. But the networking is incredible (it's LA, for Pete's sake), not just for engineering and mixing but for song-shopping as well, and I've already gotten a few nice daylight-hours gigs out of it. The internet radio show I mixed for several years was also helpful in that regard, but this is already proving to be tons better.

Besides, I have no grandkids and I hate golf. :-)

plenty of good reasons for doing it then!

i have been rethinking things a bit and your situation (at this venue) reminds me pretty much of two slightly different situations i regularly get into, with a common topic though: mixing monitors on loud stages and getting called to adjust frequency response in subpar studio environments (when further room treatment is not an option) - here's what i do:

when mixing monitors, i establish a wedge and/or nearfield monitor mix which takes into consideration the rear blast and stage noise, meaning i tweak the wedge/nearfields frequency response until the combined frequency response measures reasonable - same in studios, only difference is that low end comes from room modes.

anyway, here's a link to an article from someone who can explain things much better than i can:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniq...t-control-room

check the last section on subwoofers - since you already got a lot of end ooompf in your place, a sub imo wouldn't need to very powerful and pretty much any equalizer should do to adjust the monitors. good luck!

Samc 1st August 2019 10:31 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Gun muffs are useless for low frequency reduction, handguns do not produce a lot of low frequency so they were not designed for that. If sympathetic vibration is the cause of the problem, covering your ears (with headphones or muffs), or using absorption in the room will not eliminate the problem. Only isolating the room from the vibration will stop this situation, your best, most practical solution will be to find a new location to mix from.

In this situation it might even be easier to mix on headphones/IEMs in the venue itself because it might be easier to mix around loud direct sound as opposed to loud non direct sound which is so out of phase with what you're listening to that its confusing.

Another solution is to stay in the room and use monitors that will overpower the noise from the stage...did this last weekend when I had to mix a show from the side of the stage. Almost 100,000 people and a PA to match with 300 K1 boxes etc. Mix position was on the stage and behind the PA, there was massive vibration so I asked for a pair of ARCS and a pair of SB 218. Being only 2.5 meters in from of them it was easy to cancel the wash from the PA. The people who mixed before me were using studio monitors and had problems.

Neither of these situations are perfect but they're more practical and less expensive than bringing in the bulldozer and the construction crew.

hughshouse 1st August 2019 12:11 PM

Sam, there are many things that have occurred in my life that I am extremely grateful for. However restricting my professional musical endeavors and entertainment ticket buying to the acoustic Americana genre in small to mid size indoor venues is at the top of the list. I completely understand how thrilling an extremely difficult professional challenge can be to some folks but for me satisfaction comes from approaching S R and cue monitoring perfection.

There is no universal preference for anything: if there was we would be limited to vanilla ice cream and the Roman Catholic Church!
Hugh

Samc 1st August 2019 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hughshouse (Post 14126869)
Sam, there are many things that have occurred in my life that I am extremely grateful for. However restricting my professional musical endeavors and entertainment ticket buying to the acoustic Americana genre in small to mid size indoor venues is at the top of the list. I completely understand how thrilling an extremely difficult professional challenge can be to some folks but for me satisfaction comes from approaching S R and cue monitoring perfection.

There is no universal preference for anything: if there was we would be limited to vanilla ice cream and the Roman Catholic Church!
Hugh

Hugh, I don't understand your post, please explain.

hughshouse 1st August 2019 04:21 PM

Since it is apparently necessary I will explain the relevance of my comment to Brent's original post. (see my post #16 & Brent's response in his post #17 )
We are certainly not all alike in our preferences for much of anything: this is "ned in the first reader" common sense logic. The type of professional challenges we enjoy have a lot to do with personal preferences and absolutely are not uniform in nature. Brent gets a thrill from the challenge of running a broadcast in piss poor conditions. Sam, you are pleased to electronically out muscle an ultra hot back line for 100,000 people paying for a DB assault. For me either of these activities are some what akin to experiencing a root canal.

The point is we are not all the same: what works for you and Brent, in this regard, would never be on my bucket list!
Hugh

Brent Hahn 1st August 2019 04:43 PM

Hugh, I started the thread to ask pros for strategies to cope with a situation that many pros have probably found themselves in. "Stay home" isn't exactly a strategy.

deedeeyeah 1st August 2019 05:22 PM

i think sam made a valuable point: overpowering the noise! - i've been doing this as well, even when broadcasting as i couldn't hide in a quiet spot; got myself a pair of powerful wedges/pa speakers, aligned/corrected them for shorter throw distance, put up a curtain behind me and went on air...

Samc 1st August 2019 05:24 PM

I responded to Brent's question by giving two practical suggestions based on what I understand the situation to be since packing up and going home is not an option. My suggestions are just that...suggestions based on my experiences, people can either try, or not try them, they are not the definitive solution. But if someone thinks its irrelevant, then fine, I'll be interested to hear any practical solution that works.

In the example I cited above that is exactly what I chose to do too, find a solution that works, it has nothing to do with being pleased with out muscling a hot backline because the backline was not my problem. I needed to hear what I was doing above the vibration and noise from the back of PA...like Brent, giving up and going home was not an option for me.

Brent Hahn 1st August 2019 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deedeeyeah (Post 14127311)
i think sam made a valuable point: overpowering the noise! - i've been doing this as well, even when broadcasting as i couldn't hide in a quiet spot; got myself a pair of powerful wedges/pa speakers, aligned/corrected them for shorter throw distance, put up a curtain behind me and went on air...

This might or might not work in my situation, because the low end bleed from the house into the CR is a two-way street. Even at normal mixing levels, people in the stage right front seats can hear a fair amount of thump from the CR, even if they're not especially aware of it.

philper 1st August 2019 05:45 PM

If I brought in monitors and cranked them enough to overcome the PA or live sound while being in the position re: the stage I usually am that would be the last time I ever worked for that client.

Folkie 1st August 2019 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tourtelot (Post 14119798)
I was one of the lucky few who got to work on a couple of those wonderful NYC trucks in my youth. Ah, that was a fine way to make a recording. I digress.

Philip, do the Remote Audio phones sound good enough to do serious mixing under? Not a slur but a sincere question. My experience with these in the early days was that they had high isolation but that they sounded, well, not so great.
Maybe not really so much of a problem since, at least I, just track in most of these situations. But sometimes, on a multi-mic project, spots and such, I usually do a two-mix on the fly for the client. Hmm.

In regards to an ethernet cable off to a distant room. It certainly cures the ailment but at the cost of a much larger commitment in time and gear. Most recordings I make don't have the luxury of that due to time and money constraints. Go in, set up a few mics, plunk down your table in the wings and record a performance. Sad but true.

D.

I tried the Remote Audio HN’s and couldn’t stand the hyped upper mids. I’m now using the David Clark 10S/DC. (Yes David Clark the aircraft headset maker).
Very neutral mids and highs. Maybe a little weak in low bass. Very comfortable-can wear for an extended time without discomfort.
Individual volume controls for each ear.