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Old 28th July 2019
Lives for gear

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.