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Musical volumes assistance

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Damaniac311, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Damaniac311

    Damaniac311 Member

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    Hi all, I would appreciate any help/advice with this...

    I am running sound for a school musical for the first time this year. I have all the equipment set up as well as I can. I have the house speakers which are essentially center speakers. I have two monitors set up on the aud floor (on stands) at stage left and right...and also two monitors on the aud floor also on stands at the left and right rear of the aud facing back towards the stage. So basically like a 5.1 surround setup. Anyway...all speakers are on an amp, and then go back to my mixer. Right now, I have the volume on the amp at about 50% and I'm trying to set good levels on the mics. However, we're getting to the point where we're rehearsing with the orchestra which is forcing me to really push volumes and I'm running into a lot of feedback. My question is, am I better off increasing the volume on the amp and lowering levels on the mixer, or vice versa? There is a "sum out" on the board which, from what I understand, is like a pre-amp.....and that's set at about 75%. Bottom line is I gotta get these kids louder, but I need to do so without blowing up my speakers. Any help would be great, thanks!
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    ALL speakers are on ONE amp?:confused:
     
  3. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    How exactly is this wired?

    I'd run the amps wide open and use the board to control volume. The fact that you're running into feedback points to either a speaker placement issue and/or an EQ issue. How are you routing the pit and singers?
     
  4. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    If it's 5.1 there is a decent chance that a multi-channel amp is in use.
     
  5. Damaniac311

    Damaniac311 Member

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    Hi all, thanks for the quick responses....let me clarify wiring....

    The house speakers are on one amp, and the four monitors are on another. The monitors at the rear are connected to the front monitors as a parallel connection. Both amps are set at 50%.

    Thanks again
     
  6. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, here's how I would do it.

    Singers and their reverb get routed only to the center channel.
    I assume that the monitors are being used to cover the house? If so, I'd refer to them as the left/right and surrounds (monitor generally refers to speakers on-stage for the performers to hear themselves and/or the band). Split up the two sets of speakers, the front 2 go to amp channel 1, the surrounds go to amp channel two.
    The two front speakers get the band and sound effects.
    The surrounds get a bit of vocal and band reverb and any surround effects that are needed.
    Run all your amps wide open.

    A couple ways to accomplish the routing. If your board has a matrix, I'd use that to drive the speakers. If you don't have a matrix, but you do have subgroups, set up Sub 1 for center, sub 2 for front L/R, and sub 3 for surround.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. DavidDaMonkey

    DavidDaMonkey Active Member

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    First off, I don't think avkid that its actually 5.1, especially if the rear speakers are run off the same amp as the front.

    I would say either eliminate the rear speakers, or if they are needed because the space is too deep, then add them along the sides and put them on a delay. If you have speakers pointing back at the stage, this could potentially be a big source of feedback.

    Let me explain what feedback is, and if you already know, then I apologize in advance for speaking down to you. Feedback in this situation occurs, basically, when the microphones pick up sound, that sound is amplified and sent through your speakers, and then it is picked back up by the microphones, where it gets amplified, sent through the speakers, back into the mics...etc etc etc. This is why it's often referred to as a "feedback loop"

    When you are pointing speakers back at the stage, and then turning up the mics to make them louder, you are only adding to the problem. What kind of mics are being used? Are they omni directional or cardioid? Also, how deep is your space? That is, how far from the stage to where the rear speakers are located?
     
  8. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Can you clarify the speakers and how everything is wired? I do not understand the monitors at the rear of the audience facing the stage, perhaps you are using the term "monitors" to refer to something other than actual monitors. Do the four monitor speakers get a different signal than the house speakers? It would also help to know the actual models for the mixer, amps, speakers, etc. Until we know what you are really doing and how it is wired, it is a little difficult to provide much input.
     
  9. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    I'm not saying it is, just that it's possible to have a multichannel amp.

    (I know a thing or two about speakers ;))
     
  10. Damaniac311

    Damaniac311 Member

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    I apologize for using incorrect terminology...when I say monitors, I'm refering to a set of large Peavey speakers at the front of the stage facing out to the audience, and a set of smaller TOA's at the rear. From the front of the stage to the back of the aud is about 150-200 ft. I felt the TOA's at the rear weren't powerful enough to send enough sound to create a feedback loop with the mics on stage...but as I am fairly new, I could be wrong. As for the board, I have the sliders for each mic set which then go to the main slider...which is the volume for the house speakers (The house speakers are 3 speakers mounted above the stage). Then, I have my aux 2 volume dial on each mic set, which is for the speakers out on the aud floor. But yeah, it's not actually 5.1....I was just using that as a metaphor to give you an idea of how my setup looks. The mixer is a TOA, but I don't know the model off hand....and the amps I'll have to get more info on. Also, We're not mic'ing the pit, they're loud enough by themselves. The mics we use I believe are cardioid...but I'll double-check. Unfortunately there's a mix of about 5 different makes.....ranging from brand new to probably 12-15 years old. Half of them are getting replaced after this show because they operate above 700mhz and there's no way to change them. So it's entirely possible replacing these old ones will help our situation too.

    Again, I appreciate all the help guys. Forgive my ignorance :lol:


    EDIT: 2 mics are cardioid, the rest are omnidirectional.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  11. DavidDaMonkey

    DavidDaMonkey Active Member

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    Hey, no need to get defensive, I'm not doubting your knowledge of speakers. I was just pointing out an observation that I thought should be made in this discussion for everyone's benefit.
     
  12. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    No disrespect meant, I simply do not know you, but are you saying that you have experience running musicals but this is the first one this year or are you saying that this is your first time running sound for a musical? Just trying to get a feel for your experience with that space and system and with running a performance with multiple mics.


    That helps, but I'm still not completely clear. As I now interpret what you've said, you have a permanently installed center cluster of three speakers that runs off the main console output. You then added four TOA speakers, basically one in each corner of the audience area that are all fed off the Aux 2 send. Is that correct?

    Why did you add the four TOA speakers? Have you or anyone else used this arrangement in that same space before? Typically, a speaker arrangement like that described would use the Aux send and four corner speakers purely for effects with the mics going just to the main cluster. However, it sounds like you are apparently routing the mics to every speaker and I'm not clear why. Routing the mics to all of the speakers will almost certainly negatively affect intelligibility and will likely reduce gain before feedback. My first thought would be to get the mics out of the the aux send, and thus the four corner speakers, and see if that helps.


    Okay, apparently new info here. So all the mics are wireless and most are omnidirectional, is that correct? Are they all handheld, all lav or a mic? How many mics total are there? Do the users move around a lot? Are you muting all mics not in use at any moment?

    Just FYI, simply being above 700MHz is not a problem, it is specifically the 698MHz to 806MHz range that is the problem. If the wireless systems operate above that range, as some do, they may still be okay.
     
  13. Damaniac311

    Damaniac311 Member

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    I have run sound for our middle school the past two years, and their setup is not nearly as complex, nor is their auditorium as large as the high school's. I have run simple meetings and presentations in the high school that would only require a mic or two. This is the first time I'm running a musical in the high school. My primary position is in IT and network administration for the school district, however, rather than hiring someone specifically to run AV related things, they've asked me to do it now. Hopefully that gives you all a bit more of an idea of my experience.

    Museav, the way you've described my routing setup is absolutely correct. Students have mentioned to me that the speakers were setup this way before so I figured I'd give it a shot. I do have the mics coming out of all speakers... So I will switch them to just the center cluster and see if that helps. We're using two handheld and 10 lav mics. We're not taking the chance that some of the older mics 'may' still work after Feb. 17th because I have the middle school musical coming up in early March....and being that they're so old anyway, we're replacing them with new Shures.

    Again, thanks for the suggestions.
     

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