0% Interest for 24 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
Cart
NAMM Show Report

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Feedback elimination for stage monitors

sounzgud

Hi,
Soon I am getting a four mix monitor line (front fill, drum fill, and sides). Right now I have a simple dual 15 on my two sends. I can easily manage feedback with what I have but I am afraid with the new line I will have a harder time with it (six vocal mics, four mixes, some midrange feedback somewhere...Gulp!). One of the solutions I was considering was buying eq's with built in spectrum analizers for each mix I'm sending because that way I could quickly find out wich mix and which monitor is feeding back. Does this sound like a good idea or is that technology for some reason sub par? If it's a good idea, what models of eq/analyzers are good? I've been looking at the T.C. Electronic 1128.
December 2, 2004 @09:32pm
elsteve9

That's a heck of alot of work...
For feedback eliminators, I like the Peavey Feedback Ferret (I don't care:p ), and the DBX stuff. These products actually work.
Avoid the Behringer like the plague (it is the worst of the worst, even in Behringer.), though it looks as if you'll be doing that.
And the only people who can make the spectrum analyzer solution work well are those with really really nice EQ's, and good ears.
And it's alot of work.
Keep an eye out for MichaelHoddy, and XStatic, both big live guys, and will have more comments on the tones of these units.
-Stephen
December 3, 2004 @03:13am
elsteve9

That's a heck of alot of work...
For feedback eliminators, I like the Peavey Feedback Ferret (I don't care:p ), and the DBX stuff. These products actually work.
Avoid the Behringer like the plague (it is the worst of the worst, even in Behringer.), though it looks as if you'll be doing that.
And the only people who can make the spectrum analyzer solution work well are those with really really nice EQ's, and good ears.
And it's alot of work.
Keep an eye out for MichaelHoddy, and XStatic, both big live guys, and will have more comments on the tones of these units.
Might also consider the DBX Driverack. It'll have two feedback eliminators in it, plus a buttload of other stuff (including a pink noise generator, and it will auto adjust its internal eq. Then, you can adjust crossover points, if you ever biamp your monitors.)
Michael Hoddy says he doesn't like the tone of this unit. I say, in most people's rigs, the benefits (ESPECIALLY on monitors) definetely outway the downsides. The massive tonal benefits of uhm...NO FEEDBACK drastically outweigh small tonal issues.
But we each have our opinions.
-Stephen
December 3, 2004 @03:16am
poux

If your not already running your monitors 180 out from the mic's and mains, do it... Reverse the polarity on a short cable and insert it between the board and the monitor amp..... Beyond that, dbx driverack..SHweet... Where the h&!! were these things when I was doing this stuff... tired old pouxhawk
December 19, 2004 @12:32pm
xstatic

In theory, spectrum analyzers sound like a good idea. In all practicality, they don't work quite like people think. Feedback can bery a very complexed and intricate little monster. Feedback eliminators can be helpful in a pinch for getting the extreme feedback out of a system, but it comes with a high price, the destruction of sound quality. The feedback that those tools eliminate really aren't the problem, but more one of the symptoms. A decent graphic EQ is a much better solution. The problem with analyzers is that often times there will be feedback present, yet it won't show on the analyzer. Technically it "shows" but not in a way that you can look at it and say "ahhh, there it is". Neither a feedback eliminator or a spectrum analyzer will show you that the lead vocal feedback is actually because the lead vocals are loud enough in the drum fill that the lead vocal mic starts to feed in the center wedge, or that the bass guitar is triggering low frequency feedback in the kick mic. The TC electronic EQ's are beautiful EQ's, but they are a very expensive route for working with a very basic system. Personally, I love the way Ashly EQ's handle monitor mixes, but I don't like them so much on mains. If you really want a digital setup, a DBX driverack witht the Driverack remote is a great tool as well. When dealing with a volatile monitor system, it's very important to have quick and easy access to the graphic EQ frequencies in order to solve the problem properly. If you have to page through menu's, it's very easy to get frustrated quickly. I refuse to use an EQ on monitors if I have to have buttons for frequencies. The most important skills to learn for monitors, in my opinion, is to learn how your graphic EQ affects your monitors, and how your different stage mics affect each other. I have run moniotr consoles for years, and in maybe 1 out of every 100 systems have I, or any other engineer, actually run the monitors out of phase with the mains. I have in certain conditions time delayed mains though to line up with the back of the wedges if the monitor system was too loud, but that is dependant on the acoustic conditions of the venue. One of the most important things that I have learned about EQ'ing, is that just because there is a frequency "ringing", that doesn't mean it is the one that needs adjusting. If you hear 1.2k getting ready to go, sometimes all it takes is a small cut at 200 or 400 hz. Many times the root of the feedback is a lower harmonic. Often times making a small cut in the lower harmonic (and occasionally even a higher one) will take care of the immediate issue, as well as sounding more natural, and creating less of a volume drop in the wedge. The problem with just making a bunch of cuts is that you lose a lot of power and volume in a mix, and usually the artist will start having you turn the volume up after that and complain that things don't sound right, which will put you right back where you started. Also, don't be afraid to move the artist or the wedge a tiny bit, and make sure that the artist is standing in the focal spot of the wedge. If they are too close, they will ask for more volume because they can't hear it. By the time they can, your gain stage and feedback threshold will be in danger. If they are 6 feet tall with a 45 degree wedge, make sure they are at least 2 and a hlaf feet back from thewedge with their mic or else the wedge will be hitting them in the belt instead of their ears. Monitors really are the hardest thing about live audio to learn and do really well. Usually you get a bunch of the pickiest ears, all wanting to hear something different in what is typically a hostile environment. People seem to pay a lot more attention to room acoustics at FOH than on stage. It's too bad they never think about how stage acoustics and monitor systems actually have a HUGE affect on how the FOH engineer has to mix. When you do get the monitors right though, the band will be happier, as a result they will play better, be easier to work with, and the FOH engineer will get a better mix with less stress. It's a win-win situation once the band is happy on stage:D
Sorry for the mini novel
December 20, 2004 @01:28pm
DAS

And that excellent post pretty well sums up why in-ear systems are so popular these days. While they do have their own problems, they solve almost all of the problems with stage wedges. The few problems they do have are pretty easy to work around by comparison.
December 20, 2004 @02:03pm
xstatic

I agree completely DAS:D
As a FOH engineer, there is nothing I love more than a band that shows up with a quality in-ear rig:) It's really pretty cost effective if you start breaking down the cost of Wedges, amps, crossovers, EQ's, and then factor in the amount of space and labor they require as well as the load-in and setup time:D
December 20, 2004 @02:24pm
Ed Belknap

Originally posted by xstatic
As a FOH engineer, there is nothing I love more than a band that shows up with a quality in-ear rig:)

And as a Monitor engineer, there is nothing I love more than a band that shows up with a quality in-ear rig...including their own console & engineer. I just patch them into the stage box, power down my rig, & go drink beer for the rest of the night!
December 20, 2004 @07:52pm
edhunt

Originally posted by Ed Belknap
And as a Monitor engineer, there is nothing I love more than a band that shows up with a quality in-ear rig...including their own console & engineer. I just patch them into the stage box, power down my rig, & go drink beer for the rest of the night!

:D
Edward
December 20, 2004 @08:00pm
flattop100

I'm getting to the point where EQ'ing a PA to a CD isn't working anymore. Too much second-guessing. Would pinking/analyzing help, or hinder? Or should I just take some time off?
Michael, x?
December 21, 2004 @07:30am
xstatic

I always use a CD at first. Actually, a couple different CD's. I don't use them to really ring the PA though. I use them to test the system for response. The CD's will tell me if the subs are too loud, or the horns are to low etc.... I will do a little bit of EQ'ing, but then I pull out an sm58. I prefer to use my voice to do a final ring on the PA. I know my voice very well so it makes it easy for me to find any trouble spots in the ring really quickly.
As far as analyzers go... I would highly reccomend "pinking" a room if you are installing a system. For portable PA's, I am not a big analyzer fan. To me, all they really do is show you whats going on in one tiny place. To truly analyze a room, it takes quite a while while you move the mic around and really meter a bunch of different places and start charting. I say trust your ears. Walk the house form left to right and front to back. Listen to how the room changes. Decide where your most importatn place in the room is (where most of the crowd will be) and make sure everything is good there. Once it is, find the spots in the room where it sounds the worst, but don't EQ anything. Try refocusing a couple of cabinets first, or if possible, turn the amps down on the speakers focused up close so that you can have the ones firing to the rear of the room a little louder ( if it's all front coverage ). EQ'ing the mains will never help the coverage which most often is the problem that I find. If it sounds good where it should, than the EQ is done. All the rest is done with gain, focus, and sometimes just plain old dragging out more gear.
Once again though, trust yourself. If you are being hired it's because people like what you do, so don't get down on yourself. you dopn't need the analyzer, just your ears:D
December 21, 2004 @01:32pm
Nijs

great finally a nice post about eq'ing monitors.
Our first PA system is just put together and all i got was a 15band eq form Behringer,..
it all works but sound onstage leaves room for improvement.
I wonder what is the deal with Behringer concerning the graph eq's ?
Do they tend to create phase problems ??
The one thing i like is the fact you notice by the red leds where amplitude is largest at the EQ.
December 21, 2004 @06:27pm
sounzgud

Hi,
I thought I should chime in again. I really appreciat the help that you all had to offer. I really feel I have things under control now. I bought an alesis deq230d RTA/EQ and it has been doing pretty well. I pretty much only use the RTA function of it to get the majority of the feedback out during the individual instrument sound checks it seem to me that is the only time you can actually "see" the feedback unless it is extreme. So basically xstatic was right about RTA's not being that useful, but if your lazy, poor, and impacient like me you might be able to find some insignificant use for them.
Thanks
Erik
December 27, 2004 @08:29pm
Krynos

Sabine was the first in Feedback suppression. Id stick with them since they have been making them the longest. Check out the FBX series.
September 3, 2008 @06:12pm
howlingwolf487

Learn your frequencies...amaze your friends!
And, more than likely, yourself.
Try out this program to get a heads-up on what certain frequencies sound like, then go to your rig and start making it feedback.
That's right, make it feedback and let it ring. It's going to be loud and most people will think you're just crazy, but you know what you're trying to accomplish, so ignore the muffled screams of terror as you blast their unprotected eardrums with 3.5kHz @112dBC.
Seriously though, take a mic, set it up in front of a wedge and ring it out using a Graphic EQ (or perhaps a Parametric, if you are son inclined). Use your own voice to learn how feedback sounds when it is caused by the spoken/sung word rather than a guitar.
http://sft.sourceforge.net/
LEARN. If you bring an RTA to Monitor World, you'll either get laughed at or cursed out. Either way, you won't be using it. Don't avoid the REAL solution - do yourself a favor and learn. If you care about it, take the time to learn about it.
Get my drift?
September 5, 2008 @03:19pm