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helder
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Portugal
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Hi, what’s the best way to do the soundcheck?

I have a wireless handheld mic with a portable PA Ibiza System 12”. I use it just to amplify the voice but I realize that I don’t know to do the soundcheck well.

Yesterday at a show there was a lot of eco. I should have set up the eco to 0 I think, it was at middle. During the show a friend changed it and it helped, so lesson learned but the sound could be better.

I realize that saying”1,2, sound” during the soundcheck it’s not enough. I don’t have a real perception of how the sound looks like.

Thanks

Hélder
My version of Eddie fetcher "Be Honest What's it?" it's available
Email: heldermagico@gmail.com
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WitchDocChris
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York, PA
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If you don't have a dedicated sound guy, you'll need to go out into audience area and listen to yourself.

Depending on how big the room is, I'll check on stage, in front of the stage (including moving in front of speakers to check for feedback), around halfway into the room, then from the back of the room.

Basically you just need to make sure you're heard clearly wherever there will be audiences. And I find, personally, it's best to have the volume seem a bit loud if the room is empty - that way when it fills up it will be an appropriate level (But I may just have sensitives ears)
Christopher
Witch Doctor

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Mindpro
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Inner circle
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This is a great topic and great questions, as this is an area that you are definitely not alone. Most performers, especially in the beginning stages, have the same questions as you and often are running poor sound simply because they have never learned how to do a proper soundcheck. Remember, your performance as great as it may be really will not be delivered as desired if it can not be properly heard and understood. This is extremely important to understand if you use audience interaction or participation in your performance.

There are several crucial dynamics to performing and having proper sound is one of the top ones of concern.

Let's start with the real or main purposes of a soundcheck:

1. To allow your performance to be heard properly, clearly, at the proper volume level, the proper tone levels, and balanced throughout the room/venue

2. Depending on your type of performance to also allow any onstage volunteers, participants, subjects, etc. to also be able to hear. So many times a performer will place their speakers to the side of the performance area or in front of the performing area closer to the audience, which allows the sound to throw forward, yet leaving the stage void of this sound reproduction creating a serious lack of hearing for anyone on stage. This applies greatly to hypnosis shows where the onstage volunteers are dependant on hearing the suggestions from the hypnotist, but also for magicians, mentalists and other performers or speakers where onstage sound is a necessity. One option is stage monitors, but also setting up a two-speaker system differently is also possible.

3. This is an area many get incorrect, which is that a PA system is not just to amplify sound. Amplification is just one element to a soundcheck. The additional elements equally of importance is creating the setting for the proper tone and balance. Tone being the amount of bass, midrange and high-end (treble) setting for the room. You don't want it too "tinny" where it hurts the ears (treble/highs), yet you don't want it to "bassy" where it becomes muffled, muddied, or thumpy or poppy (bass). If you are running music you want the bass and treble to be set accordingly for music equalization of these tones, whereas as for your vocals, the midrange is most important, with treble and bass brought in to enhance accordingly.

4. The prevention of feedback. A soundcheck should be to avoid or eliminate possible feedback from wherever you may be performing in the room. It may just be on stage, but if you venture into the audience or side-stage, these areas too must be included to avoid feedback. Feedback occurs when the signal from the microphone is amplified through the sound system and then the mic picks up its own amplified signal coming from/through the speakers and creates a sound loop that is called feedback. High, squealy feedback is usually from your highs or upper mid-range tones, while a rumbling, lower tone feedback comes from your bass or lower-end tones. Any echo, reverb or any other "effects" can also greatly lead to feedback, especially if there is a bounce factor in the room. This also requires proper setting and adjustment as well during soundcheck.

5. Probably the most difficult part of a soundcheck is the balance - so that those in the front of the room aren't receiving (hearing) the sound quite loudly, while those in the back of the room can't hear anything.

6. The most important part of a soundcheck is attenuating and adjusting the sound to the exact room specifications. Is it a long room where you are performing on one end and projecting deep into the room? Or is a wide room where most of the audience are in front of you and off to each side with a back wall being much closer (this will cause sound to bounce back into you and your sound loop.) Other factors are the materials of the walls, floors, and ceiling. Cement, brick, windows or hardwood can cause a sharp bounceback (ever try performing in a gym?), while carpeted, draped or other absorbing materials will flatten and absorb sound and avoid bounceback.

This is what a soundcheck is for, is to adjust and set your sound to the specifications and accommodations of the room or venue.

I'll let you absorb this and then can continue on with more on this if you would like.
Slim King
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Eternal Order
Orlando
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Quote:
On Dec 9, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
This is a great topic and great questions, as this is an area that you are definitely not alone. Most performers, especially in the beginning stages, have the same questions as you and often are running poor sound simply because they have never learned how to do a proper soundcheck. Remember, your performance as great as it may be really will not be delivered as desired if it can not be properly heard and understood. This is extremely important to understand if you use audience interaction or participation in your performance.

There are several crucial dynamics to performing and having proper sound is one of the top ones of concern.

Let's start with the real or main purposes of a soundcheck:

1. To allow your performance to be heard properly, clearly, at the proper volume level, the proper tone levels, and balanced throughout the room/venue

2. Depending on your type of performance to also allow any onstage volunteers, participants, subjects, etc. to also be able to hear. So many times a performer will place their speakers to the side of the performance area or in front of the performing area closer to the audience, which allows the sound to throw forward, yet leaving the stage void of this sound reproduction creating a serious lack of hearing for anyone on stage. This applies greatly to hypnosis shows where the onstage volunteers are dependant on hearing the suggestions from the hypnotist, but also for magicians, mentalists and other performers or speakers where onstage sound is a necessity. One option is stage monitors, but also setting up a two-speaker system differently is also possible.

3. This is an area many get incorrect, which is that a PA system is not just to amplify sound. Amplification is just one element to a soundcheck. The additional elements equally of importance is creating the setting for the proper tone and balance. Tone being the amount of bass, midrange and high-end (treble) setting for the room. You don't want it too "tinny" where it hurts the ears (treble/highs), yet you don't want it to "bassy" where it becomes muffled, muddied, or thumpy or poppy (bass). If you are running music you want the bass and treble to be set accordingly for music equalization of these tones, whereas as for your vocals, the midrange is most important, with treble and bass brought in to enhance accordingly.

4. The prevention of feedback. A soundcheck should be to avoid or eliminate possible feedback from wherever you may be performing in the room. It may just be on stage, but if you venture into the audience or side-stage, these areas too must be included to avoid feedback. Feedback occurs when the signal from the microphone is amplified through the sound system and then the mic picks up its own amplified signal coming from/through the speakers and creates a sound loop that is called feedback. High, squealy feedback is usually from your highs or upper mid-range tones, while a rumbling, lower tone feedback comes from your bass or lower-end tones. Any echo, reverb or any other "effects" can also greatly lead to feedback, especially if there is a bounce factor in the room. This also requires proper setting and adjustment as well during soundcheck.

5. Probably the most difficult part of a soundcheck is the balance - so that those in the front of the room aren't receiving (hearing) the sound quite loudly, while those in the back of the room can't hear anything.

6. The most important part of a soundcheck is attenuating and adjusting the sound to the exact room specifications. Is it a long room where you are performing on one end and projecting deep into the room? Or is a wide room where most of the audience are in front of you and off to each side with a back wall being much closer (this will cause sound to bounce back into you and your sound loop.) Other factors are the materials of the walls, floors, and ceiling. Cement, brick, windows or hardwood can cause a sharp bounceback (ever try performing in a gym?), while carpeted, draped or other absorbing materials will flatten and absorb sound and avoid bounceback.

This is what a soundcheck is for, is to adjust and set your sound to the specifications and accommodations of the room or venue.

I'll let you absorb this and then can continue on with more on this if you would like.

I agree!!!!!
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
chmara
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Inner circle
Tucson, AZ
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This thread is com-letely correct and reveals information professionals and a very few part timers have learned. And yes, an equalizer, proper speakers, wires, wireless mikes, cueing saystems all cost a pretty penny -- but end up pbeing, if using the data above, about 1/3 of your show's impace on an audience. (And do not forget the ankle switches but do not walk funny to correct for them. Smile
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Ray Pierce
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Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
2384 Posts

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Mindpro had so many great basics that are a great start in adjusting the sound properly. Some of this depends on how much control you have in your system.

#2 Yes, regarding spectators hearing on stage... this is MUCH more crucial for a hyp act than for a single spectator assisting you on stage where you are next to them. Please understand that you can move the speakers up stage more but then you have much more potential for feedback. If you're using a good directional )Uni or cardiod, not omni) handheld mic that will go a long ways to helping you get more gain before feedback. The other options are always to add monitors but again, this adds complexity to the system you'll have to accommodate. It will however allow you to have a totally different mix on stage then the audience hears which can sometimes be an advantage.

#3 & 4 This falls under the category of EQing the room. It is sometimes called "ringing out" the room as sound engineers will raise the level of the mics until they start to get feedback then notch out that specific frequency over and over until the room is flat. Every room or venue has different resonate frequencies that make it less than optimum. Those are the frequencies that will resonate more and send the mic signal back to the speakers first. To compensate for this, "equalizers" are used to take down those specific frequencies in an attempt to equalize the room so that there are no dominate resonate areas to lead the feedback. There are relatively inexpensive "feedback eliminators" which are placed inline with your system. They will listen for the specific frequencies of feedback in each venue and notch out those frequencies when you're setting up the system. Some even have a few active channels that can listen for feedback during the show and adjust accordingly. Although they can never "eliminate" feedback entirely, they will help you to flatten out the resonate frequencies in each room to get more gain out of your mics.

#5 Speaker placement is everything! If you're working a deep room and your speakers are sitting on the stage, the front row will be getting WAY too much sound and the back not enough. This is why elevating your speakers as much as possible evens out the hit on the front rows. Many times the speakers are even flown to get the right distribution pattern for the house. The general rule for most situations is ... the higher the speakers are, the more even the front to back distribution.

#6 Yes, there are just so many things you can adjust for with what I would call a "simple kit". Owning a production company, I have many options available to me. For a deeper room I can add a secondary delay stack halfway down the room to fill in. For a wide room. I can add side fills to cover a wider zone. Just remember that for every component you add, there are other complexities that arise.

For me, Sound is an equally complex art form as magic. The best answer is always to get a pro sound guy to help you set up in a few different areas and teach you the variables in each one. Having the right gear helps as well but that can be a never ending expense hole. I have 4 different concert systems, 3 huge mixers and a never ending amount of outboard gear.

Only get what you need for the venues you're working. If you do the occasional large venue, put it in your rider and use their gear and labor. You'll be money ahead!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
helder
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Portugal
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Thanks for the help guys.

Will do one more tomorrow for 100, 12 tables. Looks like they will have a DJ, will try to work with his system and my mic.

My sound system, well, tried at home, looks like if the mic it's at half of the volume and echo at zero, brass, treble at middle works well.

Will also put the speaker higher in the stand.

Let's see if it works.
My version of Eddie fetcher "Be Honest What's it?" it's available
Email: heldermagico@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/heldermagico
Mindpro
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Inner circle
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So, how did it go?
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