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NJJ
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Inner circle
6439 Posts

Profile of NJJ
Hi all! I thought it would be good to start a thread on general advice for setting up your sound system at an event. It doesn't have to be overlly technical...just basic ideas that no technical guys can still use! For example,

*Use a stand for your speakers. It pushes the sound to the back of the room, stops the first row from absorbing all the sound and spreads the sound around much better. In fact, I spent $90 on a stand and got the same amount of 'extra' coverage as a

*If you use lapel or headset radio mike, always have a spare corded mike on hand. Its good for OTHER people to make announcments and helps if batteries die or radio system fails.

*Carry around all five of the top adaptation plugs so you can output your system into a house system if needed. I use a small mipro which is great but if I get the oppurtunity to use $20,000 system...i'm going to go for it!

*Aways carry extra batteries.
paulajayne
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London England
1160 Posts

Profile of paulajayne
Hi

Calculating requirements for a room.

Average room 1watt / person
Bad room with lots of soft furnishings, curtains etc 3 watt / person.


EQ EVERY room.

First straight line the desk.
Bring up you volume with mike live until it feeds back, listen to the feedback freq and reduce that freq on the EQ - Practice required to identify FREQ range.

Main volume up again and repeat.

If using a radio mike and you move around the venu then do the same for your sound check, identify any dead spots and try moving the base station to correct them.

More to come.

Paula
Paula Jay - Magic to Remember -
---------------------------------
I once wrote a book on elephants, I think paper would have been better.
----
Kevin Ridgeway
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Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1824 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
Great advice Paula on starting out the sound check. A Real Time Ananlyzer can come in handy, but experience will do as good in the long run.

Invest in some subs if you carry your own sound. Use a crossover, either external or a sub that has a good one built in. You can fill the room with deeper fuller bass.

Don't worry about going stereo..no one is going to know the difference. So use mono plugs and connectors.

This is for tear down...wrap cords loosely or you will shorten their life. If some volunteer wraps your cords around his/her arm & hand, strangle them with it.

Carry a 2-prong ungrounded adapter..this is your cheap version of a ground lift. If you have a hum in your sound...use it.

Put all your music on one CD...if you have a person from the venue running your sound, they will be much happier. Also when mixing/editing/recording the music, make the levels all roughly the same.

Can't stress extra batteries enough.

Kevin
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
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www.livingillusions.com
Interad
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2 Posts

Profile of Interad
Thanks for the advice. I had just made a note to search for info like this on the Café'.

I'm new to all the sound stuff so is there a book you could recommend to help with all the lingo like "straight line the desk"?

I am a one man show so sound checks are something I need to learn to do.
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5700 Posts

Profile of Alan Munro
I would advise against too much wattage. I've been to too many shows where the audience complains about the levels being too high. Many just walk out when this happens.

I perform in venues with audiences of about 200 and a 50 watt amp, turned down low is more than sufficient to fill the room with sound.

I always carry extra mike cables, in the event that one shorts out.

Be hesitant in using the house sound system. If they don't have a contract with a company to maintain it on a regular basis, bring in your own system. I've lost track of how many times a house system cuts-out within a half hour.
paulajayne
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London England
1160 Posts

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Hi

Carry an earth check plug with you and USE it - if the venu's earth is not present then DO NOT plug in anything - report it to them as they have to sort it - Put a section in your contract that if their electrical system is not up to spec then you will not use any of your electrical equimpent.
Be very carful using theirs - many people have been killed with live line mikes.


Radio mikes - Always use a new battery for the show.

Carry
Spare batteries
Spare cables and fuses.
Basic tool kit to include a multimeter.
Small torch.
Soldering iron.
Solder wire (cored).
Electrical tape.
Gaffer tape black and white

Using gaffer tape on cables at the ends place strips at right angle to cable so-

-|-------------------------|-

Then tape along the length. To remove pull the tape first and NOT the cable as it will wrap around it.

Alway remove plugs by pulling them and NOT the cable.

Speaker Stands (tripod type)

Always point the single leg towards the audience - then if it is knocked over it will fall to the side and NOT forward.

Always extend the spealer stands legs fully - a guide is that the tie rods are parallel to the floor.

Leads
Do not run speaker/audio leads next to power leads. (Induced electrical noise)

Paula
Paula Jay - Magic to Remember -
---------------------------------
I once wrote a book on elephants, I think paper would have been better.
----
Andy Leviss
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NYC
1179 Posts

Profile of Andy Leviss
Quote:
On 2004-10-15 21:56, paulajayne wrote:
Bad room with lots of soft furnishings, curtains etc 3 watt / person.


Where I come from, this is actually a good room! You'll have many fewer problems with annoying reflections and other hassles in a room with lots of soft coverings. That's not to say that a room can't be deadened too much, but it's a lot easier to deal with a room that sounds dead than one that's too live.

Also, excess wattage isn't a bad thing; using too much of it is. You can always turn down a system that's more powerful than you need, you can never turn up a system that's not powerful enough. Also, on an electronic level, more speakers are damaged, believe it or not, by underpowered amps than by overpowered ones. It's well beyond the scope of this forum to explain why here, but it's a fact of the physics of how all this stuff works.

--Andy, touring sound engineer by day/evening, magic geek by night
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
paulajayne
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London England
1160 Posts

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Hi

Tech info on sound here:-

http://www.shure.com/booklets/techpubs.html


Paula
Paula Jay - Magic to Remember -
---------------------------------
I once wrote a book on elephants, I think paper would have been better.
----
MikeDes
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Montreal
1176 Posts

Profile of MikeDes
The best tip I can give. BUY A BATTERY TESTER. Always carry spare batteries, but a spare battery won't help you if your microphone dies on you while you are on stage.

Buy a good battery tester and test all the batteries before the show. This will also save you from changing batteries that are still good and ultimately save you money.

Mike
Andy Leviss
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NYC
1179 Posts

Profile of Andy Leviss
To accurately check batteries for wireless mics, you don't want a "tester" that merely reads the DC voltage of the battery. Ideally, you want a tester that actually tests the battery while under a load--this is what gives you an accurate idea of if the battery is good or not.

Also, despite what their commercials say, most professionals these days tend to avoid Duracell, and prefer to use Energizers (generally their Energizer Industrial brand, which are not sold in general retail stores, but also the standard consumer ones). Duracell's industrial version, ProCell, used to be the defacto industry standard, but a couple years ago they started having serious consistency problems, and they're just not trusted anywhere near as much anymore. Whenever I've put together a bid spec for a system I've designed, I always specify Energizer Industrials, and specifically note that ProCell is not considered an acceptable substitute. FWIW.
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
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