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Author Topic: Public Address Systems from Hell  (Read 9469 times)

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Theo

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2009, 09:44:03 AM »

For the protection of your hearing please please include some circuitry that will protect your ears in the event of feedback.  In ear monitors without protection can be dangerous.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Accordion Dave

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2009, 02:25:22 PM »

I find it nearly impossible to play with a full German brass band, because I can't hear what I am playing.

I need to tilt one of my ears down to the bellows in order to play along. The small microphones and headphones would in essense get my ears right inside the accordion.

I am thinking of a good qualty set of pickups inside, connected to a little battery powered amplifier and then to my headphones.

Oh, by the way, Mister Public Address also sticks two microphone booms over the band and turns the volume up until it is on the verge of feedback.

In my opinion that band needs no amplification. The Steirische Harmonika player could use a spot mike. I would love to hear him play.
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Ebor_fiddler

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2009, 09:10:34 PM »

Sorry - thought this was Public Address Systems from Hull.  >:E
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Pete of Ebor

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2009, 05:15:43 PM »

Exactly right.  We all need to hear what we are playing so that we can correct and adapt to what is being played with us.

Hence the need for good, clear, dry monitors.

At the risk of appearing amateurish... what's a "..clear, dry monitor." - surely they won't work if they're wet..
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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2009, 05:23:14 PM »

At the risk of appearing amateurish... what's a "..clear, dry monitor." - surely they won't work if they're wet..
I guess it means that the sound the monitor produces doen't go through any electronic alteration or effect, such as reverberation. It's just the clean original sound as captured by the microphone(s).
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Accordion Dave

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2009, 12:35:42 AM »

I want control over my monitor, whether it be speakers or headphones. My problems arise when someone who has no clue how to operate a sound system, sticks a microphone in front of me.
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Falseknight

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2009, 11:49:48 AM »

Trouble is, your monitor also has to give a feed of what everybody else (well everybody else important) is doing as well.

That means you still need something from your PFY expert.
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Accordion Dave

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2009, 04:39:54 PM »

In my case, there were two ladies, one standing on each side of me. I was attempting to accompany their singing. It was impossible because the one second delay from a speaker three feet away was louder than they were. They kept going slower and slower, trying to compensate.

A monitor speaker pointed right at us with the same delay would have been even worse.

I have no problem working with professional sound people. It's the folks that set up the equipment, twist a few knobs, and then head for the beer tent, that make playing difficult.
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Falseknight

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2009, 07:29:40 AM »

Stop playing and tell the engineer to turn the xxxx delay off on the xxxx monitors.  and don't start till he has done it.

You'll only need do it once.
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pete /acorn

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2009, 10:36:31 AM »

Hi,
Everyone blames sound engineer but as previously mentioned its sometimes the fault of performers who do not listen.
I used to do sound for local folk club on guest nights with my own gear,the easiest people to accommodate were the long time pros,Martin Carthy etc,the most awkward I recall was a group of up and coming lads from Lancashire who came in requiring 9 mikes [there was only three of them] and started to dictate how they should be set.
Firstly I didn't have that many so the young melodeon player promptly pulled out a case with at least 6 inside and said use these.
By this time I'd had enough,and turned round to him and said,''Just remember the sound engineer is your best friend whilst your on that stage'',
He soon cooled down.
So don't always blame the engineer and be polite to him or her,they can soon get their own back.

Pete,Jills husband
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Theo

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2009, 11:00:57 AM »

There is indeed sometimes unreasonable behaviour on both sides of the mic.  The worst bit of sound "engineering" I can recall was a couple of years ago at a concert in the Rifle Club at Whitby.  A group of singers, all seasoned pros, had started their spot with nobody at the sound desk. I think the sound person had popped out to answer a call of nature and left the system in a 'best guess' condition. His guess was good because we could hear all three singers quite comfortably and indeed were unaware that the sound desk was on autopilot.  Part way through the sound man returned and started twiddling the knobs, and immediately we suffered howls of feedback and the whole atmosphere was ruined.  What a plonker!

Incidentally Pete I did sound for a Hexham Gathering concert a few years ago where I had a similar experience with a young musician from Lancs.  I wonder if it was the same lad?
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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pete /acorn

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2009, 03:16:11 PM »

Hi Theo,
Could be,  Melodeon player,Ginger hair from Fylde area.

Hope he's matured a bit and is a bit less pretentious.

Pete
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Theo

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2009, 04:37:11 PM »

That's the one!
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2009, 10:04:34 PM »

Sorry - thought this was Public Address Systems from Hull.  >:E

OMG, don't remind me of that Paddy's Night gig in Hull/from Hell...   ::)

Good Lord deliver me!
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Ebor_fiddler

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2009, 11:14:22 PM »

Oh, are we on to Paddy's Nights from Hell now?  >:E I expect we can all tell of those ....  :(
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I'm a Yorkie!
My other melodeon's a fiddle, but one of my Hohners has six strings! I also play a very red Hawkins Bazaar in C and a generic Klingenthaler spoon bass in F.!! My other pets (played) are gobirons - Hohner Marine Band in C, Hohner Tremolo in D and a Chinese Thingy Tremolo in G.

Accordion Dave

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2009, 04:02:03 AM »

Each event is a new adventure in sound.
 
I remember one year, one of the local polka disc jockeys hung his heavy vinyl banner in front of one of the speakers. It acted as a sound scoop to direct sound back into the microphones, resulting in horrendous feedback.
Another year a "feedback killer" box was used. There was no howl, but the audio was full of notches in frequency response, rendering it unintelligible.

The digital delay was a new touch this year.

I can only guess what audio adventures await.
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Owen Woods

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2009, 02:33:32 PM »

So far in my gig marathon (7 gigs in the space of 8 days, plus another 4 with the band that I'm not playing in) the PA side of things has gone remarkably well. None of them have so far been informed in advance of what we need, but since we are prepared for that it didn't matter terribly.
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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2009, 04:52:00 PM »

Strange, for some unknown reason, today is the first time I've read this thread........... and what a great one it is, as usual! Informative, funny, helpful, etc, etc.

The PA system setup where I play is less than ideal, for some reason the speakers are sited too far back (no-one seems to know why or seems willing to have them moved) so feedback levels are critical and there are no monitors BUT we have two regular bets when setting up, 1. How many screeches will be heard before all the levels are set, it's either the Amateur Soundman (we're all amateurs but we do need some amplification on a Saturday night) adjusting or there's always one of us who plugs in before checking he's turned down) and 2. How many people will walk out when the Banjo Player strikes up  ;D

Seriously though, my solution to not being able to hear myself play amongst the other musicians when amplified, is to use a Preamp, with just one in-ear-bud headphone plugged into the headphone output, which has its own level control. I can always hear myself playing even if I'm not too familiar with a tune/song and playing quietly and there's less risk of amplified feedback.

Skipy
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Accordion Dave

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2009, 01:52:27 AM »

The saga of "Sound System Hell" continues....

I was asked to be ready to play at 2PM. I was told the microphones would be set up and ready to go. I arrived a few minutes before 2, but no sound equipment was set up yet. No problem, I started to play my piano accordion. A fellow with a Steirische Harmonika joined me for a couple of tunes.

Then the equipment started to be assembled. There was a bass speaker about 3 feet from me that was howling like a jet plane taking off. Every time the operator would say "check" the speaker would rumble and head for the stratosphere.

I couldn't hear myself play, so I quickly abandoned the so-called "stage", and continued to play over near the food table and bar.

That seemed to work quite well. I was near the people as they were coming to the event and the cinder block wall seemed to re-inforce the sound of the accordion.

Eventually the sound system operator caught up with me and put a wireless microphone in front of me. That actually seemed to work quite well, because I was perhaps 50 feet away from the loudspeakers.

Later I was back on the "stage". I had to avoid certain notes because they would set the sound system into oscillation.

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Chris Ryall

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Re: Public Address Systems from Hell
« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2009, 07:43:15 AM »

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