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Reflective room


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We recently played in an old-fashioned Victorian city pub in south London. The room was the most reflective I've ever played in.


Lots of very large glass mirrors on the walls. Hard surfaces everywhere. Ceramic tiled floor.


UK folks can probably envisage exactly the kind of place if was.


We play with vox going through a small PA along with the harmonica (via a little valve amp which gets mic'ed up). Drums sometimes have the kick mic'ed but not on this gig. Guitar and bass rely on our stage amps.


We don't have a sound guy and rely on our singers going walkabout in the first couple of songs.


The sound in this place was dreadful. A harsh swirl echoing and reverberating around the room.


We tried various ways to improve things:


- dropping the volume

- cutting the treble on the PA

- cutting the treble on the harmonica (he plays through quite a warm valve amp anyway)


I tried various EQ settings on my amp and ended up on the bridge pickup on the bass but with treble rolled back.


These all improved things a little but we never got a particularly good sound all night. The audience liked us enough but I think everyone found the harsh sound tiring and were glad when we finished!


What else could we have done? (And no, bringing massive drapes to hang on the wall probably isn't a feasible solution)






www.talkingstrawberries.com - for rocking' blues, raw and fresh!
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You can't rebuild the room for the guy. Room design problems are what they are, and playing louder makes it worse, so you were on the right track. Getting amps up in the air and away from boundaries (walls, floors) might help. Not providing straight shots at parallel surfaces helps (don't line the amps up along the wall, angle them) but you are right in that it still gets very fatiguing to play in such a room, and there really isn't much for it. You're making the best of a bad situation.


"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."


Steve Martin


Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.



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