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Band practice problems


ChrisOfDoom

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Hi everybody!

 

I am just getting my first band together and right now we are practicing in this spare room in my house (15x20 feet). And we just brought in a PA system and a half stack guitar amp and everything is feeding back on us and sounding like crap in general. We think there is just too much sound bouncing around the room and its interfering with everything.

 

Does anybody have any advice on how to solve this issue?

 

Thanks alot,

 

ChrisofDoom

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1) Reduce the acoustice reflectivity of several of the flat surfaces in the room (caroet or rugs on the floor, curtains, blankets or other acoustic damping material on the walls). IN particular, get something hanging on the wall(s) behind your drummer and, if possible, hanging from the ceiling above the drumkit. There is no volume knob on an acoustic drumset and the volume of your drummer will dictate the necessary volume for the electric instruments.

 

2) Keep the guitar amp, bass amp and PA turned DOWN as low as you can to get a comfortable "rehearsal mix" in your room.

 

My 2 cents.

 

Good luck with the band! :thu:

Mudcat's music on Soundclick

 

"Work hard. Rock hard. Eat hard. Sleep hard. Grow big. Wear glasses if you need 'em."-The Webb Wilder Credo-

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We practice in a similar space. Acoustic drums, bass amp, guitar amps, keys amp, & the occasional vocals through the PA. Excessive noise is never a problem. I suspect that you're approaching setup & volume levels from a performance perspective. You'll notice not many bands are called to perform in a 15x20 space.

 

Why not start with everything silent, & have the drummer play. Then, turn up bass just enough to go with it. Repeat with other instruments. If you're having trouble hearing X, don't turn X up; try turning Y down, or tweaking the EQ or positioning of X. That sort of thing. Make do with the least you can get away with. It really works.

 

Of course, this is assuming that your drummer isn't bashing away like he's trying to be heard in the nosebleed seats. If he is, you're on your own & it's every man for himself.

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Go to Wal Mart and buy those egg crate shaped mattress cushions. They work great for deadening sound and should help solve your problem.

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Ahhhhh memories . . .

We used to raid the bins at the local carpet company and take what wasn't too nasty and put it everywhere - walls, floors and ceiling.

Then hide the drummers Picolo snare!

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Not meaning to hijack, but our guitar player has started bringing two amps to rehearsal! I bought the drummer a set of headphones (I already have one) and we just do our thing. He (the drummer) loves the sound of his kit -- through headphones -- so much that he wants to record through headphones.

 

Also, if you get hardware style headphones you can hear yourself by putting any part of the bass against the headphones -- even when turned down completely. I do this to when being shown new songs.

A man is not usually called upon to have an opinion of his own talents at all; he can very well go on improving them to the best of his ability without deciding on his own precise niche in the temple of Fame. -- C.S.Lewis
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I have the expensive ear plugs. They cost more like $200 than $20. Fortunately I rarely have to use them.

 

Put the blankets over the drummer's head. :D

 

If the drummer feels the need to play at full concert volume (and many do), then you will need a much larger rehearsal space.

 

I would be tempted to solve this problem by

1) getting industrial headphone-type ear protection.

2) using a small to medium amp with a headphone output.

3) plug headphones into the amp, and put them on, and put the sound-reducing headphones on top of them.

4) the next thing that will happen will be that the drummer will say that he can't hear you.

5) point your amp directly at him...you don't need it anymore for yourself.

6) be prepared for the drummer to play even louder now that he can actually hear someone else.

 

Good luck. You'll live through this and many other trials...it'll make you a stronger person.

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I would be tempted to solve this problem by

1) getting industrial headphone-type ear protection.

The thing about these headphones is that they are non-linear. You'll filter out guitars, cymbols and the high part of the snare sound much more than the kick drum and your bass.

 

None of this will help with feedback problems though. One rehersal room I've seen uses foot long bits of PVC pipe (with end caps) hung from wire all over the ceiling. This reflects the sound in different ways to a solid ceiling.

A man is not usually called upon to have an opinion of his own talents at all; he can very well go on improving them to the best of his ability without deciding on his own precise niche in the temple of Fame. -- C.S.Lewis
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I would be tempted to solve this problem by

1) getting industrial headphone-type ear protection.

------------------------------------------------

 

The thing about these headphones is that they are non-linear. You'll filter out guitars, cymbals and the high part of the snare sound much more than the kick drum and your bass.

That's exactly what you want to filter out in order to keep your sanity. If you can hear the bass and the kick drum well and the other instruments sound like they are off in the distance, you'll be all set. ;)
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Also, keep the guitar and bass away from the amps, and make sure your mic has a tight cardoid (sp?)pattern. It rejects sound from certain areas of the microphone giving it a higher gain before feedback. You can get them pretty cheap if needed. Don't have the mic in front of the PA speakers either.
In Skynyrd We Trust
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I have actually heard of these fancy earplugs that cut volume in a way that everything sounde exactly the same except quieter. Does anybody know anything about them? All I remember is that they cost about 20 dollars a pair.
I have them - custom molded "musicians earplugs" - I went to a local audiologist (makes hearing aids and does hearing tests) -I got my ears tested (no damage!) and they basically filled each ear canal with this putty to make a mold. a couple weeks later I picked them up. They were $175 for the pair including the hearing test. They have replaceable filters for -15db, -25db and -35db (I think). They cut everything equally, very nice indeed. They take a bit to get used to wearing, and I was never able to comfortably sing with them in, but I rarely sang, so it didn't matter.

 

Anyway - on to your problem. I don't think anybody mentioned this as an option, but you may consider it. Mic everything up, stick amps in closets and what not, and run everything into a mixer. Then get a headphone distribution amp, get everybody to buy themselves a nice pair of closed back headphones, and have the whole band play with headphones on. You can cut most noise out of the room, and everybody gets a clean mix.

 

My band has recently begun discussing doing just that to alleviate similar problems.

 

-Paul

"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."

-- Ernie Stires, composer

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