Take Your Mixes To The Next Level

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2 Tricks For Taming A Reflective Room

2 tricks for taming a reflective room like a gym
Live sound engineers all say that the venue they hate to work in the most is one with a lot of reflections. It's their worst nightmare, and you can hear both Dave Weckl engineer Dennis Moody and Blue Oyster Cult FOH man Steve La Cerra talk about it on my Inner Circle Podcast (Steve's coming up in a few weeks). It doesn't matter how big or small the venue is, if there's a lot of reflections, you going to have some problems.

Here are a couple of tricks from my PreSonus StudioLive Mixer Official Handbook that engineers have been using successfully to combat serious reflective problems and bring the vocals out from behind the natural room reverberation.

1. Increase 2.9k or 3.5kHz by a couple of dB on either the High-Mid or High frequency equalizer of the vocal channel. Generally speaking, raising 1kHz on a vocal gives it more energy in any mix, but in a live situation in a reverberant environment, moving the frequency up can help it cut through the mud. You could even try this on the FOH EQ to see if it helps the entire mix.

2. Cut some of the low frequencies of the kick, bass and floor tom by a couple of dB at anywhere from 60Hz to around 130Hz, depending upon the venue. Cutting lower than that will make it seem like all of the low end has disappeared. In most reflective venues, the majority of the problem lies in too much low end bouncing around the room. Lowering the level of the subs, or lowering these frequencies on the FOH EQ can also make a difference, but you want to be careful that the power doesn't leave the mix, so be judicious.

Remember that a little EQ can sometimes go a long way, so boost or cut in small increments.

To read excerpts from the PreSonus StudioLive Mixer Official Handbook and my other books, go to the excerpts page of bobbyowsinski.com.
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