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grumpyguts

Venue v Practice Room

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I don't do many gig's - nine last year. After the last practice before each gig I generally think Oh xxxx! The band sounds a mess - a big wall of sound, not what we want.

Get to the venue and (so far...) everything sounds better. Maybe it's something to do with the practice room being a small enclosed space.

Is it just me?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

No you are not alone, our studio practice room also causes sound problems, boominess, havoc with the vocals etc...

Edited by naxos10

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Although you can group them into broad types I’ve found that every room has its sound quirks. 

I’ve eventually  accepted that at some places, no matter how much fiddling is done and time taken, We will never get a sound we’re happy with. 

If you have a poor rehearsal room that should make (hopefully most) gigs more fun! 😊

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The biggest problem with pretty much every rehearsal room I've been in is volume.

You have a room roughly the same size as a single garage and you fill it with stacks by Marshall and Ashdown, plus a PA that could handle the main stage at Glastonbury, and then the band plays at gig volume.

Well gig volume only works at a gig, in a decent-sized room with carpets and furniture and stuff, and above all with dozens (perhaps hundreds) of bodies absorbing the sound.

I've never understood why so many bands are so stupid about this. The only thing that gig volume is good for at a rehearsal is hiding the mistakes ... so why bother rehearsing?

Grumpyguts, try insisting (just once) that the whole band turns down to a sensible level. Turn the singer down on the PA to the point where he's at home stereo level, you take the bass down to match, force the guitarist(s) to follow suit, and then the drummer has no choice. 

I believe that you'll be very pleasantly surprised at the result. And your ears won't be ringing the next morning.

 

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I had to put my foot down with the band about rehearsals. We were in tiny rooms, shoddy kit being pushed to the max, ears ringing for ages after. We now pay more to use the big studio rooms in the same place so we can play at low volumes but with real clarity. Nobody has ringing ears and the practice is far more productive, so though we pay more we are actually getting value out of it now.

Why do all rehearsal rooms stink of damp??

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It is a problem, and in one respect I think Jack has it nailed with his description. The only possible downside is then when everything is loud at gigs people might find themselves a bit lost but if you`ve put in sufficient practice at reasonable levels then this shouldn`t be an issue. We however only rehearse and write at gig volumes, but that`s cos we`re punk (for that read stoopid).

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4 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

The biggest problem with pretty much every rehearsal room I've been in is volume.

You have a room roughly the same size as a single garage and you fill it with stacks by Marshall and Ashdown, plus a PA that could handle the main stage at Glastonbury, and then the band plays at gig volume.

Well gig volume only works at a gig, in a decent-sized room with carpets and furniture and stuff, and above all with dozens (perhaps hundreds) of bodies absorbing the sound.

I've never understood why so many bands are so stupid about this. The only thing that gig volume is good for at a rehearsal is hiding the mistakes ... so why bother rehearsing?

Grumpyguts, try insisting (just once) that the whole band turns down to a sensible level. Turn the singer down on the PA to the point where he's at home stereo level, you take the bass down to match, force the guitarist(s) to follow suit, and then the drummer has no choice. 

I believe that you'll be very pleasantly surprised at the result. And your ears won't be ringing the next morning.

 

Absolutely this.  The first bamd I was associated with had an excellent sound man that was (and still is) involved in recording - particularly large orchestras.   The first thing he did when he came to a practice was make us turn everything down.  Unfortunately I have never managed to get any other band to follow suit.

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If you rehearse in a small room, in a circle, with amps pointing at each other and at gig volumes, then I'm afraid you don't understand the purpose of a rehearsal and you''ll always cause/have problems.

However you set up in a rehearsal room turn the volume down (because this isn't a gig) and you'll a be able to work on the detail of the songs.

This is where the selfish and incompetent hide behind the 2 great excuses. . .  . the drummer has to play that loud and I need to play this loud to get my sound. Anyone who is so inadequate that they resort to using these 2 cop outs should be fired forthwith.

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32 minutes ago, chris_b said:

This is where the selfish and incompetent hide behind the 2 great excuses. . .  . the drummer has to play that loud and I need to play this loud to get my sound. Anyone who is so inadequate that they resort to using these 2 cop outs should be fired forthwith.

If I did that, then two of the three bands I play in would be reduced to a solo bass act!

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If its a small rehearsal room you want a volume that you can talk over (maybe talking loudly) but not to the point you need earplugs in.

The lower you can get your volume within reason keeping in mind the drummer has a minimum level on a standard kit the tighter your sound will be at rehearsals.

You don't need excessive volumes to be good and especially at rehearsals.

At a gig let the PA do the work for you and keep your stage sound low enough to be heard over the drums on stage.

Dave

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I just can't deal with loud rehearsal. It seems like such an antiquated way of working. We use a decent electronic kit, amp modelling and in ears to rehearse. The clarity is awesome and by plugging a laptop into the mixer we can record the whole session. At gigs the only difference is an acoustic kit instead of electronic and a pa speakers so no boomy wall of sound there either. 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, mrtcat said:

I just can't deal with loud rehearsal. It seems like such an antiquated way of working. We use a decent electronic kit, amp modelling and in ears to rehearse. The clarity is awesome and by plugging a laptop into the mixer we can record the whole session. At gigs the only difference is an acoustic kit instead of electronic and a pa speakers so no boomy wall of sound there either. 

I'd like to try this but we don't have the kit to make it happen, sadly. Not sure if there's the option to rent out this kind of stuff in a decent rehearsal studio? Suppose in-ears aren't something you want to be renting.

Edited by uk_lefty

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9 hours ago, uk_lefty said:

I had to put my foot down with the band about rehearsals. We were in tiny rooms, shoddy kit being pushed to the max, ears ringing for ages after. We now pay more to use the big studio rooms in the same place so we can play at low volumes but with real clarity. Nobody has ringing ears and the practice is far more productive, so though we pay more we are actually getting value out of it now.

Why do all rehearsal rooms stink of damp??

Our rehearsal rooms were flooded about 18 months back, so there is (an admittedly only slight) a damp smell. 

Good advice here re volumes used for rehearsals 

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Volume is the key, for us this is somewhat led by our guitarist. Our current drummer isn't that loud; but he is leaving. We auditioned for potential replacements, they were all noticeably louder. I would happily turn everything down in the practice room, I feel my tone suffers when the volume goes up - practice set up for me is a TC BH800 with a TC RS210, for a gig I add a BH210. 

With bass, git, drums, keys, sax & vox we really need to keep it under control so everyone gets to hear what's going on.

 

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I’m happy to play at reduced volume at rehearsals, me and the guitarist try our best, but unfortunately my drummer only has one level. When asked to play quieter I’m normally met with a black look and the explanation that ‘any quieter and I might as well use brushes’. Unfortunately he doesn’t own any......

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2 hours ago, uk_lefty said:

I'd like to try this but we don't have the kit to make it happen, sadly. Not sure if there's the option to rent out this kind of stuff in a decent rehearsal studio? Suppose in-ears aren't something you want to be renting.

Just use headphones ...

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3 hours ago, uk_lefty said:

I'd like to try this but we don't have the kit to make it happen, sadly. Not sure if there's the option to rent out this kind of stuff in a decent rehearsal studio? Suppose in-ears aren't something you want to be renting.

There are some really good universal in ear monitors for around the £40 mark but it really needs the full cooperation of the whole band and a mixer with enough aux outs. It's a beautiful thing when you start to hear everything in balance and clarity. 

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50 minutes ago, mrtcat said:

There are some really good universal in ear monitors for around the £40 mark but it really needs the full cooperation of the whole band and a mixer with enough aux outs. It's a beautiful thing when you start to hear everything in balance and clarity. 

I love the idea of that but drummers old school altho he's not overly loud but doesn't like electronic kits. We rehearse at volumes we can communicate over so its not too bad with my current band. If anything we need to turn up at times to get a better tone from the cabs we use in the studio (Ampeg 810's):laugh1:

 

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12 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

I love the idea of that but drummer's old school...

'Old school' drummers (I'm one...) can use brushes (very, very old school, which give a totally satisfactory 'thwack' when handled properly...), and/or 'hot-rods', an excellent compromise between the brush technique (admittedly a bit different to sticks...) and ornery sticks. They, too, can make quite a din, but one has to really work hard for that; normally they're very positive as a feeling, but produce less volume.
Of course, real drummers can play well, even hard rock, without excess volume, but that's another can of worms, I suspect.

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Small rooms by their very nature nearly always have terrible acoustics, that’s a fact.

Gig venues are generally larger and thus less susceptible to some of the worst issues; but they can still sound crap. Acoustics are reliably unforgiving at the best of times.

PS: The idea of a drummer going full tilt in a room the size of a domestic garage is plain crazy to me. Makes my tinnitus go wild just thinking about it. Some of you guys must have thoroughly trashed hearing.

I SAID SOME OF YOU GUYS MUST HAVE... oh never mind 🙄

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11 hours ago, Dad3353 said:

'Old school' drummers (I'm one...) can use brushes (very, very old school, which give a totally satisfactory 'thwack' when handled properly...), and/or 'hot-rods', an excellent compromise between the brush technique (admittedly a bit different to sticks...) and ornery sticks. They, too, can make quite a din, but one has to really work hard for that; normally they're very positive as a feeling, but produce less volume.
Of course, real drummers can play well, even hard rock, without excess volume, but that's another can of worms, I suspect.

I've played with rock drummers that made it look as if they were hardly using any effort but the noise or the sound produced was far more aggressive than those that just hit hard. I've come to the conclusion drumming is all about the technique.

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Drumming? Technique? What is this Forum coming to?

You'll be telling us that guitarists are sensitive, supportive people next ...

;)

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This probably shows how prehistoric we are in my band, but we both rehearse and write new material at gig volume levels. Everything to us is about the live performance, so we don`t want to rehearse in one way, then gig another. Similarly with the new material we need to know how it will sound at gig volumes, no good having a great quiet song in the punk world, which translates to a rotten noisy one (although thinking about it.......).

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That sounds fair to me Lozz, especially given that half the song is likely to be in the energy level.

But in a covers band it doesn't matter whether you're learning Brown Eyed Girl or Sweet Child O' Mine ... the rest of the band will expect you to learn the right bass line and get the song structure right, if only because they know that their audience will expect that. 

In that context, being able to hear the mistakes so that you can correct them becomes quite important.

 

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