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okusman

Rooms of Doom

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Playing at a venue last night for a wedding. Played fine, but the room sound was utterly dreadful. Big concrete box with an added domed ceiling. Rumble, bounce, boing boing boing. Our engineer had smoke coming out of his ears. Almost nothing in the FOH mix in the end to make it as quiet as possible.

We have a list is venues we just avoid playing, because the sound is always dreadful. Any one else avoid crap sounding venues!

Edited by okusman

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The orangery at Blenheim palace, and the American hanger at RAF Duxford are two that spring to mind. Very, very live.

a few years ago we played a large village hall. Stage at one end and what sounded like an identical band playing at the other. Rather than the usual cavernous reverb, there was a definite slap back echo that was very off putting. 

 

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The Tithe Barn in Bradford on Avon, so long and thin the slap back feels like you can measure it in whole seconds.

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The vague comfort was the venue owner saying we were far better sounding than other bands.

”They always sound so noisy and muffled”. I didn’t bother explaining...

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I've played in concrete boxes, glass boxes and the opposite, a room that had thick floor to ceiling curtains and a thick pile carpet. The US Air Force club in Mannheim that Elvis designed was bigger than any hangar I've been in.

I know some rooms will never sound good, but I think many difficult rooms are made worse by bands who don't know how to compensate and change their sound on stage so they can  get a better sound off stage.

The boom and mud of one particularly bad gig went away when I started using Bergantino cabs. I assumed I had way too much bass in my sound before.

 

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Churches are always hard work. The more grand they are - high vaulted ceilings, reflective stone surfaces, lots of nooks and crannies - the worse. I did sound in one last night and it was challenging. Certainly didn't need any reverb...

Edited by Dan Dare

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We played a gig in a cattle shed last year - corrugated iron and concrete floors, plus it still smelt of the previous occupants. Not the wisest venue choice I've ever seen a festival make. 

Manchester Cathedral was actually quite nice cause the nave where they have bands on is fairly short so we weren't totally stuck in the reverbs. 

Stadiums are universally atrocious. Concrete, metal, and plastic everywhere with horrible awkward angles to keep the sound in. Totally unworkable without IEMs I found. 

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The new bar/ diner at Donnington race circuit is a pingy metal shed of noise and headaches. What's worse though is everyone watching the Formula 3 "highlights" on a screen behind your head. I don't want to go back. 

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Weirdest one I've played was a building formerly used as a wind tunnel. Basically an aircraft hangar with some really heavy duty acoustic treatment on all the interior surfaces (presumably to stop the machinery from resonating the walls to pieces).

Guitarist and I took it in turns to take a walk while the other played a bit, to see what the sound was like around the hangar...both of us came back reporting that it basically sounded identically wherever we stood. And not the slightest hint of natural reverb. Completely uniform, but utterly sterile.

It's almost as if we've got used to sound having a certain quality when confined to an indoor space - you don't realise how much you're used to ambient reverb until it's taken away!

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