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Old 02-08-2011, 11:13 PM
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Default What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Hi everyone,

I've had my Wavedrum for a month now I think, and I'm still struggling to be able to use it in live performance over my Behringer PA. I've adjusted the head sensitivity and the spatial configuration of the PA speakers, etc... but so far, the feedback hasn't budget a wee bit.

The troubleshooting suggests a limiter. But all I really know about limiter pedals is that they are a part of a guitar pedalboard, and it makes me wonder if there are specific types of limiters that would be meant for this?

If not a limiter, what else can I try?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Tomas
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Isn't this an electronic device? Is there some kind of microphone involved causing feedback?
If it's just sensors picking up head vibrations, I don't understand why it would ever feedback. Feedback is usually caused by soundwaves basically being generated by a microphone, going through the system, out the speakers, and then it gets back to the microphone again, causing a feedback loop.

Please enlighten me, I thought it was purely electronic.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

It has actual microphones picking up the vibration of the head. It works fantastically as a musical instrument, but so far as it's not feeding back; kind of a brutal oversight, if you ask me.

Any advice then?

I ran it through a limiter on a BOSS GT8 pedal, but that didn't work whatsoever. Theoretically it should do SOMETHING, so I suppose I just didn't mess with it enough. All that I understand about limiters is that the higher the ratio, the more sudden the frequency cutoff, am I correct?
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

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It has actual microphones picking up the vibration of the head. It works fantastically as a musical instrument, but so far as it's not feeding back; kind of a brutal oversight, if you ask me.

Any advice then?

I ran it through a limiter on a BOSS GT8 pedal, but that didn't work whatsoever. Theoretically it should do SOMETHING, so I suppose I just didn't mess with it enough. All that I understand about limiters is that the higher the ratio, the more sudden the frequency cutoff, am I correct?
I didn't know it used little mics inside. That's kind of a drag.

Limiters are like compressors in a way. You set a threshold, and anything beyond that threshold gets squashed. Which is why you can have someone screaming into a microphone but the mic is also sensitive enough to pick up his whispering in the next moment. But as a soundman, I've never used limiters to stop feedback - you can control feedback by simple placement of the instrument to the speakers and a bit of eq (if you eq out the low frequencies, these will be more of the cause of the feedback because low freq waves travel everywhere, whereas high freq waves are pretty directional).

If you look at a concert performance, you'll notice that all the performers are behind the house speakers. There could be monitors on the stage for each individual performer, but those levels are much less than what actually goes into the house. Perhaps that's how you need to set up: keep the wavedrum behind your speaker and get a small auxiliary amplifier pointed at you so you can hear what you're sending out.

It blows my mind that if the wavedrum suffered from this kind of feedback that Korg wouldn't include the necessary devices to help you out with that - I mean, the thing is already $600, yes? To expect you to buy a limiter or something else would easily tag on another $200. I'd be pissed.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

I had my friend try to EQ it out, but I think he was focusing on high frequency waves more than bass frequencies, so I'll give that a go.Then I'll move the PA speakers up too, and see if that helps any.

Well yeah, that's my thoughts exactly. I'm a little afraid to bring it on stage, as it might just turn into a disaster. Good thing I haven't written any prominent parts on it yet, otherwise I'd be looking at some un-playable tracks.

But I still think it's a great device, as pissed as I am on the side, so if a limiter would help, I would invest in it, albeit cussing the whole way. Would it be worth a try?
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

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Originally Posted by MikePeartnoy View Post
I had my friend try to EQ it out, but I think he was focusing on high frequency waves more than bass frequencies, so I'll give that a go.Then I'll move the PA speakers up too, and see if that helps any.

Well yeah, that's my thoughts exactly. I'm a little afraid to bring it on stage, as it might just turn into a disaster. Good thing I haven't written any prominent parts on it yet, otherwise I'd be looking at some un-playable tracks.

But I still think it's a great device, as pissed as I am on the side, so if a limiter would help, I would invest in it, albeit cussing the whole way. Would it be worth a try?
Try re-eq-ing and re-positioning first. Perhaps you have it turned up too much to begin with as well. When I first experimented with electronic drums back in the '80s, the cymbals sucked so I went with real ones. Well, no one told me that without being able to monitor myself, I was turning the electronic drums up too much because I was used to having it fill the room and the acoustic cymbals were too loud to my ears from where I was in relation to the speakers (hence why I kept turning the volume up on the drums). This could be the case here. You're not hearing your wavedrum coming at you from right where you are, so the tendency would be to turn it up too.

This is where it gets expensive to be in a band because of the all the amplification you have to get into! Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Thanks a lot Bo!

Will try it the second I get home. :)
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Do let us know if it works out! I always thought that wavedrum was intriguing and although I've gotten the electronic thing out of my blood now, I was tempted at one point to have some cool electronic toy nearby.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Well, the responsiveness is pretty amazing. I mean, it's a live head, any contact with it registers, be it stick, mallet, brush or hand, and it does make a difference, so it's quite cool. I've seen some people do AMAZING things on the tabla algorhythm, which is nearly the biggest reason I got the Wavedrum. But right now I'm trying to figure out how to transfer tabla techniques to the Wavedrum. Some people say it's seemless, but for one, I'd like to know where one drum ends and the other begins.

The other algorhythms are also really cool, and it's pretty editable. Not to mention no loading times between patches and no external brain, which was the Mandala pad's downfall.

Worst case, it could still be utilized in recording... though it would suck immensly if I never got over the feedback problem. But I doubt that. I'll just need to try all the things you suggested.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

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Originally Posted by MikePeartnoy View Post
But right now I'm trying to figure out how to transfer tabla techniques to the Wavedrum. Some people say it's seemless, but for one, I'd like to know where one drum ends and the other begins.
Here's Pete Lockett doing something like you're talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvsn7hs7Y4g

Also - I'm not sure a limiter is going to be of any help. It's mainly used to keep high gain levels from distorting/clipping. You could conceivably use a limiter and still have feedback. You'd be keeping the sound from distorting but not from being loud. You could limit the signal but then just turn the P.A. channel up more. m. :P

I agree with the idea of positioning speakers differently. It may be a guessing game for this to work. However if you do have a way to plug this through a mixer, You could send what works for the house and then have your own headphone/in ear mix.

Also retuning it would be helpful. It's a trade off just like trying to re-tune toms to reduce snare buzz. You want to have enough 'give' in the head to get those cool tabla/udu drum effects but not so much that a looser head will start to resonate at frequencies that commonly produce feedback.

FWIW: I want one of these things but can't justify one.......yet

Jim
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Behringer makes a great 2 channel eq with feedback detection, making it super easy to tell what frequency is feeding back. Basically there is 20 or so sliders throughout your eq band and each has an LED that lights according to what frequencies are being played through the device. When feedback begins you can clearly see what frequency is lit the brightest and tone it down. Easily one of the cheapest and best pieces of gear in my pa rig. It sounds like you would be in the market for exactly this.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

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Behringer makes a great 2 channel eq with feedback detection, making it super easy to tell what frequency is feeding back. Basically there is 20 or so sliders throughout your eq band and each has an LED that lights according to what frequencies are being played through the device. When feedback begins you can clearly see what frequency is lit the brightest and tone it down. Easily one of the cheapest and best pieces of gear in my pa rig. It sounds like you would be in the market for exactly this.
This sounds like it would be a great help and definitely better than trying to use any kind of limiting.

It would help for other issues as well if it functions as intended.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Mmm, that does sound like a better idea! I'm going down to my local music shop today to see if they have anything like that. Hope it's not too big of a penny, the Wavedrum was already a hole in the pocket.

And I did tune it, and it reduced it somewhat. I could keep trying, the sensitivity of the pressure detector can be adjusted as well, so conceivably I could have it tuned really tight and STILL be able to get the full range of expression... so if that doesn't work, it's feedback detector time.

Thanks though everyone, I'll keep you posted!
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Hey MykeyInChains, would you mind pointing to me which it is? I'm not sure if I'm looking at the one you mean...
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...ion?sku=182489

Check it out, see if you think it'll work for you. Good luck.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

I ended up buying a boss equalizer for bass guitar and just plugged it through that. It was a combination of factors that did it though; I tuned the tabla to a higher pitch and then played with the EQ, and now I don't get feedback on ANY patch. But I've only tried by myself for now, I'll update the thread tomorrow for other people's reference as to whether it helped in a full band setting.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Yeah, no more feedback.

Tuning the head a bit higher also helped.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: What's a good Limiter? (Wavedrum Feedback Problems)

Hey Mike,

I am glad to see you solved the problem. Depending on how old you WD is....It has two volume output levels that are set via the drum "interface", not the volume knob. If it is set to double output it can and will distort and feedback. Do you know what it is set too? Just curious as I would hate to have to use a pedal to "limit" in some way in order to control volume. I do use a looping pedal with it and that is worth the addition. And I would rather invest my money elsewhere. If you would like more about this please send me a message. Or if you are happy with your current solution keep enjoying the WD!
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