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  #1  
Old 12-05-2012, 09:13 PM
AxisDrummer AxisDrummer is offline
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Default Newbie question regarding EQ of mixer/active speakers

As title suggests, I'm completely new regarding PA systems. For the longest time, the venues we played had their own PA/soundguy. Now as our band has re-formed, we'll be playing smaller venues and have to provide our own PA. I'm the drummer but somehow I ended up putting together the PA....

Our system is very simple. An unpowered mixer, and 5 active 15" speakers (no subwoofers for now.) 2 speakers will be FOH, and the other 3 are monitors. The only thing we'll run through the PA (for basement practice AND small venues) is vocals and kick drum. Guitars and bass just come through their cabinets. Most other bands who play at these venues do the same, and it sounds fine. OK, maybe not fine....but good enough for a dive bar.

The active speakers have an EQ on the back for Highs and Lows. Our mixer has EQ for Highs/Mids/Lows. Should I be using BOTH EQs to find a good mix or just disregard the EQs on the active speakers and adjust with the mixer EQ only? And IF I "disregard" the active speaker EQ, should I set them at "0" or all the way to the left at -15?

Also as mentioned in a previous thread, I just bought an AKG D112 for my non-ported bass drum. Any suggestions where to start as far as EQ goes?

Thanks ahead of time for having patience with a PA newbie!
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:36 PM
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BradGunnerSGT BradGunnerSGT is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question regarding EQ of mixer/active speakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxisDrummer View Post
As title suggests, I'm completely new regarding PA systems. For the longest time, the venues we played had their own PA/soundguy. Now as our band has re-formed, we'll be playing smaller venues and have to provide our own PA. I'm the drummer but somehow I ended up putting together the PA....

Our system is very simple. An unpowered mixer, and 5 active 15" speakers (no subwoofers for now.) 2 speakers will be FOH, and the other 3 are monitors. The only thing we'll run through the PA (for basement practice AND small venues) is vocals and kick drum. Guitars and bass just come through their cabinets. Most other bands who play at these venues do the same, and it sounds fine. OK, maybe not fine....but good enough for a dive bar.

The active speakers have an EQ on the back for Highs and Lows. Our mixer has EQ for Highs/Mids/Lows. Should I be using BOTH EQs to find a good mix or just disregard the EQs on the active speakers and adjust with the mixer EQ only? And IF I "disregard" the active speaker EQ, should I set them at "0" or all the way to the left at -15?

Also as mentioned in a previous thread, I just bought an AKG D112 for my non-ported bass drum. Any suggestions where to start as far as EQ goes?

Thanks ahead of time for having patience with a PA newbie!
Use the EQ on the mixer. You might also want to eventually get a 2 channel 15 or 31 band EQ so you can make smaller cuts/boosts (to prevent feedback, etc). Also, leave the EQ on the speakers at 0, otherwise you are simply turning down all the highs and lows and just leaving the midrange frequencies.

For a kick drum, start with the EQ on the channel flat, and then take out some of the mids. You need the highs on the kick for the click, and the lows for the punch. If your channel has a parametric EQ, sweep the frequency knob until you get the desired sound for that room. If your mixer has a high-pass filter (or lo-cut), you might want to turn that on if your speakers can't handle the low end without a subwoofer.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:27 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question regarding EQ of mixer/active speakers

Yeah, leave the EQ on the speakers at 'flat', and just control EQ from the mixer. After having mixed bands for so long at Disneyland, regardless of the mic on the bass drum or any mic, I automatically lower the low end, and pull the mids down a bit. Some vocals I'd bump up the highs. Reason for this is that low frequencies have a tendency to feedback more than high ones because the nature of the low frequency wave is to spread out in a circle from where it comes from. Hi frequencies are very directional, meaning if you turned the speaker away from the mics, the hi frequencies won't get back to the mic to make it feedback. But low frequencies always get to the mics too, and this is what causes the dreaded feedback.

However, I'm assuming you'll be plugging your three other monitors into the AUX output of the mixer? Then this would mean you don't have any EQ control of what goes into them, but the good news is that you can control the volume much better and they wouldn't have to be that loud anyway. However, this is where you might want to strap an outboard EQ to the system. If you get a stereo EQ, you can use AUX 1 and AUX 2 as separate monitor mixes. If you do get outboard EQ, here's how to 'ring out' the monitors (make sure they don't feedback):

1) Shut your house mix off so only the monitors are on. This is sometimes called PFL for "pre-fade listen" which means you're hearing stuff before it gets to the fader which sends it to the stereo outs and out to the house.
2) "solo" the mic nearest to the monitor (you'll do this for each AUX send, so twice total), and start slowly turning up the mic gain on the mixer (not the fader). Once you hear it start to feedback, go to the outboard EQ and discover which frequency is feeding back, and take it down low enough until the feedback stops.
3) Repeat for the other AUX.

I guarantee you will not have any feedback once you do this. Have fun!
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:46 PM
AxisDrummer AxisDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question regarding EQ of mixer/active speakers

I appreciate the help thus far but I'm still having some feedback issues.

Here's the mixer I have (as a reference point): http://www.peavey.com/assets/literat...s/00512140.pdf

I begrudgingly admit that I went el-cheapo and bought Behringer for speakers which I know is a "no-no" among audio guys. They are B215ds which have gotten rave reviews and I'm VERY happy with the results from them as far as vocals. It's just that damn feedback from the kick drum. I realize that NOT having a sub is an issue, but I have seen other bands run EVERYTHING through these and they seemed good enough for a dive bar.

I did as was suggested and flattened out the hi and low EQ on the speaker. But even at flat, it's feeding back when the mixer gain is barely turned past 1. On the mixer I almost have to drop the lows all the way to -15 to eliminate the feedback but then it sounds like crap. For what it's worth, when I put headphones on, the kick sounds fantastic. And I can't even come close to getting the kick near the yellow. And that's stomping the hell out of it.

Currently in our rehearsal setup (decent sized finished basement), I'm running 3 monitors. The PV14 mixer has only ONE monitor output. So that runs into one monitor and the others are daisy-chained to it. 2 monitors in front of the singers/guitars and one to my left facing me behind the kit (think next to the hi-hat). So obviously everyone is getting the same monitor mix whether they like it or not.

Is there a chance that the feedback will subside when we're playing a more wide-open bar instead of an insulated basement? It seems like my drum monitor feeds back more easily than the front monitors. I've also experimented with the location of the AKG D112 and noticed that if I have it too much near center of the reso head, it'll feedback quickly. I have it about halfway up from the ground, about 3 inches from the hoop, and about an inch from the head.

Also I guess the only other option would be that I won't be able to have kick drum in the monitors and only run them to the FOH which will be facing away from the mic. I have turned the monitors AWAY and that allows me to turn the gain up a bit more than when they're facing me.

Hope all this makes sense, and I just appreciate that anybody is even reading this. I know that our equipment is limited.....but that's the other guys fault for not pitching in. I could have afforded a better PA, but then I wouldn't have been able to buy my new Tama Silverstar Lacquer. :) Hey I have to think about myself, right?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:22 AM
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canada_rokzz canada_rokzz is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question regarding EQ of mixer/active speakers

The board and the speakers are not the issue. Granted its not high end gear, its how the gear is being used. I will do my best to help you out here.

If you are putting your Kick into the monitors, turn the "Low" knob down on your monitor. Also place the horn at the Hi Hat pedal, and kinda point the speaker towards you, and away from your Kick If you need to have the bass drum in the monitors at your jam space you guys are practicing WAY WAY WAY too loud. If you don't need it in the monitors, then turn it off on the AUX Send and be done with it. Also, do you have anything to kill overtones in your Kick? For recoarding I love a wide open kick sound. for live, a little pillow or EQ pad or a hoodie whatever may be the hot ticket. There is a huge difference in how a kick sounds to your ears and how it sounds on the other side of the P.A. You may want to try some of that stuff and then take a listen yourself. I usually get out bass player to play a simple beat just to hear how things are working together. I'm getting away from the topic!

The next thing will be an EQ for monitors. I have 2 Behringer FBQ 3102 EQ's so I can EQ 4 monitor sends. Again not high end gear, but when used correctly they are workable. When using monitors you need to "ring out" the monitors, here is an article on how that process works. http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/t...tage_monitors/

Now in a bigger room you may get away with having more kick drum in the monitors. My band is a 4 piece (2 guitars bass acoustic drums and 4 vocals) and I almost never put my drums in the monitors. on an outdoor stage I might, but only if the guys are complaining they can't hear the drums. WIth my playing style thats almost never an issue.

One thing I did to save my hearing and keep from having feedback issues was to buy an in ear monitor setup. You would need to upgrade to a board with a minimum of 2 two AUX sends then. My board has four AUX sends, so we each get our own. With time and money the gear will come.
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2012, 05:32 PM
AxisDrummer AxisDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question regarding EQ of mixer/active speakers

Hey thanks for taking the time to respond.

Exactly what you said....I keep bringing up to my bandmates about turning down their amps because there's NO WAY I should need to mic ANY drums for a basement practice. I'm not a heavy hitter, but I think my bass drum gets lost in the bass guitar more than anything. Sometimes it depends on the song. If it's a more mellow-ish tune (think Radiohead-Creep) my bass drum is fine. If it's heavier (think Metallica-For Whom The Bell Tolls), then it gets lost at times. Regarding the feedback, I think I need to position that monitor a little better like you mentioned. Right now it's almost perpendicular to the kick drum and I know it's picking up the kick mic, causing the feedback. I need to re-position it.

I have no muffling in my kick whatsoever. I used to have a pillow on my old set, but I REALLY love the sound on my new kit with no muffling. Again, it sounds great acoustically but I realize I may have to change some things when it comes to playing live mic'd up. Even recording (on either my old Tascam analog 4-track or a DR-05), it sounds pretty decent without muffling and with a full resonant head.

I agree that I need to get out there and listen to the drums myself instead of from behind the kit. Our last show we played, I had some people tell me it sounded good, others said it didn't (but I didn't have a kick mic for that show either, just a vocal mic). I just need to get out there and judge for myself.

Everybody I know brings up IEMs and swears by them. That will definitely be a consideration next year when we start playing more gigs.

Thanks again for the advice!

---Mike
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2012, 09:21 AM
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canada_rokzz canada_rokzz is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question regarding EQ of mixer/active speakers

In a rehersal situation the guitar players should be playing to the level of the drums. End of story.

One question I should have asked before. Is anyone wearing hearing protection while jamming? If you know someone who has a db monitoring device (don't use an iphone or the like, they limit at around 100db) you should get it and try it. With volume like that you WILL be doing irreversable dammage. Read this, and remember once your ears start ringing from damage, it never really goes away.

http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/noise/
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