how does it sound on a rig?

morganism Dec 9, 2004

  1. morganism

    morganism AKA OLMEC

    Threads:
    36
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Bristol (actually)
    Everytime i hear mystuff on a rig (of varying types - baring in mind i've only done it 4 times) it sounds quite different.

    i'm gonna give you a lot of detail so you know what i'm on about.....

    The first time was in a second room of a bigish club in bristol. The soundsystem looked poorly set up to me (but i don't know much) and i presumed it was going to be a bit bass heavy and not neally as good as the usual psytrance rig.

    The track was really muddy, no real super high end and BASS!!!!!!!
    had to suddenly whack the low eq to - something.

    I took that as a lesson and started my whole mixing process again, and i learnt stuff about compression and better use of eqs etc.

    The next time i was at a small free party with a cool makie active thingy with some jbl doohdahs. I was twatted and didn't pay too much attention but, played three of my tracks.

    I had loads of fun and it sounded really good (remember i'm twatted) but needed to crank the bass a little and they wasn't much definition in the bass/kick. High end sounded better though :Smile3: .

    No. 3, a friend played a track at a party in bristol (thankyouverymuch :Grin: )

    it sounded good :jump: pretty much how i wanted it to sound, (a little help from the dj's fine eq'ing prob. helped)

    Since then i started using lower pitched "growly" bass lines as opposed to my previous higer pitched (almost gms sounding :sad: )

    The last time was very recently and it was quite a shock!!!!

    The high end was tweaked to infinity and pob. caused pain (not in the good way :lol: ) While the bass was overpowering with louded kicks needed. I was running with the low eq on 9 o'clock the whole time.

    Over the last few days i established a new mix "standard" which i have been testing on a few speakers. And it's still not there. My old mixes were sounding better on some Behringer truths not too bass heavy. while my new mixes are sounding really weedy in the bottom end.

    HELP I REALLY DONT HAVE A CLUE WHAT I'M DOING ANYMORE!!!!

    thats quite a lot of info ...... phew

    I'm hoping that people have been here before... what did you do? I would be interested to find out what people who really know their soundsystems think.

    I can't afford even half decent monitors and don't have the acoustics they would deserve. I'm getting some headphones, i hope the extended range in the freq. response (down to 5 Hz) will help.

    A long post i know but this is an area i really want to sort out.
    Thanks :Grin:

    Morgan
     
  2. soliptic

    soliptic whirling mathematician

    Threads:
    59
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    sw19
    well, i've been there before. i dont "really know my soundsystems" in any technical way, like taht dude on here who says things nobody understand everytime PAs are discussed ... but i have played thru about 20 zillion.

    basically i think you need to avoid trying to mix "for a club system" as such. every venue / club / party system is very different and frankly, the vast, vast majority of them are pretty shit. you have to learn to accept that your masterwork will never sound as detailed and amazing like it does on monitors. an awful lot gets lost, thats why for starters its helpful to strip your music down an incredible amount. an awful lot of those things that seem "intricate" just come out "messy" or get lost altogether. then, just make sure that your critical elements are *really* good, so they will *always* do the basic job they are there to do, even if the system is so rough their finesse is wasted.

    Yeah, club systems freq response curves are incredibly trough-y. At they end of the day they're all different shapes, which is my point above, although a few general trends can be observed.

    Yes, the top end always seems to be driven and clipping into a wall of pain. Fuck knows why nobody on this earth can sort it out :mad: but for some reason thats the way. Just under that, I very often notice a dip - on some poorer systems it feels liek an outright hole - in the upper mids. Speech territory basically - because the ears are much more sensitive here, i suspect a lot of systems designed for these volume levels are built to dip here - or perhaps its just very common for engineers to do it on their graphics - donno - but one way or another its common.

    One of the rarest beasts on PA safari is the system which doesnt feel at all lacking in this region, but also doesnt hurt you and make you want to kill people.

    The lower mids can be anything from a big jelly of formless mud, to nice and solid, just depends

    Subs are almost always "louder than you first think". I cant remember meeting someone who first played their own material on a club system and went , "whoah, not enough sub". Almost everyone went "holy crap, HOW MUCH?". I found you just need to "build faith" - learn to trust your brain telling you, honestly, that IS enough sub, even when your ears and chest disagree. Or maybe thats just me with my sub-free monitors... :Sad:

    No real way to get a proper feel for it other than regularly listening to your own AND other people's tunes through club systems AND your monitors, listening critically, cross referencing against each other, trial and error with your own tracks...

    Ultimately a well made tune is a well made tune. It will sound (fairly) good on any system from walkman headphones to the most hellishly pumping PA, from the most battered kitchen radio to plush studio monitors. Or, to be more precise, it'll only sound as bad as the system is - it wont get dragged down by the system, it'll shine to the max despite it.

    OT, but perhaps interesting, I find the same thing works with mp3 bitrate compression. My latest tune, which i'm very happy with, engnieering & mixdown-wise, sounds almsot identical at 96 and 192. older stuff, which is frankly poor in engineering & mixdown, used to sound ok hi-fi but got really raped by anything under 128.
     
  3. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

    Threads:
    150
    Messages:
    7,378
    Likes Received:
    298
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Straight outta muthaf***ing Surbiton
    Its not exactly scientific and I've never had my tunes played on a rig...but I take my stuff round a mates place who's got a 5.1 rig with a huuuge subwoofer. Crank that up and its pretty soon apparent if there's too much bass. Cos Jonny's house falls down :Grin:
     
  4. norty303

    norty303 Member (Todger)

    Threads:
    48
    Messages:
    1,998
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    East Sussex
    A lot of compression drivers used in mid top cabs are crossed over around 2.5k/3k area. Because this area can be the limit of where they operate sonically and the types of crossover slopes used, they can sound harsh at this point. I have to take 3 to 5db out of my system in this region to calm it down a bit, but that may explain why you lose that area. Different configurations of mid/high drivers and sizes used will give very different outputs. Most mids are 12" or smaller.

    I also agree that lots of rigs hurt badly in the hat frequency range, 6-10 and a bit more. Again i normally find i take a LOAD of this range out on the monitors as its much more painful at short range.

    It's very easy to make a rig sound louder by giving the impression of size by keeping in the frequencies that make you wince in pain.
     
  5. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

    Threads:
    49
    Messages:
    9,075
    Likes Received:
    197
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London SE19
    We need Steve Plank! here really...

    I remember him telling me that the bloke at the Rex was trying to set up the system using a Shure SM58 as reference. Bad idea, 'cos the SM58 is a vocal mic with a deliberate frequency response engineered into it - ergo the guy whacked out an unnecessary amount of mid, so you could barely hear the meat of the tune - just a wankload of bass.

    All I've noticed is that you have to understand that on a large rig, the bass is going to be a *lot* further forward than when you're listening at home. My method isn't remotely scientific - I just listen out for tracks that sound really good on big systems, look at them through a spectrum analyser and try to match the average curve there.

    J.
     
  6. norty303

    norty303 Member (Todger)

    Threads:
    48
    Messages:
    1,998
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    East Sussex
    You can use an SM58 as your reference mic if you know what the response curve is. You can then set up your RTA system with an EQ that will compensate for the mic, giving a flat reading. The most important thing that a mic is used for is to set the delays/phasing between the different frequency sections of the rig, due to different types of box having varying group delays.

    They use the bss omnidrives at the Rex iirc and i don't think they have an auto-EQ built in.

    EQ is a matter of taste, i went to great pains to set up my rig with a flat response and whilst it was a good starting point it sounded exactly that - flat!! You need to set it by what sounds good, not what a box tells you is right. The Rex is still used mainly for RnB, DnB, etc so I'd suspect that could explain the lack of mid
     
  7. seuss

    seuss Junior Members

    Threads:
    23
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i have the same problems.

    it's difficult to know how to balance your final mix when the differences seem so vast. if i've made adjustments to a tune, i try to take along 2 versions of it, and test them out beforehand - just so i can hear how the seemingly small changes in (say) low end compression or EQ actually translate on a club system. and i also try to play a professionally made/mastered tune immediately afterwards to try and place the sounds in a useful comparative structure.

    bass muddiness, lack of medium-low to high-mid 'presence', and loss of detail (like soliptic said) are the main causes for complaint. so much of the groove of a track can be lost by the inevitable booming bass, which drowns out percussive work or obscures delicate melodic sounds.

    the initial 'mega-bass-of-doom' problem was soon followed by subconscious under-emphasis, with the resultant lack of bass presence and semi-techno sounding result :Wink3: i actually don't have any monitors at all (just under a month until i get some!) so in the meantime i'm mixing on a kenwood stereo.

    in a somewhat perverse way, these have actually helpd a bit - because the bass is pumped by the system anyway, i find it stops me from over-compensating, and thus the results translate pretty well on a proper system.

    soliptic's assessment - that a well-made tune will sound good on anything - seems to be the general consensus from all the articles/discussions i've read online. and as such mixing tracks with a firm 'control' sound in your head really helps. i try to play wavs of sections of my track in winamp, then open a 'pro' track straight away and really listen to the differences. ultimately i've found that the most useful.

    it can seem sometimes like you're banging your cranium against a hard fucking wall for no reason. all the changes you make seem to just make it worse... and if you're like me and suffering from a lack of processing power, having to encode tracks before listening to them means that your progress can be drastically reduced :sad: but you just need to have faith that ultimately you will prevail!
     
  8. morganism

    morganism AKA OLMEC

    Threads:
    36
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Bristol (actually)
    thanks for the replies.....

    They have given me some new avenues to persue (sp?) and i'm glad to hear people HAVE been there before.... ( it gives me hope :Grin: )

    Testing different mixes on the soundsystem is a luxury i rarely get.... but something i should make a point of doing...

    I'm mixing on hifi speakers (absolute bollocks Aiwa..... :mad: ) but i have been tweaking with its own eq settings so that a mix that i "think" sounds good on my shitty system will translate better..... ie. boosting the bass on the hifi so i don't add extra bass in my mixes to compensate.

    THat is ok but i doubt my speakers can produce any frequency below 50hz and even then 50-100hz (a pretty vital bit of the freq range imho) is muddled and doesn't sound at all like it would on a setup with a flatter freq. response.

    Anyone got any good tips on what freq(s) the bulk of the kick should be at? (same for the bassline.... )

    Also.... I try to cut freqs below 20hz. My logic is that we can't hear below that so if they are lots of loud goings on down there it will sound shit. Is this reasonable? I generally run an eq before any compressors etc. on my output channel, i use this to gradually cut down freq from about 40hz downwards. So there is a little cut around 35hz and the cut gets bigger as i approach 16ish hz. (high pass filter basically)

    I know there are different ways to do everything in this music production lark, but is my eq on the output a bad idea? I think it has helped but would people recommend i avoid that sort of practice?

    Keep em coming.......

    Morgan
     
  9. jsainsbury

    jsainsbury Forum Addict

    Threads:
    40
    Messages:
    3,280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    islington
    I've got a mass of semi blown hi fi speaker sna floor stander's set up in my room, it really does sound like a shit rig, and works great for referance!
     
  10. morganism

    morganism AKA OLMEC

    Threads:
    36
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Bristol (actually)
    oh and by the way....

    I completely agree with the mp3 thing soliptic mentioned....

    I've noticed the same and it was quite nice to hear how things have improved over the last couple of years in terms of how my tracks sound when they are compressed to different bitrate mp3s.

    morgan
     
  11. norty303

    norty303 Member (Todger)

    Threads:
    48
    Messages:
    1,998
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    East Sussex
    One other thing, most rigs will run a hi-pass filter on the bottom end at around the -3db point of the respective cabs. Normally somewhere around 30-35hz so anything on the track below that won't get processed anyway unless you're into infrabass rigs. Even leaving low frequencies in a production if they're output is less than -3db it's not worth it anyway as they'll be lost in everything else.

    Try getting a sine generator (plugin or whatever) and listening to just how low 40hz really is and how much gain over 100hz you need to give it to be heard. Try setting it to -9db at 40hz then increase up to 100hz and see how much louder it is to your ear. The law of diminishing returns applies so heavily with sub frequencies that it's not really worth going beyond a certain point
     
  12. Fushion Julz

    Fushion Julz Sound Bod

    Threads:
    87
    Messages:
    2,903
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    "Kick" is from about 90Hz to around 180Hz...

    sub is below 60Hz, really...

    Nearly all dance music based on Techno/House has minimal info below 50Hz and almost nothing below 40Hz, so most dance rigs tend to have a response to suit and they start at around 35-40Hz only...
     
  13. morganism

    morganism AKA OLMEC

    Threads:
    36
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Bristol (actually)
  14. Fushion Julz

    Fushion Julz Sound Bod

    Threads:
    87
    Messages:
    2,903
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    No probs....If you ever want to "test" your tunes on a rig, then turn up at set-up time...especially if we are doing club nights...and you are welcome to put your tune(s) on before the night starts....
     
  15. jamez_23

    jamez_23 Blah

    Threads:
    41
    Messages:
    5,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I have done this a few times .... it really does help !!!
     
  16. Plank!

    Plank! The Sound Faery

    Threads:
    13
    Messages:
    2,230
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Kॐnt
    Strangely that engineer no longer works there :Wink3:


    Very bad idea, compensating for a fucked up response curve is never going to give a true response on an RTA. the bloke J refers too, did not even bother with compensation, the end result was horrid. :huh:

    Correct on both points, however he was not using auto EQ, instead he had the SM58 connected to a hand held "miniliser" and was setting the 32band EQ from that.

    EQ is a very personal thing, every engineer does it different. I was taught that your ears can be very unreliable, what sounds good one day will sound crap the next. Hence when tired, or when i have a cold I fall back on a different way of setting up rigs. Take one very well produced track on CD, play back thru the desk etc, LISTEN on a decent pair of headphones (NOT DJ ones!) then set the rig from that. That way any hearing problems caused by tiredness or TTS (due to too many nights doing sound without a break) etc can be eliminated.
    A flat response works fine for Psy-Trance, Gospel and Jazz etc. D&B, R&B etc tend to be mastered with fucked up rigs in mind, and sound shit when played on a flat system. I do occaisionally "voice" a system for a specific type of music, however in my experience ALL Psy-Trance artists prefer their music to be played on as flat a system as possible (with maybe a little rise around 80-100Hz) I also always roll of systems at around 30 Hz.

    Norty was very close to the mark with his comments on cross over frequencies with horns etc, however it is a lot more involved than that.
    EG - back to the REX again, the rig had its crossover frequencies set about 1.5 octaves lower than it really needed, hence the distortion around 2.5 KHz was ear bleeding, once the password had been bypassed and the crossover point raised the system sounded a whole lot sweeter.

    Often the choice of material used in HF diaphragms can make a big difference, Turbo and many other PA firms use Titanium, horrid stuff, rings like a bell at certain frequencies, hence the nasty harsh resonance on Turbo, Thunder ridge, EV, JBL etc boxes. It's a total bastard to EQ out, as the amount of distortion, changes exponentially with level :mad:

    back to the OP issues.
    Put a low cut on the final mix of about 33-38Hz nothing good lives that low in +140BPM music!
    most club rigs are pushed FAR too hard, and the DJ mixer tends to be pushed far beyond anything that sounds good. :mad:
    When using a Pioneer ALWAYS keep the input levels below +2dB on the input meter's, and NEVER boost anything, other wise the distortion is horrific. :o
    Also check to be sure the rig is not running a badly set compressor or limiter, when the rig is running at normal levels the comp should be just below its threshold, with the limiter a few dB above that. Compression will screw up any bass lines, as the change in gain causes phase shifts, putting the bass out of time with mid/tops, hence it starts sounding very muddy or "smeared" :Sad: Compression should be a last line defence from the DJ (just before the rig owner gets out the baseball bat!!!)

    I'm not sure where you are based, but feel free to PM, if you want to try anything out on a rig sometime - same goes for any other artists :Grin:

    Steve
     
  17. your mum

    your mum Member

    Threads:
    11
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    chasing dragons
    You really need to get proper speakers if you wanna be doing this seriously. Start saving, get a loan or something.
    You can start by getting somehting that is cheap and will serve you "okish", something like a pair of Alesis M1 (actives prefferably if you don't have an amp to drive them), until you save up for something better like BM 6A/HR 824s/BM 15A.

    Then get to know how those speakers sound in your studio and find some tunes that you know they sound great wherever you play them (Kox Box/Saiko Pod, Tristan are a few artists that are making great sounding mixes) and compare your tunes to your favourite ones.

    You could try and play your tunes out to an empty venue, whilst flashing the P.A. out, but when the punters fill the space up, the sound will change significantly, so the released tunes will sound differnt than yours anyway. If you have any mates that have monitors, play your tunes out at their studios too, as different room characteristics might show problems that you did not know they existed in your studio enviroment.

    So yeah, you just have to be patient, not eat for a while/get a job if you don't have one...etc and get some proper speakers if making tunes is more than just a hobby.

    Peace.
     
  18. Christos

    Christos iHelper

    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    London
  19. Reconstructed

    Reconstructed Member

    Threads:
    31
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Great thread, thanks everyone for volunteering so much knowledge!
     
  20. norty303

    norty303 Member (Todger)

    Threads:
    48
    Messages:
    1,998
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Can't talk for other Pioneer models but as for the DJM600 the input stages are very clean even up to the max. this is a 100hz sine played through a line input @ +10db. It was clean all the way to max

    [​IMG]


    This was with input and master maxed with attenuator at half

    [​IMG]

    You can see the wave just starting to fatten out and a bit of a funny dip coming down off the peaks. I did this because i wasn't sure what effect all those red lights have that Pioneers seem to show. I think the outcome is that it's not half as bad as it looks. With the attenuator above halfway it can get a little bad... this was everything (input, master and attenuator) cranked as hard as it would go

    [​IMG]
     
Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice