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mondogenerator 22nd June 2012 08:03 PM

Anyone watching 'concerto at the BBC proms' today?
im not usually into orchestral music, but i finally got round to trialing one of my tapered TLs i started a long time ago, so i thought id give it a try. Now ive just got a 12 inch square of foam, nothing else. It needs poly for sure. And felt. Lol

Now, to the proms:

There was a young man playing a solo on Oboe (sp?), and i could swear i could hear a key rattling when he played a low E i think, maybe a semi tone either way.

Then, I thought:

'No. Maybe its the cab colouration and stuff'

But it was so annoying.

Then I thought I could pick up slight feedback from the PA or monitors or something.

Either, my speakers are better than thought; or ive lost the plot!

I was wondering if anyone else watched it, and noticed the same things in the broadcast?

mondogenerator 22nd June 2012 09:00 PM

sorry folks this was meant for the music forum.
could a mod move this to the correct forum please? Apologies.

PlasticIsGood 23rd June 2012 05:07 AM


Originally Posted by mondogenerator (
could a mod move this to the correct forum please? Apologies.

Oi! We're trying to have a discussion about Everything Else.

iplayer, 11.02, sounds like clattering keys.

An oboe is thinner. It's probably hard to play that wonderful basset clarinet loudly enough to fill the Albert Hall. Orchestras don't use PA AFAIK. They forget where the mics are because they can't hear them. Players shuffle, tap their feet, poke each other with bows, kick the cellos, turn pages noisily and generally make a lot of background noise that the audience can't hear because of poor acoustics, and they're all eating sweets and coughing anyway. Naturally the BBC captures everything.

Wind instruments get full of spit, which starts dribbling out of the keyholes. They make phuts and plops, in addition to the normal plosives that the player constantly struggles to manage.

Altogether, you need to be able to trust your system with most orchestral, and indeed all acoustic ensembles. There's not much point in testing a system with material you don't know. Especially live recordings.

The second movement is beautiful. This is a good version I think

It also contains Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante in E flat, with a normal clarinet and horn, oboe and bassoon, so you can learn the difference.

mondogenerator 23rd June 2012 08:53 AM

haha! I confess i wasnt sure if he played an oboe or clarinet, i thought maybe it was a bass size. Like id probably confuse a viola and violin. Good Old BBC, capturing the music, atmoshere, and key rattlings. Brilliant.

DF96 23rd June 2012 11:27 AM

No PA needed at the Royal Albert Hall. It has the opposite problem: too much reverberation. The 'flying saucers' hanging from the roof help a bit, but it is still a lousy venue for chamber music. Some concert halls (e.g. Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank) do use some electronic assistance because they were built with too little natural reverberation. I think it originally used Quad amplifiers. Most halls use PA for announcers but nothing else; a full symphony orchestra in a good hall needs no help!

mondogenerator 23rd June 2012 12:22 PM


I did think the reverb in the lower midrange was strong and the round shape is the reason I gather.

Ive hard an orchestra, so I did think it strange to have PA, but I couldnt think what else it was.

DF96 23rd June 2012 01:58 PM

Just for clarity, the RAH saucers are intended to reduce reverberation but they probably have less effect at lower frequencies. You were probably hearing the reflection from the concave roof. During concerts they often hang an extra reflector right over the stage in an attempt to send the sound out to the audience instead of up to the roof, but all these extras can't change what is basically a bad hall for music (apart from when the organ is used - Saint-Saens 3rd Symphony is wonderful in RAH).

pinkmouse 23rd June 2012 02:29 PM

I haven't kept up with the redevelopment at the RAH, but when I worked there in the 90's one of the things under discussion was an electronic reverb attenuation scheme. I would be interested to know if it was ever installed.

Oh, and I scored three rigging ropes as well as other bits and pieces that had been dropped in the mushrooms and abandoned. :)

DF96 23rd June 2012 04:28 PM

Anti-sound! Given the size of the saucers anti-gravity might be more useful.

To be serious, I would have thought some improvement could be had by passive means such as putting sound absorbers in the gallery. Trouble is, the fire protection people get twitchy when you want to hang anything on a wall. New community halls are now forbidden to have notice boards in the main space because they are deemed to be a fire hazard.

mondogenerator 23rd June 2012 05:11 PM


I didnt notice the saucers if im totally honest.

I did notice the soloist seemingly playing very loudly (or at least having to really play loudly), and some points in the performance. The strained sound in the Clarinet, was not something I was familiar with, since the softer notes seemed more in character of the instrument. Or at least my experience of the instruments sound.

Rather interesting that it was the recording, because for a while I thought it was speaker colouration!

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