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Old 2nd March 2014, 01:06 PM   #1
troystg is offline troystg  United States
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Default Touring band gear

Last night I attended an Eagles concert in Washington DC. The sound was very disappointing from an audiophile perspective but excellent by general standards.

The reason I started this thread was to start a running list of who heard what gear where and what they thought about it.

Sadly I did not get any geek time since I was with others who were not geeks and I couldn't go query the sound engineers as I normally do but these are the details for the sound at last nights show.

1. very smooth frequency response.. No abrupt peaks or dips.
2. Good dialog / vocal range. Very intelligible voices.
3. EXCELLENT venue control. No resonances, no buzzes, echos, noticeable delays.

Now the not so good stuff.

4. +9 db hump around 60Hz relative to the rest of the spectrum.
5. Dropped off like a cliff above 8-10K.. Absolutely no air or sparkle.
6. appeared to have a mid bass suckout but that may have actually been the huge hump at 60 over whelming any snap.


They were using flying line arrays on top of the stage and what appeared to be rows of subs on each side of the stage.

No names obvious on the line arrays, like no little orange square on the grill that makes the brand instantly recognizable. And all electronics other than the mixing board were hidden. Not being able to see the rear of the arrays I couldn't even tell if they were powered or passive arrays.


So what I was hoping was that we start a list of pro gear and the impression of the gear for us "want to be" sound geeks who aren't nearly qualified to do such a venue.

I personally think the gear last night was WAY more capable than they let it do.. Disappointing. However the music it's self wasn't bad at all.

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Last edited by troystg; 2nd March 2014 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 01:12 PM   #2
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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maybe they were using digital sound management, but just not very good at it
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Old 2nd March 2014, 02:15 PM   #3
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The gear is only half the story.
The other half is the venue and the engineer is almost always fighting the room, many of which are abysmal acoustically speaking. That goes especially for sports halls.
I know what used to be a popular venue which was usually used for ice hockey in which no PA would ever sound anything other than atrocious. Luckily it was demolished in '01.

The problems usually affect the bass which tends to be extremely uneven throughout the venue. You can get it right for one spot but never uniformly across the whole venue.
In that case the engineer has to aim for the best compromise but that will always leave some areas with too much bass while others have not enough.

An added problem is that the acoustics change dramatically from an empty hall (as it is when the sound check is done) to when it is full of people.

DSP is next to no help at all since again it can 'fix' issues in one area but that will likely increase issues in other spots.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 04:49 PM   #4
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I used to run a mobile disco.
I had to work at all sorts of venues.
I found pushing out a decent volume mostly drowned out any room problems.
The sound obviously changed depending on how many people were in and whether the room had carpets and/or lots of curtains.

The gear makes a huge difference too. I started off with a pair of 2 by 12 Fane cabinets and these were very powerful. I later used Eminence speakers and couldn't get the same volume despite the speakers being a higher wattage.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 04:56 PM   #5
troystg is offline troystg  United States
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As I mentioned in #3, they did a GREAT job of taming the venue.. However the venue already had extensive sound absorption applied. I should have gotten a picture of the panels draped from the ceiling and the added acoustic curtain specifically for the concert.

I just still somehow think they could have gotten a little more out of the gear and make the sound more enjoyable..

I also forgot to mention the HUGE amount of compression that was VERY well done... None of the music sounded compressed which is the best compliment you can give on that aspect.

Basically it sounded like a 1950's recording played back through a modern hi-fi system. You could just tell the system wasn't doing anything near what it was capable of.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 05:08 PM   #6
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troystg View Post
Last night I attended an Eagles concert in Washington DC. The sound was very disappointing from an audiophile perspective but excellent by general standards.
Eagles ? that must have been very big

being this big, how good can it get ? better than 'excellent by general standards', with your own words ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by troystg View Post
I personally think the gear last night was WAY more capable than they let it do.. Disappointing. However the music it's self wasn't bad at all.
difficult to play well if the sound isn't good
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Old 2nd March 2014, 05:14 PM   #7
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

There is no excuse for a missing top octave, especially with
an older audience who will happily accept an obviously too
bright top octave to those with younger ears.

To build a PA that fills a big space with real low bass is
an expensive proposition and basically needs lots more
equipment, in terms of weight and shipping volume.

Restrictions on maximum SPL often lead to compressionitis
as the only way of making the system louder in the regime.

Its generally uneconomic to go below 40Hz for
a portable rig. Sadly there is a propensity to
boost what bass there is excessively to try
to make up for no low bass. Also common
in cinema's with inadequate bass systems.

rgds, sreten.
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Last edited by sreten; 2nd March 2014 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 05:17 PM   #8
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troystg View Post

The reason I started this thread was to start a running list of who heard what gear where and what they thought about it.
and can I ask why ?
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Old 2nd March 2014, 05:22 PM   #9
troystg is offline troystg  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinitus View Post
Eagles ? that must have been very big

being this big, how good can it get ? better than 'excellent by general standards', with your own words ?





difficult to play well if the sound isn't good
18K plus seats they claim but I bet 20-25% of those were not usable due to stage position..

Yes for the average built in TV speaker listening public the sound was "good", for anyone who knows "Hi-Fi" not so much.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 05:26 PM   #10
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I saw the Eagles on the HFO tour in an open air football stadium and it was one of the best sounding concerts I have ever experienced. Yeah there was a judicous amount of LF boost applied.. seems that has become an all too common problem with BEs now, but in this case it was well managed as there was no distortion from the subs, no mud on the vocals and the rest of the spectrum was clean and detailed, very hifi. I have no idea what equipment was used on this tour and it was quite some time ago, and outdoor venues can be easier to manage from a sound perspective because there are fewer reflections, but it does show that it can be done and ultimately the man at the controls can make or break the sound.

Last edited by conanski; 2nd March 2014 at 05:30 PM.
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