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How do you play in a very reverberant space?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars  
Author How do you play in a very reverberant space?
Liddlepud
I need some help and advice. We've been offered a gig in a very large gallery and the space is very reverberant. How would you approach playing in a space this size as I'm worried about the sound becoming muddy?
wavecircle
I love big spaces, I'd take some measurements to find out what the resonant frequencies are in the room then setup spacial phase cancelation effects by using tones around the resonant frequency. Ryoji ikeda did this in "matrix for rooms". It will work to some extent in any space but if you use a wide stereo field and abuse resonance you get the best results.

I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind. hmmm.....
dogoftears
If dance music-- slower bpms, lower volume, possibly cut the bass a bit. Very tough though.
London Modular
Also keen to hear some thoughts on this topic....

Simon
the bad producer
A big audience helps, otherwise it's quite a big deal... Lot's of small speakers rather than two or so large ones I've found makes a dfference as you can manage the volume 'around' the space, and you've not got that 'point source' pinging around... In a way the most important thing is that YOU can hear clearly what you are doing.
Navs
Well, if you know the space is reverberant, why not use it to your advantage? I'd be planning an Eno/ Budd set with my RES-4 Mr. Green
Liddlepud
My live sets are nearly all RES-4
stk
Navs wrote:
Well, if you know the space is reverberant, why not use it to your advantage?


I agree. If playing in a non-standard venue, I would tailor my set to take advantage of it. Free, real, reverb! w00t

And yes, depending on the space you may need to watch certain frequencies. Low end could get boomy (not in a good way), high end could get shrill.
Try and get a soundcheck.
Liddlepud
It looks like the sound-check will be part of the performance and there's no time before the gig that we can play in the space as it's a busy public gallery.

Part of me is looking forward to the challenge but a bigger part of me is shitting bricks.
stk
In that case, embrace it.

If you can swing it, early in the set have someone whose opinion you trust, or yourself, run out the front and give you a running score on the foh sound so you can adjust what needs it.

But yeah, if you can't change it, work with it. Sounds like fun, good luck!
JamesFlipside
Plan would be one mono speaker stack at end of room and performers in center.

wish there was time to play around with dispersion of the stacks before the event... Wondering if centering dispersion of the tops on the floor around the performers could tailor the reverb to kind of wash-out the high frequencies into the ceiling... would lose some of the plate bounces from the walls and add a bit of a softer decay.

gunna be fun SlayerBadger!
Soy Sos
Agreed, more smaller speakers spread around the venue at lower volume.
I don't think you've mentioned the instrumentation or nature of the material.
I remember my old reggae band performing in the enormous hall of
architecture at the local museum and the first time playing the 3 story
central common area cell block in the county prison. Huge reverberant
spaces, sustaining bass for days. Sounded totally crazy.
stk
My old noise doom band used to record in the warehouse I was living in, 8-meter ceilings, timber floorboards. Drums sounded soooo good in that space.
eole
Liddlepud :
before listening to your soundcloud, i was thinking that i love to play in such places, playing with the acoustics as if it was part of my system/instrument.
then i listened and it's a very different perspective if you plan to play this type of music. the reverb can be an issue...
doombient.music
With reverberant spaces, drone-based music works best. If your music is based around rhythms, take some measurements as far as room size is concerned and adjust the tempo of the tracks to the natural delay inside the room. When used properly, you can make the room and its ambient sound an instrument in its own right.

Stephen
Liddlepud
eole wrote:
Liddlepud :
before listening to your soundcloud, i was thinking that i love to play in such places, playing with the acoustics as if it was part of my system/instrument.
then i listened and it's a very different perspective if you plan to play this type of music. the reverb can be an issue...


Don't worry, the live stuff I play with the LMA bears no resemblance to the electro style tracks on my Soundcloud page. It's still occasionally beat driven but it's all improvised and there are a lot of drones and self generative patches.

We'd already agreed to drop the tempo of the rhythmic tracks so we can attempt to play to the reverb in the space but I was more worried about placement of speakers and whether to cut any particular frequencies. I think we should be able to pull it off but I think it'll need a lot more sympathy than when we play in typical club spaces.
richard
I'm playing a church on Jan 11th and will have a similar problem. Percussive and groove stuff tends to get wiped out.

Playing with a different ratio of sound to silence would be my only strategy, also it might be more effctive to play too quietly than too loud loudly
frequencycentral
You'll want to use my new 'Succubus Anti-Verb' module...
maxime.annah
??? is it really your new module? what is it??!
flo
Liddlepud wrote:
the electro style tracks on my Soundcloud page


I just had a listen and I have to say, great stuff mate! SlayerBadger! The Abstract Forms is very Drexciyan hihi
Liddlepud
Cheers Flo, I'll always love Drexciya/Gerald Donald despite falling down the abstract modular wormhole.

Thankfully We never played the Raphael room in the V&A and ended up playing in the Lecture Theatre. My wife went into the Raphael room when the other band were playing and she said the acoustics were terrible and made everything they played sound like mush. I spoke to one of the musicians after the show and he said it was very difficult trying to play and they had to slow everything down to compensate.
flo
Liddlepud wrote:
Cheers Flo, I'll always love Drexciya/Gerald Donald despite falling down the abstract modular wormhole.


Cheers mate! SlayerBadger! Guinness ftw!
Jonas Bers
Here is some required viewing for anyone interested in this thread.

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_byrne_how_architecture_helped_music_evo lve.html
leeski
Calculate what the standing waves of the room will be, then your have an idea of what will muddy the sound up.
I would advise ringing out the room with an graphic e.q. to notch out the resonates frequencies.
Keep it tight punchy, lightly compress a few things to keep dynamics down.
It will sound good using the room in your mix instead of other verbs.
Sounds like a fun thing to do.
Kalerne
turn the loudspeakers towards the walls for reinforcing the reverb/resonance, then drone... Om

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