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The Old Soundman: Dealing With Indoor & Outdoor Venue Issues

Think it’s a picnic running sound inside a club? Think it’s nothin’ but a party running sound outside? The OSM has news for you!

By Old Soundman February 19, 2015

Old Soundman,

Yes, Stip!

I occasionally run sound for a band that tends to play local hole-in-the-wall venues.

Okay, we feel sorry for you, now move on!

The “stage” for the band is always in one of 2 places: in a nice boomy corner, or, better yet, right in front of that brick or paneled wall.

These are the times that try men’s souls!

I guess you might be a female, so no offense intended. I don’t know what “Stip” is short for. I am pretty sure that Jacquie (below) is…

One of many problems I run into (including the lead guitarist who insists he hears better with his knees)…

I know that guy! and I think half our readers at home do, too. He must have cloned himself a dozen times in each and every state of the union!

…is cymbal bleed-thru on the vocal mic’s. If I try to spare the audience the shrill ring of these upper frequencies by pulling back the highs on the board, I seem to lose clarity in the vocal.

That is not an illusion, Stip. That is, indeed what is happening, you are perceiving it correctly.

This problem gets worse when the guys are playing at a particularly loud stage volume, and I need to crank a little more vocal, which of course starts to feed back when the ring of the cymbals hit the mic’s, then come thru the monitors and hit the mic’s again…

You know the sad, sad story.



I do indeed know the sad story. And even sadder is the fact that the list of remedies is a very short one. I’m a straight shooter, Stip.

Move back the drum riser. Can’t. You’re stuck in this little club with a stage the size of a saltine.

Now that you mention it, some cheese and crackers would really hit the spot right about now! Wait a minute, you were saying something about cymbals …

The drummer can be asked to use lighter cymbals with a shorter decay time. But since he is a club guy, getting paid very little beyond the endless chain of longnecks he consumes, he probably only has his local music store’s finest, thickest bang-a-langa models.

Don’t tell me he wears those warm-up things on his wrists? You do have it rough, Stip.

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About Old Soundman

Old Soundman
Old Soundman

Veteran Pro Audio Engineer
Old Sound Man is a recurring column that is hilarious and informative at the same time. He answers your questions which provides him with both the chance to pontificate and provide useful information.


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Pyry Raty says

I highly recommend Cympad products to reduce cymbal noise.

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