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 Does more power eliminate feedback?
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skulpter Offline
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:35 pm    Post subject: Does more power eliminate feedback? Reply with quote

In our rehearsal space, which doubles as a recording space, we're set up all around the room with the PA cabs facing us, so we can hear ourselves. My board, a B******er pmh5000, is admittedly underpowered, and in our less-than-ideal arrangement, we have feedback issues if I turn up the PA enough to hear ourselves clearly. I'm wondering if an external power amp, which I need anyway for monitors, would help with the feedback issue. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Ken

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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nope- the more power in an enclosed space (or misplaced speakers/mics) the greater the potential for feedback
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skod Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMNSHO, no. Unless you are in the situation that you are so underpowered that the PA is distorting terribly, and it is the distortion products that are crossing the feedback threshold, power is pretty much irrelevant to a feedback situation. Feedback is acoustical in nature, so solutions to it will necessarily be acoustical.

Room treatments, mic and speaker placement, and especially mic choice are key: going with very tight hypercardioids for the few mics that need to be live can help.

The biggest thing: turn down. And minimize the rig. Ideally, rehearsal PA should be vocal mics only (unless you have keys or other electronic instruments run only through the PA). Run the absolute minimum possible through the PA. Really streamline and turn down the monitors: you can use them to force the players to turn down. Remember that rehearsal is about everyone's performances, *not* tuning the whole stage/PA rig for the best live mix: that can only be done in a real performance space.

If the drummer is driving the levels up (which is often the case), consider goboing him. Those plexiglass panels you see around drummers in the TV world are there so that the overall stage levels can be held down. It works in rehearsal as well.

Minimize everything, and run only what you absolutely must through the PA- and then grab all the knobs and give them a quarter-turn counterclockwise...

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skulpter Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for the info, Stainless and skod. My absurdly obvious solution was to borrow my headphone amp from my daw interface, and run it out of the PA. Between my decent AKG and Sony cans, and my p.o.s. Behry and MoreMe sets, I've got enough for everyone to wear. Vocals are clear as a bell, and the mains can stay low, thereby eliminating feedback altogether. Everybody gets the same mix, but should still be a vast improvement. Why didn't I think of that a long time ago?!! DOH
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Treeline Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skulpter wrote:
Why didn't I think of that a long time ago?!! DOH


That's what my wife said the last time I had to sleep on the couch...

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