Re: [Harp-L] Approaching an unfamiliar PA

Good question this...

My experience thus far, as an adequate sound engineer of sorts has been always to work under one MAJOR rule of thumb. When approaching ANY PA... Use. Your. Ears.

Every single room is different, brighter, darker, squashier, duller than the next, dependent on surface types in the room and room shape. Then someone goes and puts a PA somewhere in the room, of any varying wattage / volume outputs, with any collaboration of speakers with unique output frequency responses (treble heavy, maybe one of the tweeters has blown on one side!?) either way... the only constant through all of this is to follow what your ears are telling you. Not even your ears stay the same... they change too.. time of day, amount of audience back noise etc... so, you have to think *live* and adjust to what you are "hearing" at the time, and following the clues as to when to adjust the master volumes... if the bar / venue fills up halfway through the gig... you're gonna need more juice...

Yes there are points of note regarding the general setup of a harmonica *sound* - as in it uses mostly middle frequencies, similar to our vocal tones and above - so adding some bass will warm it up of course, and taking off some middle will take the honk off a bit, and tweaking the treble basically boost or cut your high notes and rhythmical sounds - but the decision to know how much to take off or add, HAS to be by "however much makes it sound great" - and NEVER "This magazine swears by this setting so I'm sticking with it and never questioning it ever because it was said by someone who *must* know better than me because they're in a magazine"

For advice, that sounds a lot like a rant. It's not intended as one! I'd label it under *thoughts*

Hope it helps ;)

Gobiron Ryan

On 20/04/2012 19:12, martin oldsberg wrote:
When you´re in a jam situation going through a vocal mic and just barely have the time to make some adjustments to a PA, the conventional wisdom, so I have thought, for harmonica players is to set full bass, no treble and mid to somewhere round 11 o´clock.
However, I just read that this setting could actually cause a more shrill kind of sound than giving a bit of treble and backing down on the bass.
As usual, I have no idea -- and not very much chance to experiment; I only know that one of the most horrible noises known to mankind under the general caption of "music" is a harmonica with insufficient equalization. It pains me to think that I may have unwittingly been a contributor to this kind of environmental hazard.
Anyone with thoughts on this?

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