Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

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Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by dennisgamalej »

As the question sounds. Do you rig out mains? Or just monitors?
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by Music Wolf »

It might be better if the thread could be titled 'Do you ring out Front of House?' rather than 'rig out mains'.

In my case most of the time I manage without doing either due to a combination of sensible levels and careful speaker / mic placement and, to be honest, most of the time there simply isn't the opportunity to do a decent soundcheck.
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by Wonks »

If you have the time, you'd probably ring out the monitors and do a pink noise EQ balance on the FOH, but you'll need the correct outboard tools or a digital desk to do the latter.

If you have loud on-stage monitoring, then ringing out if you've got the time is a good idea, but you'd mostly get by with EQing the FOH with your standard test tracks. Unless the FOH speakers have to be angled such that they are spilling onto the stage, the only normal cause of feedback from FOH speakers is at the low bass end where the output from subs is pretty much omnidirectional. So if you have a lot of FOH bass, roll off the bass on the monitors to compensate.
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by Eddy Deegan »

Music Wolf wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 7:34 am It might be better if the thread could be titled 'Do you ring out Front of House?' rather than 'rig out mains'.

Done (thanks also to Wonks!) :thumbup:
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by Wonks »

Eddy Deegan wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 8:28 am
Music Wolf wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 7:34 am It might be better if the thread could be titled 'Do you ring out Front of House?' rather than 'rig out mains'.

Done (thanks also to Wonks!) :thumbup:

Awww. Have a Thursday morning hug. :thumbup:
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by Mike Stranks »

I know some respected contributors will always advocate 'ringing-out', but when I was 'on the road' and doing lots of local work I never did.

Correctly placed speakers and monitors, proper gain-staging, appropriate mics, sensible levels etc etc all meant I (almost) never encountered the problems that 'ringing-out' is designed to address.

Sure I'd want to see how much 'spare' I had on mic channels before feedback occurred, but I'd concentrate more on making sure the system was EQ'd to the room using my standard assessment tracks.

Once I'd EQ'd the overall FOH sound I'd spend far more time on the monitor mixes that FOH in the soundcheck.

IME, once the audience arrives the sound of the room can change significantly too. Song 1 was always the 'further tweaks' song. From my observations of other techs' work that was their approach too.

I'm not saying, "Don't" just that I never found it necessary...
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by shufflebeat »

I used to. Nowadays if I'm using a system I'm not famliar with I can usually hear frequencies which will be the first to go. That might be an apparent peak in the high end that shows as sibilance in one particular speaker or an area of muddy confusion in the low mids.

I can do this with a pink noise sweep or a quick "tsk-aaah!" into a known mic.

Ringing out takes longer, annoys people and doesn't take into consideration more than one frequency band at a time.

If my monitors are post EQ, they usually are, then susceptibility to feedback will also be subject to FoH decisions. In this case the monitor sound should be to some extent calibrated according to the FoH sound, which is a more subjective process.

Bottom line - environment has to be musically useful rather than technically correct. Often these are the same thing but not always. I've played on stages where monitors are impressively loud, no feedback but musically useless because I don't have the info I need to make tuning/delivery decisions.
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by James Perrett »

In my experience I would prefer to use a PA that hasn't been rung out. When ringing out people tend to over compensate for resonances and the system ends up sounding awful. There have been a few occasions where I've had to hit the bypass switch on the graphic eqs and the sound has drastically improved. On these occasions I simply accept that I will have to work at a lower (and maybe more sensible) level.
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by Sam Spoons »

Down here amongst the grass roots it's rarely an option so I'm not in the habit of ringing out either FOH or monitors, as with the others above I try to work at levels that avoid issues without needing such measures.
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by Dave Rowles »

Genre and situational dependant for me. If we've got a nice MOR, country, folk or acoustic type gig then I'd never "Ring-out" FOH. I'll use my reference music to do system EQ with a parametric so I've got a nice sounding system and then deal with anything that I need to. Same with monitors, though I'm more likely to need to grab the graphic to do some problem frequencies for the vocalist.

If I've got something that's up to 11, then I'm more likely to try and spot problem frequencies in a more "ringing-out" style, but the point has been made that you can go too far with this. Don't just kill the frequencies dead when you find them.

Intentionally causing feedback on the mic if you've got the time is great to identify frequencies ahead of time, which will make it faster for you in the heat of the moment to zero in on problems and solve it. If I know I've got a high pressure, short setup time gig, then I'll sometimes do a quick squeal test and write down frequencies. But it's by no means my go-to technique.

With all of that said, I did do ring-out when I started. It's a really good way of training your ear and the quicker you can identify frequencies in the live environment the quicker you can react when you're in a s*** and fan situation. Just remember it's a musical thing mixing FOH, so you need to concentrate on it sounding good. Having no feedback but a bad sounding mix is no use.
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by resistorman »

Rarely have to ring monitors, let alone mains these days. Even low-end gear has benefited from design advances.
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Re: Do you ring out Front Of House speakers?

Post by Mike Monte »

I never rig-out my FOH speakers unless I have gig in a gymnasium or other highly-reflective room.
It has been my experience that most ringing/feedback initiates from the monitors.
Maybe I'm lucky but I never get feedback from my rig, monitors and FOH. Once I dialed-in my rig (several years ago) it has been consistent.

Note: I run my monitors (3 or 4 mixes) bi-amped with only the mid/highs going into them. Leaving the lows out of the monitors gets rid of the "rumble" issues. Keys/bass running DI never complain of a lack of lows. (They get their share of low-end from the back of the FOH subs...)

It has been my experience that some people invite feedback by boosting frequencies. If I need more of a certain frequency I dial-back the other frequencies a bit......which works better.
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