How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

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How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

Post by DC-Choppah »

A band I play with has secured a beautiful large wooden octagonal room as a regular practice space.

The jazz band is a full big band with horns and rythm section - about 16 musicians.

This room is an echo box.

I had the band move to one wall where they are close to the wall. This helped.

But what I am considering is something that we can unroll and circle around the band to improve things.

We can't leave stuff behind, so we need something that can be carried in a truck to rehearsal.

Here are some links that show the space.

https://washingtongrovemd.org/community ... the-parks/

https://washingtongrovemd.org/community ... hran-hall/

https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/3 ... tml/w.html

Any thoughts on a practical way to encircle the big band and reduce the echoes?

When this band plays in a proper space they are tight, but playing in the echoey space is difficult.
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Re: How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

Post by Sam Spoons »

As there's no way to do any permanent treatment then why not experiment by asking every band member to bring a quilt and a means of supporting it (clothes horse/boom mic stand or two etc.) and surround the band with improvised gobos? You won't get anything on the ceiling (I'm guessing that is a none starter anyway) but absorbing the reflections off the walls should improve things a fair bit, maybe enough to make the space usable.
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Re: How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

Post by Wonks »

Any chance of finding a better rehearsal space?
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Re: How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

Post by Wonks »

Probably over the top when duvets might do but maybe something like this along with an air compressor?https://www.buitink-technology.com/uk/i ... -barriers/
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Re: How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

Post by RichardT »

Tricky one. Trying duvets as an experiment might work - it’s worth a shot for one rehearsal and then the band can make a judgement as to how much difference it made.
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Re: How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

Post by Jorge »

Opening a window is acoustically similar to placing a sound absorbing panel over the area of that window. But it lets the sound out and also lets the outside noise, cold air, snow and rain in, which may not work. But something to consider, maybe just the windows farthest from where you are all sitting to reduce the echo somewhat.
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Re: How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

Post by DC-Choppah »

Jorge wrote: Fri Mar 17, 2023 1:16 pm Opening a window is acoustically similar to placing a sound absorbing panel over the area of that window. But it lets the sound out and also lets the outside noise, cold air, snow and rain in, which may not work. But something to consider, maybe just the windows farthest from where you are all sitting to reduce the echo somewhat.

Spring is arriving. I will have them try this! The walls are all windows and easy to open. We will try opening all the windows around the octogon.
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Re: How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

Post by Wonks »

Have the blinds been down during rehearsals?

If not, having them fully down should make some difference to the higher frequency reflections, but whether that would be enough difference for you is an unknown.
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Re: How to improve rehearsal space - too much echo

Post by DC-Choppah »

Wonks wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 2:47 am Have the blinds been down during rehearsals?

Yes blinds are down. It's not high frequency echo, its more the fundamentals of the instruments and below. It's a dark resonant kind of echo box.

A note from a horn stays in that room too long.

I am hoping the open windows will help. Its windows all around the octogon so we can open all of them up.
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