Archive for March, 2010

Hiring DJ Equipment

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

DJ equipment include mixers, CD players, turntables, headphones, tables, stands, processors and many others, which are all available for hire. The quality of the equipment matters as much as the skill of the DJ, so you need a good combination of the two to have a great party.

Do some window shopping for DJ equipment

The first thing you need to do is to find out where you can hire DJ equipment and at what cost. DJ equipment has many components, which determine the cost of hiring. You can get a great deal if you do your research well.

Use Simple But Functional Equipment

If you are hiring for the first time, the best thing to do is to get the basic equipment for your DJ gig, instead of going all out and hiring items you may not use. This is especially if you are hired for events where many other activities are going on and people are not entirely focused on music and dancing.

Book The Equipment Early Enough Before The Gig

Most DJ equipment hiring companies require that you book in advance for the equipment. This means that you will need at least 10% of the total hiring charges to book your equipment. Do ask about discounts and other promotional offers that can help you cut costs and take full advantage of them.

Try Out The Equipment And The Different Styles Of Mixing

Once you have chosen the ideal DJ equipment that you need, test its quality yourself. Check the efficiency of the turntables, headphones and mixer, and do the same before the event begins. This ensures that you will be familiar with the equipment and be able to perform well using them.

Keeping these tips in mind will give you excellent results. You will have the best equipment, the best deal for your money, and ultimately the best party.

DIY Wedding Disco Hire, Bristol

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

19/07/2008

Igoe PA provides wedding disco hire equipment packages that a far superior to the quality offered by your average mobile DJ.

Couples get industry standard equipment at an affordable price because Igoe don’t supply a DJ – you can get freinds or family to be DJ or just run your favourite tunes direct from your Laptop / iPod.

Follow this link for more info wedding disco music

DJ Equipment Hire, Glade Festival

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

16/07/2008

Igoe PA supplies DJ equipment hire for clubs, promoters, festivals and events.

We supplied Pioneer CDJ1000s, Technics 1210MK5G  Pioneer DJM600 and Pioneer DJM 800 Mixers to Glastonbury off-shoot – Glade Dance Festival.

School Sports Day PA

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

18/07/2008

We supplied the outdoor pa system hire for Northleaze Primary school sports day.

We provided a 100v line system comprising 4 x outdoor horns to use as an anouncement system. We also supplied a radio mic so that the head of sport could make announcements whilst running around the field spurring on the kids.

Live Sound Talent Contest

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

17/07/2008

We were booked to supply pa system hire with engineers and a lighting rig for a talent contest run by a local bank (who will remain unamed) for members of their staff.

We supplied an 8k EAW rig, Midas FOH with DBX Outboard and a lighting rig with 4 x Robe AT250 spots and some scans, strobe and source 4’s.

It has to be said that the equipment was very much watsed on these people! It wasn’t even fun – simply one of the most painfull evenings me or Alex have ever experienced. OMG… and these were supposed to be the talented ones!

Honestly – it could not have been any worse if you had put a bunch of demented howling dogs on stage – in fact it would have been a lot better. We literally had to take turns going outside just to catch our breath from the brain grating torture.

Hopefully we won’t get asked to do this one again!

Test System for Gatecrasher Club Bristol

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

16/07/2008

This was an unusual one!

The sports Bar (Ritzy 🙂 if your old enough) on Baldwin street had recently closed down and the Gatecrasher chain were looking into buying the premises to create one of their clubs for Bristol.

They were running some tests to check the existing sound proofing and to measure how loud a potential PA system would sound in neighbouring flats. We were asked to bring a 10K rig and run pink noise at extreme levels.

The place was a tip and had obviously not been cleaned since the last night it was used as the sports bar. There was rubbish strewn around, tables not cleared and optics half full of spirits and glasses hanging behind the bar.

We set up the rig as requested in the middle of the day and switched on the pink noise. Pink noise is like a static roar and is used to test pa systems as it is effectively the entire frequency range all at once. As we edged beyond 100 db and then approached 105! which is just deafening! we heard a second roaring noise from the bar – incredibly about 100 hanging wine glasses all shattered simultaneously showering a wide area in millions of shards of glass! I have never seen anything like it – I wish I had it on camera.

Gatecrasher never did take the place on – apparently the required sound proofing would have been far too expensive to install – it was obviously way too loud in neighbouring flats!

Strobe Hire

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

12/07/2008

Yep – you’ve guessed it – we hired out a strobe light.

Martin Atomic with the dedicted “Detonator” control unit.

Speakers Hire Bristol, House Party

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

12/07/2008

We supplied a pair of double 15″ full range speaker boxes for a banging house party in Bristol.

We often find it makes sense to massively over spec. speakers for house parties because students like it so loud that our speakers often come back blown. The only thing that was going to get blown with this rig was the windows.

Eliminating feedback, Getting rid of feedback

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

One of the biggest problems young bands have when starting out is feedback. During rehearsals or whilst playing their first few gigs in pubs or small venues the backline amps are ear splittingly loud but no one can hear the vocals. The engineer is desperately trying to get more but he can’t because the pa is on the verge of feeding back.

This article attempts to explain in simple terms what feedback is, what causes it and how to get rid of it for good.

Feedback is normally heard during a live performance of music or spoken word. It is usually a high pitched squeak which rings out at tremendous volume causing members of the audience to clutch their ears in pain and flee from the venue if it doesn’t stop. 

Feedback is caused by the sound from the PA system over-spilling or feeding back through into microphones, instrument pick-ups or record deck needles and then being amplified again and again through the PA system, looping round and round becoming increasingly loud. At worst it can break loudspeakers and can ruin a live performance if it happens too often.

There are a number of ways to avoid it or eliminate it completely.

Speaker Placement:

If you point a mic at a speaker it’s likely to cause feedback. Make sure that the front of house speakers are at least a few feet in front of any on stage mics. Don’t ever walk in front of the house speakers whilst holding the mic. Face the speakers directly away from the band towards the audience. Obviously monitor speakers have to be pointing back at the band but we will cover this later. It’s a bad idea to place speaker stacks on the stage. You can get low frequency feedback from sound travelling through the floor of the stage from speakers and looping back through drum mics etc. Put the stacks on the floor in front of the stage so that they are not touching the stage at all.

Microphone Choice:

There are generally two types of microphone: dynamic and condenser.

Condenser mics pick up any ambient sound in a room. They don’t need to be near a sound source to pick it up. This makes condensers notoriously bad when it comes to feedback – if they are set with even a modest amount of gain on the desk they will feedback. In live sound applications these types of mics are most commonly used as overhead mics for the drum kit. They need very little gain and are usually just there to reinforce the sound of crashes and ride cymbals etc.

Dynamic mics have a limited area around them that is sensitive to sound. This area is often referred to as the cardioid pattern because of its heart like shape. These mics are ideally suited for vocalists where the singer will put the mic on or next to their lips. Dynamic mics do not pick up other on stage sound so the performance happening through the mic can be isolated in the mixing desk enabling a brighter, cleaner mix. The other advantage of dynamic mics is that they have high gain before feedback characteristics. In other words you can boost the gain on the vocals without causing feedback. If you go too far then feedback will happen but not as much as with a condenser mic.

Mixer Settings

When sound checking mics as a general rule don’t have the gain on the channel at any more than 11 o’clock. If you are not getting enough vocal in the mix and the output volume (Channel Fader) is set at full then either your vocalist is not projecting very well; the mic is too far from their mouth or the pa system is just not keeping up with the backline amps. Try turning the amps down or get a bigger pa.

The Room.

Some rooms are particularly bad for feedback. One club I know has a floor to ceiling mirror at the back of the stage! Sound travels in waves like light so sound coming out of the monitors bounces off the mirror and straight back into the vocal mics causing major feedback problems.  Even if it’s a shiny wall at the back of the stage this can make feedback worse. The solution is to paint it black or drape material to dampen the acoustic reflections.         

Monitors

Monitors go against all the common sense ideas about reducing feedback. They are pointing straight back at the band and generally get pushed harder and harder throughout the gig at the request of the lead singer who insist they can’t hear themselves. If you have followed the other rules and you still have feedback then 9 times out if 10 it’s the monitors.

EQ

Luckily there is an effective solution but it does involve buying (ideally 31 band) graphic EQs for every channel of monitor you will be using and for the left and right of the FOH (Front Of House) mix. A standard gig might have 4 monitor mixes and FOH so you would need 6 channels of EQ. They normally come in pairs. Some people think graphic EQs are simply for tweaking the overall sound of the PA system to suit a room, which is one use, but in fact their main application is in eliminating feedback.

When you get a feedback squeak it’s always at a particular frequency or at a number of different frequencies. This is generally governed by the acoustic properties of the room so it is different depending on which venue you are in. A graphic EQ splits the signal into 31 frequency bands from 20 Hz up to 20 kHz. If you know which frequency the feedback is occurring at then by notching that frequency down on the EQ you can stop it in its tracks. Experienced engineers can hear what frequency feedback is occurring at from having done so many gigs. Beginners can buy graphic EQs with a feedback detection system. This shows you what frequency feedback is occurring at with a little LED signal above the frequency range in question on the EQ.

Ringing out

Obviously it’s best if you can sort out any potential feedback issues before the audience arrive at the gig…this is how it’s done:

Set up the stage with all the mics you will be using and do a quick sound check and get rough levels for monitors.  Now ask the rest of the band to go outside and get some fresh air for 5 minutes while you ‘ring out’ the room.

Start with monitor mix one. Turn down the master faders for the other auxiliary sends.  If you already have feedback in mix one then eliminate the troublesome frequency or frequencies on the corresponding EQ channel. Note: don’t take out too much of any particular frequency or the monitor will start to sound rubbish – just notch it down enough so that the feedback stops. Now gradually turn up the master fader for Auxiliary 1. If you get more feedback on other frequencies then notch these out. You may need to adjust for the initial problem frequency more if it has reared its head again. Turn the auxilary master up a touch more and repeat the process. You don’t need to turn the auxiliary master right up because you will never be doing that during the gig. You just want to make sure you have room to manoeuvre in case the lead vocalist is wanting more and more in his monitor.

Now turn the auxiliary master back down to where you had it during sound check. Repeat this process for all other monitor mixes and for front of house.  

Now you have rung out the room. There should be much less chance of any feedback during the gig and you will be able to get far more out of the monitors and FOH.

Bowling For Soup – Live Sound Engineering

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

10/07/2008

We were asked to provide live sound equipment and an engineer for a one off in store gig at Fopp Music Store on Park Street in Bristol.

The band were the established American rock group Bowling for Soup.

We supplied a pair of EAW MK5166 full range loudspeaker cabinets on stands powered by a Lab Gruppen fp6400 amplifier. We used our Midas Venice 320 mixing desk with BSS graphics and DBX gates and comps. We also provided a pair of Martin Audio wedges powered by Crown.

The gig went off a storm and the shop was victim to stampeded of fans – we were slightly worried for a time but they only played 3 numbers and luckily the crowds quickly dispersed.