To often, the audio engineer is blamed for a bad sound in the room. Whether it be muffled or piercing or whatever it might be. While this is not necessarily a bad assumption, I think we can take a little pressure off the engineer and move some of the process back to the stage and the musicians and technicians on it. Because that is where everything begins. So here are a few things to think about when you are looking to make your room sound better.
- Instrument Tone and Tuning
- Mic Placement and Isolation
- Proper Vocalist Techniques
Today we will talk about…
Instrument Tone and Tuning
If your guitarist or bass player or drummer or any instrumentalist has a bad tone, your engineer is doing everything they can to fix that in the room. But it needs to begin with your guitarist.They need to fix that at the stage and work with your engineer to get an appropriate tone for the room.
Everyone has their own definition of “good tone”. It is very subjective and fine to have the way you do things on your own time. But when running through a sound system into your space, there are tonal qualities that will be best for your space and that will blend well with other instruments in the room. Your instrumentalists should be working with your audio engineer and the rest of the musical team to craft the best sound for your space together.
If a sound is too bright and brittle, it may stick out too far into a mix. That sort of tone is also not very pleasing in a church worship environment. If your guitar is too dark and thick in tone, it may muddy up a mix or blend into the bass frequencies too much making everything unclear. Every instrument has its tonal space that it needs to inhabit for a good mix. A worship team working together with their audio engineer to create the right sound and atmosphere can add a lot of value to the experience of the congregation.
And if an instrument is out of tune, there is nothing your audio engineer can do about that. Make sure your piano gets tuned regularly. That frequency will vary based on how much you use it. Your guitarist and bass players should be regularly changing their strings and making sure good setup is done on their instruments so that they are keeping tune and able to play effectively. Drummers, learn how to appropriately tune your drums. We will cover that at a later date as well.
Next Installment: Mic Placement and Isolation