The Subang Rally 2007
It was a great event organized by various Christian Fellowships from Subang schools. Held in the Summit, USJ’s auditorium. Here are some of my thoughts: It’s a nice hall to work in, decent hall acoustics, short reverberation time. We got quite a good sound coming out from the sound system. I think event organizers should consider hall acoustics as no.1 / top priority when choosing a venue to hold a full band concert or be it any events.
From my experience, i think the choice of venue can either make or break your event. Here’s my point: There’s no point holding an event if you can’t deliver your objective / message clearly to the crowd when the hall you’re in gives you too much echo and disturbances. So remember, if you’re holding an event where sound quality is important, hall acoustics are extremely important. Several attributes of a hall to be avoided are:
1. Hard / smooth surfaces such as tile floors
2. Hard / smooth and low ceiling
3. Stage with concrete wall at the back / side
4. Stage area too near to crowd area
5. Glass surfaces
6. Halls where opposing walls are reflecting against each other. Eg. Front to Back walls, Side to Side walls (opposing walls create standing waves, reverberation and echo that interferes with each other and affect the quality of sound)
7. Generally, a square box hall is not good for sound
There’s many more to add to the list.
I want to say congrats to the organizers of this event and also good job to the music team. However, I do know that the auditorium is not large enough to accommodate future crowds. I do hope that next year’s rally will be held in a bigger and better venue.
Here are 2 pictures of the rally.
The Subang Rally 2007 ‘ Lift for the Leap’
The Klang Rally 2007
This event was held in Hin Hwa School, Klang organized by various Christian Fellowships from Klang area. It was a night of loud and youthful music. The band was great.
The Klang Rally 2007 ” What If “
However, this event was tough to handle compared to the Subang Rally 2007 for one simple reason: The hall’s acoustics was bad. The left and right of the hall are 2 directly opposing glass walls and the stage sort of has a tunnel like effect. The back of the stage as well as back of the hall are two pieces of solid concrete walls and the ceiling above the stage area creates a tunnel effect.
Sometimes we are forced to work in less than ideal environment. Here are some tips for sound system operators mixing sound in bad acoustics environment:
1. Keep the vocals above the rest (the crowd needs to know what you’re singing / talking in order to get themselves involved)
2. Keep stage monitor volume as low as you can. If musicians / singers complain that they can’t hear themselves, try moving the monitor speakers closer to them instead of raising the stage monitor levels.
3. Place loud instruments such as drums / electric guitars away from singer’s microphone to avoid instrument sounds leaking into vocal microphones or build different level platforms on stage to maximize sound isolation between instruments and vocal microphones. When the vocal microphone doesn’t pick up too much leak / ambient sound from the instruments, you can then push up the vocal volume without bringing up the instruments so that the crowd can hear clearly what the singer is singing
4. Using a drum shield is useful however if the back of the stage is reflective eg. concrete wall, you should try to place some soft material on the wall to help minimize the reflection from the wall otherwise the drum shield is almost useless
5. Ensure that musicians are not blasting away. Kindly request them to play at a comfortable volume eg. adjusting the instrument amplifiers just enough to hear themselves without needing to play or turn up their amplifiers overly loud.
6. Instrument placement is crucial. Eg: loud instruments such as drums, bass and electric guitar placed together and softer instruments such as acoustic guitar and keyboard as well as vocal microphones lumped together. Instrument amplifiers should be pointed towards musicians and away from singer’s microphones. A common practice is facing the instrument amplifiers backwards towards the back of stage however you should beware of reflecting walls.
7. Having the right attitude on stage: Musicians when playing in a band should remember that they are not giving a solo performance but rather they’re playing as a band. If the band has vocalists, then the musicians’ job is to assist vocalists in singing their songs. As for vocalists singing in a bad environment, you should always place the microphone as direct and close to your mouth as possible. This is to ensure that the microphone only picks up your voice and not other sound sources eg: leak sound from other instruments / ambient noise.