08.02.2017 | Ausgabe 1/2017

Low Frequency Control

(Illustration: M. van Veen, Photo: Michael Kappel)

Tight and punchy low frequencies with lots of impact are one of live sound’s most highly acclaimed achievements. Outside this comes naturally but inside, more often than not, it can be really challenging.

This article features a small segment of a much longer article which can be found at my website (www.merlijnvanveen.nl ). For this magazine, I chose to focus on arguably the most challenging force to reckon with regarding low frequency reproduction which is reverberation in enclosed spaces. We’re dealing with wavelengths ranging from a 12 meter long intermodal shipping container to a Mini Cooper of “merely” 3 meters in length (figure 1). This order of magnitude makes these frequencies notoriously hard to control and absorb. They abide by the same rules of physics but typical solutions like horns would have to be so big, that we might as well leave the speakers in the truck and drive it onto stage. When left unchecked these frequencies can wreak havoc on an otherwise good mix or even become a separate entity all together.

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