Readers' Letters: How to eliminate feedback from an acoustic guitar, and more...

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of

Thursday November 30, 2006

NOTE: This is now quite an old page. Some of the links may not work.

In response to How to eliminate feedback from an acoustic guitar on stage, Ofer Tiberin writes...

use a graphic eq to notch out the feedback frequency, also a lot ot times fliping the phase will give you 3 to 5 db more before feedback.

In response to Q: What is the best way to work in a studio if you are the musician, producer and engineer, all by yourself?, Mark Van Allen writes...

One other option for recording alone is the Frontier Designs Tranzport, pretty much a full function wireless remote, works through walls... I use mine with a ProTools rig for anything I need to record in isolation by myself, and have even handed it to visiting artists who want to work out ideas etc. without running the engineer ragged. Awesome piece of gear for $199.

In response to Q: What is the best way to work in a studio if you are the musician, producer and engineer, all by yourself?, Sergio writes...

I record in the same room I mix (ITB). I did son DIY GOBOs, wich are placed in my room´s corner, when I record I place the gobos and go there and sing. My computer is near silent, its fairly easy to have one of those today, choosing the right pieces. I did some soundproofing to keep outside noises out of my recordings. Till now I am pretty pleased with my setup! Works wonders. Take in account please that the recordings are very dry, and ambience is added later in the mix, so I do not have the usual boxiness sound of the small rooms (10 x 10ft).


In response to How to eliminate feedback from an acoustic guitar on stage, Dan WA State USA writes...

I realize that I am one of the very few who will use a tool in addition to equalizing to remove feedback.

If I cannot replace the speakers position, nor the stage set up with the microphone, I will use a feedback device for that reason alone.

I have had much success with Sabine, DBX, and Behringer units. Especially in performances or events that have several mic's for singing or talking. It is a tool and not a replacement.

I have used it for monitors with an eq to keep the volume loud and clear for stage, and have had those comment on just how loud and clear it was compared to earlier attempts with a 31 band. I don't like mud nor the client not being able to hear well because I couldn't get the level higher due to feedback.

These devices work and work great once you get past the it is another tool in bag to make you better.

RP response: Good comment. However we would say that a beginning engineer should learn the traditional feedback remedies first, and then add a feedback eliminator to that. Using a feedback eliminator without being in control of the basics is not a good plan for success.

In response to How to eliminate feedback from an acoustic guitar on stage, Dav Byrne writes...

Use a puck in the soundhole. By this I mean the propietary "FeedbackBuster". You'll find these in music shops. Then DI the guitar. If the guitar doesn't have a pickup, then your guitarist is probably choosing the wrong guitar to play onstage. Also, the congas should have noisegates on them. If the percussionist needs so much foldback of himself, he's probably not a very good percussionist.

In response to How does MP3 reduce an audio file's size to one-eleventh?, Panos writes...

"One thing puzzles me though. What I would really love to be able to hear is what the audio that is thrown away actually sounds like! Now that would be interesting indeed.

Anyone know how that can be done?"

Well, what if you synchronize original+mp3, phase reverse and mix?

RP response: Ah yes.. that would be nice. Unfortunately if the encoding process affects the phase in any way, then cancelation will not be complete. If anyone knows of an 'inverse mp3' encoder, we would love to know about it.

In response to What is the difference between 0 dB and 0 dBFS?, Frank P.Petrella writes...

well written and to the point

In response to The secret stereo of the Edison phonograph, Charles Frommer writes...

Interesting possibility... Although Edison records, both cylinder and disc, were cut with a vertical ("hill-and-dale") rather than lateral groove modulation, so only the lateral cut disc records made by Victor, Columbia and other such companies would potentially yield the alternate signal.

However, in the very early days of cylinder recording, before around 1904 when a method of mass producing by molding of cylinders was developed, a performer would commonly be required to sing or play the selection over and over again facing a battery of perhaps a dozen machines, each with its own wax cylinder. The cylinders would be recorded all at once, removed and boxed for sale, and blank cylinders would quickly be loaded on all the machines, and the process repeated.

Since the recording horn of each machine was aimed at the performer from a different spot, two different records of the same "take" would likely yield a genuine stereo image. Admittedly, trying to track down such a match from the few surviving copies of fragile records made and sold so long ago would be quite a challenge, but in this age of woldwide communication and databased cataloguing it might well be possible.

In response to Help - my Digi 002 with Pro Tools LE is clicking! - with audio examples, Dajaun Martineau writes...

Hi, I am not sure what the cause of your problem is but I know from my own personal experience that because of the 002s lack of a word clock you can experience clicks and pops due to incorrect clock sources. Check in Setup -> Hardware. If you are using a mic connected directly to an 002 you want to make sure the clock source is set to internal. If you are using an externally clocked device such as a personus digmax lt. (or possibly your avalon depending on what make you have) then you will want it set to ADAT or if you have any other options you should try them. I hope that helps. I know that if i forget to change my clock source depending on what I'm doing it will cause those same pops and clicks. Good Luck!

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