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Can someone explain me what is wrong with the sound on big festivals these days? Everytime I stand in a festival hall/tent there is a lot of rumble, mainly from the bass, sometimes it gets better when I move to another place inside the tent. Is this problem fixable by the sound engineer, who controls the sound live? And is there a best spot, with optimal sound?

I'm looking forward to your answers!

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Your location in relation to speakers (front and eventual delay towers) is extremely important.

Try to place yourself at the point of the equilateral triangle that points out from the speaker, you should in general get the best sound experience:

The golden triangle of great sound

Usually that is also where you find the sound booth.

People tend to move closer, in particular if the crowd does not fill up that area. That is a great mistake (unless you get all the way up at hear actual stage and center/side fill sound.. that sometimes work well too).

Watch out for the delay towers

The delay towers are extra speakers located far away from the main speakers. The sound here is delayed by some milliseconds to compensate for the distance to the main speakers. Sometimes the engineers get that delay number right ;-) Mostly its off and you can hear weird deviations in the high end depending on where you stand. Also the wind plays a larger role here due to the greater distance from main speakers. + If you can't get to the golden triangle point of the speakers, try the same spot for a set of delay speakers, otherwise try to avoid those.

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The best place is where it always has been - as near to the desk as you can get.

That's where it's mixed from, that's where it sounds best.

The only way to 'fix' it is to make compromises somewhere else. If the venue's small enough, you might even see the engineer wandering around the room, checking it out from different places.

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If you are talking about outdoor sound, you just have to remember that sound is vibrations in the air, and outdoors, the wind is seriously messing with the vibrations in the air. And when the venue is full, the wind will be affecting the sound differently than when it was empty during sound check. And you typically have many acts coming and going in a festival, with limited or no sound checks. So it is kind of a perfect storm of circumstances that lead to bad sound.

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