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What's the best place to play?
Finding the best place to play
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New member
September 28, 2016 - 9:56 pm
Member Since: September 28, 2016
Forum Posts: 1
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Is playing in a loud echoey room better than playing in a closet with a bunch of clothes in it? I have a house with all wooden floors, and there is a BUNCH of echo when I play my violin. My brother recommended playing in the closet to help absorb some of the sound. When I play in the closet, I sound crappy on recordings, and I get super super super frustrated.  But in the echoey room, I sound a lot better.  Which one is the better place to play?

Far North-west Scotland

September 29, 2016 - 4:36 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1567
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I'd go for the room any time.   Largely what you are hearing is "reverb" rather than "echo" - but - that's a moot point.   Reverb is commonly added to studio recorded vocals, for instance - a mixed-in "delay" of 10-to-30 mSec, possibly repetitively added in at lower and lower amplitudes.   Precisely "how" this echo/reverb is perceived is quite a complex process in the brain - both by the player and the listeners.

Reverb gives an added "richness" and "interest" to the sound.   In fact, if playing as a solo with no other instruments or backing, added reverb (natural from the room, or electronically) can bring what could otherwise be a "relatively uninteresting" sound, to life.  It is this lack of reverb you experience when playing in the clothing cupboard.

For solid-body electric instruments such as the electric violin or guitar which lack the natural resonances from the sound-box it is virtually recognized as standard procedure to electronically add various effects, reverb being one of the most important.  Without it, I describe the EV sound as "sterile", lacking interest.

"Echo" as such, to my mind anyway - is much the same as reverb, it's just that it would involve a much longer delay and would arrive back at the originators ears as a quite distinct, and separate sound - like shouting "Helloooo" in a quarry or whatever and some noticeable time later hearing it coming back at you....   whereas with a much much shorter delay in "reverb" the reflected sound is being actively mixed with and added to, the original....

I suppose there would be a sort of limit on just how much reverb you would be willing to live with before the sound just became too "boomy" for your liking, but that would more likely occur in a large (and empty of audience) hall.

Both sound production and a listener's perception of it can be quite a complex thing to describe - it's like "you have to be there" LOL

Just my thoughts....  but I'd stick with the room "echo" - besides - you'd have a very limited audience playing in the cupboard !!!!

My brother recommended playing in the closet to help absorb some of the sound.

Are you sure he doesn't have a hidden agenda here ?   roflI'm just kidding with you ! 

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)


September 29, 2016 - 10:59 am
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 814
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I'd go for the big room.

I love a big empty-ish room. When I dog sit, the apartment I stay at is an open layout, decorated minimally with wood floors. The dining room area is almost like a stage at the end of the living room. I love playing my violin there.

In my house I play in my bedroom since it's the largest room in the house, and sloped ceilings, no room in the house has great sound, though.
Favorite place to play? Empty church. I've gotten to do it a couple times now, and I love it. It makes me feel like I play so much better than I actually do, lol.

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

Advanced member
September 29, 2016 - 8:03 pm
Member Since: June 7, 2016
Forum Posts: 70
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Generally, you're going to find the echoey room more pleasant. If it's too echoey, take  a few of those clothes and hang them in various spots around the room. They'll dampen the echoes some, and make it more of a practice room and less of an echo chamber.  (How many to use is up to you. I'd start off with one at a time until it gets toned down to where you like it best.)

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