Main Forums >> Live Sound & Performance
        Print Thread

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)
jimdrake
new member


Joined: 29/10/02
Posts: 602
Loc: wherever
getting bands to turn down their amps
      #57010 - 02/12/04 03:41 AM
I spend quite some time doing sound at the student union at my university for live band nights and things of that nature. we have a lot of very good kit and a pa that is of a suitable power rating for the venue, although the shape of the room is not ideal.

however, we always have problems with loud guitar amps. the height of the stage means that the cabs tend to point straight at the audience's ears. they are rarely quiet enough as to need reinforcement by the pa.

when we ask the bands to turn down their amps we are always told that the sound is different at lower volumes and that they like the sound at higher levels. this is the typical response you get from a guitarist but i have yet to be shown that this is true.

is there anyone out there with more expereince that has found a solution to this problem?

i think it would be best to have a rack full of pod type boxes. we could say to the bands that they cannot use their amps on stage during the gig but they can set them up just to look cool. we can spend as much time as they want tweaking the pods to make it sound as close to their favourite amp as possible. would this persuade the bands with the biggest egos?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
alan elliot
new member


Joined: 26/03/04
Posts: 113
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57017 - 02/12/04 04:45 AM
One option is to use a power soak.
power soak
These devices work by placing a series of resistors between the output of a high-level (100-W) tube amp and a speaker cabinet, which "soaks up" an amp's output - though it can still be pinned at maximum volume, for full distortion effect. Thus you get the great sound with a lower volume.
Using the Pods is a viable alternative but you'll need good monitoring for the band. I Engineer for a band that uses Pods live and they sound great, plus with the Sound diver software you can get some really cool f**ked up sounds.
Cheers
Alan


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57018 - 02/12/04 04:47 AM
If someone said that I had to use a POD then I wouldn't play there!

Musicians need to work in the zone that lets them perform. As soon as you start messing with their amps then they will be worried! How many venues have I played where the sound engineer wants to get the band on without making the stage area give adiquate info to the band members. All they want is to mix FOH. Do you even know what it's like to play a gig as a three piece and not be able to hear the guitars or vocals! What is it like on stage left i.e. can you hear the other band members across the other side of a drumkit?

Good live sound engineers are rare! POD's!!! You numb nuts!

Insted why don't you build safe and stable platforms to raise the speakerboxes to ear height for the amped up musos?
Alternatively you could instist on putting quad boxes and the like off-stage and run a mic from there. Do you even have monitors?

I tell you, I've played venues where all the treble disappears from the stage area. Now as a bassist it feels like all the articulation and attack from your fingers has gone! On top of this the energy of the sound for the band is missing and you feel tired and you overplay i.e. dig in to your instrument too much. Insted of interfereing with musos using PODs try to focus on the on stage sound for a good performance and make the stage area work for the musicians!

As soon as my main band can afford it we'll train someone up to replace guys like you at venues for damn sure!

Regards,
bassdude


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57126 - 02/12/04 11:01 AM
Yes. Point the cabs at the players. Then they get the screechy trebly gunk that the audience normally gets (that the guitarist can't hear)

Bassdude, Jimdrake was only trying to sort sounds out, without realising that amps are part of the instument. Seems like he wants good sound, and there are many bands with ludicrous levels on the amps, so it's then impossible to get any balance at at all!

But loads of bands will turn down, if you point out that OK, you may sacrifice your individual sound a bit, but the music and the band will come across much better, if the amp is quieter.

It all comes down to the band and engineer trusting one another.

G

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
jimdrake
new member


Joined: 29/10/02
Posts: 602
Loc: wherever
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57399 - 02/12/04 06:35 PM
bassdude, that is exactly the attitude we are often faced with.

i understand the point about wanting to fiddle with the band's amps and how this may put them off. the point i was making was how to offer this system in a way that could persuade them of the huge benefits. alan points out that he has used this method and is pleased with the sound.

the power soak could be a good thing to try, however, not all bands turn up with separate amp head and cab systems.

your post is insulting in many ways.

it implies that i have no knowledge of what it is like to play in a band. in fact i have been playing drums and percussion for about 6-7 years and have played in a variety of different groups from symphony orchestras and jazz bands to death metal style rock noise bands. i have a grade 5 music theory and grade 8 performance under my belt if you want to be picky. i have played in many venues with little to no monitoring and a crap (~500w) pa.

you also imply that myself and the friends i work with are poor sound engineers. most of the sound engineers (including me) working at the union are on a music and sound recording course that is regarded by very high standards throughout the music industry. we run many events both at the union and at outside gigs, and have a huge amount of experience between all of us. for more info check here: http://ussu-crew.co.uk/ (this site looks crap and is out of date but has some useful info on)

you also imply that the equipment we use is not good enough (less of an insult, but you know what i mean.)

we always run sparate monitor and foh mixes for big gigs.

for monitors we have a 40ch soundcraft mh3 desk. normally we run 3-4 pairs of monitors as well as a drum fill. all run with active crossovers. i'm not sure about the power rating but i would guess about 500-1000w per each monitor pair and around 1kw for the drum fill. i don't know the specs so i may be wrong.

for foh we run a similar spec yamaha desk with a renkus heinz pa. each stack for the pa uses a box with 2 high, 2 mid and 2 low drivers and a box with 2 sub drivers. all run with active crossovers. we have three of these stacks each side of the stage. again, i would guess around 8-10kw for the total power rating.

although the raised/angled guitar cabs are a good idea, the point i was trying to make more was the COMMUNICATION of the idea with the bands. Guy Johnson said that 'loads of bands will turn down, if you point out that OK, you may sacrifice your individual sound a bit, but the music and the band will come across much better, if the amp is quieter.'

this is more of the point that i was making, in that, in my experience this is not true.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57465 - 02/12/04 09:03 PM
Hi jimdrake,

Sorry for venting but the POD thing suggested that you aren't very empathic with musicians. I've had countless gigs where the soundguy is trying to prove their worth by either coming across all authoritarian, bullying or trying to be a member of the band. So often the scenario with these little Hitler’s is that a musicians experiences colour his gigging set up. If you interfere with how a muso pulls through a gig that has an awful stage environment with poor on stage acoustics and no care given by the SE for setting up any monitoring then this is how musos get over that situation. No just through inexperience but through gigs where they've had no alternative but to crank things up to get the part of their sound that allows them to articulate on the instrument.

Guy Johnson made the point about the amp being a part of the instrument. This is a fundamental thing. Hey Mark Knopfler I don't want you to use that Soldano amp ere plug into my POD we'll approximate your tone with that etc etc.

To put it in drum terms... imagine saying to a drummer those cymbals are a bit piercing so I want you to use these Roland V cymbals instead! Or I don't want you to tune your toms to the room but instead I'll attach some triggers to your kit and use an Alesis DM4!

As for the power soak thing... they are quite expensive, so what would you do with a 2 or 3 guitar band?

Here in Melbourne there are sound engineers all over the place. SAE and other places are churning them out. And for the most part even the ones who are trained for the live side of things all want to go for the glory of FOH without taking the time to get the stage happening. I was speaking strongly to you to make things stick in your head!

As a muso I want to replace guys like you because they...

Don't know what my band wishes are in terms of presenting their sound ie getting the kind of mix we want.

They suggest PODs!

They make you compromise your performance by not looking after the stage environment enough or changing thing that work for me to suit themselves.

Their egos extend beyond making the PA work for the room and think they are artistically creating a FOH mix... to their own aesthetic idea. De-emphasising elements in the sound that are fundamental to the individual musos enjoyment of the sound and performance as agree upon by the band.

I could go on and on. There are many soundguys out there who have no empathy with musos even when they are or have been a player themselves. Different hats making them forgetful or insensitive to the needs of all the instruments apart from the ones they’ve put a little thought into.

How many god dam gigs do I have to do where there is no set up time and I'm playing from memory as the sound engineer doesn't realise that the musicians can hear nothing on the stage especially outdoors but in some pubs and clubs also. I've literally had to watch the singers foot and play from memory and watch their hands and mouth for any clue whatsoever.

I've played gigs where the FOH mix was wonderful and people come up to me afterwards and say how much they loved the gig but because of the stage environment there has been no joy in it for me at all. Robbed by the F'in SE off all joy of playing.

I personally have my cab not too loud and at ear height at every gig I do. But sometimes I've lost the beginning of the gig due to poor stage environment and had to step back to my cab because some numb nuts SE is messing around and forgot to put the monitors right. I'm coming out from a DI to FOH and I'm getting no guitarist/singer on the other side of the drums and meanwhile I'm back at my amp and guessing the cues. At this point the enjoyment and relaxation are gone! It takes ages to get back into the zone and I've had to move out of the spotlight. I'm in a 3 piece! What is that like for the audience! What’s it like when say a pillar blocks the view of the singer and the bass player is out of the lights near his amp! Do things seem like a show now! Or have the audience got a first impression of introverted boars.

I think most live SE should be marched off premises. The incompetence is almost constant. Good live SE's are very rare let alone beginners on some course.

Rather than being offended try and have a good think about empathising with the F'ing musos up there performing. Make things right for them above FOH and your own jollies. If everything is set-up for muso enjoyment and performance then the rest can be prioritised second.

Regards,
bassdude


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57540 - 02/12/04 11:50 PM
. . . I never willingly admit I'm an engineer, to any nice new musos I meet - because there are so many bad ones. Not much comfort that there are loads of bad bands!

G

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #57611 - 03/12/04 09:13 AM
You are right about the bad bands thing Guy. They're everywhere!

As for live SE's I am always polite to their faces! But you know it's nothing against the person even if he/she is not to competent. Face to face you always have to kiss arse if you want good things said about you at the venue so that it gets back to the booker!

But in cyberspace I can be candid. I truly hope that the message gets across from what I've said. It's amazing how a SE can rob a muso of enjoyment in their performance. I actually use to rent out my PA back when I lived in the UK. I was a live sound SE. Except I put the musicians first which leads to better performances. It's a good feeling to have the band come up to you and say they loved the stage environment and then their cronies in the audience come up AND compliment on FOH as well.

I think these live SE courses should have the motto of the course as
"FOH aint the be all and end all."

The live sound engineer hasn't gone to rehearsals and does not interact with the performers, doesn't write the songs nor make any development in the arrangements. He will never be part of the band. He can't take any credit for the performance other than not being a hindrance! His FOH mix isn't necessarily how the band would like to sound and all they really have to do is have the PA set-up properly and do a competent mix. It's not rocket science. You don't need to talk to musicians about the room characteristics to prove something to them! If you do what I've suggested then you will be sincerely thanked and given respect by the performers unless they've got no manners!

Regards,
bassdude

PS bands usually have experienced playing in more rooms than the SE has experienced! Just a thought.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
John G
member


Joined: 13/11/01
Posts: 290
Loc: UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Octopussy]
      #57669 - 03/12/04 11:10 AM
Bassdude - you are talking [ ****** ]. As we are in cyberspace, I’ll be candid also.

Before I go on - I am a full time sound engineer and about 60-70% of my work is live. The rest recorded. I am also a trained musician with a 1st Class Bmus Hons, and played in professional bands for much of my earlier life. I feel I have an insight into both sides.

Firstly - I agree that courses are churning out loads of crap sound engineers. A whole other topic covered many times. What I will add is that they don’t stay working for very long though.

I have read over this forum carefully, and written some replies to your stuff. This isn’t personal, but I want to defend sound engineers against some of your rash comments.

Post 1:

”Someone said that I had to use a POD then I wouldn't play there! “

Good call. No musician should be asked to change their setup by an engineer. The amp is part of the integral sound of a musician’s instrument. Day one stuff.

If musicians are using a POD already – GREAT. They do make life very easy and reduce stage noise.
I heard about one gig where the entire band was on PODS and DI’s and using in ear monitoring. Stage noise was zero! But that is the musician’s choice.

“How many venues have I played where the sound engineer wants to get the band on without making the stage area give adiquate info to the band members. “

How many gigs have I engineered where I receive NO tech specs from the band or management in advance, and the band turn up late?! You get the Rider – 20 cans of stella, four hot meals, payment by cheque on the night, etc. But no stage plot, mic list – nothing. It works both ways.

At my regular venue I always make a point of:

1) Contacting the band or management in advance to check the specs and arrival time, so I can rig the pa and place mics in advance. I even set a monitor mix and EQ the wedges roughly to those positions if possible.
2) I always personally show the band to their dressing rooms, where their empties should go, etc.
3) Check they have all they need. Tea, coffee, etc. Simple things.

I am not the only engineer I know who does this of course.

“All they want is to mix FOH. Do you even know what it's like to play a gig as a three piece and not be able to hear the guitars or vocals! What is it like on stage left i.e. can you hear the other band members across the other side of a drumkit? Good live sound engineers are rare! “

I see your point. From what you say it sounds like you are doing small gigs without a separate monitor desk and engineer. When I do monitors from FOH, the mix on stage is always as important as out front. I pride myself on this. I spend 70% of sound check times working with the band without anything coming out front just to get stage noise. I can throw a FOH mix together in one song once the band is happy, but I keep in mind that when sound is coming out front things change on stage again.

Post 2:

“To put it in drum terms... imagine saying to a drummer those cymbals are a bit piercing so I want you to use these Roland V cymbals instead! Or I don't want you to tune your toms to the room but instead I'll attach some triggers to your kit and use an Alesis DM4!”

I think this a great example why a sound engineer should not tell the musician what instruments to be using.

”As for the power soak thing... they are quite expensive, so what would you do with a 2 or 3 guitar band?”

Another good point. Expense is always an issue. The other solutions mentioned here are more viable.

”Here in Melbourne there are sound engineers all over the place. SAE and other places are churning them out. And for the most part even the ones who are trained for the live side of things all want to go for the glory of FOH without taking the time to get the stage happening.”

This is a shame. What is more of a shame is that you are coming across these guys working in venues.

I worked my way up on work experience from age sixteen, crewing on stage at festivals for sixteen hour + days. I learnt more in one day of work experience than I did in three years on a degree that had an ‘engineering element to it’. I didn’t touch a decent console for two years apart from tipping it onto a stand.

”I could go on and on. There are many soundguys out there who have no empathy with musos even when they are or have been a player themselves. Different hats making them forgetful or insensitive to the needs of all the instruments apart from the ones they’ve put a little thought into.

How many god dam gigs do I have to do where there is no set up time and I'm playing from memory as the sound engineer doesn't realise that the musicians can hear nothing on the stage especially outdoors but in some pubs and clubs also. I've literally had to watch the singers foot and play from memory and watch their hands and mouth for any clue whatsoever. “


Seriously - If you are having these problems you should be touring with your own engineer. See below.

”I think most live SE should be marched off premises. The incompetence is almost constant. Good live SE's are very rare let alone beginners on some course.”

No. March the sound engineers of the premises and you will sound [ ****** ] out front as well as on stage. What a stupid comment.

”Rather than being offended try and have a good think about empathising with the F'ing musos up there performing. Make things right for them above FOH and your own jollies. If everything is set-up for muso enjoyment and performance then the rest can be prioritised second.”

How could I not be offended?! Well, I'm not offended actually. Just frustrated by your ignorance. You statements are so sweeping and throw all SE’s in together. But I am not as offended at this point yet as by your next comments.

“The live sound engineer hasn't gone to rehearsals and does not interact with the performers, doesn't write the songs nor make any development in the arrangements. He will never be part of the band. “

How inexperienced as a working musician you are beginning to sound.

Bands who tour with their own engineer tend to consider the engineer in the opposite way to that you describe. In fact, one band I tour with will often announce to the audience the FOH engineer as “our sixth member”.

All signed professional bands (with few exceptions) tour with there own engineers. Often the engineer that may have worked with them in the studio – developing arrangements, effects, mixes. They know how the band sound and their input is often a characteristic of the bands sound – and many feel as artistically important.

Professional touring bands may rehearse with their engineer. And an engineer does interact with performers – particularly why you have a monitor engineer for that specific purpose!!!

“He can't take any credit for the performance other than not being a hindrance! “

Bollocks. If the monitor engineer makes you feel comfortable and sound good on stage, you will perform better.

"His FOH mix isn't necessarily how the band would like to sound and all they really have to do is have the PA set-up properly and do a competent mix. It's not rocket science.

It is not as simple as you make it sound. Live sound (IMO) is slightly more difficult in some respects to recorded as there are major room elements to contend with, and stage noise... etc. Sometimes acheiving a decent mix can be difficult if the PA is rubbish as well. My main advice to you is take your own engineer with you.

“PS bands usually have experienced playing in more rooms than the SE has experienced! Just a thought.”

You cannot really believe that, can you? I can do seven sound gigs a week - sometimes more. How many gigs do you play a week? You have experienced playing many rooms – not listening to more rooms. You haven't had to solve issues with uneven bass response caused by standing waves, or whatever. All you have to worry about is whether it sound good to you. The engineer has the members of the band, and the audience to think about.

“If you do what I've suggested then you will be sincerely thanked and given respect by the performers….”

The suggestions you make basically describe the service that I would expect from any of my colleagues. I think that if you band get bigger and start playing better venues – your frustrations will be eased.

It seems to me from what you describe you are meeting a lot of inexperienced and incompetent engineers. What has spurred my reply is your overall reference to sound engineers in general. I don’t think you have ever toured with your own sound engineer and it sound like you are doing gigs at venues with a FOH guy also doing monitors and you don’t seem to realize that this can be a difficult job.

Perhaps your frustrations should be directed at the promoter or venue manager or directly to the engineer - and not at sound engineers in general.

Also, keep in mind the age old sound engineer’s expression:

“You can’t polish a turd!”

Cheers.

John


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10646
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57686 - 03/12/04 11:35 AM
I'm afraid that I'm with Guy and Bassdude here. Unless you are working for the band and they have specifically asked you to help them choose the best gear to use, a live sound engineer should never try to persuade a band to use different gear. Unfortunately, I've seen young sound engineers straight out of college try to impose their own way of doing things too often. Chances are that these guys will have been shown one way of doing things and they assume that there is only that one way to do these things.

The best live sound engineers know that they're working for two masters, the band and the audience, and their job is to keep both happy. It helps if you have separate monitor and FOH engineers but they still need to be aware of each others' jobs. In fact, keeping the band happy is probably more important than keeping the audience happy - if the band like you then chances are they'll want to work with you again. The ability to get around problems quickly is possibly more important than knowing how to create a good mix. If you're working with a great engineer you probably won't even realise that there has been a problem.

Cheers.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
John G
member


Joined: 13/11/01
Posts: 290
Loc: UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: James Perrett]
      #57688 - 03/12/04 11:40 AM
As always, well said James. I didn't really make that clear, but of course if you are covering both FOH & Mons, you must try and keep everyone happy.

My gripe is with BassDude lumping in all sound engineers together.

Cheers.

John

Edited by John G (03/12/04 11:44 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10646
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: John G]
      #57691 - 03/12/04 11:47 AM
Quote John G:


It seems to me from what you describe you are meeting a lot of inexperienced and incompetent engineers. What has spurred my reply is your overall reference to sound engineers in general. I don?t think you have ever toured with your own sound engineer and it sound like you are doing gigs at venues with a FOH guy also doing monitors and you don?t seem to realize that this can be a difficult job.






I think what spurred my last reply was that, as both a touring sound engineer and as an artist, I've been subjected to poor sound engineers and they're often people either at an educational establishment or not long out of an educational establishment so they think they know all there is to know about sound engineering. They're not able to realise their limitations and admit that they don't know a way around a problem.

In contrast, most of the more experienced engineers that I've worked with just get on with the job without fuss and will sometimes discuss their past bodges with amazing candour. They're comfortable with their abilities and have nothing to prove.

Cheers.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Dave Gate
active member


Joined: 02/02/04
Posts: 1353
Loc: M6/M61/M60/M62/M65
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57711 - 03/12/04 12:22 PM
As a venue production manager who deals with a lot of sound engineers, and lighting engineers for that matter (in fact lighting is most of what I do nowadays) I can say that at most of the gigs I've worked on more time has been spent on setting up the monitor mix and making sure the band is happy than on FOH as a good engineer can get a good PA sound without a lot of trouble, particularly if they know the room and the kit.

For the record although I work for a students' union and employ students as staff I would never allow them to mix FOH or monitors on any gig - I always get an engineer (or two) from my friendly local PA company, who supplied me with our setup and hire us extras when we need them, if the band don't have their own people.

In the same way when I am doing lights for a band whose music I don't know, which often happens as a lot of bands tour without someone to do the lighting, I always talk to band and tour manager to find out what sort of looks they want, if there's any specific looks for specific pieces, and if there's anything they particularly don't want. So with one fairly well known rock band I had a very easy night as they said: no smoke, no strobes, no moving lights and try and avoid flashing them too much. Four colour wash and spots all night; which would usually be what the support band got.

--------------------
Gear List: reverse only.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
John G
member


Joined: 13/11/01
Posts: 290
Loc: UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: James Perrett]
      #57723 - 03/12/04 12:42 PM
Quote James Perrett:

[
I think what spurred my last reply was that, as both a touring sound engineer and as an artist, I've been subjected to poor sound engineers and they're often people either at an educational establishment or not long out of an educational establishment so they think they know all there is to know about sound engineering. They're not able to realise their limitations and admit that they don't know a way around a problem.

In contrast, most of the more experienced engineers that I've worked with just get on with the job without fuss and will sometimes discuss their past bodges with amazing candour. They're comfortable with their abilities and have nothing to prove.




Hi James. Initially, I wasn't going to post anything on this thread - I rarely have time these days apart from today. I also agree with all you are saying - maybe my rant was a bit rash, but in particular the part of the post that annoyed me was:

"The live sound engineer hasn't gone to rehearsals and does not interact with the performers, doesn't write the songs nor make any development in the arrangements. He will never be part of the band. He can't take any credit for the performance other than not being a hindrance! His FOH mix isn't necessarily how the band would like to sound and all they really have to do is have the PA set-up properly and do a competent mix. It's not rocket science."

I agree that a decent engineer just gets on with it. I was a bit annoyed with the implication by BassDude that an engineers input is not important to the development of the material or sound of a band. I feel that when he starts working with his own engineer many of his problems will be solved, and perhaps he'll realize how important a touring engineer can be to making a band's life easy.

By highlighting my quote above, I assume that you are disgreeing with it. To be honest, of the entire rant you have highlighted, the bit I think was irrelevant in my post was that section.

I'm not trying to say that the SE bassdude is experiencing aren't crap. I'm just saying his post was generally aimed at everyone - I wouldn't say to him all muso's are pants because they do not turn upon time occasionally, or make mistakes or play to loud. It was the generalization I was trying to correct.

Cool.

John


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57870 - 03/12/04 03:47 PM
Hi John G,

actually I wasn't aiming this at the guys who would be freelance and taken on by a band. I totally was aiming for the SE who volunteers and becomes part of the furniture at a venue.

A freelance SE who has become part of the show, knows what the band want in terms of mix for FOH and or mons etc is infact the opposite of what I was going on about. So if you thought that I was refereing to people who are skilled live SE's and work as part of a touring crew or because a band knows his or her work then that's a whole other ball game entirely.

I've had my chances at the big money in other situations than I'm in now. Endorsment deals all over the place etc etc. but for most of my work I've aimed myself at working with talented aquaintances and friends! There are some peices of work out there in pro band land and I have happened to have had some bad band experiences! So most of my work is clubs, outdoor festivals and pubs; especially here in Australia. But then I've had to relocate here and set up a life and support a new wife and get the right visas n' all kinds of crud. In fact I've only been gigging here just over a year!

Anyone who has reacted to my comments then to me that's good so long as it makes you think. But if I've sounded derogatory about experienced and capable SE's then it wasn't meant. But they are as rare as hen's teeth!

Regards,
bassdude


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
John G
member


Joined: 13/11/01
Posts: 290
Loc: UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57891 - 03/12/04 04:06 PM
Bassdude...

You know what. I apologise. I need to chill out a bit.
If I spent more time here on the forum, it probably would have been obvious to me that you were referring to specific house engineers rather than touring, and just trying to provoke some thought.

That said, I have a house gig in addition to touring with bands and always work with the band to get the things you mention right. But, I can see your point about 'engineers' who have graduated from courses but don't actually know what they are doing. They don't have the experience yet to cope with the situtations they have talked their way into. If only these courses forced and these people to spend six monthes in a wharehouse, and doing ins & outs for PA companies before they even touch a desk and start messing up other peoples gigs.

What they really need to do is sit back, do some stage work patching and mic'ing up for a while under an experienced engineer, and learn from what they do.

I was lucky that I was taken under my wing by a load of top sound guys when I was seventeen or so, so by the time I got to uni I had already worked main stage reading, etc. and learnt that way.

Anyway. Enough of me chatting. Hope that your gigs go well in the future, and that you kick these SE's you are having problems with into shape.

John

Edited by John G (03/12/04 04:06 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
xFasterMikeyH



Joined: 08/10/04
Posts: 443
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #57921 - 03/12/04 04:56 PM
Quote jimdrake:

when we ask the bands to turn down their amps we are always told that the sound is different at lower volumes and that they like the sound at higher levels. this is the typical response you get from a guitarist but i have yet to be shown that this is true.


LOL Mate, sit down with a guitar amp and record it at different levels.

FWIW having done lots of SUs up and down the country I empathise with the bands you're dealing with. In all possiblity you are one of the decent SEs, but if they've done any gigs at all they will have come up against some terrible in house guys and therefore will be fairly unhappy with one advising them about their sound.

My personal favourite was the FOH guy who (during soundcheck) didn't seem able to hear the massive bass rumble/feedback that was going on. Eventually, when it became clear that he wasn't going to do anything about it, we stopped playing and he nearly spilled his tea reaching for the faders.

In your defence most bands are [ ****** ], have massive egos and don't have a clue about sound, so you're in a lose-lose scenario. Oh well.

FMH


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
jimdrake
new member


Joined: 29/10/02
Posts: 602
Loc: wherever
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: xFasterMikeyH]
      #57948 - 03/12/04 06:03 PM
Quote xFasterMikeyH:

Mate, sit down with a guitar amp and record it at different levels.




i think you may be missing my point.

if you are playing a guitar at two different levels then it WILL sound different.

the volume will be different and it may also have a different timbre to it. HOWEVER this change in timbre does not mean that the SOUND being produced is actually different due to the way we perceive sound at different levels.

i would like to try the following setup to prove/disprove your point.

set up a guitar amp and a monitor next to each other. play the guitar through the amp at a high level, as if you were with your band. this will sound stupidly loud if you are on your own. you don't tend to realise how loud things are when you are in the middle of gig. try and record this level so it is accurately repeatable.

now turn the amp down to a suitable practice volume. in a live gig this would reduce spill into foh probably completely. mic up the amp and send it through the monitor. if you can accurately repeat the level on the guitar amp then you should now be able to a/b the difference.

i would bet that there is little to no difference. if i'm wrong then i'm wrong.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Dave Gate
active member


Joined: 02/02/04
Posts: 1353
Loc: M6/M61/M60/M62/M65
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #58043 - 03/12/04 11:44 PM
The thing is - and I don't mean to be either patronising or offensive by saying this - in this day and age when students' unions are under a tremendous amount of commercial pressure any SU that cannot deliver the goods in a professional manner needs to reassess their modus operandi.

Having worked in the field for a while I have heard so many stories about SUs that have volunteer crews who either don't get paid, or get paid in beer; but if they've found the get-in of a show too hard they just don't turn up for the get-out, which in the end gives the whole sector a bad name.

Often worse than this are the SUs that run the crew as a society, so the senior people (stage manager and the like) are not the people who are best at the job but the ones who are the most popular.

Having said that I know of commercial venues where the crew are effectively the DJ's mates; and you just have to hope that they turn up at the end and aren't too pissed to work.

As far as I'm concerned I work for a Students Union and I expect my venue to be run on a professional level from the top down. That may cost more money, but if you are serious about what you do then it's worth it in the long term. After all Manchester Academy is a student union venue which is also one of Manchester's most sought after venues.

--------------------
Gear List: reverse only.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
Posts: 9318
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #58063 - 04/12/04 12:34 AM
Quote jimdrake:

Quote xFasterMikeyH:

Mate, sit down with a guitar amp and record it at different levels.




i think you may be missing my point.

if you are playing a guitar at two different levels then it WILL sound different.

the volume will be different and it may also have a different timbre to it. HOWEVER this change in timbre does not mean that the SOUND being produced is actually different due to the way we perceive sound at different levels.

i would like to try the following setup to prove/disprove your point.

set up a guitar amp and a monitor next to each other. play the guitar through the amp at a high level, as if you were with your band. this will sound stupidly loud if you are on your own. you don't tend to realise how loud things are when you are in the middle of gig. try and record this level so it is accurately repeatable.

now turn the amp down to a suitable practice volume. in a live gig this would reduce spill into foh probably completely. mic up the amp and send it through the monitor. if you can accurately repeat the level on the guitar amp then you should now be able to a/b the difference.

i would bet that there is little to no difference. if i'm wrong then i'm wrong.





1) I rather LIKE John G, and In every respect, although he misunderstood bassdude to an extent, his answer was bang on the money..... having done the same job, I can't emphasise enough how much i agree with him.... and the MOST enjoyable gig of all IMHO is that of the "6th band member" tour engineer.....

2) Guitar amps........ Hmmmmm

First off, barring the use of a power soak, yes they DO sound different at high levels, when pushed hard, the power stage has it's own effect on the tonality, and introduces distortions that are NOT present at lower levels..... so I'm afraid that IS true, and it's NOT merely a perceptual difference.

AND the speaker cones behave slightly differently when being run hot and hard...... adding their own colour as well...... usually however, this is slightly less critical when talking about level, although the speakers ARE important overall........
HOWEVER

Most guitarists, ( some for their entire careers), buy Amps AND Cabs that are simply over specified for the job in the current day and age. Back in the days of the Weedy PA in the 70's and into the early 80's , it was often the case that you NEEDED a 100 Watt Marshall full (2 4x12's) stack running at full tilt to get the guitar sound out into the crowd, especially with smaller under powered PA's in medium sized venues....

The trouble is that when you stand right in front of one of these monsters, you cannot actually hear what it's doing ! you need to be a good 20 feet or more away from it to appreciate it's full sound.........

Sadly the jobbing Engineer cannot really expect much hope of the visiting band going out and buying a 30-50 Watt amp just coz he says so....

These days, with even a moderate PA, a 30-50 Watt Amp, really is All that's required, and can produce that power stage distortion at much moire moderate stage levels, leaving the monitor engineer, and FOH Engineer a MUCH easier job..... and usually resulting in a cleaner, better balanced stage sound.

However, unless you work regularly with a band that knows this For THEMSELVES , you aren't likely to get so lucky.

So the Power soak is often a GREAT idea, IF you can get them to accept it.... generally, i found this not to difficult if one explained and demonstrated without treating them like idiots.... showing you really DO understand the niceties of their particular instrument and sound, and giving them the sound they want, whilst still maintaining a reasonable on stage level usually does the trick... but you really have to treat themn as equals... NOT all musicians are idiots you know.....

trouble is, a LOT of nonetheless talented engineers DON'T actually understand all the elements that go in to making the artistes "Sound"

which is usually where the "use a Pod" comment seems to originate......

I quite agree, they DO make life ridiculously easy..... But telling a guitarist to use one instead of the gear he's spent years putting together into his own version of "sonic nirvana" is just plain rude, never mind Dumb.....

For the record, I did start off using 100 Watt marshalls..... but for the last few years, I've used a 30 Watt Laney... Driving it's 2x10 and a 2x12, nothing larger is required... any venue where it isn;t loud enough on it's own, should havea PA large enough in use to reinforce it more than sufficiently..... and i quite often switch it to "half" power (clever buggers at laney fitted a pentode/triode mode switch for the power stage) , I can still drive it hard, but Engineers LOVE it!

(That said I haven't played live for a little while now , too busy, too old, and too knackered....)

It's also fantastic in the studio..... ;D

I will admit there's nothing quite like the trouser flapping ability of a full wall of 4x12's, but they're not truly needed any more.

The worst sinner I recall was a guy from "the Uk Subs" who had a 200Watt custom Trace elliot guitar amp, running 2 4x12 long throw cabs absolutely flat out..... and absolutely would NOT compromise whatsoever, even in a venue where both stage AND room were plainly too small for the rig........ Man i HATED him.....

Still made him sound good....... But i hated him......



Max

--------------------
if you don't know who i am, i aint gonna tell you.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Nathan



Joined: 13/09/04
Posts: 1885
Loc: lincolnshire government experi...
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #58116 - 04/12/04 09:18 AM
Quote:

The worst sinner I recall was a guy from "the Uk Subs" who had a 200Watt custom Trace elliot guitar amp, running 2 4x12 long throw cabs absolutely flat out..... and absolutely would NOT compromise whatsoever, even in a venue where both stage AND room were plainly too small for the rig........ Man i HATED him.....

Still made him sound good....... But i hated him......






...not just me then

--------------------
planet nine
lincoln, uk.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #58128 - 04/12/04 10:56 AM
'Well', he said, rubbing his hands and booting Text Edit, 'this is a fine can of worms . . . '

A) Rather than marching SE's out, complain like mad to the promoters, who are probably not paying enough to get experienced engineers, or engineers who have to earn their living, rather than being on the dole (apologies in advance to those who ate trying to get off the dole - difficult, as I know!)

B) I usually get a better stage sound than FOH when I do bands at one nice 400 capacity hall. The bands love it, but I sometimes get complaints from deaf punters at the rear of the hall to 'turn it up'. But who listens to deaf idiots who cannot be bothered to go to the front of the venue, where it is loud!

C) Even if the engineer doesn't know the band, he should always ask what they want to sound like. (quite often they cannot answer this simple question!) And then make a bloody good guess (according to the band's style and his own love of music) and produce damn fine mixes: They might not be exactly like the band want, but will be a LOT better than a boring, sterile rendering of them.

D) Quite often the FOH will mask specific bass feedback, and we rely on people on stage to point them out - - so all you performers out there, please say, as when mixing FOH and monitors, we cannot be on stage all the time. And while asking for improvements on stage, do it one at a time!! And yell out 'Drummer', or 'Bass', so we can do it quicker. It's the sort of feedback we want, players . . .

E) Bloody deafening guitarists like the one Max was on about . . . I LOATHE them: No consideration for Band, Audience, Room, Anything . . . except their pathetic egos. There was one potential nice high-profile guitarist/band gig I engineered - The guitar was so loud I was deafened even with earplugs. I left the desk, and the room, in sheer embarrassment at the horrendous racket. And so did most of the audience. And did the guy show any remorse, or wonder why they left? No.

G


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
John G
member


Joined: 13/11/01
Posts: 290
Loc: UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #58288 - 04/12/04 08:02 PM
Really good points guy. I agree with all of the above.

On a similar story, I once had a high profile act (singer) suffering from severe hearing loss. Spent ages on his monitor sound and he required a huge boost around 2.5 - 4k. As the venue was pretty small and the high end in his wedges was insane - it was painful FOH from his wedges alone.

During the gig I received various complaints - but was under strict orders not to change the monitor sound at all mid gig. Of course, I stuck with the artist (and put in my ER15 plugs!) and didn't change the stage mix - until his wife and manager requested that I pull out a little 'high'. I must have pulled out no more than 2dB on the graphic, when he went beserk on stage threating to "cut my ass" because he "couldn't hear a thing!"

Sensitive ears for a deaf guy! I threw the high end back in sharpish, and all was well.

One artists who should deafinately try in-ears!!

Cheers.

John


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
orangefunk
new member


Joined: 18/09/01
Posts: 137
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #58369 - 05/12/04 12:18 AM
I haven't read all the responses, but in my experience I've found that I like to rely on the sound engineer at a gig because the sound I hear onstage is not necessary the sound the audience hears...

Case in point, for a long time I played epiano in a fusion band, Mahavishnu/RTF style where we mixed ourselves (yuk!)... my rhodes piano sounded great on stage but was never heard by the audience as I was convinced I was so damn loud...

After we found a sound guy we sounded a *lot* better,

I wouldn't get too upset about the use of PODs in a live situation either... on a studio recording it might be an issue, but live I'm not so sure... I'm sure alot of it is in the mind...

I just saw Bebel Gilberto at the Academy and thought the sound was all rather shrill but slick and produced...

As for the whole muso thing, well I'm a musician of 20+ years, playing all kinds of music from jazz/rock/r n b to my new found love of Indian ragas... Experience has told me I 'd rather leave the sound details that the audience hears to someone else while I get on with the actual music itself... I think in my opinion the sound engineer is like another member of the band.

Anyway thats just my pennys worth

Peace
Orange


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
decktwo
member


Joined: 23/01/04
Posts: 58
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #58694 - 05/12/04 11:44 PM
Could'nt they just use lower powered amps and get the sound by driving a smaller amp.

It seems that everyone in a band wants a huge stack, when more often than not a small 30w combo will do the trick.

Sure if you play large venues on a regular basis then get a stack or whatever you want.

Regards


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
orangefunk
new member


Joined: 18/09/01
Posts: 137
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: decktwo]
      #58852 - 06/12/04 01:14 PM
Great point... I found that my guitarist sounded great with his Rivera 30W valve.. seemed to overdrive just right, plus when miked it sounded great through the PA... not sure why guitarists really need stacks these days if they are going through a PA as well...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
Posts: 9318
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: decktwo]
      #58893 - 06/12/04 02:14 PM
Errr good point,
well made, i think you'll find I said words almost exactly to that effect buried deep within the labyrinthian post i made a bit earlier

Max, the smug bar steward

--------------------
if you don't know who i am, i aint gonna tell you.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
orangefunk
new member


Joined: 18/09/01
Posts: 137
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Studio Support Gnome]
      #58936 - 06/12/04 04:04 PM
Thanks to you also then :-)

I played in a 13 piece band blues band with a guitarist with one of those bigger Blue De Ville amps adn he always told me he wished he'd bought a smaller amp as he felt it was too loud... I think he ended up getting some kind of valve overdrive pedal to get the right sound at lower volumes... We even did gigs playing to 1000-2000 people (usually CAMRA (yuk!) drunken beer festival type of things) and he still felt that way..


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
fluffybeastie
new member


Joined: 14/09/03
Posts: 200
Loc: Suffolk, the musical middle of...
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: orangefunk]
      #59017 - 06/12/04 06:10 PM
I've seen a number of bands using pods, Kosheen etc.
Wouldn't say they sounded special, but certainly not appaling (not my kinda music)...
...they also placed their drummer behind a set of screens, to reduce the levels on stage.
Dunno if it would be viable for use on guitars given the different range of frequencies?

My own personal choice would be to crank a small amp too though.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
pjfoh



Joined: 06/12/04
Posts: 2
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: fluffybeastie]
      #59160 - 06/12/04 11:41 PM
Surely if you plan to be in a band for long it's probably a good idea to choose your equipment in order to reduce stage noise. Bands need to use their own equipment to give a good performance, of course, but how about if they chose it to benefit the audience at the same time as themselves.(after all they buy the tickets/records)

You'll find you won't appreciate the unique tone of your instrument much when you're half deaf, and if you don't like being unable to hear the other performers then any monitor engineer, especially in smaller venues with lower end equipment, will be able to help you much more if the stage is quieter.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mike C4miles
member


Joined: 22/02/02
Posts: 464
Loc: Whipsnade with frogs
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #59473 - 07/12/04 04:20 PM
Problem is you can't generally try gear out in a live setting. My trace Elliot bass combo sounded fine in the shop and the practice studio, but depending on the venue acoustics either the drummer could ONLY hear me, or I couldn't hear my own sound at all! (the drummer thought this was the better option). Mind you I'm still slightly deaf from standing four rows back from Blackfoot Sue's bass stack over twnty years ago; ears rang for a week; had to order drinks in sign language.

--------------------
If money is the root of all evil, what is money squared?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mr DiBergi



Joined: 29/09/04
Posts: 402
Loc: up yer daughters
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #59979 - 08/12/04 05:18 PM
Quote jimdrake:



if you are playing a guitar at two different levels then it WILL sound different.

the volume will be different and it may also have a different timbre to it. HOWEVER this change in timbre does not mean that the SOUND being produced is actually different due to the way we perceive sound at different levels.

i would like to try the following setup to prove/disprove your point.

set up a guitar amp and a monitor next to each other. play the guitar through the amp at a high level, as if you were with your band. this will sound stupidly loud if you are on your own. you don't tend to realise how loud things are when you are in the middle of gig. try and record this level so it is accurately repeatable.

now turn the amp down to a suitable practice volume. in a live gig this would reduce spill into foh probably completely. mic up the amp and send it through the monitor. if you can accurately repeat the level on the guitar amp then you should now be able to a/b the difference.

i would bet that there is little to no difference. if i'm wrong then i'm wrong.




You're wrong.

I've never heard such balls. I'm with bassdude on this - you seem to have no understanding of musicians or equipment. Why don't you try actually DOING this experiment and educate yourself? It's completely different. If you can't hear the difference - hell, if you can't IMAGINE that it would happen from a theorietical point of view - you're in the wrong job, totally. If you actually get paid for what you do. Have you ever actually heard a POD? A guitar amp is not something that makes an electric guitar's output louder, without colouration. It's half of the sound - if not more than half!

I'm so overrun with incredulity that I can't even type straight, let alone be constructive. I've been the victim of idiots that think they're sound engineers screwing around with my gear, but like someone said you have to be polite for political reasons. However, now one of that rank is here it's hunting season....

Your comments about guitar amps is just clueless. The idea that perhaps guitarists should be made to plug into a POD instead of their normal rig is ridiculous. I bet you've probably tried to get rid of ringing feedback with 3-band EQ too. "God, those musicians are such a pain in the ass, why don't we play a CD and they can mime"....

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!


Please, go away.

--------------------
Looking for musicians?
www.partysounds.co.uk


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
jimdrake
new member


Joined: 29/10/02
Posts: 602
Loc: wherever
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #60009 - 08/12/04 05:55 PM
Last night I did another gig.

I made more of an effort to talk with the bands, explaining how sound check would work and give them some general info about the venue. I also introduced the foh engineer and myself. After this chat the bands were much more forthcoming with their technical requirements, their instrumental setup (in detail) and where the various members would actually be on stage.

At the end of the night and during sound check, all three bands commented on 'a great sound mate. cheers'.

This has highlighted one major mistake I had been making previously. I was assuming that the bands would communicate any problems they were having with the sound engineer. Bassdude, did you TELL the engineer that you couldn't hear the guitars/vocals?

Some specific points to make:

The drummer in one band wanted a headphone mix. He had his own headphone amp and headphones so all I had to do was run him a power cable and a spare aux send from the desk. Should it be the bands responsibility to volunteer this information, or down to the engineer to ask them if they have any special requirements? If I had not made an effort to talk to the bands prior to sound check I would have to run more cables around the stage with the whole band waiting and the foh engineer getting bored after the drummer says 'oh yeah, I have some headphones. Could you plug them into your sound desk?'

We spent more time working out monitor mixes. The various band members seemed more comfortable in asking for (sometimes a lot) of changes in their monitor. The overall sound check time seemed to be less.

None of the band members had huge guitar stacks.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #60121 - 08/12/04 09:27 PM
Well done jimdrake.

It's thing like you said in your last post that will get you on the path! With this line of thinking you will get admirers in the muso community and they will want to play at your venue.

The trouble with all this gigging stuff is that there are lots of different ways a band will get the gig!

For instance perhaps one band member is the guy responsible for getting the gigs or perhaps they will come through a process of handing in a demo to a booker for the venue or things may even go through an agent or manager. So with so many avenues through which a chain of communication may be established it's hard to get the liaising right!

If your venue is the kind that attracts national and international name acts then the venue will definitely have someone liaise with you and give you all the info you need. But this is usually a very high level pro thing. Usually at that level they will have road crew to take care of almost everything and will probably bring their own PA, desks, light rigs etc.

IMO you need to be able to adapt to newly occurring set-up scenarios at your end. SO I would say that it's up to you to be on the ball and to make sure of things. IMO this is where the real art of the Live SE is and it's creative problem solving that will give you a buzz from making things work.

Band members can have full time jobs, have to attend rehearsals, create the music etc etc. Sometimes the demands of other sundries added to all this can be a muso nightmare. If you establish a routine where you open the dialogue and learn the experiences you will have to adapt to, then before to long you will be top banana!

Having thought about the POD thing I would say that it's not a scenario to be seen as good practice especially for guitars! But... you could use some kind of amp sim as a replacement for a bass DI in some scenarios. But by and large I'd just stick with a regular DI unit as this will be common currency between SE's and musos alike.

Regards,
bassdude


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Dave Gate
active member


Joined: 02/02/04
Posts: 1353
Loc: M6/M61/M60/M62/M65
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #60281 - 09/12/04 09:07 AM
Regarding the drummer with the headphone amp: it's been my experience that bands will normally provide information about this sort of thing in advance so you can prepare for it.

I often get detailed technical specs from bands which mention that they are carrying their own in-ear monitoring for example and requesting that specified monitor mixes are left open for this.

But if they spring it on you a a surprise then deal with it (as it appears you did) and everything will be fine.

--------------------
Gear List: reverse only.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10646
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #60363 - 09/12/04 12:37 PM
Quote jimdrake:

Last night I did another gig.

I made more of an effort to talk with the bands, explaining how sound check would work and give them some general info about the venue. I also introduced the foh engineer and myself. After this chat the bands were much more forthcoming with their technical requirements, their instrumental setup (in detail) and where the various members would actually be on stage.

At the end of the night and during sound check, all three bands commented on 'a great sound mate. cheers'.






That's the way to do it - hopefully those bands will now remember you as a good sound engineer and your venue as a good place to play.

Cheers.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Nathan



Joined: 13/09/04
Posts: 1885
Loc: lincolnshire government experi...
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #60645 - 09/12/04 10:31 PM
for jimdrake
only half of the live SE's job is technical, the rest is communication skills and people management. keep it up!

for Bassdude,

the important objective in the lines of communication is that the gig promoter gives the technical staff/person the technical spec.

the gigs i have done with the most uncomfortable atmosphere have been where there were special or very specific requirement from the band which have not been passed on to sound or light personnel, resulting in a can't-do or a bad compromise. this is usually due to the promoter sitting on the spec -bands with special tech requirements usu make the effort to send specs, they just don't always get to the right man.

every gig has a promoter, even if its the bar owner. every gig should have a tech person to help the band(s) sound good (in everyone's interest). they're usu different people,i'd encourage every gigging band to find their way past the first guy and touch base with the SE. at the very least a quick chat will help you guage their competence, equip level and prepare you for contingency plans if its not up to scratch.

i always try to ask the promoter for a contact number/email add for a band member/tour manager/band's engineer; this way i can double check requirements, gain concessions for impractical requirements and start the karma off on its feet.


On the subject of guitar sounds, i wish guitarists would acknowledge that the tone improvements gained thru pushing the volume can be offset/completely trashed by the resultant inability to separate the vocals or other quieter sources, and the performance detriment caused by drowning out these in the monitor mixes. thermonucular stage levels rob the engineer of any control, and the band of a good sound.

the art of live sound (and i mean the whole thing, band et al, not just the PA) is a finely balanced compromise. somewhere in the middle of these volume wars is a level that complements sound intelligebility and performance.



and on the subsect of Pod-bashing: i know several studios who praise the sound of their higher-end units, and i've gotten great results from line6 racks and combos on live stages. its the musician's choice.

be open-minded and keep the lines of communication open.

--------------------
planet nine
lincoln, uk.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Q00
member


Joined: 01/10/02
Posts: 821
Loc: sussex
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #60652 - 09/12/04 10:43 PM
Quote:

only half of the live SE's job is technical, the rest is communication skills and people management. keep it up!






I second that. I always talk to the band beforehand, ask them what they want monitor wise and FOH. Its crazy to think as a sound engineer you can get everything perfect without communicating to the band.

As for loud guitar cabs, I always ask if they'd be able to have them facing them from the side rather than from behind facing the audience. Asking is much better than telling!!

--------------------
"Saying that you do is just gold plated XLR elitist bulls**t!" - ow


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Thomas Hobbes



Joined: 13/12/04
Posts: 11
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #62833 - 15/12/04 07:07 AM
I always have premade band sheets that I bring with me. If it is a band that I work with a lot (sometimes I have traveling groups that contact me whenever they are in town to have me run sound for them because I have built a repore with them) then I keep the band sheet for future use.
Anyway on the sheet I have it setup like this

Instrument | Name | Stage Possition | Monitor Mix | Misc

Under instrument I would put what they play and if they also sing. And also what their name is, that helps you remember, when you are talking to them throught the talk back mic, and what they want in their monitor. All of this stuff you ask for when you are introducing yourself to them. Remember, you are serving the band, even though you yourself exercise a certain authority, your job is to make them feel at ease and comfortable.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
sfdrummer



Joined: 11/01/05
Posts: 1
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #72562 - 11/01/05 11:06 PM
Both the musican and the se have a professional responsibility to recognize the goal of a live performance ....the musician is able to perform as an artist at the highest level possible and the se helps to make that a reality to the listener. I have performed as a drummer with Bob Hope to Chuck Berry and a hell of a lot in between. I have been fortunate to have had many more great experiences through the years than bad one's regarding how the overall sound experience came across for both the artist and the listener. I believe that is because both sides of the question strive to be open minded about what equipment is best suited for the venue. What equipment sounded good in the rehearsal room(or in some cases, the garage!)may not be the best for the stage. Most of the professional musicians that I have worked with(over 40 years) have a special set up for live that is much different than their rehearsal hall set up. With all of the electronic advances made through the years it is possible to get just about any sound out of a guitar(or drums) without the required over-the-top volume used in years past. If, more starting musicians cared more about their "musicianship" than certain sounds requiring more volume they would have a better professional career in the long term. Being a good musician and a good se require a mutual give and take. We have much to learn from one another, if only we would get the chip off the shoulder and listen more.
Good luck to all of you.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
LawrenceH
member


Joined: 28/11/02
Posts: 487
Loc: Cambridge
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #72841 - 12/01/05 05:47 PM
EDIT Oops got a bit carried away here and didnt' read all the way down before replying! Fatal error, blood went to head etc... EDIT

I have to say that as both a player and an engineer of bands (some of them cr*p, many just inexperienced) that it is six of one and half a dozen of the other in many cases. While I agree that offering Pods is absolutely not the answer in many cases, and I would point out that many sound engineers show a surprising lack of social skills (but also many band members, especially if they're on coke! This has happened to me surprisingly often), frequently a band can be their own worst enemy. They don't understand that plonking an amp on the floor behind them means they won't hear the sound cos their ears are pointing the wrong way and it all goes under their legs.

As mentioned a really good option is for the band to tilt amps towards themselves, ideally pointing back. But many bands won't do this for image purposes or simply and understandably becasue they don't want to be put in an unfamiliar situation on the night of a gig. However when I have worked with bands who're amenable to a bit of experimentation in this manner they have invariably been happier with the results, especially if I've minidisc-ed the gig at their request and they can hear for themselves the difference. A testimony to how much of a problem guitarists can be is how often audience members complain to the sound engineer that the guitars are too loud and they can't hear the words even when the guitars are not being routed through FOH! Spare some pity for the poor old engineer stuck in the middle with the band and audience blaming him/her. It's not just too loud, either. The amps can be quite directional compared to FOH so that the sound totally changes in one part of the room compared to another, as well as having a terrible frequency balance. The engineer can do nothing about that and it just ruins the mix completely. It's no wonder that mixing jazz bands or other, larger groups with on the face of it much more complex mixing requirements, is often easier than a simple rock four-piece. Incidentally bassists are much more rarely a problem in my experience, perhaps because they stand closer to their amps, perhaps because the sound is less directional or perhaps they're just not as deaf ?! There does need to be more communication between engineers and bands so that each understands the others' needs, but it is just as much up to the bands as the engineer.

Edited by LawrenceH (12/01/05 05:49 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
LawrenceH
member


Joined: 28/11/02
Posts: 487
Loc: Cambridge
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #72858 - 12/01/05 06:35 PM
Grr, have read all the way down now and got worked up again! I can't believe how rude some of you have been to jimdrake. But, as someone said, it's cyberspace so you can say more than usual so ..
If that is the attitude of some musos to engineers then no wonder they don't make them sound much good! If you're difficult to get on with and/or have a very particular attitude towards your sound, then hire your own engineer and pass this cost on to the venues, or stop griping. If the venues you're playing refuse to pay more or won't pay engineers themselves then I'm afraid it's welcome back down to earth. However if the venue is a respected one then communication with them might sort out the problems, rather than ass-kissing and bitching behind their backs. Some of the players here have been speaking as though a) live sound is simple, any fool could get it right and b) that the muso makes nothing but a positive contribution to this. Both these things are patently wrong. There are a few bands on the UK student circuit who have serious problems understanding the interaction between stage and FOH, I know exactly where jimdrake is coming fr om, though I would again agree that asking bands to use Pods wouldn't be right in most cases. As you've been talking about empathy bassdude, consider how frustrating it is booking a band, who then turn up too late to soundcheck, get drunk, and then play twenty times too loud so that everyone stands halfway down the hall before throwing your microphones at the audience! You probably don't do that but plenty of bands do. Here in Cambridge, it's somewhat difficult to persuade the university to knock down Kings' Chapel or the like in favour of a more modern performance venue for the uni. So we're stuck with less than perfect venues, but with a decent band it is still possible to get a great sound.
Personally as a live player I've learned to adapt to a different stage sound than I'd expect from FOH, and communicate a lot by vision so that if it's a tricky venue or time is pressing, I talk to the engineer who's doing our sound and tell him what the essentials for the stage are, for example as a keyboard player hearing myself(!), the bass and a singer if there is one. I'm surprised at the attitude of some here who are obviously very experienced live players, because I know it took me a while and a bit of experimenting to get stage sound right for venues which needed large FOH; but now I've got a set-up for bass and keys that I'm happy with, it will give me what I need for the stage but has been designed with FOH in mind. Since sorting out my rig and considering things like player positioning I've literally never had a serious problem playing live, and that includes playing some cellar venues with horrific standing wave issues. I do know I've never enjoyed ANY gig where I thought the FOH sound was ruined for one reason or another, especially when the audience communicates it to you, as player OR engineer. After all, we're paid it's to ENTERTAIN people, not to be intolerant, grumpy old men, and do we want the money or not? So this is where my grumpiness ends.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: LawrenceH]
      #73124 - 13/01/05 10:53 AM
The last 2 gigs I've played have had inept SE's. P1ss poor FOH mixes with p1ss poor monitors.

One of those places has a 16,000 dollar Sound system and yet their is a room quirk not tuned out of the PA that sucks the life out of the lower mids! The guy can't mix for sh1t and get confused as to use the desk to get the right monitor mix. I was playing some acoustic lead guitar parts but the other guitarist asked for his vocals to be turned up in the monitors. The next thing you know the SE buggers of having turned the acoustic rhythm guitar up. All during the second song! I couldn't hear my guitar and the other guitarist couldn't hear his voice!

The other gig has this old fart doing the sound. He's work in TV on live sound and has credentials! He must be good right! P1ss poor FOH and no idea about mons. I was playing bass and singing backing. Was my voice in the monitors? No! Was the drum overhead in the monitors? Yup.

Not only wouldn't I hire these people to SE for my projects, I wouldn't let them tune a PA and I wouldn't let them near a desk. Why oh why are all these people naturally suited to factory work in charge of messing up the sound at these venues????????????

That's it! I've finally decided to go in-ear mons! With my own god damn desk too!

You glory boys can get yer jollies messing up my FOH sound! I don't care anymore! But you will be taken out of the loop spoiling my enjoyment of playing and performing.

Y'know LawrenceH, I've been playing live for about 16 years. I've learned to adapt to different scenarios at different venues etc. I've played entire gigs where I had to play from memory without hearing myself at all thanks to SE's and been complimented on my playing!! Mobbed by chicks...abnd I'm just the f*ckin bass player!!! But do I enjoy those gigs? NO.

I wouls suggest that PA's aren't tuned to the venue for each act that's on! So If the PA is tuned and the in house SE knows the venue and the kit that's there and has the experience that they shouldn't find things too difficult! Or are all these SE's geniuses but just falling short of working for NASA? IMO they're not fit to work in the industry!

Regards,
bassdude


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
LawrenceH
member


Joined: 28/11/02
Posts: 487
Loc: Cambridge
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #73150 - 13/01/05 11:31 AM
Yes but there are good and bad SEs, same as there are good and bad players. And they can have positive as well as negative contributions to the entertainment, as can the players. And jimdrake didn't say 'I'm going to give them all pods, the b*stards, hahaha', he asked if it was a viable idea or not which is a different matter. Finally some players wouldn't mind being given pods as they're not actually that picky about their sound at all, for instance I've had bands who come to play and don't even bring their own amps, they just rely on us to provide something.
Obviously you've had some incredibly bad experiences with SEs but then others have had very good ones. Maybe you're just too talented for the venues you play in, a suffering artist surrounded by incompetents who don't share your aesthetic sensibilities while your astonishing musical integrity prevents you being commercial enough to afford your own tech.
It is interesting though that some people repeatedly have such negative experiences with SEs while others just seem fine whatever gig they're playing, and moving away from the 'all SEs/guitarists are evil' debate it'd be useful to find strategies around this for all concerned. For instance in my experience many female vocalists can have incredible monitoring requirements in terms of volume - it hurts my ears through the monitors when they sing yet they still complain they can't hear themselves. I'd like to know why this is, I suspect that for classically trained singers they rely on skull resonance so playing on stage with a drummer, therefore requiring monitors, they can't get that to high enough level. But what to do about it? In my own playing experience a nice tight drum-kit played by a decent drummer really helps. Don't have to wear ear-plugs on stage either which is nice! I do wonder about hearing damage among some bands I've seen...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: LawrenceH]
      #73241 - 13/01/05 02:15 PM
Hi LawrenceH,

Personally I've never looked at making it commercially nor tried to go far in the industry! By the time I switched from being obsessed with becoming more musical and even had the awareness that my tallents could take me somewhere I had a whole lot of other things in life crop up! I could see myself as a pro acompanyist etc but I prefere just being involved with songwriters and helping develop songs.

As for me affording my own tech... In the past the tech roll was always given to me! I built up a system and hired it out to my mates bands etc. But these days having moved to another country, I prefere to play!

The thing about classically trained singers is that they spend so much time working on head resonance and tone production that having to give a performance with a band is so disorienting for them. What they need is to be able to feel secure by having the instruments that provide them with information for keeping pitch clear in their monitors with just the right amount of themselves. They need to get the feeling of head resonance and their ears working together in the comfort zone. If you can place any backline well away from where the singer is performing and just have the pitch stuff coming through at the mix that they like.

The reason I was harsh with jimdrake was that he seemed to not be thinking to hard about his own ideas! He also missed the point that alot of people crank their amps up because SE's don't spend time setting up the monior with any thought or care whatsoever. They put themselves in the zone that gets em through a gig with ye crappy SE's half arsed or not attempted monitors. If jimdrake is now communicating well with the band members and smoothtalking his way to solutions he likes then that's great. I wanted to give him a shock so that he'd put more thought into his on stage environment himself rather than POD's akimbo!

Go to any rehearsal studio and it's very rare that a band will play a deafening volume! They play to the room usually. The loud bands usually cause quit a stir at rehearsal studios because it's uncommon. When reasonable bands play in venues where the sound doesn't react as it would in a smaller rehearsal room then they will crank up to get the details and articulation back into their sound BUT if ye SE doesn't say to em look lets get your volumes back down to rehearsal levels and I'll give you what you need in the monitors and spend time on stage empathising what each player is hearing from their position on stage then that's CRAP!!!!

I don't think SE's in live sound are evil! But I'm sick of bumping into people who have no right to be there ruining what is meant to be fun for me. It is their fault. In their egerness to do the FOH mix why can't they f*ckin take the time before they do to ask if everything is alright with the mons.

Regards,
bassdude


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
Posts: 9318
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Octopussy]
      #73545 - 14/01/05 01:10 AM
Quote Bassdude:

Hi LawrenceH,

ruining what is meant to be fun for me.
Regards,
bassdude




Actually Matey, last time I looked, it was meant to be fun for the audience, and a Gig (read, paying job) for you. It also being fun is a bonus we don't always get....

frequently, the problem in many places is that there is only ONE engineer, running an under specified rig, doing his best to give the AUDIENCE a good experience.

thus his attention for the band's monitor mix can frequently be somewhere further down the list than either the musician or engineer would really like.


In an ideal world, all venues would have at least a FOH engineer, AND a Monitor Engineer..... certainly all major tours do....

Rigging complex multiple monitor mix returns from a crappy , under spec FOH Desk can frequently be a pain in the arse..... or even impossible.....

I lost count of the times I tuned up to a venue, to discover the "REQUIRED PA PROVISIONS" and Stage/Mic/facility spec sheets sent in advance had been ignored, usually as a penny pinching measure... Thankfully, I always travelled with a spare desk and small PA so Monitoring could be done properly regardless of the provision or lack there of at the venue..... of course, if there was decent provision, we didn't have to get it out of the truck.......

I've also lost count of the times a promoter or venue has Rung and hired a PA and engineer, and asked for a PA that i KNOW to be under powered for the room...... and when I've Said so, they frequently either claim, "well so and so played here last week with less than that, and it was great" ...... which frequently I knew to be untrue..... because I either engineered the Gig, OR I knew what Rig was actually there....

This Kind of crap is one of the contributory reasons for Me knocking Live work on the head and retiring........

I object to Bassdude broadly labelling ALL LIVE SE's as incompetent....

I sympathise about much of it, and if you've read my comments here and elsewhere, you'll realise I have both views, as professionally both a performer and engineer, (although I have always tried NEVER to mix the two at the same gig..... )

But many of your rantings show little compassion or respect for the engineer.... and yet you expect red carpet treatment and respect for your wishes from them??


a little one sided that don't you think?

Just thought I'd mention it.....

it's a two way street, this communication thing..... and Some people could perhaps use a better understanding of Why things are not as they perhaps should be at many venues.... and it's NOT the engineer.... bloody tight fisted promoters and Venue management now THAT's something both Artistes and Engineers should unite against!


Max....... controversial as usual

--------------------
if you don't know who i am, i aint gonna tell you.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Studio Support Gnome]
      #73571 - 14/01/05 06:52 AM
Hi Max The Mac,

IMO fun for the audience is when the musicians are enjoying their performance; you can see it in the wee musicians faces, postures and interactions on stage (part of the show). Fun for the audience is when the band is mixed so that there is a nice listenable balance between the instruments and vox.

Even if the PA is underspecified for the room I'd rather hear a nice balanced sound than an ear splitting raw that reaches the back of the scout hut! I would rather the audience be excited by the music rather than using volume to get an adrenaline/epinephrine response which makes people percieve the music as being better than it is!

Just build the mix up from the vocals like you know you should.

Incompetent SE are predominant in the live scene. Of course there are skilled, even tallented SE's out there. But they are rare.

And there is no excuse for passing on the monitor mix. Yes you have to work within the limits of the specifications of the kit at the venue.. But if the musicians aren't able to hear themselves or the cues from the musicians on the other side of the stage etc then that is incompitence on the SE's part. How on earth can you argue with that? What possible reason can you have of not letting the musicians hear what they need to play the gig?

Honestly Max the Mac I don't understand why you can't relate to musicians picking up their cues from each other and needing to hear the cues and themselves and prioritising the FOH mix. Expect the performance to be less than it could be and expect the joy to be robbed from the musicians as they struggle to perform. Simple as that.

You are a shredder guitarist no? Imagine on stage all your pick attack gone. No articulation in the sound for you to hear and no vocal cues to remind you of where you are upto in the song that has complex stop time and some odd bar lengths thrown into the arrangement. Then imagine you can't hear what the bass player is playing and you have to play with him in unison. Now imagine having to sing a harmony backing vocal and not bein able to hear your voice. All because the SE feels under pressure to get on the FOH mix.

I think this is a crime!

I think this is what causes musicians who play to their rehearsal room to turn up their amps at a gig!

Regards,
bassdude


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
LawrenceH
member


Joined: 28/11/02
Posts: 487
Loc: Cambridge
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Octopussy]
      #73631 - 14/01/05 10:53 AM
Second what Max the Mac said about a SE having to prioritize the audience - after all, they're paying and the band is getting paid. It helps if the musicians enjoy themselves but bassdude, you said yourself that you've played gigs where you hated it and the audience loved it, I'm sure all of us have too. If you play for your own enjoyment despite abilities to do other stuff you've got to accept where that playing takes you as par for the course.
Personally as a SE, and pretty much every other SE I've ever worked with, I spend nearly all the soundcheck working on monitors because in my experience you can't get a good FOH sound without a decent stage sound in the first place. Trouble is that once the gig's started the sound on stage completely changes, sometimes cos there's an audience, often because bands play harder (especially when drunk or pumped up on adrenaline!). It's very difficult in most cases to get them to play as hard in the soundcheck.

I think jimdrake's comments were born out of exasperation. Many bands just turn up, plug in and automatically crank their amps to 8 or 9, disregarding the actual volume and before the soundcheck's started. Some correctly point out the difference in tone, but I've never heard an audience member complain 'hey, the guitar was ten times too loud and made my ears bleed but boy, the rich harmonic subtleties of his instrument sure made up for it - glad he didn't use a power soak!'. If there was a solution to this problem it would be very useful!

Bassdude, I agree with what you say about getting some space between trained singers and backline, trouble is actually getting enough space to do that. One thing I found really useful though when playing with a female vocalist, was taking along a goalpost lighting rig with heavy black stagecloth to each gig. We'd whack it behind the drums hung in folds and it really helped us get a good sound on stage in bad venues.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
James K. Sanford



Joined: 13/12/04
Posts: 25
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #74311 - 15/01/05 09:09 PM
Hi guys, really interesting thread, and although i have definitely been in some situations, like bassdude, where it seems that the sound engineer is an egotistical w****r, there are a few points that i think are worth considering.
Despite my lack of years (19), i would say i've done my fair share of gigs (since i was 14), and my understanding of what it takes to make a good sound, FOH and on-stage has altered dramatically in the last few years.

1. Guitarists love loud amps (and I am one so i'm not being harsh here.) There's nothing like having the thump of a 4x12 in your back to tighten you up and put you 'in the zone' as i think bassdude put it. It sounds awesome. But there is also a major problem that what sounds good by yourself doesn't necessarily sound great with a band-i've found this with a lot of bands that we have played with (especially in the punk/rock/metal/emo scene that i am involved in) that have a 'scooped' sound. High mids and bass don't cut through the mix, meaning many guitarists turn their amp up to hear things. Add some middle, it fattens up the sound and cuts through the mix without losing the sound you are really looking for.
2. Say what you see. (or hear). My band started finding our on-stage sound got loads better when we chatted to the SE before we set up and told him what we wanted, and WHY. Politely. 'Hey dude, can we have quite a lot of snare, bass, and guitar in the drum bin to tighten the groove up and all 3 vocal mics up quite high so the drummer can hit his harmonies in tune. If he knows the reasons why you need things he will probably have a better idea of the levels you need to get them. We found it helpful not to have a full band mix in everyones monitors. I normally have the other guitarist, snare and the 3 vocal mics in my monitor. I can hear the bass onstage as it's not very directional.
3. If, 2nd song in you realise you can't hear whatever, a quick point at the amp, point upwards and a thumbs up or a wink usually works. If he's not paying attention, wait till the end of the song and ask him over the mic (though i don't think this is the best audience attention grabber!) Basically just be nice. I'm sure if there was an SE forum they would all be griping about bands that shouted at them because the monitor mix wasn't right as soon as they started, but was apparently fine (as they didn't say anything) at the end of soundcheck.

I've got loads more to say but i'll leave it for now.

James


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
...................
member


Joined: 23/02/04
Posts: 781
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #74364 - 16/01/05 12:07 AM
Interesting thread, somehow I find myself agreeing with parts of both sides of the debate here...
I worked as a freelance pro-bass player for several years, so naturally found myself at the mercy of numerous SE's. I quickly learnt the fastest way to a good sound and a good gig was to
1. be nice to the SE, he/she's only doing their job
2. be constructive if you have to ask them to do anything/change anything etc. And I mean precisely constructive, not "this sound's **** "
3. only if you have absolute definite proof dismiss them as an idiot - it's almost always best to work with them than against them. Often they may appear like an idiot, but they were just inexperienced.
Perversely at this time of my life I find myself on the other side of the fence, as I regularly mix live sound at our local theatre, a 500 seater with a really 'live' acoustic, the music I get to mix is mainly either current big name jazz acts, or artists backed by a band, often made up of hired session players who've played with the world's best. The touring rock/pop bands nearly always have their own SE - as has been mentioned in this thread a few times.
I have to agree with those who say the primary consideration is for the paying audience, but as a player I also know that the band plays better when they're happy Which is why I do like a few here have already mentioned, and spend 80% of the soundcheck getting the monitor mix right, knowing I can get the FOH really quickly without troubling the band...
One observation to link my experiences as a player & SE is that as a gross generalisation (of course) it's generally the more experienced players (I mean the ones who've done more types of venues) who understand the situation best - the monitor mix WILL change one the audience is in, the guitarist will probably turn his amp up during the show because he feels the need , the singer will probably feel the reverb is too loud/quiet/long/short for no apparent reason, the drummer WILL play harder once the adrenalin kicks in. This would include realising that not all venues need the backline cranked to the max, even if that's how the band like it. All these things have a knock-on effect, and generally it's the more experienced and professional players who understand this and roll-with-it, have the skill to adjust & listen so they still can give a great show, and appreciate the work the (hopefully cooperative and observant) SE does to make it work for everyone.

Edited by GavC (16/01/05 12:10 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #74623 - 16/01/05 09:38 PM
Interesting points, here, and from my experience as a live engineer, is that talking things over, discussing the band's sound, and useful suggestions like the positioning of amps, will make for a much better show.

But . . .

Why are there so many bad engineers, from the muso's point of view? I'm assuming FOH monitor-mixing, here.

* Many engineers really are bad!

* Many engineers have lost their top-end perception.

* They are frequently abused by bolshy teenies who think they're already stars, and so engineers no longer give a damn for the band (yes, they should not let it affect them, but it happens).

* Venues hire for cheapness, so don't get the best. With the risk of sounding like a bighead, I know I'm good, and so do a lot of musos, but this gets me only a few (but good) jobs from venues - because a few complainers in the audiences for tribute/Punk/R&B bands like very loud, distorted muck that I won't provide. Bear in mind that this loud, distorted muck will make the monitors impossible to get loud enough in most venues. As an aside, I regularly do a job for a local promoter and arts network, for less dosh than I 'should' get, and thoroughly enjoy it - meeting great bands and people of the acoustic/world-music persuasion. This is in the same (good) venue that will hire me only rarely, by the way. And fair enough - they go with what works!

* Venues ring up an engineer at the last minute, or don't send the spec sheet, so they are unprepared.

* Engineers and/or venues that cannot start early enough to do a proper job.

* Engineers are hassled by extremely tedious managers, who 1) don't give them time, let's say, to eq feedback, before complaining, and 2) hassle like mad over the mix, or volume, so it takes twice as long to do a sub-standard job, without resorting to rudeness. Both these scenarios are common. The only solution is to try to be polite, and never do the band again . . . Like me, with a band called The B*** H*****, among others. I'd rather mow lawns for money - and do.

* The engineer may be 'bad' because the gear is utter crap. But really, this is only an excuse, because if the engineer and band discuss the defects of the place, if the engineer and band are good, an acceptable result can usually be achieved. I recently had to patch a PA to Mono, because of a sudden lack of R/H signal form a desk during the gig. I re-patched during a Bass solo, and the show went on without a hiatus. Why during the bass solo, you ask? Well, 'cos I read Bassdude's posts here, and got sweet revenge . . . Only Joking! Actually, it was because the track was a very long one, and the Bass rig could carry the solo. I digress.

* The engineer gets no feedback (no, I don't mean that sort!), so therefore cannot fix any problems - and bear in mind, these often cannot be heard from the FOH position. Also, gems like "It sounds bad", "doesn't sound quite right", don't really help: We need a teensy bit more guidance than this!

* Engineers don't bother to get up on stage, to assess the sound there, and ask about the sound.

* Engineers don't walk around in the performance, to listen to the stage-sound from the wings and behind if possible, and look at band-members, to check on the sound, and see if any adjustments need to be made.

* Engineers who whack up the FOH, forgetting this will ruin the stage-sound.

* Engineers, and bands who think that Stage, and FOH sounds are independent, try and get a mix on stage, and wonder why it all falls apart when the FOH mix cuts in.

So, there we are, a perspective from an engineer, who loves music, not over-loud distorted shite.


As an aside, I have to seriously think abut getting a 'proper' job, so I may give up the engineering, even though I like it. I'll give it a couple more years, and see. Meanwhile, if a Really Good Job comes my way, I won't be saying 'no'!


Guy


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
robare99



Joined: 28/02/11
Posts: 163
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #962695 - 09/01/12 09:11 AM
Communication. The band walks in, my rig is already set up. I chat with the guys, maybe show them a pic of my guitar collection. Basically I'm letting them know that we are on the same team, and I want them to be happy on stage, while allowing me to make them sound good out front. I explain that there's individual monitor mixes, and to trust me.

Once they are plugged in, I'll get each guitar player to give me an A chord and hold it, to get a feel for their levels. I might have to get them to turn down a but. But there are 2 things I go by.

1: I do understand they need SOME volume, to get their tone
2: I do want a bit of bleed to fill in the center area.

Then I get a line check, I bring them up in the FOH. then I ask if they need more in their monitors. It usually works out for everyone. Every now and then you get guys who just won't listen, and the whole night is a shitshow, loud as hell etc etc. there's a simple solution to that.


We make the best of it, ans they are placed on the "never have them back" list.

The bar understands that it's a live band, and it's going to be loud, but I keep levels appropriate for the room. We aren't there to hurt anyone's hearing.

Edited by robare99 (09/01/12 09:13 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #962748 - 09/01/12 11:53 AM
God, I'd forgotten this thread.

As it happens I did get a job, in a boatyard. And I love it! Beats engineering, with the long boring waiting before gigs, the crap get-ins, the stupid eejits and egos, the driving very late, the ...

Still do some twiddling, mind, but more for fun, with great people and with music I love.

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Phil Reynolds



Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 217
Loc: Douglas, Isle of Man.
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #962758 - 09/01/12 12:18 PM
This thread has reminded me why I fecking hate running live sound.

--------------------
"We knocked on the doors of Hell's darker chambers..." But no-one answered, so we went to the pub instead.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Daniel Davis



Joined: 10/03/06
Posts: 873
Loc: Edinburgh
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #962782 - 09/01/12 01:58 PM
I've yet to meet a live sound engineer socially who wasn't hearing impared, and in practice I very rarely go to a gig with good live sound. Perhaps they happen, but they are rare.

Less on-stage level means less feedback, less player fatigue, and better FOH sound. That said - A guitarist MUST be able to hear on stage. It really doesn't matter how good the FOH sound is if you can't hear yourself.
The best thing the sound engineer can do normally is to get all of the amps off the floor and raise them up to ear level. High amp stands are great, but beer crates work just as well. This means that the performers can hear themselves at the lowest possible level.

Most venues I go to are stone-walled basements or enclosed stages - almost any level in the monitors causes immediate feedback. Why not start bullying the owners into cinema-style acoustic treatment of the stage area? Failing that at least upend some tables and set these at an angle to bounce sound out.

And lastly, find the highest level you can take the vocal mic to without feedback. Then everything else must be quieter. I really don't care how loud and awesome the drums are, I really don't if I can't hear the singer. Also if you have achieved louder vocals by using severe eq of the upper end I equally don't care how loud you got it if I can't hear the lyrics.

--------------------
Daniel Davis
Edinburgh Recording Studio Windmill Sound


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Daniel Davis



Joined: 10/03/06
Posts: 873
Loc: Edinburgh
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #962783 - 09/01/12 02:02 PM
Oh and I should say - I don't care how much you spent on your subs. Turn them down or even off.

I recently attended the Edinburgh Hogmany street party - 5 stages of crap sound with the main sound engineering principals seemed to be that your 1. subs must be louder than anyone elses, and 2. that any frequencies between 80Hz and 10k are unimportant.

--------------------
Daniel Davis
Edinburgh Recording Studio Windmill Sound


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3702
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Daniel Davis]
      #962804 - 09/01/12 03:01 PM
Quote Daniel Davis:

I've yet to meet a live sound engineer socially who wasn't hearing impared



"Good afternoon Daniel. A pleasure to meet you. I'm not hearing impaired and I've been involved in live-sound for coming up for 40 years."

Other non-hearing-impaired live-sound techs will doubtless be alone shortly.

TDC


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Joel Nichols



Joined: 04/01/12
Posts: 34
Loc: Yeovil, Somerset, United Kingd...
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #962810 - 09/01/12 03:10 PM
So as a sound engineer and a drummer, I really do agree communication is the very best thing. I think the biggest issues are in venues where the sound equipment and sometimes quality of the engineers they bring in can take a back seat compared to things such as sales at the bar. As someone who's been on the wrong end of it I trey to make a point of talking to the bands, walking up on stage while the play to listen to the quality of their monitor mixes, and generally trying to sound like I understand the problems they have, and it seems to work. And if you do have to tell them something, the best thing is just to offer a reasons that shows you've considered the benefits to both the crowd and the band, and to explain it well without sounding like a patronising jerk.

On a side note, and this is not directed at anyone, I have worked with banda who think they can sort their monitor mixes better than the FOH tech. Indeed I had one who claimed to understand mixing and asked if they could tweak the Aux settings on my desk. I'm normally pretty agreeable to this kind of thing so I let them. Afterwards I noticed they'd basically made everything louder, with a few changes to the levels, notably more bass (through 10" wedges of all things!). The were reasonably happy beforehand and only wanted to tweak it. They then went back on, found the system feeding back, their manager said the FOH sound had become spoilt by the massive stage sound, and they all said they couldn't hear themselves. After this I reset all the Aux's to 0, bodged up a mix off the top of my head guessing from band experience what different people tend to like, and asked them how it was. They then said it was one of the better Monitor Mixes they'd had on the tour. Just proves that Louder Is Not Better!

It is true that in Venues too many techs are under pressure and in an environment where they become unhelpful and sometimes even rude, but re-learning communication is a wonderful thing!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
seablade



Joined: 21/11/04
Posts: 3988
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Daniel Davis]
      #962845 - 09/01/12 04:34 PM
Quote Daniel Davis:

I've yet to meet a live sound engineer socially who wasn't hearing impared, and in practice I very rarely go to a gig with good live sound. Perhaps they happen, but they are rare.





You obviously haven't met many true engineers. (I assume by hearing impaired you mean beyond the normal for a person that takes care of their hearing). Most engineers(And I truly mean sound engineer here, not knob turners) I deal with these days at a professional level all take good care of their hearing and most have very good ears with typically no more than the average amount of impairment that could be expected from age.

Even those that are impaired can still put together a good mix if they are aware of it, and I do know a few like this as well that can still mix well.

Seablade


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
seablade



Joined: 21/11/04
Posts: 3988
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #962847 - 09/01/12 04:38 PM
Quote Guy Johnson:

God, I'd forgotten this thread.

As it happens I did get a job, in a boatyard. And I love it! Beats engineering, with the long boring waiting before gigs, the crap get-ins, the stupid eejits and egos, the driving very late, the ...

Still do some twiddling, mind, but more for fun, with great people and with music I love.




One thing I tell my students, if you are going to be a sound engineer, you are not doing it for the money, the hours, the fame, or any other stupid reason you can come up with. You HAVE to LOVE the work, because everything else about it will be crap.

Seablade


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
seablade



Joined: 21/11/04
Posts: 3988
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Nathan]
      #962850 - 09/01/12 04:44 PM
Quote Nathan:


only half of the live SE's job is technical, the rest is communication skills and people management. keep it up!




Actually I will disagree with technicalities with Nathan here , at least 2/3 of a SE's job is communication in my opinion. Another example I give to my students, if I can tell someone to "shut the hell up" and have them walk away smiling, I have done my job. You have to be able to talk to all sorts of people, sort out what you need to know from the useless crap, translate random ramblings into useful information, and overall do your job of making everyone happy with the sound, while not being told how to make people happy but rather what makes them unhappy.

Seablade


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #962856 - 09/01/12 05:09 PM
It's sad this seems to have deteriorated into sh*tslinging between musicians v. sound engineers. The real divide is between those with a pair of ears and a willingness to do as good a gig as possible, and deaf t*ssers who have some kind of ego problem.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
seablade



Joined: 21/11/04
Posts: 3988
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Raphbass]
      #962866 - 09/01/12 05:41 PM
Quote Raphbass:

It's sad this seems to have deteriorated into sh*tslinging between musicians v. sound engineers. The real divide is between those with a pair of ears and a willingness to do as good a gig as possible, and deaf t*ssers who have some kind of ego problem.




Just to be clear my comments were not meant as any sort of slinging whatsoever, sorry if they were taken that way(I obviously failed in communication then:)

Seablade


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Eddy Currents



Joined: 20/11/09
Posts: 68
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #962868 - 09/01/12 05:52 PM
The stage is the foundation of the 'House'.
The house feeds the stage.
Get it right and 'possitive feedback' makes a great show.
Preparation, Communication, Compromise for mutual benefit.
Both SE's and Musicians understanding this and working together = Fun


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Daniel Davis]
      #962883 - 09/01/12 07:20 PM
Quote Daniel Davis:

I've yet to meet a live sound engineer socially who wasn't hearing impared




Eh?

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: seablade]
      #962888 - 09/01/12 07:48 PM
Quote seablade:

Quote Raphbass:

It's sad this seems to have deteriorated into sh*tslinging between musicians v. sound engineers. The real divide is between those with a pair of ears and a willingness to do as good a gig as possible, and deaf t*ssers who have some kind of ego problem.




Just to be clear my comments were not meant as any sort of slinging whatsoever, sorry if they were taken that way(I obviously failed in communication then:)

Seablade




Whoops - I really wasn't referring to anyone in particular and certainly not you! I know I've recently whinged about a sound engineer on another thread, but his efforts or lack of them don't reflect on any other sound engineer anywhere in the world - so I object a bit when people talk of sound engineers as though they were a) all the same, and b) all as bad as that guy at your worst ever gig.


Quote John G:

“You can’t polish a turd!”




True, you can't polish a turd, but to take your analogy a bit further you can take the most beautiful lily and stamp on the poor f*cker till it resembles the remains of a turd. Neither example is typical, thankfully, though for some strange reason the guys that say "you can't polish a turd" are usually precisely the ones that achieve an abysmal noise out of the PA, and then blame the band. It's quite possible that for endless weeks in a row a different band every week is yet another proverbial unpolishable turd, but when even the interval music (played off a well-produced and usually well-known CD) sounds like a dinosaur being sick, I wonder what the excuse is then.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Nathan



Joined: 13/09/04
Posts: 1885
Loc: lincolnshire government experi...
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: seablade]
      #968014 - 03/02/12 12:17 AM
Quote seablade:

Quote Nathan:


only half of the live SE's job is technical, the rest is communication skills and people management. keep it up!




Actually I will disagree with technicalities with Nathan here , at least 2/3 of a SE's job is communication in my opinion.




~You just can't leave it alone, can you..! (0dB, 0dB, 0dB... ).

~Actually, I usually describe it to padwans as half technical knowledge, half musical knowledge, half communication -150% sounds about right!

The first two often operate on autopilot, it's the Bassdudes of this world that make you concentrate on the third item...




>

--------------------
planet nine
lincoln, uk.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
seablade



Joined: 21/11/04
Posts: 3988
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Nathan]
      #968024 - 03/02/12 02:37 AM
Quote Nathan:


~You just can't leave it alone, can you..! (0dB, 0dB, 0dB... ).





Heh I set you up nicely for that one, was wondering if you would ever bite. Just having a little fun of course:)

Quote:


~Actually, I usually describe it to padwans as half technical knowledge, half musical knowledge, half communication -150% sounds about right!





Yep, combine it with the old adage... "Everyone in theater knows at least two jobs, their job and sound" and it pretty well describes it:)

Seablade

PS Was that a reference to a second old thread in that post by the way as well? It rang a bell and I had to go searching to remember it but I may just have had a memory come up for no good reason;)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ricknewsom



Joined: 17/12/08
Posts: 1
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: seablade]
      #968025 - 03/02/12 03:45 AM
Jimdrake has probably lost interest by now, or has been strung up from the top of giant Marshall stack by an offended guitarist, but, I just couldn't stay out of the fray. Jimdrake, here is the answer.

YOU ARE DOOMED!

I've been playing music and/or twiddling knobs and pushing faders for 40 years and one thing that became obvious about 39 1/2 years ago was that guitar players, especially the freshly minted, upstart, non-professional types that you are likely to find in a student union, like to be loud. Live with it. Try to aim the amps at their heads, try to make sure they are up in THEIR monitor mix, but you have to be insane to expect them to turn down their pride and joy, killer rectifier 6000 that they're still making payments on. And you REALLY got to be nuts to ask them to forsake the amp altogether and <shudder> plug into a POD.

Moral of the story? Get a bigger venue or book quieter bands.

Cheers!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Beat Poet



Joined: 21/01/12
Posts: 174
Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #968429 - 05/02/12 03:39 PM
One guitarist I played with was so damn particular about his Marshall 4x12. He was the singer and even stood at the side of the stage, just so he could stand in front of it. He had it at a ridiculous level and asked for loads in the monitor as well. Then during the gigs, after every song he'd ask for his vocal to be turned up

--------------------
Do you need real drum tracks? http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969116 - 08/02/12 07:04 PM
Hearing damage is a vicious circle - a mate of mine who plays keyboards and sings, used to like to set levels that made yer eyes wobble - usually he does his own PA, but one night I offered to lug my own setup along instead - never again! He kept turning up, I kept turning down, eventually his keyboard was clipping the input on the desk, he started panicking - "It's distorting! It's distorting!!" - this was a Women's Institute evening by the way, and the old dears were dropping their plates of cupcakes when panicking to get their fingers in their ears. A more extreme version of the "at ease" evening in the aircraft hanger in Spinal Tap. Wish I'd video'd it.

On one gig for a friend of mine I insisted I do PA, but he could bring his to use as monitoring - he put his 500W FOH speakers one on either side of his head right up close, and the level was perfect for him, and the rest of us enjoyed the gig with humane levels from the PA.

After the gig we had a serious chat about it - he admitted it had been getting gradually worse, he'd been hearing less and less and making up for it by turning everything up and up. A week later he got his ears syringed (or candle treatment or something, can't remember) and he's been normal ever since!

However that heart-warming story involves good-will, something in short supply in some parts of the music world.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5647
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Raphbass]
      #969124 - 08/02/12 07:54 PM
Quote Raphbass:

After the gig we had a serious chat about it - he admitted it had been getting gradually worse, he'd been hearing less and less and making up for it by turning everything up and up. A week later he got his ears syringed (or candle treatment or something, can't remember) and he's been normal ever since!




It wouldn't have been ear-candling. Not if it had an effect!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Beat Poet]
      #969162 - 08/02/12 11:47 PM
Quote Beat Poet:

One guitarist I played with was so damn particular about his Marshall 4x12. He was the singer and even stood at the side of the stage, just so he could stand in front of it. He had it at a ridiculous level and asked for loads in the monitor as well. Then during the gigs, after every song he'd ask for his vocal to be turned up




***** *** ****

(number of asterisks altered. But it is rude)

love that emoticon!

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Will_m



Joined: 02/04/09
Posts: 577
Loc: Manchester
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969178 - 09/02/12 04:05 AM
I've seen the huge amp trend change a little of late, there seem to be loads of guitarists opting for small tube heads like the orange ones (I have the boogie transatlantic). As a guitarist I've always preferred to have my amp at a low level and just have my monitor mix loud as its usually firing up into my face. Still there's always one guy who turns up to a 200 person venue with a wall of cabs and 100w rectifier head.

--------------------
http://www.williammorrismusic.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6694
Loc: northampton uk
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969181 - 09/02/12 07:06 AM
Been following this with some amusement! I am LONG out of any kind of PA situation but did enough of it to know that you can't ever win. You will be too loud for some and not loud enough for others!
Pods? Bit silly IMHO but then if you check me out IWSTWI!Of course the amp/speaker combination is a vastly important part of most guitarist's sound. Decktwo:Low power amps, 30W and below often cannot sound like a 50 or 100watter because they a biased differently. An AC30 is an AC30 and 50W Marshall is di-da...Never the twain!
Power soaks? Possible solution (they CAN be fitted to almost any combo as well as heads). Expensive? Good ones yes but any SE worth his salt should be able to build 200W soaks with say a 10dB chop for about 50quid a time, whether a guitarist will be happy to let you bolt a DIY device to his £3,000 BOOTIQUE amp is another matter!
"My" company have make an excellent,bombproof, 100W head for some 3 years and it never sold well. I was very suprised then at the launch of a 200watter (try and repro THAT into a 340W 4x12 on POD!)but it sold remarkably well due I am sure because of the built in power scaling that can take it down to 20watts. This is perhaps the future? One amp for all venues?
It might be moot to bring in the somewhat achaic term "sound reinforcement? That is, amplifying what is coming off stage (warts and all?). After all, a stupidly loud guitarist is not going to be a popular member of the band either!

But yes, communication and an appreciation of each others wants and needs is vital.

Dave.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969222 - 09/02/12 11:22 AM
And don't forget the bottle of ether and a handkerchief for the occasional selfish noisy wanker...

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
grab



Joined: 08/07/07
Posts: 2887
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #969235 - 09/02/12 12:23 PM
Wouldn't tissues be more appropriate than a handkerchief?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969277 - 09/02/12 02:28 PM
It's just that in all the old detective movies, it's a handkerchief!

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
dylantermos



Joined: 10/06/10
Posts: 37
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969304 - 09/02/12 03:58 PM
I once played a gig and we invited another guitarist to come along and jam.
He turned up with his messa heartbreaker (ballbreaker I called it) and started blasting his way through every tune.
I asked him in the pause between songs if he could turn down, to this day he feels alienated just because I asked him to turn down.
I explained that when it was his turn to solo he could turn up and then turn down in the other sections.
I seemed to me that this guitarist had never played with another guitarist so he did not know the meaning of a sound balance.He did not know the difference between light and shade everything was full blast and full pelt.
How these people can survive in a professional world beats me they give all guitarists a bad name.
A lot of pro guitarists now use perspex traps to help with their sound balance and the use of the monitor system is much more important. When you have three girl singers one of them is bound to say that the guitar is too loud guaranteed.
I will say when I first started playing I loved to be loud I suppose it's young blood.......thats my excuse anyway......


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
grab



Joined: 08/07/07
Posts: 2887
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #969317 - 09/02/12 04:48 PM
Guy, I was thinking more in terms of the last word of the sentence.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
russ123



Joined: 01/10/05
Posts: 612
Loc: northwest uk
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969342 - 09/02/12 07:07 PM
in answer to the oringinal post.....

i learnt a great a lesson early in life in this respect. In a school band this same scenario/argument was playing out. Out of the blue, a teacher went off to his car and brought back a very long guitar lead, in turn us geetarists and and bass had a turn at playing/hearing where the audience would be sitting/standing.....

we of course heard things totally differently....

with wireless, it should be possible for any discerning guitarist to have their usual set up and go hear what the audience hears, assuming that they care.....

in other words, as a musician, if you care about your sound, take responsibilty for what comes out of the PA and what the audience hears by helping the engineer. As an engineer, if you care about sound, take responsibility for what goes into the PA and what the audience hear by helping the artistes...........


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969380 - 10/02/12 02:47 AM
"assuming that they care" - there's the rub.

A guitarist I regularly play with likes it loud, but thinks he's quiet, he can't believe we're all saying he's louder than the rest of the band put together and multiplied by thirteen. There have been times when I've not been playing but gone to see the gig, and he's obliterating the rest of the band - I can SEE drumsticks moving up and down, a bass player doing something or other to a bass, hands going up and down on a keyboard... but can't hear more than an annoying hint of interference in the general sound of unaccompanied solo guitar, even when he's supposed to be comping. His missus is there, she thinks it's a perfect balance! "Isn't he just wonderful!!!", she enthuses.

To get a guitarist to turn down? - put a page of written music in front of them. (boom boom!)


As said above - 1st rule, be civil to the SE - even if s/he is an idiot. Whether the engineer's a genius or a baboon you won't get any better sound by abusing them. And they have you by the balls!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Beat Poet



Joined: 21/01/12
Posts: 174
Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #969440 - 10/02/12 11:26 AM
Quote Guy Johnson:

Quote Beat Poet:

One guitarist I played with was so damn particular about his Marshall 4x12. He was the singer and even stood at the side of the stage, just so he could stand in front of it. He had it at a ridiculous level and asked for loads in the monitor as well. Then during the gigs, after every song he'd ask for his vocal to be turned up




***** *** ****

(number of asterisks altered. But it is rude)

love that emoticon!




Yeah, it's all over Gearslutz, think I nicked it from there What's the three-lettered swearword?

--------------------
Do you need real drum tracks? http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3702
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969444 - 10/02/12 11:35 AM
In fairness to guitarists...

Although I've met too many of the "I couldn't possibly turn it down" brigade there are a few (10%??) who will listen.

A few months ago I was covering a gig where I'd never worked before with bands I'd never met - quite unusual for me. Because of the nature of the gig there were no soundchecks - just line-checks. Anyway, after-gig chatting to the lead guitarist of the headliners he asked what it sounded like out-front. I explained that he was 'good but loud' and it had been a struggle to balance him against the rest of the band in a small room with a mixed-age audience. He was genuinely upset by this and said he'd make a point of checking with FoH people about relative volumes at an early point in future gigs. He seemed sincere; I believed him.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5647
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #969451 - 10/02/12 11:57 AM
It isn't only amateur rockers either. I know a guitarist, elderly now, who had a long professional career in commercial bands and orchestras. He positions his amp. in front of him, pointing at the audience, and plays consistently TOO LOUD. Maybe he's deaf. But he won't move that amp.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Beat Poet



Joined: 21/01/12
Posts: 174
Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #969506 - 10/02/12 04:37 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:

But he won't move that amp.




There's the next discussion, "guitarists who won't move their amps" I already mentioned my experience with that. Guitarists can sometimes be even more pissy than drummers about where their gear goes.

--------------------
Do you need real drum tracks? http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #969559 - 11/02/12 01:14 AM
Quote Mike Stranks:

In fairness to guitarists...

Although I've met too many of the "I couldn't possibly turn it down" brigade there are a few (10%??) who will listen.

A few months ago I was covering a gig where I'd never worked before with bands I'd never met - quite unusual for me. Because of the nature of the gig there were no soundchecks - just line-checks. Anyway, after-gig chatting to the lead guitarist of the headliners he asked what it sounded like out-front. I explained that he was 'good but loud' and it had been a struggle to balance him against the rest of the band in a small room with a mixed-age audience. He was genuinely upset by this and said he'd make a point of checking with FoH people about relative volumes at an early point in future gigs. He seemed sincere; I believed him.




That's exactly how my above mentioned guitarist reacts, but then carries on exactly as before. The soundcheck's nice and well-balanced, then he turns up in the gig. Between tunes you say "could you turn down a bit?", he turns the knob down and as his hand leaves the knob it turns it back up to where it was. Then various volumes get cranked up on the pedal board. I think it's faintly possible that he doesn't even realize he does it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6694
Loc: northampton uk
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969568 - 11/02/12 08:04 AM
Just a nod to any guitarist here who knows they are a bit too loud but homestly think their sound suffers unless the amp does!

My recent readings indicate that a great deal of the highly desired overdive tone of amps in fact comes from the pre amp sections and often the PI. The problem is often that the amp does not have a master volume control, hence the pre amp cannot be overdiven without also driving the op valves hard, or the gain staging thoughout the amp is rather ill thoughtout and much the same effect obtains.

In this situation a simple power soak giving just 3 to 10dB of power reduction can make a big difference, demanding up to twice the drive voltage from the pre stages. Note, the soak does not need to be anything "clever" and use tone shaping inductors or the sort it just allows the pre stages to work a bit harder for a little less earbleed. The amplifier can also become more "touch sensitive".

People often sing the praises of the 6L6 as a swop for the EL34 and fair enough, good valve (as is the 6V6 but watch the ratings!.) But it is often forgotten that the 6L6 has but 1/2 the gm of the 34 and thus demands considerably more drive volts for the same row so it is perhaps moot as to what causes the change in sound!

Dave.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Matt_Moose



Joined: 09/10/06
Posts: 358
Loc: Cheshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: ef37a]
      #969594 - 11/02/12 11:55 AM
Our guitarist has a power soak. Guess what....? Yup, same problem!

Actually, I'm being more than a little unfair. We don't mic stuff up for the size of venues we play so the main sound if from the backline. Me (keys) and him are on opposite sides of the stage, so don't get in each other's way, it's just the audience on his side of the venue tend to say "we can't hear the keys".

I hypothesisi that one thing pluckers (and bashers?) don't realise is how the adrenelin makes them play harder and the effect is non-linear - ie we get a bit more attack in the notes so it there's a "play even harder to cut thru" approach. Can anyone validate this? And that it's not just a "amp up to 11" issue, but the physical way of playing? 'Course, when you're playing strings/organ (fixed velocity) etc, that level of "hitting the keys harder" doesn't apply, so my amp has to go up.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6694
Loc: northampton uk
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Matt_Moose]
      #969599 - 11/02/12 12:19 PM
Hi Matt.

A certain amp power control system of my aquaintance (!) is level sensitive, so set to say 25% full welly, the harder you play the more it compresses.

And does your keyboard not have velocity sensing?

Dave.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5647
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Matt_Moose]
      #969614 - 11/02/12 01:41 PM
Quote Matt_Moose:

I hypothesisi that one thing pluckers (and bashers?) don't realise is how the adrenelin makes them play harder and the effect is non-linear - ie we get a bit more attack in the notes so it there's a "play even harder to cut thru" approach. Can anyone validate this? And that it's not just a "amp up to 11" issue, but the physical way of playing? 'Course, when you're playing strings/organ (fixed velocity) etc, that level of "hitting the keys harder" doesn't apply, so my amp has to go up.




I certainly find myself hitting the keys harder if I can't hear myself. This often happens when playing a real piano on stage - I may be amplified to the audience but foldback may be inadequate or non-existant.

Or it may just be a crap piano. Have I told the story here of a 50s/60s rock 'n roll show I toured many years ago? One theatre wouldn't let their lovely Steinway be used for that rough kind of music. So they hired in a really nasty, brand new, Kawai upright. No tone in it at all. Apparantly I trashed the action over the week, trying to get some sound out of it. I'm sure they exaggerated :-) But the Yamaha and Steinway grand pianos I played on the rest of the tour didn't suffer at all.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Matt_Moose



Joined: 09/10/06
Posts: 358
Loc: Cheshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: ef37a]
      #969619 - 11/02/12 02:16 PM
Quote ef37a:

And does your keyboard not have velocity sensing?



Not when I'm playing Hammond OK, I have expression/swell, but sometimes I don't want to ramp it up and have overdrive all the damn time!!

Strings/pads - tonality usually changes with higher velocities, and difficult to get consistent tone/volume on some patches (I might be starting to make excuses for my deftness of touch (or lack of)

Yes, got full stage piano set up, so that get's hammered harder as we take it up a notch - in fact, I've had to turn my levels back _down_ because sometimes I do want the top-end, hard-hit piano sound to cut through - but not all the time.

Quote ef37a:

A certain amp power control system of my aquaintance (!) is level sensitive, so set to say 25% full welly, the harder you play the more it compresses.



Oh how I'd love to sneak something like that into the signal chain!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6694
Loc: northampton uk
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Matt_Moose]
      #969626 - 11/02/12 02:56 PM
Oh how I'd love to sneak something like that into the signal chain!"

Well, at the risk of spamming!It works like this: Say you have the 100watter set to deliver~25watts. when you hit a string the amp is STILL a 100watter so the player gets that initial attack but milliseconds later the control cuts in and then no matter how hard he thrashed it still will not put out more than 25 or so watts.

Sort of "peak music power" but "rms" in spades!
They are not exactly cheap but then not boutique Imerican prices watt for watt! (and dare I say it? Better built than most!)

Dave.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Dave Gate
active member


Joined: 02/02/04
Posts: 1353
Loc: M6/M61/M60/M62/M65
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969708 - 12/02/12 07:37 AM
It might be worth mentioning here that the metal band Cradle of Filth - not exactly known for the delicacy and subtlety of their music - keep their amps turned way, way down and mic'ed up offstage. And they DI the bass. That way the control of the sound is in the hands of their engineer.

Having said that they do have a very loud drummer with a very large kit!

--------------------
Gear List: reverse only.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6694
Loc: northampton uk
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Dave Gate]
      #969711 - 12/02/12 07:48 AM
Quote Dave Gate:

It might be worth mentioning here that the metal band Cradle of Filth - not exactly known for the delicacy and subtlety of their music - keep their amps turned way, way down and mic'ed up offstage. And they DI the bass. That way the control of the sound is in the hands of their engineer.

Having said that they do have a very loud drummer with a very large kit!




From what I hear/read Metal bands are not really into amp "tone"? They tend to use a very high gain, high distortion type of sound. Many of them use ALL transistorized amps FCS!

Such noises, sorry SOUNDS! Can easilly be generated by pedals and outboad pre amps/FX boxes.

Did anyone ever ask Dizzy to stuff a mute in and be amped up!

Dave.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #969732 - 12/02/12 10:43 AM
"ask Dizzy to stuff a mute in and be amped up!"

Now there's an idea!

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Falconhell



Joined: 16/01/11
Posts: 75
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Octopussy]
      #970032 - 14/02/12 04:52 AM
Well what an uniformed and silly rant bassdude, Australian here too, I have been both a bass player and engineer for over 30 years, and really, its complete bull that amps have to be x loud to work properly. The answer is simply dont use too big amps. Good players can make their amps sound great at any volume (As most of the good players i have worked with have demonsrated).

Loud is the hiding place of the incompetant player. The more they cannot control their volume the more likely poor quality of playing. The though of someone with the lack of competence and arrogance in your post training a sound engineeer is hillarious!

To the original poster the trick is to avoid those numpties who cant control their volume, or better still record the gig and show them what a god awful sound they prodeuce at silly levels!

After about 10 years I decided that over loud morons could just sound bad and it wouldnt worry me.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Falconhell



Joined: 16/01/11
Posts: 75
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Octopussy]
      #970033 - 14/02/12 04:58 AM
?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Falconhell



Joined: 16/01/11
Posts: 75
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Mr DiBergi]
      #970034 - 14/02/12 05:08 AM
Congratulations on equalling the idioccy displayed by bassdude man.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Falconhell



Joined: 16/01/11
Posts: 75
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Octopussy]
      #970035 - 14/02/12 05:14 AM
Bassdude wrote: Personally I've never looked at making it commercially nor tried to go far in the industry.

Redundant mate, your post made that completely obvious.

As an Australian, Bass player and sound engineer I apologise to the other posters for this absolute rubbish posted by someone who is obviously what we pro's in call in Aus a "backyarder".


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
SecretSam
active member


Joined: 29/10/02
Posts: 1526
Loc: Officially, I do not exist.
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #970071 - 14/02/12 10:15 AM
Gosh, this is all a bit intense.


The general advice for making a band quieter is: "Put some sheet music in front of the guitarist." ;-)

--------------------
Instant gratification is actually pretty good. It's fast as well.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Nathan



Joined: 13/09/04
Posts: 1885
Loc: lincolnshire government experi...
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: SecretSam]
      #970704 - 17/02/12 08:07 PM
I have been forced to ask the singer if hearing the vocals was important at all for their "sound".

If the guitarists won't listen to reason, set them at each other's throats


>

--------------------
planet nine
lincoln, uk.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Nathan]
      #970842 - 18/02/12 07:46 PM
Quote Nathan:

I have been forced to ask the singer if hearing the vocals was important at all for their "sound".

If the guitarists won't listen to reason, set them at each other's throats


>



YES - I remember coaching a band with an overly loud drummer, not just loud but a thumpy horrible sound, all muscles and not really music. He implied I was a boring old classical fuddy-duddy who can't handle volume (he obviously hadn't been to any of my gigs...), but the issue was balance, not volume per se, e.g. the singer could never hear herself. I asked every member of the band one by one whether they thought the drumming volume/style were appropriate for that band. Not one single vote of confidence. From that moment on I wasn't the sole evil kill-joy any more. Actually the band split up shortly after the course ended...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Beat Poet



Joined: 21/01/12
Posts: 174
Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Falconhell]
      #971040 - 19/02/12 08:08 PM
Quote Falconhell:

Loud is the hiding place of the incompetant player. The more they cannot control their volume the more likely poor quality of playing.




It's ego as well don't forget, "f*** me my guitar sounds good"

--------------------
Do you need real drum tracks? http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Nico 3313



Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 99
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1029224 - 18/01/13 11:52 AM
At some gigs I'm the bassplayer, at other the FOH engineer.
I prefer loud, preferably valve-driven, bassamps in both positions.
Perhaps I'm a schizofrenic?

--------------------
Preamps are Class A by default


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
TSH-Tim



Joined: 21/02/11
Posts: 827
Loc: Guildford
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1029268 - 18/01/13 02:42 PM
I love this topic... ''getting bands to turn down their amps''

simple = pull the plug

I can't stands bands rocking up to a gig and making a hell of a noise before the gig has even started !

Ahhh ..... oooo it winds me up

--------------------
PA Hire Surrey
Lighting Hire Surrey


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
dmills



Joined: 25/08/06
Posts: 2355
Loc: High Wycombe, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1029289 - 18/01/13 05:18 PM
Special note on that topic for the drummers out there, hammering away while I am setting up drum mics is a BAD plan, you just deafened the guy who is about to be responsible for what the audience hears....

In general please resist the temptation to noodle around during setup, it just makes communications harder then they need to be, aggravates the crew and increases all of our noise exposure (And mangling the first 12 bars of 'stairway' is right out, doubly so if done repeatedly).

Also, soundcheck is NOT an opportunity to rehearse that new number that you all only sort of know but are desperate to make a pigs earhole out of in front of an audience, you should have rehearsed it until you cannot get it wrong before turning up to the gig.

Oh, yea, if you are touring your own sound engineer and they insist on a Digico with a whole pile of XTA outboard, and if your tour manager insists then that is what will be hired, it does not mean that I have a clue how to use it...... If your 'sound engineer' then turns out to be nothing more useful then the lead guitarists special boyfriend, who has not a clue but put the gear list together from reading major band riders, then I will laugh but will still not have a clue how to drive that gear, the tour manager (and accountant) might however get to hear the story.

Finally, please, an accurate rider, with stage plan and tour manager contact details that work is a good and happy making thing, even more so if it relates to this years tour and not the one two years ago before you gained the second keyboard player and the drummer added 6 extra china cymbals and started singing lead on a few numbers (Grumble).

Regards, Dan.

--------------------
Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5647
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1029302 - 18/01/13 06:34 PM
Quote jimdrake:

most of the sound engineers (including me) working at the union are on a music and sound recording course that is regarded by very high standards throughout the music industry.




That's a long commute from Surrey! I don't think any other knob-twiddling course has much credibility.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21551
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: dmills]
      #1029303 - 18/01/13 06:36 PM
In Mr Birt's BBC that would have identified you as being "tainted by experience"

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
dmills



Joined: 25/08/06
Posts: 2355
Loc: High Wycombe, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #1029387 - 19/01/13 07:17 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

"tainted by experience"
H



What a wonderful expression, but having had a few run ins with seniorish BBC manglement types I can believe it was actually used (and not as a pisstake).

Regards, Dan.

--------------------
Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21551
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: dmills]
      #1029392 - 19/01/13 08:29 PM
It was! That was when the rot really set in. 1996/7

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
John F
member


Joined: 24/11/03
Posts: 95
Loc: Canterbury, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1029474 - 20/01/13 06:04 PM
What do you throw a drowning guitarist?


















His Amp...

--------------------
Current live keyboards - Kurzweil PC3x - Korg Triton Extreme + Moss - Roland V-Synth V2. www.xyzband.info


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Nico 3313



Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 99
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1030034 - 23/01/13 08:55 PM
Sound Engineers are supposed to enable Performers to perform. Not the other way around.

--------------------
Preamps are Class A by default


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
dmills



Joined: 25/08/06
Posts: 2355
Loc: High Wycombe, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Nico 3313]
      #1030045 - 23/01/13 10:16 PM
Very true, but we cannot work magic sorry to say, and sometimes the laws of physics (Or laws of budget) do rather require an accommodation on the part of the musicians if the audience is to get what they paid for.
After all, the performers as supposed to be there to entertain the AUDIENCE, not to stroke each others fragile egos.

Guitarists with big amps on overly small stages are probably just the most common cause of impossible sound engineering jobs (Together with gigs in acoustic basketball courts), this actually becomes much less of an issue once you grow out of tiny gigs as the gear gets better, stages get bigger and you start to work with acts that are competent.

Full stack down the dog and duck when the house rig is the usual pair of knacked SP2s is a **much** bigger problem then the same thing at the local arena.

73, Dan.

--------------------
Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6694
Loc: northampton uk
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Nico 3313]
      #1030049 - 23/01/13 10:50 PM
Quote Nico 3313:

Sound Engineers are supposed to enable Performers to perform. Not the other way around.




I would not say so. Sound repro is about making sure that the PAYING PUBLIC get the best possible show. I was only in PA in a very small way but if the guy is 8 feet tall and you set the table mics for Joe Average there is not a lot you can do once the AGM is under way!

Dan, I suppose you have wireless controlled, motorized stands now?

Dave.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
dmills



Joined: 25/08/06
Posts: 2355
Loc: High Wycombe, UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1030055 - 23/01/13 11:38 PM
For those gigs, usually a very short, thin shotgun per position, with an automixer is the indicated answer, together with careful speaker placement.
Sometimes a lav is used for the chief exec.

I have actually seen a motorized mic stand (but not in that context, it was a set piece in a musical).

And yes, unless you are the monitor guy, your job is that audience.

Regards, Dan.

--------------------
Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Sam Spoons
active member


Joined: 23/01/03
Posts: 1132
Loc: Manchester UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1030056 - 23/01/13 11:38 PM
+1 to that With my sound engineers hat on, I frequently find guitar players using amps that are far too big for the venue. I nearly always mic the guitar cab as it always sounds better and helps the guitar sit in the mix but I often have to have the fader right down as the amp onstage is too loud on it's own. Give the poor FOH engineer a chance to do his job (which is to make you sound the best that is possible to the audience) and understand that when he says "turn your amp down" it is so he can make you sound better.

And then, with my guitar players hat on, I use an 18 watt hand wired combo which hits it's sweet spot around about when the drummer is just hitting his, we're fairly loud on stage (acoustic drums with a fairly physical drummer) but, even in smaller venues we leave the SE somewhere to go. BTW, last year I did a low key outdoor gig (on a beach, limited mains power, small PA for vox only, the audience was around 200 people) with said drummer and used an Epiphone Valve Junior (5 watts, 8" speaker) for guitar, I'd have liked a little more clean headroom but it did the job and the vid's show I was loud enough. Playing relatively quietly but still with energy is skill giging musicians often neglect.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
robare99



Joined: 28/02/11
Posts: 163
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1030162 - 24/01/13 03:18 PM
I usually have a chat with everyone as they are setting up. Most are pretty good at turning down somewhat. I tell them I can always make them louder, but there's nothing I can do if they are too loud on stage. I let them know they aren't here to kill the pretty waiteresses, the stage area points at the bar. The girls let me know if its too loud. They are there to sell drinks, one band with their own rig was so loud that people were screaming their orders into the waitresses ears and they couldn't hear them. That's stupid loud.

I'm always appropriate for the room. I give the guitar players lots in their monitors. There's a couple bands that always creep. But it's not TOO bad, I just back them down in the mains.

I personally play a 100W JCM800 into a 212 cabinet but i get my overdrive from my pedals and have a quite reasonable stage volume. I usually have my guitar in my monitor. If I need more, I turn it up in my monitor instead of the amp.



Edited by robare99 (24/01/13 03:23 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Nico 3313



Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 99
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1030631 - 27/01/13 07:03 AM
Agreed, but generally both the engineer(s) and the performers are fighting the same laws of physics.
Small stages, underpowered PA's, small venues and oversized backlines to mention a few.
I remember a bass player standing in front of a Peavey bass rig with a 2x15 BW cab, literally sandwiched between his bass rig and a 15" wedge asking to have more bass in the wedge. Why did he bother to bring the bass rig? I think in such cases it is to everyone's benefit to turn the bass amp up. Thus freeing the monitor mixes from unnecessary signals like guitars and basses as they are already amplified on stage.

--------------------
Preamps are Class A by default


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tacitus



Joined: 04/02/08
Posts: 926
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1030634 - 27/01/13 08:48 AM
I've played bass with no amp and no monitor before now - not ideal, but I've had to pick up what I'm doing with a combination of leakage from FOH speakers and knowing that when I want a bottom G it's the third fret on the E string - hairy, but possible if you have some musical background. Sad to say, many players don't get that and never learn to play with the band, they simply start and stop (hopefully) at the same time as the rest of the players.
One solution to that is rehearsing unplugged (and without drums when feasible) to help players learn what 'music' sounds like. But lots of players with oversized rigs look at rehearsals as a noise-making opportunity instead.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Matt_Moose



Joined: 09/10/06
Posts: 358
Loc: Cheshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: tacitus]
      #1030638 - 27/01/13 09:39 AM
To learn songs we always rehearse unplugged and without the vocalist - drummer normally picks up singing duties.

Apart from anything else it's less gear to shift and the time saved setting up can be used for an extra couple of songs. Only when we're pretty much there on the structure do we move that song to the 'possible' list for a full rehearsal with pa and vox.

Other benefits: can sit out in the garden and rehearse, or in someone's lounge. Much more relaxed too.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Dave Rowles



Joined: 28/02/08
Posts: 1446
Loc: Isle of Man
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Nico 3313]
      #1030698 - 27/01/13 05:19 PM
Quote Nico 3313:

Agreed, but generally both the engineer(s) and the performers are fighting the same laws of physics.
Small stages, underpowered PA's, small venues and oversized backlines to mention a few.
I remember a bass player standing in front of a Peavey bass rig with a 2x15 BW cab, literally sandwiched between his bass rig and a 15" wedge asking to have more bass in the wedge. Why did he bother to bring the bass rig? I think in such cases it is to everyone's benefit to turn the bass amp up. Thus freeing the monitor mixes from unnecessary signals like guitars and basses as they are already amplified on stage.




On small stages
!st choice: IEMs, no wedge no amp
2nd choice: 15" wedges, no amp

If it's a larger stage, I'd choose IEMs and amp, but only if I wanted to mic the bass amp up.

--------------------
www.manninmusic.com Bandcamp
Sound Engineer, Music Teacher, Isle of Man


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
robare99



Joined: 28/02/11
Posts: 163
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Nico 3313]
      #1096737 - 05/04/14 03:12 AM
Quote Nico 3313:

Agreed, but generally both the engineer(s) and the performers are fighting the same laws of physics.
Small stages, underpowered PA's, small venues and oversized backlines to mention a few.
I remember a bass player standing in front of a Peavey bass rig with a 2x15 BW cab, literally sandwiched between his bass rig and a 15" wedge asking to have more bass in the wedge. Why did he bother to bring the bass rig? I think in such cases it is to everyone's benefit to turn the bass amp up. Thus freeing the monitor mixes from unnecessary signals like guitars and basses as they are already amplified on stage.




True enough. I'll take a line from the bass. Sometimes I need it, sometimes I don't. I see some gigs in the city and some of the PA's are definitely underpowered Speaker on sticks kinda things. If the band is used to those types of venues, their amps are often feeding the crowd, so they might be used to playing at higher volumes.

Sometimes they just like being that god damn loud. Lol. I work with them as best I can and we make it through the night. If a band is too much problem we just don't invite them back.

Usually it's a pretty good night. I'm able to keep my band in check as well. Lots of monitor and we keep things same on stage.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Sam Spoons
active member


Joined: 23/01/03
Posts: 1132
Loc: Manchester UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1096757 - 05/04/14 01:19 PM
I've just re-read this thread from the start (note to self, must get a life sometime) and as it enters it's tenth year I feel it has become an old friend


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
OneEng



Joined: 28/04/13
Posts: 162
Loc: MI
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1096788 - 05/04/14 06:44 PM
Shock collars

If I have a member of my OWN band that has volume issues on a continuous basis, they get replaced. I feel as if I have done my time with the lead player's with a JCM900 dimed out to get "their tone". Those kinds of people can either get "their tone" in their basement, or in another band!

I had a drummer a few years ago that I had a similar problem with. The snare hits were like rifle fire and he always had a forest of chipped wood around his kit after every gig and every practice. A new drummer and a set of vDrums fixed that issue permanently.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
seablade



Joined: 21/11/04
Posts: 3988
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Sam Spoons]
      #1096789 - 05/04/14 06:53 PM
Quote Sam Spoons:

I've just re-read this thread from the start (note to self, must get a life sometime) and as it enters it's tenth year I feel it has become an old friend




This is a sad reminder I have been doing this to long.

Seablade


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
BJG145



Joined: 06/08/05
Posts: 3321
Loc: Norwich UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Sam Spoons]
      #1096790 - 05/04/14 07:09 PM
Quote Sam Spoons:

I've just re-read this thread from the start (note to self, must get a life sometime) and as it enters it's tenth year I feel it has become an old friend




lol


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
CS70



Joined: 26/11/12
Posts: 402
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: BJG145]
      #1096796 - 05/04/14 11:11 PM
You've gotta love it! A 10 year old thread! And the fun is, it could've started yesterday..

--------------------
http://www.silver-spoon.org - It's just music
..and the FB page


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1096798 - 05/04/14 11:26 PM
10 years … I'm Gobsmacked. Thought it would be 4 or 5 at the most

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Nico 3313]
      #1096913 - 06/04/14 08:02 PM
I agree some (especially valve) amps sound best at one (loud) volume, so I think the way you have to leave it is that given that a PA engineer can't make the band sound better than it is, it's not worth trying. If the guitarists think that their individual sound is more important than the band sound, that's not really your lookout same as you couldn't make them play in time or in tune. Good musicians use their ears and create a balanced sound naturally. You could also argue that if they appear to want a band with guitars too loud, it's your job to provide exactly that!

Sorry if that's a bit defeatist but you can't gild a silk turd with a sow's, er.. purse, thingy whatever... you know what I mean... They might be killingly superb players but if they knowingly compromise the whole band sound in favour of the finer points of individual tone then either that's a huge gap in their musicianship or the gig isn't the priority, their egos are. Or both.

Sometimes you can get them to either:

a) turn amps towards themselves so they get their own full blast, - or,

b) if the sound they like is a bassy warm sound because all the piercing treble is going elsewhere, i.e. they're standing by the amp but insisting the amp is on the floor and not tilted, they can point the amp somewhere innocuous.

Sadly there is the type of guitarist who actually wants other people to suffer the colossal hugeness of his sound, perhaps to compensate for some deficiency eslewhere (like the joke about the elephant and the mouse!) and loves the idea of being begged by his supplicating inferiors to turn down - this is a mental defficiency that a PA guy can't do anything about unless (s)he has a degree in psychology, or even better a kalashnikov.

A guitarist I play with regularly is tooth-looseningly loud, always likes me to play upright for him, which is limited in volume due to feedback. Audience comments are invariably "can't hear you at all, and the guitar's sawing my friggin head off".

Quote Nico 3313:

Sound Engineers are supposed to enable Performers to perform. Not the other way around.



Really??? Sure it's certainly not the other way round either, but since when can a sound engineer do the combined decades of practice that the band didn't do, or imbue the performers with good pairs of ears and musical judgement etc...? The performers perform as well as they perform, the sound engineer can only make that as audible as possible to the audience. Can't "enable" anything.

Or maybe you didn't quite mean "enable"? The idea that an unable band can be rendered able by a sound engineer is comedy to me. Maybe you meant "teacher"? "Band coach"?

Monitoring is the bit where the word "enable" comes nearest, but even then, if the musos don't listen, the sound engineer can't do anything about that.

I'm a musician, not a sound engineer, I love to blame sound engineers whenever possible, but actually it's quite rare. And if I'm too loud on stage and it's interfering with the PA, I turn down. I see it as us all working together to get a good gig, neither sound engineers subservient to musicians nor the other way round. Musicians create, PAs convey - you need both. Sometimes I'm on PA duty and I'm stunned by some of the stuff musicians say - "it's a bit boomy" (yes dear, I'll remove the roof for you and line the walls with organic Mongolian yak pelts, would that be better?) - gives me an insight into what the PA fraternity get thrown at them.

On the other hand, the stoned drongo you sometimes get who mangles your sound till it's unrecognisable, then says "yeah well you's the c**t who's playin' it!", or puts lots of LF on a double bass so it throbs and howls an armageddon of feedback then looks at you and shrugs shoulders like it's nothing whatsoever to do with him... would do the musical world a huge favour by falling off a high cliff. But these are rare in my experience, and getting shirty with them is a) pointless and b) unwise as they have the unique power to "disable" the rest of your gig very effectively!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1096915 - 06/04/14 08:19 PM
PS - “You can’t polish a turd!”

Very true. However, totally ruining a priceless piece of art and then calling it a turd is very very easy.

People who quote that poignant albeit very true saying are usually the ones that go on to totally pulverise what was actually a pretty good band.

Good saying, but too often used to excuse incompetence.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
CS70



Joined: 26/11/12
Posts: 402
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Raphbass]
      #1096916 - 06/04/14 08:49 PM
Quote Raphbass:

A guitarist I play with regularly is tooth-looseningly loud ...




It begs the question, why do you keep on playing with him regularly?

--------------------
http://www.silver-spoon.org - It's just music
..and the FB page


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: CS70]
      #1096930 - 06/04/14 10:52 PM
Quote CS70:

Quote Raphbass:

A guitarist I play with regularly is tooth-looseningly loud ...




It begs the question, why do you keep on playing with him regularly?



Let's see... I like the material we do, the other musicians we play with, he's a mate (though that on its own wouldn't be a reason!), it's a local jazz club that regularly has a full house, the regular punters are a really nice bunch of people, it's a regular gig, pays well for a jazz club, I get to play unfamiliar tunes, I get to play with a lot of well-known guest players, it's given me a huge list of seriously good name-drops, apart from the guitar volume issue it's pretty good, I don't get many other gig offers on that particular week night so might as well be gigging... I think it would seem a lot more strange if I gave up all that just because of the guitarist's volume.

And his amp is facing away from me so I don't suffer the worst.

PS sorry forgot to mention - it's his club, not mine. I'm a "hired hand". The gig is take-it-or-leave-it.

Edited by Raphbass (06/04/14 10:54 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Sam Spoons
active member


Joined: 23/01/03
Posts: 1132
Loc: Manchester UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1096940 - 07/04/14 01:00 AM
I suppose one of the better reasons for putting up with a too loud guitarist is 'cos he owns the club'


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
OneEng



Joined: 28/04/13
Posts: 162
Loc: MI
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Sam Spoons]
      #1096948 - 07/04/14 03:00 AM
Quote Sam Spoons:

I suppose one of the better reasons for putting up with a too loud guitarist is 'cos he owns the club'



That is the best one I have ever heard

Personally, there are quite a few clubs ...... and most of them don't tolerate offending their audience with "ice pick in the ear" guitar volume. I might start looking for another club.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: OneEng]
      #1096977 - 07/04/14 11:10 AM
Quote OneEng:

Quote Sam Spoons:

I suppose one of the better reasons for putting up with a too loud guitarist is 'cos he owns the club'



That is the best one I have ever heard

Personally, there are quite a few clubs ...... and most of them don't tolerate offending their audience with "ice pick in the ear" guitar volume. I might start looking for another club.



Don't think it hasn't occurred to me, but for all the other reasons I gave, this is a pretty good one and worth sticking with. Also, in the massive metropolis that Oxford isn't... there isn't another one. We're resigned to sabotaging the guitar volume wherever possible, sort of damage limitation.

The guy has a phenomenal denial mechanism - you say "the guitar's drowning out the guest (the one the audience have actually paid to come and hear) - every single time he says "really???? NO!?!?!? - turns down a nano-fraction of a micro dB as a magnanimous compromise, then later re-cranks up, usually within a couple of minutes. I think he actually believes that being louder than everything else is a good balance, even when he's comping.

Once I stopped playing but continued miming. It took about three times round a blues before he noticed.

His wife occasionally comes to the gig, I once asked her what she thought the balance was like - "it's perfect! Isn't he wonderful!!!" - fluttery eyelashes, googly-eyed adulation for her fella. Guitar the size of a mountain, the rest of the band sounding like the flea circus seemed to her to be a perfect balance.

You have to weigh up the pros and cons... then work on the cons bit by bit. It has improved over the years - by the time we're all about 150 the guy will have mellowed out! I don't know if I'm an idiot or just an easy-going human being but he's still a very good friend despite that.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tacitus



Joined: 04/02/08
Posts: 926
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1097010 - 07/04/14 04:06 PM
You get them everywhere - players who either can't tell they're too loud or don't care. And the truth of it is that in most cases it's a question of damage limitation for any of a hundred reasons. I'm more involved with wind instruments and if I had a quid for every saxophonist or trumpeter who blasts on regardless, I could afford to take out a contract on some of them.

The trick is to make a joke of the reasons they come up with to cover the fact they're in denial about it. I've had everything from bad reeds, wrong mouthpiece, wrong temperature (yeah, where did that come from?) and even diabetes. My personal view is that somebody who can converse with you at a reasonable volume and master the intricacies of driving a car ought to be able to manage playing the notes at the right volume, but ...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6694
Loc: northampton uk
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: tacitus]
      #1097013 - 07/04/14 04:30 PM
Quote tacitus:

You get them everywhere - players who either can't tell they're too loud or don't care. And the truth of it is that in most cases it's a question of damage limitation for any of a hundred reasons. I'm more involved with wind instruments and if I had a quid for every saxophonist or trumpeter who blasts on regardless, I could afford to take out a contract on some of them.

The trick is to make a joke of the reasons they come up with to cover the fact they're in denial about it. I've had everything from bad reeds, wrong mouthpiece, wrong temperature (yeah, where did that come from?) and even diabetes. My personal view is that somebody who can converse with you at a reasonable volume and master the intricacies of driving a car ought to be able to manage playing the notes at the right volume, but ...




Interesting your comment about conversing whilst driving Tacitus. Even with my digital aid I find it hard to conduct a conversation with my wife when driving. I often have to ask her to repeat things at traffic lights and other stops. It seems there is more to understanding than just the level (my car is not particularly noisy). Maybe this is why learners seem to ignore instructions?

One of the best bits of "Outnumbered" for me was when the dad said "There is no such thing as multi-tasking. It is just doing two things badly."

Dave.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1097035 - 07/04/14 06:49 PM
Raphbass, I like the way you write!

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #1097059 - 07/04/14 09:55 PM
Quote Guy Johnson:

Raphbass, I like the way you write!




It's not me that's writing - it's the voice of bitter experience! ...(SOB!!!)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Phil Reynolds



Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 217
Loc: Douglas, Isle of Man.
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: Nathan]
      #1097062 - 07/04/14 11:07 PM
Quote Nathan:

Quote:

The worst sinner I recall was a guy from "the Uk Subs" who had a 200Watt custom Trace elliot guitar amp, running 2 4x12 long throw cabs absolutely flat out..... and absolutely would NOT compromise whatsoever, even in a venue where both stage AND room were plainly too small for the rig........ Man i HATED him.....

Still made him sound good....... But i hated him......






...not just me then




Only just seen this ancient thread...

...but...

...I know EXACTLY who these guys were talking about. Gave us many chuckles here!

--------------------
"We knocked on the doors of Hell's darker chambers..." But no-one answered, so we went to the pub instead.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Sam Spoons
active member


Joined: 23/01/03
Posts: 1132
Loc: Manchester UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1097095 - 08/04/14 09:51 AM
Ancient thread!!!! don't, you'll hurt it's feelings, call it "venerable", "mature", "experienced" or some such.....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
squire



Joined: 08/04/14
Posts: 2
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1097162 - 08/04/14 06:10 PM

I know this sounds low tech but here goes
Ive used a tilt stand on some players to keep the faces of the front audience from being peeled.
Others ive side fired effectively once its hitting them more directly instead of blowing through their legs theyll usally turn down some .
Ive had some that wiil adjust the screaming mids ,and improved the overall amp sound.
you,d be amazed


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Raphbass



Joined: 30/12/06
Posts: 280
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1097211 - 09/04/14 12:22 AM
I've just realized I posted on this thread two years ago and forgot all about it. So my comments about a certain guitarist show that nothing's changed in that time!

The specific problem for me, worse than simply volume itself, is guitarists that don't make enough difference between comping and soloing volumes. I coach bands at a college, my advice to guitarists is to comp quietly but solo loud - and always be aware of where you are in the mix, so if you're comping and you think you can't be heard, that's fine - you're not the centre of attention at that moment. Point the amp at yourself! And go out front on a long lead and listen to the FOH.

The guitarists that I play with who really have their [ ****** ] together use amps roughly suitable for the gig, and it's surprising how few watts are adequate - one of the best ones uses a tiny 15W Fender valve amp he puts on a chair behind him, even in big marquee gigs. It runs at what sounds like near max on most gigs, but the sound at quieter levels is still a bit sort of "driven". When cranked up it sounds monstrously good, if there's ever an issue of not enough welly, well guess what - that's what the PA's for.

Another one who's a beautiful blues/rock player has a biggish amp (1x12" 50W tasty old valve thing, shame on me for not remembering what it is!), he's loud and always wants to be in the PA to "spread it around" - but in my opinion it's never wrong for the music, e.g. the solo in "You Really Got Me" - that's GOT TO BE LOUD!

Trouble is, on the day, if yer guy turns up with a nuke powered colossus, it's too late to say "bring a smaller amp". Perhaps you could call in a NATO airstrike?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Sam Spoons
active member


Joined: 23/01/03
Posts: 1132
Loc: Manchester UK
Re: getting bands to turn down their amps new [Re: jimdrake]
      #1097233 - 09/04/14 09:30 AM
I use an 18 watt hand wired combo I built from an Ampmaker kit a couple of years ago, it always goes on a tilt stand to point it at my ears and is virtually always miked (even on pub/bar gigs). I mic it not necessarily to make it louder but to get an even sound across the room, 1x12 combo's are notoriously directional but set up like this I get the direct (and gorgeous) sound of my guitar and amp and the audience and rest of the band get as much as they need.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)

Rate this thread

Jump to

Extra Information
0 registered and 7 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  David Etheridge, James Perrett, Paul White, zenguitar, Martin Walker, Forum Admin, Hugh Robjohns, Zukan, Frank Eleveld, SOS News Editor,  
Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled
Rating: ***
Thread views: 66215

August 2014
On sale now at main newsagents and bookstores (or buy direct from the
SOS Web Shop)
SOS current Print Magazine: click here for FULL Contents list
Click image for August 2014
DAW Tips from SOS

 

Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help

 

Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26

         

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2014. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media