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getting bands to turn down their amps

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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby TSH-Tim » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:42 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
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby dmills » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:18 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.
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:34 pm

jimdrake wrote: 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.
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:36 pm

In Mr Birt's BBC that would have identified you as being "tainted by experience" :bouncy:

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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby dmills » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:17 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote: "tainted by experience" :bouncy:
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.
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:29 pm

It was! That was when the rot really set in. 1996/7

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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby John F » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:04 pm

What do you throw a drowning guitarist?


















His Amp...
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby Nico 3313 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:55 pm

Sound Engineers are supposed to enable Performers to perform. Not the other way around.
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby dmills » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:16 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.
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby ef37a » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:50 pm

Nico 3313 wrote: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?

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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby dmills » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:38 am

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.
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:38 am

+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.
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby robare99 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:18 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.

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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby Nico 3313 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:03 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.
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Re: getting bands to turn down their amps

Postby tacitus » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:48 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.
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