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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / !!!TOO LOUD!!!

Previous 20 Messages  
6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Mar 19th, 2012 06:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I can understand having personal limits of what you're willing to do as a musician. I have some too. Mostly, I've worked for band leaders or headliners. There were plenty of times where the boss would say: This is a small room, only want a trio, we'll have to keep it down. So we show up to find one of those 19th century buildings with a restaurant upstairs and a cellar bar with brick walls that make the snare sound like a rifle going off and a postage stamp stage area. This kind of thing would happen sometimes. The thing is, we had to adapt but still put on a strong, dynamic show. So, in my experience over the years, learning to play a strong show at very low volume was an important skill to have. Might not be for everybody, but it was for me.

5Strats
Contributing Member
**********
***

Edmond/OKC

Chasing Sanity
Mar 19th, 2012 07:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Our stage mix was good at Saturday night's show, but this might be because our lead singer/rhythm guitarist's amp wasn't working (it started squeeling when turned on).

He used my Blues Jr. NOS and it definitely was loud enough.

MLC
Contributing Member
**********

It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Mar 19th, 2012 10:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sounds like you've at least identified the source of the problem then, 5.

(;^)


BrentD
Contributing Member
****

Lansing, MI

Mar 19th, 2012 12:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sounds like 5 "accidentally" rattled some tubes, too. LOL!

slacker

Hawkeye Country

Thread crapping is unbecoming
Mar 28th, 2012 09:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Your drummer sets the minimum stage volume...assuming he/she is playing acoustic drums.

Our drummer was a female who played well and yet had a very solid control of dynamics. She did not pound the drums into submission.

That in turn allowed the rest of us to turn down. The other guitar player and I had our amps on tilt back stands (mine even had a cool bendy mic holder) pointed directly at us. This really made it easy to turn down. I typically ran my Traynor YCV40 at about 2.5 on the volume knob.

The keyboard player ran direct into the PA and relied on his own monitor mix for his keys and vocals.

For anything other than really small clubs, we mic'd everything. That, combined with our reasonable stage volume, gave us great control over FOH mix and levels. We were never asked to turn down.

This all started with the drummer though. If they're pounding the drums like an ape, moderate stage volume is pretty much impossible.

You can play a outdoor festival with a 15 watt amp if you want...or no amp at all. I've never really understood the purpose of a half or full stack 100+W amp. The 40 watt Traynor is the most powerful amp I own and I hardly warmed it up. The only reason I used a 40W amp was that I really liked its tone and versatility.

We played several large outdoor gigs and I used the same amp I used in a tiny little 50 person club. The PA, however, obviously has to be much more substantial for the large outdoor shows though.

JohnEBgood

Des Moines IA USA

Mar 31st, 2012 08:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You should be able to talk loudly and hear each other during a practice.

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

i Haz Roc U
Mar 31st, 2012 10:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You obviously don't play in a rock band.

kevinpenguin

Brookfield, IL

Mar 31st, 2012 11:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've lost gigs because of volume. Had to let a drummer go because of it. Loved the guy, but we bought all the PA gear in the world to be loud enough over him. It was crazy...

I nearly damaged my hearing with this band. Now the new guy has some presence, but isn't over powering. It's changed the way we play - we have much more touch on our songs. Vocally it's way better for me too. Before in a 3 set night I would almost be out of gas by the middle of the second set.

I completely agree with "Slacker" above. Just remember to ear plug it up - so important. You only get one set of ears!

stinger22

USA

Apr 2nd, 2012 02:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well we got fired from a regular monthly gig we've had for the last 6 months. The problem was the other guitar player and he had downsized his amp to a small Fender Frontman and I play a DRRI on about 3. We started the first set and asked several times both bartenders and people sitting there how the levels were and everyone gave the OK. The owner came in around the middle of the second set and the crowd was pretty slack, it can be good or bad here you just never know. And of course if there arent a lot of bodies in this smaller venue volume can be a problem. I was told she was mad because some people left and she blamed it on the levels. I thought we were still fine at that point.
Anyway went in this weekend to talk to her and yea she blamed us for driving people off. I told we had checked all through the first set and she asked who and I said the bartenders, so one was standing there behind the bar and she asked her and of course the bartender said yes we were too loud, arrrgggghhhh! The owner again said she had told the other guitar player who is kinda the boss we were too loud. Said she had to make $1200 to pay us our $400 and other expenses and she didn't make it. Didn't think the discussion was going anywhere at that point so just told her we were still working on it please don't cut us out just yet.
Another bartender came up a few minutes later and apologized for how the owner had spoken to me and another said don't worry we'll get you back, she had recently told be we were in the top three favorites.
Went to two other places over the weekend to try and find a fill in and both said they only paid $300. For a five piece that almost ain't worth it.
Playing live............what an adventure.

littleuch
Contributing Member
*********

Michigan

T-boned and punctured
Apr 2nd, 2012 04:40 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

All it takes is one obnoxious customer to complain and the band will always be waved down. No bar owner or manager I've met will take the side of the band. I remember one gig, band was a rockin', dance floor packed, and a group piles in. They sit right up front at a table next to one of the mains. Bimbo pushes her way through the crowded dance floor with a look like someone glued a turd under her nose, and proceeds to emphatically wave the band down with both hands.

I also agree with a comment above that volume control begins with the drummer. In my current line up I can get away with playing a 6 watt VHT through a 1x12 cab. I credit that to the drummer.

5Strats
Contributing Member
**********
***

Edmond/OKC

i Haz Roc U
Apr 2nd, 2012 04:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The concert venues we mostly play don't have any volume restrictions.

Regardless, I hate when our band is too loud and its hard to distinguish things with any clarity. We're an alt rock/alt country band, we don't play hard rock or heavy metal.

DrKev
Contributing Member
*

Irishman in Paris

Forget Tone - go with Note Choice
Apr 3rd, 2012 05:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I once played a rock gig where we had a 94 dB sound limit (with fines for the venue if we were above that for more than 60 seconds). We sound checked the day before, running a 300 watt PA, taking great care with amp levels and such, and we actually sound checked to 88 dB, leaving a 6dB margin to allow for the crowd clapping and what not (80 paying punters in a small room). Was a great gig, seriously rocking, and proof that all the power and dynamics do not need big volume. Anyone who says otherwise has simply never done it.

BrentD
Contributing Member
****

Lansing, MI

Apr 3rd, 2012 07:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

DrKev, that's really cool. My experience has been (like many others) that acoustic drums are the hardest thing to handle. This is especially the case with the many drummers that lack dynamics.

Did you have a really good drummer, or how else did you pull it off? A regular acoustic kit can run over 100dB by itself.

DrKev
Contributing Member
*

Irishman in Paris

Forget Tone - go with Note Choice
Apr 3rd, 2012 07:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A good drummer, who used hot rods and brushes. The guitar and bass amp were at the sides of the stage pointing across, mic'ed. One monitor for vocals. Once we were happy with stage sound we added what ever was necessary to the mains. It was an extreme case, and it took a while to get it right, but we got there.

BrentD
Contributing Member
****

Lansing, MI

Apr 3rd, 2012 01:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That's great. When you get there, though, there is the possibility of repeating the circumstances. You now know you can do it, which means that if you wanted to pursue it you could perfect it. Excellent!

6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Apr 3rd, 2012 02:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've never run into that particular situation. Mostly, it's room acoustics that are challenging. I can tell as soon as the drummer hits the snare during setup what kind of acoustics we're up against. Sometimes, the problem will only be the stage area, sometimes, the whole room. I've played rooms that were so reflective that the noise from the crowd was enough that you had to yell in someone's ear to be heard before the band ever hit a note. Then there's others where the stage is so dead that the mix sounds too clean and you wish the place had a full range, separately mixed monitor system. Room acoustics vary a lot.

AceLuby

MN

Workin on my chops
Apr 12th, 2012 03:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was at a local bar a couple months ago, saw the drum set, the keys, 50 watt tube amp, 100 watt bass amp, and full 1,000 watt PA and expected to just get blasted w/ sound. Ate fast so I could leave by the time they started.

Long story short, these guys had the most control of volume I've ever seen and played some rockin music. They had a full dance floor and you could talk normally to the person next to you. It was an enlightening experience.

On the other hand I saw a band I enjoy quite a bit at a med sized club and just got BLASTED w/ sound. I enjoyed myself at the time but paid for it with almost a week solid of ear ringing.

It's the last time I will ever see that band again.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
*****

Merrill, Wisconsin

Ain't turned 60, but I got my blinker on
Apr 12th, 2012 03:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So 5strats...Any progress with your band yet?

6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Apr 12th, 2012 05:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The last band I played for had one of the best drummers I ever worked with. I asked him how he got such a solid sound out of his kit even when we played at lower volumes. He told me that it was the design of his kit as well as technique. So, looks like the type of drums can also be a factor. But on room acoustics again. I was in an Italian restaurant on my last trip to Florida. Bigger place, sat maybe 100 and it was full. The room was so loud that a normal conversation was impossible. No band, no music, just people eating dinner and yelling across the table at each other. The food was fine, but I won't be going there again. The only problem was the acoustics of the place were so reflective that the sound of un-amplified voices was loud enough to ruin the dinner for me. And I play in a band. It was that bad.

5Strats
Contributing Member
**********
***

Edmond/OKC

i Haz Hwip
Apr 13th, 2012 09:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Steve - The last two shows were much better. Part of this is attributable to having good monitors and good soundmen at these venues.

However, I do have our singer/rhytm guitarist tilting his combo now. (I gave him my tilt stand, otherwise there'd be no progress on this front. It's definitely worth the $20 these stands cost at GC!)

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / !!!TOO LOUD!!!




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