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BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?

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Escamillo 30 Jan 00 - 11:12 PM
Metchosin 30 Jan 00 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Soundman 31 Jan 00 - 12:34 AM
Mbo 31 Jan 00 - 12:48 AM
Metchosin 31 Jan 00 - 12:58 AM
Metchosin 31 Jan 00 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,Chris/Darwin 31 Jan 00 - 02:30 AM
Rick Fielding 31 Jan 00 - 02:49 AM
JedMarum 31 Jan 00 - 08:58 AM
Midchuck 31 Jan 00 - 10:39 AM
JedMarum 31 Jan 00 - 11:12 AM
Wesley S 31 Jan 00 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Paul G. (away from home) 31 Jan 00 - 12:29 PM
Molly Malone 31 Jan 00 - 12:45 PM
GeorgeH 31 Jan 00 - 01:09 PM
Molly Malone 31 Jan 00 - 01:15 PM
Peter T. 31 Jan 00 - 03:35 PM
Chet W. 31 Jan 00 - 03:50 PM
Molly Malone 31 Jan 00 - 04:03 PM
Bert 31 Jan 00 - 05:49 PM
lamarca 31 Jan 00 - 07:10 PM
Willie-O 31 Jan 00 - 07:57 PM
Mbo 31 Jan 00 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,Garry of Australia 31 Jan 00 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,ddw 01 Feb 00 - 12:26 AM
Escamillo 01 Feb 00 - 01:17 AM
AKS 01 Feb 00 - 08:42 AM

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Subject: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Escamillo
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 11:12 PM

Last Friday coming home from a concert of spirituals and blues, I was wondering what is the problem with sound engineers. Why should we hear only a mumble humble of rich voices, lose the consonants, lose the Pianissimos, feel the bass notes on our stomach and not on our ears, lose all particular timbres ? Is amplification intended to make the walls tremble, is this considered a good job ? I'm talking about a 1st class theatre, not a cheap rock place, but even in good places, the tendency seems to be the same: shock your head, hit your belly, that's sound.
The artists looked satisfied, and the audience applauded a lot. Am I crazy or maniac ? Or am I too exquisite a listener ?
I understand, not in all places you may sing without amplification, otherwise half the audience would not hear you, but this was a theatre, not a pub, not open air, this place was designed and built before Edison invented the gramophone, and has a history of singers and instrumental music with no amplification at all.
For me, IMHO (is that acronym correct?) there is a universe of difference between the real voice and the sound delivered by sophisticated pieces of paper and carbon, but I accept that sometimes they are necessary when NO other solution can be seen, for example in open air, and the alternative is to not give the concert at all. BUT, when we are in a theatre, I don't see any reason.
My conclusion if nobody can enlight me a little on this, is that sound engineers get truly DEAF as they run their careers, and we and the music pay the consequences.
Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Metchosin
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 11:36 PM

A very good point Andres and I have often wondered about that myself. I know that the classically trained voice in a church or older music venue needs no amplification to totally fill the space and have their voice ringing and lofting to the ceiling, as I have a daughter who can do that. I don't know what the sound engineers are up to, but as far as music theatre goes, I think it may have started with Andrew Lloyd Webber's penchant for pretty faces and small voices not suited to the role and then amplifying them for his extravaganzas. End of rant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: GUEST,Soundman
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 12:34 AM

If we were deaf, you would be in a lot more trouble than you think you are. There is certainly a condition where after a couple of hours the ears begin to get tired and sound engineers tend to turn up the volume to compensate. A real engineer will have a couple of devices to help him defeat this 1) a sound (decibel) meter (Radio Shack sells one for about $80) which allows the engineer to maintain a constant volume level and 2) a Real-time spectrum analyser which shows the volume level in 1/3 octave increments -ie a 31 band display. Not every room is acoustically perfect. Older halls were designed for unamplified projection and have unexpected frequency peaks when modern electronic amplification is used. Modern halls tend to have the acoustics of a barn. The spectrum analyser should be used to figure out the room acoustics by sending "white" and/or "pink" noise through the main speakers and showing which frequencies are killed or boosted by the room. Three or four tests in different parts of the room should be done to get an overall idea of any problems. The mains EQ units can then be set up. The same exercise has to be done for the stage area, ie what the performers hear, and get the monitor EQs set. Having got the room EQs we then turn to the performers "Sound Check". Not everyone has a great voice so we have to do our best to make them sound like they do on their CD by using another EQ unit, boosting weaker parts of the vocals and toning down the harsh parts. To smooth out the wavery parts and overcome the room limitations, we add in a little digital processing (Reverb/echo etc). We also have to dial in the compressor unit so that when our performer decides to SHOUT into our sensitive mic, it doesn't distort or jump the speaker coils out of its magnets! Now we turn our attention to the instruments and the problem of making internal electronics in an acoustic guitar sound like it is an acoustic instrument. We do this for every musician on the stage and set up several stage mixes so that everyone is happy and can hear in perfect fidelity what everyone is playing. When we have set up the most perfect sound, we then allow several hundred sound-absorbing bags of mostly water to come into the room and screw up the acoustics again. The remainder of the show is spent trying to regain that perfect EQ and balancing vocals and instruments so that the entire show is a pleasant experience for all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Mbo
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 12:48 AM

Sometimes performers are strange...my uncle worked with Pavarotti and told me this funny bit. Pav would say to the soundmen "Make the sound louder, I can't hear it." The soundmen wouldn't do anything, and then say "Is that better?" And Pav said "Oh yes yes, much better! Thanks!" And they hadn't done anything to the sound! Sorry if this was off the subject. I just thought it was kinda funny.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Metchosin
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 12:58 AM

I'm probably going to get myself flamed here,(for run on sentences if nothing else) on a number of levels, but maybe the sound engineers are only trying to duplicate what they think, people have come to expect (and a lot do) from a CD (real music's evil twin) in the venues where real music at one time, could really cut it on its own. Thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Metchosin
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 01:18 AM

Don't think its off subject at all Mbo, that's a hoot! sometimes big sounds come with big ego's. (and that comment was not directed towards competent sound engineers)


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: GUEST,Chris/Darwin
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 02:30 AM

This is one of those things that worry most (older) listeners to music in public halls.

Like Soundman, I have run PA systems for years in public halls, and have gone through the EQ procedures he describes. Generally I have been trying to achieve an acoustic sound for my (mostly acoustic instrument) band, so used Bose speakers, good EQ, and clean amps.

I have always considered myself to have done a good job if the audience was basically unaware of the PA system, but rather focussed on the performers. I am very sensitive to volume, so used the minimum necessary to ensure that the audience could hear the music clearly enough for dancing, or could understand the words of the songs.

Having said that, I often attend concerts where the sound level is so high that my ears hurt. I have taken to bringing ear plugs with me just in case. It's not just me either, my wife always appreciates ear plugs, and I often get asked for spares.

Concerts have ranged from Steeleye Span to the Bushwackers - bands you would think are acoustically based, and rely on clear vocal harmonies and accurate renditions of acoustic instruments. So why 130 dBA??

I long ago concluded that most sound engineers have lost much of their hearing, and this becomes particularly pronounced later in a concert. My youngest son does this for a living with a production company in Sydney, after playing in a rock band for a while. He always takes ear plugs and a sound pressure meter, and gets few complaints either way (too loud or too soft). He firmly believes that most of his colleagues are hearing - impaired.

The problem compounds with young audiences. Many younger people are already, even at 20, showing signs of serious impairment, and so demand that music be loud so that they can hear it. This is a problem with a mix of ages in an audience, as no-one is going to be happy with the sound level.

Public authorities have been very slow in addressing the problem. Some UK authorities have placed limits on sound level, and this is occasionally found in Australia as well. But that is the exception. The cheapness of high - power sound equipment means everyone can afford equipment capable of deafening them. From home stereos to car systems, there is loud music everywhere, and as long as there is, whole generations will be deafened, and will demand that public performances are played loud.

Sigh!!

What was that you said?? Sorry, couldn't hear you.

Regards
Chris

PS. This is my work PC, so I am probably a "Guest".


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 02:49 AM

Great thread Andres,(although the title is not going to get you better sound if they read this in South America!)

As a one man acoustic act, I've had my share of horrible evenings because of bad sound....but when the sound is good, I make sure I let the audience know who the sound people are, by thanking them sincerely from the stage. One of the problems is that sound men and women earn their living with Rock Music, not folk. I think they often ride the highs and gain faders because that's what a normal rock audience wants.

I make it a point to talk to the sound people BEFORE going on stage for a check. I explain what instruments I'm going to use and what their characteristics are, regarding tone and potential feedback. I always carry a couple of Shure SM 58s as well, just in case. The only thing I WON'T do is use pickups on my instruments. Sometimes I wish I had though!

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: JedMarum
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 08:58 AM

Good thread!

I have noticed, to my dismay, an alarming number of idiots running some very hight tech, excellent sound equipment. I have seen some sound people who simply haven't a clue how to run sound at the helm of the PA. I have also seen some very very good ones.

One of the negatives from the rock and roll era regarding sound equipment and how it is applied to music - is the notion that more is better. Personally, I think loud sucks - but it seems to be an accepted norm at music venues.

I do use pick ups in my instruments rather than mics. I realize that I am compromising the marvelous acoustic qualities of my guitars, and I accept that. I also realize that playing an 'electric' instrument (ie acoustic guitar with a pick-up) changes the way I play a bit - some subtelties are lost. But in the interest of delivering a balanced sound to the audience, and in order to reduce a common source of feedback and stage noise - a quality electonic pick up for my instruments is beneficial. It might be different if I played in better controlled stage environments, but I play a lot of bar gigs and very often run the sound myself from the stage.

It sounds a bit odd, but one trick I learned about running sound myself from the stage, is to watch people's faces, and to observe the crowd noise. Women's faces show you the tonal qualities very quickly - at least they show if the highs are too much. You need highs to put the T on the TEEE and the S on the ES, but too much and people (especially women) begin to look a bit sour faced. Also crowd noise is a good indicator. If the crowd is shouting to each other, it's obviously too loud. If they can talk comfortably, the volume is OK. If they can understand your words when you speak to them, then it is not too muddy. Of these are all gross indicators. You need to use them with common sense, and a good understanding of sound reproduction and the environment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Midchuck
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 10:39 AM

In bluegrass, there's a pronounced trend for bands to go back to the old setup of everyone playing into one mike, and dancing in and out and ducking under each others' instrument necks to take breaks, etc., similiar to what was done in the early days of bluegrass (late 40's, early 50's) when sound equipment was so limited that there wasn't any other choice.

There are a number of reasons for this trend. Some people feel that the choreography involved makes for a more visually interesting show than a bunch of musicians standing in a row. It's also felt that the harmony singing is better when the singers are physically closer and projecting at one another. And there's an element of "This is the way the old masters did it, so it must be best!"

But one important factor in the trend is that it takes the control of relative levels away from the sound guy - who will screw it up every time if he isn't a specialist in bluegrass, and sometimes if he is, since he's likely to try and compensate for the changing levels as different musician take breaks, even though they wanted the levels to change - and gives it back to the band.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: JedMarum
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 11:12 AM

Midchuck - that trend makes a lot of sense, expecially with bluegrass. With the wonderful new sound equipment that has evovled over the last few years, a good bluegrass trained sound engineer could really capture great sound.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 12:19 PM

I'm not sure that I completely agree with this comment - but - I have a friend who loves to say "Those who can - DO - those who can't - sit behind mixing boards. "

Whenever I go to a show where the sound is good I like to go to the board and compliment the engineer. I usually get a blank stare but sometimes they will tell me that it's the first compliment that they've ever recieved. And thats a shame. A lot of them are great but sometimes you can tell that you have someone that's one taco short of a combination platter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: GUEST,Paul G. (away from home)
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 12:29 PM

When we perform in a concert setting as the only act, or share the stage with an opener, we will alwys try to manage our own sound. When this is not possible we will spend up to an hour with the sound person doing sound check,and levels for a full range of performance circumstances (solo and harmony vocals/solo and mixed instrumentals)...then hold on and pray for something close during the show. I am growing to hate the festival "short set" where you are signed to do 3 or 4 25 to 45 minute sets..solo and group acts switching out in rapid succession. That circumstance is difficult fort the most seasoned sound person and I am almost always dissatisfied with the results. There has been an unfortunate recent trend of digitally recording these short sets for inclusion of tunes in a compilation CD...we now refuse to participate in those things unless we have absolute editing control...

Paul


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Molly Malone
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 12:45 PM

I've worked with production companies for a number of years now and I've seen everything from multi-million doller equipment being run by some producer's son who wouldn't know his rearend from a hole in the ground, to a $1000 setup run by someone with an incredible ear and talent for sound. (And the brains to bring earplugs to every gig.)

Also, I've noticed that many times it's either the performer's way or the highway. I've worked with bands that trust the engineers judgement, and those that don't.

On the other hand, as a performer I've dealt with trusting a moron, and then having to tell him what I want and him looking at me like, "stupid musicians think they know everything."

From what I've noticed, unless the engineer has a lot of experieince in folk or traditional music they end up mixing it like rock...which sounds loud and awful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 01:09 PM

Molly, thanks for injecting a sense of balance into this argument. Which is a very familiar one on the Folk Music newsgroups.

IMO a sound engineer is very like a musician in a band. Indeed, the best engineers I know ARE also musicians . .

G.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Molly Malone
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 01:15 PM

I agree....except that the best engineers are FOLK musicians. Everyone has listened to rock at some point, so they can mix it usually. If you don't know what folk should sound like,...


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 03:35 PM

I think that the problem is much more complicated, and involves the phenomenology of sound, which is hard to capture. Rock music is music where the listener wants to be physically pressed by the music and saturated by the sound (this is true of techno-pop etc.). The louder the sound the more environmentally powerful it is: meaning is based on variation in a given underpinned environment ("the ground is sound"). This style, associated with amplification, has taken over audience expectation. It is not for listening, it is for being in. If a young audience has to bend forward to listen, it is not just too quiet, it is outside them: it does not support them. Classical audiences sought volume too, but it was in a context of actively searching for nuance in sound, and meaning in sound: volume is part of crescendo and decrescendo, and so on. Its fundamental ground is silence, not sound. The problem is not that people are getting deaf to sound: they are getting deaf to silence, which affects the meaning of the sounds that give their musical experience meaning.
Or some groping thought like that....

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Chet W.
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 03:50 PM

Yeah the soundperson should be a musician, or at least a very perceptive listener. When my partner and I started a recording project recently, we were lucky enough to find a first rate home studio run by a very fine acoustic musician. Knowing what the instruments and the voices are supposed to sound like is 90% of the battle. Also keep in mind that mixing for a particular room can be very difficult. If one wall is all mirrors and the others are divided into high-backed booths, there's no way to get the sound just right for every spot in the room. On stage we mix our own so there's nobody else to blame. Another good tip: spend as much as you can on good microphones. Makes a ton of difference, and sounds better than any pickup.

Chet


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Molly Malone
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 04:03 PM

The only problem with mixing yourself on stage is that you can't hear what it sounds like to the audience, and someone has to keep walking out into the house to get a level...then you can never get a mix right because you can't listen to yourself...unless you have a long cord.:) (Which a lot of people do....keep the bawdry to yourselves.) ;) Otherwise, if you have someone in the house who's ear you trust they can always tell you up or down...although that's only half the battle. :) All in all, if you don't have a sound person that you trust, get one. That way, even if you have to deal with one you are given, most engineers (I say most) are ok with having another engineer tell them how this band is supposed to sound, especially if they're not familiar with the music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Bert
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 05:49 PM

There's good uns and there's bad uns but don't forget that one of the most important and most overlooked parts of the system is 'microphone technique'. Back in the old days a singer would learn to use the microphone. Nowadays the only technique a lot of singers know is, 'get too close and shout'. Then they wonder why no one can understand the lyrics.

If you know what you're doing then, a cheap microphone can sound quite good, but if you don't, then the even most expensive microphone won't help you.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: lamarca
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 07:10 PM

At the large folk festivals/concerts I work on as a stage hand, we usually have two sound engineers at every large stage; one mixes the inputs for the house, the other does a separate mix for the monitors for the performers onstage. Frequently a group will travel with their own monitor engineer, who is able to mix the monitors the way the group is used to hearing themselves. Occasionally this leads to problems, though; one zydeco band we featured had their monitors up so loudly, the house engineer just turned off the house speakers in self-defense. The band was used to playing in small dives at top volume, and were deaf themselves!

With a one-board set-up, mixing the monitor levels vs. the house levels can be very tricky, especially at a festival where the groups change every 30-45 minutes and there's no time for sound checks. There you just pray the engineer has some familiarity with your style of music, and thank the ones who do it right profusely!


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Willie-O
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 07:57 PM

This question of the role of the sound tech leads to some interesting situations. Of course, the sound tech should have musical sensibilities and know what sounds should be there. BUT...

The other night I went to a JP Cormier concert--ultra hot Cape Breton/Nashville cat guitar picker/fiddler, you know. 3 piece band--JP plus keyboard & bass. Now it so happens that both the backup musicians were playing pretty busy melodic parts, not just rhythm section accompaniment. (They reminded me of Cream in this regard. I love Cream and these are very good players, but some might have found the arrangements a bit jagged.) During the first set you could hardly hear the keyboard--"Hands moving, no sound" syndrome--a lot of the time.

The sound guy is a friend of mine, so during intermission we chatted, and he asked what I thought of the sound. I said I thought he should boost the keyboard, he said that seemed to be the consensus of opinion, but he'd been trying to keep the level low purposefully to keep the guitar sound in the foreground. (Well fair enough, the guitar was what we came to hear). Cape Breton piano players are pretty flashy and fancy, that's the style down thar, and you can imagine if the keyboard and acoustic guitar were at the same level, which would be louder. Its certainly a tricky balancing act.

Second set, the keyboard level was set quite a bit higher, and yeah, the rhythm was a bit ragged sometimes. (Great band, but they'd benefit by the addition of a tasteful percussionist) This was a case where the sound guy just couldn't win, there'd either be not enough keyboard or too much. But my feeling is, the basic responsibility of the guy behind the board is to make sure all the instruments and vocals can be heard clearly. He/she is not doing the arranging, that has to be left to the performers.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Mbo
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 08:40 PM

Does anyone know Mack? He was the recording engineer for two of my favorite bands, Electric Light Orchestra, and Queen. That man deserved a medal. Also, from playing some small performances at my old community college, I got to know Billy, our sound man, very well. He was the nicest guy and would go out of his way to make sure everything sounded good. I have a lot of respect for sound engineers. Without them, we're unplugged!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: GUEST,Garry of Australia
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 08:49 PM

I have been in sound reproduction for about 30 years and I agree with Chris that sometimes it is too loud, but it has been my experience that folkies generally are luddites and hate anything technical or modern. Usually the folk nazi police stand at the back of concerts and complain that "they are using an amplifier, thats a sin of the first degree". No venue is perfect and as such the sound in most venues is awful, it lacks depth and most venue lack various frequencies which creates dead spots. Add the fact that human bodies are great absorbers of sound and you have a nightmare. I have been to venues where the traditionalists will not have a PA and as such if you are not in the front row you cannot hear the performer. Classically trained voices will quite often overcome some of this and project their voices but we are talking about folkies, who usually will not have a bar of any sort of classical lessons. The point I am making is if a small but good quality PA is used in most venues and equalized using a 1/3 octave equalizer and Real Time Analyzer then the audience will most certainly hear the artists much better than without a PA, this goes for small venues as well. The PA does not have to be loud, but be there to reinforce the artist and to compensate for the poor acoustic qualities of the venue. In Australia we have a world famous Opera House, in most of the concert rooms Acoustic Rings have been installed to help with this. They also have PA.

A good quality PA will also allow the artists to have foldback, very essential, have you often wondered why people sing off key, it is because they are deaf or cannot hear themselves and thus cannot pitch their voices. Again it does not have to be loud. Ever noticed that folkies cup their hands to their ears, quite often in groups, this is because they cannot hear themselves. I particularly do not like it, it looks unprofessional, I have never seen Pavarotti do it.

When it comes down to it, if you are paying dollars and cannot hear an artist/artists because of a lack of PA, do you complain?. I refuse to go to certain folk festivals and concerts because there is no PA present, I will not pay good hard earned dollars when I cannot hear the sound and yes I have been told that I have a good ear for mixing when I do the PA, so I am fussy

Garry of Australia


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: GUEST,ddw
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 12:26 AM

I agree a good sound man is worth his weight in gold, but I'm afraid most of the ones I've encountered in the last 10 years or so don't know what they're doing. Whether it's a function of them being deaf from too many hours of too-loud music or they're catering to audience expectations, most are starting with their main gains too high. And from there it's impossible to get sound with any subtlety.

I had never heard of laws limiting the dBs before, but I wish somebody would start it around here. I can't even go to a movie any more because the volume levels are so high it's painful and the dialogue becomes just muddy noise to me. Same thing with most concerts — even some folk concerts I've gone to lately.

enough of that rant.

cheers all,

david


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: Escamillo
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 01:17 AM

SoundMan, thank you for an explanation so complete. (It always happens to me: once I wrote something against dodecaphonism, and got a reply from Arnold Schoenberg)
I would like to quote some of the very rich postings we find here:
- Garry : "Add the fact that human bodies are great absorbers of sound and you have a nightmare. "
- SoundMan:"When we have set up the most perfect sound, we then allow several hundred sound-absorbing bags of mostly water to come into the room and screw up the acoustics again."
This intrigues me: the audience seems to be more a nuisance than a necessity. Of course engineers do not think this way (the quote is a joke), but why don't they limit the amplification to the point where that problem is non-existent ? There MUST be such point.

- Rick:"One of the problems is that sound men and women earn their living with Rock Music, not folk. I think they often ride the highs and gain faders because that's what a normal rock audience wants. "
- Metchosin:", but maybe the sound engineers are only trying to duplicate what they think, people have come to expect (and a lot do) from a CD (real music's evil twin) in the venues where real music at one time, could really cut it on its own. "
Then it is their turn to learn.We should teach them, and if they are professionals, they should learn.

- SoundMan: "Older halls were designed for unamplified projection and have unexpected frequency peaks when modern electronic amplification is used. "
I don't see a reason to force older halls to be what they were not designed for. I would prefer sound engineers to rather design parabolic surfaces or similar things to improve natural acoustics.

- SoundMan:". There is certainly a condition where after a couple of hours the ears begin to get tired and sound engineers tend to turn up the volume to compensate. "
That's terrible.Those who do this should not be allowed to practice.

- Chris :"I have taken to bringing ear plugs with me just in case. It's not just me either, my wife always appreciates ear plugs, and I often get asked for spares. " Then, why attending ? If we don't attend, they will notice it. Chris: "I have always considered myself to have done a good job if the audience was basically unaware of the PA system, but rather focussed on the performers. I am very sensitive to volume, so used the minimum necessary to ensure that the audience could hear the music clearly enough for dancing, or could understand the words of the songs. "
I agree, and so do my ears.
There's a thread on the subject of performance in a dome, I think there are some very interesting opinions.
Un abrazo (aahh ?? ) UN A B R A Z OOOOO !!! - Oh yes, good brasses too ! :)
Andrés


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Subject: RE: BS: Musical: are sound engineers deaf ?
From: AKS
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 08:42 AM

Hugely important issue this one and should be taken very seriously by soundfolks of any kind, says I!

From the listeners point of view the ideal amplification (at least of non electric music) is, I think, such that one in the audience can hear everything clearly and still imagine the sound coming directly from the instruments or singers. If one 'hears' the loudspeakers then it's too loud! Hard to accomplish, I know, but still a goal to aim at, isn't it!

Another thing that drives me up the walls is the bass and percussion boost. What on earth makes some people think that a bass that fuzzes everything up by growling several desibels above the rest of the music, or a bass and/or snare drum loud enough to crush your ribs or to tear the plaster off the walls would be something enjoyable, even if it's 'rock'??? If the soundpersons who do mix like that aren't deaf, then they have chosen the wrong career!

The Finnish regulations about safe working conditions rule that if the 'noise' is constantly 85 dBA or more the workers must be provided with earplugs or equivalent. I wonder how many music clubs do that!

And last, mamas (why not papas too) don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys, make them be otologist, they won't run out of patients - if you hear what I mean;-)!

AKS


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Mudcat time: 1 July 12:28 PM EDT

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