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BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002

Julie B 22 May 02 - 05:15 AM
Julie B 22 May 02 - 05:17 AM
Sam Pirt 22 May 02 - 06:01 AM
Steve Parkes 22 May 02 - 06:39 AM
DMcG 22 May 02 - 06:43 AM
Steve Parkes 22 May 02 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Min 22 May 02 - 06:49 AM
Julie B 22 May 02 - 07:29 AM
DMcG 22 May 02 - 08:13 AM
greg stephens 22 May 02 - 08:28 AM
Mrrzy 22 May 02 - 04:22 PM
Julie B 23 May 02 - 06:25 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 May 02 - 06:46 AM
Dave Bryant 23 May 02 - 07:58 AM
Steve Parkes 23 May 02 - 08:27 AM
vectis 23 May 02 - 09:44 AM
Sam Pirt 23 May 02 - 09:57 AM
greg stephens 23 May 02 - 10:00 AM
Dave Bryant 23 May 02 - 10:41 AM
Julie B 24 May 02 - 06:32 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 02 - 07:10 AM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,Julie B at home 25 May 02 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,Julie B at home 25 May 02 - 07:57 PM
The Shambles 25 May 02 - 08:35 PM
RichM 26 May 02 - 10:11 AM
Liz the Squeak 26 May 02 - 03:43 PM
GUEST 01 Jun 02 - 03:22 AM
GUEST 03 Jun 02 - 11:56 PM
Julie B 05 Jun 02 - 11:10 AM

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Subject: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Julie B
Date: 22 May 02 - 05:15 AM

Today is Noise Awareness Day in the UK.

For details of the UK Noise Association, see:

So, what noises do you find are the most annoying/intrusive?

Also, do you agree that most amplified music, even at folk concerts, is too loud for you to relax and enjoy? Is there more than a grain of truth in the suggestion that most sound engineers grow partially deaf, but never realise it? If you are a sound engineer/performer of amplified music, when did you last have your hearing checked? Any comments?

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Julie B
Date: 22 May 02 - 05:17 AM

Sorry! I'll try again....

Today is Noise Awareness Day in the UK. What noises annoy you most?

For details of UK Noise Association, see: http://www.superscript.co.uk/ukna/index.html

Also, do you agree that most amplified music, even at folk concerts, is way too loud? Is there more than a grain of truth in the suggestion that most sound engineers grow partially deaf, but never realise it? If you are a sound engineer/performer of amplified music, when did you ast have your hearing checked?

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 22 May 02 - 06:01 AM

I guess that means all us melodion, banjo and accordion players have to stop playing then????!!!!!

Cheers, sam (who plays accordion)


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 May 02 - 06:39 AM

All in favour ...?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: DMcG
Date: 22 May 02 - 06:43 AM

No, you just have to be aware of it!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 May 02 - 06:45 AM

Actually, you have to make more noise if you want me to hear. A good rule of thumb is: if I've come to see you I've probably come to hear you too. But Julie's right: there's no excuse for amplified music being too loud. I suppose "how loud is too loud" is a subjective thing, but there are common-sense limits IMO.

And the noisy musicians can always stand behind the quiet ones.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: GUEST,Min
Date: 22 May 02 - 06:49 AM

do you agree that most amplified music, even at folk concerts, is way too loud?

No I wouldn't agree with that. I think that my hearing is pretty accute (it's certainly better than most of my friends and family) but concerts are supposed to be on the loud side, aren't they?

Anyhow it's not just amplified music, an orchestra going at full pelt is a lot louder than any folk gig I've been to.

Min


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Julie B
Date: 22 May 02 - 07:29 AM

Seems like I'm in a minority of one so far (well, me plus my friend & flute player Pat Baldwin form Rushden). I had my hearing tested last year and was told it was fine for my age (40)...but I'm starting to think that my contemporaries might not be so lucky and might not know it. I must admit I just cannot for the life of me see the attraction of music that physically hurts my eardrums - am I ultra-sensitive? I think I'd better keep sticking to acoustic gigs....

Julie B


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: DMcG
Date: 22 May 02 - 08:13 AM

Ok, I'll respond seriously this time. I prefer purely acoustic sessions where they make sense, such as pub lounges, etc. When amplication is used it does tend to be set far higher than necessary for pure audability. If you look at club music part of the reason for the high volume is to do with 'atmosphere' and I think that is true of amplified folk music as well. In the outdoors, getting a sensible balance is always difficult. I went a session of the Proms in Hyde Park the year before last and the whole thing was ruined for me by people chattering. The only way to get around this was to move nearer the speakers to drown out the pic-nickers who weren't interested in the music. And this meant that the music had to be amplified even more.

I am bothered more, though, by all-pervasive musak than by volume.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 May 02 - 08:28 AM

I am running a percussion workshop using bhangra dohl drums tonight, and I will be issuing ear plugs. The number of regularly playing musicians suffering hearing damage is a very sad thing and I'm sure is avoidable in a lot of cases by elementary precautions. A rock musician using high levels of foldback many nights a week is I'm sure at more risk than audience members who occasionally go to noisy gigs, but I think it's something we should all be aware of. And yes. I do think amplification is normally ridiculously loud, particularly at folkie events when you are dealing with acoustically based music: surely "loud enough to hear" is what you need. heavy metal is something else: noise is part of the experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 May 02 - 04:22 PM

I lost a noticeable amount of hearing at one single concert in college. But this Noise Awareness Day should cross the pond... all those cars with music booming so I can't hear NPR... I only crank really GOOD songs, myself (*BG*)...


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Julie B
Date: 23 May 02 - 06:25 AM

...Yes Mrrzy, that, for me, is the worst noise of all. The thumping bass music that pounds from cars, shops and houses nowadays, and gets louder every year. I hear that, in the extreme form, it's now referred to as 'Acoustic Terrorism'. I've had personal experience of having long periods of shattered nerves and sleepless nights due to very ignorant neighbours who didn't see why they shouldn't have their right to play their music loud day and night. Every day and night. Apparently it was 'their music' and 'their right' ! :-) Funnily enough, I didn't seem to have any 'right' to the peace, quiet and sleep that I so desperately craved...


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 May 02 - 06:46 AM

They kept very quiet about this Noise Awareness Day, didn't they?

"I am running a percussion workshop using bhangra dohl drums tonight, and I will be issuing ear plugs." Now that was a very paradoxical way to mark the occasion, Greg!

I generally find that the best sound from most open air folk concerts is from way way back; and from indoor bands they sound best from outside the hall. In the bar for example.

You need amplification to be heard in many settings, and to get a balance where the quieter instruments can be heard in the blend, but too often there is far too much, and especially too much bass. Folk music really suffers when sound technicians who have all their experience with rock bands and such get charge of the equipment, and that is only too likely to happen when they are dependent on, for example, whoever the people setting up the venue happen to hire.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 23 May 02 - 07:58 AM

Ah well, I didn't do any singing yesterday - so I suppose that I've made my contribution !


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 23 May 02 - 08:27 AM

I happen to know Julie went to a session last night, so if the good people of Newport Pagnell have any complaints, they know where to come!

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: vectis
Date: 23 May 02 - 09:44 AM

I, like many others, avoid concerts like the plague or listen from way, way back (the bar is good).
All the sound engineers that I know have damaged hearing from too much too loud music. I do not intend to join them if I can help it.
I play accordion and practice quietly most of the time.
My hearing was damaged when I was a baby so I treasure the fact that I can hear at all and am desparate to conserve whart I have for as long as possible. If a concert is too loud I walk out and protest to the organisers. I have missed some top acts because of this but there is no way I will inflict volume reaching the pain threshold on myself. People who determinedly stay in the concert are mugs and until they start walking out en masse nothing will change.
YES I want to hear the act clearly but it does NOT have to hurt to do it.
As you can see this is a hobby horse of mine.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 23 May 02 - 09:57 AM

Yes you are right it is a serious issue, and in Sweden they have the best solution (as usual) It is common place to wear ear plugs that let all of the right sounds in and get rid of the bad noise that does your ear drums in. I have often seen many swedes wearing ear plugs at festivals and in music sessions. It seems pritty sensible to me!!

Tack, Sam


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 May 02 - 10:00 AM

Vectis, good on you. It should be everyone's hobby horse. The number of people with music related hearing loss is growing every day and people have got to be warned. We are all in danger of losing the ablity to enjoy the thing we love dearly. Walk out, complain (noisily) to festival and venue managements. In particular< complain ( in a friendly way, they don't twiddlethe knobs) to performers. Just say" I came to hear you, I'd have loved to listen, but the noise was intolerable, so I walked out. I'm sorry". This will be taken seriously by any performer, who will then feel backed up when pleading with a cloth-eared soundman to keep thelevels down. I'm sure the problem can be solved, but only by performers and management putting pressure on soundmen(women). So keep complaining!! They're your ears, and they're theonly pair you've got.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 23 May 02 - 10:41 AM

I agree with Vectis and most of the previous postings about over-amplification at concerts - ceilidhs at festivals are sometimes even worse.

I do use PA gear, but generally only in the open air or for large pub gigs where there's a lot of background noise. The system I use indoors has a maximum power of only 2x30w. The larger one which is only used outdoors (and in big marquees) is 2x150w.

I try to use a PA for just sound reinforcement. Once I asked an audience member after a big waterways concert, "Could you hear OK at the back ?" "Perfectly", he answered. "So the PA was alright then ?" I queried. His answer of "What PA ?" was the best one which I could have received.

One of the biggest problems with over-amplification is that it makes audience participation in choruses almost impossible - even for noisy b*****s like me !


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Julie B
Date: 24 May 02 - 06:32 AM

Easlier this year I attended a concert by Bill Jones where she had to practically swear at the sound engineer from the stage mid-songs to get him to turn the volume down to a reasonable level(sound was distorting badly too, as it was so loud). Despite her protestations, he kept insisting on turning it up again (obviously thought he knew best - obviously deaf!). I think she gave him a good talking to during the interval, as things improved in the second half - but only marginally - she still had to complain again!

I saw duo 'Show of Hands' for the first time the other week at St Neots. Great, but again, too loud. Would love to see them acoutically. My friend had a word with the sound engineer during the interval and he was at least slightly sympathetic. It is worth making your feeling known. You're probably not alone!!!

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 02 - 07:10 AM

"Despite her protestations, he kept insisting on turning it up again (obviously thought he knew best - obviously deaf!). " (Julie B)

He probably actually was. As vectis remarked: "All the sound engineers that I know have damaged hearing from too much too loud music."

There's a vicious circle here. Before anybody gets to control the volume they are going to have had to go through an "apprenticeship" which ensures that by the time they have the power to turn the volume down, they feel they need to turn it up.

A lot of the problem is people assuming that the way to make it easier to hear things is just to turn up the volume, and it's a lot more complicated than that. And the main problem, and the main damaging factor, is cranked up bass and percussion. My understanding is that, if your hearing is going off, which happens to most people sooner or later, even without the loud music, that isn't likely to be the part of the sound which needs amplifying to help you hear what is going on.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 08:46 AM

Dave is right. If the audience can hear you clearly and don't realise that a PA is being used then the volume and mix is just dandy.
A PA that is too loud merely distorts sound and destroys the enjoyment of the audience.
People who want music loud enough to burst eardrums go to heavy metal or rock concerts not folk concerts.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: GUEST,Julie B at home
Date: 25 May 02 - 07:42 PM

Cheers McGrath,

You read my mind when you said: "There's a vicious circle here. Before anybody gets to control the volume they are going to have had to go through an "apprenticeship" which ensures that by the time they have the power to turn the volume down, they feel they need to turn it up." I agree entirely. All the evidence suggests that budding sound engineers have all been brainwashed and deafened by the time they take charge! Also, is there a chance that they get badgered by hard-of-hearing audience members to turn levels up, even when 90% of the audience may be hearing things perfectly?

My own father, who is 77, is hard-of-hearing but refuses to use a hearing aid. Instead, TV and radio are turned up to levels that are painful to others (inc. neighbours, I'm sure!). My mother knows that her own hearing has suffered from being exposed to this.

Julie B

P.S. So, let me get this right. "The Bovril's with the gravy, but the Marmite's with the Jam". Yes? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: GUEST,Julie B at home
Date: 25 May 02 - 07:57 PM

Following on from comments above, there's now a new thread dedicated to discussion about sound engineers and volume levels. It's:

Sound Engineers - Deaf/Sending us deaf?"

Julie B


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 May 02 - 08:35 PM

To most people, including those in power, the words noise and music have come to mean the same thing, unfortunaely. This has and is causing many problems.

A lot of music, presenting no real noise concern is being prevented because of this perception. Any suggestions as to how this can be changed?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: RichM
Date: 26 May 02 - 10:11 AM

Musicians, a point to consider when you are on stage, trying to judge sound volume : you can't judge what the audience is hearing from your side of the mic!

This doesn't excuse you and the sound techs from responsibility; as a performer who does sound for his own groups, and also uses sound people for some gigs--I understand the frustration with sound quality (and volume) expressed here. Perhaps one way to resolve it is to have one of the performers go down to the audience at the beginning of the performance--and perhaps more often if possible.

Sound systems should, as Dave said above, be transparent to the listener. We have a responsibility to entertain, AND to respect but not damage the audience's ears...

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 May 02 - 03:43 PM

I didn't realise it was Noise awareness day... I hadn't heard!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 03:22 AM

MC THREAD NOISE AWARENESS DAY????

When?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 11:56 PM

I can't hear you


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Noise Awareness Day - May 22nd 2002
From: Julie B
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 11:10 AM

It was May 22nd 2002 (in UK). Not very well publicised, I agree. Our local radio station (BBC Three Counties) had a phone in about it.
Julie B


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