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Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2

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greg stephens 27 May 02 - 06:25 PM
CarolC 27 May 02 - 06:29 PM
CarolC 27 May 02 - 06:30 PM
greg stephens 27 May 02 - 06:46 PM
Herga Kitty 27 May 02 - 07:09 PM
greg stephens 27 May 02 - 07:17 PM
GUEST 27 May 02 - 07:31 PM
Herga Kitty 27 May 02 - 07:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 May 02 - 07:40 PM
CarolC 27 May 02 - 09:39 PM
Bert 27 May 02 - 11:07 PM
greg stephens 28 May 02 - 04:40 AM
Steve Parkes 28 May 02 - 08:16 AM
Nigel Parsons 28 May 02 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Arkie 28 May 02 - 10:45 AM
NicoleC 28 May 02 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Bullfrog Jones (on the road) 28 May 02 - 11:15 AM
Steve Parkes 28 May 02 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 28 May 02 - 12:19 PM
CarolC 28 May 02 - 12:31 PM
CarolC 28 May 02 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Julie B at home 28 May 02 - 03:29 PM
CarolC 28 May 02 - 05:04 PM
GUEST 31 May 02 - 04:50 AM
Julie B 31 May 02 - 11:34 AM
Whistle Stop 31 May 02 - 02:51 PM
NicoleC 01 Jun 02 - 01:14 AM
Escamillo 01 Jun 02 - 01:51 AM
GUEST,Julie B at home 02 Jun 02 - 03:03 AM
vectis 03 Jun 02 - 08:07 PM
Bullfrog Jones 04 Jun 02 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,dan plews 04 Jun 02 - 07:45 AM
Julie B 05 Jun 02 - 11:06 AM
Bullfrog Jones 05 Jun 02 - 01:10 PM
EBarnacle1 05 Jun 02 - 04:38 PM
CarolC 05 Jun 02 - 04:41 PM
CarolC 05 Jun 02 - 07:37 PM
Dave Bryant 06 Jun 02 - 05:27 AM
HuwG 06 Jun 02 - 07:00 AM
EBarnacle1 06 Jun 02 - 12:11 PM
EBarnacle1 06 Jun 02 - 12:27 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Jun 02 - 01:56 PM
HuwG 09 Jun 02 - 11:46 AM
HuwG 09 Jun 02 - 11:50 AM
HuwG 09 Jun 02 - 11:52 AM
Julie B 10 Jun 02 - 11:25 AM
C-flat 10 Jun 02 - 12:01 PM
Dave Bryant 11 Jun 02 - 05:21 AM
vectis 11 Jun 02 - 05:23 AM
CarolC 11 Jun 02 - 05:24 AM
CarolC 11 Jun 02 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,keberoxu 16 Sep 16 - 02:43 PM
Rumncoke 16 Sep 16 - 05:09 PM
JohnH 16 Sep 16 - 05:59 PM
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Subject: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 May 02 - 06:25 PM

Starting a Part 2 as I cant access long threads. hope somebody will stick this onto Part 1 with a blue clicky which I can't do. Thanks


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 27 May 02 - 06:29 PM

Here's Part 1


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 27 May 02 - 06:30 PM

Ha! Joke's on me. Try again...

Part 1


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 May 02 - 06:46 PM

Thanks very much CarolC. this thread has made mevery nostalgic. I remember the crap PA systems creeping into the folk clubs in the 70's,hailed in the folk press as "bringing in much needed professionalism" blah blah blah. Amazing how thepoor Luddites in the 60's seemed to manage to listen to Coppers, Carthys, Watersons, McColls Campbells Killens McPeakes Behans Briggs etc etc without benefit of decibels, and the economics seemed to work out. I regularly play acoustic gigs with the band ( acoustic as in "no amplification" strange old use of English) nowadays, and most people find this positively eccentric. heard the term "unplugged" by the way? You would think it might mean "without plugs". how wrong you would be.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 27 May 02 - 07:09 PM

Well, as soon as you get an electric bass, or any other electric instrument, you need to balance (can apply to loud instruments used to accompany songs too). But the motto of the Hawkes Vernon Sound crew used to be "Good sound reinforcement is conspicuous by its apparent absence". Of course that was over 20 years ago.....


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 May 02 - 07:17 PM

I love electric music as well as anyone, but given the fact that music has been made for 10/20/50,000 years (your guess is as good as mine) without electricity, it seems a shame to write the process off completely as hopelessly old-fashioned. There are a lot of acoustic intruments around. Not better than electric basses, not worse: just different.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 02 - 07:31 PM

Electric everything has crept in even to morris teams. I could not believe it when a team band practiced with an amped electric bass guitar on the Upton campsite at some ungodly hour of the morning.
Havnt you lot heard of consideration or kip?


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 27 May 02 - 07:34 PM

We've just had an evening at Herga of Carolyn Robson singing unaccompanied and unamplified and it was great. But when we had Bill Jones last year she was playing electronic keyboard as well as acoustic accompaniments, so we had PA in a fairly small room, to get the balance between the voice and the accompaniment. It shouldn't be about increasing decibels.

As an unaccompanied singer myself, I agree with the argument that increasing the volume and singing louder (or raucously) against a noisy background tends to increase the background noise. If the singer and the song are any good you can get people to shut up and listen.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 May 02 - 07:40 PM

They say the best way to quieten down a noisy room is to sing something quiet. Of course that only works if they want to hear you.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 27 May 02 - 09:39 PM

A lot of the sound reinforcement work that I've done has been to either balance out instruments that need it, such as a renaissance guitar being played with a modern (non-electric) fiddle, or a lute being played with a modern (non-electric) fiddle. The fiddles would drown out the more delicate sound of the renaissance instrument.

Also, I have done sound reinforcement for acoustic instruments that needed to be heard at dance workshops. One workshop where sound reinforcement was particularly needed was a clog waltz workshop with the instruments being the aforementioned rennaisance guitar and modern fiddle, and also a theorbo. There is no way on earth the delicate sound of the renaissance instuments would have been heard over the clog dancers without reinforcement. But with a sensitive touch on the knob, it ended up sounding great.

The guitarist was someone who was totally opposed to having a microphone, and it was like pulling teeth to get her to let us mic her. But after it was over, she came up to me, beaming, shook my hand, and thanked me. I think that was my proudest moment as a sound tech.

Also, I've done some sound reinforcement work in outside venues where the voices or instruments like Celtic harps or very small and delicate bagpipes would have only been heard by the first five or six rows before the sound dissipated into the air.

I know that sound reinforcement isn't the purist thing to do, but sometimes it is necessary even when all of the instuments are acoustic (not electronic or electric).


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Bert
Date: 27 May 02 - 11:07 PM

It wasn't until the mid fifties that reasonable quality sound systems became available to the general public.

The pop industry took this in one direction and opted to go for sheer volume. The square dance community recognized the benefits of improved clarity and took a completely different direction.

I find it quite disappointing that the pop industry now seems to be centred in black music and that square dancing seems to have omitted our black population entirely.

Even us folkies seem to be mostly white. So much so, that black folkies like Vance Gilbert are a cherished rarity.

Those of us that want to square dance in a mixed community are just out of luck. As are those that want to be able to listen to pop music without resorting to the use of earplugs.

Someday there may emerge a middle of the road!


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 May 02 - 04:40 AM

Refresh: Getting this to the top of the list to try to stop people continuing posting on Part 1 of the thread.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 May 02 - 08:16 AM

When my kids were in primary school (ages 5-11) the school began having monthly discos. When I'd pick them up the music would be very loud even by my (then) thirty-something standard. Did no-one ever think about possible damage to youngsters' ears, which were even more vulnerable than ours? I know from experience what happns when you ask the dj to turn the music down: he turns it down and then turns it back up when you've stopped petering him. And can you tell you kids they can't go and bop with their mates?


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 28 May 02 - 08:28 AM

Steve: great use of the English language! the Dj turns the music back up when you stop "petering" him.
Peter: to reduce in intensity (as in peter out)
Yep, that sums it up perfectly (unless you meant "pestering" !) *BG*
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 28 May 02 - 10:45 AM

In the theater that I managed for about 15 years we tried to keep the sound at a comfortable level. The problem we had was with visiting artists who kept demanding the sound engineer raise the sound level. It would get to the point that people would get up and leave, and I would have left too had I not been working there. I finally instructed the engineer to give the performers as much sound as the monitors could provide and keep the sound at a reasonable level for the audience. The sound engineer is not always at fault for loud sound levels.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: NicoleC
Date: 28 May 02 - 11:06 AM

You're absolutely right, Arkie, it sounds preposterous, but the engineer is not always calling the shots. I got fired once because I refused to mix a show for a room full of kids at 120 dB just because the director was deaf. But too few people will walk out of a room when it's too loud, and they can do themselves a lot of damage.

One thing that performers can do to help out a lot is to *talk* to the engineer. Tell him what you are supposed to sound like, because many engineers will simply do a generic pop mix without any other input otherwise. In my day, too many artists assumed the engineer must be familiar with their music/genre/style/etc, and would discuss the goals. (Either that, or they assumed the engineer must be completely stupid and musically illiterate and made a lot of insulting and demeaning demands. But that's another topic.)


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: GUEST,Bullfrog Jones (on the road)
Date: 28 May 02 - 11:15 AM

You've got a cleaner mind than me Nigel -- I read the word 'peter' in a very different light!

BJ


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 May 02 - 12:02 PM

Yeah, Nigel--when I was at school "peter" meant something very different! Good job they didn't have discos in those days ...


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 28 May 02 - 12:19 PM

It's really a problem, especially in pubs and places where people are talking and food is being served, etc. I went to a place not too long ago that had a mediocre band (I guess it was mediocre since the sound was so distorted I'm not sure)- but they were playing mostly not very interesting (to me) pop cover songs. You couldn't really sit and just listen to the music - it was distorted and unintelligible. In order to talk with people at the table it was a shouting match. So you had the music up loud, people shouting conversations - I was so glad to leave. But say you have a pub setting where the music is pretty good and maybe half the patrons have come to see the musician or group and the other half to socialize. What should the sound level be so that those who want to can listen and will hear the music over the conversationists? That's a more difficult problem than, say a concert venue. And it isn't true that a good group/musician will have everybody listening. Some people have come to socialize and party, not hear music.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 28 May 02 - 12:31 PM

A good rule of thumb if the venue is big enough is to aim the volume level to be just about right for the middle of the room (or the middle of the audience). That way, people who like it loud can sit up front, and people who want to chat with each other can sit in the back.

Obviously this wouldn't be appropriate in situations like the one NicoleCastle described, where the audience is mostly children.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 28 May 02 - 12:35 PM

I should probably have specified that I was not talking about concert venues in my last post, but pubs and cafes and other kinds of places where some people are there to socialize.

In a concert setting, it makes much more sense to have speakers in the front and back of the hall (or whatever) and even in the middle if necessary. And then all of the speakers can be kept at a reasonable volume while allowing people in all parts of the audience to hear.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: GUEST,Julie B at home
Date: 28 May 02 - 03:29 PM

CarolC

Nice idea, but most of those sorts of places (in the UK at least) are not so large that one side of the room is far enough away from the other to lead to much reduction in sound levels. Air is a very efficient conductor of sound; it's only walls & double glazing between you and the sound source that will make a significant difference to sound levels over short distances.

I sadly find music instrusive in most of the places that it is played, due to excessive volumes and bass levels. Even in 'family pubs' I the volume can actually be painfully loud. And UK society seems to dumbly accept this as the norm.

Repeating what I said in part 1 of this thread, this trend has made such 'social' occassions of birthday parties, wedding receptions etc more of a trial than an pleasure. I usually come away with a sense of an 'missed opportunity' i.e. it would have been lovely to chat to old friends, if we hadn't spent the evening being acoutically terrorised by a deaf/socially inept DJ!!

Julie B


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 28 May 02 - 05:04 PM

People will absorb some of the sound, but it sounds like the rooms you're talking about don't hold enough people to make much of a difference. I'm trying to make an estimate of smallest room where we used that "aim for the middle of the room" rule of thumb with success. I believe we used it in a smallish restaurant that held maybe 30 to 40 people seated at tables. The room was kind of long and skinny though. I'm guessing it seated maybe six to eight people across w/tables.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 02 - 04:50 AM

I still can't understand why so many artists playing in small rooms think that they NEED amplification.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Julie B
Date: 31 May 02 - 11:34 AM

I agree. I'd make the same comment about buskers. I;ve never heard one yet with an amp that didn't make the music/voice sound distorted/warped/horrid. A few weeks ago I passed a busker WITHOUT an amp ( a rare thing ) and he sounded great. I made a point of leaving him a pound and going back between songs to say how nice it was to hear someone busk without an intrusive amp. He agreed heartily saying "I hate hearing music come through those things!".

Julie B


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 31 May 02 - 02:51 PM

I agree that the sound you get from singing and playing a guitar through a cheesy little battery-powered amp with an 8-inch speaker is usually not that great. But I do think there's a place for amplification, even for acoustic players like myself. If you have an ensemble, you can use it to adjust relative volumes to get a pleasing mix; most instruments out there are louder than an acoustic guitar (the instrument of choice for most of us, I would guess). If you're a solo guitar player, unless you're playing someplace really quiet, you're out of luck; if you're playing in a bar, or busking on a busy street corner or in a subway station, forget it. Without amplification, the only way to be heard in most places where music is played (indoors or out) is to bang on the guitar as hard as you can, and shout out the words. I'm not saying the "bang on the guitar/shout our the words" approach is without value, but I would hate to be limited to that. Fortunately, with the benefit of quality sound reinforcement, professionally set up and operated, we don't have to be.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: NicoleC
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 01:14 AM

Let me be picky over symantics. Anyone can do amplification -- that just means "louder." Sound *reinforcement* is more of a art (well, maybe a craft.)

Proper and well-done reinforcement can add depth and focus to almost any kind of venue barring the smallest homes and rooms where it gets in the way. Nobody wants an amp around a campfire, but even in a small pub the correct application of reinforcement can create a pleasing environment for everyone, audience and performers. The first probelm seems to be that most venues don't make the modest investment in an experienced engineer to design a system, the less modest investment to purchase and install it, and finally they fail to recognize that just because someone's cousin is an awesome electric guitar doesn't mean they know squat about reinforcement. Over here, the going rate seems to be $50 a night to mix in a pub/nightclub. Which is darn pathetic pay, and that's the quality of engineer they get.

Even and excellent engineer with a lousy system can only do so much. Add a novice dog with only one trick on top and you have the unpleasant environment that most live music nights turn into.

I think every band should find a fan with a good ear and train them to work for free instead of relying on the house guy. The house guy is generally, more or less, an idiot. And I've BEEN the house guy! The greenest guy the band brought in often did a better job because he/she knew what the band *should* sound like and had a goal to shoot for. I just sat back and provided tech support -- if they could tell me what they wanted, I could help them get it.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Escamillo
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 01:51 AM

"I hate hearing music come through those things!".

I heartily agree with the busker who said this, though I didn't say it to not offend musicians who like / and or depend on amplifiers (which I call Transformers of original sound). There are electro-acoustical buskers who play and sing in the subway wagons in Buenos Aires, the most noisy place on Earth. Although it is prohibited, people don't complain and give them some coins. You can imagine, when the train stops at a station, they DON'T turn the monsters down, and the torture is still worse.

But amplification by buskers is not the subject. Coming back to sound engineers, I would suggest that they should be supervised by some organization as well as architects and physicians are, because exposition to high levels of sound is a matter of health.

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: GUEST,Julie B at home
Date: 02 Jun 02 - 03:03 AM

...ok, I admit it, I'm a coward without the courage of her convictions!

Last night I went to a nearby pub with a friend to see a local musician play. Now his singing and playing was great, but we decided to leave after the first set because we both found it far too loud for our liking, and it was hard work at times to understand the words. To be fair to the musician (Dan Plews) he DID ask us, the audience, several times, how the sound was, and made adjustments. Although I still found it uncomfortably loud after these adjustments, I didn't say so. Why? I think it was because other audience members, and the performer, seemed to be happy with things as they were, and I've been conditioned into having to accept 'suffering' amplified music, rather than enjoying it! If I'd sat there still saying 'No! It's STILL to loud!' at the end of each song, I'd have felt somewhat self-concious!!! So instead I sat, and smiled and clapped - and we made good our escape after the first set (sorry Dan, if you read this...you were very good!)

I suppose I feel that I shouldn't rock the boat and upset the 'we like our music loud' majority...but then again, perhaps the majority are sitting there, like me and my friend, and feeling just the same. And then maybe there are all those that simply stay at home in the first place, because they know it'll be too loud to enjoy...

Yours sheepishly,
Julie B


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: vectis
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 08:07 PM

Well done for walking out. Write and tell the artist why as another catter suggested. I havn't been doing this up till now but will in future.
Artists need to know that the audience are leaving because the sound is too loud rather than because the artist is not to their liking.
A valid point that I hadn't considered until this thread.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 05:26 AM

JulieB,

I've forwarded this thread to Dan Plews,so hopefully he'll reply, but you already know what needed to be done. Was he on his own and trying to balance the sound himself? If so he depends on a genuine response from the audience, so, if you didn't want to say anything during the set, a quiet word at the break would have done. Be bold girl!

BJ


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: GUEST,dan plews
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 07:45 AM

I'm sorry it was too loud for you Julie, I know that for some people volume is an issue. I did notice your absence, and hoped it was that, rather than the music itself :) In mitigation, as Bull says, I have to listen to what the audience says when I am on my own, and would have continued to adjust the sound to the point where everyone was equally happy with the sound level, if such a point existed, hence my request for audience feedback. My goal in using amplification is to provide the audience with sound similar to that I hear acoustically. While you may enjoy the sound of a purely acoustic guitar from 3 metres away, this is not the way it sounds close up (a lot of the frequencies disperse); since acoustic guitars are limited in their frequency range in comparision to some accompaniment (a piano is the example that springs to mind), you need all of those frequencies to count! At its best an amplified acoustic guitar can sound as big as a house and sweet too, without being too loud. Where there are people close by talking, I need to insulate myself from that in order to be able to concentrate sufficiently to sing. You were also sat directly in front of one of speakers - I know there was a severe shortage of seats with an unrestricted view of the music, but it is in the nature of the beast with amplified music that the bass signal congregates in the vicinity of the speakers, which can sometimes make words indistinct. The solution is to move further away from the speakers, resulting in a clearer signal and lower volume levels. Last night I played in someone's living room for a party and was totally unplugged, much preferring it for sound and intimacy, but that's impossible in many places where I make my living, leading to the volume dilemma. I hope I will see you again sometime, when I will do my best to resolve the volume problem to your satisfaction yours dan plews


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Julie B
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 11:06 AM

Hi Dan,
Thank you for your response, and sorry that I was backward in coming forward re. the sound levels. As you say, my friend Josie and I weren't far from the speakers, and I guess you needed to be heard throughout the pub. Unfortunately, in this case, moving a good way back would have meant we could not see you (and that would be a shame! :-)
We'll definitely have to come and see you/Dansaul 'in concert' some time in the future.
Cheers
Julie


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 01:10 PM

JulieB, don't waste your time on him -- he's not that good-looking close up (and as for that ridiculous wig he wears....)

BJ


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 04:38 PM

As a sound man, there is an advantage to being slightly deaf. Unless the mix is clear to me, I cannot consider it good. When I am reviewing a concert or CD, one of my major considerations is whether I can clearly understand what is being performed. Quality is as important as content. Of course, there are exceptions. At our monthly Chantey sings in New York, I have consistently heard Dan sing "Fall down, Billy O'Shea" as "Haul down, Billy O'Shea." In the context of a chantey, either works.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 04:41 PM

EBarnicle, are you slightly deaf in all ranges? I guess that could be ok. But most sound guys I know have an uneaven hearing loss with the upper end being the most compromised. As a sound tech, myself (with a very good ear), I can tell you that that causes a lot of problems.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 07:37 PM

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, the fact that of the phrase "Fall down, Billy O'Shea", the part you seem to have the most difficulty hearing is the "F" sound could be a sign that your upper end is more deficient than your lower ranges. If your hearing is compromised, I think it's a mistake to assume that if it sounds good to you, it sounds good to everyone else.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 05:27 AM

One of the changes that I have noticed in many folk clubs since the introductions of PA systems is the performer/audience orientation. Few rooms are exactly square, and it was normal practice to place the performer(s) in the middle of one of the longer sides, with the audience often arranged in a curve around them.

This made good accoustic sense as sound decreases in proportion to square of the distance from it's source (Inverse Square Law). This means if person A is half the distance from the performer of person B, that A will receive FOUR times the sound level of B. For optimum listening, it is therefore best to keep the audience within a band that is within a fairly fixed range of the performer.

Most clubs which use PA systems seem to make their performers face the length of the room. This means that if the distance from the performer (or rather the speakers) to the back row is six times that to the front row, the people in the front row could be receiving 36 times more volume. If the volume is too high at the the back, no wonder the audience further forward get deafened.

I recently heard the "Harri Krishna" brigade around the SOHO area of London and the chap who does the singing/chanting now uses a cheap battery PA on his back which makes him sound just like a Dalek !

Finally, Kevin McGrath, if you're going to be at Eastwick this Sunday, you can have the pleasure of performing through one of my sound systems - unless of course it pisses down with rain like it did last year, and we're all confined to inside the pub again!


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: HuwG
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 07:00 AM

Just to add my two penn'orth. A couple of years ago, I was roadie and sound engineer to a girl who was a pub and club singer. She had a remarkably powerful voice and quite often, I was able to turn the amplification to a level which only just counted as electronic reinforcement. Some sort of amplification was required as a lot of her songs were sung with backing tracks.

I did find that there were a number of pubs (in and around Manchester, in NW England) which had annoyances in residence. These were often women who sat close under the stage, and shrieked interminable and pointless "I-said-to-her-and-she-said-to-me" stories at the tops of their voices over the singer.

Turning the volume up to drown the dispute usually made the performance more intrusive than most people would have liked. You might claim that they were being very rude, in interrupting the performer. They would no doubt take the attitude that they came there for a good argument, and that wasn't any business of the singer's.

One solution I tried was a spare mike, placed under the mixing desk, pointed at the squawking group. When the debatees suddenly realised that the entire pub could hear them coming through over the speakers, they usually got up with bad grace and retreated to the other bar. (Most old pubs in Britain have a "lounge bar" and a "public bar".)

Anecdote time - one venue had a resident harmonica player, who had some droit de seigneur to play along with the artist(e). He usually wandered up and down several arpeggios trying to find the right note. My solution; turn the volume and fx on his channel up full, pull those knobs off and replace them upside down. His every note would produce an awful howl of feedback. When he asked for a bit less sound, I would point to his channel and say "Can't turn you down much more, mate; you're practically off as it is". After one track, he gave up and let the singer get on with it, to the relief of all.

By the way - has any 'Catter out there the lyrics to that lovely spoof dedicated to roadies, "The Packer of the Leads", a skit on the Shirelles hit "Leader of the Pack" ?


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 12:11 PM

I didn't say it necessarily sounds good, just clear. I like the answer to the resident wart, too. I believe every group has to cope with at least one of these.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 12:27 PM

By the bye, I know I'm slightly weak in the upper range, but that may also have something to do with being a baritone.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 01:56 PM

Just a couple of comments. Not using a sound system is the ultimate desire I think, but only if the natural acoustics of the room are good. Many coffee houses over here are in church basements with low ceilings with acoustic tile. Put twenty people in the room, and they soak up much of the music. I ran a concert series without sound for 27 years in a room that was acoustic heaven. Even with 120 people in the room, you could hear a mountain dulcimer clearly in every seat in the room. But, it was designed as a music room with a cathedral ceiling, so it was a perfect place to play. When things are less than perfect and especially when I'm singing with my gospel quartet, an amplifier and four mikes are essential. Voices are instruments, too, and need to be balanced.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: HuwG
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 11:46 AM

EBarnacle, thanks for your comments.

By the way, the girl for whom I was roadie was Lesley Davies, who has a couple of previous mentions in the forum. No longer flying solo, unfortunately; she is now vocalist with blues group , and also does backing vocals with . Both acts are well worth listening to, in my humble opinion.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: HuwG
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 11:50 AM

Lets try HTML again.

EBarnacle, thanks for your comments.

By the way, the girl for whom I was roadie was Lesley Davies, who has a couple of previous mentions in the forum. No longer flying solo, unfortunately; she is now vocalist with blues group bAd Dog and does backing vocals with


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: HuwG
Date: 09 Jun 02 - 11:52 AM

Aaagh !

One last try:

George Borowski. Not strictly blues or folk, but part of rock history.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Julie B
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 11:25 AM

Lovers of irony see this thread

Julie B


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: C-flat
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 12:01 PM

The main problem for a band usually stems from having to cope with a drum kit. Most drummers are loud to begin with but on occassion I've played with drummers who want to run their kit through the P.A. to get some "tonal control". So the starting point for other instruments and vocal mic's has to be loud enough to cut through the drums. Without care this can easily end up in a competition to be heard at the expense of everyone who has turned up to be entertained. As I've already said, it's hard to play drums quietly, brushes aren't always appropriate to the song, so even without amplification on the kit a guitar can't compete for volume and the amps tend to get cranked up to compensate. I must be lucky, because my experience of sound engineers has been good although the guys I've worked with are usually there for the "main act" so as the lowly support I've reaped the benefit of good quality equipment and engineers who know their stuff.I have also usually been asked to come out front for a listen, which I found both professional and corteous.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 05:21 AM

This thread's much too loud - could somebody turn it down a bit !


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: vectis
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 05:23 AM

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, TOO LOUD??????:)


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 05:24 AM

WHAT'S THAT DAVE? SPEAK UP A BIT! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: CarolC
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 05:25 AM

(ha. crossposted.)


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 16 Sep 16 - 02:43 PM

Old thread but still all too true! I gave up on concerts years ago for that very reason. You can't pay me to put my ears through that now.


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: Rumncoke
Date: 16 Sep 16 - 05:09 PM

I used to wear ear defenders - my hearing is damaged as my next door nutter fired a starting pistol at me but it is still quite good - but I used to be able to hear bats when I was in my thirties.
I have been in many venues where the noise level was above my pain threshold and normal conversation impossible.

The last time I had to leave with hands over my ears was at the launch of a shanty cd - why they thought it necessary or advisable to blast out perry como singing come fly with me at the end of it I cannot imagine


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Subject: RE: Sound engineers Deaf/Sending us deaf P2
From: JohnH
Date: 16 Sep 16 - 05:59 PM

If you can't be heard in a room that takes 100 then you haven't got their attention or you turned up to the wrong venue.


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