This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Question for musicians

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by labrekk, May 6, 2013.

  1. labrekk

    labrekk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,430
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Canada
    Martin Popoff brought something interesting in a recent gig review on Bravewords.com He was wondering why musicians spend so much time (and sometimes lots of money) on trying to get the best sound possible in the studio while recording. Then they often complain when customers agree to listen to "bad quality" MPs3 instead of getting the full richness of the sound by buying the real thing on CD. But at the same time, almost all musicians and bands, at least in the metal field, go on the stage and agree to play with a sound so loud that it distorts very often and forces the audience to wear earplugs if they don't want to damage their hearing.
    Why is it the "norm" that the sound has to be so loud at a metal gig?
    As for me, I'd prefer to have a "quieter" sound at the gigs I attend, and not to be forced to wear earplugs, which are more or less a pain in the ass.

    One of the only shows I attended in the last few years where earplugs were not required was Saxon at The Train in Aarhus, Denmark in 2010. The sound was loud enough to feel you're in a rock gig, but not so loud and all instruments (as well as the vocals) were easy to hear. I don't know if it's the norm at The Train, or if it was Saxon's request, but clubs and venues in North America should do the same...

    What do you think? Why is "too loud" the norm most of the time?
     
  2. Sir Exar Kun

    Sir Exar Kun Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Because it's more MMMMEEEEETTTTTTAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL! :Smokedev:

    Seriously, though, I agree with you completely. I get the whole teenage angst thing and all, but honestly..... I go now for the music, and not the wall of sound. Clarity is far more important than volume to me.
     
  3. Azrael LenGraden

    Azrael LenGraden Lake Of Fire

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Spring Grove, IL, USA
    As a studio owner and musician it makes me sad to hear the poor quality of mp3s in this ipod generation we are living through. But a true artist will go to any length to realize his/her vision and to satisfy themselves. It is what drives the artist and a truly passionate musician will never settle for less, otherwise they end up disappointed in their work of art. I personally refuse to settle for less and recently gutted my brand new car to upgrade to a 700 watt, 14 speaker sound system... why, because I am passionate about my music and won't settle for less. My point is if you are truly passionate about something you won't stop until you are satisfied and that is why musicians slave over the details in the studio for, "just the right sound".
    I could write forever about this topic but I will leave it at that for now...

    As for live sound the majority of bands do not have control over the sound as they can't afford bringing their own sound man and set up from show... that comes down to economics.
     
  4. labrekk

    labrekk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,430
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Canada
    So, it's all about the soundmen of the venues? I think that if a band was concerned about not being too loud in order to get a clearer sound, it could be addressed, no?
     
  5. Harvester

    Harvester The Promoter

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,728
    Likes Received:
    297
    Trophy Points:
    83
    It honestly depends. Some bands take their own FOH person on the road with them and have a crisp sound, but are still loud as hell. German engineers are the biggest offenders. The rare touring FOH can make a band shine regardless of the shithole the are playing in given enough sound check time.

    Most venue FOH for the smaller bands have no clue about the band's music in advance. They just do the room the best they can and that causes a lot of bands to lose something beyond their control given their financial restrictions.


    Center Stage is the one exception with the fest. I wish to hell all the festival bands would have Kent (the venue manager & FOH) run the board when we aren't shooting a dvd. He has worked that room for 20+ years and knows every nuance. Festival bands tend to sound 10x better (and quieter) than those that bring their own engineer as he can adapt on the fly with the best of them.
     
  6. orcslayr23

    orcslayr23 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I imagine it's much easier to get a clearer, fuller sound in a studio/recording setting than in a live setting.
     
  7. AeonicSlumber

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Not a musician, but you've highlighted one of the more stupid aspects of metal, and something I've been bringing up for ages, even on this very board.

    You have these bands, that are supposed to be "talented" and "good musicians" that spend tens of thousands of dollars to track drums, guitars etc, and then pay another several thousand dollars to hire a mixing guy to sample over everything, edit everything, autotune vocals, and then a mastering guy to obliterate all the dynamics in the recording. By the end of the day, you have a waveform that looks like a brick, and all the "musicians" were replaced by robots. For lack of a better word, it's utterly retarded.

    And then on the live scene, you have bands that hire a sound guy every night, soundcheck for 40 minutes to an hour, all so the soundguy can crank the PA to absurd volume levels. So the point in doing all that work to get a good sound, and all the money spent hiring the guy in the first place, gets thrown out the window when everyone has to either get earplugs or go deaf/tinnitus by the time of the show.

    That people think any of this bullshit is "professional" or "how it should be done" have no idea what they're talking about. The. end.

    addendum: I'm not saying anything against producers, engineers, and soundguys. To the contrary, my point is that the bands themselves are the ones setting these absurd standards by demanding the engineers to make everyone deaf.
     
  8. Element_man

    Element_man Lord of the Realm

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,434
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    I won't comment on the studio thing, some of my favorite songs ever were recorded on a shitty 4-track in a basement/garage. However, I will say from experience that if bands understood the concept of stage volume a little better then they would get a better sound at their gigs. As long as the sound person knows what the fuck they are doing and the room is big enough to justify mic'ing the amps, you can get a fantastic sound by keeping the guitar/bass amp volume lower and letting the person behind the board do their job.

    Bands would also do well to invest in good earplugs. I got these custom-fitted ones from Costco a few years ago. Cost me $150, but they bring down all the levels evenly and things sound a million times better onstage and off.
     
  9. DeJumbi

    DeJumbi Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    This might be a stupid question, but with your custom-fit earplugs how does it sound if you sing along? Being a fan of power metal I tend to sing along to the music. A lot. With bigger earplugs I always hear myself way more than the music, so I tend to use medium-sized plugs so I don't just hear myself, but they don't block all the potentially damaging sound.
     
  10. Wayniac

    Wayniac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Earplugs are an adjustment for sure...
    And per Glenns point... some FOH guys - if the board is rated for 110dB (pick any number really), and there are no sound restrictions in the town or venue - will see if they can push it to the max.

    Also a subtle trick is to ease the master level up throughout the set, so the end seems more "intense"
     

Share This Page