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General question about volume

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by claytitan, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    I was downtown this weekend where we have tons of no cover bars with great music. I saw five or six bands this weekend (everything from country to hard rock) and I am still blown away at how loud many of them push it. Why? What is it with the volume? BTW, I forgot my ear plugs which I sometimes take at home.

    Most were mid sized places but even the folks in the back had to scream in each others ears to have a conversation.

    Some sounded very good and had a great mix but it was just too much. The worst offenders usually had a guitarist over powering every one. One had a drummer that was beating a snare so hard that it distracted from everything.

    These were mostly very talented people. Some bars were filled others not so much. Why do they play like this? Why do bar owners put up with it? I like it nice and loud especially up front but this was sometimes painful. There must be a reason because it is so common.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Because there are musicians who have zero respect for their audiences and think they exist solely to hear them whack themselves off.
  3. Did they get asked back?
  4. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    I think most of these bands play several times a month. So yes they must come back to places they've been before.

    That is part of the question. The bar owners don't seem to mind I guess.
  5. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Maybe some people like their music louder than you.
    No offence but when you said you take earplugs to gigs i got the impression you dont like your music too loud. Could be these bands are just over your threshold.
    Im not debating on the merits of ear plugs/volume bad for you etc but if the majority were enjoying the gigs it could be that the volume was ok for most of them.

    Saying that, i have seen some bands where the volume was so loud (and the room so small) that it really was painful half way up the room, yet still people were dancing right in front of the PA speakers.
  6. promoves101


    Oct 8, 2009
    many people love to hear loud music in gigs but in yourself is to loud. i think you should have your ear plugs when u are going to gigs.
  7. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    No. I like my music loud when I listen to it live. I was there specifically to listen to and enjoy the music. This was ear piercing. I saw a few people putting in wadded napkins in their ears. It was ridiculous loud.

    I bet I could have asked and 9 out of 10 would have said. Yeah, they could turn it down a little. Not alot. Maybe that 3db that everyone says is noticable. :rolleyes:

    Are the musicians all deaf? Is that why it is blasted beyond reason? I know there is no real answer. Although Jimmy may be on to something.
  8. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    I must admit i do also wonder why and how some bands can be so loud but i also see people in the audience dancing right in front of the PA.

    Funny old world.
  9. Fretless1!


    Feb 19, 2007
    I think you answered your own question. ;)

    100% correct. May I also add "Soundmen who have zero repect..."?
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    As soon as we bust into our first tune, one of our vocalists (expendable at that moment) takes a stroll through the venue....kind of a reconnaissance mission....to gauge volume and balance. He even notes whether patrons sitting halfway back are able to converse without raising their voices.

  11. I play to the level of the drums, at first, then the sound guy puts lots of vocals, guitar and drums through my foldback (even when I ask him not to)so, keep in mind I have a 3000watt power amp, naturally I turn up. Thus starts the snowball. I think less foldback/monitoring would circumvent this problem in the first place.
  12. jtrow


    Mar 1, 2009
    Mid America
    I think it's a venue thing. A lot of places like it stupid loud.

    I will gladly turn down the pa if asked, but more often than not the bar owners are the ones asking us to turn up! When we sound check we get it so the dance floor is loud, but farther back people can still talk to one another. Without screaming!:)
  13. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    Good answer. Someone sitting in the back 2/3rds of a venue should be able to converse without yelling.

    The people working the bar should be able to get a drink order speaking at a normal loud volume.

    The people dancing up front will want it LOUD. I think they would prefer a good loud kick and bass. Maybe not the ear shattering guitar squeels and cymbal crashes. Maybe some of it is the mix rather than the levels. I swear some of the drummers are sitting back there banging a thick ride cymbal with lead sticks rather than thumping the kick.

    IMO! :D
  14. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    yes, conversations as well as listening to the sports TV is what rock shows are all about...how dare these musicians play loud rock music when people are trying to talk? We all know that if you want to talk about all these important issues, you must go to a venue where music is being played, then get insulted that you can't hear the TV or talk about your mundane life.

    get over it.
    if you want to talk, go outside and use your cell phone
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Not all gigs are rock shows nor are they the Moose Lodge's Saturday night dance. It is the successful band that is able to temper its volume / response to meet the needs of the venue.

  16. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Standing behind the mains with the stage amps blowing by your knees gives a lot of players a false impression of exactly how effing loud it is.

    Standing that far off axis of the horns also gives a false impression of how bright the mix is.

    Most of the time I hear the volume complaint or make the volume complaint it's not really too loud. It's some upper frequency that's drilling a hole in someones skull. In the words of a friend who spent ten or so years as M.E. for Korn..."Everybody hates 1.2K"

  17. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    Yes Steve! Good description 'drilling a hole in someone's skull'! That's why I said maybe it was the EQ.

    As far as AlembicPlayer comment on talking and watching sports - reading comprehension is really lacking here. I am talking about bars with cover bands. Not talking about rock concerts. You may be surprised about this but yes at bars there are often people there who may want to drink, flurt, talk to each other and maybe hook up and get laid. :eek:

  18. hilarious!!:bassist::cool:
  19. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I never could understand the crazy loud venue thing. I had a 10 piece band with 3 horns, and I've played at venues where the sound guy looked at me like I was stupid when I told him we didn't need microphones for the horn section. When we practice, only the lead singer uses a microphone for her vocals. Our trombone player can overpower the whole band when he solos without a microphone. I have persistent ringing in my right ear so loud bands really irk me.
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    ....true....and that's just the band members!


    Thank you and I'll be at the Holiday Inn's Safari Lounge for the rest of the week


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