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Going to concerts

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by lneal, May 28, 2002.

  1. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Is it just me or has anyone else here been to see major acts perform live and either could not hear the bass or if you could, it sounded like a bunch of low end mud? Now, don't tell me its because of bad bass tone or the amp onstage is too loud or any of the other typical sound man's excuses. I'm talking about Anthony Jackson and John Myung and others of their caliber. I just came from the Atlanta Jazz Festival where I saw AJ playing with Michael Camilo. Great show, but I couldn't hear anything above about 200 Hz. coming from AJ's bass. I could see his hands playing lots of complex figures with what appeared to be style and finesse, but I couldn't hear a note of it! Same with John Myung at a DT concert about a year ago. I went to hear him, mainly. Guess what? I couldn't hear a note he played! Not one all night! And in both cases the front of house guy was just standing there looking like Joe Cool. At the jazz fest tonight, we were standing right by the sound man and I heard people going up and complaining to him about it. He just shrugged his shoulders like "hey, tough $*&@!
    I am really tired of going to shows and not being able to hear the bass player. I mean I am sick of it! Sorry to vent on you guys, but I had to get it off my chest. Anybody else feel this way?
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Off to Miscellaneous
  3. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I just saw your PM for the first time, Ineal. I never checked it at home this weekend.

    As for the show, I couldn't agree more about Anthony Jackson. But, I went and saw John Pattitucci with Roy Haynes on Sunday, and he was loud, articulate, and and audible--heck, he even took a couple of really nice solos.

    It sounded to me like AJ's sound was cutting in, and out throughout the show. I still had a nice time at the Festival, and enjoyed Michel Camillo, but I would have liked it more with audible bass.
  4. I've been to a Third Day concert where the bass was really quiet. Don't think it really bothered me, though, since I wasn't actually playing bass at the time.
    I feel the need to vent about the whole John Myung thing. It's almost as if the band abuses his talent by keeping him "in the background" or not turning him up at concerts. I mean, hes written a portion of the lyrics in Dream Theater, and he's one of the most phenominal and versatile bassists ever. Yet, he goes unaccounted for it!
    Sorry. I'm mad. :mad: Grr. :p
  5. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    I wasn't quite sure where it belonged. Sorry, jazzbo.
  6. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    No apologies necessary.
  7. Listen


    May 19, 2002
    I just saw lynyrd skynyrd, and the bass stood out, it was way too loud, it almosts ruined the show, oh well, at least I got to laugh at the drunks that fell down the stairs.:rolleyes:
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Seems pretty common to me. The exceptions are the shows where the bass and drums are cranked up and bury everything else :rolleyes:

    Until every venue is designed to be acoustically friendly for heavy amplification, don't expect live sound to be as crisp as what you hear on recordings.
  9. I wouldnt know about these pros really, but whenever I'm playing it always seems to be that the bass can't be heard even after hours of sound checks. it's heart breaking actualy.
  10. Last time I was at a concert the bass came through loud and clear. It was TooL, after all.:D

    I just wonder how Ozzfest and Rockfest are going to sound.

    Rock on
  11. The really sick thing is is that if you go to a Korn concert you can hear Fieldy just fine.

    Now that's justice, huh?
  12. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Interesting. I played at City Stages in Birmingham a while back. During sound check, after about 15 minutes of painstaking drum checking the house engineer finally says "bass". I hadn't played 3 notes when he said "ok, got it". That is the honest truth! After the show friends said the drums were slamming in the PA but, surprise, surprise, nothing else.

    What can you do? Give the house guy hell. When its over or you go on a break if people say they can't hear the bass, give him hell! Let these people know you don't appreciate their apathy. After all, they are getting paid to do their job. Make sure they do it.

    BTW, I have mixed sound for numerous bands and the only time I have trouble putting the bass in the mix is when the bass amp is too loud. If I can do it they can too!
  13. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    All musicians and concert goers need to invest in a decent set of earplugs! They keep the volume at a decent audible level and enable you to "hear" everything better. I went to one concert without them, 15 years ago, and my ears rang for three days. Never again! I use them at every one of my shows(2X a week) and I can hear my bass and backing vocals clear as a bell. Listening is your greatest asset as a musician, to use this you need your ears. You'll thank me when you're 80.
  14. I guess it depends on the venue, the soundman, and several other variables. I've been to shows where the bass is just mud, and I've been to some where the bass is loud and clear. These are mostly rock shows, though. The bigger the show, the worse the sound seems to be.

    I did have one experience where the bass literally knocked me out (at least I blame the bass, anyway). I was seeing Guided By Voices at a local club (Southgate House - probably 500 to 750 people max-size room). I've seen a lot of bands there, and played there once, and I've never had this happen before. They went into a song I didn't recognize (some Lexo and The Leapers song), and the bassist was playing in drop-D tuning. His low D was really resonating; I could feel it in my chest, and it was making me feel a little queasy, actually (and had only had maybe a beer and a half at this point, so I wasn't drunk). At this time, I ventured into the Men's room at the back of the hall, probably 200 feet from the stage. I pull up to the first available urinal, start going about my business, and I'm feeling the bass reverberating through the floor twice as much as I was out by the stage. The last thing I remember is the vibrations from the bass going through my feet, up my spine, etc. etc. Suddenly everything went white. A few seconds later, someone's helping me up off the floor because I just passed out and fell backwards on my head. It could have been anything, I guess, but I swear to God it was the bass. Maybe it was just some freak occurence that the bass was perfectly tuned to the frequency of that particular restroom or something.
  15. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    If you had to change your underwear afterwards I guess that was some Seeerious bass!

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