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Has the definition of 'loud' changed.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Paulabass, Apr 21, 2018.


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  1. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    Venues just ain't what they used to be, too many of us play in restaurants, and way too few ROCK rooms left.
    In other threads the term loud band, and loud rehearsal comes up all the time. There's already another thread about how loud is a 2x10, how loud is a neo this, or that? I mean, what do we consider a loud band now?
    When I started gigging weekly, in '77 a loud band meant there were full stacks on stage, and monitors were needed to hear the drums. There were no restaurants, and pubs with music, everybody played rock venues. It wasn't a good show unless everybody went home with ringing ears.
    Now an unmic'ed drumset raises the ire of people trying to eat wings and watch the game. I've never been in what I would call a LOUD band, but still, a few decades ago I played one hell of a lot louder than I do now.
    What is a loud band, and how is it different from when you started (assuming you've been playing more than a few years)?

    Genesis of this question- I'm playing a ROCK venue tonite. Every time I go there I'm assaulted at the door, and think 'Fer Dog's sake that's loud', and now I think back, it's nothing compared to the famous Toronto rock rooms...the Gasworks, or the Knob Hill- THAT was loud.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
    Spectrum, Pbassmanca, JimK and 2 others like this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    o_OWhat? o_O
     
  3. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    well, I often ask "what in ten hells is this?" regarding things that maybe only really call for two or three hells. Perhaps both volume's and hells' value has dropped over the years at maybe a similar rate to the dollar. Used to be, a fridge with six gallons of milk was one hell of a lot of milk. But nowadays, being that I rarely keep more than a quart in mine, six gallons would definitely be multiple hells of a lot of milk while also costing more than double what it did when I was a kid.

    Edit:Actually, volume has changed negatively with respect to hells and dollars. My ears hurt just listening to some people talk. No wonder I feel no need for 1000watts and a fearless 661515
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  4. eJake

    eJake

    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    The difference is my earplugs are trying to unionize.. I have no nostalgia for ringing ears.

    That being said I also believe bass stuff should be heavy. I'll use a small light rig for small light gigs but if I want big sound I'm bringing heavy gear.
     
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  5. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Kid bands are still too loud. I'm not into organ disruption sound levels anymore.
    When I was in LA I would pass on gigs if the stage had plexi-shields for the drums. Not because of volume, but because it had a 'boy in the bubble' vibe. Like I was grooving out with a contagious dangerous animal. It's hard to give the audience a rock and roll experience when the whole stage is a giant ear-diaper.
    Now I really don't care. Stuff the drummer in a fishtank, I'll find a way to steal his stage drink somehow.
    I wear earplugs. I bring spares in little baggies for anyone that wants them.
     
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  6. Capt O Flaherty

    Capt O Flaherty Inactive

    Apr 21, 2018
    If its a proper old rock band it needs to be Loud, its all part of the experience I'd say.
    If its a place where people are having their lunch or whatever then I guess the entertainment needs to be more restrained, its all in the context I suppose.
     
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  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    good question! and i'm thinking you're right: loud 'back then' really was louder than loud 'these days'. being loud for the sake of it was new (the 60's), exciting, and in many cases a 'competition' of sorts.

    although there are a lot of young(ish) 'loud freaks' here, i get the general impression that many of the younger players care more about their hearing than i did at their age. i hope they do!


    disclosure: being at grumpy old fart age probably doesn't help my perspective :D
     
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  8. 4strngr25

    4strngr25

    Jun 3, 2016
    I to am from the old school of loud from back in the day. I was fortunate enough to be in a awesome rock band back in the mid to late 90's in South Fl. where there were still some rock clubs around. Our drummer had a massive drum set I had a good sized rig with an 800 watt amp with a preamp above that I ran bridged and for me to be loud enough over the drums and guitar I was usually turned up full. We were loud, but your right man. Those day's seem to be gone now. Where I live now there are No rock clubs and no push to promote it. I guess we can only get loud enough in our headphones now.
     
    JRA likes this.
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yes, I think you're right. I play through a 200-watt 2x10 combo with the volume about a third of the way up, can be heard in the mix with the rest of the band just fine, and people say we're too loud in many local bars... while members on TB continue to post that you need A MINIMUM of 400 watts through a 4x10 to gig.
     
  10. blue4

    blue4

    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I think it has to do with the better understanding and awareness of how hearing loss works then anything else.

    Just my own personal opinion here, but at a certain volume a band's nuances gets lost as well. Forget about hearing the bassists fills, unless he goes up the neck every time. Forget about the high hat, forget the keys.
     
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  11. Yeah with my hearing loss from using 2 SVTs and 3 8*10's on stage I'm lucky can hear anything at all. But I am damn sure that today's bands don't get close to as loud as we were back in the late 70-80's :) I had to go to a ENT guy for my one ear and he said my eardrum was supposed to be the size of a dime my was the size of a nickel! He told me I would have permanent hearing loss and I said WHAT? no really I do and a constant white noise hissing sound 24-7 :(
     
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  12. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    This is a very good question to ponder. I do remember the days of huge stacks in clubs, glad it's gone the way of smoking. But then again I still see loud bands with 1/4 of the equipment because equipment is way more efficient no days. But, at the same time I do see a heck of a lot more lower sound levels too. Now if we can just get them for mix thing right I'll be happy. I thing the days of loudness wars just focused on noise. The mix didn't or couldn't matter. Now that equipment is better the mix is more noticeable. Or have we all gained wisedom along these lines? Crap I am now even more confused. But I will say that we are not a loud band IMHO. The band I was in in the 80's was icredibly loud. I mean I HAD TO buy the Acoustic 370/408 and install a Bill Lawrence hot pick up in my Tele Bass just to hear myself.
     
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  13. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    I also think that people are more likely to complain about volume or just up and leave now days.
     
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  14. The 90s were loud. It got quiet when smoking was banned.
     
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  15. Pbassmanca

    Pbassmanca In the pocket n' thumpy. So woody, so greasy...

    We played the Orbit Room a couple Saturdays ago, when the weather was really nasty. It's pretty tiny up there as you may know, and while I would say that it gets pretty loud in there, it's not crazy. Of course, things do keep inching up decibel by decibel as the drinking progresses.....We play a place called the Mustache Club in Oshawa on the 1st Friday of every month and the owner is an audio engineer with an Adamson rig in house, (Built in Port Perry ON). Up until recently the FOH level was described by some people as "painfully loud". Apparently though, over the last couple of months, volume levels have been trimmed to a more reasonable level for a 9 piece funk/soul band. I like some good volume all around, but too much is too much. Tinnitus. WHO NEEDS IT??? :smug:
     
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  16. eJake

    eJake

    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I play a big amp through a 2x12. A 200 watt combo with no pa support would die a painful drowning death with the dance bands I hit with.
    That's so strange..... I hear it too.
     
  17. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    That's fine - with the dance bands that YOU hit with. The point is not whether anybody anywhere ever needs a bigger amp, but whether the MINIMUM for ANY gig ever is that big. It isn't, and venues where it isn't will tell you so...
     
  18. eJake

    eJake

    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Check out post #4 on this thread.
     
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  19. You're a sweetheart. One day, I may start doing this.
     
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  20. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You do understand that music was made not just prior to the advent of amplification, but also the advent of electricity, right? Amplification didn't start getting big until the public decided that it made more sense to show up at a performance and drown out the music with crowd noise than it did to actually listen to the music.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Feb 27, 2021

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