Issues with stage volume

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by crucislancer, May 15, 2021.

  1. OP, you still haven't cleared up the question (in my mind anyway) what authority this guy has over the band. We know he plays guitar, runs sound, and is a childish bully.

    Is he the BL and everyone else is a hired gun? Besides running sound does he also provide the PA? Does he book all the gigs? Is he so valuable to the band that he can't be replaced?

    I understand some people do not like conflict and are willing to accept less than ideal situations to avoid problems with other people.

    Tapping your ruby red slippers together while wishing he'll behave next time is not a way to deal with this situation. He has no reason to behave next time. Unchallenged he'll only get worse.

    You identified a problem and he told you to STFU. When you tried to talk to him he stiff armed you.

    I say it's time you answer the bell.
    Omega Monkey, EdO., Wasnex and 5 others like this.
  2. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    It seems like you are just an employee and have to deal with whatever management sends down from on high. I'd leave that crap.
    Wasnex likes this.
  3. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    If the pit boss says turn down, you turn down. One of my bands not only lost a good steady gig that way (thank goodness I had subbed out that night and missed the fun), but they were invited to not return the last of the three night run. "You guys better call your agent and figure out where you're playing tomorrow night, because it sure as hell ain't here."
  4. Chicken Wing

    Chicken Wing

    Mar 26, 2017
    “If it’s too loud, you’re too old (or an *******)”

    Guitarist sounds like an *******. Did you come off a bit strong tho? Was there alcohol involved? If the volume is hurting the show/audience experience, then it’s worth addressing.
    If you didn’t get complaints from crew/audience I’d let it go. TLDR whole thread
    dkelley likes this.
  5. Alway better to take time and sort out before responding in anger. Emails are not good at expressing depth of thought, intent, and extremely easy to misinterpret. This sort of dissemination is best done in person with the whole band present if possible as this effects the entire band.

    At this point I’d suggest having a discussion with said guitarist in person. Normally, I would recommend offering a free coffee visit saying you would like to go over some of the items on his email to make sure you fully understand what he is trying to say. No doubt the is a lot of content there that needs (ahem) clarification. Is he normally that brusk in person?

    As for sound levels, I.E. too loud, to quiet, bad EQ, bad effects, lousy vocals, the best thing in the world is a recording. A recording is worth a thousand words and nobody’s feelings get hurt or egos inflamed. A little digital pocket recorder is cheap and saves a lot of grief and aggravation. We record all rehearsals and gigs and pass out CD to all for review. The expectation is it is reviewed and issues resolved by the next gig.

    Good luck with this one. Being honest, my first reaction to this email is to slug this guy, then fire his butt. But giving this some thought, when these sort of things pop up, usually there is a band wide multi level lack of communication going on, poor definition of responsibilities, and established common expectations that need to be hashed out and met.

    One final thought, you don’t play music to be abused.
    BlueTalon and dkelley like this.
  6. That is loud. You may already be hurting your eardrums. Bass drums - specially rock tuned bass drums already put out a lot of acoustic energy by themselves. The advice about setting your master volume high as a reference for the rest of the band is a good thing.
    However bass travels far as well
    dkelley likes this.
  7. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I like this and agree.

    I go in with the preconception that stage volume is 100% a problem. The optimal amount of it is zero, and you back into whatever is realistic from that goal. I've been in situations where the bandleader ran an all-IEM setup, no amps, and required an electronic kit from the drummer. At first the IEMs took me a second to get used to, but now I am and I LOVE IT.

    It's an extreme position and the drummers piss and moan about electronic kits endlessly. But the reality is that if you can remove stage volume from the equation and let the FOH engineer focus on making the room sound good, you can totally change the game in these little club rooms we all play in.
    newwavefrank, EdO. and dkelley like this.
  8. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    Put it in some earplugs, and get an 810.
    Loring likes this.
  9. Shalto


    Aug 23, 2019
    That quote suggests worrying things to me, like not understanding that it's about the audience/knowing that too much volume does not sound good.

    Honestly that message would probably be enough for me to leave a group.
    Sascha Erni, dkelley and SoCal80s like this.
  10. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    F that. I've been in some bands that did that, and found a good reason to leave pretty quickly. It's a waste of your time, your hearing, and your respect to continue with people like your guitarist.

    I honestly don't even enjoy going to live shows anymore, because the volume is always 4x louder than it needs to be. It sucks, and it sounds horrible. Never been a fan of that, even in my youth.
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
    dkelley and SoCal80s like this.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
    I refuse to play with people who play at excessive volume. There are musicians in this town who refuse to even speak to me because I kept telling them they play too loud.

    Life is too short to have permanent hearing damage.

    Also if I go to see a band and they play way too loud then I leave.
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
    dkelley and Gougedeye like this.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    It's not a coincidence that a number of bands playing the biggest venues (even stadiums) are going ampless.
    dkelley likes this.
  13. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin Estimator Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    May 13, 2015
    Greenville, NC
    Just do what I do. Threaten to buy a full stack Ampeg rig if they don't turn down. They know that a simple phone call is all I need to do to get the Ampeg SVT4-Pro with a set of matching 8X10s delivered to my door. You would not hear their measly 100 watt Marshalls then.
  14. what a loser. seriously. what is wrong with people's judgement? I fully agree with you, OP
  15. Stage volume? That is absolutely not true. The volume is 100% controlled by the PA engineers, not you, and you should NOT be changing stage volume, specially not unevenly between the players.
  16. Naw, that guitarist woudl LOVE that, and then the OP would be stuck carrying way too much firepower with him to every gig.
  17. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    One of the most important things I've learned in my years as a touring musician (and it took me quite a few years to learn this) is that having anything except DI'd instruments (like keyboards) in the monitors on smaller venues (clubs, bars) is likely to make the sound on stage WORSE, muddier, more painful and basically a loudness war.

    I don't want the drums+guitars blasting at me from several directions. If everyone keep their monitor mix at a bare minimum and place their amps where they can hear themselves properly the sound on stage will improve significantly. Like NOT placing their amps where they are playing into the back of their knees and need to CRANK them for the sound to reach their ears in a muddier version of the painfully harsh sound that's actually BLASTED out of their speakers. That's probably THE most common mistake I see bands doing on stage: setting their eq+volumes with the amp blasting into their legs.

    This may require some trial and error with the placement of amps/players so it's probably more suitable when you play regular gigs with the same band. Of course there's the "every room is different" argument but in my experience that's rarely is an issue when the band has a well drilled stage setup and know their amp/effect settings.

    On larger stages, like outdoor festivals, you will of course need a full monitor mix but in those cases the guitar amps won't be anywhere near you and shouldn't be a problem. Also, the monitor systems on that type of gigs is usually a LOT better than in your average club/bar.
    dkelley likes this.
  18. Wait, WHAT? The SOUND GUY IS THE ANNOYING GUITARIST? holy crap. That's 100% wrong.
  19. Like 95% of loud guitarists would ever do that. Also ampless guitars don't do some of the things related to interaction between the amp'd sound and the guitar's strings that loud amped guitars do. But there has to be an agreement that the soundcheck level stays the same. Otherwise it's just garbage in the last set guaranteed.

    And the bassists will need ear plugs, which will affect his performance. Hearing damage sucks. Trust me OP, you will need to first and foremost protect your hearing if this stuff is going to keep going on.
  20. I wonder if he read this thread?
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
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