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Soundmen: Get a Clue!!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Hekbass, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. Hekbass


    May 21, 2005
    Zephyrhills, FL
    When will soundmen ever learn? When will they understand that a heart-rate-altering bass drum sound, and walls of guitars that drown out the bass AND vocals do not make a good sound? It's just the opposite. I just went to see Mudvayne/Shadows Fall/Inflames last night, and I just couldn't believe my ears!! I want to hear the bass, but in Metal, it is slightly forgivable if you don't...but the vocals!!!??? Come on!!!!!! I almost could not hear them! Here they are, bursting the veins in their skull, screaming their nuts out, and you can barely hear it!! GET A CLUE, AND OPEN UP YOUR FRIGGING EARS, YOU KNOB-TWIDDLING JERK-OFFS!!
    I am sick of it. We as musicians should stand up for this. We should do something about it. When you play, make sure to tell the guy if the bass or the vocals are not audible. Get someone to go out front and listen while you play with the WHOLE band, and adjust accordingly. Don't allow these people to dial up a seismic bass drum sound that could rattle the Richter scale while drowning out everything else. Don't put up with this nonsense, otherwise, it keeps growing like a bad rash. I will try to search out other forums, etc., and I will try to spread the word about this. It's got to stop. Don't compromise, don't let yourself go unheard. We bust our fingers practicing, the least we can hope for is to be heard. A band's sound should be balanced, where every instrument is heard if you listen for it, and the vocals, obviously standing out a bit more over the overall sound. Peace.
  2. genderblind


    Oct 21, 2004
    Yep. +1.
  3. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I see similar rants to this quite often on TB, and quite frankly I can see both sides of the story because I occasionally do sound. For the most part I agree with you, but bad sound is pretty much a thing of the past over here nowadays. Why? Because we weeded the bad sound guys out. We gave the sound guys a clue.

    As a sound guy,you need to impress other sound guys to get a reputation and get more work. For a long time, especially with big PA's, impressing other sound guys meant you were expected to pull a earth shattering kick drum sound. I've done gigs where the band's manager is standing behind me repeatedly asking me to turn the kick up, even though it's already overpowering everything else. He pays the bills, so I had to comply.

    Studio mixdown engineers suffer the same problem, except this time, the whole band is hassling you to bring up the kick , often to a point where most home Hi-Fi's wouldn't be able to cope, which makes you wonder why they bother.

    So is it possible that we, and the people we're playing to, actually WANT the kick drum smacking you in the chest. The sound guys certainly believe so, and somehow we gave then that impression. There's no quick fix. We're better off educating the new wave of sound guys, something which started in Austr 10 years ago and is already reaping rewards.

    In the meantime, if you're working with a sound guy who's got the wrong idea, open up the lines of communication and discuss your points of view as adults. Done properly (ie without tempers flaring and name-calling), it's amazing how many sound guys make an effort to make you happy. The catch is you have to tell them what you want.... nicely.

    If you're stuck in the crow as a spectator at one of these shows, well I'm affraid there's not much you can do. I had to leave a Primus concert early once because I thought the kick drum was going to make me barf. I was there to hear Les........
  4. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    What pisses me off most about it is that you can't hear the rest of the drums either.

    if its a band with great songs and a crappy stage presence, i'll go stand in the back because it sounds way better 20yds away.
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  6. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    I think getting the kick drum like a punch in the gut is great! But nothing should be made to exclude other instruments and the like. The big key to getting good overall sound is balance.
  7. Hekbass


    May 21, 2005
    Zephyrhills, FL
    As regards PeteBass comment - yes, if I were to ask a soundguy to modifiy the sound, I would do it nicely. I just had to vent, 'cause the show's sound really pissed me off. I wish it was true that bad soundguys are a thing of the past. Maybe there is less of a trend towards that kind of bad sound, and that is great. But I think I am hearing shows like that more often than I would like to.
  8. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I'm a soundguy, but I know to have the bass drum's focus be lower than the bass, which I usually set to have a bit of punch...