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turn it down, you're not impressing us

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by skwee, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Just a little rant (not trying to sound like a wimp here). After our show tonight in CT, a few of us went out with friends of ours to what would have been a really nice joint were it not for the volume. Band actually pretty tight. Singing/rhythm guitar girl really good-getting it done. Keys, bass player and guitarist supporting her. the problem:

    The drummer was using sticks that looked like oak logs and just destroying everything. As a result, the band is cranked--in a flat-ceilinged, tiny room. I had my serious plugs in and was still being assaulted. Empty dance floor, and the band is kind of heckling the crowd ("what is this, the no-dancing zone?") No, you idiots, it's because no one can or is willing to get close to you. fail. :scowl: :rollno:

    I've played theaters at half this volume.

    This actually leads me to a question: if you are playing a small room, what do your drummers do to keep things reasonable (if they are competent and paying attention, that is)? Use a shield? Use lighter sticks/brushes?
  2. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Any reasonable drummer can play at a reasonable volume. I say this as a drummer.
  3. A decent drummer can, and will, control his volume through his technique. A guy who can only play at one volume needs to get back in the woodshed and do some work.
  4. I say this after noticing at my last gig, similar thing happened,...

    BUT when I played on stage I assumed it was similar volumes, to me it was an ok mix and not too bad however hearing the next set out in the crowd it was deafening anywhere you stood... The band may not have even been noticing that they were killing people with noise. I think small rooms should just mic the singer and let the rest play unamplified, would rather a vocal mix with soft instruments behind it than an all out assault in which you can't differentiate between the wall of noise for fear of yours imploding! And I say this as a man who loves metal!
  5. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    what the hellz up with that. I helped a band recently and the drummer laid down a gymbag full of drumsticks next to his kit. I thought, cool he comes prepared.

    He proceeds into the set just full out slammin the kit hard. He was a very good drummer but a damn loud n hard-hittin drummer. I watch and started laffin to myself as I see these entire 1/2 of sticks flying out to front of stage. I mean sometimes 2-3 times per tune. He almost went thru that entire bag of sticks that nite. It was a one set show! LOL. Of SRV, Prince and Lenny Kravitz covers, sorta took me outta my groove as I love the bass on many of those tunes.

    Yeow Ming!! :rollno: Dude, bring it down a notch or two. :D
  6. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I am a sound man myself, but I blame many occurrences like you describe on overzealous sound techs who may otherwise be very competent but who seem to think that they aren't doing their job unless the sound system is putting out 100% of the volume which it is capable of cleanly delivering - or more, which is worse. Small-timers don't have a monopoly on this; a year or so I went to a Springsteen show here in Austin that was so freakin' LOUD that I couldn't tell whether the distortion I was hearing was coming from an overdriven PA or from my ears' inability to handle the SPL. I ended up tearing strips off my program, chewing them up, and shoving them into my ear canals.
  7. I am blessed w/a drummer who is VERY flexible, & can play at very low volumes when necessary. He'll use multi-rods or brushes when appropriate, and we often do low-volume practice w/practice amps or acoustics. I hate seeing a band that doesn't get the OP's point- it's embarassing to be a musician at that point.
  8. mh72nc


    Sep 2, 2009
    terre haute, in
    My drummer always brings along some thunder rods, hot rods, and brushes, just in case. He hates using them, with a passion, but also hates when things sound terrible.
  9. Elrend


    Feb 24, 2008
    My drummer has this great trick, learn dynamics.
  10. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    Swizzle sticks. Our last drummer hit real hard with no dynamics. The new drummer listens. Great dynamics. I play wireless and usually walk out in the crowd to check sound levels. I don't know why most sound persons feel the need to mix the bass drum so freaking loud. We played a winery once and sound levels outside at tables was way too loud for a winery crowd.
    I once saw Led Zepplin at Berkley Community Theater. My ears rang for 2 weeks after that show.
  11. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Drummer in my band uses electronic drums unless it's a really big room or outdoor festival type gig. For those occasions out come the DW's and in go the custom ear plugs.
  12. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Our drummer puts bar towels over his drum skins to dampen the sound. Doesn't really affect the tone massively

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