Why so loud???

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Joris, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. I'm sure this has been vented before, but here it goes.

    Last weekend, I was at the Graspop Metal Meeting festival in Dessel, Belgium. Three stages, 50,000 visitors, camp site, the works. Obviously mostly metal bands play there. And metal should be played loud. I have a pretty big 4x60W amp in my car, to play friggin' loud music. OK, that makes sense, I guess.

    But at a metal concert my ears hurt. The squeeking of the PA is awful. There's no sub bass, although I sometimes see 10 double 18" cabinets running full throttle. An equal amount of power seems to go into the mid-high section, in a way that's really unbearable. So I wear earplugs. No big deal. OK, that makes sense.

    But upon standing very close to the soundguy I noticed he was NOT wearing earplugs. IS HE FRIGGING NUTS? He must be suffering from SERIOUS hearing loss. Do 10,000 people have to suffer an atrociously bad band sound, because Mr sound guy doesn't take his job seriously?

    There was this band I really really like: Finntroll. I know every track they wrote note by note, yet I didn't recognize one of the songs they played. The sound was that frigging bad!

    My girlfriend told me she could't hear a thing. At 105 dB.

    Opeth, another band I like, seemed to have brought their own sound guy, and he must have been taking his job seriously, because the sound was breathtakingly good.

    OK, I'm done ranting.
  2. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    A lot of people think balancing and leveling performances is easy. There is a lot that the sound guy has to do and pay attention to. He probably didn't feel up to that challenge once he got the job description :p

    That's a stinker, I hate bad sound. When I saw Victor Wooten last, the sound was balanced pretty damn well, but I wish I had brought earplugs, you could hear every nuance of vic's playing, as well as the rest of the band, but it was still really really loud.
  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I never got why bands like to play so loud. Obviously you have to play loud enough to fill a room and get a solid tone from your amp, but I think once you start getting to loud, it's very difficult to control your dynamics.
  5. when my friends were over yesterday and we were jammin, i had set my new swr la15 up on the other side of the room because we were re-doing the office out here where we jam cuz we record our stuff and the computer is out here and i had my amp up pretty damn loud because there was this GIANT desk in the middle of the room, and no room for my amp on the other side of it w/ the other guys and so I had to turn it up loud and I wish I had earplugs CUZ DAMN! I had a headache after that from it...I'm guessing it was the transition from my 15 watt i was using for about half the jam session THEN I got the swr from my friend (hehe, its mine now ;)) and I wasn't used to the POWER of the amp so close.
  6. Joris I know how you feel.

    There is a club that used to be great for shows, and I mean great! But i think the place has gotten a new house soundguy, 'cuz DAMN.

    I am so sick of seeing half stack guitar amps against puny 50 watt bass amps, whats the point in putting that mic at the bass amp? they don't even use it!

    I've notice that there is no bass. Not even in the guitar or drums.


    :mad: :spit: :mad:
  7. parrott

    parrott Guest

    Dec 2, 2001
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    It's a common complaint - why so little attention to bass, and why such high volumes.

    One day......one day, I'm sure I'm gonna come across a responisble, good sound guy, who knows about volumes and more instruments than just guitar...... and I'm going to kidnap him, just to make sure I have him every time.

    Hell, I was in a bar a couple nights ago, there was a live DJ, and a sound guy to go with him, and the volume was just so high! I mean, i could hardly hear what someone was shouting in my ear! I mean, how can someone get away with somehting like that, in an ordinary bar!!

    And Micro - what's the club?
  8. The Cathouse...
  9. merlin

    merlin Guest

    Some concerts yes are loud but can still be balanced. The sound guy you mentioned more than likely wasnt removing the bad frequencies with EQ. Certain frequencies even at mediocre volume can be not only uncomfortable but dangerous.

    I have complaints with sound guys every show. My band is waiting for my brother to finish his soundcourse so we can include him our contract as official sound guy. Why? Because he's been there from the start, he mixes us at rehearsal/recordings sometimes. He knows the sound we're after.

    Actually my band was warned to be on our best behaviour at our last show because the sound guy got offended that we argued with how poor the sound was. It was atrocious, i would've preffered a toddler to mix for us. *shrugs* Some people just have no idea.


  10. I personally think that most rock concerts are WAY too loud. I know rock is supposed have this tough, rebel, bad boy sort of image, but come on! It just doesn't need to be at the usually high levels it is.

    Sure you want to have a certain "fullness", but when it's really loud, we just can't hear things properly. The ear gets overloaded and things just wind up sounding distorted. I find it annoying really that I have to buy ear protection just to go to a concert sometimes. I'd really rather not wear any since it can seriously mess with hearing the full range of frequencies, but some bands just force me to wear them.

    I don't understand the rationale. Do bands think you'll think they're really great if they pummel you into submission? I just get annoyed.

    Some bands take it so far, they may as well throw money out the window. I played in the orchestra at Massey Hall in Toronto last year when The Tea Party did their orchestral tour. They had a 60 piece orchestra, some pretty cool arrangements and we were pretty well miked. The only problem was, as soon as they started playing, they completely obliterated us because they were turned up so freakin' loud. So all those thousands of dollars spent on having us play with them, and according to a few audience members I spoke with, we were virtually inaudible. It's too bad because the orchestral arrangements were actually pretty decent.

    When I played a similar show with Yes, it was very well balanced. On stage, the orchestra and band were a very good mix - and we only amplified out front (no orchestra in the monitors).

    Anyway, I don't get why some bands/sound engineers think it has to be uncomfortable to be good. I think it's time to roll things way back.
  11. Thanks everybody for the support.

    It was said that it's hard to mix a band at 105 dB. No one said it's easy. But why do many sound guys appear to have serious hearing loss? Aren't those people supposed to test their hearing once in a while and aren't they obligated to wear protection? How much do opto plastics (sp?) cost? 50 or 100 bucks? I don't remember how much mine were, but it's the best investment in sound equipment I ever did, against the 10,000 worth of other investments.

    I dare any soundguy, that f**ks up, to take the controls. But there's always security.

    We are a pretty big forum, maybe we should be able to do something about it.

    Yeah........ riiiiight! ;)
  12. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Dont you love it when Joris rants!!!!:D :D :D

  13. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    Wow, that is one hell of a sentence.
  14. :D

    ...and when the mist clears up, there's a vast field of lobotomized ear drums, severed limbs, stacked torsos, crushed skulls, yet one man standing.......... the sound guy!!!
  15. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Do you realise how much trouble I have convincing people to put a bigger power amp on the subs that on the mid-highs? No-one seems to believe me. Furthermore, run more Sub cabs that mid -high cabs. Every concert rig I've played through uses something like 6/9 ratio, meaning 9 subs for every 6 mid-highs.

    There's my little rant........
  16. volumefiend

    volumefiend Guest

    Oct 5, 2002
    Lafayette, CA
    Why you ask?

    Because when you play loud, youre cool.:) :rolleyes:
  17. I know what you mean; a DJ spun after my band's set a couple times at this one venue, and it was absolutely ridiculous. I wore earplugs during our set, but I needed them even more afterward while we were packing up! I don't think conversation was even possible in front of the mains, shouted or not. Maybe I'm just picky, but I don't think I should need ear protection AFTER a gig because of the damn DJ! :spit: Appropriately enough I suppose, that particular venue recently got new management, and those bastards decided they're going with all DJs all the time, eliminating all the house bands, including mine :mad: :mad: