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  • Getting the right volume

    My band plays regularly but we do not have our own amps. Where I live the venue supplies the amps, mics, and drum kit.
    On some shows people have been saying we are too loud. I have tried turning down the guitar but then people complain that the bass is too loud. We are a 3 piece heavy rock band. Only the mics go through the PA. The rest is not miced up.
    Does anyone have any tips or advice on how to sort this problem?

  • #2
    Um, turn your amps down??

    Stix
    ________________________________________________
    "Encouragement: fertilizer for the seed of desire and the flower of accomplishment."

    Live Rig
    FOH Rack: Presonus SL 16.4.2, Sabine FBX2400
    Amp Rack: QSC PLX3402, 3002 amp; Crown XLS1000; Driverack 260
    Cabs: JBL 4735 Mains & 4718 Subs
    Drum Sub-Mix: Yamaha MG12/4, Valley Gatex
    Personal Electronics: Sennheiser EW300G1, Custom Etymotic HF5 IEM's
    Drumset: Sonor 6-pc S-Class-Ash; Sonor D-500 Snare; Paiste/Zildjian/Sabian Cymbals

    Comment


    • #3
      Um, turn your amps down??

      Stix


      We have a winner!

      There's no magic solution to this... couple of options though:

      1) Turn Down (Bass too) - Duh
      2) Mic the amps and point them at your ears, facing away from the crowd - doesn't sound like you have this option.
      3) Use Amp Modelers and run what you need to hear through the monitors - again, doesn't seem doable for you.
      4) Use modelers and/or offstage amps and IEM's - takes some budget.

      In summary: turn the amps down. If you do this and you're still too loud, turn the drummer down - repeat until desired volume is attained.
      "A performer without techs is standing naked, on a dark stage, and no one can hear them. A tech without a performer... has marketable skills."

      Comment


      • #4
        Our drummer is pretty loud so we all have to turn up to match his volume. I think I will try building the sound up with each instrument. Start with drums and vocals. Turn up the bass. Then turn up the guitar.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ummmm, if the drums are too loud for your audience, starting with drums as your baseline level isn't going to solve anything.

          Your drummer is also going to need to play quieter, either by technique or lighter sticks or some other method. If he's not going to do this, you may come up against the venue saying no thanksto your band because you are unable to manage your volume effectively.
          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

          Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

          Comment


          • #6
            Bingo, think we found your problem...

            Our drummer is pretty loud so we all have to turn up to match his volume.


            I'm a drummer... as stated above, your drummer needs to reduce his volume to match the appropriate level for the venue. If you keep chasing his volume, he's just gonna keep getting louder, then you all will get louder, then he'll get louder, etc. and then you're too loud. Tell your bass player to set his volume to the appropriate level at the beginning of the night then leave the volume button alone. You do the same thing - if you need to put a piece of gaffers tape over the knobs. After every song, tell your drummer he's too loud and that you guys aren't going to/can't turn up. After a few songs, he'll get the message when he's playing so loud he can't hear the song and will be forced to reduce his volume simply to be able to play along - or better yet, start doing this in rehearsal.

            Stix
            ________________________________________________
            "Encouragement: fertilizer for the seed of desire and the flower of accomplishment."

            Live Rig
            FOH Rack: Presonus SL 16.4.2, Sabine FBX2400
            Amp Rack: QSC PLX3402, 3002 amp; Crown XLS1000; Driverack 260
            Cabs: JBL 4735 Mains & 4718 Subs
            Drum Sub-Mix: Yamaha MG12/4, Valley Gatex
            Personal Electronics: Sennheiser EW300G1, Custom Etymotic HF5 IEM's
            Drumset: Sonor 6-pc S-Class-Ash; Sonor D-500 Snare; Paiste/Zildjian/Sabian Cymbals

            Comment


            • #7
              IEM's for the drummer may help, if set up properly. When drummers are too loud I usually recommend my IEM system. Most of the time this helps to improve their dynamics. If the drummer is still too loud, crank the snot out of their mix with a ton of snare and cymbals so they can experience for themselves the insulting noise they are creating for people on stage and out front. Usually, but not always they get the point.

              Comment


              • #8
                When playing live: turn up your amps until you can hear yourselves and also hear each other. One trick is to angle your cabinets inwards so that you're firing your sound across the stage at the other bandmates, instead of straight out into the audience. If you're already way too loud just trying to get over the drummer, there's not much you can do about that.

                If your drummer is slamming the hell out of the kit, yeah, maybe he's playing too loud. That said, don't tell him to quiet down to the point that the whole band ends up sounding weak and soulless. Drums need to be hit if they're to speak, and hitting them without conviction is a detriment to the overall sound. Just have him ease up a little on the cymbals, and the overall volume will probably come down quite a bit. Depending on the kit that's provided, your drummer could buy his own cymbals and bring them when your band plays. They have to be quality cymbals though, and thinner. I use Sabian AA Thin cymbals and the volume is perfect.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Have you ever tried using a drum shield around the drummer? It helps.

                  http://www.drumshields1.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Have you ever tried using a drum shield around the drummer? It helps.

                    http://www.drumshields1.com/


                    eh... They only kinda help. IMO, they're ok at cleaning up the spill from drummers who can already moderate themselves, but they're not going to make a loud drummer tolerable.

                    -Dan.
                    Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If your drummer is slamming the hell out of the kit, yeah, maybe he's playing too loud. That said, don't tell him to quiet down to the point that the whole band ends up sounding weak and soulless. Drums need to be hit if they're to speak, and hitting them without conviction is a detriment to the overall sound. Just have him ease up a little on the cymbals, and the overall volume will probably come down quite a bit. Depending on the kit that's provided, your drummer could buy his own cymbals and bring them when your band plays. They have to be quality cymbals though, and thinner. I use Sabian AA Thin cymbals and the volume is perfect.

                      Tone doesn't matter one bit if they lose the gig. Better to make tradeoffs earlier in this game IME.
                      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                      Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So it's the drummer's fault? I thought you said people were complaining about the guitar and then the bass being too loud.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          IEM's for the drummer may help, if set up properly. When drummers are too loud I usually recommend my IEM system. Most of the time this helps to improve their dynamics. If the drummer is still too loud, crank the snot out of their mix with a ton of snare and cymbals so they can experience for themselves the insulting noise they are creating for people on stage and out front. Usually, but not always they get the point.


                          Crank the snot out of the IEM mix
                          Okay how bout I do that to you. What would your reaction would be ?
                          Would you be all nice and polite about it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So it's the drummer's fault? I thought you said people were complaining about the guitar and then the bass being too loud.


                            It's EVERYBODY's fault, starting with the drummer playing too loud for the venue, and then the gtr and bass playing up to the already too loud drummer's level.

                            This is not rocket science for those of us experienced sound guys. We see it repeat itself time after time.
                            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                            Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have noticed that in many instances, the bass it too loud. It seems to be a hard thing to be aware of. (Sneaky frequencies.) I'm a fan of just turn the bass up enough to be heard. Anything else will make your band sound too loud, but people generally won't be able to tell why your band is too loud. (They seem to know it's too loud, but can't pin it on anything. That's the time to back the bass off.) And your drummer just needs to grow up and learn some control. Final maturity in a drummer is when they can play softly and still sound good. I've seen it in 15 year olds and sometimes can't find it in 50 year olds.

                              And good drummers are never soulless at any volume.

                              Comment



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