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Arrggh! Another crappy mix at a high$$$ concert

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  • #16
    Speaking of verbs, is there a unit out there that replicates some if the delays/verbs of xmas past? Something like a PCM41 patch, a rev500 patch or two...


    I wonder...

    Your post reminded me that I transliterated some numbers. I was looking at my old Roland DEP5 and called the 500 a 5. There was a reverb on the DEP5 that I used to like back in the day.

    Now I'm wondering if my old SPX II still works.

    Yea it would be nice if there was the effects equivalent of the Nord keyboard - I haven't been paying attention to effects lately, but there probably is.

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    • #17
      We have an outdoor arena, Fiddler's Green, that now has some corporate name on it, that was a noise problem when the built it. In order to accommodate the city's noise limits, they built a three tiered time delayed system. When they use the full system, the sound is good everywhere. When they don't, it's usually way too much bass and kick. (and overly loud in most of the arena.) Seems the city isn't riding the max volume on the place anymore. Pity, it used to be a great place to see a concert.

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      • #18
        Speaking of verbs, is there a unit out there that replicates some if the delays/verbs of xmas past? Something like a PCM41 patch, a rev500 patch or two...


        Google "Convolution reverb"

        Not sure if there's a hardware unit, but Plugins are ubiquitous.

        MG
        "Thank You, NASA!"

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        • #19
          This is a common enough phenomenon.

          I've been to a quite a few high $$$ gigs over the last few years where the sound was completely atrocious. Yet my (non-sound-techie) friends are bouncing around as if it's the best gig they've ever seen or heard.

          I think there's a thing that happens with your average music fan that once they can see their 'idol' (for want of a better word) performing in front of them, they get carried away with the event and as long as they can recognise the material, the actual audio quality makes no difference to them whatsoever.

          At my work, I've often seen the same reaction from crowds whether we've spent 4 hrs doing a soundcheck or if the band had only arrived 30 mins before show time and we just line checked each channel and hoped for the best (with me spending the 1st 20 mins of the gig doing the soundcheck).

          So I dunno what to say - maybe never to underestimate the gullibility of your average show-goer. They often seem to 'hear what they see'
          flip the phase

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          • #20

            ...

            But some people like a total mix. Go hearTower of Power sometime. With a band like that it's essential to hear most of the parts.


            We're providing PA for them next week. Of course I'll be missing it since I'll be on vacation. Ah well, it's much needed.

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            • #21
              Big dumb kick, bass and overuse of subs?

              Say it isn't so!
              Kickin' it in the sticks...

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              • #22


                But some people like a total mix. Go hearTower of Power sometime. With a band like that it's essential to hear most of the parts.


                I saw them at a NAMM show at the Marriott (not your typical venue), but it all depends on who is on the board. The opener was Tony Bennett, and the cocktails were drowning him out. Then ToP. First tune I'm in front, second tune by the board, third tune, I'm outta here.

                My first ass raping for bad sound (considering ticket pricing, $60 in 1991 for cheapies) was the Rolling Stones. I've never heard anything so hilariously bad in my life. Badly calibrated delay stacks (every note 4 times), hell I didn't even recognize Satisfaction.
                A few years later I saw Pink Floyd in pretty much the same seat. It was religious.
                Originally Posted By Trace-P38
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                • #23

                  My first ass raping for bad sound (considering ticket pricing, $60 in 1991 for cheapies) was the Rolling Stones. I've never heard anything so hilariously bad in my life. Badly calibrated delay stacks (every note 4 times), hell I didn't even recognize Satisfaction.

                  If it's any consolation, I saw The Stones innabout 2000 (No Security Tour as I recall)... $300ea. seats... and I spent like another $1,500 on airplane tickets & hotel rooms for me & my date... sounded just as you described... EV X-Array system as I recall. Thinking I'd just caught a bad bounce... I saw them again inna different arena during the same tour... sounded basically the same.

                  And yes... there were a number of the songs during both shows that I couldn't even hazard a guess to what they were... and I'm a huge Stones fan... could probably sing the words and fake most of the bass lines to 90% of the songs they've ever released.

                  Oh... and I don't recall seeing anyone at any of the mixing consoles actually during the performance. I guess they couldn't afford FOH engineers... or something... I dunno what.

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                  • #24
                    by SCAfeets:

                    Admittedly, a lot of performances are still being given in basketball arenas masquerading as "muilti-purpose facilities" --- and many of them are acoustically hopeless.


                    The only way to mix sound in one of those places is to keep the volume down. I saw the Eagles during their "Hell Freezes Over" period tour at Penn State University's "basketball area" and they sounded great. When they first hit the stage, the volume was WAY TOO LOUD. As soon as the second song started it was obvious that whoever was mixing the sound knew the volume was shaking the rafters and cut it in half, or less. My compliments to that guy. A few months later I went to see Jackson Brown at the same arena and it sounded great. Low volume, but we could everything perfectly.

                    A few months later, Aerosmith blew into town and did a show in the same building. Their sound almost blew us out of the building. WAY WAY too loud. My pants legs were shaking from the bass guitar. I was wearing hearing protection and I still had a headache 3 days after that show. God!

                    The following week the local radio station interviewed the man that manages the Penn State facility and I called in and asked him why Aerosmith was so loud. He said that the sound man that comes with the group mixes the sound and they have no control over it. I told him about my most unpleasant experience and he told me I was not the only one. Some of the ushers walked out of the auditorium and stood in the halls so they didn't get their hearing blown out. That was the last "concert" I ever went to in that building.


                    Mike T.
                    Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Mk III, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro, lots of PA gear, Oberheim DMX, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, and more toys.

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                    • #25
                      Did you get a chance to hear the mix at the mix-position?

                      Yeah..Out of curiosity, I walked by the FOH console -- same bad mix as in my 10th row center seat.
                      www.WheresEddie.com

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                      • #26

                        My first ass raping for bad sound (considering ticket pricing, $60 in 1991 for cheapies) was the Rolling Stones. I've never heard anything so hilariously bad in my life. Badly calibrated delay stacks (every note 4 times), hell I didn't even recognize Satisfaction.
                        A few years later I saw Pink Floyd in pretty much the same seat. It was religious.


                        I was there for the Stones' Steel Wheels Tour concerts. All 3 shows, at the Big "Owe".(Montreals' Olympic Stadium) That sound was indeed pretty horrid, especially if you got up in the rafters, just horrible. At one point, I was dead center, maybe 20 rows back, and the sound there was fantastic.

                        Do you remember who opened for the Stones? It was Vernon Ried's "In Living Colour". When I first walked into that cavernous stadium, In Living Colour was already playing, but they were on a small stage, and you really couldn't hear them at all. Then, when the Stones came out, it was like someone had thrown a switch on a nuclear reactor. Huuuuuuge stage, and devastating sound. Visually, it was stunning to say the least.

                        If I remember correctly, they used something like 30 semi-trailers to haul their gear from show to show, and they actually had two sets of equipment, each with 30 semi-trailers. They would leap-frog each other to the next couple of towns. Awesome show.
                        Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

                        (I came, I saw, I stuck around)

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                        • #27
                          I remember EV had some monstrous rig they were promoting on tour with the stones. I think it was the MTH4/MTL4 rig or the earliest of XArray, can't remember though.
                          www.rock-bot.com
                          Live-Band-Karaoke

                          bassist and sound reinforcement

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                          • #28

                            Do you remember who opened for the Stones? It was Vernon Ried's "In Living Colour". When I first walked into that cavernous stadium, In Living Colour was already playing, but they were on a small stage, and you really couldn't hear them at all. Then, when the Stones came out, it was like someone had thrown a switch on a nuclear reactor. Huuuuuuge stage, and devastating sound. Visually, it was stunning to say the least.


                            At the last AES, I was at a semi-private party hosted by API, where they had Dave Natale (FOH Rolling Stones) mixing for Sonny Landreth and Bob Weir. (Sonny Landreth is the f'in man, btw) The first set was loud, but enjoyable and great sounding (if a bit on the bright side). The intermission was really long, so by the time the 2nd set rolled around, the place had emptied out quite a bit. When Sonny came back out, there were only 1-200 of us left, but the volume went WAY up. It was punishing. We were all looking at each other wondering, "WTF?"

                            -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.

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                            • #29
                              I saw Mayer in Chicago 2 years ago and he had a Venue system that sounded incredible.
                              "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson

                              Band promo shots on railroad tracks were cool in 1981...

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                              • #30
                                At the last AES, I was at a semi-private party hosted by API, where they had Dave Natale (FOH Rolling Stones) mixing for Sonny Landreth and Bob Weir. (Sonny Landreth is the f'in man, btw) The first set was loud, but enjoyable and great sounding (if a bit on the bright side). The intermission was really long, so by the time the 2nd set rolled around, the place had emptied out quite a bit. When Sonny came back out, there were only 1-200 of us left, but the volume went WAY up. It was punishing. We were all looking at each other wondering, "WTF?"

                                -Dan.


                                I was at that party, too. Thought the same thing.

                                The whole bad sound/too loud/crappy mix thing has been a pet peeve of mine for many many years and I've even written articles about it or mentioned it in some of my pieces in Live Sound magazine.

                                I really think it mostly comes down to the operators, because the equipment is usually not the problem. How the equipment is spec'd, set up and run is the problem. Too many people out there running this stuff that A) don't know how to mix and B) can't hear the difference.

                                http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/seven_things_you_should_never_do_while_mixing/

                                http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/steps_you_can_take_to_improve_your_mix_right_now/

                                http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/top_10_reasons_for_bad_sound_and_what_you_can_do_a bout_it/
                                --
                                Karl Winkler
                                Lectrosonics, Inc.
                                KW Photography
                                Giovanni String Quartet







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