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Question for the Pros: Odd Situation Over the Weekend

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  • #16
    Originally posted by wesg View Post
    There is a strong rule in Big Band groups that applies everywhere IMO: if you cannot clearly hear the soloist, you are playing too loud. Underlining that rule in a group can help more inexperienced players judge their own stage volume.
    Good rule no doubt. In this situation everyone on stage had trouble hearing themselves, singers and musicians. The situation got worse after the monitors were turned down. I was not the soloist and I could not hear my amp six feet behind me.

    It sounds like everyone here is focused on the stage volume from the band? So side-wash from the mains are probably not the culprit most likely?
    Good deals with: CRANK, Julius Caesar, nxheo, smd24fan, basshub, and Lonnie99

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    • #17
      So you're telling me that this was the worship leader/band leader - not the sound guy, doing this? Where was the sound guy?



      sounds like he's had a hard time about "stage volume" from someone who doesn't understand how these things work... Sounds like a mess.

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      • #18
        Maybe this particular music director would be more suited to the church of christs' instrumentation...
        Originally posted by isaac42;n32240445

        Voltan is correct.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by heath_eld View Post
          So you're telling me that this was the worship leader/band leader - not the sound guy, doing this? Where was the sound guy?



          sounds like he's had a hard time about "stage volume" from someone who doesn't understand how these things work... Sounds like a mess.
          Correct, the WL was the one doing this. The sound guy was a well-meaning, but totally clueless volunteer that said nothing the whole day.
          Last edited by vaughn4380; 08-31-2015, 06:16 AM.
          Good deals with: CRANK, Julius Caesar, nxheo, smd24fan, basshub, and Lonnie99

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          • #20
            Originally posted by vaughn4380 View Post

            Good rule no doubt. In this situation everyone on stage had trouble hearing themselves, singers and musicians. The situation got worse after the monitors were turned down. I was not the soloist and I could not hear my amp six feet behind me.

            It sounds like everyone here is focused on the stage volume from the band? So side-wash from the mains are probably not the culprit most likely?
            It may have contributed to the problem, but if it was so loud that turning up the monitors made things worse, side-wash wasn't the main culprit. From what I can gather by your description, the BL should have been metering (well he really shouldn't at all) for a much lower single-instrument reading. The buildup when all instruments are playing exceeds the individual readings. There are all kinds of factors in play here....too many instruments in the same frequency range will make that freq range unintelligible, for instance. The placement and direction and directionality of speakers is another. But the basic issue is that the backline needs less volume...far less from what you're telling us.
            "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

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            • #21
              First, 107a weighted on stage is pretty damn loud. The a weighting doesn't consider the bass frequencies so you could have easily been 10 dB hotter if he had used C weighting.



              But it to your question ... Yes, I expect that a big part of that stage level was the wash from the mains. It would have been interesting to make the measurement while switching on and off the mains.



              If their primary focus is SPL then they are probably in for electronic drums, amp simulators and IEMs.
              Don Boomer

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              • #22
                Originally posted by wesg View Post
                There is a strong rule in Big Band groups that applies everywhere IMO: if you cannot clearly hear the soloist, you are playing too loud. Underlining that rule in a group can help more inexperienced players judge their own stage volume.
                That should apply to other types of groups as well.

                One of the easiest bands I worked with was Brickhouse out of Vancouver BC. The soloists did not turn up for their bits but, instead, everyone else got out of the way. They all just backed off until it was their turn. The best part was that there was no (or at least minimal) volume creep as the show went on.
                "Isn't it a pity, isn't it a shame,
                how we break each other's hearts
                and cause each other pain"

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                • #23
                  http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-distance.htm

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                  • #24
                    So I was just filling in for the regular guy the week I posted this question. He has been back now for a bit and just sent me an email asking about local repair shops for his amp. Apparently the worship leader decided to go with a fully silent stage setup. Drums were replaced with e-drums (but still in a drum cage), in-ear systems were bought (two for the singers to share and two for the musicians to share), all amps were required to go in freshly built isolation boxes behind the stage, no monitors on stage at all, all keyboard speakers were muted. The end result? Still over 100 Db on stage according to the same meter. Of course that drops significantly when the house speakers are turned off. There are only two mixes for the musicians, so no one gets to have their instrument up in the mix. The choir is having trouble hearing the band well enough to sing. He said the situation is frustrating and the worship leader still doesn't understand where the excessive "stage volume" is coming from.

                    Oh, and the reason for his email? The isolation boxes were built without cooling fans and are just big enough to fit the amps, so his AC15 got "real hot" and stopped working.

                    ETA: Forgot to add, I guess the worship leader is relatively new to the church and has been making huge changes each week. I was under the imprssion he had been there a while, but I was wrong.
                    Last edited by vaughn4380; 09-03-2015, 01:49 PM.
                    Good deals with: CRANK, Julius Caesar, nxheo, smd24fan, basshub, and Lonnie99

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by vaughn4380 View Post
                      So I was just filling in for the regular guy the week I posted this question. He has been back now for a bit and just sent me an email asking about local repair shops for his amp. Apparently the worship leader decided to go with a fully silent stage setup. Drums were replaced with e-drums (but still in a drum cage), in-ear systems were bought (two for the singers to share and two for the musicians to share), all amps were required to go in freshly built isolation boxes behind the stage, no monitors on stage at all, all keyboard speakers were muted. The end result? Still over 100 Db on stage according to the same meter. Of course that drops significantly when the house speakers are turned off. There are only two mixes for the musicians, so no one gets to have their instrument up in the mix. The choir is having trouble hearing the band well enough to sing. He said the situation is frustrating and the worship leader still doesn't understand where the excessive "stage volume" is coming from.

                      Oh, and the reason for his email? The isolation boxes were built without cooling fans and are just big enough to fit the amps, so his AC15 got "real hot" and stopped working.

                      ETA: Forgot to add, I guess the worship leader is relatively new to the church and has been making huge changes each week. I was under the imprssion he had been there a while, but I was wrong.



                      Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...
                      I'd imagine it would be frustrating to be involved with one of these cluster f's, but it sure is entertaining to read.
                      "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

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                      • #26
                        I don't know what the main system looks like ... But this looks like a solution might involve adding cardioid subs.
                        Don Boomer

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                        • #27


                          Here's how we were set up in a service I played in last Sunday. I was the keyboard player closest to the camera in a room that seats maybe 500. No amps are allowed to be pointed directly at the congregation, and that's rigidly enforced. They have plex cages for the drums, but they are quiet enough and back far enough to not be a problem just as they are. By monitoring ourselves nearfield with amps on the floor sideways and backwards we hear ourselves well, and just trust the soundguys to give us a good mix.

                          Mains are flown above the stage - much the same as yours.

                          Anyway it's something you might try. Your current monitoring situation as you've described it is not going to work at all.

                          If your new leader is that concerned about levels, someone is leaning on him heavily about it - perhaps a wealthy contributor to the church. This stuff happens all the time. He's just going about controlling volume the wrong way.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by vaughn4380 View Post
                            Now the situation: After monitors were set he asked for the front house speakers to be turned on. Leader kicks off the first song and instantly I am lost in a mess of midrange keyboard echoes, reverberant drums, and undefined mud all compounded by a complete lack of high end definition.
                            The FOH wash is killing the monitor mix. That's really easy to do, depending on the room, and turning down the monitors won't solve any problems. If it was that bad, the FOH mix must have been incredibly loud. If they're so strict about stage volume where they'd walk around with an SPL meter, it's very strange they would have the FOH so loud. The solution here is to keep the FOH level down.

                            As Andy said, educated beyond intelligence?

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                            • #29
                              It's surprising how many people can't really tell how loud things are.
                              "I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile"

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                              • #30
                                In one of the (exceedingly lively) rooms I've worked a lot, things can be great on stage - reasonable volume and everyone is happy. As soon as the PA is loud enough to get a good blend with the monitor wash in the house, the house wash onto the stage makes the monitors disappear. The struggle then begins. One tracks band wanted the monitors so loud that I basically had the house killed between 100 and 400. (And this wasn't hip-hop, this was 'easy listening' stuff.)

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