Stage volume

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Ugh. Had a gig last night with my 6 piece band. I like this band, but OMG, the stage volume is just waaay too loud. The bass player is the start of things, he just turns up stupid loud for most venues we play. Add to that the guitarists penchant for these piercing frequencies, coupled with the fact that there are 2 keyboards in the band...There's just a lot of sound coming off the stage. One of the wives of the band, we all love her, came up to the stage after the first 2 songs and was noticeably upset with the volume. Everyone heard her. I specifically watched what the bass player would do. He did nothing. His dynamics are crap, even for a low volume part of a song. He's sorta oblivious.The B3 player turned down for a half a song. My wife drove an hour to get there and even brought her 16 YO daughter, but they had to leave. It was not enjoyable.

These guys just don't know how to turn down, and I don't think they are very open to the suggestion. I wanted to write a scathing email to the leader (guitar player) basically blasting the professionalism of the people in question. TBH, I don't really care if they think less of me, or even fire me. I don't want to be a part of a band that refuses to turn down. I've been very malleable so far, but when I get to a point where I'm upset, I just don't care if they have a problem with me. I have a problem too.

We are good at outdoor festivals and bigger venues where we can get away with volume, but when we have to play a small to regular sized room, it's just unacceptable.

What would you do?
 

denisri

Silver Member
Hi Larry
Lots of common issues here. One comment and suggest...Many Bass and guitar players are very use to practicing and playing with their amps at their back and ears! When they get out of the practice room..they are looking to reproduce that sound...vs a good band mix!
So when addressing the issue at practice suggest players relocate from their amps( which places) and listen to balance.
We I'm in a situation of out of control volume...I drop my my volume. Sometimes it helps! Sometimes they are sooooooooo zoned out they don't even notice!
Denis
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
any decent sound man would tell them to turn their stage volume down so he can adjust a proper house mix .

if this doesn't happen....which it should....you need to just school them on how to be a professional uncle L

simple as that

we are all adults here
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
We don't have a sound man, neither did the venue, but we did have people in the audience who basically were telling the band what a sound person would. To no avail. I am low man on the totem pole in this band, and I haven't shown this band the side of me that is not easygoing and pleasant like most of the time. But I am this close. I wanted to confer with my advisors here to try and go about it in the most effective way possible. How do you educate close-minded people about this without threatening anything?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think you should let them have it. Life's too short for oblivious musicians. I've been in the same situation and in a few instances I just started playing alot quieter than normal (but I appear to be playing normal), and that sometimes worked, or I'd rush songs to end the pain sooner, but if I'm not comfortable in the musical situation then it has to be fixed or I just leave.

You're a good guy Larry, there are other bands out there too that would be happy to have you.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
No matter if you are low on the totm pole.
My guess is they really appreciate you for the great drummer you are.
I say read the riot act, give 'em hell
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
put your foot down and tell them that the overall product is suffering

they will respect you for your professionalism, experience, passion and knowledge of game
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So I should say something is what I'm getting here. Cool, I want to anyway. I will keep it as professional and diplomatic as I can, but I can't see how I can get around NOT pointing out the bass player. And the guy I'm sending it to, the leader, I have to implicate him too.

I'll just stick to my "call it like I see it" approach and let the chips fall where they may. I do have the best interest of the band at heart. In fact, that's how I will preface it.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I would say something. When people are leaving because of it , it is a problem. If you get sacked , so be it.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I suggest that you coolly and calmly jump ship and tell them why. There are a million bashing drummers who play way too loud who'd be a more obvious fit for this band.

Some bassists don't think it's for real if they don't feel the wind of their sonic flatulence at their backs. He deserves a drummer who operates similarly. He does not deserve a sensitive and tasteful drummer like you.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Having recently facilitated assertiveness training...

If you do want to say something, start with something positive. I would approach it like this:

'I really enjoy playing with this band most of the time, we make good music and I think we work well together. I am a little bit disturbed about the stage volume though and I've heard a few complaints about it that are putting people off coming to our gigs.'

That's how I would start it. How you end it is much easier!
 

Brian

Gold Member
We don't have a sound man, neither did the venue, but we did have people in the audience who basically were telling the band what a sound person would. To no avail. I am low man on the totem pole in this band, and I haven't shown this band the side of me that is not easygoing and pleasant like most of the time. But I am this close. I wanted to confer with my advisors here to try and go about it in the most effective way possible. How do you educate close-minded people about this without threatening anything?
Totem-pole, pecking order...those ideals generally don't make for happy people, music or otherwise.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Totem-pole, pecking order...those ideals generally don't make for happy people, music or otherwise.
In my world, pecking orders are a fact of life. I am the newest member of this band railing on the originator of this 8 YO band. I'm sure he feels like he is higher up, and I don't really have a problem with that. All bands need a leader.

And Grea, I'm not jumping ship. Yes I'm perturbed a little today, but I have a long way to go to get me to the point where I can't take it anymore. The good in this band greatly outweighs the bad, by a large margin.
 

Zickos

Gold Member
A friend of mine plays in a 4 pc metal band (guitar, bass, keyboard & drums). All are amplified except him (the drummer). I watched them as long as I could (had to leave so my ear drums wouldn't burst). I could see him playing and heard an occasional rim shot but otherwise could not hear him. I think that's too loud.

Larry, amplify yourself and turn the hell up on it and see if they complain.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
We I'm in a situation of out of control volume...I drop my my volume. Sometimes it helps! Sometimes they are sooooooooo zoned out they don't even notice!
Yep, and on occasion I've stopped playing (well, in rehearsal anyway) just to see who's paying attention. Amazing how often the absence of drums goes unnoticed.

Easy enough to tell the offending player(s) "If you can't hear me, you're too loud" or "If I can't hear myself, you're too loud!"

Aside from the lack of professionalism with way out of balance bands, future (smaller) gigs are also at risk. If it's the band's goal to stop playing small places, they should simply stop booking them, rather than get thrown out.

Up to you Larry when you've had enough, don't ever feel bad about getting out of an unprofessional situation. It's your reputation at stake, too.

Bermuda
 

Bastille

Member
Obliterating your audiences' ears is not the best way to keep a good draw. If you bring this up to your bandmates and they would rather argue with you about it than try to improve as a band, maybe you shouldn't waste any more time with them.
 

Zickos

Gold Member
Yep, and on occasion I've stopped playing (well, in rehearsal anyway) just to see who's paying attention. Amazing how often the absence of drums goes unnoticed.

Easy enough to tell the offending player(s) "If you can't hear me, you're too loud" or "If I can't hear myself, you're too loud!"

Aside from the lack of professionalism with way out of balance bands, future (smaller) gigs are also at risk. If it's the band's goal to stop playing small places, they should simply stop booking them, rather than get thrown out.

Up to you Larry when you've had enough, don't ever feel bad about getting out of an unprofessional situation. It's your reputation at stake, too.

Bermuda
Like this idea. It's better than mine.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Here's what I sent:
Well, there's no misunderstanding there :) :) :) Saying the bass player's dynamics suck is laying it down for sure. Ah well, you've dropped your load, let's see what works out.

Think you did good there Larry. It's off your chest, & that's always a good feeling. If they can't take it, or the guitarist is blowing off the bass player, you might have some ego reactions to handle ;)

Good luck!
 
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