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  #1  
Old 05-18-2016, 04:31 PM
bearblastbeats bearblastbeats is offline
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Default Why must it be so loud?

Is it me? Or my old age?

It seems that every person I play with needs to be loud. Are they overcompensating for lack of talent or articulation? I don't understand it.

Last night I played with 2 guys who used decent half stack guitar set ups. I played with my Yamaha Stage Custom 10/12/14/20 config with my new meinl set up of 22'' vintage pure light ride, 14'' sand hats, 17'' extra dry crash, and 18'' vintage sand crash.

First off, the room was about 30x30, concrete floors, unfinished drywall on the walls. My kit sounded flat, dead, and weak in this room. Very upsetting considering I bought the yamaha to replace my vintage ludwig.

We get to playing and it starts off fine. I throw out some ideas to work with and they more or less grasp them to get a jam going. Both guitar players, and myself, all have played in heavy metal/hardcore bands but I have been trying to get into more articulate music, less distortion, more space, yadda yadda.

One guitar player just spent time tapping and using his loop peddle, which is fine, and then the other just wanted to riff. Cool, if I wanted to go back to what I used to play.

They essentially want to be Russian Circles. I love that band but even I get bored listening to it.

Anyway, my setup last night was not fit to play against two stacks and I felt like I was playing excessively hard to try and even hear myself play, in fear of breaking my brand new cymbals.

I don't think I should change my gear up and maybe it was just the room. But even still, I feel out of place trying to find the music I want to play in my local scene here in NH.

Last edited by bearblastbeats; 05-18-2016 at 05:05 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2016, 05:00 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I mostly play jazz, but I picked up three rock gigs with a 4 piece rock band in the area who had just lost their drummer (he didn't die, he just left).

We rehearsed a few times as all their songs are originals, and they aren't completely cookie cutter (they're all Berklee grads).

I was amazed when we setup live though, as they setup mics on all my drums, and each had these massive guitar amps. I've played in big 20+ piece swing bands, and though all those brass instruments were loud, but these amps were louder than anything I've ever heard. And the music isn't metal, it's more like combining Weezer with the Rolling Stones.

I've played the same venue too, with a rockabilly band at half the decibels...
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2016, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

IMO people are completely inconsiderate with the volume that loud. There are other people in the room. Excessive volume is a big turn off to a lot of people, myself included. Things would be more enjoyable at a more comfortable level volume-wise.

Guys who play like that think it's all about them. That's backwards, it's supposed to be all about the enjoyment of the patrons.
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2016, 05:27 PM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
IMO people are completely inconsiderate with the volume that loud. There are other people in the room. Excessive volume is a big turn off to a lot of people, myself included. Things would be more enjoyable at a more comfortable level volume-wise.

Guys who play like that think it's all about them. That's backwards, it's supposed to be all about the enjoyment of the patrons.
I don't get the excessive volume. I have extreme reactions to loud noise, it really bothers me.
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2016, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I used to love loud, but not so much any more. A 15-30 watt tube combo amp provides all the volume any gigging guitarist needs, and then some.
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2016, 06:08 PM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
I used to love loud.......
I still do.

But I also love balance.

If one's so loud that it drowns out the other, then it doesn't tend to leave much to love.
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2016, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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I still do.

But I also love balance.

If one's so loud that it drowns out the other, then it doesn't tend to leave much to love.
True, and I guess that is reflected in my comment, as well. A 30 watt Marshall combo is not a quiet amp by any stretch, and is plenty loud to match the volume of an acoustic drum kit.

If the whole production needs to be louder, mics are in order.
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2016, 06:25 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I think it's part of how rock music and especially certain subgenres of rock have marketed themselves over the years -- as if the music is somehow less authentic if it's not played at earbleeding volume.

Part of it I get. There's a really cathartic sensation in producing a loud sound, whether it's by strumming a guitar or whaling on drums. When I practice songs, I tend to practice at what I think would be an appropriate volume for the size of venues I play (200-500 seat rooms). But there is no reason I couldn't practice at lesser volumes, and some great reasons why I should.

One of the best ways to reduce overall volume (although it is somewhat costly) is to have the whole band go with in-ear monitors. That way each person gets it as loud as they need personally, but the room volume can be quite low and comfortable (especially for neighbors).

It also sounds like this practice room is part of the problem - reflective surfaces, probably rings like the inside of a steel drum. Just hanging some moving blankets or something on the walls would help that out in terms of the room. The guitars wouldn't have to be so loud because they would be less muddy in the space.

But in the end, you're asking novice guitarists to be mature about their volume levels. And I know some "professional" guitar players who haven't figured that out yet. Best of luck to you!
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2016, 06:27 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

It's a chronic problem in our band. We are playing R&B, disco, funk, classic rock, pop, and so on. Keys/bass/drums/guitar/vox.

The bass is so loud that it's not fun to play my bass drum unless is mic'd. When he turns down THEN I can feel and hear my bass drum. The tonal quality of the drums/cymbals gets drowned out and I may as well be playing a beater kit. Nuances are lost. They keys are on my right and loud as hell. Bass on the left. The singer's threatening to quit because of the bass and guitar volume. He says the drums ARE NOT the problem. In some bands, I have been the one too loud and I've had to quiet down. In this one, the bass, keys and maybe guitar are too loud. To be sure we don't want to be feeble and wimpy when playing "Give it to me Baby" or "Uptown Funk" or "What I Like About You" and so on. But I agree with the singer, it's too damn loud.

And getting the guys to quiet down works...for about a minute. I don't get it either. And I'm the freaking DRUMMER!
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2016, 06:51 PM
_Leviathan_ _Leviathan_ is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I played in a two piece stoner/sludge band for years, and it started out with the guitarist just cranking up a relatively small Marshall. It was still loud, but at least bearable.

Then he came into some money, and bought a Marshall stack and a Mesa Boogie stack, probably each about 200 watts a piece, and in a small room, I simply could not hear anything but cymbals. I talked to him about the issue, and a lot of times he would turn down, and then slowly creep up the volume again during the practice.

I too get that it's a matter of aesthetic and preference, but people forget that we are playing an acoustic instrument and keeping up in volume with someone who can simply turn up a knob can be taxing and take away the fun of playing. The volume was one of the many reasons I ended up quitting the situation.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:11 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

Ultimately, the volume issue comes down to musicians not being able to hear themselves. Back in my day (before IEMs), we used to put our amps on slant stands so that they would point right at our heads.

Guitars playing rock can be problematic, as they need enough volume to create harmonic feedback. Unless you have an experienced guitarist that manages volume via touch-response, you're going to run into volume contention issues. Slant stands mitigate this by placing the amp closer to the instrument.

I'd also recommend that you snag some time from a music producer, so that you have an authoritative third party that can let you gents know what's too loud, what works, what isn't working and why.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2016, 07:24 PM
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ron s ron s is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

You have hit on my major issue with my band. The bass player is consistently way too loud for the room. We have spoken to him about turning down, and he turns down at the pickup volume, so he can turn back up when he gets excited, or whatever. Then he says " I never touched my amp". I used to play guitar and bass, so it's obvious what he is doing.
Last weekend, we had quite a few patrons leave after we came on. My GF was there and she said the bass was drowning out both the guitar and drums.
The OP comment on the bass drum was accurate- a loud bass at roughly the same frequency can cancel out your bass drum sound.
This clown is using an SGR bass with active pickups for a classic rock bar band. He has an overdrive in his amp and the bass turned way up, with mids and treble below halfway. Can you say "crappy tone"?
He does have other good qualities- he sings backup and some lead, helps with load in and out, etc.

I don't want to find another band, because this one is steady work and I enjoy playing with the guitarist.
It is getting really taxing though, especially in smaller spaces, or when there isn't a big crowd. This guy has no common sense regarding appropriate volume for the situation. He thinks every job is a rock concert.
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2016, 07:33 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

My wife says the members are losing their hearing, and then turn up, and lose more hearing....on and on, in a vicious cycle...
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2016, 07:36 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by ron s View Post
The OP comment on the bass drum was accurate- a loud bass at roughly the same frequency can cancel out your bass drum sound.
Yes. This is what is happening when we play.
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2016, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by bearblastbeats View Post
I played with my Yamaha Stage Custom

[...]I bought the yamaha to replace my vintage ludwig.
Pic of me, reading this....

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  #16  
Old 05-18-2016, 07:57 PM
bearblastbeats bearblastbeats is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Pic of me, reading this....

Still have the luddy, just prefer not playing it as it's too cumbersome.
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  #17  
Old 05-18-2016, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by bearblastbeats View Post
Still have the luddy, just prefer not playing it as it's too cumbersome.
Atta boy. :)

The way I read it is that you got rid of the Ludwigs to get the Yamahas.

I totally understand this. Old Luddies are very loud drums as well!
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  #18  
Old 05-18-2016, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

Yea, let's not forget how we drummers can sound pretty damn loud. I would say the last few bands I've seen in the bar, the non-mic'd drummer's snare was way louder than any other part of the band. The drummer, and the band seemed totally oblivious to just how loud and unbalanced the sound was. I thought it just ruined the music.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I had an economics professor who told us that if we (the class) didn't like the price of gasoline, invest in oil stocks to offset your costs. Good advice I guess but nobody back then had disposable income.

Perhaps the same advice would hold true here. If you don't like the decibel levels, wear hearing protection and invest in hearing aide technology and wait for all these people listening at these excessive values to need that hearing aide technology you invested in... no wait... musicians rarely have disposable income either!
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

Historically, I have usually been the one asking everyone to turn down slightly at rehearsals, and the result has almost always been the other musicians remarking how much easier and less fatiguing it is to hear everyone, especially when there is a vocalist. However, the drummer has a pivotal role in setting the volume bar - if someone is an incredibly heavy hitter at all times, then everyone else may need to compete.
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  #21  
Old 05-18-2016, 09:24 PM
bearblastbeats bearblastbeats is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

My Yamaha kit is not very boisterous to begin with. The gig wasn't loud enough for me to use my d'adderio ear plugs but it was louder than the cymbals I assembled for my current set up.

Essentially, I think I should move up to 19" or 20" crashes and another ride that has more cut.

TBH, I'm not entirely soled on the idea of playing with them as I have mentioned I am not interested in playing those styles of music.
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  #22  
Old 05-18-2016, 10:20 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

Last band I was in we made a decision that we would not practice loud. We practiced with a 20 watt valve combo for the guitar, a one x 15 cab for bass, and the keys going through the PA. It was great. You can hear mistakes and you can also hear expression and nuance in the music. I loved it, I could discern sounds from my ride cymbal that I hardly new existed by playing softly on the bell, the bow and the edge etc.

The guitarist started using his Gibson 335 cos he could hear the tone properly. Try It, you cant hide behind volume, everything is out there to be heard.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I'm almost 40 and have gotten back into a metal band with a loud guitarist. He says his amp just doesn't sound right at lower volume,and I agree, but damn is it loud! Practicing by myself I wear earplugs that let the highs through, or muffs over earbuds depending on the amount of practice time and what I am practicing. I cringe when I hit the drums as hard as I should. Our guitarist wears no hearing protection because he says he can't hear anything with it. We have the bass drum mic'd for practice and I still doubt anybody can hear it since it doesn't come through in the room recordings of practices. I can see triggering the bass drum in my future.

Our bass player has been pretty inaudible as well. He hasn't had an amp and has been playing through the 250W P.A. into 2 15" cabinets. He just got an 800W head and 1X15 cabinet this week...4X10 cabinet to come later.

What's funny is I have never really seen much of this as a problem. It is more like a challenge to balance everything at an extreme volume level. I have bought 2 crashes recently just to cut through the wall of detuned distortion and have a 3rd one in mind.

Any show we'll play at, that type of volume is acceptable but where this will be an issue is at a very small gathering in a couple weeks with maybe 10 people where we plan to set up a pair of turntables and just play a few records. I suggested a simple house stereo amp and some small speakers out on the porch and his response was " we got 250 watts,it'll be plenty loud enough outside on the porch". Yeah...and deafening inside.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

One problem is that certain people think that loud is cool. That you have to be loud in order to play rock. Then there is the issue that some people want the best sound from their amps. And the thing is that certain amps need to be played at a higher volume in order to get that full potential. It's annoying for sure. But that's how it is.

If my band gets too loud (especially the bassplayer is prone to it), I just stop playing. It works. But basically, they behave okay. And I had no problems cutting through the amps even with 20" or 16" bassdrums when everyone behaved well.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:30 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by Wave Deckel View Post
And the thing is that certain amps need to be played at a higher volume in order to get that full potential. It's annoying for sure. But that's how it is.
For those particular amps, an attenuator is usually a good solution. These work well for pre-master-volume era amps that only sound good when the power stage is driven real hard. If it's a 100-200w amp, that's going to be really loud without a PowerBreak.

The other trick is that some amps allow you to cut the power in half by simply removing half of the power tubes. Granted, you're not going to saturate the output stage in the same way as you're effectively driving a 100w output transformer with 50w.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:21 AM
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  #26  
Old 05-19-2016, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

Are there any rugs or anything on the concrete floors? If not that could be a major part of the issue.
The sound is bouncing off the floors and walls and everyone ends upcompeting for volume because there's nothing to help kill off the excess noise, covering the concrete floors with rugs or anything similar would help tremendously.
I played in a band for 4 years with 1 guitarist using 2 half stacks and the bassist used an 8x10, we practiced in a tiny room with concrete floors and it was terrible!
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I think at some stage we've all met the kind of well-meaning big dopey guys who always shout, even when they are told to whisper at their grandmother's funeral ... OH SORRY! I'LL KEEP IT DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN (that's the echo in the church :)

A lot of musos are like that on their instruments - they just gotta shout, it's just what they do.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by bonerpizza View Post
...I played in a band for 4 years with 1 guitarist using 2 half stacks and the bassist used an 8x10, we practiced in a tiny room with concrete floors and it was terrible!
I have no doubt that the room made a huge difference...but if you've got that much loud going in, a padded cell would sound loud! My band plays in a smallish room (with carpets and fabric blinds which will help absorb sounds), but everybody behaves themselves. I'm not a hard hitter, the lead player uses a Fender De Luxe (40W valve combo), the rhythm player uses anything from a 5W (you read that right) Blackstar to a 30W Epiphone Blues Custom (set to work as a 15W amp...it's some kind of valve-y sorcery), the bass player uses a Peavey amp through a single Schroeder cab. We play classic rock, and it certainly feels adequately loud without being unpleasant or having volume wars.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I play bass in one of my bands and I had an issue like this at our first jam. I had plugged in, set my bass to a tasteful level considering the room we were in and then the guitarists plugged in... And about 2 minutes later, I was asking them to kindly turn it down, I don't want to go deaf.

After the jam, everyone was in agreement that they could hear everything when the volume was lowered, which was great. You just have to get your guitarists to try it as an experiment and they will be converts.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I also play drums in a metal band. Guitars are almost always too loud, and an unamplified kit just cannot keep up. That's why I use kick triggers. But it's still better to play at a well-balanced volume than one where you're straining to hear each instrument because the mix is too loud.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

In my experience it's always been crap bass players with no tone, tuning or talent.

The combination of the 3 rattle around your chest cavity, it's unbearable at times. Especially when you're in a small venue and you can't hear anything but badly played bass and you're on top of the amp.

Only cure is pull the kettle lead out, they spend ages trying to figure out why no noise is coming out and it actually improves the sound of the band
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

If I were in your situation (and you really enjoy playing with this band), I would invest in a couple of mics, a small sound board, and a set of IEM's. Put a couple of mics in the room, hook it up to the board, and then run your IEM's from your headphone jack. If you buy everything but the IEM's used, this should save you some money...and your hearing!

I have the Shure se215's that I use for practice, and this does the trick. Make sure to use the little gray rubber tips as opposed to the black foam ones that come on it. They isolate really well.

Also, what a lot of guitar players don't realize is that you are sitting right at ear-level to their amps. Have the bass player sit behind your drums and you play his bass for just a min. or so. Chances are, he'll be surprised at how loud he really is.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:33 PM
bearblastbeats bearblastbeats is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

I really just over the whole thing about big amps, heavy distorted guitars and just loud noise.

I'm just going to let these guys know this isn't where I want to be musically. Save us both the hassle and me the aggravations of not being satisfied musically.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

Getting the others to control their volume could be one of the hardest things there is to get the others to comply with. I'm so glad I don't have that issue with my bandmates. I had it in another band. I tried to talk sense into them but like I said, it's one of the hardest things to do. I could never change their ways. I'd like to wire their instruments so if they went too loud, they would get a nasty shock. Behavior modification through electricity.
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Old 05-19-2016, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by bearblastbeats View Post
I really just over the whole thing about big amps, heavy distorted guitars and just loud noise.

I'm just going to let these guys know this isn't where I want to be musically. Save us both the hassle and me the aggravations of not being satisfied musically.

Good call. I'm pretty sure the last rock band I was in will be the LAST rock band I'll ever be in. There's a certain level of relief once that decision is made and the phone calls have been made and the conversations are over.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

At the risk of sounding like I'm wading into guitarists here, even intelligent people just seem to lose the plot from time to time.
We sound check, the bass player/soundman is trying to set someone's level, a guitarist launches into a loud solo for no reason whatsoever.
We're setting up, the people in the bar are enjoying a drink and a chat, it's not band time yet, a guitarist launches into a loud solo for no reason whatsoever.
The backline volume is set, we've had one of those conversations about appropriate volume and how things have gotten out of hand lately and how it's nobody's fault so let's just start afresh, we're partway through the gig, a guitarist turns the volume up on his amp or pedal board for no good reason.

'Twas ever thus and will always be unfortunately. I think there's a degree of ignorance ("it's true, that wall of 90 4x12 cabinets on Judas Priest's stage AREN'T actually turned on you know"), bravado ("oh our band always uses a 10k rig in any pub because it gives us headroom"), and good old fashioned plain and simple showing off.

The sad thing is that when everything is balanced and the sound is created through the PA speakers, bands can sound fantastic. They hear this, they know this, and then someone decides to turn their guitar up......
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:09 PM
bearblastbeats bearblastbeats is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolwich View Post
At the risk of sounding like I'm wading into guitarists here, even intelligent people just seem to lose the plot from time to time.
We sound check, the bass player/soundman is trying to set someone's level, a guitarist launches into a loud solo for no reason whatsoever.
We're setting up, the people in the bar are enjoying a drink and a chat, it's not band time yet, a guitarist launches into a loud solo for no reason whatsoever.
The backline volume is set, we've had one of those conversations about appropriate volume and how things have gotten out of hand lately and how it's nobody's fault so let's just start afresh, we're partway through the gig, a guitarist turns the volume up on his amp or pedal board for no good reason.

'Twas ever thus and will always be unfortunately. I think there's a degree of ignorance ("it's true, that wall of 90 4x12 cabinets on Judas Priest's stage AREN'T actually turned on you know"), bravado ("oh our band always uses a 10k rig in any pub because it gives us headroom"), and good old fashioned plain and simple showing off.

The sad thing is that when everything is balanced and the sound is created through the PA speakers, bands can sound fantastic. They hear this, they know this, and then someone decides to turn their guitar up......
LMAO!

Back in the Pantera days too, you would see a wall of Marshall cabs. I think he only played out of one or maybe two full stacks and everything else was empty cabinets.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:07 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

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Originally Posted by bearblastbeats View Post
LMAO!

Back in the Pantera days too, you would see a wall of Marshall cabs. I think he only played out of one or maybe two full stacks and everything else was empty cabinets.


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Old 05-20-2016, 06:26 PM
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GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

Come on man! It's rock and roll it has to be loud. what fun would a band be if they weren't robbing the audience of their hearing when they got older. Were they also flipping their hair? Were they wearing shirts?
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:42 PM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: Why must it be so loud?

Those fake Marshall Cab and Amp photos are outstanding Porkpieguy.
I always kind of knew that they were props as opposed to the real thing just not turned on, but seeing that they are totally fake makes the whole thing even more ridiculous......in a good way :-)
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