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  #1  
Old 10-13-2014, 11:09 PM
deltdrum deltdrum is offline
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Default How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

I've been playing with a 24" Giant Beat on my set for the better part of a year now. I've had to make adjustments because simply put, the thing is like holding a wolf by the ears. If I get too aggressive on the thing, I completely wash out my band.

I'm playing with the Vater Sugar Maple Fusions too, and even then, I still occasionally let the massive cymbal take off like a Boeing 747.

I've spent the last few days nerding over some live Zeppelin, Cream, and a few of the other bands of that era. It completely blows my mind that John Bonham was playing on that kit with 2b's.

Were the bands of that era just crazy loud? Was it a controlled professional sound still?
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

What ?

Where you talking to me ?


(I can't hear you.)


.
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2014, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

The Who... enough said.
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2014, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

According to some sources the loudest bands from that era are

1972 deep purple 117 dB
And
1976 the who 126 dB

This is about as loud as a pneumatic jackhammer and at the pain threshold
Of course they are well past the hearing damage zone. Some reports of people beig rendered unconscious from these levels but given the availability of all kinds of drugs I wouldn't count on that.

I saw a lot of big rock acts in the New Haven Collisium during the 70's (ELP, Yes, Zappa etc.) and often had ringing in my ears and pain and I tried to make sure I wasn't too close to any speakers. Some folks would purposely get as close as possible. Oh to be young and stupid again... I mean young, stupid seems semipermanent

I don't recall the sound as professional at many of the concerts except for Yes (but it was my very first rock concert and almost 40 years ago)
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

I saw Deep Purple at Avery Fisher hall in NYC, it must have been about 1972. They were originally supposed to play in the larger Philharmonic Hall, but for some reason Philharmonic Hall had to undergo some emergency renovations. Deep Purple had already aquired the equipment for the larger hall, so they brought all that equipment into the smaller Avery Fisher hall. I had to leave 3/4 of the way into the concert because my ears were hurting. It is hard to imagine that they did not break any records that evening.

I designed acoustic sound enclosures for foundries many years later, and they were measured at 125db and they were not as painful as that Deep Purple concert in the 70s. After building the enclosures, I brought the sound level down to about 65db, and am kind of proud of that work. Perhaps, there were not many people that were just hanging around the Deep Purple concert with Db meters to measure the volume.

It is very easy and cheap to get amplifiers upwards of 500 watts now, but back in those days, it was very difficult to get an amp to be that loud. So they had to really stack lots of amplifiers up to get that kind of volume.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Remember, the guitarists were playing 100 watt heads with no master volume. Often times multiple heads to project the sound because the PA systems sucked. In one of my bands the guitarists play vintage Ampegs and Marshalls and the sound at practice is deafening. I could play whatever bass drum I wanted and there is no way I would wash out the guitars.
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:18 AM
Tommy_D Tommy_D is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffman View Post
According to some sources the loudest bands from that era are

1972 deep purple 117 dB
And
1976 the who 126 dB
And that was with amps, so the various instruments could be mixed on a console so they blended with each other. A 26" bass drum playing with 2B sticks don't mean a thing when you can get the same volume out of an 18" bass drum and brushes. Just turn the volume up! In an acoustic environment, however, the drummer has to be very aware of their dynamics so they don't drown out the rest of the band.

One thing that I found very impressive was the new world record for crowd roar. According to the Guinness Book of World Records the loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium is 142.2 dbA and was achieved by fans of the Kansas City Chiefs (USA), at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, on 29 September 2014.

In case anyone is not aware, ~9db is equivalent to a doubling of perceived volume by the human ear. By comparison, the perceived loudness at that football game was roughly 3-9 times louder than those Deep Purple and Who concerts. Yowza!
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:22 AM
Bobrush Bobrush is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

On the flip side, John Lennon said that the screaming girls at their concerts were so loud, they couldn't hear themselves playing. There is some footage of him 'playing' a keyboard with his butt (I think it may have been in Chicago), and supposedly he did it because the noise situation was so ridiculous, it didn't really matter.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudest_band_in_the_world
(I am skeptical of the "Hanson" claim. Reminder, Wikipedia MAY be edited by anybody.)
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:39 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltdrum View Post
I

Were the bands of that era just crazy loud? Was it a controlled professional sound still?

I heard most of the bands in that era and a LOT of it sounded like hell.

Audio engineering has come a LONG way.
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:41 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Originally Posted by evolving_machine View Post
I saw Deep Purple at Avery Fisher hall in NYC, it must have been about 1972. They were originally supposed to play in the larger Philharmonic Hall, but for some reason Philharmonic Hall had to undergo some emergency renovations. Deep Purple had already aquired the equipment for the larger hall, so they brought all that equipment into the smaller Avery Fisher hall. I had to leave 3/4 of the way into the concert because my ears were hurting. It is hard to imagine that they did not break any records that evening...
.

I have a similar story that involved a different band.

A symphony concert hall designed to amplify and project the quietest solo acoustic instrument passages.
Every square inch of the very large stage filled to the brim with full stacks cranked past 11.
It was one of those incidents where if you didn't see and hear it yourself, you probably wouldn't believe it. Impossible to describe.

I hate that band to this day.
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  #11  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

You Sir, obviously have a cymbal that goes to 11
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
I have a similar story that involved a different band.

A symphony concert hall designed to amplify and project the quietest solo acoustic instrument passages.
Every square inch of the very large stage filled to the brim with full stacks cranked past 11.
It was one of those incidents where if you didn't see and hear it yourself, you probably wouldn't believe it. Impossible to describe.

I hate that band to this day.
I have to say, that since that day, I stopped being a fan of that band (Deep Purple) and ignored anything they would contribute to the overall musical universe. I guess it all turned out for the better, I started listening to jazz and found a new way.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

How could they play that loud without guitars feeding back and musicians own ears going numb?
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  #14  
Old 10-14-2014, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Seeing that Deep Purple hate makes me cry. They're my second favorite band :(
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  #15  
Old 10-14-2014, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

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Originally Posted by No Way Jose View Post
How could they play that loud without guitars feeding back and musicians own ears going numb?
Rock and roll superstars are vampires, they have super human powers, so their ears will not bleed, didn't you know that?
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:32 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Luckily, we still have AC30's, BFR's, and JMP's around to let us know exactly how loud things were.

In many instances, the stage volume was incredibly loud. Master Volume was a godsend, as the only way to get the sustain/saturation desired was to push a amp close to its capacity.

I still play at-volume on occasion, typically when the part requires the feedback response of a directly present amplifier.
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  #17  
Old 10-14-2014, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

I do not speak acronym, what are
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AC30's, BFR's, and JMP's
? I have the idea that these are software devices, if so how would that be a way to know what the decibels were ?
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:51 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

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Originally Posted by evolving_machine View Post
I do not speak acronym, what are ? I have the idea that these are software devices, if so how would that be a way to know what the decibels were ?
AC30 is a 30 watt Class A amplifier made by VOX/JMI with Alnico speakers. Think "Beatles".
BFR is short for "Black Face Reverb", a particularly desirable Fender Twin reverb
JMP was marshall's take on the Fender Bassman circuit I believe, and came in 50 and 100 watt varieties.

These were the big 3 that were played prior to master volume amps being readily available. The thing about these amps is that they increase in volume from 1-6 on the dial, and 7-10 increases the distortion/saturation.

You can find at-least one of these in any music shop on the planet, and most guitarists will be all to happy to demonstrate how loud they are. They're glorious.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:54 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Remember, the guitarists were playing 100 watt heads with no master volume. Often times multiple heads to project the sound because the PA systems sucked.
Actually 200 watt heads, and especially in the case of Ritchie Blackmore who used factory modded MARSHALL MAJORS that approached 300 watts.



Quote:
How could they play that loud without guitars feeding back and musicians own ears going numb?
Effortless feedback was desired, to prevent it, a technique that mutes the strings has to be mastered.



Quote:
It completely blows my mind that John Bonham was playing on that kit with 2b's.
I believe John Bonham's signature PROMUCO drumsticks were 5B weighted.
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  #20  
Old 10-14-2014, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

I used to leave concerts with muffled hearing and I usually wasn't anywhere near the front. I don't remember all the concerts but some loud ones were Led Zep in 72, Grateful Dead at RFK, Grateful Dead with the Allman Bros (the week before the Watkins Glenn attendance record).... Little Feat, Pure Prairie League, Missing Persons. And a whole lot of fusion bands RTF, Vital Info, Cobham, Mahavishnu... Uriah Heep with Blue Oyster Cult (that was loud). Mountain... Grand Funk, Sly, Moody's, Muddy, B.B., Gatemouth, Clapton... The Stones (they sucked).... a bunch. They were all loud.

BUT... The Grateful Dead starting in the early to mid 70's had the BEST stadium sound system of them all. They cared and I think some Alembic folks helped set them up. Man they had pure clean power and lots of cabs. They defined the state-of-the-art sound system standards as far as I'm concerned.
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  #21  
Old 10-14-2014, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

I remember some very loud bands. And I used to avoid standing by the speakers.

I also remember that temporary loss of hearing after the concert. (It's still temporarily lost)
I remember some of the band members wore ear plugs. They were not so dumb.

.
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  #22  
Old 10-14-2014, 07:05 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Does anyone remember the quote "More Barn!!!"
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  #23  
Old 10-14-2014, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoB View Post
....
BUT... The Grateful Dead starting in the early to mid 70's had the BEST stadium sound system of them all. They cared and I think some Alembic folks helped set them up. Man they had pure clean power and lots of cabs. They defined the state-of-the-art sound system standards as far as I'm concerned.

They also had a great following of ' Deadheads ' . LOL
When the Dead played, it was party time.
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  #24  
Old 10-14-2014, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Two loudest bands I saw back in the day were Slade & Motorhead. Both blistering volume freaks, & completely ruined the gigs accordingly IMO. By contrast, & in the same time period, Sad Cafe were touring with the most delightful rig. By comparison to everyone else, their sound was positively powerful lounge hi fi. 18K of flown Bose with 40K ground stack Gauss, all on delays. The very early predecessor of line array. Glorious!
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Loudest band I ever herd? AC/DC at the Mayfair, Newcastle in the 70s. It was a medium sized underground venue. I was playing in a band at the time and loved loud music but that gig was just OTT. Standing in front of them my vision was blurring with the volume, literally. Eventually we were up on the balcony behind the band to make it bearable. Happy days.
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  #26  
Old 10-14-2014, 03:27 PM
SpareRib SpareRib is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Shoot, I need bigger drums. And thank god for 2 channel amps and gain and volume controls. The guys I play with don't even turn up the master volume above 4 and it's LOUD!

I play a 10, 12, 16, 22, 14x6.5 tama SilverStar kit and I play with marching sticks. I use 20" A med. crash, 21" A cust. 20th ann. ride as a crash and a thick 20" zbt ride. I really want some 2002s and a kit with 12, 14, 16, 18, and 26 sized drums. I feel like I wouldn't have to lay into them quite as aggressively as smaller drums.
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  #27  
Old 10-14-2014, 03:32 PM
SpareRib SpareRib is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Oh, loudest band I've seen was Helmet at a small club in Nashville. John Stanier, my ears are still ringing, dude. Awesome show, though. Yeah, I'm young. I wish I had been able to see those 70s heavy rock acts. That's the era I really identify with.
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  #28  
Old 10-14-2014, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

I experienced a rather strange phenomenon at a show recently. It was a collection of stoner rock/doom bands at a club in Boston. These bands were deafening, which is pretty much how I prefer my music, so I was cool with it. Standing at the front of the stage, maybe 6 feet from the kit, the snare was almost inaudible. But when you walked back by the sound booth the mix came in an everything sounded pretty good. At first I though it was just the drummer hitting lightly, but it was the same with every band. Pretty strange, I am a front of the stage kind of guy and I have never experienced that before.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:42 PM
FrontierGibberish FrontierGibberish is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post
One thing that I found very impressive was the new world record for crowd roar. According to the Guinness Book of World Records the loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium is 142.2 dbA and was achieved by fans of the Kansas City Chiefs (USA), at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, on 29 September 2014.
While I was not at this particular game, I have been to many Chiefs' games and have been in Arrowhead Stadium when it is at its loudest. It is very very loud no doubt but with the open air stadium it is not as loud to my ears as indoor rock concerts I have attended. I don't know how to explain it but Arrowhead Stadium loud is a different kind of loud than Deep Purple loud...

MM
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:47 PM
Tommy_D Tommy_D is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

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Originally Posted by FrontierGibberish View Post
While I was not at this particular game, I have been to many Chiefs' games and have been in Arrowhead Stadium when it is at its loudest. It is very very loud no doubt but with the open air stadium it is not as loud to my ears as indoor rock concerts I have attended. I don't know how to explain it but Arrowhead Stadium loud is a different kind of loud than Deep Purple loud...

MM
It probably has to do with pressure waves from being indoors vs outdoors. Those pressure waves can really stress your ear drums and increase the pain factor making it feel louder than it really is.

I'm not sure why bands feel the need to have the volume so loud that the music is almost inaudible. Honestly, turn it down a bit. Let people enjoy the music and put on a rocking show for them. That's what they came for. They didn't buy the tickets so they could get tinnitus.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
Actually 200 watt heads, and especially in the case of Ritchie Blackmore who used factory modded MARSHALL MAJORS that approached 300 watts.





Effortless feedback was desired, to prevent it, a technique that mutes the strings has to be mastered.





I believe John Bonham's signature PROMUCO drumsticks were 5B weighted.
There's a pair of Bonzos sticks along with a Ludwig 402 on the wall of the London Hard Rock Cafe,...both signed by Bonzo....Ludwig 2B's.

Steve B
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:02 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

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Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
Actually 200 watt heads, and especially in the case of Ritchie Blackmore who used factory modded MARSHALL MAJORS that approached 300 watts.





Effortless feedback was desired, to prevent it, a technique that mutes the strings has to be mastered.





I believe John Bonham's signature PROMUCO drumsticks were 5B weighted.
There's a pair of Bonzos sticks along with a Ludwig 402 on the wall of the London Hard Rock Cafe,...both signed by Bonzo....Ludwig 2B's.

The loudest show I have ever been to in the 70's,was the Who,folloewd very closely by Grand Funk Railroad.The loudest ever,was Springsteen at Giants Stadium.So loud my hearing wasn't the same for days.

Steve B
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  #33  
Old 10-14-2014, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Spinal Tap was one of England's loudest bands. I got to fill in for their drummer during the Shark Sandwich tour, after he died in a bizarre gardening accident.
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:26 PM
FrontierGibberish FrontierGibberish is offline
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

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Originally Posted by T.Underhill View Post
Spinal Tap was one of England's loudest bands. I got to fill in for their drummer during the Shark Sandwich tour, after he died in a bizarre gardening accident.
Ah the good old days when amps went to '11'..
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

It's not so much that the bands themselves got incredibly louder, but the FOH systems that The Beatles never got to make use of (and desperately needed) went absolutely nuclear during that period.

Yeah, bands did get somewhat louder, but really, even going to a 26/14/16/18 kit with heavier cymbals doesn't get you that much more volume over a 22/10/12/14 setup with lighter cymbals, and not at all once everything is mic'd up and put thru the mains.

Loudest show I ever saw was Scratch Acid in a club and dude's bass drum coming thru the FOH nearly shattered my skeleton and gave me a wicked panic attack! Great show!

Even without big sound systems, the majority of rock bands (classic or otherwise) are inherently louder than the bands covering them in bars. I've read a lot about other musicians complaining about how loud drummers are, but it seems to me that the reality is that the songs being covered were recorded at volumes much louder than what they're being reproduced at by bar bands.
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipseownzu View Post
Remember, the guitarists were playing 100 watt heads with no master volume. Often times multiple heads to project the sound because the PA systems sucked. In one of my bands the guitarists play vintage Ampegs and Marshalls and the sound at practice is deafening. I could play whatever bass drum I wanted and there is no way I would wash out the guitars.
I didn't read all of the replies, but yeah. The guitar amps back then were clean, clean, clean until they were cranked up to unGodly levels to get the distortion we all know and love.

I've owned a non-master volume Marshall and people would be shocked at the volume it has to be to distort. I watch those old Led Zep videos where they were playing live on a TV show and young hippy kids were sitting around watching. I can't even begin to imagine how loud that was where they were sitting.
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpareRib View Post
Shoot, I need bigger drums.
I play a 10, 12, 16, 22, 14x6.5 tama SilverStar kit and I play with marching sticks.
My opinion is that bigger drums won't help you be louder. In fact it might decrease the volume of your drums.

Read every post in this thread: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=119820

Tune your drums to a higher tone. "Boing".
Un-dampen your bass drum.
I used to set up my drums on a rug. When I removed the rug my drums got a lot louder. Set up your kit on a large piece of plywood.

.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

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Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
There's a pair of Bonzos sticks along with a Ludwig 402 on the wall of the London Hard Rock Cafe,...both signed by Bonzo....Ludwig 2B's.

Steve B

... for Hard Rock Cafe.

Jeff Ocheltree confirms Bonzo used a medium weight stick (5B). In the 60's a 5B would've been considered a heavier drum set stick.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:32 PM
SpareRib SpareRib is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 55
Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
My opinion is that bigger drums won't help you be louder. In fact it might decrease the volume of your drums.

Read every post in this thread: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=119820

Tune your drums to a higher tone. "Boing".
Un-dampen your bass drum.
I used to set up my drums on a rug. When I removed the rug my drums got a lot louder. Set up your kit on a large piece of plywood.

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Thanks, Jim. I do tune high because of this issue. I want the body of a larger diameter drum tuned higher. I think that's what I'm really after. I already use an uncut reso I will just take out my foam muffling.

Really, I just don't like the smaller drum sizes and the 18" deep bass drums drive me nuts (sound and space wise). I like 14" and 16" max.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:59 PM
CCdrummer CCdrummer is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Alberta
Posts: 359
Default Re: How LOUD were the classic rock bands??

1979 I saw Van Halen, in an ice hockey arena (Hey its Canada) The band was set up on one end of the "ice" I was at the other, and I can still remember how the pant legs of my bell bottoms vibrated when they opened with "Running with the Devil"
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