Another Band Drama Thread

Tommy_D

Platinum Member

"I'm sorry... You're just too darn loud."

Why are you wasting your time blaming one person or another for being too loud? Shouldn't you be talking withe the venue owners and asking questions about what was too loud, or if the mix needs to be changed? From there you have more information to make the proper adjustments? Blaming one person or another without any information to go off of is pointless and only leads to fighting among the band.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
I am curious what type of venues you are playing. Are you a 5 peice rock band playing to the dinner crowd at a local cafe? I think it may be time to rethink your booking. My side band is deafingly loud, albeit intentionally so. Two guitarists playing through vintage full stacks with no master volume at ridiculous levels. Our bassist plays through a cabinet the size of a refrigerator. and I just play as hard as I can, because its fun to just beat on shit once in a while. Knowing how loud we are we are very careful where we play. We cant play small venues, they would stop us two minutes in. We only play bigger venues and outdoor events because we know that we will be OK in those places. Maybe you should look at the same things.
 

barryabko

Senior Member
The "naturally" loudest instrument in most bands is the drums. The drummer should, IMHO, keep his/her volume level in check as is appropriate for the venue and style of music. All of the other instruments should then be brought up to a volume level that is in balance with the drums for the style of music and/or the song. Just my two cents.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
The "naturally" loudest instrument in most bands is the drums. .
This is true and is something I only recently figured out. I am assuming that others may not know or believe it. The toms aren't going to do a lot of damage but a freaking tight snare and some kinds of cymbals can just pierce thru the mix and attack your senses in a bad way.

I saw a band at an outdoor venue a month ago and, when I got out of my car, 500' from the stage, I heard that the drums were too loud. I though maybe the sound of the drums just carried farther than the other instruments and vocals, but the mix stayed the same as I approached the stage.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I am curious what type of venues you are playing. Are you a 5 peice rock band playing to the dinner crowd at a local cafe? I think it may be time to rethink your booking. My side band is deafingly loud, albeit intentionally so. Two guitarists playing through vintage full stacks with no master volume at ridiculous levels. Our bassist plays through a cabinet the size of a refrigerator. and I just play as hard as I can, because its fun to just beat on shit once in a while. Knowing how loud we are we are very careful where we play. We cant play small venues, they would stop us two minutes in. We only play bigger venues and outdoor events because we know that we will be OK in those places. Maybe you should look at the same things.
Then you're too loud,and need to turn it down a bit.That's just a fact,before you all suffer from prermenant hearing loss.Just playing acoustic drums without hearing protection can result in hearing loss,let alone a couple of 100 watt amps in the mix also.But if you want to start saying what.?.....what? ,when you're in your late 30's,then keep on doing what you're doing.

Steve B
 

moxman

Silver Member
It's possible the guitar or bass player are DEAF from playing too loud.. And they think their volume is quiet. A bass player friend recently quit a band because the band members ears were shot from too much volume.. They kept telling him to turn up.. And when he told them to turn down they just smirked and did nothing.. So exit stage left! Pack the gear!

As mentioned - Soundcheck? Soundman?.

Make sure your stage monitor mix is as low as needed.... Aim for a natural room sound.. and if any instrument is blasting the monitor.. tell the sound guy to turn it down.. I usually tell him in % eg. keys down by 15%, kick up 10%. Etc. If its too loud it turns your sound into mud, as it gets recycled into the FOH Speakers.. and some over adjust their volume to compensate for a bad stage mix.
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
I am curious what type of venues you are playing. Are you a 5 peice rock band playing to the dinner crowd at a local cafe?
We are a Chicago blues band. One of the venues is a restaurant that has music in the bar area on Saturday nights. In that venue, I played a small 16" bass drum, snare, hi-hat, and crash/ride cymbal. I did that gig with all brushes except for a handful of tunes where I used a rod in my right hand and a brush in my left. The guitar players used acoustics and the bass player went directly to the PA when we played there. The other venue is a winery where we play outside in a courtyard type of area. Our singer talked to the lady that books the gigs and she said it was the bartender complaining about our volume, not any of the customers or other staff. Part of the problem there, is where they have the band set up. They put us at the bottom of a set of stairs facing out to the courtyard. Behind us and up the stairs is a covered walkway along the building that opens up to the bar. All of the sound from the backs of the guitar amps and the monitors, goes right up that hallway to the bar. They have agreed to let up play again. We asked if we could set up somewhere else, or at least turn so the the amps don't go right up that stairwell. They don''t want the band to set up anywhere else. We will just have to figure out how to keep the stage volume really low, while still playing outside to the courtyard.

Lastly,that's SIT in with the band,not set in.Just FYI.
Steve B
Au contraire, I beg to differ. In my post I said the other guitar player "has set in with the band." That would be the indicative perfect tense. Your comment starting me wondering if "to sit in" is conjugated differently than "to sit". "To sit" is an irregular verb in that is does not follow normal form changes for the different tenses. I thought that "to sit in" may be even more irregular and have its own variations and not change form at all. I looked through a few online dictionaries and grammar guides and could not find anything that would suggest "to sit in" is conjugated any differently than "to sit". The couple of places where I found "sit in" as an alternate definition, did not show any other forms of conjugation. Therefore, he has sat in with the band, just as he has sat at the drums. If you can find a grammar source that says otherwise, I will be happy to concede the point.
 
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If the venues say you're too loud, you're too loud... that's not subjective, it's apparently a fact.

What I do when players around me get loud, is I back off until they realize they can't hear me anymore, and they turn down. Works just about every time. It's an old speaking technique. When you want someone to pay attention, you speak quietly.

As for correcting the problem, each person has to do their part. If they're in denial about the volume issue, it will probably never be resolved, and you should find other more experienced, professional players.

Bermuda
Bermuda is wright, when i get that and i play louder to keep up, they go louder. just play extreme soft and they will get it :)
 

RockNGrohl

Senior Member
I think it has to do with tube amps. I play guitar myself in addition to drums. Amps tubes on a stack (the amp head) really open up at ear splitting volume. That's the harsh truth. But thanks to Mesa/Boogie the master volume knob was added. Not all amps have it, though. It is a separate volume knob. You cab use the regular volume to overdrive the amp and get that distortion, but the master overrules it and controls the volume without changing the tone.The problem is that the guitarist with his monster Marshall stack finds the sweet spot and loves it. Everyone else's ears bleed and hates it. If he has a master on his amp, try to get him to use it. If he does he can gain the heck out of it with the volume and back the master waaaay down to taste. Same with combo amps. Sometimes even a good twenty watt practice amp will be plenty loud. Having too powerful an amp for the gig will make him turn up simply to get the tubes to open up and then it's way too loud. Just remember that is his perspective. He wants that tone, you simply want volume.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Then you're too loud,and need to turn it down a bit.That's just a fact,before you all suffer from prermenant hearing loss.Just playing acoustic drums without hearing protection can result in hearing loss,let alone a couple of 100 watt amps in the mix also.But if you want to start saying what.?.....what? ,when you're in your late 30's,then keep on doing what you're doing.
Steve B
I'm already in my 40's, so I guess its too late. Read the above post about the sweet spot on vintage amps. For the type of music we play the tubes start to really saturate at around 12:00, which is about the volume of a jet taking off I think. Turning down is really not an option, it affects the entire sound of the band. As I said, we know we are loud and we play appropriate places. No complaints yet.
 
A really good guitar player friend of mine once told me "its not about volume, its all about the mix man". I have been in this situation with several bands and its always a struggle, especially as the gig moves along the amps tend to start getting louder and louder. Before you know it no one can hear anything, and the singers are all wondering why they cannot speak the next day. Amazing huh! Anyway, I think recording the gig and playing it back is a great idea. However, recordings from the board may not be the same as recording FOH. One band I was with always recorded from the board, but we also managed the mix from the board so it was different than FOH. Just keep that in mind.

My solution-in ear monitors. They will solve all volume issues period. Gotta have the mix right to run in ear.....Also they helped me as a drummer to pay close attention to dynamics, and keep my own volume in check as required.
 
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