Too Loud?

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

Too Loud?

Postby DaveG » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:16 am

A while back I went to a concert featuring the Voice of the Wetlands Allstars and Macia Ball. Marcia Ball was really great. That lady can really play the piano. Well worth seeing.

The Voice of the Wetlands Allstars, however, was another matter. While they are definitely some great musicians, they played so loud that I couldn't stand it. It was like a solid wall of sound coming from the stage. I mean it literally physically hurt my ears! It was so loud that you couldn't pick out the vocals, the solos or anything. I already have hearing loss and tinitus, so I actually walked out of the auditorium and waited in the lobby for them to finish their set, and I wasn't the only one. Quite a few people walked out, and weren't happy. I talked to one of the auditoriums crew and they said that the sound guy had actually turned the PA off and all the sound was what was coming from the stage! They talked to the band, but the band refused to turn down.

I've never walked out of a concert before because of the volume. My question is, does this make me officially an old fogie? :D
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby Stackabones » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:55 am

Does it make you a what?!


:lol:
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby DaveG » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:58 am

Stackabones wrote:Does it make you a what?!


:lol:


Guess is should be spelled fogey. It means a grumpy old man. :)
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby Stackabones » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:19 pm

Speak up, son. It means what?! :wink:
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby jeffl » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:06 pm

Volume is dependent on taste. Most veteran musicians I play with prefer to keep the volumes reasonable in order to hear what's going on with the mix, and to give themselves room to work volume dynamics and create some space in the music. It also preserves your hearing for the future years.
I know a guy who's been gigging amplified with dance bands for about 50 years (he's 65) and he plays loud 'cuz he's already wrecked his hearing.

It's also determined by crowd types, obviously. A few bands, however, make a conscious decision to be real loud; I think you ran into one of those.

I don't think you're old-fashioned at all.
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby s1120 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:20 pm

well ya.... :D but remember with age comes wisdom. You learn that sometimes you want to hear the music, and not the ringing bouncing sonic wave....
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby 1four5 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:49 pm

I am an old fogey, and I don't like ear splitting volume. We also play small venues and always ask for volume feedback from the audience, and comply with their wishes. We want people to stick around, and we want places to invite us back.
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby 1armbandit » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:36 pm

I quit going to a jam run by some friends of mine because it was just 'too damn loud". Dynamics? Not a clue.

I may well be too old but it can still be too loud.

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Re: Too Loud?

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:36 pm

Playing too loud is kid stuff, (infantile). As depicted in Spinal Tap.
Funny, how some old guys still don't get it, and drive people away from the stage with their shrill, earbustng guitar solos. :wha:
There's such a guy in my town. Real nice guy, but he only plays one way, one tempo, full treble and smothers everybody else on stage. Every year he shows up at an annual fund raiser carnival at the church. Starts playing about noon and clears out the beer tent.
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby DaveG » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:09 am

Good to know that I'm not the only old fogey around here. :D

I understand that the band was used to playing outdoor festivals and the like, but this was indoors at a performing arts center. The acoustics in the place are so good that you almost don't need amplification. I can understand them starting out too loud, but when the house crew is telling them that they are overpowering and people are complaining and walking out they would get the hint. Too bad because from what I could tell they were actually pretty good. Probably worth going to see if they are playing outdoors.

Now, if I could just keep those kids off my lawn ........ :D
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby maxx england » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:30 am

I was at our local festival in the park, and although it was no louder than any other performance, we found a perfect way to empty the park within minutes. Put rappers on the stage.
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby Disciple » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:42 pm

I've been to see Johnny Winter a couple time in the last few years. He's too loud, he can still play, amazingly I'd add but he seems determined to be at that level that is on the edge of comfort. I won't go again unless on good authority I've got it that he'll be dropping down a notch or two and maybe pulling out some acoustic stuff.

I'm never more impressed than when an artist can get so loud that you just can believe it but some how it stays within a comfort zone, it's rare and takes real effort on the part of the band and the sound crew. Buddy Guy has this figured out, he is the master of taking the sound up and bringing it down, keeping an audience glued to his every move. Of course his stage is just one of dozens he's worked, imagine that kind of resume. I remember seeing footage somewhere of Bruce Springsteen running from section to section, standing on the arms of the seats, sitting and generally checking every possibility in some huge stadium giving signals back to the sound booth. Don't know if he still does that but it seems to me that is the mark of a genuine artist, every detail matters.

Everyone has a different idea on whats loud or just right but only an idiot would want to be so loud it's uncomfortable or damaging. Thank Clapton those days of who's got the biggest amp and who hit the highest decibel levels are behind us.

To bad the band DaveG went to see hasn't heard that....maybe they're deaf.
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby dcblues » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:55 pm

I've only seen Guitar Shorty once. The one time I saw him, he was so loud I left after the first set.
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Re: Too Loud?

Postby Disciple » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:36 pm

I saw Guitar Shorty in Buddy Guy's Club last summer, not to loud at all. Maybe he got told by the master. I've never heard that he's typically excessively loud.
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