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Acoustic Bass - something I've noticed lately...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #61
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🎧 10 years
There are so many jumping-off points for volume escalation...from either the band or the PA mixer person's end. It probably begins with one of several possible 'arms race' assumptions about volume ceilings and amp settings...even audience exposure levels.

The philosophies and arguments are already decades old, and I don't believe environmental/ safety volume caps do anything much to ameliorate the situation...the solution lies much earlier in the chain, in the minds and non-negotiable assumptions of the players, clubs and PA reinforcement personnel.

It can work just as strongly in the opposite direction...establishing and maintaining reasonable and sane levels on stage, in a climate of mutual respect and appreciation of 'a group sound'. But I'm probably preaching to the choir here, and veering off topic...yet again.
Old 1 week ago
  #62
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emrr's Avatar
 
24 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I had an Acoustic 360.....they sound ok at 30+ yards once they come into focus!

The volume question is reminding me, a trio rock band I was in late '80's would rehearse without a PA (too poor to own one), and while the singer was not loud, he was audible and didn't strain himself over the drummer, who could and would crank it way up at gigs. We're playing da rock & roll, but we could talk over ourselves if needed too. Not sure I've experienced that since then.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #63
Gear Guru
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
(...) I don't believe environmental/ safety volume caps do anything much to ameliorate the situation...the solution lies much earlier in the chain, in the minds and non-negotiable assumptions of the players, clubs and PA reinforcement personnel (...)
within the european union (and a few more places such as switzerland), there have been spl limits for a few years now: they do help to prevent the worst excesses but of course the hearing can get damaged even at lower sound pressure levels, but with longer exposure times and insufficient regeneration time...

the venue i'm often working in has a limit of 97dBA leq/1h; some visiting techs are struggling to keep within those limits while i'm trying to keep things at more sane levels (meaning below 90dBA leq/1h).

that said, it's fascinating to witness that orchestras can become very loud too (depending on repertoire, size, concert hall, listening position etc.) and that there some rare rock bands which measure rather loud but feel way less loud; i used to perfect this craft - however, it has become a lost art in the meantime...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #64
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🎧 10 years
deedeeyeah,

I'm pretty sure your stated legislated spl levels pertain to the output of your PA system...while a lot of these problems begin on the stage, in the levels generated by (and seen as normal by) the bands themselves.

It would be interesting to see the stage+monitor level measurement alone...with FOH turned off...of some of these overloud bands ?

Orchestral peaks might exceed 100dBA for brief (less than 20 seconds) periods, but you're surely not suggesting these (uncompressed, unamplified) crescendos represent a threat to hearing for audiences ?

To be able to do that, the percussionist's arms would fatigue, and the brass players lips also, if they tried to maintain the overloud average spl which a 4 piece rock band with monitor wedges can attain with ease...even without a PA reinforcing them.

You're not comparing apples with apples, just being provocative and misleading....of the 2 types of ensemble mentioned here, which is more likely to result in a temporary threshold shift in hearing (or much worse) for an audience ? The majority of orchestral instruments don't have line-array or horn-loaded propagation characteristics !
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #65
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🎧 10 years
Perhaps the solution to a loud onstage sound is to fit all the players with electrostatic in-ear monitors, of this calibre:
Alclair Audio Introduces a New Flagship Electrostatic Stage Monitor

Pretty eye-watering cost though.....
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #66
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🎧 10 years
Studer58 has got this one exactly right!!
Hugh
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #67
Gear Guru
 
🎧 5 years
off-topic rant on stage levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
deedeeyeah,

I'm pretty sure your stated legislated spl levels pertain to the output of your PA system...while a lot of these problems begin on the stage, in the levels generated by (and seen as normal by) the bands themselves.

It would be interesting to see the stage+monitor level measurement alone...with FOH turned off...of some of these overloud bands ?

Orchestral peaks might exceed 100dBA for brief (less than 20 seconds) periods, but you're surely not suggesting these (uncompressed, unamplified) crescendos represent a threat to hearing for audiences ?

To be able to do that, the percussionist's arms would fatigue, and the brass players lips also, if they tried to maintain the overloud average spl which a 4 piece rock band with monitor wedges can attain with ease...even without a PA reinforcing them.

You're not comparing apples with apples, just being provocative and misleading....of the 2 types of ensemble mentioned here, which is more likely to result in a temporary threshold shift in hearing (or much worse) for an audience ? The majority of orchestral instruments don't have line-array or horn-loaded propagation characteristics !
you are mistaken...

i carry a measurement rig with me on amplified, semi-amplified and non-amplified shows, regardless of genre and situation and keep it running as one of its mics often doubles as .1 pickup and i therefore guess i can claim to have a pretty clear understanding of spl levels (while i suspect you don't )...

...so pls stop false accusations of me being provocative or misleading!

___


i can assure you that with orchestras getting bigger over the centuries and most modern instruments projecting far better than historic instruments, peaks above the conductor's head * can reach amazingly high levels: we're talking about 120dBa peak but of course there (mostly) is a massive difference between continous vs peak levels!

___


now how loud is loud? - depends on a multiple factors but to answer your question about levels with the pa turned off (or behind the pa/on stage): at the monitor desk, i've been measuring levels (far) above 110dBA leq/1h so add 6-12dB for peaks and you get an idea about 'loud stages'! **

i have no idea how one can physically and mentally (and repeatedly) withstand these assaults but although rather toxic, as long as one gets the lead vocals above the noise, high stage levels aren't much of an issue (for the foh tech) on large festivals/outdoor shows - indoors, they are indeed a problem, certainly not fun and can ruin things in an instant.

luckily, many bands have been switching to in-ears, plexi around the drums and guitars feeding into speaker-emulation devices so levels in general have come down...
...although some idiots now use an entire row of wedges at the lip of the stage and sidefills just for the 'feel' of it

no regulation will keep them from being stupid...
...but then, some world-renowned soloists in classical also cannot adapt their technique and sing ancient music with ugly vibrato: i find this as disturbing as high levels on some rock shows - in both cases, i would want my money back!

___


* i'd never wanna sit in front of trumpets (or in the first five rows) either

** the worst i've ever experienced was on tour with anthrax (or was it slayer?) in the late 90's when levels were approaching 120dBA...
...and then there was this soundcheck with ac/dc: phil rudd let me sit in on his drum kit for three songs but i already (almost) collapsed when hitting the kick drum for the first time...
...but the guitars then almost ripped off my head! (i threw up when i left the stage)
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #68
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
you are mistaken...


...and then there was this soundcheck with ac/dc: phil rudd let me sit in on his drum kit for three songs but i already (almost) collapsed when hitting the kick drum for the first time...
...but the guitars then almost ripped off my head! (i threw up when i left the stage)
I can relate to this. I mixed monitors for KISS for 18 months, all "cow-barn" arenas. The onstage levels were high to be polite. All wedges and side-fills in the day. I would work wearing David Clark "mickey mouse ears" hearing protectors to mix the show. I had Sennheiser phones element inside. Worked fine and my ears never rang post-show.

I wanna rock and roll all day!

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #69
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🎧 5 years
I recorded a Misty in Roots reggae concert and sound out.
It was terrifyingly LOUD and all the kit seemed home built in a mysterious Caribbean arrangement
Getting a line feed took hours of negotiation with a committee of backstagers...
I was upfront of house with one of the cameras, couldn't hear a thing on my cans despite being Senny earpieces inside Peltor defenders and being driven by a 50WPC Quad amp.
Imixed it all on the PPMs of my mixer.
I got a commendation from the producer and band.
Its a Mystery.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #70
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🎧 10 years
With regard to unamplified orchestral vs rock band levels, you won’t find audiences of any age complaining about hearing damage from attending a classical concert, you don’t require a measurement mic to tell you that. You don’t find the woodwind or cello section asking for monitors either. Acoustic screening for players sitting immediately in front of brass makes sense, but for audiences the sound has dissipated enough energy to be quite safe
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #71
Gear Guru
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
With regard to unamplified orchestral vs rock band levels, you won’t find audiences of any age complaining about hearing damage from attending a classical concert, you don’t require a measurement mic to tell you that. You don’t find the woodwind or cello section asking for monitors either. Acoustic screening for players sitting immediately in front of brass makes sense, but for audiences the sound has dissipated enough energy to be quite safe
indeed - not least due to the fact that the first five rows of folks are already suffering from severe hearing loss :-)

seriously now: there have been legal cases of orchestra musicians, complaining about being forced to rehearse in too small rooms... - i know of at least one case in which the musician won the court case and was paid compensation...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #72
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
indeed - not least due to the fact that the first five rows of folks are already suffering from severe hearing loss :-)

seriously now: there have been legal cases of orchestra musicians, complaining about being forced to rehearse in too small rooms... - i know of at least one case in which the musician won the court case and was paid compensation...
Once again, the 5 rows thing is both frivolous and misleading...

The small rehearsal room scenario is altogether different...that’s clearly a case of cumulative loud spl’s having the capacity to cause hearing damage. That’s why our music conservatory has ‘cereal packets’ of 100’s of foam earplugs available in all rehearsal rooms for the past 10 years, plus education about the need to use them. Whether they DO get used....down to individual choice !
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #73
Gear Guru
 
🎧 5 years
i'm not getting what makes it so hard for you to accept that some classical music can and does get embarassing loud - sometimes even on purpose! obviously they knew already a few centuries ago about the effects of overwhelming loudness...

of course the perception is related to the hall/room, the composition, interpretation, size of the orchestra etc. and in addition is very personal.

dunno about you but i really do NOT enjoy sitting in front of a soprano as their technique (amongst other things) is aiming at projecting to the far end of some large rooms and at getting heard above the orchestra: for this, they need to be ca. 6dB louder - a measurement system tells you exactly how loud this is...

[i admit that i truly hate belacanto...

...but i guess we're long beyond the topic of this thread so i will refrain from commenting any further on amplified and non-amplified ensembles (and especially above the lf range)]
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #74
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️

...but i guess we're long beyond the topic of this thread so i will refrain from commenting any further on amplified and non-amplified ensembles (and especially above the lf range)]



Ray
Old 1 week ago
  #75
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🎧 5 years
I love bel canto, it can be challenge, but if the Decca boys could do it in the 50s so can we .
Remember the artists are mostly on stage to project above their audience.
In a cathedral the multiple first reflections attenuate level and the floor boundary comes into play.
Just like God intended......
Old 1 week ago
  #76
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28 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Fascinating thread.

Upright bass player here--decades of small time local gigs, not a great player. Almost all pizz. Tried a lot of pickups over the years and ended up with the Ehrlund EAP.

The debate about mice/amped vs acoustic goes back to Scott LaFaro, who amazing facility and a really nice tone but supposedly you could not hear him in a trio without the mic. Christian McBride complained about the physicla cost of trying to emulate Ray brown and get a huge acoustic tone

It's physically a VERY strenuous instrument. If the band is loud you just end up working so hard. Painful blisters unless you are gigging every day. I have a big bass and had a big sound that I worked years to get. My favorite gig was with a gypsy jazz band--modest room, no drums, never needed an amp

I was thinking abut retiring--getting old--and COVID pushed me over the edge. It would take so much work now to get back into gigging shape

If I were to go back to gigging I'd get one of the new yamaha silent basses. Durable, easy to carry, modest footprint. The latest generation employ some sort of modeling tech that sounds really good in demos, and I have a Yamaha silent nylon string guitar that sounds great for practicing at home during COVID and not waking the family.

Of course that doesn't solve the problem of great recorded acoustic bass sound vanishing.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #77
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J ➡️
Fascinating thread.

Upright bass player here--decades of small time local gigs, not a great player. Almost all pizz. Tried a lot of pickups over the years and ended up with the Ehrlund EAP.

The debate about mice/amped vs acoustic goes back to Scott LaFaro, who amazing facility and a really nice tone but supposedly you could not hear him in a trio without the mic. Christian McBride complained about the physicla cost of trying to emulate Ray brown and get a huge acoustic tone

It's physically a VERY strenuous instrument. If the band is loud you just end up working so hard. Painful blisters unless you are gigging every day. I have a big bass and had a big sound that I worked years to get. My favorite gig was with a gypsy jazz band--modest room, no drums, never needed an amp

I was thinking abut retiring--getting old--and COVID pushed me over the edge. It would take so much work now to get back into gigging shape

If I were to go back to gigging I'd get one of the new yamaha silent basses. Durable, easy to carry, modest footprint. The latest generation employ some sort of modeling tech that sounds really good in demos, and I have a Yamaha silent nylon string guitar that sounds great for practicing at home during COVID and not waking the family.

Of course that doesn't solve the problem of great recorded acoustic bass sound vanishing.
Very similar story here. I play with high action and gut strings, but it's seldom enough on live gigs (which I don't do now because of covid). In my studio, I can record piano, bass and drums in one room with no headphones or amps. That makes me happy.

I don't have an Ehrlund, but I recently mixed a record with a bass player who used one and it was fantastic. Did not need a mic, but that may not be everyone's experience. Every bass is different. I will have to look in to one though.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #78
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28 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
It's great but you do need the help of someone with good ears as you move it around on you bass. Also the height off the body matters
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #79
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28 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
This is the yamaha I was talking about

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musi...300/index.html

Expensive!

The "SRT" technique, whatever it is, it very interesting--the Nylon string "silent guitar' I have uses this, and it doesn't overpower the basic piezo sound. I recently changed strings for the first time--I got the guitar at Xmas--and the difference in sound was still fully apparent with the "SRT" engaged: it wasn't just masking the piezo pickup. Whatever they did they did it really well

It would be a good solution for an upright tone in a situation where the player's character or voice wasn't being featured.

Not sure this addresses the fact of bassists losing good acoustic tone--might even make it worse!
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