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modern stage levels for guitar
Old 17th September 2019
  #121
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
Two different drummers I played with used Slingerland 20 inch maple kicks that were exceptionally deep and they both sounded like standing next to a cannon. I don't really know why but those drums would really get your attention if they didn't cave in your chest first.
Honestly, I would recommended that just about anyone playing drums at a modern volume should wear hearing protection. I used to practice with an acoustic kit in a reflective concrete basement. It sounded great, but my ears would ring for hours afterwards.

Indeed, at age 60, striving to hear things through my tinnitus, with hearing that cuts off at 10kHz and realizing that younger musicians find volume levels that seem "OK" to me to be painful, I wish I'd used hearing protection at ages 20-40, instead of starting at 40.
Old 17th September 2019
  #122
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

As a part-time drummer, my attitude was always that if I needed a monitor to hear my DRUMS, then everyone else was too @#$% loud.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #123
Gear Maniac
 

If played by an aggressive drummer, cymbals can EASILY exceed the threshold at distance quoted by enorbet, and EASILY exceed the threshold of pain on average.

A cymbal-heavy song played by a heavy-handed drummer can drown out the bulk of a cranked AC30 (and enter the threshold of pain), no questions. I could give a **** how many years experience anyone has, not backing down on this one lol.

It's definitely not common, but I've seen it before, and that's all I need to know it's possible.

Engineers just tend to be sensationalistic about how loud guitar amplifiers are compared to other instruments due to some bad experiences they've had. However, point taken that the AC30 will be more than adequate for the vast majority of drummers.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #124
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
If played by an aggressive drummer, cymbals can EASILY exceed the threshold at distance quoted by enorbet, and EASILY exceed the threshold of pain on average.

A cymbal-heavy song played by a heavy-handed drummer can drown out the bulk of a cranked AC30 (and enter the threshold of pain), no questions. I could give a **** how many years experience anyone has, not backing down on this one lol.
I quite agree. My problem is more that there seem to be some degree of admiration and encouragement out there for drummers who behave like this, and for other musicians who insist they can only play at a level that requires anyone near them to use plugs,or suffer hearing damage.

I'm personally a little bitter about this because I rather looked forward to various recording and mixing activities in my retirement, that I am now doubting I will be able to do because of the state of my hearing.

It is certainly my own fault in the final analysis - plugs were available 40 years ago But I dislike the culture that has left everyone in a band I played in the 80s and 90s with substantial hearing loss.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
I quite agree. My problem is more that there seem to be some degree of admiration and encouragement out there for drummers who behave like this, and for other musicians who insist they can only play at a level that requires anyone near them to use plugs,or suffer hearing damage.

I'm personally a little bitter about this because I rather looked forward to various recording and mixing activities in my retirement, that I am now doubting I will be able to do because of the state of my hearing.

It is certainly my own fault in the final analysis - plugs were available 40 years ago But I dislike the culture that has left everyone in a band I played in the 80s and 90s with substantial hearing loss.
Yeah, totally. I get how it happened too. The louder acts tended to seem more impressive to the audience, so bands would constantly push for more and more out of their drummers to upstage the acts before and after them. At some point (late 2000's) it went overboard and climaxed with bands having a backing track blasted out of the PA.

Every drummer I've debated, who plays at this horrid volume level, has been in a band with a leader/writer/producer/manager who at some point demanded they seem louder and more impressive than the other acts on tour. That is their common denominator in my limited surveying.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #126
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

Whatever happened to "dynamics"?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #127
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
Whatever happened to "dynamics"?
'Mastering"
Old 4 weeks ago
  #128
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norbury brook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
Whatever happened to "dynamics"?
dynamics?....I'm playing as loud as i can :D



M
Old 4 weeks ago
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
Although I avoid dropping names because it rarely adds much to a critical dialogue, I have to admit that is one impressive list BUT, with all due respect, I don't see how "working with" them as a cymbal rep has any link to their stage volume. I find it exceedingly hard to imagine that 90% of those guys don't routinely average in excess of 124db acoustically. They are/were not competing with single AC30s after all.
not as sales rep: i wasn't involved into sales, i got musicians to evaluate prototypes during soundchecks and shows (with me standing/sitting behind them), i did countless clinics/workshops (sometimes with entire bands but almost always with fully miked up drum kits/play alongs/pa), i occasionally jumped in to replace drum techs who hit the wrong plane (or there was no money for them for just a short leg of a tour) but mostly, i went on tour with bands to work as monitor engineer in places no one else would wanna go (eastern europe and africa or scandinavia in winter). maybe worth noting that the world's largest supplier of sr gear (more precisely: their european base) is around my corner.

the bigger the band, the larger the arena and hence the lower the stage volume (except for some rare folks who indeed used no dummies but drove all their guitar stacks). from the drums alone, it did NOT get as loud as you might imagine (and certainly not 'average' at such high levels). i remember only two drummers who demanded absolutely insane levels in their 'drum fills' (what other folks would use as a main pa on smaller gigs). plus there are physical limits: i greatly admire some of the drummers for their physical fitness as it's damn hard to keep up very high levels and speed for long sets...

there can be a huge difference between what you measure and what you subjectively experinence: pls just don't make any claims on spl figures if you cannot illustrate/document/prove them - i am however with all of you who get annoyed by drummers bashing away on cymbals! about as much as i hate oversized guitar rigs for club gigs...

[i did fire a few endorsees for this habit! of course not on the base of spl levels but because they damaged too many cymbals (something which i still cannot accept for too many reasons to mention) - and i just recently pulled out of a gig after soundcheck (and after getting a replacement) 'cause the drummer did not seem to be willing to adjust his playing to given circumstances...]
Old 4 weeks ago
  #130
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
there can be a huge difference between what you measure and what you subjectively experinence: pls just don't make any claims on spl figures if you cannot illustrate/document/prove them - i am however with all of you who get annoyed by drummers bashing away on cymbals! about as much as i hate oversized guitar rigs for club gigs...
There is already plenty of documentation regarding cymbals showing that these figures are, on average, possible. Regardless, we're on an internet forum. If someone truly wants to know they'll go test it out.

One of my favorite threads on here was when some dude put me in my place and made a video plugging a pickup into a wall outlet.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
There is already plenty of documentation regarding cymbals showing that these figures are, on average, possible. Regardless, we're on an internet forum. If someone truly wants to know they'll go test it out.

One of my favorite threads on here was when some dude put me in my place and made a video plugging a pickup into a wall outlet.
i'm not quite getting why some folks around here are trying to turn threads into spl crazyness contests like 'i experienced this being that loud etc.' - fact is that within the frequency range our ears are sensitive to, it doesn't take much level to experience pain; i simply cannot believe some claims which are far beyond what i ever experienced in the last 35+ in live sound (and as previously mentioned, i did not mix college bands in the same shed all the time and get to use measurement devices almost on a daily basis) - ymmv and that's ok.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #132
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
there can be a huge difference between what you measure and what you subjectively experinence: pls just don't make any claims on spl figures if you cannot illustrate/document/prove them - i am however with all of you who get annoyed by drummers bashing away on cymbals! about as much as i hate oversized guitar rigs for club gigs...
Perhaps you missed it but I did document it and more than one instance. It does take somewhat specialized gear to capture such fast transients but it has been done and done repeatedly and supports my assertion that many drummers consistently exceed 120db, often by rather a lot. The only other acoustical instruments that can begin to compete are trumpets which NIH quotes as between 110-120db during fortissimo playing.

I've already stated that for my music, my preferences, and the PAs I work with, I can get by just fine with a 30 watt single 12 combo, but that is only because I'm playing Roots Rock 'n Roll and Blues- Blues/Rock and use my rig as a stage monitor. I've witnessed straight up, idiomatic Chicago style Blues bands with guitar players that can just barely get by with a Super Reverb in venues over 500 seats or so unless they have a full stage monitor equipped PA. To assert that serious Metal band guitarists can get by with an AC30 I find disingenuous to say the least.

Queen was not a bona fide Metal band though certainly a Stadium Rock band which also means massive, price is no object, PA, yet this is Brian May's live rig, then and now.



Oh and FWIW 140db is considered the threshold of pain but as was pointed out, even by you iirc, some frequencies and some transients seem less harsh than others, less painful. While I noted a couple of drummers whose kicks felt like a cannon going off, it was not painful, since it was too low and too brief to register pain. OTOH Trumpets, some guitar notes, and even PA feedback squeals can send folks running for cover, especially with some compression driven horns, and certainly the high-pitched complex whine of a jet taking off can most definitely feel painful even below 140db.

Once at a Led Zeppelin concert, though quite loud, it was not painful until Page jacked in his DanElectro. Then certain high notes were exceedingly painful, like ice pick in the ear painful, and I'm certain the SPL was equal to or even lower since he used the DanElectro on more acoustic sounding songs. I don't long for the days of bands as loud as Zep was then with massive Martin Bin PAs, but I am disgusted by bands that imagine they can play Rock at 90db average.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
Perhaps you missed it but I did document it and more than one instance. It does take somewhat specialized gear to capture such fast transients but it has been done and done repeatedly and supports my assertion that many drummers consistently exceed 120db, often by rather a lot. The only other acoustical instruments that can begin to compete are trumpets which NIH quotes as between 110-120db during fortissimo playing.

I've already stated that for my music, my preferences, and the PAs I work with, I can get by just fine with a 30 watt single 12 combo, but that is only because I'm playing Roots Rock 'n Roll and Blues- Blues/Rock and use my rig as a stage monitor. I've witnessed straight up, idiomatic Chicago style Blues bands with guitar players that can just barely get by with a Super Reverb in venues over 500 seats or so unless they have a full stage monitor equipped PA. To assert that serious Metal band guitarists can get by with an AC30 I find disingenuous to say the least.

Queen was not a bona fide Metal band though certainly a Stadium Rock band which also means massive, price is no object, PA, yet this is Brian May's live rig, then and now.

(...)

Oh and FWIW 140db is considered the threshold of pain but as was pointed out, even by you iirc, some frequencies and some transients seem less harsh than others, less painful. While I noted a couple of drummers whose kicks felt like a cannon going off, it was not painful, since it was too low and too brief to register pain. OTOH Trumpets, some guitar notes, and even PA feedback squeals can send folks running for cover, especially with some compression driven horns, and certainly the high-pitched complex whine of a jet taking off can most definitely feel painful even below 140db.

Once at a Led Zeppelin concert, though quite loud, it was not painful until Page jacked in his DanElectro. Then certain high notes were exceedingly painful, like ice pick in the ear painful, and I'm certain the SPL was equal to or even lower since he used the DanElectro on more acoustic sounding songs. I don't long for the days of bands as loud as Zep was then with massive Martin Bin PAs, but I am disgusted by bands that imagine they can play Rock at 90db average.
you are mixing up peak and average levels - there is a very clear protocol how to measure spl. in some places, the authorities even force you into using specific gear as well as how to apply the protocol, meaning where to measure, what scale to apply, over what period of time, document things, ask for records at a later stage etc. - maybe follow this protocol once and then come back...

and you are missing the point again with your example: neither brian may nor jeff beck nor angus young nor evh or anyone else playing in stadiums are using their armada of combos/stacks to overcome the acoustic energy of their drummers! (they use it for fun or they 'need' it to get their sound).
outdoors/on very large stages, spl drops pretty rapidly (compared to indoors/small stages with boundaries nearby and sound getting reflected) so the drums are even less loud on a large stage and may even need to get pushed up: jeff beck wants a heavy dose of drums mixed into his sidefills! (saw him blow out a sub due to excessive kick levels in the sidefills during soundcheck two years ago)

and no, zep could never get as loud as one can go these days with an almost modest pa: with advances in material (neodym) and technology (switched amps, line arrays, dsp), one can get way more dynamics across, a wider frequency range and higher spl. back in in the late seventies/early eighthies, systems simply went into clipping and you ended with higher distortion (which led to the impression things were loud - see clipping of converters/using saturation these days).
even the instruments (specifically drums) were less loud as undersized drum shells (cut to steeper angles and no longer sanded round) were introduced by sonor in the early eighthies and there were no power hoops. cymbals were less heavy and made out of b8 or b20 alloy, both of which do not yield the same spectral content as paiste's signature series which also emerged in the eighties; power rides, power crashes etc. (or remember the rude series?) did also come up but in the eighties.

i'm with you that a trumpet can get damn loud (and is very directional)! i mixed arturo sandoval on a tour once: besides being a brilliant musician, he had fun trying to blow away his mic what he successfully managed to do one evening (although the mic was supposed to withstand very high spl): the crack in the pa was spectacular as well as the fact that one could not hear much of a difference in terms of spl as he continued playing without a mic!

and on a personal note: dunno about your age but if you don't wanna loose your hearing, you better learn to mix (or get your band to play) at lower levels, ideally at around 85dB, maybe a bit higher but certainly below 100dBA lufs.

good luck!



p.s. jet engines measure very loud (>140dB) but not drums!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 09:44 PM.. Reason: edited
Old 4 weeks ago
  #134
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
and on a personal note: dunno about your age but if you don't wanna loose your hearing, you better learn to mix (or get your band to play) at lower levels, ideally at around 85dB, maybe a bit higher but certainly below 100dBA lufs.
Ah! Now I understand why you think a single AC30 is all any guitar player ever needs to compete with even heavy metal drummers. You even assume Metal bands can be effective at under 100db avg. 85db? Seriously?

FWIW I'm 72 years old and as far back as I can remember my Xmas and Bday gifts were always books, Erector Sets, Chemistry Sets, Microscopes, Telescopes, and Electronics kits. I've owned and used my own soldering gun since I was age 8. I was repairing CRT TVs by age 12. I took Electronics Shop 4 periods per week, Theory and Practice, in High School and graduated college with an Arts and Sciences degree, heavy in Electronics Engineering. I hopped around a lot but spent most of my life in and around The Music Biz in almost every aspect; performing, recording, FOH, repairing, modding and manufacturing. I didn't quote your whole post 'cuz I know all that stuff and agree with a lot of it.

The bulk of my living for about 15 years was primarily performing in a regional touring band, mostly with that custom built 30 watt, Class A, single 12 combo I mentioned. Most often our average SPL was around 105db-109db average, depending on venue, measured center stage. Out front roughly 12 feet from the stage, sans PA, levels were of course closer to 100db.

Only recently I discovered (actually through threads here in GS) that I do have some minor hearing damage in the midrange which surprised me as I had bought into the high end myth and I can still hear decently out to 16K+. I realize that response to high SPL varies a great deal among individuals but I can only speak for myself. I have never suffered tinnitus for longer than a half hour and never from my own band. I'd happily do it all over again and would change nothing excepting a distinct possibility I'd choose to play slightly louder, 112-115db seems about right, looking back. I walk out of shows under 90db, even acoustic acts.

Oh yeah FWIW it's absurd to believe that SPLs were incapable in the '70s of reaching levels possible now. The Grateful Dead's Owzley-built servo-controlled, phase aligned Wall of Sound was claimed to be capable of severe damage since it could reach enormous SPLs while so clean one never felt pain at all. Other bands with less esoteric PA also hit high levels, even outside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by From several records books, including ultimasteclassicrock.com
Although there’s no evidence that the Who were cranking the volume in a specific effort to win such an accolade, it’s what happened when the Guinness Book declared the British rock titans the loudest band due to a concert held on May 31, 1976. The Who’s performance at The Valley – an open-air stadium in Charlton, London – was measured at a whopping 126 decibels (dB) at a distance of 32 meters (a bit more than 100 feet) from the speakers.
not 1 meter, 32 meters!!! I'd kinda like to experience playing that loud for maybe one or two songs, but I'd not want to live there, but I would and have turned down gigs with max volume constraints below 100db.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #135
Here for the gear
 

A lot of really good information and experience brought to this thread. Are there any hard and fast solutions out there for some of these issues, or will the questions of too loud/too soft - and stage sound vs. FOH etc. - be an never-ending exercise in compromise?

The last band I played electric guitar in almost literally insisted that we all use in-ear monitors. It was a 9-piece, so it made some kind of sense for keeping the stage volume down. The result was the drummer, in the room, was naturally louder than everyone else. It was fine, but it was still the perennial problem of a drummer sounding loud (and arguably, quite good) in an big acoustic rehearsal space.

The problem began when I was told I should not use my little 1x12 extension speaker as a monitor. Apparently my guitar sound was too loud in the room, and when I explained that I was just barely trying to hear above the drums, even with the mix of my guitar as miked through the in-ear cue, it was explained to me that the intent was to make the stage sound as quiet (and "uncluttered" with speakers) as possible.

I guess my point is an ensemble ideally would aim to work their sound onstage together, to both create their own blend, making it easier on the sound tech, and to generate a bit of sonic excitement on stage. In-ears are fine for hearing fine details of intonation and dynamic, by I preferred to have one ear in, and one ear listening to my amp sound raw.

Also, whether or not you are the singer, I agree with the wisdom of mixing your sound around the vocals in a group. Vocalists have the hardest job of anyone in terms of delivering a good performance in an imperfect sonic environment. Some empathy between drummers and singers couldn't hurt.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
As a part-time drummer, my attitude was always that if I needed a monitor to hear my DRUMS, then everyone else was too @#$% loud.
Most of the drummers I've worked with didn't need the monitor for their drums except maybe kick, most of them wanted to hear bass and sometimes rhythm guitar.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #137
Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
Yeah, totally. I get how it happened too. The louder acts tended to seem more impressive to the audience, so bands would constantly push for more and more out of their drummers to upstage the acts before and after them. At some point (late 2000's) it went overboard and climaxed with bands having a backing track blasted out of the PA.
The4 backing track thing happened because bands wanted to tour with exact reproductions of records that they couldn't actually play, at least not without adding a bunch of extra sidemen they couldn't or didn't want to pay for in the current financial climate.

Quote:
Every drummer I've debated, who plays at this horrid volume level, has been in a band with a leader/writer/producer/manager who at some point demanded they seem louder and more impressive than the other acts on tour. That is their common denominator in my limited surveying.
That's pretty much the opposite of my experience. Starting in the late '70s/early '80s drummers started going really overboard with huge kits, forests of cymbals, heavy drum sticks, the whole 9 yards. In recent years the trend appears to have reversed somewhat, depending on the type of music involved.

Somewhat.

There are still too many rawk drummers who thump away regardless of the dynamics of the song.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #138
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i doubt it 'cause i'm not that young either, pa's got much more powerful in the last 15 years
I would dispute that rather strenuously. I was on the 1980 Black and Blue tour (BOC and Sabbath) and our full TASCO PA on that tour was a Midas-Martin system rated at a full 100,000 RMS watts of power, not counting monitors. I'm told (but have no corroboration) that the system roaded by Manowar after that had even more power. And a horn loaded Martin Audio system of that time was a lot more efficient than modern line array rigs.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #139
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
Modern drum kits sound awful, that’s the long and short of it.

They’re not just louder, their tonality is extremely lacking. There’s no warmth, they don’t sound big either, just loud which doesn’t translate on record or through a PA, where instead it becomes tinny and very small sounding, like a bad modern metal record, where everything sounds like you’re hitting metal chairs. The manufacturers should be ashamed, but kids keep buying this crap so they’re laughing all the way to the bank.
I don't think it's necessarily the drum manufacturers that are to blame. There are far too many drummers who simply don't know how to set up and tune their kits, choose appropriate heads, etc. I suspect that part of this may be due to the reduction in school music programs, resulting in fewer drummers with formal training in technique, dynamics, and tuning, not to mention the basic rudiments of drumming. (for those who don't know, "rudiments" is a technical term in drumming, referring to the various basic strokes - single and double stroke rolls, paradiddles, ratacues, flams, etc.)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #140
Quote:
Originally Posted by untitled73 View Post
one of my favorite threads on here was when some dude put me in my place and made a video plugging a pickup into a wall outlet.
WHAAAT?????!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I would dispute that rather strenuously. I was on the 1980 Black and Blue tour (BOC and Sabbath) and our full TASCO PA on that tour was a Midas-Martin system rated at a full 100,000 RMS watts of power, not counting monitors. I'm told (but have no corroboration) that the system roaded by Manowar after that had even more power. And a horn loaded Martin Audio system of that time was a lot more efficient than modern line array rigs.
you're wrong regarding efficency: one can make far more noise with the same amount of watts today than 15 years ago and line arrays have less decreas of spl over distance than conventional speakers; other factors i mentioned previously... - one can easily outperform any pa which ever existed today with far less gear!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #142
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post

and no, zep could never get as loud as one can go these days with an almost modest pa: with advances in material (neodym) and technology (switched amps, line arrays, dsp), one can get way more dynamics across, a wider frequency range and higher spl. back in in the late seventies/early eighthies, systems simply went into clipping and you ended with higher distortion (which led to the impression things were loud - see clipping of converters/using saturation these days).
Modern line array systems are nowhere nearly as efficient as the typical horn loaded system of the '80s. Typical line arrays are maybe 10% efficient if they're lucky. A properly designed and set up horn loaded system runs about 40% - that's the whole point of horns. And Class AB amps actually put out more real power than modern switching amps for the same rating - because Class ABs are rated in true RMS continuous power, which can be maintained indefinitely, whereas switching amps, which generally don't have much onboard current reserve, are rated in burst power which they can maintain for a few cycles. We can thank Reagan's deregulation of the FTC for the eventual sabotaging of proper power ratings.

The touring systems I was familiar with never went into clipping for a very simple reason - when you clip a system like that you end up with a whole lot of blown drivers. That's expensive and also requires a lot of on-the-road maintenance, which is obviously something to be avoided. Consequently those systems always had adequate compression and limiting to avoid clipping the amps.

The same was true of the higher quality club venue systems.

Quote:
and on a personal note: dunno about your age but if you don't wanna loose your hearing, you better learn to mix (or get your band to play) at lower levels, ideally at around 85dB, maybe a bit higher but certainly below 100dBA lufs.
UMmmm, "lufs" does not refer to sound pressure level, it refers to digital recording levels ONLY. It means "loudness Units Full Scale" which is referenced to the level at which digital converters clip - it has nothing whatsoever to do with acoustic levels.

The correct term is "dB SPL". (dB of sound pressure level (dB SPL) is defined as: 20 log10 p1/p0 where p1 is actually measured sound pressure level of a given sound, and p0 is a reference value of 20μPa, which corresponds to the lowest hearing threshold of the young, healthy ear.)


Mixing a band at 85 dB is absurd. My acoustic guitar can reach levels around 85 dB without reinforcement. I can definitely sing louder than that. I've measured moderate traffic on a city street at levels greater than 85 dB, taken on the sidewalk with my GenRad SPL meter.

And at what distance would you take such a measurement from?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #143
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
you're wrong regarding efficency: one can make far more noise with the same amount of watts today than 15 years ago and line arrays have less decreas of spl over distance than conventional speakers; other factors i mentioned previously... - one can easily outperform any pa which ever existed today with far less gear!
Obviously you know nothing about speaker design and how horns work.

There is NO other type of speaker that can beat a horn for efficiency. That's what horns were invented for - back in the days when big power amplifiers were lucky to hit 20 watts RMS output horns were required to get adequate coverage in professional theatrical systems.

A typical direct radiating speaker is around 0.5 to 1% efficient. A good bass reflex system might be able to get close to 5%. A really good line array might, and I emphasize might hit 10%. A well designed horn can do 40%.

What line arrays excel at is dispersion, not efficiency. Horns are, by nature, directional. Line arrays, otoh, have wider horizontal dispersion as the length of the array gets longer.

I'm not certain what you mean by "conventional" speakers, but line arrays absolutely do NOT have longer throw (what you call "les decrease of SPL") compared to horns*.

However line arrays, due to their wide dispersion" are much easier to set up than horn systems, which require the use of short, medium, and long throw horns in the more direction mid and high frequencies and require careful aiming of the various sections of the speaker array.

In other words, horn systems are a lot more time consuming and labor intensive, and require a systems engineer who actually knows enough about practical acoustics to tailor the setup to each venue. Also horn loaded systems generally require more room in the truck and block sight lines, reducing the available saleable seating in the venue. These are the primary reasons that line arrays have become pervasive in today's touring word. It's not that they're better, it's that they're cheaper to tour and they maximize seating.

If you can eliminate ONE PA truck on a tour that's a significant reduction in cash outlay right there.

It's not about quality, it's about cold, hard, cash.


* - Actually, modern line array systems use arrays of horn loaded HF units, because without horn loading the high frequencies would never make it to the middle of the hall, let alone the back.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #144
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dunno where you've been hiding for the last two decades, certainly not touring, behind a desk at foh:

ever noticed line array speakers are horn-loaded (they don't need to be for the lmf as the coupling of woofers requires this range even to be attentuated in comparison to the hmf/hf the longer the array gets...) or that vertical dispersion gets adjusted by the amount of speakers and the splay angles between them, the horizontal dispersion by choice of horns/horn plugs or the use of outfills? that the systems get designed to throw their sound onto the audience and not onto the walls or neighbourhood?

maybe talk to a large rental company, their system designers and truck drivers: they'll tell you that truck space for pa's got more than halfed in recent years - yet another field and level of efficiency...
touring (as many other endeavours) is about cash but maybe you noticed that rental costs dropped by the factor of 4 so you better get efficient or you'll be out of business really fast!
it's not that i'm a huge fan of using line arrays under any circumstance as they clearly have their disadvantages but these are NOT related to their efficency! - i'm still having fun using s4's and floodlights occasionally (or le400's for wedges; other than these, there are not too many old martins left around here) but rental companies with any serious inventory of dinosaur systems are getting rare, the time to set these systems up with their heavy steel bars, chains, their overal weight etc. - it's just insane! (oh, need to reangle? tell the promotor that you'll need four more stage hands and that the system probably won't be ready for sound check - good luck!)

___


spl gets measured at foh, so mostly between 15 and 75m back from stage and what matters is average level (yeah: leq, not lufs, me bad!). a snare may measure 130dB+ peak at 1m but you'll hear almost nothing at foh without amplification if only the venue is large enough. and an acoustic guitar without amplification literally drops beyond noise floor beyond the crash barriers...

and yes, i mix PERFERABLY at 85bB due to our hearing capacity (maybe check fletcher-munson again and countless newer literature in audiology) and the fact that we can more easily sustain longer periods of time at lower levels - if you'd be mixing professionally (say a show every other day), you'd probably recognize the importance of keeping overall levels down for as long as possible - i admit though that crowd noise and/or regulations mostly define how loud one needs to or can go, not on my preference (so i often have to mix louder but avoid going higher than 97dB for about pretty much any show)!

___


get real folks, stop bluffing with high stage levels, turn your amps down, position/angle/lift them to face your head and not your knees or set them up backstage, shoot across the stage and not into the audience if you're loud, use powersoaks, inears, plexi, gobos etc., force your drummer into using softer cymbals, lighter sticks and hit less hard - it's silly to go loud, regardless of style (even some metal bands recognized this some 25 years ago), turn down jobs if levels are unhealthy: no job pays you enough it'd be worth to put your hearing at risk (and the health of thousands of folks in the audience)!

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maybe most of this belongs in the live sound forum though so sorry for crashing the guitarillo's party...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 01:04 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 4 weeks ago
  #145
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
get real folks, stop bluffing with high stage levels, turn your amps down, position/angle/lift them to face your head and not your knees or set them up backstage, shoot across the stage and not into the audience if you're loud, use powersoaks, inears, plexi, gobos etc., force your drummer into using softer cymbals, lighter sticks and hit less hard - it's silly to go loud, regardless of style (even some metal bands recognized this some 25 years ago), turn down jobs if levels are unhealthy: no job pays you enough it'd be worth to put your hearing at risks (and of thousands of folks in the audience)!
These tips sound reasonable to me. Thanks.

Incidentally, I don't pretend to understand a live sound engineer's job, but in my little studio I do find monitoring at around 80 to 85db SPL to be very comfortable, as Bob Katz and others have suggested. Totally OT, sorry, but maybe useful to try.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. Henchman View Post
These tips sound reasonable to me. Thanks.

Incidentally, I don't pretend to understand a live sound engineer's job, but in my little studio I do find monitoring at around 80 to 85db SPL to be very comfortable, as Bob Katz and others have suggested. Totally OT, sorry, but maybe useful to try.
same here, i monitor about 10dB lower and only occasional go louder (to impress a producer...) - i'm using speaker processors though to adjust fr to my preferred curve/listening habits and depending on level.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
<snip> (interpreted here) a whole buncha spin doctored opinion totally ignoring fundamental efficiency mathematics and reality
I suppose your assertions might actually make sense to someone whose experience is Metal at 85db... and hey, if it works for you, that's ok, I guess, but from my POV Rock 'n Roll and certainly Metal are not supposed to be "comfortable". They are supposed to be exciting! not background, or government/corporate approved.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
I suppose your assertions might actually make sense to someone whose experience is Metal at 85db... and hey, if it works for you, that's ok, I guess, but from my POV Rock 'n Roll and certainly Metal are not supposed to be "comfortable". They are supposed to be exciting! not background, or government/corporate approved.
i'm with you that driving a huge car sometimes is fun (even at low speed imo) - you cannot escape regulations over here though, regardless of business or genre so this goes for cars, pa's and metal bands...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pindrive View Post

It's luck to have a 5th member as a Sound Engineer. Most want more than the gas a band can afford, as it is.
I kinda was that. It was an ideal situation.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
Whatever happened to "dynamics"?
Remember when cd's came out and the big claim was that they had more "dynamics" than vinyl lps? And every cd anyone produced was brickwalled in the mastering?
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