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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:40 PM
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Default Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Sorry, my first thread here on The Live Music Experience and it´s a fucking rant!


I´m working at this school as sound teacher, mostly recording and stuff but also some live sound as there is a Rock music edu there.

This particular colleague has been constantly stating for the last 6 years that we have worked together ( and I bet before that too, right oTek?) that it is the sound guys duty to compensate for any differences in sound level if for example the git changes sound.

Today he was constantly nagging my sound students about the differences in sound level when the keyboard player changed from arpeggiated chords in the first octave to staggered octaves in the second/third octave!! (Piano sound) He stated that it was the FOH fault that the staggered octaves was too load and the arpeggio was drenched in the mix....
When I, as I have done numerous of times before, told him that it is not the sound guys job to handle the dynamics he responded that if only the lazy sound guys would have listened to the songs and learnt them, this wouldn't be a problem! FOH was to know all the songs good enough to compensate in advance for all sound changes in all songs; ie know what all instruments/voices where doing in 24 songs, but the keybord player didn´t have to be able to play her own fucking instrument....
His solution to all problems is to raise the volume and turn up what ever he´s not hearing at the moment, result being something else becoming drenched... to add to matter he is half deaf on one ear and doesn't know an aux send from dog poo...

Gaaah I´m so fucking tired of people thinking they have every right to tell the sound guy that he/she sucks, while they never would do the same to an instrumentalist!
Ignorant FUCKs!!

well, well that felt good!

At least the sound students learn how to best ignore irritating people


HOOK
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Old March 16th, 2009, 10:23 PM
dwoz dwoz is offline
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Back in the day, the keyboardist had 4 inputs to FOH. two mics on his piano, and two on his Hammond.

When everyone simultaneously came down with a critical debilitating case of wakemanitis, that all changed, and we gave the keyboardist an on-stage submixer to send us a single, stereo feed of all his line-level stuff, and we only kept control of the ones we mic'ed.

Since the keyboardist was monitoring off his own feed, he did the balancing of his instruments to the ensemble-at-large.

It was HIS job, because who the hell could know what signal would be coming up the feed at any given instant?

Now, when you have a stage where the performers can have no idea what is happening FOH, it is a given that the FOH sound engineer must be responsible for establishing that balance.

However, once he has established general levels, any constant, ongoing MAJOR changes he is forced to make usually indicate something else completely different...that the stage monitoring situation is deficient.

Once the musicians "sign off" on the monitor balance, it's usually a good idea for the FOH to come down, and give it a little listen. What are the musos hearing onstage? How do they perceive the ensemble? Am I recreating that out in the house?

Perhaps small changes they make in their playing, translates to big changes in the stage monitors, so they play down their dynamics...or vice versa...big dynamic moves by the players don't really come across in the monitors, so they completely overplay out front.

THEY ARE RESPONDING TO WHAT THEY CAN HEAR, not what they can't hear.

So, constant volume rides out in the FOH almost ALWAYS means that the stage situation is wrong, wrong, wrong.

ensemble is so much more than just playing the right chord at the right time. In "effective ensemble" the musicians are blending and un-blending all the time. the bass wants to be velcro'ed to the kik beater for 7 of 8 measures, then wants to float free for 4 beats, before re-applying the sticky. rhythm guitars and keys are warp and woof, alternately under and over each other...

THEY control that.

But, if they can't hear it, you got nuthin'.


dwoz
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Old March 16th, 2009, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Also bear in mind, that keyboardist has a volume pedal.

My best guess is that the keys player isn't hearing enough band. Doesn't hear the balance go away when switching to single notes from chords.

I agree with you, Hook...once the balance is dialed in, it's the FOH's job to run specials, ride leads and vocals, and correct general balance trends. It is not the FOH's job to herd cats.

dwoz
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Old March 17th, 2009, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Any reason I might have foreseen where you don't want the foldback pre-fader?
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Old March 18th, 2009, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

playbacks, where you have to cue them up.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

If I'm doing a gig as a guitar player, during soundcheck I will do the following :

- adjust my amp to a suit my sound needs (not in terms of loudness, but in terms of sound quality).
- give the FOH guy my loudest sound first so he can set his gain/trim
- then I'll ask for whatever I need in my monitors. By this time, I'm bound to hear my guitar better through the monitors than through the amp, so I shouldn't touch the amp anymore if I need more volume.
- should I need to adjust the amp level for sound colour reasons, I TELL the FOH & monitors folks before I do it.

The player is in charge of his own personal soft/loud balance.
The FOH guy can enhance but the biggest part should come from the player. Unless you're on a tour with the same FOH guy day in day out, you shouldn't expect the FOH to know all the changes in your songs.
Anyone teaching the contrary is an idiot.

If there's time, ask the FOH people during soundcheck : "when I switch for the lead sound, is it too loud/loud enough ?" and adjust to suit.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

well, here we are all in agreement. in the real world this is how it works. there are a certain amount of things the sound guy is expected to do, but this squarely falls in the category of things that a musician is responsible for himself. i don't get the sense that the subject the OP is talking about has spent much time in the real world working with live sound guys in venues.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoz View Post
But, if they can't hear it, you got nuthin'.
dwoz
the Keys heard alright, but the problem is not as much that he is a beginner and don't handle his instrument as well as one could wish for... a bigger problem is my colleague that constantly gives the sound guys shit for all the wrong reasons...

Yes, you should menage to ride the fader as a FOH guy but these guys are also beginners and often more so than the musicians. If you have a hard time doing both monitor and FOH and you barely can make a decent balance...well I don't know...

In this situation you have the opportunity to educate both the musician side and the sound side of live music and I don't think its a good idea to tell the musicians that they just play all the notes at the right time and the sound guy make up for the lack of dynamics...

As a principal I think its better to learn a vocalist microphone technique than learn them that they can blare like a hog and the FOH will ride the fader...

Dynamics is firstly the musicians responsibility!

Just my .2$



HOOK
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Old March 18th, 2009, 01:38 PM
dwoz dwoz is offline
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

certainly.

All I meant, was that there ARE situations where the soundman can paint himself into that corner. However, usually if he IS there...there's going to be far more problems than "couldn't hear the keyboards during the arpeggiated part". If he's in that corner, then four or five musicians are going to be yelling at him at once.

dwoz
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Old March 18th, 2009, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoz View Post
If he's in that corner, then four or five musicians are going to be yelling at him at once.

dwoz
Been there....

Actually they where eight......






Got it! Im totaly with you, dwoz





HOOK
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Old March 18th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Quote:
Originally Posted by pounce View Post
.......... i don't get the sense that the subject the OP is talking about has spent much time in the real world working with live sound guys in venues.

Well I wouldn´t use "real world" in the same sentence as his name...






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Old March 18th, 2009, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

i also hate the idea that musicians near that guy are going to get the idea that treating the soundguy badly is going to get them somewhere. i can assuredly say that such treatment coming towards me would not help anyones sound at all.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

I HATE it when FOH mixers micromanage levels.

On the few occasions when I have done FOH for somebody, once we get things sorted out, I trust the people onstage to handle their dynamics as they see fit.


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Old March 21st, 2009, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Agreed, unless it's an act that you're 100% familiar with and are touring with, control of dynamics on stage is squarely the musician's responsibility.

We're not psychic - we can't predict when the guitarist is gonna bust out a solo; the best we can do is nudge his fader up a bit as soon as we realise it's happening. If that's not quick enough for the guy, then he needs to sort out his own volume boost on stage, and let us know that's what he's doing.

That's how I do my shit; I have a 2dB boost for solos, and I always give FOH that sound first, and alternate occasionally between that and my "normal" level during soundcheck so the guy has a clue what to expect.

Similarly, when I'm playing shit that needs to be quieter, I'll fucking play it quieter - I don't expect FOH to know my material inside out and anticipate what I want. More than that, I wouldn't trust them to get it right unless they knew the material backwards. Even then I'd rather have control over my own level.

The same goes for vocalists; I hate having to smash the shit out of vocalists with no mic technique. It just compounds matters even more, and it's usually these jokers that cup the mic; so you've already got a potential feedback issue that compressing is just gonna make worse...so you end up with a buried vocal. Dogshit.

Bah, yeah I'm ranting. Anyone that says that FOH are responsible for song dynamics is a fucking clueless tit. The FOH guy wasn't there when they wrote the fucking songs. The FOH guy isn't part of the band. He's just there to present what's given to him in the best light he can, not try and correct poor songwriting or poor musicianship.

That's what producers are for

*coughcough*
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Besides the obvious moments when the FOH is managing effects, or special momentary things, like cueing up a prerecorded backing track, or such, his/her job is to ALLEVIATE ANY DEFICIENCIES BEING CAUSED BY SOUND REINFORCEMENT. IF the issue being heard, isn't an issue caused by the sound reinforcement system, then in the strictest sense of it, it isn't the soundguy's problem.

HOWEVER...the good soundmen listen with an "aesthetic ear", and are listening for what they know, to the best of their ability, to be the desired balance and energy of the forward presentation.

However, an aesthetic judgement is, by definition, a subjective judgement. A one-off night of FOH mixing is going to get the best guess treatment, in comparison to the longer-term tour mixer, who will definitely have time to refine and align his aesthetic judgement more closely to the band's.

dwoz
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Old March 24th, 2009, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Fuck you, you fucking fuckwit....

Thanks guys, you're telling me stuff I already know!

...in a good way!

Its always nice to get the fact that you're not a complete idiot confirmed!!



HOOK
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