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Has live music gotten too loud a silly thought

#1 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:16 AM

I was just thinking about this (as I do :))

Starting to sound like and an old man here.. BUT, when I go to some gigs these days, I sometimes need ear protection ive already got tinnitus and don't want to make it worse so if a gig is too loud I sometimes stick my earplug headphones in to dampen it a bit lol.. (cos I still don't have proper ear plugs (stupidly).

But it leads me to ask.. If the audience needs ear protection and the artist uses ear protection (which they really should and if they are pros probably do).. then why don't they just turn it down a bit and save all the hassle? I mean im all for loud, but they really push it at some gigs.

:P :)
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#2 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:47 AM

"But it leads me to ask.. If the audience needs ear protection and the artist uses ear protection (which they really should and if they are pros probably do).. then why don't they just turn it down a bit and save all the hassle? I mean im all for loud, but they really push it at some gigs."
What a bloody good idea!

Ian.

#3 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:57 AM

It ain't new.

When I was playing rock in the '60s, we got the loudest amps we could find and played them at max power for some sort of "balance" among instruments.

I recall being unable to hear the water running in the shower after a gig and a two-three hour drive home.

OTOH, it's stupid. It was then and is now. All it does is damage ears and give a portion of an audience a physical feeling of rhythm battering their ears and bodies. They're not really hearing lyric or what certainly a half-quality band would like to think they're performing.

Then again, I've howled that since I've been on the forum. It's not about individual guitarists' "power amp," it's about the audience experience. I guess there are some audiences who care more for being battered by sound waves regardless of what the band thinks they're producing. Even in my old days our intent was to produce music of quality, not just thumping noise. We just didn't know how, and I think it's in the nature of the ongoing beast of rock and country that "we" tend to put a quality music experience lower on our priorities setting up for gigs than volume.

m

#4 User is offline   deeman 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 10:17 AM

I agree with the loudness. Some places/bands are louder than others with some be obnoxiously loud. I've been bringing ear plugs to shows I see (not play) for a few years now, but only need to use them a quarter of the time. I hate wearing ear plugs and it took me a good year of loud band practices to finally start using ear plugs at practices. I think my hearing is probably at about 90% as there are times I know i can't hear as well as a 'normal person.' I bet if I never started wearing plugs i'd be half deaf by now.
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#5 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:26 AM

Once "Excuse," in the '60's, was that amps (the bigger the better) HAD to be played
on 10, 11, or 12...to "sound good!" LOL To get that saturated "tube" creamy distortion,
we all loved (and, still do). We'd "clean it up," by using the volume/tone controls, on
our guitars, NOT by turning down the amps! Funny, huh...we still do that, more often than not.
"Rock" had to be LOUD, to be any good...or, so we thought. One band I was in, had more
amps (6 Vox Super Beatles), for ANY gig, than The Beatles used, at Shea Stadium! If it
was a small bar, we used only 3 of them, with the speaker cabinets turned toward the wall!
I STILL do that, in small bars...but NOW, it's with a Blues Jr....so I can "crank it",
get the "tone," but not make the audience members ears bleed, in the process.

With the plethora, of effects, both built in, and as "stomp boxes," and being able to mic
into the PA, pretty regularly, there's absolutely no "need" anymore, for more than 50 watts
tops! Most gigs, could be done quite well, with 20-30 watt amps. So, the need for "ear
bleeding" loud, is as extinct, as the dinosaurs...IMHO.

Personally, I love "loud" "Rock & Roll!" But, within reason. What I love more, is "dynamics!"
Being able to hear the vocals, clearly, with the instruments tamed down, during those vocal
passages, and then opened up, again, for solos, etc. What I can't stand, are bands that have
ONE volume, all the time...ear bleeding loud!

The PA should be the loudest thing, on stage...IMHO. All other things, into it, or deferred
to it. But (maybe?), that's just me!

CB

#6 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 12:12 PM

CB...

Yup, as here, too soon oldt, too late schmardt. Eh?

m

#7 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 12:15 PM

View Postmilod, on 29 October 2013 - 12:12 PM, said:

CB...

Yup, as here, too soon oldt, too late schmardt. Eh?

m


[biggrin] Yep!!

CB

#8 User is offline   DanvillRob 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 12:59 PM

Huh?

#9 User is offline   Golden 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:07 PM

And the ears are still ringing. That said I heard a band Fri night who opened for Blues Traveler a few weeks ago. only inside at a club this time. 1-hr in the far end of the room and I thought that was daring. Loud, ha, I'm astonished people were in front of the stage. They were so loud it took the club an hour to realize the sound wasn't coming through their system. When they figured it out I left. Punishing loud. lol.

#10 User is offline   AndyK 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:22 PM

What makes me roll my eyes is when artists change guitars during gigs. Not even a muso can tell a different guitar when it's THAT loud - it's just noise! :rolleyes:

However, in answer to the original question... it's been too loud since The Who and probably before!
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#11 User is offline   Farnsbarns 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:51 PM

Pardon?
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#12 User is offline   Rocky4 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:02 PM

I remember seeing Styx in a small arena back in 70's. The keyboardist was hitting notes that literally caused intense pain in my ears. I've been at a few shows whee the bass and kick drums made me feel like I was going to puke.

#13 User is offline   DanvillRob 

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 06:24 AM

View PostAndyK, on 29 October 2013 - 03:22 PM, said:

What makes me roll my eyes is when artists change guitars during gigs. Not even a muso can tell a different guitar when it's THAT loud - it's just noise! :rolleyes:

However, in answer to the original question... it's been too loud since The Who and probably before!


I always assumed the guitar player, (I'm sorry.... most... near all... are NOT artists....), changed guitars so the Tech could retune it, or another guitar
was needed due to special tuning.


#14 User is offline   badbluesplayer 

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 07:11 AM

My hearing is so bad that I talk kind of like a deaf person. Like I don't pronounce the consonants so well.

Hey, whaddya gonna do? [laugh]
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#15 User is online   MissouriPicker 

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:33 PM

I think a lot of "live music" is way-too-loud. Personally, I like to hear the words. If I can't, I lose interest quickly in the song. However, it didn't just get loud recently. It's often been too loud for decades. I believe much of it has to do with the type of music and what each of us likes. Rock is typically loud, while blues and folk can be more subtle and easy-on-the-ears.
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#16 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:53 PM

One thing...in the '50's and '60's "Loud" was necessary, in large venues, and outdoor concerts,
as the PA (AKA "Sound Systems") were sadly lacking. Perfect example, was the fact that The
Beatles (and other's of that period) could not be heard, over the screams, of their fans.

Hence, Vox developed a 100 Watt Amp (AC-100), and Marshall (later) the 100 and 200 watt
Stacks, for those bands to use in the outdoor, or large indoor venues, so their instruments,
at least, could be heard, both by the audience, and by the bands, themselves, over the screaming.
Therefore, bands, and audiences got "used to," those volumes, and it became part of the "ambience"
of Rock & Roll.

Blues, and Folk, typically were performed in smaller "intimate" venues, or even in larger outdoor
venues (Newport Folk Festival, for example) the audience is quiet, during their performances,
compared to Rock audiences, so the smaller PA's were at least "adequate," even if not "ideal,"
at the time. As PA/Sound Systems continued to improve, and amps as well, the mindset was still
that "loud" was "normal," even desired (to literally "Feel" the music), and, unfortunately for some
musicians, and audiences, alike...hearing damage was secondary, (if at all?) in consideration,
until fairly recently, when the long term effects became glaringly obvious. Still, even with adequate,
to outstanding PA's available, to even "bar bands"...the "too loud" is still more common, than not.
That's bad (IMHO), for the music (can't really hear, or understand the lyrics, little use of real "dynamics"
(all too often), and it risks the audiences hearing, as well as alienating the audience.

I'm fighting this, even now, with the band that I play with, now and then. They play WAY to loud,
and, mostly at a constant volume, as well..AKA NO dynamics! I've protested, even stopped playing
(and they didn't even notice), trying to get (at the very least) some "dynamics" into the mix.
It's totally lost, on them. They play now, as if they were still "teenagers," with amps cranked
way beyond necessary, or that would allow anyone singing, to hear what they were singing..even
with floor monitors, right in front of us! In fact, I'm just about ready to "throw in the towel,"
with this bunch, because of this issue, alone. Problem (for me) is, there's precious few other
musicians, locally, to play with, and the one's that do exist, have the same mindset, for the most
part. Maybe, I really AM, "Too Old" to "Rock and Roll," anymore??? But, don't get me wrong, I
like a decent "full" sounding volume...just not the unnecessary, ear bleeding, heart stopping, kind.
[cursing] [unsure] [crying]

CB

#17 User is online   capmaster 

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:59 AM

View Postmilod, on 29 October 2013 - 12:12 PM, said:

CB...

Yup, as here, too soon oldt, too late schmardt. Eh?

m

[biggrin]

I think it's the same old story - everything louder than everything else [scared]

It all began with blowing up orchestras from the late 18th century on. If there weren't timing problems, they would keep on doing so I think. It took them hundred years to realize that they would have to play music incredibly slooow to match dimensions with speed of sound.

So they found a new toy to compete on - they increase pitch more and more. Typical classical orchestras intonate at a 443 Hz A4, and the Berlin Philharmonics use 444 Hz already. [mellow]

I think they will go on with that until vocalists won't be able to sing their stuff anymore [crying] , and the wind instrument makers keep on selling more and more gear, appropriate until the next pitch leap only. <_<
[unsure]
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#18 User is online   capmaster 

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:07 AM

View PostAndyK, on 29 October 2013 - 03:22 PM, said:

What makes me roll my eyes is when artists change guitars during gigs. Not even a muso can tell a different guitar when it's THAT loud - it's just noise! :rolleyes:

However, in answer to the original question... it's been too loud since The Who and probably before!

O:)

View PostFarnsbarns, on 29 October 2013 - 07:51 PM, said:

Pardon?

[biggrin]

Perhaps we should have read their music instead of listening to it - just like we do with the messages in this forum... [biggrin]
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#19 User is offline   Golden 

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:23 AM

View PostRocky4, on 29 October 2013 - 08:02 PM, said:

literally caused intense pain in my ears



Exactly, when pain replaces the joy of music it's counterproductive. I have Tinnitus in my left ear, so I know what your saying, it is painful to particular noise levels and frequencies such as bridge pick-up Telecasters on "bright".

I think there's a trade off here also. There's a point where volume does sound great, is tasteful and also captivates and involves the crowd. But some of this as I seen last weekend was out and out abuse.

#20 User is offline   darling67 

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 06:34 PM

No, I think you're on to something rabs...

I've been to shows in recent years where the sound was so loud and muddy that it was a waste of my time and money.

I only go to see shows in small venues now. Having said this, I was at one of those small venue shows to see a local band recently. They sound SO GOOD on record: gorgeous harmonies, laid-back sound with an acoustical preponderance.... but the sound was way loud. They should have cut back on it by several decibels.
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