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Practice Room Volume


tlwwalker
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I play geezer rock with five other guys once a week. We are all near 60 in age. We have a standard drum kit, a bass, two electric guitars, an acoustic guitar plus a harmonica (he does supplemental percussion & some keys). 4 of us like to sing, but only one of us is good (not me). Most of us have been together for 6+ years. We have gigged out about 10 times over the last 2 years. Most for pay, some for free. I think of us a serious hobbyists, not pro. I play one of the electric guitars.

 

Our space is a large man cave without carpets. We all have superior equipment. We are arranged in a conventional stage setup, all facing away from a back wall toward a fictional audience. We have a 24 channel mixing board with the PA mains out front facing back towards us. We have only 4 vocal mics and the acoustic guitar going through the PA board. We do not mic the instruments.

 

I began having less fun as the volume in the room swelled out of control. I got to where I could not hear the vocals. I considered leaving the group. I was asked to turn up my amp as they could not hear me. I consistently responded that I was loud enough, they should turn down their volumes. The drummer has great self control, but an acoustic kit has some lower limits - I get that. In my opinion, the bass was way too loud and drove the others up. I would ask that he turn down. He would, for great improvement, but then he would creep up again.

 

The bass player left the group for reasons of his own over a month ago. We got a very suitable replacement. The new guy is very subtle, his volume is just right.

 

We have reset the gain stages on each channel of the board. We tuned the room with a 31 band equalizer. We have added two floor monitors in front of the vocalists and for the acoustic player. We have been able to lower the overall volume in the room. We made it possible for the acoustic player, who owns the venue, to hear himself through a floor monitor while reducing the acoustic through the mains. The vocal clarity allows us to hear ourselves sing, correct out errors, and improve our sound. We are all a lot happier now.

 

Lesson: Louder is not better. Clearer is better. Rock does need volume for energy,within reason, but dynamics must be respected. When vocals are in play, they take precedence. Don't let a non-cooperator ruin your fun.

 

After all, it is supposed to be fun.

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I'm with you 100%.. nothing says buzz kill quicker than excessive volume at rehearsal. I play guitar/keys/mandolin and sing half the material.

 

we're pretty good about volume control. Gotta hear the voices,,, it's the most important part of the music...

 

Volume control really is workable, but everyone needs to be on the same page,, 100%.. it's hard to understand why some guys just don't GET IT.. but unfortunately some do not. Good luck with your music!

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During my bands 1st couple of years, we hired a pro-rig & a sound engineer to run it. Sound-wise, it was the best time for us. Of course we would be lucky if we broke even then. Hire was not cheap and there were 8 of us back then.

 

He (the engineer) would get to the venue ahead of us and set up mics, monitors etc and his desk. When we arrived, he would get us to sound check. He'd set levels and when we played he monitored both sets.

 

We've done the same sort of thing for important or larger gigs since. It makes a lot of difference, and of course everyone is correctly balanced.

 

Most bands would benefit from having a 'sound guy'. Ideally someone who is into this stuff and can be trusted to take control.

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One issue which can impinge on the general harmony of a group.....

 

Hearing loss as one approaches 'maturity'......[biggrin]

 

Drummers by definition are vulnerable to hearing damage as the years progress

 

As are bass (particularly electric) players

 

Therefore either (and everybody else of course) can be to blame for wishing the volume turned up.....:blink:

 

A dB meter can be invaluable and 'proof' of what is going on.....[thumbup]

 

Monitors are worth the extra effort in rehearsals

 

V

 

:-({|=

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...it's hard to understand why some guys just don't GET IT...

 

Because they don't sing. Consistently, for as long as I've been doing this, any band that has two or three apes standing around bashing their Flying Vs or Ripper Bass into submission and don't even own a vocal mic, you got volume problems. They don't care, never learned what a band is about and how it works.

 

rct

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Because they don't sing. Consistently, for as long as I've been doing this, any band that has two or three apes standing around bashing their Flying Vs or Ripper Bass into submission and don't even own a vocal mic, you got volume problems. They don't care, never learned what a band is about and how it works.

 

rct

 

yea, you're right,, they don't care. I guess getting it isn't the thing at all.

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Lesson: Louder is not better. Clearer is better. Rock does need volume for energy,within reason, but dynamics must be respected. When vocals are in play, they take precedence. Don't let a non-cooperator ruin your fun.

 

After all, it is supposed to be fun.

 

 

I play in a similar covers band that has a real similar setup. What I've learned throughout time, is that the sound needs to be mic'd and eq'd differently for every room you play in. I've done plenty of gigs where my amp is sufficient, but if the joint has a good "front of house" guy, with good equipment, you can really dial in a great mix with minimal stage volume. I'm mean the drums are "too damn loud".

 

When we rehearse, however, the only thing going through the PA are vocals and drums. (And my buddies talkbox).

 

Basically every room needs the appropriate volume/level. (So chances are, Every single setting will be adjusted every single time we play another venue. We are thinking of pitching on an in-ear monitor system that we can each dial in how we need to hear it. (I love the idea, not sure it's worth the $ it'll cost us, but wtf....I'm the 'new guy". Whatever they decide is fine with me.

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I go thru it with every Group I play with... I'm usually the Lead Vocalist & play Rhythm or Bass.

 

You would think that Musicians who listen to Recorded Music can hear how it's Mixed & naturally get it? But they don't... it's always about MORE ME! It's a constant loudness WAR!!!!

 

Just listen to any Record & every Instrument has it's own Place in the Mix. The Vocals are usually slightly in front of the Instruments....

 

It seems so friggin simple!!!! Each Guy thinks his part is the most important part & he should be the loudest..

 

Why can't Musicians get it????? Drives me up the WALL!!!!!!!

 

Thanks for letting me VENT!!!!

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...........the proper rehearsal volume is to be way too effing loud.

 

dont even try to pretend that you guys dont already have serious hearing loss at 60 or above.

 

[laugh] [laugh] [laugh]

 

Yes, true in my experience....

 

Our bass player is a great bloke in his mid-70s, but measurably deaf in all higher frequencies and cannot hear the hiss of his (or any) amps.

I like to ride on a fat bass - so to speak - but.....sometimes.......

Edited by jdgm
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1514933771[/url]' post='1905719']

seems like you guys are ready for the old folks home. [flapper]

 

there is no such thing as "too loud" unless it's your neighbor who is doing it, or if the cops show up. otherwise, the proper rehearsal volume is to be way too effing loud.

dont even try to pretend that you guys dont already have serious hearing loss at 60 or above.

 

Hmm, no such thing? 85 db can cause permanent hearing damage to the hair cells in the inner ear leading to permanent hearing loss. How loud is 85 db's? Well, a typical normal conversation is 60 db's not loud enough to cause damage. A bulldozer just idling is 85db's and is loud enough to cause permanent damage. A clap of thunder is 120 db's. Keep playing loud and it will hit you, and then you can enjoy that ringing in your ears that keeps you awake all night. msp_flapper.gif

Edited by Retired
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Please help.

 

I have rehearsal tomorrow with new lineup and we struggle with this. Same rehearsal space always. I sing and play rhythm, other instruments are drums, bass (x2!) and lead guitar. None are experts at all in setting up the sound dynamics.

 

Things to know: drummer hits pretty damn hard and let's assume that's going to continue. I would like to sing comfortably without yelling so I can sing better. Drummer has backing vocals but not to much. Only the vocals go through foldbacks at this stage during rehearsals, rest is straight though big amps/speakers and drums are not yet mic'd.

 

Advice on basic plan to soundcheck so we have best chance to be right and not have volume wars is appreciated (ie who needs to hear what etc, best order to set up levels ...). We rehearse set up like a live stage layout.

 

Many thanks!

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seems like you guys are ready for the old folks home. [flapper]

 

there is no such thing as "too loud" unless it's your neighbor who is doing it, or if the cops show up. otherwise, the proper rehearsal volume is to be way too effing loud.

dont even try to pretend that you guys dont already have serious hearing loss at 60 or above.

 

 

no disrespect intended, but I'm glad I'm not playing in your band....

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Because they don't sing. Consistently, for as long as I've been doing this, any band that has two or three apes standing around bashing their Flying Vs or Ripper Bass into submission and don't even own a vocal mic, you got volume problems. They don't care, never learned what a band is about and how it works.

 

rct

 

Hey now! I resemble that remark, having three Flying V's. :)

 

That being said, I always play at a reasonable volume but have just about always played with very loud drummers. I don't crank my amp so loud that it's painful but there were times, at some of the larger venues, my amp was mic'd about about 100 decibels. We had a lot of power coming through the monitors for vocals but the onstage music was loud. That was the 80's and 90's, I was in my 20's, and being a headbanging ape with a Flying V was the thing to do back then, playing the style of music we were playing. We were loud in our rehearsal studio as well. But, we all loved it back then.

 

I'm paying for it now. My hearing loss isn't too bad yet at age 52 but I have to have the TV up higher than others in the household. These days, I mostly use my Marshall combo amp (still plenty loud) and looking to get another one (Marshall DSL40) with a built in attenuator for those cozy gigs. The half-stack will remain at home until needed for a larger venue, if ever. The guys I jam with now are mostly in their 40's - 60's and we're good at a lower volume.

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seems like you guys are ready for the old folks home. [flapper]

 

there is no such thing as "too loud" unless it's your neighbor who is doing it, or if the cops show up. otherwise, the proper rehearsal volume is to be way too effing loud.

dont even try to pretend that you guys dont already have serious hearing loss at 60 or above.

 

We used to feel that way too when we were in our 20's. We were also playing mostly metal/hard rock, and had LOUD drummers who didn't know how to back it off a little. Now, I enjoy hearing the music and years of full stacks at 100 decibels has taken its toll.

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I did all the sound for the band my son was drummer in a few years back. Everything was set to the drums, which were acoustic only. He was not a hard hitter BTW.

I did get a lot of positive comments regarding the level and how refreasing it was for them to be less loud than other teenage groups at the time.

Less is more....

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I did all the sound for the band my son was drummer in a few years back. Everything was set to the drums, which were acoustic only. He was not a hard hitter BTW.

I did get a lot of positive comments regarding the level and how refreasing it was for them to be less loud than other teenage groups at the time.

Less is more....

 

less indeed is more, the listening audience in most venues where I've played, just can't tolerate it. They get up and leave. "well that band could have been good, don't know, way too loud..." :)

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...there is no such thing as "too loud"......the proper rehearsal volume is to be way too effing loud...

Well, a/c, as far as I can see you haven't posted your age in the relevant thread but my guess is it's 'Far Too Young to Know Better'.

Unlike many who have replied here the chances are you still have time to make the correct choice - before it's too late.

 

Up to you, of course...

 

msp_smile.gif

 

Pip.

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Well, a/c, as far as I can see you haven't posted your age in the relevant thread but my guess is it's 'Far Too Young to Know Better'.

Unlike many who have replied here the chances are you still have time to make the correct choice - before it's too late.

 

Up to you, of course...

 

msp_smile.gif

 

Pip.

 

 

Will Pip.. with age, comes wisdom, and the realization that the good lord only gave us two ear drums. no spares..

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