Hypocricy, horn players' on-stage monitor volume

GassyMan69

Member
Messages
27
Changing it in FoH at the same time is the idea, unless all dynamics are supposed to be controlled by the soundman.

Theoretically, a horn player should be able to control their dynamics with breath control and not be blaring wfo over everything all the time, gluing the soundman to the faders all night and making unnatural sounding jumps and ducks in volume.

Theoretically.
I want to meet this sax player who can destroy guitar players! You can only achieve so many dBs with your lungs, so dynamics starts to go out the window once the volume blasting - All you have is the mic, and no volume knob on your sax, amp, hand, anywhere. Please also point me to the soundman who is glued to a soundboard because the sax player is so all over the place with his huge dynamics lol.
 

Tiny Montgomery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,057
I want to meet this sax player who can destroy guitar players! You can only achieve so many dBs with your lungs, so dynamics starts to go out the window once the volume blasting - All you have is the mic, and no volume knob on your sax, amp, hand, anywhere. Please also point me to the soundman who is glued to a soundboard because the sax player is so all over the place with his huge dynamics lol.
That’s not what I mean at all. I’m referring to the phenomenon described in the OP. When they’re blaring on the parts where they should be, the softer parts should be easier. If they don’t expect to hear themselves just as loudly as during the blaring parts, at least.

Ideally (and I know full well it’s not the reality, most of the time), the players can all accurately hear their place in the mix, as well as their own part.

It’s not specific to horn players. Players of all instruments want to hear themselves a little better than everything else. It’s what leads to the dreaded volume wars. Add that to the fact that horn players (though to a lesser extent than singers) legitimately need a little more in the monitor, and they can get pretty loud on stage.
 

GerryJ

Member
Messages
5,014
I have a sax player friend, for awhile he played in a rock band that was insanely loud, mostly from the PA. He used his own inexpensive in-ear monitor plugs as a way to hear himself & also protect his hearing.
Btw, are you guys wearing earplugs? If not, maybe you should be.
 

Barquentine

Member
Messages
2,065
I don't often play miked up gigs but it gets to me that the sound guy will take ages micing the kit and let the drummer pound away to his heart's content but when it comes to the guitar - they freak out if you turn it up to a barely audible level.
 

GassyMan69

Member
Messages
27
That’s not what I mean at all. I’m referring to the phenomenon described in the OP. When they’re blaring on the parts where they should be, the softer parts should be easier. If they don’t expect to hear themselves just as loudly as during the blaring parts, at least.

Ideally (and I know full well it’s not the reality, most of the time), the players can all accurately hear their place in the mix, as well as their own part.

It’s not specific to horn players. Players of all instruments want to hear themselves a little better than everything else. It’s what leads to the dreaded volume wars. Add that to the fact that horn players (though to a lesser extent than singers) legitimately need a little more in the monitor, and they can get pretty loud on stage.
Ok sorry I was just being defensive - Having flashbacks of all the negative aspects of gigging! ha!

I'm sure we can agree that playing with more musically mature plays leads to having better volume/balance, but can also depend on genre. Like a ska-punk band where volume level is expected to be so loud you should be wearing ear plugs as an audience member as you throw elbows into people. Or the jazzy setting with a small crowd, have to adapt to all that...

I played one show once where I just faked playing the entire 2 hour show, making no noise from my sax, even solos. Not one person in the band or audience said one word. That's when I knew no one is listening...
 

sixty2strat

Member
Messages
11,713
Funny I have often felt like the op.I can say I have not worked much with horns, when I did it was fine no issue or it was a nightmare. One reason I think they seem so loud is they are pointing at your ear where as even my 4x12 is pointing at my ass at best. I do recall times where guys seemed to have 2 volumes 10 and 11. I truth I attribute it lousy players that lack control. In fact at a blues jam there were 2 horn guy who would just get up on stage join in my set because they figured who'd not want them. just blaring away and same volume when not soloing. Seems to me hard core jazz men are never are an issue. The party band guys often seem to be the issue. Maybe the role of ballads in Jazz makes the more volume aware.
 

smv929

Member
Messages
1,004
I played one show once where I just faked playing the entire 2 hour show, making no noise from my sax, even solos. Not one person in the band or audience said one word. That's when I knew no one is listening...
Ha! I did that once at a nightmarishly loud gig. The onstage volume was so loud in this 7 piece band, when solo came i played with my volume down and watched the band members. Hardly any reaction, like all was normal. Of the 7, i recall one may have glamced at me wondering whats up, but he turned away. Point is I dont think they could hear me in the first place. Just assumed i was in the mains. Idk.

It's usually not like that; this was a rare instance. But I was so irritated that people just go with it. Plus I'll admit it hirt when no one went hey i dont hear him.

One other time, forgot why, but played nonsense for a solo. Looked at the other members and same result. They looked at me like hmmm, but didnt take note. It might have been because of band volume again, trying to see who's listening.
 
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Bigsby

Member
Messages
1,256
I used to play tenor in a bar band. The stage was like a postage stamp and there was no way I could get a monitor pointed at me. I bought a little Rolls headphone amp with a mic thru, some regular Sony earbuds I already had and a curly headphone extension cable. Worked great, and the earbuds protected my ears from the crash cymbal that was 18 inches from my head. Janky-ass IEM, but it worked GREAT.

Edit: I was a broke college student, so this was as good as it was going to get. Did not feel like a compromise though.
 
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