So, the drummer in my band asked "how loud does that thing go?"

JimmyR

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Actually you kinda do. In an orchestra the conductor is the sound guy. He tells everyone how loud to be. You wouldn't last long playing too loud in an orchestra! Same with opera singers. Some of those guys can sing VERY loud, but they're competing with an entire orchestra.

Having said that, it used to piss me off when I would get to my regular gig and set up my gear and there was one guy who told me I was too loud before he had even heard me play! Our usual mixer wasn't there that night. Our usual guy would always say "You're never too loud. Play it where it sounds good" and so I would set my amp's volume at the right level to hear myself over the drums but no louder. It wasn't so loud but it sure sounded good. So this new guy just looks at my amp as he sticks an SM57 in front of it and says "You're too loud".
 

zachman

Senior Member
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3,604
No oneever dare asking me when I had my budda sd80 ,
damn, I miss that thing
I had a singer ask me that many years ago, re: my 180 Watt Mesa/Boogie MKIII Coliseum Simul-Class head and 2 Marshall 4x12 cabs. I put it on 7 and he said his vision got blurry and his heart palpitated. LOL
 

tmac

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Like Bill Shakespeare said: "first we kill all the soundmen"

really, they're deaf anyway :mob
 

rockbutt

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255
In an orchestra the conductor is the sound guy. He tells everyone how loud to be. .
Actually, the situation is different: in a symphony orchestra, the conductor is being faithful to the musical score -partitura- as was originaly intended by the composer, following the dynamics marks written down, eg: crescendos (pp < f ) for example, and diminuendos and loudness of different sections of the orchestra at different moments, eg: from a pianissisimo(ppp) all the way up to a fortissisimo(fff) and any loudness in between.

Whereas the sound guy goes by his own arbitrary free will.
 

Flameout12

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1,178
I can tell you this much...as someone who's played for many years, someone who's recorded and mixed, and as someone who's done some sound guy work as well; just because it sounds great on stage, does not make for a good mix.

What good is it to bust you butt practicing only to sound like crap during your gig because you have everything too loud for your gig site and there's no way for the sound guy to help you? Food for thought....
 

tmac

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2,234
Keep playing loud and you'll be as well.
My stage volume is fine, I keep a reasonable balance with drums/bass (drums are frickin' loud too) and I've been using 40-50W amps since 1972. Which btw, was before they decided to mike everything and started using terms like FOH. Just last week we were asked to turn down - the overall PA mix. I kept my same volume on guitar to maintain a good stage mix with the drums/bass and we turned down the mic on the guitar amp. Not everything needs to be run through the sound system all the time, it really creates a sound field with no depth.

Actually, I think if I can keep from going to concerts being run by these so called soundmen I'll be alright though. Case in point, I was standing about 100' in front of Warren Haynes amp during a Go'vt Mule warm up at an outside venue and most folks know he's not shy about crankin' up a little bit (btw, go tell Warren to turn down and I'm sure he'll tell you in a very polite manner to kiss his a$$). ANyway, it was sounding great but by the time the sound guy was done making everything as loud as it could possibly be and pumping that bass through the sub-honkers we had to move back 200 yards because it was killing us (I'm sure it was blamed on the damn guitar player).

Sound men have ruined many a show for me as a paying concert goer because they are just idiots. Allman Bros and Lynyrd Skynyrd a couple of years ago in Charlottle, just horrible. Santana many years ago at Tupperware theater -every time the drummer whacked the bass drum it would suck the wind out of your lungs - just no reason to have the subs so loud that it turns everyone's insides to jello. They're deaf, not me (yet)
 

Tuberattler

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2,412
Most bands sound better when they're not sooo loud. Too loud and you sound like you have rocks in your mouth.

I play better at a more moderate volume. I guess that's why we're getting the nicer gigs around here.
 

KK Jale

Member
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195
When the sound guy tells me to turn down I say "ok" and walk over to my amp and pretend to adjust the knob.
Then I do a quick strum (not very hard and with no pedals on) showing how quiet I am.

:rotflmao

That is exactly what I do, works everytime
Works every time - in demonstrating that you are an amateur who cares more about yourself than the audience.

This 'trick' never fooled any sound man, ever. He will mix you out of FOH and the whole band will suffer.
 

StompBoxBlues

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Works every time - in demonstrating that you are an amateur who cares more about yourself than the audience.

This 'trick' never fooled any sound man, ever. He will mix you out of FOH and the whole band will suffer.
Yeah, the first part, I can't imagine ANY soundman that has had more than a few gigs under his belt falling for that.

But the second part. Calling the guy selfish is uncalled for.
At least at the same time as you seem to be in the sound guys corner while HIS pettiness would "punish" the audience and the guitarist.

As someone above mentioned, no sound guy is telling Warren Haynes, etc. to turn down. Granted we are not in that category, but at SOME point, we must have some say in what we need to get the right sound, and the soundmans job is to bring that out best he can.

I'm amazed at how many folks 1) always assume the sound guy is right, and has the best intentions and really wants the band to sound right. and 2) don't expect a sound guy to be able (within reason) to handle a little bit of guitar from an amp that is above a whisper.
 

KK Jale

Member
Messages
195
My attitude is to assume the sound guy is on our side until proved otherwise. I learn his/her name, be respectful, talk briefly and clearly about set up and mics, soundcheck in strict rotation and with total silence from other band members, and work on getting a usable stage/FOH/monitor balance... but take a long lead out to front of house to have a listen for myself. If the guy/gal has screwed the sound IMO and discussion does not help, I will skew the stage sound to try to correct it. I do not always assume the sound guy is right but I have run sound before eg. an outdoor festival stage almost solo for three days/nights straight, and I know that band professionalism and attitude is foremost in getting a fast working relationship and a successful sound.

Many people say guitarists are the worst offenders for stage volume, but often the problem in small venues is poor drummers who cannot control their attack. A good drummer can play full-out and not drown a 15-watt guitar amp.
 

thedroid

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3,072
Assuming everyone can hear themselves onstage, and you're playing a style of music where loud guitars are appropriate, and your amp isn't louder than the FOH, and the music is the main attraction, I see no reason anyone should tell you to turn down. But I agree it's best to be friendly with soundmen and club owners and try to understand why they might ask you to turn down before you behave like a petulant teen.
 

riefil

Member
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774
As a non-gigging player, what does FOH mean? It may help me down the road.

Thanks, Phil
 




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