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Posts posted by mrtcat

  1. I think that quite often the band with a bassist, where you can't really hear much other than low end mush, are more victims of the venue's acoustics than an engineer's failings. Bass can be a nightmare to mix if a room is really bad. Sadly some of the biggest venues are just appalling for bass. RHCP at the NEC was a standout gig I went to where the bass was pretty much inaudible. It also depends where you stand in the room. If it's awful when you're standing right next to the sound engineer's booth then its quite possible the venue is a bass nightmare.

  2. On 19/04/2022 at 09:44, neepheid said:

    I disagree with the aversion to rehearsals.  While I freely admit there is a social aspect to them (for us at least) it is critical for keeping us weekend warriors sounding tight.  It pays off too - in both my bands it has been commented upon on several occasions how tight we sound.  This would not happen if we rehearsed once in a blue moon, especially the originals band since it gigs less than once a month on average.  Also the originals band uses weekly meetups to develop new songs - but that's out of the scope of what most people consider "rehearsal" (again, another example where originals and covers/tribute bands differ).


    Play a new song (or, *shudder* songs!)  having never played it/them together before the gig?  No thank you.  I consider that to be folly and horribly underprepared but maybe that just means I'm a crap player and my band(s) are crap too because I'm surrounded by like minded folk who wouldn't want to do that either.  So be it, it's not my profession and it isn't putting food on the table - more of a hobby that mostly pays for itself.  I'm bloody great at other stuff - funnily enough some of that excellence corresponds with my day job.


    Thing is, if you're playing around 100 gigs a year then there's little to be gained from rehearsals other than the social side. We spend hours and hours each week in a van travelling the motorways together, another few hours in a rehearsal room won't make us like each other more.

    As for adding new songs unrehearsed, it really depends what you're adding. If its something really complicated then yes, a rehearsal would be beneficial. If it's something well known and straightforward and you trust the rest of your band to have done their homework, then its a fun way to work.

    • Like 1
  3. On 19/04/2022 at 08:54, bagsieblue said:

    Have you added any new songs since the last rehearsal?.

    If you have- how do you go about it?.

    Yeah we add new stuff all the time. Essentially a version is agreed on then the singer confirms which key he wants it in and then we just discuss and bits that need agreeing (endings, which guitarist take which part, who sings what) then run it at sound check and it goes straight into the set. We get lots of requests for first dances and favourite songs from clients at the time of booking and these all have to be added.

    • Thanks 1
  4. 15 hours ago, Nicko said:

    IMO there's also a small section of BCers that appear to dismiss people playing pub covers as somehow inferior to other gigging musicians.  Something along the lines of pub covers = bunch of amateurs pumping out the same old shite every week, vs function bands = semi pro and play a wide range of styles.

    Most function bands pump out the same old shite every week. Rather than the difference being defined by ability I would suggest it is defined by approach.

    Most function players are more focused on it being an income provider and for that reason they look harder at efficient earning and squeezing as much income as possible from their musical ability. 

    It doesn't make them better just different in their approach. There are tons of great musicians on the pub scene who have the chops but not the desire for function work and that's all that separates. There are however loads of pub players who would struggle with all the guff that goes with function playing (lots of travelling, early arrivals, hanging around for hours on end, awkward clients, being comfortable and competent to play songs that haven't been rehearsed live, very late nights, bridezilla, endless rigging up and tearing down, venues with appalling acoustics, ridiculous noise limiters and on and on and on). 

    If you're a great player but want some social fun and far less of the crap then pub playing is a great way to tick those boxes.

    • Like 4
  5. Pop rock covers band playing mostly functions. We average about 90 gigs a year. This year we will be 70% weddings, 29% Corporate and 1% pub. 


    When looking for a band my main criteria was that it must gig at least 4 times more frequently than it rehearses. Last rehearsal we did was in 2019 so I'm very happy with a ratio of about 200 - 1.

    • Like 1
    • Haha 1
  6. Behringer X32 rack in unmarked perfect working condition. Comes with original box. Used solely in my home studio for live streaming. I'm throwing in a rack front panel with all the connections and cables so you have the option of plugging everything in at the front which is so much easier than the rear and also a net gear router. I'll also throw in the rack for free as it's got a couple of broken catches but still does the job just fine. You don't have to take the rack, the router or the front panel but as I'm throwing them in for free there's no price reduction for not taking them. Any questions just ask. Collection only from Whittlebury, Nr Towcester in South Northants.20220304_144620.thumb.jpg.3cd7e4c2bf9d57b4186ed0abd162f941.jpg20220304_145010.thumb.jpg.ad659d5bff6553820d7ca44e8ecea09a.jpg20220304_144603.thumb.jpg.8b165795be62328ca7cdb9f47ab4b1fd.jpg20220304_144907.thumb.jpg.9de82a0216246ad3c8314f26b68a7dc0.jpg20220304_145238.thumb.jpg.908be468ac5b2c3082118bc7cb90c41a.jpg

    • Like 2
  7. 23 hours ago, Russ said:

    If you want a company that's UK-based and will fix your issues in the UK, then buy one of the UK-made Ashdowns.


    Many of Ashdown's engineers (and Mark Gooday himself) originally came from Trace Elliot, and the recent Ashdown 12-Band head is effectively a modernised GP12. 

    I just can't get on with Ashdown amps. I really wish I did but I just don't like the core sound and I don't like the EQ section. Pity because the customer service is excellent.


  8. 5 hours ago, Rich said:

    Of course, there have been predictable whinges on farcebook...  "why do they keep trying to reinvent the wheel", "a proper Trace (what the hell is that?) has a UV light", "the classic interface is the original and best", ya de ya boo hoo. Generally the sort of people for whom time stopped in 

    Benchmarking against old trace stuff is pointless. This is a completely different amp from a completely different manufacturer. It's nice that they have said that they have tried to recreate the classic trace tone and I hope they were successful. I would probably prefer to buy an amp from a smaller company that built them in the uk purely because any issues could be resolved without involving distributors and that was a big draw for me when I bought a trace amp years ago. I still have a nice old trace head but I don't use amps live very often because silent stages suit my band so much better so I'm not in the market for a new one.

    • Like 2
  9. Definitely worth looking for the positives though. Our agents know we can work well with limiters and venue pa systems because we use an electric kit (we use one for every gig now) no backline and in ears so we pick up lots of gigs that other bands can't do. Other bands will catch up though. At the kind of mid range wedding venue these things are here to stay and we will see more and more in the future.

    • Like 1
  10. 9 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

    Is there another venue needs a wedding of that Tuesday night that is empty on the Monday? Methinks there could be any number doing sfa that early in the week in the middle of winter.


    Get them on the phone and see if they take on function bands without auditions and let them self manage sounds.


    With another venue in the offing the bride needs to finagle the current one into admitting by email they actively mislead her on multiple fronts about the band situation. Book the other venue and tell the noise police she's cancelling and wants her deposit back. Small claims court if they refuse.

    The bride and groom will have been made aware of this from the start. Venues aren't daft. There will be a contract with this all clearly stated and there will be a huge cancellation fee if they try to pull out and use another venue.

    • Like 1
  11. 44 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

    venues should have to call out the limitations they have in place… but won’t… until the contract has been signed.

    All the bands on the Alive Network books are asked to highlight these limitations to the agency so they now have a really solid database of problem venues and the individual issues at each one. They let the client know before they book a band so at least we don't have to break it to them in the pre event check or on the night.

  12. 1 hour ago, scalpy said:

    As far as I’m aware, there is no house system, although that may all change. 

    There won't be. Venues with the in house system wont need bands to sound check in advance. They know their system will look after the volume. 

    • Like 1
  13. 2 minutes ago, Maude said:

    We played a wedding with one of those terrible systems, funnily enough in a converted barn in what used to be the Yarg cheese dairy. The 'speaker' was a flat panel above the dance floor facing straight down. Designed to flood the dance floor with sound but with minimal seepage to the rest of the room. 

    We weren't allowed monitors or backline. That band was all acoustic but always fully amped, guitar, mandolin, doublebass, cajon, vocals. We couldn't hear ourselves at all, and as a result felt we were pretty bad. Got some good feedback afterwards but who knows. 

    Playing doublebass when you simply can't hear it (the background noise of people drowned out any useful acoustic sound from it) was horrible. The singer said the same and harmonising backing vocals when you can't hear the singer is near impossible, so you hold off doing them. 

    As a result the whole performance was lacklustre and restrained as subconsciously you hold back as you can't hear yourself. 

    The DJ said he has spent hours and hours at that venue EQing trying to get the best sound possible, but he said the best he can get is just make it as sterile sounding as possible, he liked it to sounding like the dashboard speakers of seventies car and said he hates having to DJ there. 

    But, and here's the thing, people enjoyed it. Average folks don't know good sound from bad and the ones that wanted to sing and dance did and the ones that wanted to sit and talk did, likewise with the ones propping up the bar. 

    So the band and the DJ hated it, but were well compensated for their misery, the wedding party had a great time and venue made a fortune. 


    Yep, these "zone array" systems are getting more and more common. If you use in ear monitoring and electric drums then, as a musician, you can still enjoy it. You just have to forget that the pumping fat mix you are hearing is absolutely nothing like the flat, dull and thin sound that the punters are being subjected to. 

    I just think that, if the bride and groom are daft enough to book a venue like that and then pay £2k for a band, that's their lookout. Work is work as far as I'm concerned and I won't worry about things I can't control. Luckily our agents are all over this and know all the worst venues. They explain the realities of the system to clients at the time of booking so it never comes back to cause us a problem.

    • Like 2
  14. 36 minutes ago, Downunderwonder said:

    They obviously let the noise police set the limiter far below what is intended when they spec the system.

    The venue will have been sold the system by a sound company that specialises in selling over the top gear and then limiting it to meet the client's volume limit. They then make sure the venue thoroughly buys into the "if it sounds bad it's the band's fault" way of thinking.

    • Like 1
  15. 1 hour ago, Dan Dare said:


    Exactly. I don't know why some of these venues bother to have live bands at all. They appear to want everything controlled and compressed to death, removing all the dynamics and life from the music. They may as well limit the music that is permitted to recorded/processed pap (which is what such systems are designed to reproduce). I'm not arguing that bands should have complete free reign to deafen everyone, but there seems little point in having real people playing real instruments in places like that.

    Because any venue that has a "no live music" policy is cutting its sales potential in half. Having a system like this makes clients believe that they are a great place for a wedding with live music. On paper it looks great but the reality is that, by the time the client realises, they will have paid in full and it's too late to back out. That's why the info sheet is like a sales pitch.

    • Like 1
  16. 17 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

    An answer to the question of how those fancy systems wind up sounding if you don't trip their limiter when putting whatever through them sound would be nice. How about the full skinny please?


    A: e-drums, restrained backline not enough to be interfering in vocal mics, not covering whole venue but not giving a damn, Auntie can natter away to drums and vox and some bleed just fine, dancefloor @ something under 96dB thereabouts avoiding engaging the limiter.


    B: full e-band backline IEM.


    😄 1 mousepower backline monitors, e-drums and everything into the mixer.


    😧 live drums, IEM everyone.

    Basically we run with absolutely no backline and fully electric drum kit. If you back everything off so that you're not engaging the limiters you can actually hear plectrums hitting strings, drumsticks hitting plastic cymbals and the vocals are way too loud for the mix because the natural volume of singing voices is louder than the overall output from the system.

    Like EBS_FREAK says, the gear is quality but the way it's set up just chokes all the life out of it.

  17. These are the ones that make me chuckle the most when we get them. Sounds like an incredible system on paper but in reality they sound worse than a pair of old wharfdales. Designed to completely compress the sound with brick wall limiters that suck the life out of everything. 20220204_183222.thumb.jpg.1adf1715f4cb234f8fc0d0a822fae8b6.jpg20220204_183112.thumb.jpg.50383925b1858907ee699e7d7312ffd6.jpgThe bride and groom will have been told that the venue has an awesome set up and that any failure to sound amazing is entirely the band's fault. 

  18. 19 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

    Offer to meet them halfway. Tell them you are used to playing social gatherings where people need to talk. You will put some of your lights on their circuit and if it goes dark you will turn it all down some more but you don't expect that will be necessary as you are professionals. You know what 96dB sounds like but you don't want to risk your amps having their power cut.

    Sadly they're unlikely to go for that. There are lots of bands out there that are prepared to work with noise limiters and do so regularly who will happily do the gig on the venue's terms and the venue know this.

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