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spectoremg

More kick drum blowing your eardrums in the mix moaning.

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I can't find the old threat so what the hell.
Steve Hackett at Portsmouth Guildhall last Monday. Kick drum as described. Anything around G and below on Nick Beggs's gorgeous Spector sounded awesome - anything above was AWOL. What was hilarious was the usually reliable tummy-tickling bass pedals were exactly the same.

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It`s the modern sound. Really annoys me, our music is fast so at one gig, where the kick drum was awful on all the preceeding bands I asked if they could drop some lows and add in some highs to the kick drum. I was looked at as if I`d asked them to eat a dog-log.

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Every time I hear the house engineer that is all you get. All changes when the main bands engineer comes on as they will get booted by the rest of the band if the sound is poor.

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I'm no sound engineer so I could be way off, but it bugs me that the kit in general these days is often mixed almost as if it's a set of separate instruments. Whereas if you listen to the great drum sounds (both recorded and live), the kit sounds like a single instrument - John Bonham always had that sound and obviously some of it is just that he was a great drummer, but there's something about how his kit was recorded and mixed that made it sound much more together IMO.

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I agree on some recordings the panning of toms and hihats can be a bit extreme and makes it sound disconnected from the rest of the kit.

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[quote name='tinyd' timestamp='1495015690' post='3300412']
I'm no sound engineer so I could be way off, but it bugs me that the kit in general these days is often mixed almost as if it's a set of separate instruments.
[/quote]


This!!!!

treat the drum kit as a complete instrument and you have none of these problems

Overheads up first and then fill in what you can't hear with spot mics is the way i've always been taught to do it

[quote name='Dropzone' timestamp='1495014279' post='3300392']
Every time I hear the house engineer that is all you get.
[/quote]


IME even support bands on major gigs bring their own engineer now (size dependant obviously) also you have to remember that the house engineer has only heard that band that evening and is "busking" the set dependant on what they can hear.

A band engineer will have spent months getting the bands sound right will have far more sway with the band on backline positioning, tone and most importantly volume all of which can make a MASSIVE difference in smaller venues i've seen and done things like pointing a particularly offensive sounding amp off into the wings to save the ears of the front row of audience members, putting up perspex around drummers and generally offering advice about backline tone with bands that i've worked with. I'm fairly sure that if i suggested these things with a lot of bands when I've been the house engineer (FYI I try and get the best mix for each band I encounter so If I'm suggesting stuff like this its not for my benefit) I'd be met with arguments and dubious looks at best

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I experienced this when I saw Walter Trout last week. His sons' band was support and the sound was terrible, all bass drum and mush. When Walter himself came on, the sound was completely different even though the had the same bass player as his own man was sick. So same bass, amp, etc. BUT...there was a different man on the desk and the sound was fine.

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The idea that the bass drum needs to be some sort of sub-sonic woofer is really something which ive noticed in recent years. The whole idea of over loud drums in mixes is another fairly recent innovation.

In my opinion the best sounds I have heard were in late 70s clubs where the mix of dance music had very prominent bass drum but also very prominent bass guitar - and neither was compromised by ludicrous levels of low bass EQ or unequal volumes in the mix.

I play in a band where the bass drum invariably gets miked (we don't have a sound guy), we have powered sub PA speakers and the bass drum usually starts off far too loud and too bassy, tweaked back at sound check. I'm guessing some people think that's the only bass element driving the music - most of the time it isn't!!

Edited by drTStingray

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just got back from the Rebellion Punk Festival, and the sound was very mixed (see wot I did there?) to say the least, outside stage was good but the Empress ballroom on the first couple of days was awful, all bass resonance, and mush, my mate went up to the sound guy during the Leftover Crack set to complain but the sound guy just shrugged his shoulders and pointed at the high ceiling, by Saturday someone had figured out that if you turned down the drums and turned up the guitar you got a decent sound, the other indoor stages suffered as to varying degrees as well, but there was very little bass to be heard all weekend just a low end mush :( any body else go and have a different opinion?

Edited by PaulWarning

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Rather than moan about the crap sound on here where in general we are all in agreement, why not post something on the band's Facebook page. Be vaguely positive by saying how much you enjoyed the performance, and it was only the terrible sound that let it down. Maybe find out who the PA hire company is as well and post something similar on their social media. If enough of us start doing it then maybe we'll start to get a more balanced sound at gigs.

As for Rebellion... how many years have they been holding it now? Surely the PA hire company will have sorted out by now how to deal with a room they keep coming back to year after year? Or are the organisers using different companies every year?

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'Bass drum' is a bloody misnomer. I like bass drums that are small and sound tight and poppy, they should 'thud' with a very quick decay rather than 'boom' in the dreadful, floppy sounding way so many do now.

Live sound is often dreadful for a variety of reasons, but sadly I get the impression that a lot of sound engineers create a bad mix and then try to mask the dreadful tone by banging the volume right up until you end up with an ear-splitting mush. That's what I got when I saw Big Country at the O2 in Newcastle a couple of years ago. Deafeningly loud; a dreadful mess of booming bass and drums and piercing high end. Mike Peters' vocal mix was awful too, and he was frequently howling out of tune because the mix was so poor. Sad to see such a great band struggling with a crap mix like that. Half the time, if you didn't know the songs, you wouldn't have known what the bloody hell was going on.

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At least a Bass Drum is [i]meant[/i] to be loud. We don't have one, but the average sound guy responds by making the cajon as loud as a kick drum would have been, then cranking everything else to match it.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1502194583' post='3349890']
Rather than moan about the crap sound on here where in general we are all in agreement, why not post something on the band's Facebook page. Be vaguely positive by saying how much you enjoyed the performance, and it was only the terrible sound that let it down. Maybe find out who the PA hire company is as well and post something similar on their social media. If enough of us start doing it then maybe we'll start to get a more balanced sound at gigs.

As for Rebellion... how many years have they been holding it now? Surely the PA hire company will have sorted out by now how to deal with a room they keep coming back to year after year? Or are the organisers using different companies every year?
[/quote]surely all bands have at least one person in the crowd to tell them what sort of sound they've had, but if they've not got their own sound guy you're stuffed, the bigger bands did get a better sound (either because they had their own sound man or by design, except on the first night)), but when I did hear the bass, when they were playing on there own, they all seemed to have the scooped sound, with stupidly low end on it

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[quote name='Chris2112' timestamp='1502195523' post='3349901']
'Bass drum' is a bloody misnomer. I like bass drums that are small and sound tight and poppy, they should 'thud' with a very quick decay rather than 'boom' in the dreadful, floppy sounding way so many do now.

Live sound is often dreadful for a variety of reasons, but sadly I get the impression that a lot of sound engineers create a bad mix and then try to mask the dreadful tone by banging the volume right up until you end up with an ear-splitting mush. That's what I got when I saw Big Country at the O2 in Newcastle a couple of years ago. Deafeningly loud; a dreadful mess of booming bass and drums and piercing high end. Mike Peters' vocal mix was awful too, and he was frequently howling out of tune because the mix was so poor. Sad to see such a great band struggling with a crap mix like that. Half the time, if you didn't know the songs, you wouldn't have known what the bloody hell was going on.
[/quote]couldn't agree more about the bass drum, it's almost like sometimes they're putting reverb or echo on it
[quote name='radiophonic' timestamp='1502204428' post='3349980']
At least a Bass Drum is [i]meant[/i] to be loud. We don't have one, but the average sound guy responds by making the cajon as loud as a kick drum would have been, then cranking everything else to match it.
[/quote]can't agree with you there, a bass drum isn't supposed to be louder than the rest of the drum kit, it's the fashion at the moment to have it loud, which annoys the hell out of me

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I went to one gig lat year where they'd panned the drum kit from extreme left to extreme right with a booming kick drum in the middle. I didn't survive the set but joined countless others in the bar.

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Do we know for certain it's the sound crew causing this? How often do we see members here declaring they they will only perform with 'their sound', no pre eq di or no di at all regardless of whether the sound they are giving the desk is of any use or not, are drummers demanding a foh to match their on stage sound as many folk here say they do with bass rigs?

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1502210464' post='3350028']
Do we know for certain it's the sound crew causing this? How often do we see members here declaring they they will only perform with 'their sound', no pre eq di or no di at all regardless of whether the sound they are giving the desk is of any use or not, are drummers demanding a foh to match their on stage sound as many folk here say they do with bass rigs?
[/quote]

Few drummers hear their 'on-stage' sound, as they're (usually...) sitting behind the drums. It would be difficult (and useless...) to reproduce what the drummer hears in FOH, I'd say. When we're playing, it's either us (ie: our eldest...) doing the FOH mix, or a house engineer with our eldest assisting (saying what needs done, if it doesn't agree with what we want to sound like...). When it's his turn (guitar...) to sound check, it'll be me or our singer (or both...) getting the sound right. S'easy enough; doesn't everyone do things that way..? :unsure:

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Maybe that is just the sound at the guildhall (which hasn't got the best sound all the time). I saw them in Bristol and it wasn't like that at all. Mind you, it maybe because I was quite close, when I went out to the loo in the second set, the sound further back was a bit mushy,

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99% of the time I blame the sound guy but it often depends where you are in the room. What sounds tight and punchy where the engineer is standing may be boomy mush 40 yds away from him / her.
60-65hz is where the punch is so why they seem keen to boost 30/40/50hz to stoopid levels is beyond me.

Edited by mrtcat

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[quote name='tinyd' timestamp='1495015690' post='3300412']
Whereas if you listen to the great drum sounds (both recorded and live), the kit sounds like a single instrument - John Bonham always had that sound ...
[/quote]

What you're hearing on a lot of Led Zeppelin recordings is the Glyn Johns drum mic setup, as demonstrated by the man himself in [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fyy55ALu18Y"]this video[/url]. Treating the kit as one instrument is a good way to sum it up.

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[quote name='mrtcat' timestamp='1502220273' post='3350097']
99% of the time I blame the sound guy but it often depends where you are in the room. What sounds tight and punchy where the engineer is standing may be boomy mush 40 yds away from him / her.
60-65hz is where the punch is so why they seem keen to boost 30/40/50hz to stoopid levels is beyond me.
[/quote]

Which is because EQ can only go so far in fixing room problems.

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[quote name='PaulWarning' timestamp='1502192410' post='3349868']
just got back from the Rebellion Punk Festival, and the sound was very mixed (see wot I did there?) to say the least, outside stage was good but the Empress ballroom on the first couple of days was awful, all bass resonance, and mush, my mate went up to the sound guy during the Leftover Crack set to complain but the sound guy just shrugged his shoulders and pointed at the high ceiling, by Saturday someone had figured out that if you turned down the drums and turned up the guitar you got a decent sound, the other indoor stages suffered as to varying degrees as well, but there was very little bass to be heard all weekend just a low end mush :( any body else go and have a different opinion?
[/quote]

Sortof, we played on Fri in the Arena. Obviously I didn`t hear that, but the bands which I heard that had a trebly bass, rather than bassy bass (if that makes sense) sounded great. Skurvi for example, in The Pavillion on Thu were excellent, Liams bass having hi-mids and treble boosted, rather than low end, sounded great. Likewise with JJ of The Last Resort in The Empress on Sunday, again a good deal of high-end on his bass. I think that`s the trick to Rebellion as many bands did seem to have a "wampy" sound. I`ve heard a recording of us - it`s on youtube - and my bass was its usual trebly aggressive sound, and clear as anything in the mix.

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My complaint is that this trend has been adopted by pub bands. You end up paying far more for a PA that used to just have to handle vocal requirements because the kick drum's got to be amplified.

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