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stewblack

Grinds My Gears

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Being told to turn down. Because someone in the audience said the bass was too loud. 

If we listen to every individual member of the audience for their sound preferences we'd just as well pack up. 

Currently in the middle of a gig where no one can hear me. 

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13 minutes ago, stewblack said:

Being told to turn down. Because someone in the audience said the bass was too loud. 

If we listen to every individual member of the audience for their sound preferences we'd just as well pack up. 

Currently in the middle of a gig where no one can hear me. 

It’s easier if the 1 person it’s too loud for buggers off somewhere else and let’s everyone else enjoy it. People are stupid!

Edited by walshy
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I was once told to turn down because my bass was causing feedback through the vocal PA. 

My bass was at 2 on the master, so utter and total bollocks.

The amateur sound engineer was the husband of the singer and had not the faintest idea how to operate his very, expensive PA.

I'm the end, in a huff, I turned my amp off completely and mimed. He still complained the bass was too loud.

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Hasn't happened to me to be asked to turn down the bass in particular, as opposed to the whole band, but my usual response to similar silly questions is as follows:

- shows tablet to the complainer, moves slider in question down while they're watching.

- withdraws tablet, turns round, moves slider back up to where it was originally.

That's unless it's the pub manager asking, but in that case I'll pull down the main slider rather than just the bass.

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2 hours ago, paul_c2 said:

Just be the one who does the soundchecks.......

All 3 of us went out for the soundcheck. The bass was perfectly balanced with the kit. 

The thing which irritated me was the amateurish reaction of the band. You do not change something on the say so of one muggle, or so I thought 

Anyway it's done now. 

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7 hours ago, gjones said:

I was once told to turn down because my bass was causing feedback through the vocal PA. 

My bass was at 2 on the master, so utter and total bollocks.

The amateur sound engineer was the husband of the singer and had not the faintest idea how to operate his very, expensive PA.

I'm the end, in a huff, I turned my amp off completely and mimed. He still complained the bass was too loud.

I have had similar at soundcheck, everyone saying the booming feedback was the bass rig in the vocal mics. I turned down to the point I couldn’t hear my rig very well and the morons (also my band mates) trying to do the desk still said it was me.

I kept saying calmly it was bad eq and too much gain on the desk and most likely the (quite deaf) guitarist vocal mic. The guitarist who was engineering asked us to fire up again and this time I muted the amp and turned down my bass and then stood with my hands in my pockets to make a point.

When the shout of “the bass is too loud on stage” inevitably came I just waited for him to notice I wasn’t playing.....point well and truly made.

In general I hate loud bands and don’t think there is any need for it, so I am normally the one wanting to drastically cut the bass volume and kick drum. Along with lead guitar tones that are often ridiculously louder than rhythm sounds, they are usually the two elements that can annoy punters and venues.

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10 hours ago, gjones said:

I'm the end, in a huff, I turned my amp off completely and mimed. He still complained the bass was too loud.

Sorry! That was me on my Hammond, stirring in your frequency domain.

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On reflection I should have smiled sweetly and got on with it maybe even played more quietly for a couple of tunes. 

 

 

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I was once asked to turn down by a punter as the bass was affecting their pacemaker. They were sat about 3 feet away from the PA!

I simply adjusted the 'producer switch', and they seemed happy. Fortunately they didn't die during the gig.

 

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9 hours ago, stewblack said:

All 3 of us went out for the soundcheck. The bass was perfectly balanced with the kit. 

The thing which irritated me was the amateurish reaction of the band. You do not change something on the say so of one muggle, or so I thought 

Anyway it's done now. 

No I mean, be the one who controls the levels on the soundcheck.

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47 minutes ago, paul_c2 said:

No I mean, be the one who controls the levels on the soundcheck.

Apologies, misunderstood. 

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I onced played an 'illegal festival', it is a famous protest site where people moved in and lived in tents and on the trees to protect the little wooded area from being mowed down in order to build a motorway. I don't think the motorway plans exist anymore, but they're still there.

Anyway... it was their 10th anniversary and someone from the site saw us playing in town and thought we'd be a good band to have playing there. It sounded like fun, we were not going to be paid but all equipment was provided and seemed like it could be an experience, so we went for it.

Although it is far from any populated area, the police showed up. They were calm, it looked like they were just asked to show up so that they're seen to have some kind of presence. A lot of people were off their heads on various substances but the atmosphere was good. However, one of the organisers got really nervous. While we were playing he came onstage, right behind me, and asked me to turn down. He was very agitated, and only asking ME to turn down. 

I pointed at the amp I was using: a tiny 30W Gorilla practice combo. There was a cable from its line-out to their desk. I said to that if I there was too much bass, it was not because of my amp onstage that I could not even hear, and that he should talk to his guys controlling the desk.

He was having none of it, I shrugged and turn back to carry on playing and he went away. But he came back, being even more agitated and borderline aggressive. So I unplugged and walked off, followed by the rest of the band. 

You can't argue with idiots, they're generally far too experienced.

 

With regards to being asked to turn down because the onstage volume interferes with the mix, which can happen in small bars especially, I find that generally all they need is for me to turn down the bass EQ. In fact, since I've been using a Mesa D800+ with built-in adjustable HPF, I often just turn up the HPF to remove the lowest lows, and that does the trick. It means I may not sound 'meaty' onstage, but I can hear myself very well, and the soundguy gets control of the low end as he wanted.

Edited by mcnach
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You can’t argue with idiots, they’re generally far too experienced.

Agree totally, they spend their whole lives like it, we don’t so are far too unprepared to deal with them when we unfortunately encounter them.

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13 hours ago, stewblack said:

All 3 of us went out for the soundcheck. The bass was perfectly balanced with the kit. 

The thing which irritated me was the amateurish reaction of the band. You do not change something on the say so of one muggle, or so I thought 

Anyway it's done now. 

That is frustrating, but I think it's something you just have to deal with at the time and then have words later.

I know for fact that you'll still be the coolest cat on stage, revel in your dudeshippery and rise above :)

 

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4 minutes ago, ahpook said:

That is frustrating, but I think it's something you just have to deal with at the time and then have words later.

I know for fact that you'll still be the coolest cat on stage, revel in your dudeshippery and rise above :)

 

I'm definitely more in the "Go f*#k yourself!" and flounce off category. 😂

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14 hours ago, stewblack said:

All 3 of us went out for the soundcheck. The bass was perfectly balanced with the kit. 

The thing which irritated me was the amateurish reaction of the band. You do not change something on the say so of one muggle, or so I thought 

Anyway it's done now. 

Sorry, I'm getting muddled here. When you say "the amateurish reaction of the band"......you're part of the band, right? So do you get a say in the levels of the mix? In which case the simple answer to "can you turn the bass down" would be "no". and the complicated answer could be "no, we did a soundcheck, I'm sure the relative levels are okay". Or is it only part of the band, or one (other, not you) member of the band, or a separate sound engineer, which may or may not be part of the band.

It seems like a "have control of the things you need to have control of" situation, rather than a "let someone else do some task which is better done by someone else" situation to me. 

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1 hour ago, paul_c2 said:

Sorry, I'm getting muddled here. When you say "the amateurish reaction of the band"......you're part of the band, right? So do you get a say in the levels of the mix? In which case the simple answer to "can you turn the bass down" would be "no". and the complicated answer could be "no, we did a soundcheck, I'm sure the relative levels are okay". Or is it only part of the band, or one (other, not you) member of the band, or a separate sound engineer, which may or may not be part of the band.

It seems like a "have control of the things you need to have control of" situation, rather than a "let someone else do some task which is better done by someone else" situation to me. 

No pa support. 4 piece band so me vocals and guitar stood on the dance floor for soundcheck. All happy with the sound. Kit not mic'd.

Guitarist father runs up to the stage 3 songs in saying someone at the back of the room thinks the bass is too loud. 

The band all agree I should turn down  

"but we soundchecked and you were happy" I protest 

I turn down to keep the peace. 

Next song he comes back I assume to say all is now well. But no! Still too loud. I become agitated (tired and a bit of flu still hanging around 

"don't throw your toys around because you've been told to turn down" is the advice from my band mates. 

I say the serenity prayer repeatedly at half time. 

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10 minutes ago, stewblack said:

No pa support. 4 piece band so me vocals and guitar stood on the dance floor for soundcheck. All happy with the sound. Kit not mic'd.

Guitarist father runs up to the stage 3 songs in saying someone at the back of the room thinks the bass is too loud. 

The band all agree I should turn down  

"but we soundchecked and you were happy" I protest 

I turn down to keep the peace. 

Next song he comes back I assume to say all is now well. But no! Still too loud. I become agitated (tired and a bit of flu still hanging around 

"don't throw your toys around because you've been told to turn down" is the advice from my band mates. 

I say the serenity prayer repeatedly at half time. 

Sounds like new band time to me. Also extremely suspicious that it was the guitarist's father that said this. BIG alarm signal to me, that...
Depending on rig, bass is almost always louder at the back. Ye cannae change the laws of physics, Captain...

Edited by Telebass
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17 hours ago, stewblack said:

All 3 of us went out for the soundcheck. The bass was perfectly balanced with the kit. 

The thing which irritated me was the amateurish reaction of the band. You do not change something on the say so of one muggle, or so I thought 

Anyway it's done now. 

You need to hire some stooges at your next few gigs to keep on complaining that the guitar’s way, way too loud!

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None of this amounts to anything vis a vis the band, we're all good, it's just a general gripe when musicians start letting amateurs have a say in the sound. 

Especially my sound! 

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Possibly it can be solved with a more structured approach then. If you're not using a PA but relying on the backline for both the main sound output and the band hearing each other, then you need to all agree to the following:

1) the sound on stage might not necessarily be the same as the sound FOH. You can do tweaks, such as positioning amps, to make it as near to, but....it won't be the same. That's the laws of physics

2) you actually do a soundcheck, not skip it

3) someone goes out to the front and listens to it. Long lead, wireless, whatever.....its not beyond the technology available in 2019 to do this.

4) the person in (3) is able to tell others to play quieter/louder, or turn up/down and the correct response to that request is "yes", not a 30 minute debate on it.

If punters come up moaning, refer them to (3). If the guitarist's dad moans, refer them to (3).

See how being the guy who goes out to the front in (3), is a nice place to be?

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10 hours ago, Heathy said:

I was once asked to turn down by a punter as the bass was affecting their pacemaker. They were sat about 3 feet away from the PA!

I simply adjusted the 'producer switch', and they seemed happy. Fortunately they didn't die during the gig.

 

Electromagnetism can affect pacemakers, but I'd be surprised if PA equipment in proper working order outputs anything like the levels of electromagnetism necessary to interfere with a device. When you see pacemaker warning symbols on things it's normally on seriously heavy duty industrial or medical equipment. 

Methinks you had a whingy punter. I'd have told him to move away from the speaker if he had concerns. 

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If he was stood right near the back he may have been getting a standing wave of bass making it twice as loud. Maybe next time suggest they move about a bit?

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