Jump to content

Adventures in a very loud pub band..


theplumber

Recommended Posts

I saw Walter Trout at The Stables once.

 

The support band were fine - loud but not excessive.

 

I lasted 2 songs of Mr Trout before I realised it was completely stupid to stay in the room any more. It was actually still too loud behind the double set of doors into the auditorium.

Madness.

 

When I play I use the old fashioned yellow foam plugs. Over 20 years of using them I have got used to the massive treble roll off. I might treat myself to some ACS though once I feel it's safe enough for proper gig attendances again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know some fantastic drummers who are very loud, but these guys can also play quietly, and everywhere in between, depending on what's required. Everyone playing very loud because they are trying to volume match the drummer is not the right way of playing. My experience with drummers has always been good, guitarists on the other hand have cause most of the volume problems I've seen. 

 

I've just done 5 gigs in a row with a dep drummer. On one gig he was hassled by the sound guy to play quieter. After that I couldn't hear him, so he played in between. Me and the sound guy were happy, because the drummer could adjust his volume and get the balance right. It's not rocket science and is a skill that every drummer should be expected to know.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m still confused how playing a bass is comparable to playing a synth.

 

For extra context, I can play either (I know bass players that wouldn’t know what to do when presented with a keyboard and vice versa) and both have volume controls anyway?

Edited by EBS_freak
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point is grumbling about someone not enjoying playing a synthetic version of the instrument they have a passion for is a bit much. The experience is not the same and it's quite understandable why they might prefer playing the real thing, no? We might not enjoy the experience ourselves were the roles reversed 🙂
 

Besides, not all synths are keyboards 😉

Edited by Doctor J
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, chris_b said:

I know some fantastic drummers who are very loud, but these guys can also play quietly, and everywhere in between, depending on what's required. Everyone playing very loud because they are trying to volume match the drummer is not the right way of playing. My experience with drummers has always been good, guitarists on the other hand have cause most of the volume problems I've seen. 

 

I've just done 5 gigs in a row with a dep drummer. On one gig he was hassled by the sound guy to play quieter. After that I couldn't hear him, so he played in between. Me and the sound guy were happy, because the drummer could adjust his volume and get the balance right. It's not rocket science and is a skill that every drummer should be expected to know.

Absolutely this.

 

For most of my time in bands, the drummer has been the level that others play to. The problem is that people perceive very different levels they need to achieve this ‘balance’, the main culprits for some reason in my experience being guitarists and singers who want to hear themselves way above everybody else. In reality, there shouldn’t really be the need to wear earplugs on gigs with modern PA systems doing all the heavy lifting for the room. Having said that, I had to resort to wearing plugs with two drummers in particular over the last few years, both who had some skewed idea of what was needed and beat the sh*t out of their kits on every gig. Left one band and managed to tolerate the other band with the help of plugs but it took a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me. 

One of my current bands are all on IEM’s ( including electric drums ) except me and it’s fine - I can control the level of everyone through my monitor and to have anything in my ears. Haven’t had any volume problems for years and it makes my gigs so much easier. Not sure if I’ll jump down the IEM route eventually, but for now no need.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, chris_b said:

I know some fantastic drummers who are very loud, but these guys can also play quietly, and everywhere in between, depending on what's required. Everyone playing very loud because they are trying to volume match the drummer is not the right way of playing. My experience with drummers has always been good, guitarists on the other hand have cause most of the volume problems I've seen. 

 

I've just done 5 gigs in a row with a dep drummer. On one gig he was hassled by the sound guy to play quieter. After that I couldn't hear him, so he played in between. Me and the sound guy were happy, because the drummer could adjust his volume and get the balance right. It's not rocket science and is a skill that every drummer should be expected to know.

My favourite drummers that I’ve played with can “play to the room”, which is a very useful skill sadly lacking in some others.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was watching some old footage of Bonham playing the other day and if you play like that there's no way you can play to the room and it's just going to be loud.

Having said that, I get what @Doctor Jis saying about not wanting to play a synthetic version of their instrument but there's no point in the drummer playing away and having a great time at everybody else's expense. Sometimes we all have to compromise as musicians. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, bassman7755 said:

 

Sometime soon, it wont go away, ever. You have a limit window of time to protect your ears better after which the damage will be permanent. You dont get a second chance.

Actually the damage is all permanent, just incremental. If you are lucky you go deaf. If you are unlucky you go deaf with permanent tinnitus accompaniment.

 

Pick the other door labelled earplugs.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had a good chat with the band and they all agreed about the volume issue. It was an issue before I joined and the previous bass player went out and bought the custom molded plugs. Its mostly pub gigs we do with the odd thing on a proper stage with sound guy and big PA.I have bought a set of KZ ZS10 pro IEM. On recomendation of all the info I have learned off this forum. At the very least I will have a nice set of phones for home use if it doesnt work out with the live thing. I will order a headphone amp,probs the Behringer. I think some of the band may have a go at some point but at the moment its just me. Which is fine as I am the one whos is moaning about sore ears. We have agreed to keep the volume at a decent level in future...Let's see how that goes. Will try them out in house first,then maybe practise. If it all works out I may pay a bit more for a decent set but looking forward to giving these a go.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Finally managed to try out the IEM setup at a gig on new years eve. I used the KZ ZS10 pro IEM,Behringer P2 wired to an Olympus DS 40 voice recorder. As you can imagine the voice recorder had it's limitations...ie not up to the job but it worked enough to let me see if it's a road I will go down!. The answer is yes...100%. I set up the voice recorder on my mike stand using a drinks holder..lol Anyway it did the job,I had a decent sound in ear and at one point I took one of the phones out to see the difference!...My god!!! Are we that loud! It showed how much the IEM with a decent memory foam bud does in blocking out the onstage sound!. I have now purchased the Zoom H1 N and a decent mini jack to XLR and clamp/holder. The next couple of gigs are on ice at the moment due to the restrictions in Scotland. I think the next outing in Feb is at Whistlebinkies in Edinburgh so will try and get the sound guy to hook me up to his monitor system. Failng that I will hook the setup and try it out. A couple of the band have expressed an interest in how it all works so fingers crossed that it may open the door for a way forward regards to the volume issue. As for packing the band in...it's Glasgow,there are very few decent bands with good folk in them. Too long in the tooth to start looking for something else now...there are plenty of bands but some very strange folk in them lol. But to finish..yes,no sore ears,I got a decent balance and it was very relaxed...oh and a very good gig! Happy New Year folk!!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Downunderwonder said:

Anyone else scared pantsless by the chances of blowing out hearing with one mistake via in ear speakers?

Our guitarist...He said the very same. The system normally would involve being hooked up to a mixer and being fed by the  aux ...Our singer owns the PA and likes to...how shall we say..mess about with the levels during the night. Another reason for me to stick with the Zoom field recorder and headphone amp....

Edited by theplumber
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 07/12/2021 at 04:54, Boodang said:

Back in the 80s, 90s & early 00s, I was either at ludicrously loud gigs or playing in a band and creating ludicrously loud gigs. Then, mid 00s work decided to do baseline hearing tests as we were using headphones regularly. At the test, went into the booth, after the 1st set of tests there was a long pause. At the end I asked what the pause was about and was told that the test result sheets only went down to -50dB and my hearing was in the -70 to 72dB range (just above referral for a hearing aid apparently), so they had to add a couple of lines to the bottom of the test sheets.

My hearing hasn't got better in the intervening years but what has changed is my physical tolerance for loud volumes and now it just hurts. 

Moral of the story, get IEMs and buy the drummer an electronic kit.

Currently listening to tinnitus in my left ear, caused by my Trace rig in the '80s and live events up until 2019. I can't even wear buds to listen to music now as the tinnitus got slightly worse. God knows how I'd fare if I was in a band today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/01/2022 at 23:49, Downunderwonder said:

Anyone else scared pantsless by the chances of blowing out hearing with one mistake via in ear speakers?

I am. Recently my tinnitus has mostly been fed and maintained by sound guys.

 

Recommendation to OP turn general volume down and use good ear plugs. I most pubs I have been to people (audience) also like being able to conversate. Not necessarily at a high intellectual level, but still ... If the audience cant hear you they will make you aware.

 

How well you can distinguish the different voices and instruments with plugs depends on the quality of ear plugs. Well fitted individual molded plugs with changeable filter works for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started wearing hearing aids when I was just 50 and have had tinnitus for longer.  I'm now 64.  There aren't many positives to this but one of them is my most recent hearing aids are volume controllable via an app on my phone so I still get a nice balanced ambient sound but at the volume I choose.   

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/01/2022 at 22:49, Downunderwonder said:

Anyone else scared pantsless by the chances of blowing out hearing with one mistake via in ear speakers?


I think some headphone amps will have peak limiters in them to guard against this sort of thing?  I seem to recall one of the Behringer ones does, but I can’t remember which one off the top of my head.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 06/12/2021 at 19:02, Lozz196 said:

ACS earplugs I think are the answer. My classic rock band is incredibly loud due to matching the drummers volume, yet thanks to my ACS plugs the band volume is like a loud stereo, and I can hear each instrument individually. Before the ACS plugs I had a couple of different makes and they took the edge off, nothing more. Probably the wisest £120 I’ve ever spent on musical gear.

 

 

This was our problem. A rock drummer who had a very loud kit. It made everyone else compete and the resulting cacophony was ear splitting at times. I found that as my ears became used to the volume certain frequencies would disappear and you would imagine that everyone else had turned up which was drowning you out. Even in a relatively small pub you need monitors. We had a superb PA which could do all of the work but because of the loud drums you had a loud backline.

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 06/12/2021 at 18:05, theplumber said:

I won't be walking away...but I will be buying myself a set of in ear monitors and headphone amp. I will give it a bash and they may follow. Its hard to get folk to break the habit. If they want to go deaf thats up to them....

Consider walking away. I was in one of these "but but but we HAVE to be loud" bands back in 2005. My right ear never stopped ringing since, yes you are reading that right, it's been 16 years. Does NOT worth it, believe me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/01/2022 at 22:49, Downunderwonder said:

Anyone else scared pantsless by the chances of blowing out hearing with one mistake via in ear speakers?

 

No, why should I be any more scared of doing this than say via headphones or earphones plugged into my hifi / computer /  phone / etc ?.

Edited by bassman7755
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, bassman7755 said:

 

No, why should I be any more scared of doing this than say via headphones or earphones plugged into my hifi / computer /  phone / etc ?.

Because they generally don’t have an incompetent in the chain that loves pushing things until they feedback.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another point re: the ACS plugs - since I started using them I've become incredibly unfussy about monitor mixes. All those reflections and nasty frequencies just seem to disappear, and vocally it's so easy to hear yourself.

Edited by wateroftyne
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Because they generally don’t have an incompetent in the chain that loves pushing things until they feedback.

 

But generally you arnt taking a direct feed from the main mixer to power your IEMs - there will some local preamp or mixer where you control the final volume. What I do is have a small mixer which I mix my local DI with a "rest of the band" signal from the FoH mixer, but even without that there will usually be some other volume control in the chain e.g the volume on the radio link if your going wireless.

Edited by bassman7755
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...