"Folks played loud back then, ...

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8962
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

"Folks played loud back then, ...

Post by vvv » Tue May 17, 2011 12:00 pm

... PA's were not as mature." - Jim Williams, here.

Brilliant point, that. I recall right up into the early 90's that 50w. or more was really kinda necessary in the club scene. When the Pro, Jr. was marketed then, it was so cool, but kinda useless except for practice, and even then ...

It was weird to play a small club with a good P.A. and they wanted you to turn down so the soundguy had control. Used to put a leather jacket over the speaker to get the powertube distortion.

Of course, I played mostly small punk clubs, but still ...

Another change, of course, is that digital effects are better (remember 12 bit?) and smaller and run cooler. (I actually don't use 'em any more but did rack a DOD 128+ and a cuppla Alesis 'verb things in the late 80's.)

But jeeze I miss crankin' a Marshall or a Twin or even a SVT - not that I really gig anymore.

Anyone want to add to this nostalgia trip? :twisted:
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

Bro Shark
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 653
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: SF

Post by Bro Shark » Tue May 17, 2011 1:11 pm

Nah. For those of us who play loud and know what we're doing, turning down is total bullshit.

User avatar
Snarl 12/8
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3395
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:01 pm
Location: Right Cheer
Contact:

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Tue May 17, 2011 3:56 pm

Bro Shark wrote:Nah. For those of us who play loud and know what we're doing, turning down is total bullshit.
FTW!!!
Carl Keil

Almost forgot: Please steal my drum tracks. and more.

User avatar
fossiltooth
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:03 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Post by fossiltooth » Tue May 17, 2011 4:15 pm

Loud, big stacks are awesome live when the venue is a good size for it and the band kicks ass! At a smaller club, a decent-sized combo is usually a better bet. And when it comes to guitar recording, I get excited about how small amps come back through the speakers more often than big ones. It all depends.

There's a time and place for everything: If you're headlining at a giant venue, break out the big guns- I want to feel your guitar! Of course, if the capacity is >200 you're probably shooting yourself in the foot by going with the 1.21 jigawatt guitar rig.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8962
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Post by vvv » Tue May 17, 2011 4:17 pm

Responding to Bro Shark:

There's a reason the Marshall 900 series came out, and that is that the FET gave a decent distortion without peeling paint.

And I didn't say "great", I said "decent".

Even my Jubilee is OK at lower volume on the 25w. or 50w. setting, but there's no way I could ever have used a non-master volume on more than, say, 1 out of 10 gigs back in the 90's, and only half of those gigs would have let me.

I love Twins, but seriously, if I can't run 1-3:00 it ain't worth carrying one, much less maintaining it.

Now, you wanna start with pedals and shite, aiight, you can "know what yer doin'" and make it sound aiight, but not as good as the amp properly turned up, IMNSHO.

Sorry if I have 'tude about my toobs, but there ya go - that N'Awlins guy quotes the infinity-symbol guy about "everything sounds better just b/4 it blows up" - I'm only sorry he got to that quote b/4 me. :twisted:

Note to fossiltooth: I became a born-again believer when I saw J. Mascis at Chicago's Metro with 2 or mebbe three full stacks going (I don't think all 4 were on at once :wink: ). I saw many bands around that time (early-mid 90's), including, say, the Smashing Pumpkins, Jane's, RHCP's (all Marshall users) with multiple half-stacks. For me, Mascis' sound was only equaled by Rick Rizzo's Twin with a Tubedriver in front. Oh, and the guy in The Sidewinders (Rich Hopkins) had a lead sound to die for. Of course, other than Rizzo and Mascis, they all used digi-racks.

Oh, and I do recall whoever in Motorhead in the mid-80's with huge full-stacks inna 1K seat club - but that was so loud it wasn't, somehow, really sound, if ya know what I mean. Actually, Lemmy fell face first offa the stage (I mighta been the bartender that night) and it sounded the same. :roll:
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
roygbiv
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:02 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: "Folks played loud back then, ...

Post by roygbiv » Tue May 17, 2011 5:43 pm

vvv wrote:.... But jeeze I miss crankin' a .... Twin ...
ouch, just reading that set off a wave of ghost-pains in my ears from my misspent youth.

So although I'm with you on the loud amp crankin', I don't really miss the sound of a cranked Twin. Cranked Marshall or Bassman maybe, but not a Twin. Too freaking loud (especially those 70's Twins with the master volume and spiky JBL speakers).

I did used to crank a Fender 75 with an 12EVL speaker, that thing could (and did) get extremely loud. What was that?

However, in my opinion, the worst part about loud stage volume? the drummers had to really pound to keep up - thus, if you ventured back and leaned closer to your amp (so as to better hear your manly wailings), you could catch a cymbal crash right in the ear. zounds.
"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

Burnt Ernie
pushin' record
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:38 pm
Location: minneapolis

Post by Burnt Ernie » Wed May 18, 2011 6:06 am

+1 on nixxin the Twin. Yeah,the features are nice,but unless it's going into a closed back cabinet,the eyeball-poking too-clean blare just plain hurts.
Weird-My old Shoiwman into a closed back 2 x 12 -amazing
my 68 Twin into same cab(same amp,but with reverb)-real good.
Same Twin through its stock utahs-ouch.

Now put a Fender guitar into one,and watch the bats fall from the sky.
Tube Driver will get you close,and shave off some pain,but I'll still always take the sideways facing 68 plexi 50 watt at the volume I WANT,over the
2 1/2 watt 1 x 6" combo the FOH guy demands I use. It's funny-I mixed FOH for a pretty popular band from 87-2004,who were always too loud on stage,and it was a struggle sometimes,but the tones were cool,and the volume focused your attention on the show,and you saved the idle conversation for after the show. Most shows I hear now are mixed so politely American Idol/Singer is the star/wussy,I just end up hearing a bunch of Hipster blather through everything. maybe thats made texting
and chatting through the whole-fucking-show so prevalent,and desirable.

It always used to crack me up when I'd be mixing a show,the band was rokkin,and some one standing in front of the Pa stacks at a sold out First Avenue show walked up me to tell me it was too loud. I would ask where they were standing,they would point to one side of the stack,and their date would wave. I would then tell them not to stand there. These people would drown during a rainstorm from staring up at the sky.
I am the Walnut

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2673
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Post by kslight » Wed May 18, 2011 8:35 am

I think zen and knowing what you're doing would be knowing what is going to work for your band and the venue. Blazing amps are cool but I'm sorry yourshpw will sound like ass it if your singer doesnt have the pipes to keep up, or your drummer the power...or the stage is too small.

User avatar
JGriffin
zen recordist
Posts: 6739
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:44 pm
Location: criticizing globally, offending locally
Contact:

Post by JGriffin » Wed May 18, 2011 10:15 am

Bro Shark wrote:Nah. For those of us who play loud and know what we're doing, turning down is total bullshit.
I'm sure you've got your rig under control, but I think there are fewer guitar players who "play loud and know what they're doing" than there are guitar players who play loud and think they know what they're doing. Y'know, 85% of drivers think they're above-average and all that.

I was playing a show a few weeks back, and this guy came in with a Fender Concert amp, set it downstage center and dimed it. Plugged a strat in and started to wail. Completely oblivious. Painfully loud. Screechy. Absolute dogshit. Emptied out the bar. I have a feeling that guy would also describe himself as "plays loud and knows what he's doing."
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

Bro Shark
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 653
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: SF

Post by Bro Shark » Wed May 18, 2011 10:31 am

I've been playing out for 10 years. Every time a soundguy asked us to turn down, he was wrong, and the tone and overall sound onstage suffered for it. We don't play loud to play loud. We don't blast for volume's sake only. We play loud because that's what works for the music. We play loud to keep an even balance with the drummer's acoustic volume. What next, he needs to not hit as hard? Because your little room can't take it?

No.

I play metal, folks. We don't trade in our 800s for combos when we go to a small room. You're living in some engineer geek fantasy. "But.. but.. I know this because I did the math!" Please. I live in the real world. Also, the 900 sounds like ass/AIDS no matter what you do with it.

Thank you and good night.

Bro Shark
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 653
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: SF

Post by Bro Shark » Wed May 18, 2011 11:07 am

Also, I'm totally fucking around. Please don't take me all "serious". Although, it's mostly true.

8)

User avatar
roygbiv
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:02 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Post by roygbiv » Wed May 18, 2011 11:07 am

Bro Shark wrote:I've been playing out for 10 years. Every time a soundguy asked us to turn down, he was wrong, and the tone and overall sound onstage suffered for it. We don't play loud to play loud. We don't blast for volume's sake only. We play loud because that's what works for the music. We play loud to keep an even balance with the drummer's acoustic volume. What next, he needs to not hit as hard? Because your little room can't take it?

No.

I play metal, folks. We don't trade in our 800s for combos when we go to a small room. You're living in some engineer geek fantasy. "But.. but.. I know this because I did the math!" Please. I live in the real world. Also, the 900 sounds like ass/AIDS no matter what you do with it.

Thank you and good night.
dude, I got to agree with dwlb's point above and disagree with most of what you said above.

Not trying to start a flame war, and no offense Bro, but give yourself another decade or so before you claim total knowledge based on "playing out for 10 years" (for the record, I've been playing out for almost 35 years, and I'm still learning stuff about everything.

Usually, the sound man IS right, or at least is trying to be right. How do you know your sound suffered out in the audience when he asked you to turn down? Maybe it was better, and only sounded worse on stage. That's why you want to have a combo you can use in a small room, so you CAN crank it up and get the tone you want/need on stage, and let the sound man make the decisions for out front.

And regarding your question of " Because your little room can't take it?"

YES, that is exactly why.

EDIT: Shit - you got me Bro, I totally fell for it and took the bait.


:oops:

As an (often too loud) guitar player, I do empathize size with the overall desire/need to get the tone you want/need. However, one thing that seems to correlate with a really good, professional musician is his/her ability to control stage volume, and use the appropriate volume for the appropriate venue.
Last edited by roygbiv on Wed May 18, 2011 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

Bro Shark
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 653
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: SF

Post by Bro Shark » Wed May 18, 2011 11:12 am

In Europe the clubs had these "decibel restrictions" It caused us so many fucking headaches. I'm like, "why do you book heavy bands then?"

In America we rarely have those kind of problems, because ... I don't know why.

Show me one good/established/gigging/professional metal band that plays through combos. One.

Also, I'm totally having fun with this. I'm not all "rarr, you guys are assholes!" I think it's hilarious. It reminds me of some funny shit that went down. Especially in Europe, with self-proclaimed "sound guys" (i.e., guy who owns a PA system and knows fuck-all about sound/music)

Good times.

User avatar
roygbiv
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:02 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Post by roygbiv » Wed May 18, 2011 11:15 am

fair enough - I agree, there is a big difference between an actual sound guy at a venue, and some "self proclaimed sound guy" who basically is just the guy who owns the PA or has the best weed in town.
"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

User avatar
JGriffin
zen recordist
Posts: 6739
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:44 pm
Location: criticizing globally, offending locally
Contact:

Post by JGriffin » Wed May 18, 2011 11:17 am

Bro Shark wrote:I've been playing out for 10 years. Every time a soundguy asked us to turn down, he was wrong, and the tone and overall sound onstage suffered for it. We don't play loud to play loud. We don't blast for volume's sake only. We play loud because that's what works for the music. We play loud to keep an even balance with the drummer's acoustic volume. What next, he needs to not hit as hard? Because your little room can't take it?

No.

I play metal, folks. We don't trade in our 800s for combos when we go to a small room. You're living in some engineer geek fantasy. "But.. but.. I know this because I did the math!" Please. I live in the real world. Also, the 900 sounds like ass/AIDS no matter what you do with it.

Thank you and good night.


As I believe I implied above, I'm sure your situation is different. As you're in a metal band, the expectations are specific to the style of music you play. There's really no need to be defensive. Your audience is there to hear a loud show. That's swell. There are other situations, and other types of music, and other venues, where that kind of volume is inappropriate, and guitar players tend to be the worst offenders as far as keeping their volume in balance with the other instruments, the PA and the space.

I've been playing out for 25 years. I work with house sound guys to get a good sound in the room that the audience will enjoy, while maintaining a good sound onstage that the musicians can work with. I scale my gear to the venue. I get more sound guys telling me I can turn up than asking me to turn down. But I also do not play metal.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Scodiddly and 4 guests