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 When did sound guys forget how to mix???

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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:17 am

We went to Winterjam 2017 in Nashville Friday night.  We saw:

OBB
Britt Nicole
Thousand Foot Krutch
Tenth Avenue North
Newsong
Colton Dixon
Crowder

....And a couple of other artists who I don't remember without looking at the website.

The problem with the music is that it was mixed so bass drum and bass heavy that the music stopped having definition.  The vocals were almost drowned out by the volume of those two instruments.  The bass drum was so loud that it felt like someone slapping my breast bone with every kick.  Some bands the sound was better.  TFK was so muddy that, if I were not a fan and knew their songs, I wouldn't have had any idea what they were playing.

Has live music always been this bad or did the sound guys forget how to mix?  The only band that I thought was mixed perfect was Crowder who was headlining this year.  The best part of his is when they grabbed banjos, mandolins, and an upright bass while gathered around a single mic like back in golden radio days.  It blended perfectly and had a lot of emotion.

Am I just getting to old and it's too loud, or does live music mixing just suck?

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:56 am

I saw Welshly Arms, Mat Kearney and NEEDTOBREATHE back in December. NEEDTOBREATHE sounded great, the vocals were clear, the instruments were mixed well. But the other two bands had the issue you're talking about.
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Xid

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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:09 am

Some people who run sound have no clue what they are doing.  Mixing live music is tough but people keep bringing what they can't hear up rather than bringing what's too loud down.

I saw Scorpions at the Gorge in '99.  Their sound was incredible.
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BearDad



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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:32 am

alldatndensum wrote:

Am I just getting to old and it's too loud, or does live music mixing just suck?

Yes and yes. Smile

I have never been a huge fan of concerts because I never feel like the sound is as good on the record, especially if you are too close. In fact, the best shows I've been to are the ones where I was 50 to 100 yards away, and even some of those were too heavy on the bottom end.

One problem is the bass is what the sheeple want; just listen to some bonehead driving by with his music cranked ... the bass is often so loud the car rattles in time with the beat. This seems to be especially true for pop and modern rock bands, but as you witnessed even some harder bands like TFK are guilty of it, and the last Red show I went to was similarly disappointing.

My daughters went to 21 Pilots recently, and my youngest tried to show me videos she took on her phone ... I could not make out any words! It was just a mass of sound with a general hint of melody and rhythm. In contrast, within the past year I have seen Journey, Styx, the Doobie Brothers (all classic rock), and Tesla, Def Leppard, and Megadeth (all heavy metal), and the only one that I would say had a muddy sound was Def Leppard. All the rest were pretty well mixed.

But like I said, yes you are getting old. If you are like me then you are more discerning about what you listen to and more interested in quality than quantity, even if when you were younger you thought you were listening for quality.
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:10 pm

All the live shows I've attended in the last few years have sounded muddy, but since I have to wear hearing protection every time I guess it's to be expected.

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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:49 pm

Maybe they are just going for that "we're playing in your church using your church's sound guy" sound.
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:22 pm

messiaen77 wrote:
Maybe they are just going for that "we're playing in your church using your church's sound guy" sound.



Since when do we even have a sound guy?  Where have they been hiding him? lol!

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rockerVu2

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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:58 am

I've been to Empire21 and their sound live was very good.
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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:08 pm

My wife got me a present to see the Passion concert that toured last year and sprang for floor seats (near the back of the floor right in front of the sound booth as it turned out). It sounded so terrible there was no way I could worship. I kept looking back wondering how the sound techs could think this was reasonable. I finally moved to as far away as I could in the arena (nosebleeds) to make it more bearable.

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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:18 am

The sound techs these days wear ear monitors.  If it sounds good to them in their ear pieces, they feel their job is done.  They have forgotten the 10,000 or more folks that are there that have to endure their noise and shoddy work.

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:18 am

I forgot about Brad Paisley. We saw him last August with Maddie & Tae and Tyler Farr. Maddie & Tae had mic issues - I couldn't understand a word they said, and Tyler Farr had monitor issues... or he can't sing that well.

But as soon as Tyler was done, the sound guys moved and Brad's sound guys took over - and Brad sounded great.
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:31 am

I kept looking over my shoulders to watch the sound guys at Winterjam.  They used the same guys all the way through.

You would think that after several nights with the different artists that they would have dialed everything in.  Britt Nicole and Crowder were the only two bands that you could really hear any definition to their sound and clearly understand the lyrics.  As I said, had I not been a fan of TFK already and knew their material, I would not known one song from another as it was so bad.

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Driven

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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:59 pm

A friend and I have done sound before for church here and there. I have the ears, he has the fingers. I tell him what sounds off (and he can hear it as well), and he knows the adjustments to make. Many consoles nowadays are far from simple.
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deathisgain

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PostSubject: Re: When did sound guys forget how to mix???   Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:47 pm

Live sound mixing is finicky: Sometimes the sound is run by the facility. Even tho they may be familiar with the facility, the different bands throw them for a loop. I've seen a LOT of sound guys that have barely any sound experience. Especially live sound, which can be much different to mix. Some sound guys dial it in before the crowd gets there, and then it's crap when the place is full. Placement of the sound booth can make a big difference as well, as the sound changes where you are sitting. Which means it could sound bad to you, and be bad, but great where they are, or vice versa. Some sound guys now have apps on their tablets, so they can move around the club and get a good feel all over.

Lately I wear ear plugs, so the sound isn't as good, but it saves me from too loud of places. The last time I saw Theocracy, the sound was pretty good. A year before that at the same club, and you couldn't tell if it was a blender hooked up to a microphone, which is a shame for a band like Theocracy.

My biggest complaint is when you are in a small club and the sound guy has the dials at 11. Your ears are ringing and the sound is like a black metal record, just pure noise.
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