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Thread: The beauty of a well-controlled gig

  1. #1
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    The beauty of a well-controlled gig

    Went to see a personal favorite of mine lastnight, Tommy Castro, playing at Johnny D's in Sommerville, MA (just north of Boston). First of all, great player, great songs, great band, if you ever get the chance to see him, DO IT.

    Aside from the music though, the thing that really struck me about this gig was the volume. If you've ever been to Johnny D's (which I realize, probably most of you haven't), it's not a huge place. Definitely not a hole in the wall either, but any touring band could blow the roof off the place volume wise, no problem. But the thing about this gig was that they didn't, and man, was it refreshing. Tommy got up to play, and I noticed he was using a Mesa TA15 or TA30, not sure which, but it really wasn't turned up that loud, even for that size of amp. Same goes for the rest of the band, and the house PA. But their mix was just right to where everything fit together just right sonically - I could hear guitar solos, keys, bass, drums, vocals, and none of it was so frickin loud that it was annoying, as many shows tend to be. And the crowd loved the show, it was easy to listen to without getting a headache or feeling like you're going deaf!

    I have to say, unless I'm at a stadium or arena gig, I really don't care for stadium volume shows. Anyone else with me?
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    I'm with you... unless I'm playing.

  3. #3
    I'm with you. I'm an advocate of sensible volume levels to protect both the audience and the players' hearing.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  4. #4
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Huh?


    I'm the guy who's wearing ear plugs at every show. I don't sweat volume so much because of that, but what I really want is a clear mix. It's one thing to crank it up - it's another to crank it to the point that it's a muddy mess.

    The worst recent experience I had was Robben Ford, of all people. He was playing through a Dumble. This was at a taping for a radio show, so there was a good mix of bands. He was immediately preceded by Vintage Trouble, an excellent R&B/rock band. They were loud but clear. I was talking to the guitar player after and told him how good he sounded even though it wasn't his usual rig - he said he thought it sounded like crap, but I said you couldn't tell out front. Ford came on, and it was a bad sign that first thing, he walked to his amp and turned it all the way up. He was playing a jazzier set, and the amp just overpowered everything - you couldn't hear most of what came out of the PA because the amp overpowered it. This was not a big room, but it wasn't a small club either. The radio mix sounded very good, but in the room, not so much.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  5. #5
    Senior Member gush's Avatar
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    There is nothing more satisfying than a well executed gig. That is an issue that has plagued my band for a while now. My singer may be suffering from a bit of hearing loss. He has his amp much louder than he used to and requires 2 monitors to hear himself now. He also suffers from lack of natural timing so when his amp is louder the imperfections in his playing are much more pronounced. I hate it. I am glad we only have one more gig to go.

    I considered cancelling this last gig but I think we are going to turn it into a very big party. My singer and I are the only original members and in the 12 years we have been a band we have had 3 sound guys, 3 bass players and 4 drummers. We will invite all past members to come and play. It could be nice.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I'm with you... unless I'm playing.
    Love it!

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