A Bonamassa rant(ish) on Stage Volume (hint he likes loud)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by warrent, May 17, 2019.

  1. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I think that's implied. I mean, what does work for "out of tune, limited ability or little talent"?
     
  2. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    that shouldnt even get to a stage in the first place
     
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  3. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

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    Two things in that article stand out to me:
    and
    I've walked out of clubs where the band was setting off car alarms or where the PA was so overdriven the vocals sounded like fuzz. And I've had a great time at shows where you couldn't have heard a gun shot over the band, but the venue was filled with enough human flesh to absorb all that energy. Volume is not one-size-fits-all.
     
  4. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    Your band and stage volume depends a lot on how much of a draw your band is. If

    you are packing the house and people are there to be a captive audience, you can play louder.

    If you are side entertainment playing to an audience that didn't come to see you, you need to keep it down.
     
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  5. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    Joe's statements are right on.
    But to someone who has:
    1) only played in their bedroom, never in a band
    2) never learned about dynamics, respect for the other bandmates and the audience, and giving a professional performance
    then, his comments might be difficult to understand.
    And especially if the person doesn't read his whole statement and UNDERSTAND it.
    Which is obviously happening here.
    And then there are the people who hate Joe because he is wealthy, successful and a great player. Envy can get ugly.
     
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  6. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's

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    Earplugs. I wear them now at movies too.
     
  7. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

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    It was Hendrix I saw who said something to the effect of, "Our volume is part of the experience we are offering the audience." Which is undeniably true, if not also the cause of some imploded ear drums of the late 60s. But I admire Joe B. and respect his expertise on this, especially his distaste for handing over volume control to the engineer. In the soundman's defense, he's got an entire system to balance, and stage amps screaming into a vocal mics is not his idea of a day at the beach. But I guess there's a give and take between what the artist needs on stage and what is technically feasible at the venue. I don't like it when the soundman insists what is a normal stage volume for me is too much for him; crap, I've done gigs where I could barely hear myself to make the sound guy happy. Not fun at all.
     
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  8. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

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    Way to go Joe... I'm with you. Amen!
     
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  9. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    JB has the luxury to be at a point in his career where he is playing in venues where it's not inappropriate to play through two cranked high-power tweed Twins AND two Dumble Overdrive Specials. He does use a plexiglass shield though.

    This might not work for people playing wineries and 75-cap bars...

    I get his point about sound crews wanting to control the dynamics. When I was a sound mixer dude I loved those rare nights where the artists were so aware of their own dynamics that I could just open the faders and stay the hell out of the way for the whole set, lean back and enjoy the show. They were rare.
     
  10. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I refuse to do it. Respectfully, of course. And most of the time when I talk to the sound engineers about it, they're willing to give me a little leeway. I end up doing gigs and running into the same engineers, and one of them has turned it into a running joke about how loud I am. But he gets it and gives me almost enough rope to hang myself. :)

    There's nothing worse to me than hearing more of your guitar through the stage monitors than through your own amp, especially when it ends up sounding like a boxy, tinny little crap amp. I've spent good money to make my guitar sound as good as I can make it, and I want to take advantage of optimal tone.

    Besides - I never hear keyboard players getting any grief about being too loud, and they're often as loud if not louder than the guitar!
     
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  11. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Tele-Meister

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    I saw Davy Knowles with Band Of Friends last fall in a tiny venue that held...maybe...a couple hundred(?) people. The room was small and the volume, well...not. I'm not kidding when I say my ears were ringing for over two weeks, in fact, I was sure at the time that I'd permanently screwed up my hearing, and I already have suffered hearing loss in my left ear.
    Frankly, there was no sane reason for the sound to be that loud. It would have sounded just as great (and it was!) kicked down 10dB
     
  12. jim777

    jim777 Tele-Meister

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    About 20 years ago i was in a 2 guitar band as the lead guitarist, and broke a string on a floyd'd guitar and stopped mid song. the other guitar player didn't notice (he was on the other side of the drums), but he was playing with his volume totally off lol. He was just strumming, pretending basically. I took my guitar off and walked over and took his :) He "played" acoustic for the rest of the set.
     
  13. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Let's just ignore the damage to hearing, which is of course the whole freaking point. The world offers all kinds of things that are thrilling and can kill you. As one who played and attended a trillion large high-volume concerts in the Pre-PA era (Hendrix, Cream, the Who, etc) I know the simple mechanical fact that a system that vibrates your guitar (player) and body (listener) yields a different experience from something the simply delivers the notes to your ears. So I invested in high-fidelity earplugs (not monitors) for my own playing, but when playing out now, to unprotected audiences, I do not commit physical assault by playing at a volume known to cause ear damage. Doing so is, IMO, wrong in a number of ways, from simple liability to moral compromise. You're hurting people. Don't.
     
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  14. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I just said to a buddy the other day who loves them, “I can’t imagine anything worse than having to go see the Doobie Brothers...”

    I stand corrected .

    Seeing them play “uncomfortably loud” would def be worse.
     
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  15. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hey, when I'm standing in front of my amp, it can definitely get too loud.

    Of course I'm not comparing it to Bonamassa's volume levels.

    The place we are playing is quite small, with a capacity of 117, including all staff and performers. To me, that's really small. And yet, they do have a sound person. I have no reason to lie about that.
     
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  16. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    Joe is right. The tone that is captured and coming through the front of the house in low stage volume settings is not pleasing. It just sounds sterile and produced. This is not the point of live music where audiences want to see soulful spontaneity.

    IEMs are a big part of the problem. I play in a band with IEMs. Each person gets their own personal mix. Thus everybody cranks themselves and the click/guide tracks, and they band interplay and chemistry suffers. All they can hear is themselves.

    Most live acts have Abelton "sweetener" tracks, click tracks, and band communication piping through their in-ears.
     
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  17. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I suffered through a "Battle of the loudest bands" outside Durham in the early '90's. Eight bands hit the stage that night and I couldn't decipher a single song that any of them played. They might as well just run a jack hammer on the stage instead of calling themselves musicians.

    I believe in the BB King attitude. King once said that he was just using his guitar to have a conversation with the audience so he would never play faster nor louder than he could talk.
     
  18. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

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    I don't understand why guitar players marginalize themselves to begin with.

    The If you aren't "good enough" you should just be quiet and in the background mentality is GARBAGE!

    If you feel you aren't "good enough" to be in the forefront and at an appropriate volume.... DO NOT get on the stage to begin with.

    I can understand where Bonamassa is coming from... and I don't think he is saying "be loud for the sake of being loud"

    Alot of crybabies in the world today... if a certain band or player is "excessively" loud, and you find the volume offensive or painful..... use ear protection or simply don't go to the show...

    The band have determined they need that volume to get their point across...its not for us to decide.

    It's like watching Picasso paint, and tell him NO, don't use that much green! It hurts my eyes....

    The no stage volume thing is absurd imo, no one needs studio levels of "polish" for a live show... we didn't come to here your CD while you panamime a show...

    People today would go to a monster truck show and complain about the volume and methanol fumes...

    Or to an NHRA event and complain about the same...

    It's a byproduct of a good time!

    Either go and enjoy or don't go and stop whining...

    "But what about our hearing?".... they sell the album in just about every media format known to mankind, buy it and listen at whatever volume you like.

    I for one want to feel the air move and have my ears ring the next day... usually means I had a good time.

    These are just my feelings on the matter...ymmv
     
  19. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

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    Yea... so in essence the band isn't even playing with one another... it's like the "social media" of music making... we can see each other and even communicate, but it's far from intimate or social...

    Trash.
     
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  20. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    So much of this I agree with, but remember that those sound restrictions are being set by the club owner and not from the audience. The club owner hired the band to bring people in to buy drinks and a lower volume sells more drinks...just the way it is now.
     
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