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How loud do some bands play??? Am I old???

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Dr Improbable, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    In the 90's I played dozens of gigs in small bars with amps ranging from 15 to 30 (tube) watts. I would play a small to medium sized tavern with a Blues Jr. On bigger stages we'd be going through the P.A.

    Yet when I look for information on amps, all the time I see players saying they can't hear themselves onstage, with amps of 30 to 100 watts! Seriously? WTH? How loud does a band need to be?

    In my opinion, when live music returns (if it EVER comes back like it was), folks will be very "volume shy".

    All I've ever played live is Blues, Country, and some Oldies/Classic Rock. Am I just an out of touch old geezer???
     
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  2. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

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    You might be an out of touch old geezer, but it doesn't change the fact that many, if not most, bands DO play too loud. The reason these nincompoops can't hear themselves is that their cabinets are usually right behind them, pointed at their ankles. When I started putting my combo on a chair angled up at me years ago, I was able to reduce my volume considerably.

    When I was in Memphis a couple of years ago I went to B.B. King's several times. Each time I could talk over the band without screaming. It was the perfect volume; I could hear everything clearly, but I didn't leave with my ears ringing. A couple of places had bands so loud we never even went in the club, even though they were pretty good.
     
  3. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    Have you heard the car two blocks away with the bass cranked all the way up? Their windows are up to enjoy the AC and the full flesh shaking experience. That's the onset of mid-life deafness coming on...but, can't tell them anything anymore than our parents could tell us.

    ((My Dad said he could roll over and go to sleep when he heard my car turn off the two lane highway headed for home...2 miles away...in '74.))
     
  4. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I have a milk crate I carry cords and stuff in, I usually put my amp on that.

    That volume you mentioned? Where you could still talk? That's what I'm shooting for.
     
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  5. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I appreciate that this is only one factor, but in my experience, the drummer's snare dictates the stage volume level. With a cab properly angled to be audible to the player, anything more is just excessive and starts the volume wars.
     
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  6. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    That said, I walked out of the last (much anticipated) live performance I attended bc the volume was set to death experiencex2...and I was wearing earplugs:eek:.
     
  7. summer_69

    summer_69 Tele-Meister

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    Many guitar players cant hear themselves (but all other in the room can) because they put their amp on the floor and stand next to it so they can reach the control. Rising the amp on a stand, inclining it towards the ear of the guitar player helps. A lot actually. In a live/gig situation I think that many sound technicians are hearing impaired so they don't know how loud it all gets. Same thing with most DJs.

    I felt the same way 40 years ago.
     
  8. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    It depends on the genre but a lot of rock (or harder) bands use 4x12 cabs. Those are super beamy, especially if you're right on top of it like in a small club.

    I think a lot of it is simply image or stupid decision making, but there's a bit of physics involved.
     
  9. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Agreed that a 4x12 is a small bar is ridiculous. For me, a 1x12 is usually perfect, and a 2x12 can do the rest. We mic everything.
     
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  10. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I agree. It astounds me that so many drummers are, not just clueless, but ornery about being asked to back down from full thrash. Jeepers. :confused:
     
  11. duzie

    duzie Tele-Holic

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    So Uli steps up to the mic and says
    I hope you brought hearing protection. To get our sound we need to play loud :eek:
    A35F76A2-395C-4D9E-8433-AFBBB18B50E8.jpeg
     
  12. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The drummer in our band is a big guy who hits medium-hard, and 15 watts is plenty for me. Never had an issue. Yet on guitar boards like this guys consistently say they can’t leave the house with less than 40 watts. And they really prefer a Twin Reverb so they don’t run out of headroom. Depends on the venue, but most places are small, and people want to be able to talk.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  13. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    When I toured years ago, we had a hard hitting drummer and played modern rock music. This was with another guitarist and a bassist, too.

    There were plenty of times I had a 50 watt amp and would run out of headroom very quickly, but most of the places we played nobody miked their amps.

    I don’t know how it is these days, but yeah, the majority of places my band played were like that, so you needed some volume. I haven’t gigged outside of a few church gigs in years. I miked 15 watt amps or went direct to PA in those situations. I’d love for it to be that way, much easier to load a pedal board rig than a half stack.
     
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  14. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    It all depends. My cover band likes to play The Who, AC/DC, Led Zep, Black Sabbath, et. al. That music was made with loud drumming as a key component. My (excellent) drummer doesn't try to outdo these skinmen, but he sounds much better when he isn't trying to restrain himself.
     
  15. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Afflicted

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    There was a local club where the PA volume was absolutely brutal. I couldn’t stand to stay there for entire shows.

    It’s funny, after I quit drinking, the noise always annoys me more. I guess you really don’t care about it as much when you get drunk.
     
  16. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's all lower volume stuff for me anymore when it comes to gigs.

    But our bands know how to R&R and enjoy it too,
    thanks to having great drummers, some old-fart experience/ maturity and great sounding gear to make it happen.

    It's just the places we play and the old music we play-
    The wineries, brewpubs, cafes we play want live music, but they want their patrons to be able to talk to each other. And they want familiar music- we can deliver on this, yet jam a bit too.

    Now if we play a town Festival, or special event, there is usually Pro Sound provided and then we can crank.

    I know this is a different environment from say Rock clubs, or big bars ( those, I played a long time ago) and there may be many who don't, and don't want to play these kind of gigs.

    But anymore, it's less gear, much less volume, earlier hours, more $$!

    (I'm using Blues Jr. ( big amp!), but mostly a Frontman 25R, or Pathfinder 15R- perfect small amps for me)
     
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  17. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yep, I agree with that too. I'm in a loud cover band also. I'm just sayin', you can't play those songs at low volume, if the drummer is pedal to the metal.
     
  18. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been to shows in small venues where the volume was so high that I feared the contents of my bowels being vibrated loose. I've been to shows so loud that my ears rang for a solid 12 hours afterwards even with earplugs. This is a pretty common thing with doom metal bands. I think a lot of them try to emulate nuclear wind.
     
  19. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

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    A good drummer can play full out at a reasonable volume. There’s no excuse for a guitar player not being able to get a good tone at a reasonable volume either. It’s all part of being a professional. The hacks are just making excuses. If they ever turned down, they’d hear how sloppy the are.
     
  20. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    This is true, but I think there are limits! My JTM45 with a 4x12" on 7 will give my drummer friend a real workout, but would easily get smashed by a 1987 or a JCM800, which I've seen plenty of punk rockers drag into a 100-capacity room and dime. "It's rock and roll, man!"
     
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