1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

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

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

  1. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,073
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    meridianam altum centralis
    If you spend an afternoon dialing in a Twin in your living room, gradually you get used to it, crank it a bit more to smooth it out, get used to it, and might get to 5 or 6 on the volume. I've played with bands that practice as loud as a gig...in 1/4 to 1/10 the space...ear plug time.
     
  2. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    12,490
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    I have no interest in music experiences so loud they are painful or off putting.

    But a live band you can easily talk over? That’s not a band. That’s wallpaper.

    There is a happy medium.

    Also, if you are a dance band, at “talk” volume only those folks who dance at every opportunity do so. Need to be moving enough air as a band that folks feel it and drop their inhibitions.

    The “I can’t hear myself without 50w, 80w, 100w” statement is usually not an overall band volume issue IME. It’s usually someone who doesn’t know how to physically position an amp, how to set an amp, how to play in a mix, or is selfish about only playing a 50w amp cranked to breakup. Or who has never played in a band and is just repeating something they read.

    Now, I won’t play with less than a 40w amp these days. But it has a good MV. And is often only at 9 o’clock on the Master. But it has a full, punchy presence and I can turn up if the occasion dictates.
     
  3. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,572
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    North of Toronto
    Ha! We are a bunch of 50-somethings, trying to play Rock made by men in their prime. My broken-back drummer can only hit so hard. FWIW, my 15W tube amps have been more than loud enough to keep up with him. My point was more about how his restraining himself ends up in a lousy sound. We once got hired to do our thing, only to be told we had to turn down so people could 'talk'. With the artificial governor on him, it just didn't sound right. Plus, we couldn't figure out why they wanted us, given the playlist we gave them to look over. RATM and Soundgarden at talking levels? Ridiculous!!
     
  4. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,852
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I play in a 4 piece; two guitars, bass, drums. We don't play "loud". I have my DRRI to my side on an amp stand angle up a little, but NOT directly at my head.

    I play lead but I am not as loud as the rhythm player. It's funny that when you have hearing issues it is always your guitar that is not loud enough. Our main singer/rhythm player has those issues.

    I am going to use my Loudbox Mini as a vocal monitor at our next outdoor gig. I will use it as a floor monitor and run through to the main board. That way I will have total control over my monitor.
     
  5. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    713
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    Well, the venues should understand their limits too!
     
  6. modavis99

    modavis99 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    211
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I agree. The drummer sets the overall volume of the band
     
    Dr Improbable and Ronzo like this.
  7. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,215
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Location:
    Up around the bend
    Maybe they’re trying to outdo Dinosaur Jr’s absolute madness. This setup was brought to a club with a capacity of 400:


    6EC0B176-33B6-46BA-8D9F-A5C253F1CBD6.jpeg
    Even with serious plugs in I had to leave a few songs in.
     
  8. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Missoula, Montana
    You know what they say: if it's too loud, you're too old.
     
    Dr Improbable and Blue Bill like this.
  9. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,215
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Location:
    Up around the bend
    The anger keeps me young and dewy.
     
  10. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    991
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Location:
    the mountains of Virginia
    The drummer I play with listens to the overall sound and plays at an appropriate volume, as do the other players. This approach seems to work pretty well.
     
  11. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,029
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    True dat. I saw the Smithereens in a lounge at the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek, FL some years ago, and they were unbearably loud. Had to leave.

    I saw Ted Nugent at a medium-sized venue in Fort Lauderdale, Revolution Live, and even with hearing protection earplugs, it was ear-splitting. I know he carries the fake wall o’Marshalls for visual effect, but the 50 watt Marshall he actually plays through was way too loud for that room.
     
    teletail and Greggorios like this.
  12. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    1,616
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Location:
    East Midlands, UK
    Depends on how much I turn my hearing aid up. :D

    Forty years of riveting and aircraft engine noise doesn't seen to have affected my hearing too much (unless my partner starts complaining; then I can't hear anything). The odd thing is that I've never been able to tune a guitar accurately by ear.
    Motorhead almost shook my internal organs loose once. The beer in my glass on the floor had tidal waves.
     
  13. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    7,096
    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Croix, USVI
    When I ran the open mic/jam here it was a struggle to keep a decent volume for the players on stage. The core group was pretty good about it but had to be reminded occasionally

    The clowns that came in with 30+W amps had to be reminded over and over again to cool it. One in particular couldn’t and he was booted forever.

    When the bartender came up and he couldn’t hear drink orders that was the clue it was too loud. When I wasn’t on stage I could monitor and control the volume better

    Yes, some tunes require a bit more volume and I tried to keep those for later on in the evening.
    Hey Joe doesn’t need to be loud but Satisfaction does require some volume. It’s the nature of the beast

    If you drive the clientele off or orders can’t be taken and the venue suffers you are too loud
     
  14. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,962
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2021
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Depends on genre and on the venue. If I am paying to see a band in a live club atmosphere it better be loud enough that it is not a conversational environment.
    If I’m dining and there is live entertainment they should be cognizant of that context and play less loudly. Context is the key.
    If I’m the one performing I want to be on the gig volume side. Not Swans loud but “gig” volume. Because my amps sound better at gig level, and so do yours. And it’s rock. And if it’s too loud “I’m” too old. And kick and bass should hit you in the gut. And the crash should ring high. A straight up goofball once said rock and roll ain’t noise pollution.
     
  15. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    4,480
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    There are laws concerning DB levels in concert halls etc here , dont you have that in the US ??
    Most of the time its a good thing , but sometimes the people talking at the back of the venue can be heard over the music in quiet songs/passages......Think about it........almost worse than being too loud.....almost !
    A well known front man asked the people at the back who were apparantly there to talk , to please leave !
    They would get their money back at the door , if that was what it would take to make them leave !!
     
    MilwMark and Dr Improbable like this.
  16. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    410
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Isn't a lot of what musicians get hired for "wallpaper"? Not saying it's right, but that it's a reality.
     
    Dan German, SRHmusic and Marc Morfei like this.
  17. EllenGtrGrl

    EllenGtrGrl Tele-Holic

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    861
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Greenfield, WI
    True. Most of the rock bands I played in, when I was more active in the scene, played rock of the heavier variety (everything from 70s hard rock, to punk, to modern metal), and you don't want a Charlie Watts onstage for that kind of music.

    I will agree with what an earlier poster stated - drummers can get kind of sensitive, when you ask them not to hit very hard. I experienced this first hand. I wasn't the one who upset our drummer in the band I was in at the time, the sound man (whom, we'd hired, along with his PA system for the show) did, when he asked our drummer if he could not "hit so hard" (the sound man's favorite bands to do sound for were variety bands, where the drummer was very much in the background). The drummer got pretty bellicose, and almost reached the point when the sound man asked him again "why did he hit so hard?", of getting up from his drums and punching the sound man.

    I will say though, hard hitting drummers are what forced me to play louder at the time (1990-2000). A 30 watt, 1X12 combo amp was hard to hear. It didn't help at the time that the amp was on the floor, and too close to me, for the sound to really develop (I learned this lesson the hard way, when a 30 watt Marshall Artist head through a 2X12 setup I had [that sounded like crap, if you didn't turn it up], was killing our other guitarist volume-wise, who was on the other side of the stage, while it was hard for me to hear it). My last setup during this time period was a Peavey Classic 50 2X12 (yes, with the right amp settings, and pedal setup, you can do metal with a Classic 50), at waist height, off to my left side (to act sort of like a side splash monitor). It did the job, but even then, I still had the gain on the drive channel cranked, and the Master Volume on 7 or 8, just so I could hear myself, due to the drummer being so loud (he was a huge fan of Bonzo), and the feeds through the floor wedges often being inadequate (the hired sound men oftentimes didn't stay on top of things sound level-wise - especially come guitar solo time).

    To add to what another poster stated about loud PA levels - I also experienced this issue first hand one time. While we were pretty loud onstage, it often was quite a bit louder out in the bar, due to the PA. I didn't realize just how loud, until the cops showed up at a gig. that my band was playing at a bar that was alongside a river about a half mile wide. As I was told later on by our other guitarist after the gig (I didn't know that the incident had happened), homeowners on the other side of the river complained about the noise, prompting the cops to visit the bar while we were playing, with a sound meter. They measured a sound level of 120 dB Yeesh!! That's at the threshold of pain!, and quite a bit louder than even were at onstage! The sound man didn't realize this, because he had a set of headphones on as monitors, and for hearing protection. Needless to say, things were turned down a fair amount on the PA.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  18. Terero

    Terero TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    25
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2021
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    I used to be in a metal band where the drummer was so loud and ridiculous that we had to bring 100w amps with 4x12s to rehearsal. There were often bits of wood on the floor from his sticks at the end of the night. We were sensational live though...but I'm so glad I don't have to do that anymore.

    I gig regularly with a band that borders on the stoner/hard rock sound and I've played with 20w amps and been fine in small clubs. I usually take a 50w though to most shows and use whatever backline cabs are there, but it's never cranked too much.
     
    Dr Improbable likes this.
  19. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,349
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Location:
    Bucks Co. PA
    Loud enough for me to loose a significant amount of hearing. Some of the bands I played in in 60's and 70's were typically playing at volumes at the pain threshold.
     
  20. Urshurak776

    Urshurak776 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,078
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Location:
    Charlotte
    My sons like Metal Core, so being the good Dad I try to be, I take them to whatever shows they want to go to (the last year not withstanding.) Now, to fully appreciate what I am about to tell you, understand I have been going to concerts since the early 80's. Metal stuff like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer, etc.

    A couple of years ago, my son wanted to see Ice Nine Kills. The opening band was a North Carolina group called Spite. I have never, and I mean NEVER, heard a band so loud in my life. I was wearing good hearing protection and couldn't hear anything for two days after. So loud, my shirt was LITERALLY whipping in the wind and we were indoors. So may people there were not wearing hearing protection. No question in my mind some people left there with permanent hearing damage. It was absolutely unbelievably loud.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.