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How loud is too loud?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Arafel, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    How loud is too loud?

    For me - on stage (the Lefty Guy at the left, with hat) :

    [​IMG]

    1 - when I can't follow the rhythm, because it is covered by loudness and usually delayed by adverse stage resonances.

    2 - when I am dizzy from the excessive noise level due to the PA conducted by lousy/smoky/beery soundmens.

    3 - when I have problems to hear myself playing while I'm already playing loud by necessity.

    4 - when I can't hear the main tune and tune changes of the played song.

    When this occurs, I stop playing, thinking that it's preferable to mute than controlling nothing and being out of the played tune.

    When our conductor see me on stand-by, he understands that his personal feeling about something is already going wrong in the global loudness and balance is real, and must be corrected.

    Chris on Little Percussions, Sergio on Bass, and myself on Guitars are our conductor's "alerts launchers"... :D;)

    [​IMG]

    -tbln.
     
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  2. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Are you ok raising your voice to order? ​

    The hard part is at what volume do you perceive yourself needing plugs.

    There is middle ground for sure. Anything much over “wallpaper band” and I just wear plugs. Some
    folks mow the lawn without plugs but at that volume level indoors I wear them.
     
  3. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    When it wakes the baby it is too loud .
     
  4. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    Seems there are a number of “loads” being discussed here...
    My 2c:

    When playing for yourself at home then any volume that does not cause the neighbours or the wife distress is fine - just watch out for your hearing.

    When playing out there are two things to think about: stage volume / mix and front of house volume.

    On stage, with modern PAs, in ear monitoring and modelling there in no reason for high volume. Plenty get away with no amps on stage though personally I would not like that as there is interaction between the amp and the guitar that requires at least some volume. But it should be kept down as much as possible to allow the sound engineer to get the best overall mix. If you are playing out you are playing to entertain and should be looking to give they best experience you can which isn’t going to be me playing a Twin at full chat in a coffee bar...

    Front of house volume is going to vary, but to me it should be a little above normal conversation level, otherwise you might as well put on a jukebox. And remember conversation level from one table of four people is going to be different from conversation level in a packed bar just before closing time. There is a sound level where a band starts to sound good and energy levels rise and whether the H&S guys like it or not it’s not 85dB...
     
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  5. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Holic

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    WHAT?!
     
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  6. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I am indeed ok with raising my voice to order. Not yelling, but there's a middle range there.

    One of my best friends is just like you - wears plugs almost as a default. I really don't like to wear them, but I'll do it once or twice a year in order to attend shows I know will be too loud.

    I get the big sound/volume connection, and how it particularly suits some kinds of music. My compromise is that I tend to attend shows of that type outdoors, where I have a lot of control over what volume hits my ears just by moving around.
     
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  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    For me it’s kind of practical/self-defense. I play in 3 bands. Lots hitting the old ears even when bands are under control with volume. So I just wear them.

    If people want to see wallpaper bands or play wallpaper shows, that’s fine. We play shows where venues and patrons are there for the music. That means you have to raise your voice or wait for breaks to converse. And you have to raise your voice to order. Not scream at the top of your lungs.


    At the same time, I often just hang in the green room or go outside during other bands because they are painfully loud even with plugs and I won’t subject myself to that.

    Middle ground I guess.
     
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  8. Rocky058

    Rocky058 Tele-Afflicted

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    If the Airport calls to complain about the noise - it's too loud .
     
  9. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Middle ground indeed. I know of only one venue nearby where a person can count on finding what I consider to be that middle ground. The music is the focal point, but it's not a self-sacrifice. You raise your voice to order, but you don't shout into the bartender's ear twice in order to get the wrong beer brand and just live with it.

    If I was into live performance as a player (and I really, really, really am not - though I am glad that others are), I might have to frame things differently.
     
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  10. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    some venues only think they want live music. they really want the chuck e. cheese band.
     
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  11. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    which is louder than the actual bands they about. As is their own bumper music.
     
  12. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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  13. dcm0

    dcm0 TDPRI Member

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    There is cultural relativism at play here for sure. In the 90s, a band of mine played a coffee shop in Memphis with a 4000w pa for vocals and drums, 1000w SVT w/ a fridge can for bass, and I had a Twin and a Super, both silverface, both fined, on opposite sides of the stage area.
    ,
    These days, when I play my Vox AC4 at home, I use the attenuator switch to drop it to 1w.
     
  14. Doctor Fauxcaster

    Doctor Fauxcaster TDPRI Member

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    If any present or past member of Slayer or Motorhead tell you - whoa turn it down!
     
  15. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    It does make for a happier singer. That is certain. They don't tend to like us playing over there fine vocals. Live and learn. I did.
     
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  16. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    IMO, too loud for just the guitar.

    Try C Weighted slow setting for something more accurate for music.

    My side of the stage runs at about 90 - 95db... But that's not just my guitar, that's everything on the stage and/or through my monitor! Most of the time the FOH is running around 104db at our shows... at the console.
     
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  17. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Humble opinion time here:
    When the Guitar is so loud that it bleeds through the Drum and Vocal Mics, you are too loud.
     
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  18. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    If I get a text from our musical director and engineer at the same time saying;

    your amp is too loud.

    which is, like, once a month.
     
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  19. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    If the bartenders can't hear drink orders, you're too loud. First and foremost, bars make money on drinks and food, not on bands. This can be overall volume, or the idiot in your band who is deaf and cranks his Hot Rod Deluxe that's closest to the bar...
     
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  20. Bella

    Bella Tele-Meister

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    I'm trying to imagine "was never really that loud" and standing in front of 2 dimed HiWatt CP103s hit with crash chords.

    I love Pete. Really. But I think it was probably a combination of stage and studio monitoring.

    I saw an interview with him and Roger from about a year ago where Pete was saying that in the early days they cranked everything so loud to drown out hecklers and whatnot, and to kind of force the audience to experience the performance and not much else.
     
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