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Author Topic:  "Tone" change when band starts playing
Glenn Demichele


From:
(20mi N of) Chicago Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 21 Dec 2017 10:01 pm    
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I'm happily married, but she actually gave me a kiss on the cheek when I said we MIGHT play a Tom Petty song...
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 22 Dec 2017 1:39 am    
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define loud !

Loud according to who ?

We are starting to sound like the "you only need a 15 watt amp " crowd on the guitar forums .

"Loud" is subjective, we play to the room . More often than not, PA mains , wedges etc, offer a false sense of stage volume. People in the front of the room are subjected to way more "SOUND" than people in the back of the room. I played a dance gig for the last 3 years, one Fri/month, sometimes people dancing in front of the band would say " the band is too loud" what they were talking about was the vocal mics, mains and monitors,not the Instruments. The people in the back of the room never complained ! Room is longer than it is wider.

Define loud...

Often we would play as a DUO in the small bars, now and then the Barkeep would say you guys are a tad loud, so we would turn the single PA speaker sideways towards the wall. We didn't change anything other than the projection of the sound. 5 min later the Barkeep says..."perfect"

Many years back, I was playing a Steel show at Saluda, SC, I was using my Nashville 400, to me, not loud, just at stage volume with the band. A guy sitting in the front row, literally right in front of my amp started complaining that I was too loud. I was going to say something but didn't have to, the people next to him told him to shut up and go sit in the back.

Loud is subjective. There is no way to reference relative stage volume by talking on the internet .

A year or so back our band played some sort of a tribute show, when I rolled my gear in which included my 71 Twin reverb, a guy says immediately, you are going to be too loud. I just said, really ? The amp isn't even on yet.

Then of course when the show started, the sound guy had the sound levels at ridiculous hi volume, even the players with small amps came across like they had Plexi stacks. But nobody cared, the crowd loved it.


One thing we do know and it is very common, If we are playing something like a dance gig, and ONE person out of 150 complains to the sponsor , we can lose the gig. Even if his hearing aid is set too loud. The band is always wrong, or TOO LOUD .

This is absolute truth, at one of our gigs we were told to turn down, as the people in the very front were complaining. So we did, the mics , the band , everything. Then at the break the sponsor does a raffle, she uses the PA. Well she started talking and nobody could hear her from the middle of the room back, she turned around and said, people can't hear me talk. The leader told her , yes I know, you told us to turn it down .


So , I ask again, define loud.
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 22 Dec 2017 7:43 am    
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Tony Prior wrote:
define loud !
Everything above about 86DB SPL at listening position, is loud, using the definition that SPL above that for extended time (half an hour or so) can lead to permanent hearing deterioration. What that means for on-stage / PA levels depend on distance, acoustic conditions in the venue, and also on on-stage dynamics...

Some bands play with minimal overall dynamics - less than 10DB, which means the SPL is more or less constantly high. Some bands play with more dynamics - maybe as much as 20DB, which means the listener can tolerate the same mean SPL for longer without deteriorating effects.
For comparison: classic orchestras often play whole pieces with a dynamic of 30 to 60DB, which means they can peak quite considerable above 86DB SPL at listeners' positions without causing any damage.


Given the fact that any normal speaker outputs somewhere around 92 to 96DB SPL at 3 feet distance when fed an effect of only 1Watt, the deteriorating effects of too loud on seasoned musicians' hearing should need no further qualification.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 22 Dec 2017 4:27 pm    
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ok, restated, define loud in the real world , like on a dance gig, where seasoned musicians are not playing too loud , but one person in the room thinks they are, and complains.

OR, playing at a pub and a table of people want to talk and they complain that the the band is too loud because they are there to sit and talk . They don't want to hear any music other than whats on the TV.

These people are not carrying around a DB meter in their pockets. Laughing

PS, I know very well the DB dynamics, but in many situations, the DB dynamics have nothing to do with
whats deemed as too loud vs NOT too loud.

One person standing directly in front of a MAINS speaker will obviously say the speaker is too loud , but if that same person stepped back 10 feet and went sideways 5 feet he may say he can't hear the singing !

Of course a happy balance is required. Thats what seasoned musicians do. Thats what experienced musicians do, find the balance.

I'm not arguing, I'm just asking .
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 22 Dec 2017 6:55 pm    
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Tony Prior wrote:
These people are not carrying around a DB meter in their pockets. Laughing
Exactly Very Happy ... and there are no other common ways to define "loud".

There is at least one definition of "loud" for each and every person in any venue, and we'll have a hard time finding much common ground as to why some think the music is too loud and others think it isn't loud enough. Most present probably have temporary or permanently reduced/impaired hearing anyway, which doesn't simplify the matter.

We can also bring some cultural differences into the mix, as it is for instance common for producers that make noisy equipment - air conditioners and vacuum cleaners for instance - to send the more noisy models to the US and the less noisy to Scandinavia. Some cultures simply tolerate more noise and louder audio levels than others.
Transpose this to music on stage, and draw your own conclusions.

I stand by my definition, that everything above 86DB SPL for any length of time is too loud, regardless of what anyone may think or say. Damage to people's hearing doesn't depend on opinions.
Anything below that is open for individual interpretations and/or opinions.
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2017 4:06 pm    
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"everything" 86 db" is a relatively meaningless categorization.

An SPL number as a "standalone" may be used by some agencies, clubs or or whatever as a guideline maximum, but by itself it doesn't mean much.

Frequencies are very important, and even though we're talking about "music" here there are still variables involved as far as the effect on hearing. High frequencies are generally more damaging, as are continuous levels of sound in a relatively narrow band.
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2017 7:06 pm    
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Jim Sliff wrote:
High frequencies are generally more damaging, as are continuous levels of sound in a relatively narrow band.
True. A weighed measurement along our hearing's frequency-sensitivity around those levels, would be more accurate. Not sure how much of a practical difference a few DB will make to people who are exposed to damaging levels though, as – has been mentioned – not many carry instruments to accurately measure the exposure or keep track of average levels over time.
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