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Author Topic: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?  (Read 3991 times)

Pat Semeraro

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Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« on: December 23, 2017, 02:37:20 pm »

This posts is really in 2 parts - first to experts, and second to non-experts who are asking legitimate questions.

To the experts:  Like me, your probably roll your eyes at some of the questions asked, and can easily predict the outcomes of bad advice that is shared.  (That solution will blow up in 10 minutes, that configuration is guaranteed to sound terrible, etc.)

My question to you is this: is there a practical way that we can use our knowledge to help the folks that truly want to improve their rigs, want to sound better and want to learn?  We know that many DJs are a lost cause but the ones asking questions here should be considered a step above the "usual" DJ.

Maybe a sticky that answers common questions or moderating in a way that deletes obviously wrong answers to questions, etc.  We must be able to do something??

To the DJs:  If experts here had a way to provide useful and correct answers to your questions, that didnt always start with an insult, what would that look like?  Better (vs snarky) answers to your questions?  Stickys that explain different things? 

To everyone:  we can all agree that we want to give audiences the best experience possible.  When I was in the AV business we would support DJs for their larger events.  Many of them had never played through a 4-way touring grade rig.  (EAW KF650z/528z UX8800 processed) and it was a real eye opener.  They had never experienced the "feel" of audio at that level during their performance.  (everyone has been to concerts but its different when its their show) 

Every single time, during sound check they would wind up the system a bit and while standing in the dance-floor tell me "its not very loud" or something similar and realize that screaming at the top of their lungs was inaudible...  for many it was the first time they experienced clean and loud at the same time.  We would walk back and forth and discuss coverage, how it was focused and even on the dance floor but dropped off about 10dB as soon as you stepped off.  They were relieved to hear that no attention was required by them regarding levels other than what they wanted to do artistically.  The system would invisibly limit itself and keep them out of trouble.

After nearly every show the DJ would mention that they didn't know particular tracks had a super low drop note or warble tones or something interesting they had never heard thru their own rigs or in the local clubs. 

We as experts cant fault a DJ for not knowing what to listen for if they don't know what to listen for.  Many DJs with bad habits of "running everything in the red" would after using our systems, actually back down after a bit because the rig put so much raw energy into the audience.  Powered speakers with screeching 1" horns are sometimes the result of the DJ just trying to put raw energy into the audience and not having the tools to do it.  Not knowing what real horsepower "feels" like in their hands from a touring grade rig, they just don't know what to ask for or how to move their own systems closer in that direction.   They're looking for energy and power but are stuck with "loud" from screeching 1" horns on powered speakers.  Maybe the rep at the local music store told them their new powered speakers would "rock 1000 people no problem" or any other combination of bad/wrong advice.  Learning the difference between "big" and "loud" changes everything for them.

It was particularly gratifying one time when the DJ said "I can feel the snare drum in my chest yet we can still have a normal conversation.  How is that possible?"   That's how progress begins.  Experts here know damn well that no powered speaker on a stick can do that, regardless of what the brochure says.  Physics dont allow it.

I've also seen (too many times) on corporate shows where the audio op puts the DJ at medium volume, on a 4/1 comp or even 10/1... and walks away for dinner.  Everything sounds terrible, there's no headroom for the DJ's mic, its just bad.  Is that really the image we want to project as a profession just because the DJs attitude was bad or maybe we don't care for their music style?  We're not without sins either even though I see a lot of stones being thrown.

Those are my thoughts, and I hope we can all help each other to do and be better.

Cheers,
Pat Semeraro
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 04:52:50 pm by Pat Semeraro »
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William Schnake

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Re: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2017, 07:35:48 pm »

Those are my thoughts, and I hope we can all help each other to do and be better.

Cheers,
Pat Semeraro

Pat, I am not a DJ, nor do I aspire to be one.   What you wrote doesn't just apply to the DJ world, but to all of the pro sound world.  We all need to work harder to help the ones coming up that need advice just like someone helped us.  This is well written and I for one fully agree with what you have written and thank you for taking the time to write it.

Just so you know we do provide equipment for DJ's and Artist from time to time.  Most recently we provided sound for Ginuwine and several other Artist.  We used part of our EAW 850 system.  It sounded great and everyone was respectful and easy to work with.

Thank you again for your post.

Bill
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Pat Semeraro

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Re: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2017, 08:54:58 pm »

Thanks Bill for the kind words and hope 2018 is a great year for your company!
Pat

Pat, I am not a DJ, nor do I aspire to be one.   What you wrote doesn't just apply to the DJ world, but to all of the pro sound world.  We all need to work harder to help the ones coming up that need advice just like someone helped us.  This is well written and I for one fully agree with what you have written and thank you for taking the time to write it.

Just so you know we do provide equipment for DJ's and Artist from time to time.  Most recently we provided sound for Ginuwine and several other Artist.  We used part of our EAW 850 system.  It sounded great and everyone was respectful and easy to work with.

Thank you again for your post.

Bill
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2017, 07:14:18 am »

You bring up some good points and, for the most part, I see  good reponses are given to well thought out questions from those who donít come in with a chip on the shoulder.
One tip is to keep questions, and comments, as brief and concise as possible so we are not reading a short story to get to the point ;)
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2017, 11:17:40 am »

The value of a professional sound forum is the access to actual "sound professionals". Since these are typically busy people, whose time is valuable they generally do not suffer fools.

The problem with free advice is that you get exactly what you pay for, which can be a rich find here if the professionals are positively engaged, less so if not.

JR
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2017, 02:05:39 pm »

The value of a professional sound forum is the access to actual "sound professionals". Since these are typically busy people, whose time is valuable they generally do not suffer fools.

The problem with free advice is that you get exactly what you pay for, which can be a rich find here if the professionals are positively engaged, less so if not.

JR
One of the things I like about this forum, is that if you are wrong, you WILL be corrected.

That keeps everything "real" and professional.

It is much less of a "feel good", and more of real information.
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William Schnake

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Re: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2017, 08:12:35 pm »

One of the things I like about this forum, is that if you are wrong, you WILL be corrected.

That keeps everything "real" and professional.
Ivan, I agree with you that keeping it "real" is a true benefit of this website.  My only comment, which I have made in the LAB more than once over the past 4 or 5 years, is we all have value and that we should treat each other with respect.  I have been guilty of speaking what is on my mind without a filter as many others have.  I just asked that we be respectful with each other regardless if we agree with each other or not.

Merry Christmas.

Bill
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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2017, 08:28:03 pm »

Like me, your probably roll your eyes at some of the questions asked... I hope we can all help each other to do and be better.

Great topic!

What is a DJ?  For me, starting around 1978, it's playing music that really affects people. I've always run it up and down by learning to read the crowd and presenting what get's 'em going.  That hasn't changed in what will very soon be 40 years of doing it.  I flip my equipment about every 5 years, while it still has some resale value.

I agree, the snarkiness with no useful purpose has got to go.  However, I believe it is a very important part of 'humouring' the point home.  If you are overly sensitive about hearing the truth, then you should look elsewhere for advice.  It doesn't and it shouldn't ever get 'sugar-coated'.  Every time you crank up over 95 dBs it becomes very real and has responsibilities (Wow - What a word!). This is even more true when you have an audience, whether they are paying or not.

I have always been small potatoes and am not a 'beat-mix-backtrack-clubbin'DJ (that's why I stay out of that forum). However, I have been always been committed to the delivery of quality sounds for just plain people.

...about forming questions.  What is the equipment? - What is the problem? - What are you willing to sacarifice (spelled Ego + $$$) to get it right?  Many times it 'don't cost one thin dime'.

-Dennis

« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 09:17:41 pm by Dennis Wiggins »
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2017, 09:24:51 pm »

One of the things I like about this forum, is that if you are wrong, you WILL be corrected.

That keeps everything "real" and professional.

It is much less of a "feel good", and more of real information.
Exactly - I have friends and family that make me feel Good about myself - this forum is where I learn and occasionally get to share something Iíve learned.  To all, Donít come here for validation and you wonít be disappointed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Calling All Experts - Can We Be More Helpful and Less Snarky?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2017, 11:43:12 pm »

As one of the more acerbic members here... uh... I never thought I'd say this but "grow a pair" if it regards whatever the question or comment was.

You needn't put up with personal insults or professional disparagement but your emotions, intellect and experience *will* be challenged, perhaps not all at once or for the same reasons, but it's gonna happen no matter how politely we tip-toe around the horse shit manure.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut
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