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Author Topic: Why Does Live Sound Suck?  (Read 46345 times)

Mike Maki

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Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2008, 10:07:58 am »

First you have to ask "Why do modern recording suck"?

Mike
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Duncan McLennan

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Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2008, 10:18:12 am »

Mike  Maki wrote on Wed, 26 March 2008 10:07

First you have to ask "Why do modern recording suck"?

Mike


Very good point.  Recording are so compressed, processed, and completely unrealistic that people seem to think they want to hear the same thing live.
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dcm
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Steve Devino

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Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2008, 10:22:12 am »

The sound will only be as good as the weakest link:
- In smaller venues if the monitor level is too loud and bass is not managed the house will fill with mud.
- In smaller venues if the stage volume of the guitar or bass or keynoard amp is too loud than some portion of the audience will not hear much else.
- If it is a kick drum concert then the vocalist is pretty much waisting his or her time.
- If the BE got his or her job because they were buddies with the band, the results may or may not be up to par.
- If the system engineer is not trained properly then best of luck to everyone else
- If the venue was designed to be as reflective as possible and 60% of the seats are beyond the CD then the sound will suck for all of them.
- The fact that several of the above reasons come into play at any given event causes most problems.

But the #1 thing needed to have good sound is:
- The band and/or promoter has to actually care about the sound and the ability to tell if is good or not. Without that getting good sound is more a matter of luck.


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Steve Devino

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Randy Gartner

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Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2008, 12:52:35 pm »

Yes, there are many reasons why a mix sucks.Especially in small venues.Bad accoustics,poor equipment, the bands too loud, the band sucks, the engineer sucks etc.BUT- when I am paying a $5.00 cover to hear a local band and the sound sucks that's one thing. But when I pay $50 to $150 to see a national act and they suck I get upset. Not always, but usually when a band gets to the national level they got there because they are good. They also tend to be using better gear for their sound.And,I would expect that the engineer would be the cream of the crop too. However,in many cases, I have found the engineer to be the weak link. Since I live near Reading,Pa I hear alot of concerts in the Soveriegn Center or Soveriegn Performing Arts Center.(I have also mixed in both venues.)So I get to hear different acts in the same room sometimes on the same day. I have heard some great sound like the Eagles with JD Brill. That was the best ever.I also saw Blake Shelton open for Rascal Flatts.I don't know who mixed Blake Shelton,but he sounded great. Whe Rascal Flatts came on, the mix went to shit.Their sound guy cranked it up and boosted the mids. When the singer came out onto the runway a mid frequecny feedback took over the room. Two acts, same room, same system, different engineers.One great,one disapointing.I realize that sound is subjective as to what you want the mix to sound like. And I will factor that into my opinion.So I'm won't call a mix stinky if it's not the same mix I would have had. But when the mix is a muddy mess or the kick is blowing you away but you can't hear the vocals, that's what I call bad. As to your question of why? I guess if more of us would walk out and demand our money back, maybe that would change things. If more of us would write to the bands management and complain, maybe things would change. But complaing on this website won't do anything except making us feel beter for venting.
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Duncan McLennan

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Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2008, 01:06:46 pm »

Steve Devino wrote on Wed, 26 March 2008 10:22

But the #1 thing needed to have good sound is:
- The band and/or promoter has to actually care about the sound and the ability to tell if is good or not. Without that getting good sound is more a matter of luck.





They have to CARE!  That's it!  That's the key!  If the engineer gives a damn, he'll spend the time to make sure it's done right.  If he's not totally up to snuff on some aspect of his training, he'll go learn!  All you have to do is CARE.
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dcm
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Mac Kerr

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« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2008, 01:18:28 pm »

jhuntington, please go to your profile and change your alias to your real full name as required by the posting rules clearly displayed at the top of the page.

Ordinarily I would just delete the post, but this thread as gone pretty far to completely delete. It will be unlocked when you have complied with the posting rules clearly shown at the top of each page.

Mac
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2008, 01:55:54 pm »

Randy-

I wish I could remember the name of Shelton's engineer... we supplied an analog FOH console for him at a festival last year.  He's an "analog only" guy....

The rig was KF760s over SB1000s.  I didn't care for the way most of the bands sounded and I can't say any of them sucked, but I thought Blake Shelton's set sounded significantly better.

For John H.... I've got a long-ass list of why gigs can sound bad and when I get the chance I'll write it up and post it.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
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Dick Rees

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Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2008, 02:21:38 pm »

I suspect that market forces apply.  Promoters (or whoever is responsible) will usually do the minimum required to get by.  I have performed for nearly 40 years both here and in Europe and Scandinavian and find that (as a general rule) audiences in the good ol' US of A are not as good listeners as the good folks overseas.

So.....at some point I feel you have to look at what the market demands.  I may be getting my feelings more from how artists are accepted, but this feeling is that the Euro/Scando audiences are more on top of the music, at least in being able to listen to a variety of things and appreciate the art in whatever form.  As such, I think the tech rises to the occasion.

So if the sound sucks, maybe it's because there is a general tendency to accept the suckage.  If the dollars at the door go away, I suspect the bad sound might follow.  
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Steve Devino

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Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2008, 03:06:19 pm »

Dick Rees wrote on Wed, 26 March 2008 14:21



So if the sound sucks, maybe it's because there is a general tendency to accept the suckage.  If the dollars at the door go away, I suspect the bad sound might follow.  


Exactly. If the people listening don't care how it sounds, then the promoter can get away with not caring. If the band does not care (or know how to tell) then the production team can get to be pretty bad before anyone notices enough to do anything about it.

This is true in all parts of the audio world as well as in any profession its not an audio exclusive problem.


Steve

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Steve Devino

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Iain_Macdonald

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Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2008, 03:12:26 pm »

John Huntingdon wrote on his site

So, while I write for the backstage side of the entertainment world, I'm going to use this blog as a way to work out some ideas (through blog entries) before I form them into a article which I will pitch somewhere. You can see the series of blog entries here. Feel free to post comments to the blog entries (rather than emailing me directly) so that once I approve the comment (I have to moderate the comments because of spammers) everyone can see it. I will credit anyone who makes a significant contribution, but I do need to keep copyright on everything I write here so that I can eventually pitch it to a larger audience.


Why does live sound suck? Because everybody in the industry is stupid!!

Why so? Well Mr Huntingdon thinks we are going to do research for his proposed article for free. Oh yes, and anybody who makes a significant contribution will receive a credit.

Iain.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Why Does Live Sound Suck?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2008, 03:12:26 pm »


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