ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 7   Go Down

Author Topic: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?  (Read 24365 times)

Loren Aguey

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
  • New York City

I witnessed the absolute worst I've ever seen last night. Normally I'd be more inclined to start a thread in praise of a BE who did a great job on a band that I know well. I started a thread on the old forums a few years ago giving praise to the BE of Killswitch Engage, for delivering the cleanest and close to perfect mix of a metal band I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Other honorable mentions: Thrice, one of my favorite bands, sounded absolutely phenomenal when I caught them at the Showbox in Seattle last year. And the BE was very friendly when I chatted with him after the show.

Band of horses also had what I thought to be a great mix at the Paramount in Seattle.

But last night...goddamn. We've all heard good and bad mixes before sure, but I've never heard a bigger hack job of an otherwise talented band in my life. If anyone's curious they're a popular metal band touring with In Flames right now. In Flames sounded great last night by the way.

Now this is a band who hired the likes of Colin Richardson, considered the top metal mixer/producer in the industry, to either mix or full on produce their last 3 albums. All have excellent production.

Last night, the most dominating part of the mix was the attack of the kick, which was overwhelming. Everything else was muffled and buried. It was as if the only thing the guy likes to hear high end on is the kick, and then goes way overboard. Vocals and guitars very muddy, no definition or clarity whatsoever. And no apparent overheads in the mix either that I could hear. I noticed in the last couple songs it got marginally better, but overall not what I consider to be even remotely acceptable for a band of that caliber. PA was a vertec rig.

I actually saw this band before when they opened for Dream Theater at the Moore in Seattle, and remember thinking the same thing about 'really muffled everything, but the kick'. But that was a last minuted venue change and I was up on the third level where there was zero adequate coverage so I let my critique slide because there weren't speakers pointing anywhere near the upper levels.
 
I have a little touring experience but more often I'm the house guy accommodating the BE. While I may not agree with everyone's mix, I find most BE's at least throw up a decent mix.

Those of you who work in larger venues with larger touring acts, or providers for national acts: how often is it that you see an A or B level touring act seemingly unaware that the person they're paying is destroying their attempt to attain a sound quality comparable to the albums they spent so much time/money on? Maybe it happens more than I'm aware of. I was just utterly baffled that a guy could do that bad of a job on a band that good.
Logged

Charlie Zureki

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1244
  • South Eastern Michigan (near Windsor)
Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 02:33:11 pm »

I witnessed the absolute worst I've ever seen last night. Normally I'd be more inclined to start a thread in praise of a BE who did a great job on a band that I know well. I started a thread on the old forums a few years ago giving praise to the BE of Killswitch Engage, for delivering the cleanest and close to perfect mix of a metal band I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Other honorable mentions: Thrice, one of my favorite bands, sounded absolutely phenomenal when I caught them at the Showbox in Seattle last year. And the BE was very friendly when I chatted with him after the show.

Band of horses also had what I thought to be a great mix at the Paramount in Seattle.

But last night...goddamn. We've all heard good and bad mixes before sure, but I've never heard a bigger hack job of an otherwise talented band in my life. If anyone's curious they're a popular metal band touring with In Flames right now. In Flames sounded great last night by the way.

Now this is a band who hired the likes of Colin Richardson, considered the top metal mixer/producer in the industry, to either mix or full on produce their last 3 albums. All have excellent production.

Last night, the most dominating part of the mix was the attack of the kick, which was overwhelming. Everything else was muffled and buried. It was as if the only thing the guy likes to hear high end on is the kick, and then goes way overboard. Vocals and guitars very muddy, no definition or clarity whatsoever. And no apparent overheads in the mix either that I could hear. I noticed in the last couple songs it got marginally better, but overall not what I consider to be even remotely acceptable for a band of that caliber. PA was a vertec rig.

I actually saw this band before when they opened for Dream Theater at the Moore in Seattle, and remember thinking the same thing about 'really muffled everything, but the kick'. But that was a last minuted venue change and I was up on the third level where there was zero adequate coverage so I let my critique slide because there weren't speakers pointing anywhere near the upper levels.
 
I have a little touring experience but more often I'm the house guy accommodating the BE. While I may not agree with everyone's mix, I find most BE's at least throw up a decent mix.

Those of you who work in larger venues with larger touring acts, or providers for national acts: how often is it that you see an A or B level touring act seemingly unaware that the person they're paying is destroying their attempt to attain a sound quality comparable to the albums they spent so much time/money on? Maybe it happens more than I'm aware of. I was just utterly baffled that a guy could do that bad of a job on a band that good.

 

   Should've posted this in the basement.
 
  Hammer
Logged
Do it the right way....don't be a Dino!

Loren Aguey

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
  • New York City
Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 02:35:27 pm »

 

   Should've posted this in the basement.
 
  Hammer

Okay, mods if you feel this way please move it. It was meant to be a discussion on the caliber of touring engineers for national level acts.
Logged

g'bye, Dick Rees

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7424
  • Duluth
Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 02:37:27 pm »

Okay, mods if you feel this way please move it. It was meant to be a discussion on the caliber of touring engineers for national level acts.

Everybody has an off night now and again.
Logged
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

Mike Christy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 688
  • Southern Maine
Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 02:51:06 pm »

I witnessed the absolute worst I've ever seen last night. Normally I'd be more inclined to start a thread in praise of a BE who did a great job on a band that I know well. I started a thread on the old forums a few years ago giving praise to the BE of Killswitch Engage, for delivering the cleanest and close to perfect mix of a metal band I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Other honorable mentions: Thrice, one of my favorite bands, sounded absolutely phenomenal when I caught them at the Showbox in Seattle last year. And the BE was very friendly when I chatted with him after the show.

Band of horses also had what I thought to be a great mix at the Paramount in Seattle.

But last night...goddamn. We've all heard good and bad mixes before sure, but I've never heard a bigger hack job of an otherwise talented band in my life. If anyone's curious they're a popular metal band touring with In Flames right now. In Flames sounded great last night by the way.

Now this is a band who hired the likes of Colin Richardson, considered the top metal mixer/producer in the industry, to either mix or full on produce their last 3 albums. All have excellent production.

Last night, the most dominating part of the mix was the attack of the kick, which was overwhelming. Everything else was muffled and buried. It was as if the only thing the guy likes to hear high end on is the kick, and then goes way overboard. Vocals and guitars very muddy, no definition or clarity whatsoever. And no apparent overheads in the mix either that I could hear. I noticed in the last couple songs it got marginally better, but overall not what I consider to be even remotely acceptable for a band of that caliber. PA was a vertec rig.

I actually saw this band before when they opened for Dream Theater at the Moore in Seattle, and remember thinking the same thing about 'really muffled everything, but the kick'. But that was a last minuted venue change and I was up on the third level where there was zero adequate coverage so I let my critique slide because there weren't speakers pointing anywhere near the upper levels.
 
I have a little touring experience but more often I'm the house guy accommodating the BE. While I may not agree with everyone's mix, I find most BE's at least throw up a decent mix.

Those of you who work in larger venues with larger touring acts, or providers for national acts: how often is it that you see an A or B level touring act seemingly unaware that the person they're paying is destroying their attempt to attain a sound quality comparable to the albums they spent so much time/money on? Maybe it happens more than I'm aware of. I was just utterly baffled that a guy could do that bad of a job on a band that good.

Ive complained here about this before, I hear it more than 50% of the time at the Hampton Casino, I wonder if the band actually knows how bad they sound out front.

Last time (for an A level) it was wtf man, seriously? wtf. I know it wasn't the system, Royal Bliss (on a Presonus 24) and Rev Theory ( on a PM5D ) sounded great, the pilot on the Venue .... had one of those "off" nights... I guess....
Logged

Ivan Beaver

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8926
  • Atlanta GA
Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 03:16:27 pm »

Years ago I supplied some support gear for a fairly famous band (who most people at least know the name for a famous "incident" but shall remain nameless) at a club with an installed system.

During sound check the house guy and myself were talking about have great it sounded and it was going to be a great show.  It really did sound good.  Better than I expected from the existing system.

So they finish up and take a dinner break.  The Opening act (duo acoustic) was traveling with the band and the same guy mixed both acts. 

But after they got back from dinner (and some drinks and smokes), the sound guy started to "readjust" everything on the console.  This was well BEFORE the band took the stage.

Anyway the band came on-and the hosue guy and myself looked at each other and said "What the %&@$ happened?"

That great sound we heard that afternoon was completely gone and and the band just sounded like a decent bar band.  All the Magic was gone.

I guess the BE started "thinking" about the mix-then got messed up and it was all over.  Oh well.
Logged
A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Jay Barracato

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2025
  • Solomons, MD
Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 04:51:18 pm »

I witnessed the absolute worst I've ever seen last night. Normally I'd be more inclined to start a thread in praise of a BE who did a great job on a band that I know well. I started a thread on the old forums a few years ago giving praise to the BE of Killswitch Engage, for delivering the cleanest and close to perfect mix of a metal band I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Other honorable mentions: Thrice, one of my favorite bands, sounded absolutely phenomenal when I caught them at the Showbox in Seattle last year. And the BE was very friendly when I chatted with him after the show.

Band of horses also had what I thought to be a great mix at the Paramount in Seattle.

But last night...goddamn. We've all heard good and bad mixes before sure, but I've never heard a bigger hack job of an otherwise talented band in my life. If anyone's curious they're a popular metal band touring with In Flames right now. In Flames sounded great last night by the way.

Now this is a band who hired the likes of Colin Richardson, considered the top metal mixer/producer in the industry, to either mix or full on produce their last 3 albums. All have excellent production.

Last night, the most dominating part of the mix was the attack of the kick, which was overwhelming. Everything else was muffled and buried. It was as if the only thing the guy likes to hear high end on is the kick, and then goes way overboard. Vocals and guitars very muddy, no definition or clarity whatsoever. And no apparent overheads in the mix either that I could hear. I noticed in the last couple songs it got marginally better, but overall not what I consider to be even remotely acceptable for a band of that caliber. PA was a vertec rig.

I actually saw this band before when they opened for Dream Theater at the Moore in Seattle, and remember thinking the same thing about 'really muffled everything, but the kick'. But that was a last minuted venue change and I was up on the third level where there was zero adequate coverage so I let my critique slide because there weren't speakers pointing anywhere near the upper levels.
 
I have a little touring experience but more often I'm the house guy accommodating the BE. While I may not agree with everyone's mix, I find most BE's at least throw up a decent mix.

Those of you who work in larger venues with larger touring acts, or providers for national acts: how often is it that you see an A or B level touring act seemingly unaware that the person they're paying is destroying their attempt to attain a sound quality comparable to the albums they spent so much time/money on? Maybe it happens more than I'm aware of. I was just utterly baffled that a guy could do that bad of a job on a band that good.

My first thought is "did you move around?" Maybe you were just stuck in a problem spot. I have had any number of shows where I only got a cursory listen to some of the spots in the venue, and I was really relying on the system provider for even coverage. It always seems that there was some spot that some compromise was made that I didn't realize or know about. A common outdoor festival one always seems to be the brightness of the front fills when the wind is blowing away most of the highs in the mains.

The second thought is what are the characterisitc of the venue? We have a local tent that gets many of the big shows going through in the summer and vocal clarity there just sucks, regardless of what you do at FOH.

Finally, the one that seems to bite me is "How tired were the BE's ears". Consectutive shows put a big strain on the hearing, and I don't always recover well, and honestly I find road hum (actually moving down the highway) just as tiring on my ears.

Not excepting "the bad day" theory, I think BE's get blamed for many things they can't change or control.
Logged
Jay Barracato

brian maddox

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2371
  • HeyYahWon! ttsss! ttsss!
Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 05:06:55 pm »

i spent about 10 years babysitting FOH for a local/regional that did a lot of A and B level acts.  you know the drill.  mix the opener you've never heard of in the few spare channels left on the desk.  then sit back and make sure the BE doesn't blow up the gear.  at least 50 percent of the time i was very underwhelmed by the BE's mix.  half of that [25 percent of the time] i was truly appalled...

that being said, being on the road is hard.  and ears do get tired.  but i do recall an awful lot of nights cringing at how bad my rig was being made to sound.  after a few years i got used to it though....
Logged
"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
bdmaudio@gmail.com

'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Loren Aguey

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
  • New York City
Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 05:20:38 pm »

My first thought is "did you move around?" Maybe you were just stuck in a problem spot. I have had any number of shows where I only got a cursory listen to some of the spots in the venue, and I was really relying on the system provider for even coverage. It always seems that there was some spot that some compromise was made that I didn't realize or know about. A common outdoor festival one always seems to be the brightness of the front fills when the wind is blowing away most of the highs in the mains.

The second thought is what are the characterisitc of the venue? We have a local tent that gets many of the big shows going through in the summer and vocal clarity there just sucks, regardless of what you do at FOH.

Finally, the one that seems to bite me is "How tired were the BE's ears". Consectutive shows put a big strain on the hearing, and I don't always recover well, and honestly I find road hum (actually moving down the highway) just as tiring on my ears.

Not excepting "the bad day" theory, I think BE's get blamed for many things they can't change or control.

Not sure if you're familiar with the Best Buy Theater in NYC, but I'd say the coverage throughout the venue is pretty good. I started the set on the upper level where FOH is, then made my way to the floor and found what I heard to be pretty consistent as I walked down to the sweet spot of the floor. The exception being when I walked directly in front of the house right Vertec hang, obviously its a bit brighter.

You have valid points that absolutely need to be considered in lots of situations. However I don't think they are the root cause of the glaring differences in frequency balance I heard from each bands mix last night.

As earlier stated, In Flames came on right after and it sounded great. Once again I could hear intelligible, yet for the most part not overbearing, mids and highs. And the kick was no longer dominating the whole mix. The opener of the night suffered from the opposite problem of the band I referred to in my OP, vocals that were tearing your head off. So in one night I heard opposite ends of the spectrum of how engineers tailor their mid and high frequencies of a mix, while having listened in the same spot of the venue for at least a portion of each set. Of the 4 bands, the second band sounded okay, 3rd band (who I came to see) sounded atrocious, and In Flames closed out the night with a great mix and killer light show to boot.

Granted this was my first time in this particular venue, but all things considered from what I heard I think in this case the BE is to blame.
Logged

Rasmus Rosenberg

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 55
Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 05:27:09 pm »

i spent about 10 years babysitting FOH for a local/regional that did a lot of A and B level acts.  you know the drill.  mix the opener you've never heard of in the few spare channels left on the desk.  then sit back and make sure the BE doesn't blow up the gear.  at least 50 percent of the time i was very underwhelmed by the BE's mix.  half of that [25 percent of the time] i was truly appalled...

that being said, being on the road is hard.  and ears do get tired.  but i do recall an awful lot of nights cringing at how bad my rig was being made to sound.  after a few years i got used to it though....

From soon 15 years of being a systemtech/baby sitting, from shitty clubs to international festivals/tours. I would say 80 percent don't know how to mix 20 pct do, sad but true. Then add that about 80 pct of PA systems and venues could be a lot better equipt/ optimized/installed etc. When that's said, touring is very hard and your ears get's trashed so fast if your not careful, and even the best of us still have off days.
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: How often do you see national level BE's absolutely ruin a bands sound?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 05:27:09 pm »


Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 7   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.04 seconds with 22 queries.