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Tim McCulloch:

--- Quote from: Robert Healey on March 01, 2024, 02:28:17 PM ---I came into the industry just at the analog/digital switchover but tracked over to the installed AV side where networking has changed everything so rapidly and the entire industry has been turned on its head. I mostly attend concerts at the lounge level but have started getting back in the trenches with a friend's bar band. I am seeing the following:

- Digital video. Crappy dive bars have LED or projection backdrops now and venues now need to support the band's video content.
- Cheap speakers sound so much better, I think this is due to CAD being used in design and FIR DSP being used in processing for the cheapest products. For instance, the EV ZLX12P would have been an inflation adjusted $350 in 2005 and blows anything from that time in that price range out of the water.
- The standards of mixing have increased significantly (for the most part, I just had the pleasure of listening to a redlined VRX rig with the lead vocal clipping all night). I think part of that is due to compact digital mixers - everywhere has an X32 now instead of a Mackie 1604 with a questionable ribbon cable and can do things that would have taken $20k worth of outboard.
- Wireless IEMs are being used at the lowest levels of production. Not quite everyone is using them, but I see lower-end/hobby bands with splits and IEM rigs.
- Most audience members are wearing earplugs now, especially younger ones.

--- End quote ---

I'm not seeing much in the way of venue-supplied display technology at the Lounge level, but like LED lights and cheaper moving fixtures, it will filter down.  Probably analogous to watching the start of digital mixers gaining ground at this level.

I credit digital mixers with giving me access to processing in places and quantities unthinkable before, and having some good guidance and examples in live mixing, eventually developed work flows that used those tools to improve my mixes.  Some folks are still working on it, and some folks simply have no reference for How Stuff's Supposed To Sound.ģ


--- Quote from: Brian Jojade on March 01, 2024, 02:51:25 PM ---That's one that I find quite interesting.  If most people now realize that it's just too freaking loud, you'd think that bands would want to mix quieter.

I try to do that on most shows, but some bands demand that I create earbleed levels.

--- End quote ---

Brian, I think part of it goes to how people consume audio most of the time:  some kind of ear bud, maybe a car system linked to their phone, and the mix is often "optimized" for the ear bud, so compressed to death, exaggerated bass and HF.  If that's how the live sound persons are getting their sonic references, we're screwed.

Jeff Lelko:
I too would have to say not only digital mixers, but digital snakes and I/O especially.  Gone are the days of hauling around the massive multiconductor analog snakes, hoping you have enough working channels on it where you need them.  Being able to route hundreds of audio channels to dozens of I/O devices placed where I actually need them - all over CAT or fiber - is truly incredible compared to how limiting things were just over a decade ago.

Regarding lighting, no longer needing dimmers and gels is what wins it for me.

Landon Lewsaw:
Yeah affordable small format digital boards for sure.  Not having to pick which 3 or 4 channels get compression changed my world.  Gates, parametric EQ, good effects.  Mixing on glass a close second.  Not worrying about finding a decent mix position and running that snake is awesome especially in the crappy spaces that weekend warriors usually ply our craft.

Mike Monte:

--- Quote from: Jeff Lelko on March 02, 2024, 02:13:21 AM ---
Regarding lighting, no longer needing dimmers and gels is what wins it for me.

--- End quote ---

Lights: Fifteen(?) years ago I found myself adding a "lights option" to my sound packages just to stay relevant; sixteen par 38 cans/dimmer packs/board/DMX cable, etc.
As time went on I swapped out the halogens to 150W dimmable LED's.  A few years ago I upgraded to LED fixtures and have been happy.

1.5 years ago I was doing sound/lights for a band gigging a wedding reception near Boston.
I called the bandleader seeking details about the gig and he told me that the groom teaches "theater tech" at a college in NYC and he wanted good lighting....
The reception was in a small tent.

I still had two dusty trees of par 38 cans hanging on the wall in storage.
I brought those along with some "bastard amber" gels.

The gig went well and the groom came up to me, shook my hand, thanking me for the "bastard amber" and he was happy that I went "old school".
My LED's have amber but they are not as warm-looking as the real(?) deal.
(Maybe I just have crappy LED's -lol.) 



 

Scott Helmke:

--- Quote from: Rick Powell on March 01, 2024, 08:50:21 PM ---I canít remember the last time a buzz or hum was so objectionable it required a ground lift or alternate power source.

--- End quote ---

Can't remember the last time I had to use an AC ground lift, except with crusty old gear (looking at you, Galaxy hot spot!).

Agreed very much, both gear design and building wiring have gotten a lot better over the years.

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