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Brian Jojade:
Digital mixers hands down made the greatest impact on smaller shows.  The racks of gear that they replaced is immesurable.

Lighter weight power amps are nice, but in the scheme of things, it's just a slightly lighter road case.  Had I had proper road cases and ramps back when I was young and stupid, it wouldn't have mattered.

LED lights are hard to say.  Yeah, they need less power, but lots of light shows I see today are over the top vomit.  It's hard to say that's actually an improvement.

Robert Healey:
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.

Brian Jojade:

--- Quote from: Robert Healey on March 01, 2024, 02:28:17 PM ---- Most audience members are wearing earplugs now, especially younger ones.

--- End quote ---

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.

James Paul:
Significant reduction of hum & buzz gremlins related to A.C. mains ground, a benefit of digital control and connectivity, in addition to the above.

Rick Powell:

--- Quote from: James Paul on March 01, 2024, 06:43:58 PM ---Significant reduction of hum & buzz gremlins related to A.C. mains ground, a benefit of digital control and connectivity, in addition to the above.

--- End quote ---

I canít remember the last time a buzz or hum was so objectionable it required a ground lift or alternate power source.

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