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Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe #2989817 05/16/19 09:09 AM
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skipclone 1 Offline OP
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I`ll just post this. Maybe I`ll say something later.
https://guitar.com/features/opinion-anal...JSeUGcA5n1qzNks


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Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: skipclone 1] #2989829 05/16/19 12:04 PM
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I agree with Joe. Having a guitar player of his caliber on stage and engineers telling him how he is going to play in front of the audience is not the way to go. He should be in charge of his guitar and amp equipment to include his vocal mic. You do have to rely on the sound guys but you are the star and have to play a major role in keeping it that way. I don't like the idea of IEM's either...

Live sound is live sound. The engineers should be able to mic your amp and bring your sound out to the audience the way you want it done. You have to make some concessions with stage volume and the size of the venue that you are playing at. There are ways to have some say and control. Joe Bonnamassa knows what he wants, the same as Clapton, Beck, [insert star]. It's up to the sound man to deliver and give the audience their sound as best he or she can. The smaller the star, the less they will get to say...but they should not have to play softer than the horns (which is why they invented the electric guitar in the first place, so they could be heard on stage) paraphrasing.

I have watched Chris Isaak walk around the far reaches of the audience with a live mic performing a song or two while listening to what they are hearing to make sure there is not a bad seat in the house. I have watched Tommy Emmanuel have his own final mixer and controls on stage while traveling with [his] own sound man for the FOH. Bringing your guitar and your vocals to the audience, is why you were booked in the first place. I like to hear what the audience hears when setting my own little PA and having good monitors makes a huge difference in how I sing and play. If I can't hear myself, I will not be able to play and sing as well. I have to rely on the sound guys (unless that is me), as I'm just a piss ant in the cosmos compared to the stars LOL! cool

Last edited by Larryz; 05/16/19 12:08 PM.

Take care, Larryz
Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: skipclone 1] #2989942 05/17/19 02:16 AM
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Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Agreed with all of the above. One wouldn't insist on stuffing socks or even proper mutes down the bell of a saxophone unless that muted sound was the goal; same goes for the electric guitar. let the instrument be played as the instrument that it has become.


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

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Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #2989956 05/17/19 08:40 AM
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I agree with the above commentary too. Now, some HAVE "maligned" the electric guitar's overused high volume in certain quarters. For instance....

JAMES TAYLOR, in an old taped performance I saw broadcast on PBS sometime in the late '70's, during his intro to his tune "Steamroller", complained a bit about electric blues players who, he felt cranked it up too much, saying sarcastically, "As if VOLUME equals SOUL rolleyes " But he really wasn't against loud electric guitars. They just had a different place....

But yeah, I suspect that in some artists cases, Like Joe's and many others, LOUD is probably what the audience( remember them? THEY pay the bills if you recall sound guys!) probably wants and expects.

I don't suspect ANY Ted Nugent fan ever went to a show and wished HE scaled back on the volume and would prefer having to lean forward in order to hear him! But too....

Some people(like the aforementioned sound "engineers") get certain notions from somewhere, like back in late '79, when shopping around for a new home sound system was told by many a stereo "tech/ salesman" that I didn't want a system that had any good measure of bass, saying, "People want HEADROOM these days!" Too bad for him I preferred to spend MY money on what I wanted. wink
Whitefang

Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: whitefang] #2989983 05/17/19 11:29 AM
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It's a "cumulative" thing... as guitarists, we're punished for the last 20 blasters that ran people out of the club. I love my Vox AC30... when I load it into a club I start getting screamed at by soundmen for being too loud before I plug it in... I'm getting screamed at for the last guy who played his AC30 too loudly. I carry in two little Supros... 2 x 25 watts is "louder" than 1 x 30 watts, right? Well, there's a novelty... they've never had anyone bring in those amps so they're curious and nice and don't complain when I play them at the same volume I would play the AC30.

I accommodate the room and the gig. I've used attenuators, I've used plex-glass screens in front of the amps, I use stands to tilt them back so they're aimed at me and not the audience - sometimes pointed at me next to the vocal monitor, I've played with the amp offstage somewhere mic'ed up, I've used things to go direct into the P.A. I will fight with the sound engineer when they start trying to change my tone beyond what I think is reasonable. Some of these guys now... have the mindset that they're eq-ing their own stereo in their living room.

As a side note, a bassist asked the other day "hey... when did live bass start sounding so fantastic in general? I've noticed for about a year attending shows, and hearing recordings of our gigs, that electric bass sounds great these days." Some people said amps and gear, but he commented the bands he's seeing are using the same old SVTs and ancient Acoustic rigs and stuff that's been around since the 80s... my suggestion was... "HIP HOP/DANCE MUSIC!!!!" Most clubs have systems that double between live music and dj nights, so that's shaped the design of speakers and mixers, etc., because that sphere of music is ALL bottom end... and that crowd likes it LOUD... they want the earth to move under their feet with every kick drum hit. Yet guitarists the ones vilified for volume!

Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: p90jr] #2990080 05/17/19 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: p90jr
I accommodate the room and the gig. I've used attenuators, I've used plex-glass screens in front of the amps, I use stands to tilt them back so they're aimed at me and not the audience - sometimes pointed at me next to the vocal monitor, I've played with the amp offstage somewhere mic'ed up, I've used things to go direct into the P.A.

Originally Posted By: p90jr
I will fight with the sound engineer when they start trying to change my tone beyond what I think is reasonable. Some of these guys now... have the mindset that they're eq-ing their own stereo in their living room.


I'm sure that you play out FAAARRR more often than I have, but I've also done all of those things, and I also have and use some low-watt tube-amps, as well. I actually try to keep a reasonable and appropriate volume-level, overall; but having zero volume at all and being treated like an mp3 player instead of a musical instrument player is something to wholly reject.

Originally Posted By: p90jr
As a side note, a bassist asked the other day "hey... when did live bass start sounding so fantastic in general? I've noticed for about a year attending shows, and hearing recordings of our gigs, that electric bass sounds great these days." Some people said amps and gear, but he commented the bands he's seeing are using the same old SVTs and ancient Acoustic rigs and stuff that's been around since the 80s... my suggestion was... "HIP HOP/DANCE MUSIC!!!!" Most clubs have systems that double between live music and dj nights, so that's shaped the design of speakers and mixers, etc., because that sphere of music is ALL bottom end... and that crowd likes it LOUD... they want the earth to move under their feet with every kick drum hit. Yet guitarists the ones vilified for volume!


Also noted and agreed in my own experiences!


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
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Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #2990129 05/18/19 08:12 AM
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I'm not sure I like the way p90jr posts, "...been around since the '80's" as if it was SO...LOOONNNNGGGG ago! cry laugh

But, I guess as far as the equipment being discussed goes, it IS. wink
Whitefang

Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: whitefang] #2990769 05/22/19 10:01 PM
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Electric guitar sounds good loud. It does things when it's played loud through multiple amps that it doesn't do played loud through one amp. Jimi, the Rev Willie G, Stevie Ray, Beck, Townshend, Sweaty Teddy, they'll all tell you having multiple amps cranked up wasn't only about being heard in the cheap seats.
Naturally, that makes them a sound tech's worst nightmare. to get a decent mix out front, they either have to run everything on stage loud enough to be heard over the guitar, or threaten, wheedle, cajole, strong arm or anesthetize the guitarist into downsizing his volume.
It really all boils down to who holds the upper hand. If you are the guy who pays the sound company, that's you. You don't have to be an ass about it, but it's your show.


Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.



Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: whitefang] #2990858 05/23/19 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
razz
I'm not sure I like the way p90jr posts, "...been around since the '80's" as if it was SO...LOOONNNNGGGG ago! cry laugh

But, I guess as far as the equipment being discussed goes, it IS. wink
Whitefang


Last weekend we went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner on the patio, and there were a couple of guys playing acoustic... and at one point they said "Alright... this next one is some old, classic Clapton..." and the guy at the table next to us yelled "ALRIGHT!!!" And they played "If I Could Change The World!" and he yelled "what the...!?!" When they finished he yelled "that was great... but that's not old Clapton... that's from a few years ago in the 90s..." and one of the guys said "Sir, we were both born in 2000"... and he yelled "You're not old enough to be working. Go home!"

Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: p90jr] #2990887 05/23/19 01:37 PM
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Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: p90jr
Last weekend we went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner on the patio, and there were a couple of guys playing acoustic... and at one point they said "Alright... this next one is some old, classic Clapton..." and the guy at the table next to us yelled "ALRIGHT!!!" And they played "If I Could Change The World!" and he yelled "what the...!?!" When they finished he yelled "that was great... but that's not old Clapton... that's from a few years ago in the 90s..." and one of the guys said "Sir, we were both born in 2000"... and he yelled "You're not old enough to be working. Go home!"


Tough room.


Scott Fraser
Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Scott Fraser] #2990891 05/23/19 01:53 PM
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Scott Fraser Offline
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IMHO Joe has it wrong on most accounts. I think he doesn't understand how the human auditory system works, he doesn't understand the craft of sound engineering, he doesn't understand the teamwork aspect of stage presentation, & he doesn't understand physics. If the guitar sounds massive in his IEMs & like angry bumblebees out front, he has the wrong guy mixing FOH. A little amp dimed can't sound huge? Listen to the first Zeppelin album again & get back to me.
The bit about clean headroom is right on the money, though.


Scott Fraser
Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Scott Fraser] #2990923 05/23/19 04:44 PM
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Larryz Offline
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@ Scott et al, you know as far as me and most of us here, you are the main man when it comes to sound engineering, FOH, IEM's, PA's, etc! Here's Smokin Joe explaining his rig run down and thoughts about stage volumes, frequency, fellow 7 piece band musicians considerations, etc. Guitars @ 0:00 to 26:13, Amps @ 26:13 to 40:15 and Pedals @ 40:15 to 52:04...

The clip includes his philosophy and opinions with his sound, joking about backing others and getting run off stage if he's too loud, what gives him his cred to do what he does. It carries a lot weight for me as he's the boss IMHO and that's if you can get tickets to his shows LOL! I found the amp section @ 26:13 enlightening as to how he does what he does at high volumes without blowing the front rows away...

His fans want to hear him the same way that he wants them to...not saying he's the be all end all for guitar presentations and other performers of his caliber. I think he knows what he wants with his sound while taking into account the needs of others (i.e. the soundman FOH, his fellow musicians and the audience, etc.). He provides some valuable insight from one who has to deal with these issues when trying to create his sound and perfect his performance on stage... cool




cool

Last edited by Larryz; 05/24/19 12:36 AM.

Take care, Larryz
Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Larryz] #2991012 05/24/19 08:35 AM
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I remember back in the '70's me and some guys were in a friend's boat in the middle of the Detroit river 'bout where Cobo Arena is the night TED NUGENT was playing inside. And we heard him CLEAR OUT THERE! shocked

Now, there was NO need for that! Sure, you want your music to be heard, but wouldn't you like for your audience to be comfortable at the same time?
Whitefang

Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: whitefang] #2991032 05/24/19 10:34 AM
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Larryz Offline
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Yes, keeping the audience comfortable is one of the points Smokin Joe makes in the video and he demonstrates how he does it.


Take care, Larryz
Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Scott Fraser] #2991142 05/24/19 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
IMHO Joe has it wrong on most accounts. I think he doesn't understand how the human auditory system works, he doesn't understand the craft of sound engineering, he doesn't understand the teamwork aspect of stage presentation, & he doesn't understand physics. If the guitar sounds massive in his IEMs & like angry bumblebees out front, he has the wrong guy mixing FOH. A little amp dimed can't sound huge? Listen to the first Zeppelin album again & get back to me.
The bit about clean headroom is right on the money, though.


NOT AT ALL for argument- but definitely for thoughtful discussion: your take, Scott, on Stevie Ray Vaughan's stage-rig and approach in context of this conversation?


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

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Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #2991158 05/25/19 01:59 AM
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I remember missing yet enjoying The Cult in college. They were playing an open-air arena across a major street from my college- literally walking distance. But I couldn’t go.

Turns out, I didn’t need to. They were so loud, all I had to do to hear them was go out on the elevated walkway between my dorm and the next building over, sit down*, and enjoy.







* to avoid being struck by bats hunting their dinner.


Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation:
Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Dannyalcatraz] #2991188 05/25/19 11:08 AM
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Back in my Country Rock garage band days, none of our instruments were mic'ed to the PA except for the sax. Our PA was big enough to handle any bar, hall, outdoor gig, etc. We would EQ the room and set the volume for the 3 vocals. The bass, drums, two guitars, along with the sax had to stay under the vocals.

Our amps could get as loud as needed and by turning them down, we could get as soft with them as needed. We had to know how to set our own levels and have our people in the crowd that could advise us on our stage volumes in front and at the back of the room. We could also take turns listening during the initial sound checks. We didn't have transmitters in those days, but I had a long 20' guitar chord and could get out front and listen (if needed). Sound carries outside and many times the volume is louder when you get further away. The main thing to learn is how to protect your ears! cool


Take care, Larryz
Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #2991210 05/25/19 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
IMHO Joe has it wrong on most accounts. I think he doesn't understand how the human auditory system works, he doesn't understand the craft of sound engineering, he doesn't understand the teamwork aspect of stage presentation, & he doesn't understand physics. If the guitar sounds massive in his IEMs & like angry bumblebees out front, he has the wrong guy mixing FOH. A little amp dimed can't sound huge? Listen to the first Zeppelin album again & get back to me.
The bit about clean headroom is right on the money, though.


NOT AT ALL for argument- but definitely for thoughtful discussion: your take, Scott, on Stevie Ray Vaughan's stage-rig and approach in context of this conversation?


Can't really comment since I've never read any interviews with SRV opining about his interaction with tech crew about his sense of stage volume. It's worth noting that Stevie has missed the last 29 years of technical evolution of both guitar amplification & sound system amplification. So any discussion of his stage volume needs is seen in the context of what are now 30 year old sound systems; an eternity of progress in our biz.
My issue with Bonamassa's article is not his desire to play loudly but his antagonistic attitude toward the people who are dedicated to putting him on stage every night. Likely he's just not a particularly verbally articulate guy, & he really is much more thoughtful in person than he comes across in print.


Scott Fraser
Re: Some interesting comments from smokin` Joe [Re: Scott Fraser] #2992845 06/06/19 08:21 AM
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I don't have an issue with a loud electric guitar at the proper TIME. Not when it interferes with the singers (and, yes Virginia, people DO want to hear them and (dare I say) understand the lyrics.)

Personally, I think good sound is CLEAN sound. I like to be able to hear everyone in the band, and for the featured performer at that moment to be in the foreground.

A guitarist can play with a loud amp, but that doesn't mean he can't turn down a bit when appropriate.


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