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  1. #1

    • Angel Fan MC Man
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    Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    Just got back from a concert by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, in Agoura Hills at a place called the Canyon Club.

    Good show, very well done...I love BBVD...but my lack of earplugs brought something painfully back to me as a gripe I have against seemingly all concerts, in all genres of music, in all venues these days.

    MUST they be so loud? Particulary for music where you actually want to be able to hear instruments, and even a vocal where you can make out the lyrics?

    Granted, our table was near a speaker...but anywhere I went in the club, I noticed the people enjoying the concert most were wearing earplugs, had cotton in their ears, etc.

    What's the point? And it's not just an old fogey thing. I've felt the same way for 40 years now...and I'm talking Beach Boys, John Denver, Willie Nelson, not exactly hard rock or heavy metal.

    I have a theory. Guys that run sound boards in these venues have partial hearing loss, so they make the sound so loud as to be painful so it sounds right to them.

    Any thoughts? Makes me want to think twice or three times before going to another show. (Three hours after the show ended and my ears are still ringing) -

    Barry
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  2. #2

    • Angel Fan MC Man
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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    (Warning...Shameless thread-bump about to commence...)

    I really would like to get some feedback from fellow MCers on this one...thanks...

    (You have just read a shameless thread-bump. Had this been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed which thread to bump into for news and information...This has been a test of the shameless thread-bump system...)
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  3. #3

    • insufferable know-it-all
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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    I suspect it's to avoid any possibility of someone complaining that they couldn't hear the band they paid to see. Just a thought. Or possibly, to drown out the sound of all the people trying to sing along with the paid act?

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  4. #4

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    RB - I think it may have something to do with where your seats were. If you are towards the back and it is still screaming loud, the guy at the soundboard probably doesn't know what he's doing. I also agree with the theory that many of these techs begin to lose their hearing over time and don't KNOW that the music is screaming loud. If it was an indoor club and it was smaller, the sound guy was probably just bringing the brass up to balance against the drums. BBVD rocks...it must have been a fun concert. Also...check out Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band if you ever get a chance. They're awesome!

    That being said, earplugs are ALWAYS a good idea at rock and jazz concerts nowadays. Between concert volumes and ipod earphones, most of us will lose at least 30 percent of our hearing by the time that we are 60. Once these delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, you don't get them back.

    Check out http://www.headwize.com/articles/hearing_art.htm for more info on hearing loss.

    Be careful out there!

  5. #5

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh i so completely agree with you on this! AND AND AND....do you notice that when you ARE wearing earplugs..you can hear the music BETTER???
    the kids & i saved up for tickets to an Audio Adrenaline ( name should have tipped me off there! haha!) concert. A semi-hard rock Christian band..we planned for months...even leaving the 'little one' at home...just me & the teens. well..the girl we brought w/ my son & I, she's been a part of our family from birth...she's sooo my 'other kid' ...anyway...NOTHING phases this kid..she's tough as nails & nothing ruffles her feathers or scares her...

    so we're at the concert...in this old church..the 2 opening bands wern't sooo bad...but then THEY came one...and the noise shot through the roof...it was so loud thumping through me I seriously wondered if SOUND could knock out a heartbeat rhythm. I'm standing there in horror...and anger...(this noise level went beyond anything i had EVER experienced!)...wondering how i'm gonna deal with this.. be the 'old lady' & drag the kids out.. or just 'suck it up' & deal with it. Well, right about this point..i looked over at 'my girl' & she's two people over from me... her eyes are huge & she simply mouthed the words.. "oh..my ... god!"... that was my cue..i looked at both my teens & said "do you want to go" ..they led ME out the door...many people were doing the same thing.
    WE really love Audio Adrenaline's song "Big House"....do you know...we sat 3 BLOCKS away... on the curb...till that song was played...& from there..it sounded absolutely perfect!

  6. #6

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    Quote Originally Posted by pixywingz
    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh i so completely agree with you on this! AND AND AND....do you notice that when you ARE wearing earplugs..you can hear the music BETTER???
    Personally, I really don't like the sound of music through earplugs. I've tried, but it just takes something out of it. I do make the kids wear them when I take them to a concert.

    Quote Originally Posted by pixywingz
    so we're at the concert...in this old church..the 2 opening bands wern't sooo bad...but then THEY came one...and the noise shot through the roof...it was so loud thumping through me I seriously wondered if SOUND could knock out a heartbeat rhythm. I'm standing there in horror...and anger...(this noise level went beyond anything i had EVER experienced!)...wondering how i'm gonna deal with this.. be the 'old lady' & drag the kids out.. or just 'suck it up' & deal with it. Well, right about this point..i looked over at 'my girl' & she's two people over from me... her eyes are huge & she simply mouthed the words.. "oh..my ... god!"... that was my cue..i looked at both my teens & said "do you want to go" ..they led ME out the door...many people were doing the same thing.
    WE really love Audio Adrenaline's song "Big House"....do you know...we sat 3 BLOCKS away... on the curb...till that song was played...& from there..it sounded absolutely perfect!
    Old church's are designed to carry sound so that you could hear the preacher. Add amplified music to the environment and it can easily get out of control.

    The sound level is usually dictated by the unamplified drummer. I'm a basher, so for me playing softer is not an option as it would effect my style and performance. You also can't always blame the sound guy. If the guitarist has his amps turned too high, everything else has to go higher to compensate.

  7. #7

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    I think much of it depends on the place...I've found that at most arenas sound is usually pretty good, if anything it is too soft. Clubs and such are not always designed with sound travel in mind, so instead of carrying the sound around the sound can sort of get "stuck" on one person while not making it to another.
    And some of it is the band...of all the concerts I've been to, the only one that left my ears hurting was Coal Chamber the next morning when I woke up.

  8. #8

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    I've long wondered why concert music is so loud! And trust me it CAN severly damage your hearing. Unfortunately I know from first hand experience.

    When I was in college, one of my boyfriends was a bouncer at a punk club. I used to go to the club almost every night, and since I was the bouncer's girlfriend, I got to sit on stage. Right in front of these giant speakers. I've now lost a significant amount of hearing in my left ear, partially because of firing a rifle in the Army with no hearing protection, and partially because of these punk concerts. I cannot hear spoken voices very well unless I am looking directly at someone, certain pitches are extremely difficult for me, and being in a place with lots of background noise is very frustrating.

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  9. #9

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    i did realize that that church was lousy in the accustics department...but it was still waaaaay too loud.

  10. #10

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrigoon
    I suspect it's to avoid any possibility of someone complaining that they couldn't hear the band they paid to see. Just a thought. Or possibly, to drown out the sound of all the people trying to sing along with the paid act?
    I agree with this....I sometimes wish movie theaters were louder so I wouldn't have to listen to peoples side conversations and there kids crying....(am I the only parent that removed my child from restaurants, theaters and stores when she cried or acted up?? was i suppose to let her scream and bother everyone??...man, I really screwed up as a parent....*sigh*)

  11. #11

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    Ooh, Canyon Club!
    Yeah, that's all I have on this topic.
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  12. #12

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    I thnik that it is for surrounding neighboorhoods or buildings, so they can here it to attract more people, even though the tickets are probably sold out by the time of the concert, just a thought.


  13. #13

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    I used to work at America West Arena in Phoenix when I was in college and worked all kinds of concerts. I only once ever wore earplugs to one of the concerts and even then it had nothing to do with the "band" playing. It was an N'sync concert and 19,000 screaming preteen girls was enough for me. I go to concerts all the time and have seen concerts of all types and venues, most I've seen haven't been too bad sound level wise, but especially the larger venues have not been an issue being too loud. I know smaller venues have more issues with it though.

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  14. #14

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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    I think the worst my ears ever hurt was after a Motley Crue concert in '87. We got fan club seats which were 17th row. At that proximity, it wasn't the music that did us in but the pyrotechnics.

  15. #15

    • Angel Fan MC Man
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    Re: Concert Music - Why Must It Be So Loud?

    Thanks for all the replies, guys. I still say that if they reduced the overall volume, at least in most venues I've ever been in, by 10-20 per cent ... more people would cheer than complain. Again, especially in genres of music where the actual lyrics and arrangement of a song are more meaningful than some others.

    As for the hearing loss issue...after working in kitchens at DL (where the potwasher loved to toss large aluminum pots from one end of his little room to the other) and 20 plus years in radio where the headphone thing is a huge occupational hazard...

    I'm sorry, what did you say?

    Barry
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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