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|In the mean time I will leave you with this thought|
|the mythical creature. "Uniform sound coverage"|
Audience comments, " The vocals were lost", "the guitar was too loud" etc!!!Imagine you have a sound system which is perfect .It covers all the areas that your audience and sound mixers are in, at exactly the same level and with the exact same frequency response. Its dispersion stops any sound going where you don't want it to go , the walls, the ceiling and the stage "a creature of myth". Then in this perfect world you through in an orchestra or a band whose output is nothing like the Mythical creature . For instance lets take the guitar amp, it is very directional, any one unfortunate to be in line with this device's rod of sound gets blasted and the rest of the audience ,dependant on where thy are seated, get a totally different view of the guitar ,both in direct sound level , reverberated sound level and variable frequency response. So what does this mean. Even with a perfect sound system that replays recordings perfectly, as soon as you throw in any source which is slightly louder than the sound system at any point in the listening area, the mix will be wrong.
So what can be done?
If you don't want to increase the sound level you want to use,(the audience will start saying it's too loud), the only way to sort it out is to reduce the effective level of the offending source in the listening area!
There are a couple of ways of doing this .
The most obvious is to reduce the level of the offending source. This has a problem, lets take the guitarist, we get him to turn down his amp. The guitarist will pretty much always say I can't hear myself !
Another way is to direct the rod of sound away from the listening area and in particular point it at the one who needs to hear it.
Now lets combine the two, lets point the guitar amp's rod of sound at the ears of the guitarist who will probably say "that sounds horrible" because he has set the amp up to sound right to him, when the main sound output of the guitar amp is not pointing any where near his ears .He has to reset the sound to make it sound right to him and inherently reduce his volume , if he dose not want to deafen him self.
Take this a stage further , instead of having the guitar amp at the back pointing forward at the audience, have the amp at the front of the stage pointing at the guitarists ears .
Obviously the same method can be applied to any of the amplified instruments.
Now "why do the band need to play so loud anyway" the first valid response is to get the "Vib" The other comment is "I need to hear myself", "so why do you personally need to be so loud Mr guitarist?". " I cannot hear myself"", "and why is that ", "Is it because the rest of the band are too loud? or is it because you are not loud enough?"
Both are tru but which is the useful answer "the rest of the band are louder than me"
Now we are getting somewhere.
Lets start by getting every one to turn right down
A problem with the drums as he does not have a volume knob, the only way he can control the volume is not to hit the drums so hard .Drummers tend to have a problem getting any softer than a certain point as the velocity , pendulum and bounce dynamics change, making timing change.
So we have to start with him.
Get him to play a song they all know well and see how gently he can play successfully.
Now get the bass to join in and adjust his amp to a level where he can just hear himself ,as he is nearer the bass amp he should hear it a the volume he needs before he dominates the sound on the whole stage, drowning out subsequent instruments.
Repeat this process with all the other rhythm instruments and finally add the lead guitar , and other lead instruments
As a result of this you should find the band is playing at the lowest volume they really need to function
If you have a monitoring system with one mix for each player, ask each of them if they need any more of any instrument but be careful that their requests do not run away.
Now our mythical "perfect sound system" will be able to do its job as well as it can
Don't assume its a sound system problem if the mix changes from one part of the listening space to another, or you cant hear something .It's more likely its getting drowned out by something else that's not even in the sound system mix.