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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:43 PM

I'm sick and tired of stupid sound engineers.

What kind of idiot gives a vocalist and the music the same power. The music drowns out the vocals every time. You'd think the Grammy Awards would have sound engineers that could figure that out.

52 replies, 4066 views

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Reply I'm sick and tired of stupid sound engineers. (Original post)
loudsue Feb 2013 OP
marybourg Feb 2013 #1
loudsue Feb 2013 #3
UnrepentantLiberal Feb 2013 #5
RedCappedBandit Feb 2013 #22
ryan_cats Feb 2013 #46
ms liberty Feb 2013 #2
loudsue Feb 2013 #4
Mojorabbit Feb 2013 #51
UnrepentantLiberal Feb 2013 #6
cherokeeprogressive Feb 2013 #9
sad-cafe Feb 2013 #7
Manifestor_of_Light Feb 2013 #8
loudsue Feb 2013 #12
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #23
loudsue Feb 2013 #25
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #31
loudsue Feb 2013 #33
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #34
Populist_Prole Feb 2013 #21
loudsue Feb 2013 #26
dogknob Feb 2013 #10
loudsue Feb 2013 #13
dogknob Feb 2013 #15
loudsue Feb 2013 #19
dogknob Feb 2013 #20
sad-cafe Feb 2013 #27
HooptieWagon Feb 2013 #11
JVS Feb 2013 #14
SheilaT Feb 2013 #16
Zorra Feb 2013 #17
Tom Ripley Feb 2013 #18
cbdo2007 Feb 2013 #24
loudsue Feb 2013 #29
EnviroBat Feb 2013 #28
loudsue Feb 2013 #30
kentauros Feb 2013 #43
musiclawyer Feb 2013 #49
loudsue Feb 2013 #50
L0oniX Feb 2013 #32
loudsue Feb 2013 #35
L0oniX Feb 2013 #44
SomethingFishy Feb 2013 #37
L0oniX Feb 2013 #45
Manifestor_of_Light Feb 2013 #47
Mojorabbit Feb 2013 #52
SomethingFishy Feb 2013 #36
cbdo2007 Feb 2013 #38
SomethingFishy Feb 2013 #40
loudsue Feb 2013 #39
SomethingFishy Feb 2013 #41
loudsue Feb 2013 #42
Manifestor_of_Light Feb 2013 #48

Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:45 PM

1. I think that's the the style now.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:09 PM

3. They do a lot of that on CSI and a couple of other weeklies.

It really is frustrating to not be able to hear what people are saying because the music or background noise is so distracting.

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Response to loudsue (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:15 PM

5. I hate that.

 

My hearing isn't the best. I can't hear a damn thing when the music is turned up.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:28 AM

22. So frustrating. I just turn on the subtitles.

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Response to RedCappedBandit (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:55 PM

46. Too funny, I use them as well

Too funny, I use them as well. I can barely make out what they're saying, either I'm getting older (I am) or they are doing something different with the sound. Without subtitles, I couldn't make anything out.

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:48 PM

2. + 1...mr liberty & I were just expressing that same opinion! n/t

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Response to ms liberty (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:09 PM

4. Mr. loudsue keeps asking me "what did he/she say"

What were the words??

Yep. Pretty frustrating.

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Response to loudsue (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:32 AM

51. It is the same in this house and it is frustrating. nt

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:16 PM

6. I refuse to watch the Grammys.

 

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:19 PM

9. I don't watch award shows period.

Watching rich people pat each other on the back just doesn't seem like entertainment to me.

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:18 PM

7. pretty tired of the Taylor Swift hype

 

I thought she was horrible


Glad she went first and now is over.

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:02 PM

8. They refuse to turn the bass down.

Ever heard a band where you couldn't understand the words?
That's because the intelligibility of words is in the treble.
They don't roll out the bass, they just crank it all wide open, and wonder why it sounds like mud and has feedback.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:14 PM

12. I've got Bose speakers, and I could hear every string on a guitar, but not a WORD that some

of the vocalists were singing. If I were the vocalist, I'd be really pissed.

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Response to loudsue (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:25 AM

23. I've been thinking of treating myself to the Bose speakers for TV. You like them?..n/t

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Response to monmouth3 (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:27 AM

25. Very much. Got them at Costco, so they're not prohibitively expensive,

and they'll probably last me the rest of my days.

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Response to loudsue (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:55 AM

31. Thanks so much. I know I'm getting old but some stations on my tv are so low I

miss a lot. CBS is unwatchable for me. Thanks again..

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Response to monmouth3 (Reply #31)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:01 AM

33. CBS is THE WORST!!! It's the worst station, as far as engineering goes,

and it's always breaking up. They have some great programs, but the sound engineers SUCK.

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Response to loudsue (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:09 AM

34. HA! Glad you told me that, I really thought it was just me and the ppl. in my building...n/t

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:14 AM

21. I've been to a few outdoor concerts that suffered the same problem. Very muddy sound.

A series of dull thuds with faint notes of lead guitar and bottom heavy reverb vocals. Bands I liked sounded awful.

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Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:32 AM

26. Me, too. It's not a good sound. Sounds like faux news to music.

Like everyone talking at once, by the time it hits the ear and registers on the brain.

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:24 PM

10. If they mix it so you can hear the words, then they are "telling you what to think."

Music mixed so that you can clearly hear every single word is for old people.

The people the music is marketed to will stop listening and raise their middle fingers the moment they suspect that they are being "told" something.

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Response to dogknob (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:15 PM

13. Get real. Do you really think the vocalists feel that way?

They're singing their hearts out. Your logic might be that of some of the engineers. Engineers who won't admit that they don't know how to handle the mix.

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Response to loudsue (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:21 PM

15. Worked in lotsa "pop" bands and recording sessions in the last 25 years or so.

It is intentional... more than you would suspect.

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Response to dogknob (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:42 AM

19. Then they need to be fired from their jobs. There is a place for

that type of attitude, but it isn't for where the general public has to PAY for it, and where the artists are put down like that.

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Response to loudsue (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:06 AM

20. I've worked for artists, not engineers, who believe exactly what I posted.

If I namedrop, I would end up revealing my own identity here. One record I played on came out in 1997 and went platinum. You can still understand most of the words on it, though.

Can't say I share those beliefs, but maybe I am just "old."

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Response to dogknob (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:34 AM

27. DonFelder

 

Is this you?

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:07 PM

11. Depends on the genre.

Hard rock music you treat the vocalist as another instrument, its the guitars at the forefront. Folk music you bring the vocals a little out front. Its a fine line, some artists are more difficult to work with than others, and you're not going to make everyone happy.

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:17 PM

14. Could they be compensating for the equipment people have?

Or put another way, could the bass be too strong on your TV because you own a good system that is better able to play bass compared to the low end sets that the broadcaster expects people to have?

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:25 PM

16. This has been going on forever.

By which I mean at least forty years. A LOT of movies have that problem. TV shows also. Oh, and simple recordings of songs.

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:32 PM

17. I did not hear it, but that's ridiculous at a plush venue like that.

With all that expensive gear and a nice room, a competent sound person could make a live performance sound as clean as a good studio recording.

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:35 PM

18. Words spoken by thousands of musicians every night of the week

That and "Hey man, can I bum a cigarette?"

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:19 AM

24. The sound was much worse on country artists than the rest of them.

That's what me and my group who were watching noticed. We were wondering if they were doing it on purpose for some reason to make them sound bad?? I don't know, but Miranda Lambert and the guy after her sounded horrible. It was embarrassing it was so bad.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:42 AM

29. Yep. They were probably the worst. But even Rihanna was upstaged.

Fun, Justin Timberlake....it was pretty bad all the way around.

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:36 AM

28. The music industry is dead.

Of course the sound sucks. Now, go buy something...

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Response to EnviroBat (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:43 AM

30. HA! On my way!

I could even buy some of those clothes that you wash one time and have to throw them out because the fabric is so shabby.

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Response to EnviroBat (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:57 PM

43. The American music industry, sure.

Not so for independents and overseas:

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Response to EnviroBat (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:35 PM

49. The music industry is thriving

Go on Spotify and who will hear magnificent work by indie and self publishes artists if you are the least bit patient It's the corporate music that is utter rubbish. The Grammies are one big infomercial for big label, millionaire dollar set acts. Very little good "new" music will be found there.
That is why you should just ignore it.......even if you like pop and hip hop. Way better stuff will never make terrestrial radio because it is not music created by the corporation for the
Corporation

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Response to musiclawyer (Reply #49)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:30 AM

50. True that. n/t

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:55 AM

32. Dang whipper snappers ...when I used to run sound when there were real shows...

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:13 PM - Edit history (2)

like The Who. I ran the Who Quadraphenia sound system for London City Ent. My Mavis desk is at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.



There were a lot more cabinets to that system ...32 JBL 4560's ...4 Olsen tri-folds ...couple of Phaze Linear 700's ...a 16x8 monitor desk ..4 more short throw 2482's

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:29 AM

35. Really? You're joking?

Did you really do that?

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Response to loudsue (Reply #35)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:07 PM

44. No , I'm not joking. n/t

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:43 AM

37. You not on the road anymore Loonix?

I'm still out there slogging away... doing mostly country acts these days as they do mostly weekends. Not sure I could handle a full on gone for 6 months rock tour..

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:10 PM

45. Quit the road back in the early 80's. Still do studio work.

I don't miss the hard dirty work.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #45)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:50 PM

47. You worked sound for The Who -- I am very impressed.

i'm a classical music freak. When you learn to sing opera (I took two years of private lessons), you learn to project from your gut. I've been in a couple of plays and had to tell the children about projecting from your gut. So that you don't need a mike. The throat and mouth are supposed to be relaxed. Guts are tight. My teacher was delighted when I told him my back molars buzzed!!!

They use subtle mikes at the symphony.

In the 60s and 70s, I had one ear in the classical station and the other ear in the top 40 station. It was a BFD when everybody switched to FM stereo "album rock" and it was radical to play a 20 minute vinyl side. Cream, Vanilla Fudge, Yes, whatever.
Yeah, I'm old.

I loved The Who because of their amazing bass player and their bad attitude. Three deranged attention-seeking orangutangs jumping around and one guy who didn't move and held it all together.

The Who--the one band who managed to be the best band in the world, the worst band in the world, and the loudest band in the world, all at the same time!!! Now that's talent.

From an old Guinness book of world records 1986, special edition:
"Loudest Pop Group: The amplification for The Who concert at Charlton Athletic Football Ground, London, England, May 31, 1976, provided by a Tasco PA system had a total power of 76,000 watts from eighty 800 W Crown DC 300 A Amplifiers and twenty 600W Phase Linear 200s.
The readings at 50 m (164 ft) from the front of the sound system were 120 decibels."

My recording engineer hubby reminds me that the decibel scale is logarithmic. For every ten points you go up, it's not twice as loud, it's TEN TIMES as loud!!!!!

I saw Bruce in 2000 and was very disappointed at how muddy the sound was. Too many dueling alpha males on guitar--Bruce, Little Steven, Nils Lofgren, Todd Rundgren and maybe somebody else--way too much mud in the midrange.

Bruce's redheaded wife would come out and strum a bit on an acoustic, and all the women would hiss at her because WE WERE JEALOUS!!!

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:37 AM

52. Sweet! nt

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:41 AM

36. The artists had no idea...

These days artists use in-ear monitors and have no idea what the P.A. sounds like. They may be bitching today when they watch the playback though.

With the advancement in sound technology there is no reason for a bad mix. It usually falls on the engineer. I have heard shows that sound like you are in a tin shack(Taylor Swift) and I have heard flawless P.A. systems where you can hear every note and every instrument with total clarity(Roger Waters).

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:48 AM

38. I think Miranda Lambert could tell....

she seemed like it didn't sound right, like she couldn't hear herself or something.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:54 AM

40. She might have had a bad in ear mix...

I have actually toured with Miranda,(I still have a note she wrote me(jokingly) threatening to kick me in the balls if I played anymore jokes on her) she has decent sound guys, but at an event like this sometimes you just get what you get.

Something else, at an event like this, sometimes the artists are not prepared. I worked the iHeart radio festival this year and there were a number of artists who showed up at the last minute with diva type demands, throwing a wrench into a well planned schedule.


I have a few friends who worked the Grammy's I'll see if I can find anything out.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:52 AM

39. I wonder if anyone on Twitter has mentioned it to CBS.

I'm not on Twitter, or I would. The artists should hear about it too, and put pressure on CBS to change their engineering style (or head engineering person, if need be).

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Response to loudsue (Reply #39)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:58 AM

41. Oh you can bet some heads are rolling this morning..

If it was so bad that the audience could tell there were issues... ouch.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:06 PM

42. But it's been going on for quite a long time.

And I've never seen anyone else comment on it, until this thread. I mean, my household comments on it all the time, but it was particularly aggravating last night, because I wanted to see Bob Marley's kids. And, actually, that act kinda sucked. Not enough Reggae beat for my taste.

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Response to loudsue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:25 PM

48. I've noticed extraneous sound on MSNBC a lot

They pick up offstage noise. Somebody has an open mike in the wrong place.



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