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Sound enhancement for BBK s


sterling

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I would think after Friday night that there has already been some people chewed out for some lapses when the sound system was very lacking. Either that or the equipment was faulty. I would hope that the Berries are going to have several sound checks at BBK's so nothing comes close to Friday night. It was disappointing at times to listen to the poor quality sound knowing that the band is so talented, rehearsed so hard and are perfectionists. Despite all that I certainly am glad I was able to be there for the concert. The positives oweighed the negatives. Lets all hope that all of this can be ironed out by this weekend.

Phil

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Indoor and outdoor shows are like apples and oranges....quite different scenerios. Let's face

it, indoor shows almost always sound better than outdoor shows.......too much to deal with wind, sound deflection, moisture-related issues, and instruments going out of tune when you are outside.

It's a safe bet that BBK's sound will be much better than Cleveland, though of no fault of the equipment and the engineers....

I was not there, but knowing the nature of doing outdoor shows, it could have just as easily happened in a similar type of venue in any other city, as well. It's just the way it is.

While on the subject of PA system issues, just thought to ask Roadie #3 about a piece of equipment called the "Real Time Analyzer"? Does the band use one, when setting up the PA system?

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Outdoor venues are tough, as BillyK said, and some present particular problems that cannot be foreseen. Accidents happen onstage, electrical shorts can wreck settings, and not every venue has a knowledgeable crew. And sometimes, the person you need most becomes unavailable. I can remember sound checks in my band that went perfectly followed by gigs where the mix was a mess. And vice versa. It happens. The guys and Jen instantly know when something's wrong and how to fix it. Their sound staff is the best in the business and fix everything within their power immediately. We were amazed at how things were fixed in the midst of a *dynamite,* all-stops-pulled out performance. True Champions--Olympic material! They are "la creme de la creme." They don't know how to be any less.

smile --Darlene

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With all the technological advances in the last 30 years, you would think live, outdoor concerts would sound 10 times better than they did 30 years ago. I remember concerts at the Greek Theatre and Universal Studios that sounded as good as anything outdoors today. I guess the moon, the stars and all the planets have to line up just so to create that magic outdoor ambience . Kirk.

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First let me say that we are very concerned with the sound system as well as all of the equipment we use. One of the main reasons for doing the HOB clubs is the excellent equipment they provide. The problems that occurred on Friday night can not be explained as we did a complete, very extensive sound check during the afternoon and the sound was good (believe me if it wasn't we would still be there today doing the sound check). Yes, we did have a new sound engineer as Pete Keppler has been ill and unable to travel (we hope he gets better soon). The new sound engineer came very highly recommended and there was a comfort level between him and the band at rehearsals. So the only thing that I can say it that it had to be a combination of the room, the system, and engineer’s familiarity with the system. And NO, heads will not roll, yes the band is concerned and we have addressed the issues. Maybe in the future we will be able to have the same sound system travel with us from venue to venue and the same goes for the lights. It’s all a matter of time and how the band decides to book venues, etc. I know that outdoors drives me nuts due to the weather and tuning (that’s my excuse and until Saturday I am sticking to it).

The answer to Billy K’s question about the “Real Time Analyzer†I can’t answer but I will ask and post it when I can find out.

Now a question from me. . . . Has no one noticed that we have gone wireless on Eric, Wally and Dave’s guitars? What do you think, has it improved their stage show, etc

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An RTA (real-time spectrum analyzer)is commonly used along with a pink noise generator to ensure that the response of the front-of-house sound system is matched to the room accoustics. Pink Noise is all audible frequencies generated at the same reference decibel level. The RTA is basically a collection of level meters, one for each of (approximately) 30 bands, corresponding to the bands of a third-octave equalizer. Pink noise is played through the PA and measured at the mix position. If the PA and the room were perfect, all the meters on the RTA would read the same level. But of course, it never comes close. So, the EQ is adjusted such that all meters on the RTA read the same level. Hence you have near "flat" or uncolored sound.

However, "pinking" the room is only a rough place to start. There are several variables/issues this does not address. First, it only flattens the room at the measuring position. The frequency response of the room in various different areas can be quite different. Second, the response of a room is different when it is full of people compared to when it is empty. So, pinking the room during soundcheck typically does not result in flat response during the show. Third, temperature, humidity, and wind can all have serious effects on this.

And finally, even if the front-of-house system were ideally calibrated, this has nothing to do with individual channel EQ's, and nothing to do with the mix. So, if the mix engineer either doesn't have the greatest ear, or if the acoustics of the room are such that things sound different from his position, you still have problems.

And, there is not much at all that can be done about standing wave cancellations, reflections, and reverberations resulting from the boundaries of the room. I suspect part (not all) of the problem at the Scene is that there is a lot of reverberation and reflections from the tent which are not damped. Also, the wall behind the FOH mix position could very well give the mix engineer an inaccurate perception of the sound. I also think there was not enough PA at the Scene for the volume level desired. It was driven to the limits and sounded harsh. And, I also think the mix itself was a bit poor.

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From outside the venue, The Stone Pony band sounded fine. From the 2nd row, the Knack sound very clean on the instruments, and you could hear everyone very well. On vocals, I could only really hear Doug F. well - the others were very feeble. Don't know if that's because they don't sing very well or if it was a mix issue.

In fairness to the Berries, I thought they sounded basically fine when things were simple, like the encores where just the 4 original guys played. But when you've got 15 (or more) sound sources - 8 instruments and 7 possible vocalists going all at once, it seemed like it was too much for the PA to handle. I agree with those who say it sounded overdriven. But at the same time, there were also some cues missed on solos, and Dave's bass amp got switched completely off at one point.

On the plus side, Jim sounded great - again. I could hear the drums very well. I could also hear Eric's guitar much louder than Wally's, for the 1st time ever, and that was kind of interesting, as it tends to get buried a bit normally. And Eric's voice cut through everything. So it wasn't horrible. I think the HOB gigs spoiled us somewhat.

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In answer to Roadie #3's question on the wireless guitars -- I thought they were fine. What we'd really like to see is more of the guys communicating and interacting on stage -- sort of hanging out together as they play. Not that corny back-to-back stuff, just looking at each other, conversing -- hey, even counting down: "A-wun, two, three, FAW-AW..!"

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FloridaPilot, indeed well-said. I knew the basic idea behind but would come off as looking silly trying to explain it. Thanks for laying it all out there......

And I also forgot the issues concerning reverb and other effects. Some bands rely on them more than others, so it's different when you switch bands.

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Question for Roadie #3: Who ran the soundboard at the Taste of Summer Waukesha Concert? With the exception of some guitar tuning Wally had to do (due to hig heat and humidity). The other glitch was; the piano input for "Overnight Sensation" was cranked way up. It really surprised Eric when he played the first few keys. The level was quickly adjusted prior to the start of the song.

I thought the sound quality at Waukesha was EXCELLENT for an outdoor show. It was far superior to Concerts I've seen here in Minneapolis. IE: Taste of Minnesota and last weekends' Basilica Block Party (featuring the Wallflowers). The Wallflowers were great unfortunately the outdoor venue and sound system was inferior.

Don

Roadie #3 wrote: First let me say that we are very concerned with the sound system as well as all of the equipment we use. One of the main reasons for doing the HOB clubs is the excellent equipment they provide. The problems that occurred on Friday night can not be explained as we did a complete, very extensive sound check during the afternoon and the sound was good (believe me if it wasn't we would still be there today doing the sound check). Yes, we did have a new sound engineer as Pete Keppler has been ill and unable to travel (we hope he gets better soon).

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Let's all send prayers to Pete Keppler for a quick and complete recovery. I'm sure that a sound man of his calibre is really depressed about not being able to do what he loves most and does like no one else. We've all seen what believing can do. I truly believe it won't be long and he'll be back "on the road."

smile --Darlene

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Faze, I don't know if you were at any of the other shows, but at all of them, all the guys *did* was interact and communicate. Like in the old days, they've virtually had one big party of personal fun and phenomenal musicmaking onstage at every show. Because they instantaneously became aware of problems as they arose, they were pretty busy getting things fixed, and they were absolutely MASTERFUL at doing that. They interacted as much as they could under the circumstances, but they were most interested in giving 200% of their total beings to the audience to ensure a great show. They succeeded BRILLIANTLY in doing that! I've seen bands walk off the stage after having HALF the number of things go wrong that did Friday night. They not only played like the champions they are, but they fixed problems left and right. In spite of it all, they gave a concert that went WAY beyond brilliant. They were *amazing.* What they were able to do demonstrates their sheer genius as a band, and is the reason I've always loved Raspberries.

smile --Darlene

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hate to say it,but i think everyone's being too anal about this whole thing!!!there is no way anyone can get a perfect sound in a outside setting! i think everyone's jumping the gun on this point in being..you could be paul mccartney playing outside & still get mixed opinions about the sound..and we all know that he wants things perfect...same goes with the berries..have faith,this only the beginning of a long overdue renewed friendship among us all..long live the raspberries..chris

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hate to say it,but i think everyone's being too anal about this whole thing!!!there is no way anyone can get a perfect sound in a outside setting! i think everyone's jumping the gun on this point in being..you could be paul mccartney playing outside & still get mixed opinions about the sound..and we all know that he wants things perfect...same goes with the berries..have faith,this only the beginning of a long overdue renewed friendship among us all..long live the raspberries..chris

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A few side notes:

1. We have come a long way since the Beatles, where the screaming was on equal par(and sometimes louder)with the music....but people managed to have a good time.

2. The Allman Brothers often start without even doing a full-fledged sound check, and just get into a jam session of the opening song, while the engineers adjust the levels. There is some logic as FloridaPilot mentioned the sound is much different in an empty venue compared to a full one. However, I don't think this approach would work with the 'berries.

3. On a Fleetwood Mac tour in the late 70's, where they did a lot of outdoor gigs, Christine McVie had a white grand piano. This is because black absorbs heat, therefore making things go out of tune quicker.

4. There is a lot to be said to just "Play On"...

808 State, opening at New Order gig I was at, didn't really show any class by walking off the stage in the third song, when some equipment malfunctioned.

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