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ARSCLIST  January 2010

ARSCLIST January 2010

Subject:

Re: The Loudness Wars - NPR story

From:

Sueiro Bal Marcos <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 6 Jan 2010 23:30:26 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (134 lines)

Mike,

As someone with plenty of experience in live sound, I can also give  
you a cynical business view of the problem. Most live sound systems  
are way over-spec'ed simply because it is generally in the interest  
of the sound contractor (who is the "expert") to rent or install a  
larger system. It is the equivalent of "super-sizing" in fast food  
joints. (This includes the problem  of highly configurable personal  
monitors, which, in my experience, deter from musical performance.)

You would think that a more reasonable contractor could then come up  
with a lower, more attractive bid, but it generally does not happen.  
Perhaps most venue owners are afraid of not being up to par. Of  
course, it is a runaway effect, as the audience and musicians becomes  
more and more deaf.

Marcos

Marcos Sueiro Bal
Masterdisk
[log in to unmask]
718.902.7441

On Jan 4, 2010, at 3:25, Michael Biel wrote:

> Yes, I also was going to bring up the point that I doubt that many
> musicians, record producers, engineers, and rock fans -- old OR  
> young --
> can't hear well, but Steve brought it up perfectly.  I remember when I
> was a kid, you could tell it was loud because it was distorted, but  
> then
> along came Hi-Fi and they warned us that we would turn it up too loud
> because we didn't have the clue of distortion.  Then along came  
> digital
> and they warned us not to turn it up till we heard background hiss
> because when you started the CD you would be blasted out.  We used  
> to be
> able to fill a 3000 seat theater with one Altec A7 Voice of the  
> Theater
> speaker and a 30 watt amp.  Now every stinkin' act thinks that LOUD
> equals GOOD.  At the university where I taught, the jazz dept used
> several huge 300 watt amps to amplify a 15 piece jazz band in a 300  
> seat
> recital hall which had perfect acoustics for a solo flute.  Some 100
> piece symphony orchestras even use amplification.  This is  
> madness.  BUT
> THEY CAN'T HEAR AND THEY THINK NOBODY ELSE CAN HEAR EITHER.
>
> I always knew my hearing was delicate and I tried to protect it,  
> but my
> tinnitus came from an ear infection when I was in grad school, but the
> quality was still good.  I could EASILY hear the TV horizontal
> deflection frequency of 15275 and I tested to close to 18K.  Then  
> in '97
> I was videotaping at an OTR convention and a bunch of sound effects  
> guys
> were doing a comedy act, and I knew one of them had a gun and I was
> watching him. but I didn't know the other guy had one also and he shot
> it off with his arm down behind the table -- about 6 inches away from
> one of my microphones.  Headphones.  Buzzy distortion in my right ear
> now, mainly on piano.  In Sept at the same OTR convention I was  
> setting
> up our broadcast equipment and had my back turned when this year's  
> IDIOT
> sound effects guy came into the ballroom and just shot off a gun while
> my back was turned.  In addition to wanting to protect my ears, I  
> have a
> pacemaker.  I chased him thru two ballrooms yelling nasty things at  
> that
> guy for over five minutes at the top of my voice (a voice that is so
> loud I once SCARED a pack of pickpockets in the Paris subway into
> dropping my wallet).  I made damn sure that he will NEVER do something
> like that again.   I am training my daughter to always wear hearing
> protection in the subway, at concerts, and even where jerks like to
> thunder-clap applaud.
>
> I still have the acuity to know what is good recording and  
> reproduction,
> and I know when the top end is or isn't there,  but I don't go all-out
> to top level stuff which I know is beyond what I can hear.  The
> mastering is what is important to me -- let others fuss over their
> playback equipment.
>
>
> Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]
>
>
> -------- Original Message --------
>
> From: Roderic G Stephens <[log in to unmask]>
>
>
> Hello to all our damaged "golden ears".
>
> It took an M-1 rifle in basic training to give my left ear (due to the
> nodes of the sound, not the right one) tinnitus and really rolled off
> high end. Thank God, my right rings a bit, but still has a decent 12k
> high end. They didn't know about ear plugs in the 1953 Army basic
> training.
>
> Rod Stephens
>
> --- On Sun, 1/3/10, Charles Lawson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> From: Charles Lawson <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Loudness Wars - NPR story
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Date: Sunday, January 3, 2010, 7:32 PM
>> Steven C. Barr writes:
>>> I suspect most of this resulted from
>>> too many nights spent standing in front of Fender Twin
>> amps, turned
>>> WAY up to get desired distortion! My guess is that I am
>> FAR from
>>> the only musician in this condition...?!
>>
>> I know you are not.  Back in the days when I did more
>> live sound, I had an
>> argument with a rocker over his amp levels being too
>> loud.  His reply: “It
>> ain’t loud enough unless it makes the inside of my ears
>> tickle.”  I doubt
>> he can hear much of anything, now, twenty or so years
>> later.  Very, very
>> sad.
>>
>> I always carry earplugs to deal with situations like
>> that...
>>
>> --
>> Charles Lawson <[log in to unmask]>
>> Professional Audio for CD, DVD, Broadcast & Internet
>>

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