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Live Performance & Stage Sound Discussion for playing out and all things stage related.. Promote your band here as well.

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  • 7 Post By sage
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Unread 05-02-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
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Lessons learned from Mastodon/Opeth show last night

Mastodon, man, they do what they do really well. And it's awesome. I totally enjoy their records. They played the Orpheum in Vancouver last night. The Orpheum is our symphony hall. The acoustics are phenomenal. It holds 1500ish people and a trained singer can be heard by all of them without a PA.

So Mastodon rolls out their 12 cab setup and it appears that they didn't alter their stage sound to meet the venue's characteristics at all. Holy Batman's fuzzy satchel, it was crazy loud. So loud that it was about 1/2 way through Crystal Skulls before I realized they were playing Crystal Skulls. I'm pretty sure they probably played 2 or 3 songs that I really like that were totally unintelligible and therefore unrecognizable.

Mastodon (and all the rest of you dudes that like your stage volume similar to a JPL solid fuel testing facility), turn the :golf: down.

Opeth rolled out their setup. One 4x12 per guitarist, one modest bass rig, and played at about 1/2 the volume of Mastodon and sounded pristine. Granted, they played what sounded like sleepy Deep Purple covers for 90% of the set before hitting us with 2 good old fashioned proggy death metal and then getting shooed off stage for nearly breaking venue curfew, but it sounded amazing.

Moral of the story: turn the :golf: down. And don't play Deep Purple covers at a death metal show.

(Above Deep Purple references are tongue in cheek. I am fully aware that the bulk of the music last night came from their Heritage album, which I like, but I do enjoy when a band spans their catalogue during a show rather than attempting to force feed its audience 1/2 an album that has largely alienated the band from their original fanbase.)
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Unread 05-04-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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Doubtful that Mastodon actually USED the 12 cabs on stage. Most bands use dummy cabs to fill out a wall and then have one 4x12 miced facing away from the stage behind the wall for isolation. The front of house sound was probably just cranked up beyond intelligibility.

But noted, and this is a definite point for all metal bands to learn. If your audience's ears are bleeding, they prooobably aren't having a good time.
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Unread 05-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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Seriously musicians, Turn the sound down or else we all gonna be deaf at 30 !
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Unread 05-04-2012, 06:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windwaker View Post
Doubtful that Mastodon actually USED the 12 cabs on stage. Most bands use dummy cabs to fill out a wall and then have one 4x12 miced facing away from the stage behind the wall for isolation. The front of house sound was probably just cranked up beyond intelligibility.

They had definitely had 5 different cabs being miced up. 1 marshall on the left, one on the right, and 1 Orange miced left and 1 right, then a fender setup miced on the lead side.

I was front row center so I got a pretty good look at the gear and stage setup.
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Unread 05-04-2012, 06:10 PM   #5
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They had definitely had 5 different cabs being miced up. 1 marshall on the left, one on the right, and 1 Orange miced left and 1 right, then a fender setup miced on the lead side.

I was front row center so I got a pretty good look at the gear and stage setup.
Then I apologize for your ears. :P

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Unread 05-06-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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Yea man...

Play it really ....in' loud isn't Metal... It's just dumb.
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Unread 05-07-2012, 02:03 AM   #7
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That's probably why the Dream Theater show in Stuttgart this February sounded pretty muddy. Periphery were even worse, similar volume but they weren't mixed well. They played in a symphony hall as well... Oh well, it was awesome anyway. I even got to drunkenly talk to (and shoot awkward photos of) Spencer Sotelo and Mark Holcomb afterwards \o/
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Unread 05-08-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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FOH engineer clearly had his finger in his ass, also a decent set of earplugs can do a world of good at gigs where the band/engineers have no idea how to set volume levels.
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Unread 05-08-2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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When I saw Opeth in 08' the live sound was terrrible; same venue too!
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Unread 05-08-2012, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingAenarion View Post
Yea man...

Play it really ....in' loud isn't Metal... It's just dumb.
Agree if it just stupid loud. There's a certain volume below which the music is not as powerful to me. I certainly don't wanna be deafened, and I wear ear plugs if a band is way too loud, but i don't like showing up to a metal show and being able to hear the guy behind me singing louder than the music.

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Unread 05-08-2012, 01:39 PM   #11
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I run into this often. The other night i saw Origin, Cattle Decapitation, Aborted, and Decrepit Birth. All I heard was screaming and drum kit. Couldnt make out anything(with or without ear plugs). Its made me decide that i'm not going to go to venues unless they have a decent front of house guy/system.
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Unread 05-08-2012, 03:17 PM   #12
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I used earplugs during Mastadon, but they were not required for Ghost or Opeth.


Side note: I went to Behemoth a week ago and for such a heavy show, the sound was very clear and articulated (although the guitars could have been up in the mix, imo)
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Unread 05-11-2012, 10:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windwaker View Post
Doubtful that Mastodon actually USED the 12 cabs on stage. Most bands use dummy cabs to fill out a wall and then have one 4x12 miced facing away from the stage behind the wall for isolation. The front of house sound was probably just cranked up beyond intelligibility.

But noted, and this is a definite point for all metal bands to learn. If your audience's ears are bleeding, they prooobably aren't having a good time.
3ok8u0.jpg
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Unread 05-15-2012, 11:39 PM   #14
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I just saw the same tour a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh and the sound was all pretty much consistent. Ghost and Opeth were a hair quieter, though.

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Unread 05-16-2012, 02:16 AM   #15
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Does sound more like a FoH issue.
I saw mastodon a few weeks ago and they sounded incredible, really clear.
But the same issue you mentioned occurred when I saw Periphery a while back. The support bands sounded great and I know the club they played has a good sound system, but the foh for periphery decided to crank it and it sounded like shit as a result.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 08:28 PM   #16
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Really common problem at metal shows. Especially of local/opener bands. Don't know if FoH guys are told to .... their sound over or what, but it's really common.
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Unread 05-17-2012, 09:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Seriously musicians, Turn the sound down or else we all gonna be deaf at 30 !
Quoted for truth, by someone's who's hearing was shot before they hit that age.

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