View Full Version : Loud Band Issue

6th Feb 2006, 13:36

Must confess it causes me much amusement everytime my band plays a gig when the barstaff tell us to turn it down BEFORE WE EVEN START!!

Last night it happened again so if anyone here runs a boozer my advice would be to not say anything because I for one turn the amps up to mushroom cloud levels when I get told that. And towards the end they go up a little higher just for good measure. We now have a "reputation" locally. How cool is that? :}

There is something quite cathartic in playing loud rhythm and blues (proper blues, not that new R'n'B bollo) music at stoopid levels and having everyone complain about it.

So if you don't like it loud then for god sake don't ask a band to turn it down cuz that is just the excuse we need to turn it up!



6th Feb 2006, 13:49
Always a problem when playing at pubs fitted with a noise meter, not that it affected me on the drums.

A carefully positioned sock or gaffa tape normally sorted the meter out.

Keep music live!:cool:

6th Feb 2006, 13:58
The best remedie for loud bands is just to turn up their monitors to deafening level as well. That trick works great, but is hard because its easy to mess up the monitor setting with all those little buttons and dails on those mixers.

6th Feb 2006, 14:09
As an ex-drummer in a rather loud rock band, I can safely say it was impossible for me to play softly softly! As soon as the intro was over and I counted the band in, the flash bombs would go off and that was my cue to play hard and LOUD. Way too much adrenalin.....We blew the power in quite a few older pubs which simply couldn't take the level of power we required....lotsa laughs.
Anyway, it was proven that loud music has a pleasurable effect on the senses, something to do with vibrations in the middle ear or something along those lines. Loud music, explosions and smoke...you just can't beat it!!
Although now, I'm the first to complain when I can't have a conversation in a pub due to loud backround music....what a hyprocrit!:ok:

Sammie:....my monitors were NEVER loud enough, something to do with me bashing the skins too hard or other such rubbish, in fact mine was the biggest one on the stage. Funny that I still have perfect hearing ( according to my class 1 medical)

Lord Snot
6th Feb 2006, 14:10



Just love ringing ears after a night at the pub.

Pull the plug out on the elctronic gizmos..... works every time. Then make your way out.

Conan the Librarian
6th Feb 2006, 15:01
You can get away with it if you are good, but there is one band that plays down here who must have been the role model for Spinal Tap. They start with the amps at eleven and go up. Thing, is though, that they give the impression that they are playing just for themselves - almost that it is the only time that they can play really loud - and it hacks me off that the audience are treated as some unavoidable hazard. They would get a lot more respect if they flogged the Nuclear pile that powers their kit and saved up (probably quite a lot nowadays) for a few Vox AC30s.

The other one that makes me cringe, is the single artiste with the tape machine, attempting to recreate some dubious hit from the 70s or 80s. You can picture it can't you? The 45 year old with the long permed bouffant, the shirt open half way to the waist and some large and tasteless piece of Argos bling hanging around the neck and over the stick on hairy chest, whilst our hero drinks a pint of lager with one hand during the instrumental breaks in some nauseating power ballad, and to demonstrate his superior co ordination, chainsmoking 20 Lambert and Butler with the other. What a picture of effortless style....

I am pretty ambivolent about bands in pubs, unless they are large ones and that music is the norm. It doesn't half bugger up ones game of Dominoes.

Miserable old git today, aren't I? :} :} :}


6th Feb 2006, 15:03
:) We used to get the same problem when I was playing in a Wonderstuffesque indie band. The number of times we got told that we were too loud and had to turn it down.

I remember playing at a tiny little club in Blackpool and the audience were really close to the stage and being told that we were far too loud. Amps go up to 10 for a reason!! :)

Happy days.

If anybody wants to be in an indie band in South West London/Surrey then feel free to send me an email. I miss the glory days :)

6th Feb 2006, 15:58
Conan - Vox AC-30s Those were the days when we used those :) - Great in the local village hall bash! (Musta bin nigh on 40 years ago!)

But came the day when were booked as "warm-up band" for Pete Townsend and friends at the big hall in the nearby big town,

First of all, we came on with our grand total of 90 watts (3 Vox's), and the kids really didn't come to see us, they didn't really want us, all they wanted was for the Who to play.

After an hour, on came "The Great Ones", with that new Marshall stuff that hooked out an amazing 80 to 100 watts - each! "This great," I'm thinking, "when we go back on for their break, not only will the kids not want us, they won't be able to hear us!"

But The Guys had obviously seen this before and, while we changed over, they parked a couple of Reslo's in front of our speakers to drive through the Marshalls as well. Loudest we'd ever been!

Of course, the kids still couldn't wait for us to finish and for the Who to come back on, but at least they weren't straining their ears :E

6th Feb 2006, 16:26
Ah the old AC30 - with decent blue speakers, those things were really good - in many ways better than a lot of the standard stuff around now.

Our guitarist uses a heavily customised Marshall 50 through 4 high efficency 12 inch speakers, Gets an amazing sound and is very loud. So. . .I have had to get myself 600W of Ashdown stuff to keep up. . . . . and the drummer is still the loudest.

Those noise limiters are a real pain. It used to be that they were only relevent for amplified instruments where as a well blown trumpet or sax would easily exceed the limits with no consequences. A liitle jazz combo can easily outloud a rock band when in limiter country

6th Feb 2006, 17:21
Us drummers will always be the loudest, its just the law! and we will always complain that our moniter is broken or something because we cant hear anyone else. I wonder why??:E

You cant beat listening to a decent band in a pub when they are live and loud. What more could you want, music and beer? Thats all life needs!

I used to do the sound for a Folk/Rock band up here in the NW called "Odd at Ease" they where some great times! Some of thoes nights when they were playing were some of the best nights out so far!:}

Gotta love live music!:ok:

Windy Militant
6th Feb 2006, 22:06
Years ago my local used to have bands on a Tuesday night. This was quite handy for me because I was on shifts at the time and very often had Wednesdays off. Normally it was try out night for the Local Wanabees some of which were absolutly appalling but ocasionally they had some big names.
One of which were the Glitter band. Unfortunately I missed this particular gig but it became somewhat of a local legend. Having spent the first set trying to get the crowd going, and failing abysmally the guy who took over from Gary as lead singer stomped off stage and snarled at one of locals " What's wrong with these F*ckers are they all deaf" our man replied "Yes" and fistycuffs nearly ensued.
What nobody had told him, was that the local DEAF Club met there on a Tuesday night. Apparently you didn't need to understand BSL to get the gist of the sign lanuage that night.;)

6th Feb 2006, 23:04
Most live music is supposed to be loud - hearing and feeling it :ok: is where it's at, right ?

I must say , VALVE LOUD is my preferred distortion - :E :eek: Like a 1/2 dozen vintage Marshalls. :D

Tuba Mirum
6th Feb 2006, 23:08
Sorry... AMPS? Who needs amps???
:E :ok:

6th Feb 2006, 23:28
If this thread, so far, is any measure then it is the instrumentalists who like it loud and louder, not so much the listeners.
If I go out to a pub it is for a drink, food, conversation and background music.
Obviously I tend to stay away from pubs on the 'live band' night.
If I want loud music and sometimes I do I play my choices, at home, through good speakers and if it's a bit late I use earphones.

tall and tasty
6th Feb 2006, 23:52
Nothing better than going into a local bar and there is a good live band playing! Last holiday I took with the children, the youngest was up there rocking with the lead singer (at his request because he (youngest) could not sit still long enough while they played rock songs,they were that good) he loved it and so did the band appreciate it. He also got the guided tour of how the drums work, electric guitar and keyboard at the end of the evening. I think I have a budding rock star in the making!

Louder to be honest the better, what is the point of having a live band just buzzing in the corner? Especailly if they are good!!

TnT :ok:

henry crun
7th Feb 2006, 01:26
I find it hard to believe that all you people who love playing/listening to music played as loud as possible are not aware of the long term hearing damage that is likely to occur.
Those of you subject to an annual audiogram will get early warning, but let me tell you what will happen in later life.

First you will notice you cannot follow a conversation in a normal social situation because you cannot hear some words if there is ANY background noise.
If you don't already have it Tinnitus is an early warning sign.
Next you might notice a bird moving its beak but you cannot hear its song, or you will suddenly realise that for you all birds have become silent.
Next the music you listen too will gradually sound more discordant because you cannot hear certain parts of the normal hearing range.

By the time you notice any of these symptoms it will too late to try and rectify the situation, the damage already done is irrepairable..

7th Feb 2006, 02:16
I use in-ear monitors and because I don't have to have my rig blaringly loud in the mix, neither does everybody else with theirs. The result is less stage noise. Our bass player and lead singer are making the switch. It's amazing how much bleed comes off of the monitors, too.

Solid Rust Twotter
7th Feb 2006, 07:01
Prefer acoustic sets in cosier venues. A good folk or classical ensemble is all I need to hear and they don't make it impossible to speak to or hear other people around me. My godson is in a popular local metal band and listening to him play unamplified I'm beginning to form the opinion that volume counts for more than actual ability...:hmm:

7th Feb 2006, 08:17
Our sound engineer was a big drum enthusiast, so he used to take great care and pride in the drum sound. Nothing better than having the kit surrounded by microphones, and fed through a large 10k rig. Then after sound checks I would play away for a while in an empty hall, FULL BLAST! There is nothing like a good drum sound...........
Man with keyboard and backing track ( including the hated drum machine ):yuk: :yuk: :yuk: :yuk: Give me a live band WITH A REAL DRUMMER!!!

Now you sound like the type of person who knows how to enjoy herself.
I bet you are great fun on a night out!:ok:

7th Feb 2006, 08:36
Ah my children, harken to my words - while you still can. I now work in health and safety, among other things. I have also been quite closely associated with one or two popular beat combos. I can tell you quite categorically that loud music damages your hearing and that bar staff are more at risk than you. They do, after all, have to endure the music longer and more often than you. In addition to this I can tell you that quite a few famous old rockers are suffering with their hearing now and have been for many years.
I am not a famous old rocker but forty odd years of being exposed to loud music (self inflicted), large engines and heavy machinery has left me with a ringing in my ears and partial deafness.
Oh and one further thing, the manager, band and staff are jointly and severally responsible for everyones safety. They are all legally liable so if they ask for the music to be turned down they are complying with the health and safety at work act and their responsibility to the public health.

tony draper
7th Feb 2006, 08:45
Been trying to find a wee rack mounted power amp that doesn't pump out 6000 feckin watts,
What happened to 60 watts per feckin channel jobbies??

7th Feb 2006, 09:24
First you will notice you cannot follow a conversation in a normal social situation because you cannot hear some words if there is ANY background noise.
Had that problem since I was about 18! No tinnitus yet though...

I recall a certain rock lead singer who moderates here telling us that he flies with a Captain with a hearing aid - some comfort for those of us who like things loud perhaps?

It is of course possible to have things too loud. Watching Motorhead last year I noticed more people than usual standing in the foyer of the venue as things were quite frankly boardering on the insane. Perhaps I shouldn't have stood next to 'Hobbs' their front of house sound engineer beckoning him to turn it up! But there is a point whereby it's just too much however my band have yet to reach that hallowed point yet.


Solid Rust Twotter
7th Feb 2006, 10:03
It's all personal choice, folks. Some people like it loud, others prefer acoustic. I fall into the latter category and wouldn't bother going to a venue where the volume makes conversation a problem, just as others would avoid going to a classical recital or a folk evening in a small pub. If I happen to be with a few friends in a place which is expecting a live band later we'll move on in good time and take our wallets full of beer coupons somewhere we feel more comfortable, just as those with similar wallets will seek out the place we've just vacated.

No problem....

7th Feb 2006, 10:13
Slightly amusing....


7th Feb 2006, 10:33
Great thread!

Back in the eighties my band played in a big club in New Brighton. As we were setting up, the singer, Kev, asked the manager where he could plug in the plug board for the amps and that. Manager looks at him and says "Plugs, do you not have your own generator?" Kev says "Generator!!! who do you think we are mate, Pink Floyd"!!!!! :D :D

Have loads of stories from playing around Merseyside throughout the eighties, some good, some bad, some absolute classics, must jot them down here one day, some great times were had back then.

I do miss playing though, used to love it the buzz of playing live and the crowd reaction and all that. Too old now to go through all that again!!! :O

7th Feb 2006, 10:36
Well my ears are still buzzing from a week last Friday after seeing a Led Zepplin tribute act.:ok:

Time for a new thread on venues I think.

7th Feb 2006, 11:08
WHAT ??? :=

7th Feb 2006, 15:13

Why too old?

Me and a mate at work got together months ago, both of us play guitar, his wife plays bass, we knew a drummer. All of a sudden we have a band. My friend and his wife wanted to do Rock music, they had already written a number of songs based on myths and legends. We now have 12 original songs pretty much completed and are seriously thinking about gigging again.

We are all 40 ish some more ish than others, but so what! we like the music why not go out and play it

If anybody wants to listen to some demo snippets of what we have done try www.darkaged.com - we only put this site up yesterday and are having a bit of trouble with the media player (it doesn't appear to be available to everybody who logs onto the site) hopefully we will fix it soon.

Anyway the real point is our drummer has one of those Roland electronic kits so all the drums guitars and vocals are fed straight into the mixing desk and we all use headphones which means the only noise we create is a vocal. Means we can practice when we want in our singers house.

Can't wait to make some proper noise though it's been 20 odd years since I got up in front of people and thrashed out some new wave power chords.

7th Feb 2006, 16:53
Been trying to find a wee rack mounted power amp that doesn't pump out 6000 feckin watts,
What happened to 60 watts per feckin channel jobbies??

Go English my boy. I have a very nice Exposure set up with ancient Spendor speakers. My mate swears by Rega.

Onan the Clumsy
7th Feb 2006, 16:55
I never really saw the point of making music loud for the sake of loudness, unless of course as a foil to camoflage a lack of talent.

It's not for no reason it was used as a weapon against General Norriega.