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Day 43- Show Day - Derby, UK

I know you are not going to believe this but guess what happened!

Poof! And there it was, I was right in the middle of mixing the show and like a magical gift it materialized in the mixing area and simultaneously invoked FOH rule # 23 which states "if a magical wearable item materializes at FOH, it must be worn for the rest of the show." And then as an added bonus, I could hardly contain my excitement when Grier made me aware of the fact that since "it" had landed in my zone, that it was my duty to wear it.

And a couple of show shots from, oh darn where did I take them from? Oh that's right, front of house for a change.

OK, off to the last of the outdoor stadiums this run. Fun show tonight!

Ha Ha! I bet you thought I forgot about the sound nerd stuff!  As far as *Issue of the Day*, well when they exceeded the amount of dirty socks in my bag, I just had to embrace and reformat them as pleasurable challenges.

**** SoundNerdSpeak ****

Developing a 'show volume strategy' and having the self control to stick with it is quite challenging and often ignored or over looked in importance. Depending on the set list and other factors such as sound volume limits and the PA capabilities, I will try and structure a volume strategy that optimally reproduces that impact of what the band presents within the constraints dictated by things beyond my control. Having the sound of the show come out at a strong level and gradually build in intensity is a very good thing. If you come out too strong, it leaves no where to go, if you come out too soft, you lose the the critical thrill and excitement of the start of the show.

Here is a sound level plot of the volumes from the Derby gig. The measurements are averaged here over 1 minute increments but in general you can make out the songs and breaks, lull before the encore followed by a long quiet song and finishing with the loudest song of the show. You can also see that the show started just below 105 and finished just above 110 which is pretty much what I aim for.

There are two overlaying trends I attempt to achieve. Ideally there are cyclical volumes song to song resulting in a gradually increasing average volume level. Kind of a "loud, then reduce a bit, then reduce a bit more and then bring it up a bit louder than the starting point" pattern. This is all very dependant and dictated by the set list, of course. Certain songs increase intimacy at lower volumes while other lose impact unless they are at higher levels. The key is to make the soft songs slightly extra soft and leave more room for impact on the power driven tunes. All the while heading in a gradual upward volume trend, whee!

The reckless approach of up, up ,up mixing tends to be quite incompatible with system limitations, people's hearing, noise restrictions and in my opinion diminishes the journey of the auditory aspect of the live experience.

**** End SoundNerdSpeak ****

Dave Rat



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hollis on :

105-110 is above the threshold of recomended normal exposure. What do you do about protecting yourself? Earplugs? custom muscian's plugs? Bear with it?

carl on :

i was at that show mint ninit

Nigel on :

Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

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