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What is Hi-Fi ?

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

davedotco wrote:

John Duncan wrote:

davedotco wrote:

John Duncan wrote:

davedotco wrote:

In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.

 

Absolute nonsense.

Another useless and deliberately provocative statement.

Perhaps you would like to explain where I have been going wrong for all those years I was a live sound engineer.

How loud is a typical guitar rig? And how loud does it sound to the audience in the back row of Wembley? What sort of SPL do you think Geddy Lee's backline pumps out?

First of all I was refering to an indoor concert hall, St Davids Hall was mentioned which is known to have decent acoustics and most modern backline amplifiers will produce ample subjective volume in such a setting. In this case the PA will be used to balance their relative output, nothing more.

Of course electric instruments can be Di-ed directly into the mixing console but in most cases this is done to provide a degree of extra control for the FOH engineer, the balance mentioned above. Most musicians of my aquaintence do not like the use of DI-ed feeds, it removes the character of the backline amplifier, which is considered an essential part of that musicians sound. I am sure that there are some musicians who rely on DI-ed feeds but in my experience they are a small minority.

Backline amplifier/speaker combinations sound exceptionally loud, their high distortion content sees to that, so it is only in very large auditoria or of course out of doors where they need the help of the PA.

So now we've moved from all indoor concerts to concerts in one particular hall? What amp should I use for my acoustic that won't need to go through the pa? And what about the 6w Cornford Harlequin that my other guitarist uses because he considers it 'an essential part of his sound'?

Like all generalisations, yours was false.

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pauln's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

davedotco wrote:

All electric instruments are amplified and played through loudspeakers. In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.

Not these days.

The stage is a pretty quiet place now, artists want to preserve their hearing. In any venue of a decent size, backline couldn't hope to fill the place with sound without PA so why bother at all and it avoids much of that feedback nonsense too. To hear themselves, artists use a combination of in ear monitoring, foldback, and side fills flown in the wings. The mix they hear will generally be a different one to the mix that the audience get to hear and will be mixed by a different engineer to the FOH engineer who's job is to ensure that everyone in the audience can hear reasonably well, otherwise people start complaining and demanding their money back. There are also health and safety considerations, i.e. limitations on the allowable spl, meaning that the line arrays are invariably flown and focussed to distribute the sound evenly - if most of it came from the back line, the people in the front rows would get deafened so that the people at the back could hear.

The exception, as alluded to above by James, are the bass bins which are usually stacked on the ground, left and right of stage - these are felt more than heard and can be very uncomfortable if you're too close.

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Electro's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

I can vouch for the effectiveness of curved line arrays , I went to a gig at the Corn Exchange Cambridgeback in march and noticed the sound had improved dramatically from the last time I was there a few years back , then I noticed the curved arrays hanging from the roof , the sound was far smoother and evenly spread .

For those like me that hate excessivly loud rock gigs and want to save your hearing I recommend a pair of Pro Guard in ear hearing protectors , they drop the spl by 9db without altering any frequencies you hear .

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Vladimir's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

davedotco wrote:

Another useless and deliberately provocative statement.

Perhaps you would like to explain where I have been going wrong for all those years I was a live sound engineer.

 

Oh mate! Thats the suckyest job in the world! 

While everyone parties, gets drunk, drugged and laid at concerts you're at work! Sober! Waiting to go home to the mrs. and flip the telly! Ahhh, so sad. I empathyze with you, I am giving a virtual hug to your inner pain. 

 

 

It also explains your attitude.  excellent!

 

Cheers.

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Native_bon's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

To me the term high fidelity does not apply to anything else apart from a system that plays the music very close to the original sound at best. In the real world that is not possible cause bad recordings will just sound unbearable.

If you enjoy the way your system makes music then that's high fidelity to you!! Its all about your own ears and what sounds good to it.

The very same panio instrument recorded in one room will sound different in another.. So which is the true sound of that panio.

Why are people so hang up on what that hall sounded like and what speakers were used in the hall & God knows what. blimey!!

Of course all things being equal you will get the true sound of the panio in a very well acoustic treated room.. But how many have got treated rooms in the real world.. Even when you listen to a live recording the enigneer would have done some adjustments on the final recording before putting it on the medium of play.

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pauln's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

Vladimir wrote:
 

Oh mate! Thats the suckyest job in the world! 

While everyone parties, gets drunk, drugged and laid at concerts you're at work! Sober!

rolling on the floor laughing

You've obviously never been on tour Wink

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Vladimir's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

pauln wrote:

rolling on the floor laughing

You've obviously never been on tour Wink

Where? In Wayne's World?

I've been on plenty of concerts indoors, outdoors... The personnel is always shipshape, professional, working hard. If they even open a can of beer they are fired. I have a friend who works for a live event sound reinforcement company and he works like a mule, comes home dead tired and doesn't even listen to music at all. Rarely the staff gathers after work, he drinks at home his sad can of beer watching soccer.  Crying

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pauln's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

Vladimir wrote:

pauln wrote:

rolling on the floor laughing

You've obviously never been on tour Wink

Where? In Wayne's World?

I've been on plenty of concerts indoors, outdoors... The personnel is always shipshape, professional, working hard. If they even open a can of beer they are fired. I have a friend who works for a live event sound reinforcement company and he works like a mule, comes home dead tired and doesn't even listen to music at all. Rarely the staff gathers after work, he drinks at home his sad can of beer watching soccer.  Crying

Oh well, maybe I just dreamt the last 27 years of my life.

Oh, and when you're touring, you don't go home at the end of the day...

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Home: Denon DBP-2010, Humax, Panasonic Plasma, Monitor Audio ASB-2, AKG K240 Studio, Audio-GD NFB 12, Audio Pro Addon T8 active monitors, definitely no fancy cables.

Vladimir's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

pauln wrote:

Oh well, maybe I just dreamt the last 27 years of my life.

Oh, and when you're touring, you don't go home at the end of the day...

 

And you ruined a perfectly good tease I set up for Dave. 

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davedotco's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

John Duncan wrote:

davedotco wrote:

John Duncan wrote:

davedotco wrote:

John Duncan wrote:

davedotco wrote:

In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.

Absolute nonsense.

Another useless and deliberately provocative statement.

Perhaps you would like to explain where I have been going wrong for all those years I was a live sound engineer.

How loud is a typical guitar rig? And how loud does it sound to the audience in the back row of Wembley? What sort of SPL do you think Geddy Lee's backline pumps out?

First of all I was refering to an indoor concert hall, St Davids Hall was mentioned which is known to have decent acoustics and most modern backline amplifiers will produce ample subjective volume in such a setting. In this case the PA will be used to balance their relative output, nothing more.

Of course electric instruments can be Di-ed directly into the mixing console but in most cases this is done to provide a degree of extra control for the FOH engineer, the balance mentioned above. Most musicians of my aquaintence do not like the use of DI-ed feeds, it removes the character of the backline amplifier, which is considered an essential part of that musicians sound. I am sure that there are some musicians who rely on DI-ed feeds but in my experience they are a small minority.

Backline amplifier/speaker combinations sound exceptionally loud, their high distortion content sees to that, so it is only in very large auditoria or of course out of doors where they need the help of the PA.

So now we've moved from all indoor concerts to concerts in one particular hall? What amp should I use for my acoustic that won't need to go through the pa? And what about the 6w Cornford Harlequin that my other guitarist uses because he considers it 'an essential part of his sound'? Like all generalisations, yours was false.

The discussion was always about an indoor venue, and a pretty good one at that, you brought up 'Wembley', which was not what I was talking about. it was also regarding the performance of a rock band and as such was a description of what is still nomal practice in these situations. Are there other ways of doing things, of course there are, I've worked with musicians who do things differently but that is not the norm for a rock band.

I know you play and have more experience than most but mainstream rock bands (with a few exceptions, mainly at the top end) still play in the traditional way with a conventional and powerful backline, thats just the way it is.

__________________

We do so many shows in a row,

And these towns all look the same,

We just pass the time in our hotel room

And wander 'round backstage,

Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,

And we remember why we came.

Jackson Browne

davedotco's picture
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Posts: 3020
RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

pauln wrote:

davedotco wrote:

All electric instruments are amplified and played through loudspeakers. In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.

Not these days.

The stage is a pretty quiet place now, artists want to preserve their hearing. In any venue of a decent size, backline couldn't hope to fill the place with sound without PA so why bother at all and it avoids much of that feedback nonsense too. To hear themselves, artists use a combination of in ear monitoring, foldback, and side fills flown in the wings. The mix they hear will generally be a different one to the mix that the audience get to hear and will be mixed by a different engineer to the FOH engineer who's job is to ensure that everyone in the audience can hear reasonably well, otherwise people start complaining and demanding their money back. There are also health and safety considerations, i.e. limitations on the allowable spl, meaning that the line arrays are invariably flown and focussed to distribute the sound evenly - if most of it came from the back line, the people in the front rows would get deafened so that the people at the back could hear.

The exception, as alluded to above by James, are the bass bins which are usually stacked on the ground, left and right of stage - these are felt more than heard and can be very uncomfortable if you're too close.

Glad to hear that things are improving since my day and although I no longer work I do get to see a fair amount of live music and while what you describe is certainly the case at the more exalted end of the spectrum it is still not that common at the more mundane level of bands working at the middle level.

I spent most of my time on the road as monitor engineer, though I did do a fair amount of FOH, your points are well made and, generally not appreciated by the audience. Mobile touring rigs are often quite difficult, and as you point out getting a decent sound to the whole of audience is the primary requirement and takes precedence over everything else. Getting a 'good sound' on stage, often a different stage every night can be quite taxing, I did a fair amount of work with 'old fashioned' rock bands and what I see today does not, in this instance, vary that much from what I experienced.

__________________

We do so many shows in a row,

And these towns all look the same,

We just pass the time in our hotel room

And wander 'round backstage,

Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,

And we remember why we came.

Jackson Browne

JamesMellor's picture
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Posts: 304
RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

pauln wrote:

davedotco wrote:

All electric instruments are amplified and played through loudspeakers. In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.

Not these days.

The stage is a pretty quiet place now, artists want to preserve their hearing. In any venue of a decent size, backline couldn't hope to fill the place with sound without PA so why bother at all and it avoids much of that feedback nonsense too. To hear themselves, artists use a combination of in ear monitoring, foldback, and side fills flown in the wings. The mix they hear will generally be a different one to the mix that the audience get to hear and will be mixed by a different engineer to the FOH engineer who's job is to ensure that everyone in the audience can hear reasonably well, otherwise people start complaining and demanding their money back. There are also health and safety considerations, i.e. limitations on the allowable spl, meaning that the line arrays are invariably flown and focussed to distribute the sound evenly - if most of it came from the back line, the people in the front rows would get deafened so that the people at the back could hear.

The exception, as alluded to above by James, are the bass bins which are usually stacked on the ground, left and right of stage - these are felt more than heard and can be very uncomfortable if you're too close.

The concert I'm refering to was at the B'ham Symphony Hall , Steve Earle , who'd i class as folk rock these days and it was the first time I've seen speakers stacked on the floor , I've seen Christy Moore and Suzie Vega there as well and thier "sound " was excellent , but I did have better seats for those , it is a small hall .

But really if we can't get the best seat or the best sound , then Hi-Fi is the best reporduction of the studio recording rather than the live gig ? and we know they have to fool about with the drums to record them right .

James

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

davedotco wrote:

In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA

davedotco wrote:

The discussion was always about an indoor venue, and a pretty good one at that, you brought up 'Wembley', which was not what I was talking about. it was also regarding the performance of a rock band and as such was a description of what is still nomal practice in these situations. Are there other ways of doing things, of course there are, I've worked with musicians who do things differently but that is not the norm for a rock band.

I know you play and have more experience than most but mainstream rock bands (with a few exceptions, mainly at the top end) still play in the traditional way with a conventional and powerful backline, thats just the way it is.

From Wikipedia: "An indefinite article indicates that its noun is not a particular one (or ones) identifiable to the listener. It may be something that the speaker is mentioning for the first time, or its precise identity may be irrelevant or hypothetical, or the speaker may be making a general statement about any such thing."

Perhaps an English course in the New Year?

Alternatively, might you consider not talking to everybody as if they were *considerably* stupider than you?

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davedotco's picture
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RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

JamesMellor wrote:

pauln wrote:

davedotco wrote:

All electric instruments are amplified and played through loudspeakers. In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.

Not these days.

The stage is a pretty quiet place now, artists want to preserve their hearing. In any venue of a decent size, backline couldn't hope to fill the place with sound without PA so why bother at all and it avoids much of that feedback nonsense too. To hear themselves, artists use a combination of in ear monitoring, foldback, and side fills flown in the wings. The mix they hear will generally be a different one to the mix that the audience get to hear and will be mixed by a different engineer to the FOH engineer who's job is to ensure that everyone in the audience can hear reasonably well, otherwise people start complaining and demanding their money back. There are also health and safety considerations, i.e. limitations on the allowable spl, meaning that the line arrays are invariably flown and focussed to distribute the sound evenly - if most of it came from the back line, the people in the front rows would get deafened so that the people at the back could hear.

The exception, as alluded to above by James, are the bass bins which are usually stacked on the ground, left and right of stage - these are felt more than heard and can be very uncomfortable if you're too close.

The concert I'm refering to was at the B'ham Symphony Hall , Steve Earle , who'd i class as folk rock these days and it was the first time I've seen speakers stacked on the floor , I've seen Christy Moore and Suzie Vega there as well and thier "sound " was excellent , but I did have better seats for those , it is a small hall .

But really if we can't get the best seat or the best sound , then Hi-Fi is the best reporduction of the studio recording rather than the live gig ? and we know they have to fool about with the drums to record them right .

James

I remember Steve earle when he used to rock and roll....... excellent!

(With apologies to Nick Lowe)

 

The second highlight tells you everything you need to know about the relationship between many hi-fi enthusiasts and real music. 

The reproduction is now the standard by which the reality is judged, really does say it all....... banging head against wall

__________________

We do so many shows in a row,

And these towns all look the same,

We just pass the time in our hotel room

And wander 'round backstage,

Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,

And we remember why we came.

Jackson Browne

davedotco's picture
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Posts: 3020
RE: What is Hi-Fi ?

John Duncan wrote:

davedotco wrote:

In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA

davedotco wrote:

The discussion was always about an indoor venue, and a pretty good one at that, you brought up 'Wembley', which was not what I was talking about. it was also regarding the performance of a rock band and as such was a description of what is still nomal practice in these situations. Are there other ways of doing things, of course there are, I've worked with musicians who do things differently but that is not the norm for a rock band.

I know you play and have more experience than most but mainstream rock bands (with a few exceptions, mainly at the top end) still play in the traditional way with a conventional and powerful backline, thats just the way it is.

From Wikipedia: "An indefinite article indicates that its noun is not a particular one (or ones) identifiable to the listener. It may be something that the speaker is mentioning for the first time, or its precise identity may be irrelevant or hypothetical, or the speaker may be making a general statement about any such thing. " Maybe an English course in the New Year?

Is that the best you can do....?

My meaning was perfectly clear to anyone who had read the thread, I can only assume that you had not done so.

__________________

We do so many shows in a row,

And these towns all look the same,

We just pass the time in our hotel room

And wander 'round backstage,

Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,

And we remember why we came.

Jackson Browne