ricks view on live gigs?

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ricks view on live gigs?

Postby gigpiglet » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:21 am

hey rick
i know you have been to a few shows lately.
what did you think of the sounds you heard in a couple of sydneys (old and new) venues?
what did you think of the mixes?
what did you think of the systems?

interested to hear how you "compared" a gig to your day job.
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby rick » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:44 pm

god thats a loaded question

i have been seeing lots of nineteen year old kids bands up and down oxford street .. for about a year .. bit more

doesnt matter what the decade.. the kids wanna rock .. its always too loud
and i have ear plugs in ..
but its great to have so many bands and so many new gigs for them to play at
great stuff .. sydney is about to explode as the live capital again .. dont beieve the old guard ney sayers
there are bands playing gigs everywhere


old school stuff ..?
last week
saw springsteen without plugs .. sounded great
saw shawn colvin without plugs ..sounded great
saw alex lloyd without plugs .. was the quietest gig i have ever been to sounded really great

err.. compared to what i listen to at work ..great is relative ..
but compared to even ten years ago everything sounds amazing ..

I blame those lil flatpanel computer looking mixings desks i keep seeing everywhere ..
seems to me the only knobs on them are the faders ..
everything else is hidden in software lcd screens
so i guess all the dangerous stuff goes un tweeked... which always helps :)

maybe i am looking at the lighting panels ...?
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby Particle » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:05 pm

Went to Spingsteen...with Rick actually...sounded great.

Last night I saw Wilco at the Opera House in the concert hall.

I had a seat in the centre of the front row of the circle. So, as we sat down I said at least it will sound great because I could almost lean down and touch the sound mixer on the head.
Now I love Wilco but until the band warmed up about 25 minutes in, I was getting very distracted and angry at the sound.

Jeff Tweedy's vocal was mostly mid-range honk and I couldn't hear it over the music mix. Same eq approach on his acoustic guitar.
The console was an Avid venue (I pretty sure) and I could see the screen as the mixer selected channels and plugins....(as I said I was distracted)
I was waiting for the operator to tweak the vocal. When he finally pulled up the vocal I could see it's EQ curve on the screen
No surprise..... it looked like a huge frown...all the bottoms shelved out ..all the tops shelved out ....no mid cuts.
He didn't change the eq as far as I could tell
I can only assume it was a creative choice as the other instruments were not as bad and to be honest once the band started to kick it I forgot about the sound issues.

Great gig.....not great sound.

I'm keen to hear the mix that was streamed on you tube...mixed by the in-house guys I assume.
Jason and/or Tony maybe?
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby Thirteen » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:43 pm

Interesting... I went to see a band at the SOH concert hall a couple of months ago and the vocal mix was dreadful - sounded like no EQ, no compression, swimming in a custard of cheap un-EQ'd mid-range reverb with no pre-delay. The singers must have had a very different monitor mix indeed to the FOH mix, when she hit the "can opener" frequency it was nasty in the House but she didn't flinch.

Best sounding gig in the last 12 months - Alice Cooper at the Enmore Theatre. Thump in the chest loud but didn't hurt your ears.
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby rick » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:36 pm

I saw Hairy Mcleary at the opera house last year

sounded tops :)



(dad joke.. but true )
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby rick » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:39 pm

I saw death cab for cutie at the enmore last year thanks to garerths def tour managing hand
but .. the sound was diabolical.. impossibly so ( not his sound gig .. he warned me it would be an intersting )

so was foo fighters .. interesting / diabolical sound

but wow what a show

I could list em all night
.. kings of leon was great.. clear as a bell
elton john .. was weirdly great.. for a sampled piano and a old man in a cavern
till pnau and him got up with a band ..and then it was diabolical... so take your wins i reckon

christ..the arias were on drugs.. it was SO bad i shudder..

I saw children collide play at upstairs at whatever kinsellas is called now and it was as good a show and sound as i have ever seen any rock band play to 600-1000 .. 19 year old girls that knew every word ..
I have seen the same band not far back at the annandale and walked out ..

i dunno gareth .. what you thinking ..?


you just have to take your wins with live gig sound .. cut your losses

mostly lately.. and too the point i reckon its been wins

it was different ten years ago
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby Drumstruck » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:51 am

Did you get to see Rodriguez? Wondering how he sounded ??
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby Ben M » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:18 am

Drumstruck wrote:Did you get to see Rodriguez? Wondering how he sounded ??


Just butting in...and a little OT

I saw Rodriguez a couple of years back in a small (100 capacity) basement club in Dublin. It still remains one of my favourite live gigs ever. Sounded great, band was great and he delivered a show that was somewhere between great story telling and fab music. Best $10 I ever spent. :)
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby jasound » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:47 am

Hey Particle,
No the Opera House recording team were nothing to do with this audio or video.
I'm a big fan of Wilco and would have loved to mixed it, but we were fully booked out already.

I saw Springsteen on the Friday, the mix sounded F@#$ing awesome, but those stadiums have got to do something about their acoustics. It's alright when their rocking and the arrangements are full, but when it comes to sparse arrangements, you really start to hear the slap and echoes of the back wall an roof.For the money we're being asked to pay for big concert tickets these days I think we deserve more from the venues.
Bruce Jackson Springsteens' sadly departed ex sound guy would have made them drape the problem areas.

I got a tour back/underneath stage before the show, wow what a setup, the Boss has 30 guitars plus a monitor console just for himself. It's like Noah's ark back there, two of everything. They have auto cue for words, chords and click for the 800 songs that he has been known to play.disclaimer they only use the click at the top of the song.

I think gigs are generally sounding better than they used to be.
Sorry I couldn't help it
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby Ben M » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:04 am

I watched this video a while ago but it was a good insight to the Springsteen show and sound specs. Even though it's a Waves promo John Cooper explains the level of processing that goes on in the show.

http://www.waveslive.com/html/video-joh ... -live.aspx
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby gigpiglet » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:19 pm

well... i see a lot of gigs.
i dont mix THAT many any more (as in i used to mix 10 a week sometimes, now sometimes id go a month without one)
but i still SEE a lot since im doing a lot more work as PM or TM these days rather than engineer.
partly cause i dont LIKE mixing most bands. unless im on tour, and have a great rapport with the band, and am in the position that i can make changes, then i find the whole thing pretty infuriating.

the comments above are pretty on par i think
the opera house is EXTREMELY hard to mix in. and depending on the schedule, sometimes they dont do the full draping. and that makes it really extremely hard! unless the full ceiling drapes are in - the upper mids are crazy in there!

i think there are a lot of engineers these days, that have only ever mixed one band (or 2 or 3) and try to do very specific things (like the wilco vocal sound comment) rather than actually mix the gig.
modern PA systems are so damn good.
but modern consoles mean you can do anything - and sometimes people do. know what i mean?

but rick you know about that... guys bringing you records with out of phase guitars and all that stuff. ;-)

what surprises me now, is how much money people spend and its still not good.
if its a shit pa, or a shit room, or a shit engineer - whatever.
but most the time now, its all great - but just not actually being mixed that well.

my 2 cents.
which is why i was keen to hear some others peoples (to make up a dollar?)
now dont get me started on the "20 dollars in my pocket" and the 4ch broadcast mix (even though there were 6 people onstage)
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby ChrisW » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:36 pm

PA's seem to have got a lot smaller.

I don't go to gigs much though.
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby rob » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:32 pm

I saw the Bad Seeds recently at Thebarton. The mix and sound was weird. Nick himself was great but the band mix was a mash of noise, rarely could you diferentiate any instrument from any other. Strangely I was at a Bad Seeds gig a few years ago at the same venue, slightly different and much larger lineup, there were probably twice the number of muscians / backing singers on stage. The overall mix was quieter and thus had huge dynamic range and every instrument, vocalists was clear, distinct, it was one of the best sounding gigs I've heard. Same mixer on both occassions I believe .....
But the best live sound I've heard was Dweazel Zappa, once again at Thebarton. It was almost too quiet but the sonic experience was like sitting in front of an world class hi fi and listening to an immaculately produced record.

I also saw Crazy Horse last month.... this was a brutal, loud assault, nothing hi fi here and amusingly for all Neil's bleatings about digital audio used a digital FOH console.
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Re: ricks view on live gigs?

Postby Thirteen » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:18 pm

Saw Public Image Ltd. At the Enmore last night. Sounded really good, a nice sea of Rock that didn't hurt the ears. JL's voice still has all of it's power, great pitching, very impressive.
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