Front row at live shows are sounding worse?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Paincakes, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Paincakes

    Paincakes SS.org Regular

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    I like attending shows at "theater" sized venues, and when it calls for it, like to work my way up to the front.

    I've noticed that bands that run quiet stages (with in-ear monitors / amp modelers) tend to sound pretty weak when standing up front.
    I suppose it makes sense, since the house PA are usually on either side of the stage, so the front/center part of the audience isn't being hit with a wall of sound.

    This bums me out because it greatly diminishes what could be a great experience. Crowds are just not as excited...

    Example, one of my current favorite bands hitting the stage recently:
    (skip to 2:11)


    Has anyone else noticed this?
    Could it be just a bad sound guy, or a cold audience? I think the quiet stage is partly to blame.
     
  2. ChrisRushing

    ChrisRushing Fretboard Acrobat

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    I've always been of the mind to get close to the sound guy. He's mixing it for what sounds optimal from his POV. Granted, you give up some visuals for better listening.
     
  3. spawnofthesith

    spawnofthesith SS.org Regular

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    bands running direct is always a bummer in that regard
     
  4. coreysMonster

    coreysMonster So long, Germany!

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    Yeah I noticed the same thing. Front and center gets a face-full of drums and nothing but white noise.
     
  5. BrailleDecibel

    BrailleDecibel 55.0r6 R36ul@r

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    I got lucky at the last show I went to in that regard. It was American Head Charge and Motograter at a small venue in Spokane called The Pin, and the sound up front was MASSIVE. Most of the other shows I've been to recently, I wasn't close enough to the front to notice this.
     
  6. EmaDaCuz

    EmaDaCuz Brutal yet soulful

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    It really depends on the venue, but in general I would agree with you.
    Indoor, I like to stand in the upper deck (if there), and trend visuals for sound quality. If that's not possible, quite in front (let's say first third) and slightly to the side, to be hit by the wall of sound from the PA.
    Outdoor, the only sweet spot is mixing desk.
    My best experience is "semi" indoor, in environment such big tents. Perfect sound quality wherever you stand and in general good visibility.
     
  7. rokket2005

    rokket2005 SS.org Regular

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    100% agree. I hate working my way upfront for shows and then having the music be drowned out by people around me. The worst offender here was when I saw Fear Factory a couple years ago and hearing Burton C Bells awful unaffected vocals and nothing else.
     
  8. AdamMaz

    AdamMaz SS.org Regular

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    I leave this thread as enlightened.
     
  9. jeremyb

    jeremyb SS.org Regular

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    Yep it's why so many guys with modellers are using backline amps and cabs on stage as well to give the front rows (and themselves) some volume.
     
  10. Velokki

    Velokki GAS station

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    Periphery actually bring cabs on stage just for the people on the front row to hear them better. Misha said that it's not really fair for the fans that are the most dedicated to have the crappiest sound every time.

    Totally respect that, since I'm one of those guys who want to see the band up close, but really appreciate good audio, too.
     
  11. pkgitar

    pkgitar SS.org Regular

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    Almost looks like the audience in the video doesn't care for the band at all, just Papa Emeritus.

    You're definitely on to something. A well balanced stage sound is definitely a big plus.
     
  12. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Wow that brings back memories......I grew up in Kazoo and saw Metallica on that stage in 84 on Ride the Lightning. I was front row and needless to say that didn't sound bad.
     

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