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  #16  
Old 01-28-2015, 06:49 PM
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I saw 'em at the Forum last November...it was one of the quietest Fleetwood Mac concerts I've ever been to. The mix was VERY good, but they could've pumped the overall volume up 20-30 dB.

I was sitting in the same relative position to the stage as when I saw the Stones at Staples Center and the Stones were MUCH louder.

I don't really enjoy concerts where the volume is seemingly lower than my cheapo car stereo.

Loudest Fleetwood Mac shows...December 1980 at the Forum...all 3 nights of that stand, whew! Especially during Lindsey's solo at the end of GYOW...made me wince & shove my fingers in my ears.

Loudest bands I've heard in person:

Cheap Trick (opening act for Heart in 1990; had to leave the venue they were so loud...pleaded with the security guard to let me stand outside until they were done)

Quiet Riot (opening act for ZZ Top in 1983, was in 2nd row, their stage volume was so loud, only the vocals were fed through the PA system.)

Blue Oyster Cult (headliner in 1974, 4th row from stage, directly in front of stage left PA stacks...my ears rang for 3 days afterwards. )

Even the 5 times I've seen The Who and they weren't even close to being as loud as those 3 bands.
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2015, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jbrownsjr View Post
Of course, I'm never really close up. I'm always at least halfway back.
I'm usually in nosebleed seats, which might actually be part of the problem for me since I'm getting the sound from the front and then also again as it bounces off the back.

But, even Stevie when she plays at Red Rocks in the open air has the volume cranked too high for my liking.
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  #18  
Old 01-28-2015, 09:24 PM
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Before I quit going to concerts, it seemed like I did better with the sound at the outdoor venues. Thought maybe there were tighter restrictions in those areas. I sat in the first section off the floor to the right of the stage in front of a giant group of suspended speakers for the Santana concert and left with ear damage. All I had was a Kleenex that I wadded up and stuffed in my ears. It was so loud it make me feel sick to my stomach. After that I used ear plugs at concerts but even that was borderline... like, what's the point? A high pitched screaming fan standing next to you can be hard on the ears too. I figured my ears were getting too old, so quit going all together.
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  #19  
Old 01-28-2015, 11:27 PM
SoundBoyBrad SoundBoyBrad is offline
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Hi all,

So I haven't posted in prettttttttty much forever, but I figured this article would be a good fit for this topic. It's a really good read - even aside from the technical aspect, which is also very interesting:

http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/on_with_the_show/

"His house mix comes together based around tried-and-true formulas, as youd expect. There is, first and foremost, the matter of overall level. In the Kob canon, level has to be exciting. You can go below that occasionally and its OK, but remain there and it gets boring. He mixes loud, but a clear distinction must be made between good loud and bad loud. Good loud keeps everyone dancing, and if someone onstage is playing something, it will be heard."

Brad
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  #20  
Old 01-28-2015, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SoundBoyBrad View Post
Hi all,

So I haven't posted in prettttttttty much forever, but I figured this article would be a good fit for this topic. It's a really good read - even aside from the technical aspect, which is also very interesting:

http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/on_with_the_show/
thanks so much for that Brad!

pasting the whole article here:



Fleetwood Mac: On With The Show

Backstage with the sound team as they discuss timeless concert sound for a legendary band's current tour...

Jan. 07, 2015, by Greg DeTogne

Mick Fleetwood at his kit on the current tour. (All photos by Steve Jennings)

Related Tags: Subwoofers, Line Arrays, Consoles, Processors, Concert Tours, Greg Detogne, Fleetwood Mac

Another day, another city, and this time Dave Kob, having just finished tuning the PA, is out at his front of house perch, looking up into the yawning maw of another arena’s dome.

It’s just an ordinary moment prior to a show until he catches sight of a sawzall blade coming through the ceiling above. “What’s going on?” Kob asks his crew chief Donovan Friedman, pointing up with a bit or urgency. “I know this is a sold-out show, but I’ve never seen fans that motivated to get in.”

Kob has worked a few shows in his time. Four decades worth, to be more precise, since he first started with Clair back in 1974. With Fleetwood Mac, he was around in the early days as system engineer, working under Richard Dashut, who engineered on Rumours and mixed the first two subsequent tours.

By ‘82 he was in the front of house seat mixing for the Mirage tour. Stints with Madonna, The Eagles, The Who, and others ensued after that, but by ‘97, Kob was back.

Following another hiatus with the band, he returned again in 2009. The ‘13 tour followed, and then this year’s current On With the Show tour that continues in North America through mid-April, marking the return of singer/keyboardist Christine McVie to the stage for the first time in 16 years.

“Yeah, so basically I’ve done a number of tours with the band spread over a very long time,” Kob says while cautiously looking for traces of sawzall dust that may have floated earthward and onto his Yamaha PM5K console. “Right now, this is the best they’ve been playing since ‘97. Having Chris back is just a wonderful thing.”

Click to enlarge
The legendary quintet, left to right: Christine McVie, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham.
Old & New
The show today is up to two and a half hours of hits. That’s what the fans want to hear, so there isn’t a lot of experimentation going on onstage. Crowds are multi-generational, with baby boomers anchoring one end and millennials the other. Drawing upon classic analog components that preserve the band’s legendary sound, the tour nonetheless makes use of recent technology – albeit sparingly – where it makes sense.

Clair i-5D cabinets deliver the reinforcement, with power coming from a collection of Crown Macro-Tech amplifiers. “I love the i-5D,” Kob admits. “Clair initially only built two systems of it, so I had to step on a few necks to get one out here for me, and I’m not giving it back. The i-5D was basically created by taking the best from the i-5 and i-5b and joining it all together in a single cabinet. I was skeptical of the concept at first, but then I heard it and was amazed.”

Click to enlarge
Dave Kob at his front of house intersection of older (Yamaha PM5D) and newer (Avid Profile) schools.
In larger venues that sell out, the crew usually deploys the whole system, which includes two hangs of 16 i-5Ds left-and-right. A rear hang normally is built around i-5s.

Matter Of Style
An outspoken advocate of analog, Kob’s Yamaha PM5000 console is the centerpiece of his ongoing endeavors. “I go to so many other shows these days and the band sounds ‘OK’ but not great,” he notes. “It seems I always find myself wishing I could hear more of this or that. I look around in these situations and there’s usually a guy standing there tweaking some esoteric plug-in compressor/dynamic generator or whatever. Rather than mixing the band, he’s playing with a video screen.

Click to enlarge
Clair arrays in the air.
“Some people are sensible about technology, others get lost in it. A lot of the guys in the latter group have 60 inputs and 110 plug-ins. Well, if it works for them, fine. But it doesn’t for me, and that’s why I stay with my PM5K. I’ve mixed tours on digital desks, but I much prefer the ergonomics of an analog console, it just suits my style.”

As a concession to the digital world, however, Kob keeps an Avid VENUE Profile at hand as a sidecar device. “The sidecar and the PM5K work together,” he explains. “I have eight tracks from the USC marching band in there for use on the song ‘Tusk,’ for example, and some other bits and pieces. I’ve built Pro Tools snapshots of everything. I fire MIDI from the PM5K that makes all the changes I need on the Profile. There’s not really too much to do with the Profile at all. Once it was programmed it was set to go.”

His house mix comes together based around tried-and-true formulas, as you’d expect.

There is, first and foremost, the matter of overall level. In the Kob canon, level has to be exciting. You can go below that occasionally and it’s OK, but remain there and it gets boring.

He mixes loud, but a clear distinction must be made between good loud and bad loud. Good loud keeps everyone dancing, and if someone onstage is playing something, it will be heard.

“Then there’s balance,” he adds. “That’s the first critical part of actual mixing. Once you get that together and the EQ, you can animate the sound. Animation, in this sense, takes things and makes them jump out of the mix.

“I learned the art of animating sound from an engineer working with Elton John back in the ‘70s, Clive Franks. He would make a tambourine loud for two hits and then drop it back into the mix with reverb – amazing, tasteful things with a truly creative dynamic.”

The Collection
House effects on the tour are purposely basic, and period authentic, of course. What worked back in the day still does just as well today.

Click to enlarge
Distinct labeling tells the story of this front of house outboard rack.
In keeping with those parameters, Kob’s outboard selections include four Summit Audio TLA-100 tube leveling amps for vocals, three EL8 Distressors from Empirical Labs for backing vocals, an Avalon Designs stereo tube compressor, and a dbx 160 compressor that he keeps on Mick Fleetwood’s vocal.

“I use that piece for when he shouts,” Kob says, “and he can shout louder than any instrument ever made.”

Everything else within the outboard collection resides under the PM5K: a Yamaha SPX2000 for kick drum, an Eventide Harmonizer that runs on Stevie Nicks all the time just as a little “fattener-upper,” and a Bricasti M7 vocal reverb, which Kob proudly points out was built with 30-year-old technology and is still a device that many others use as a comparison point.

Other than all of this, look around further under the PM5K long enough and you’ll find a couple digital recorders and eight channels of Aphex gates on the drums.

Click to enlarge
Plenty of mics on Mick Fleetwood’s kit, fronted by a plexi shield.
On the input side of the equation, there are no wireless microphones on this tour. After a lengthy evaluation of just about every hardwired vocal mic available, Sennheiser 935s were chosen for all vocals except Lindsey Buckingham’s, which are still captured by his long-time favorite Audio-Technica AE6100.

Miking elsewhere onstage includes a Shure Beta 52 inside the kick, supplemented on the outside by a Milab kick drum mic no longer made that’s one of Kob’s favorites. “The rest of the stuff is what I’ve used all the time forever as well – (Sennheiser) 421s, Milab overheads, AKG on hi-hat,” he adds.

Dual Approach
Monitorworld is a split-function affair using in-ear systems and wedges, with dedicated engineers for each: Dave Coyle for the former, and Ed Dracoules for the latter.

As unofficial tour historian, Kob recalls that when he first started with the band, “they had an amp line where there was a Leslie cabinet on one side, Lindsey had extension cabinets on his side of the stage, and John (McVie) had his bass cabinets. The only thing they had in their monitors was kick, snare, high-hat, and vocals. They listened to everything else through the backline.”

Today, with Coyle taking charge of the in-ear monitoring systems from behind a DiGiCo SD10 digital console, Dracoules manages wedges with the aid of a VENUE Profile. The artists wear Future Sonics MG5Pro in-ear drivers fed by Sennheiser 2050 wireless systems. Wedges are Clair 12AM models, deployed for Buckingham, John McVie, Fleetwood, and the band’s rhythm guitarist.

In keeping with the underlying analog nature of things, Coyle’s outboard gear is a Spartan approach that includes such things as Yamaha SPX990s and an M5000 from TC Electronic providing effects for Christine McVie and Nicks.

Click to enlarge
Monitor engineer Dave Coyle stage-side with his DiGiCo SD10.
“Everything else comes from the console, which is one of the reasons I like using the SD10,” Coyle explains. “That and it offers me the ability to use dynamic EQ and multi-band compression. I don’t use a lot of any of that, but given the opportunity to run it on my Pro Tools snapshots is nice. This band likes its older effects, and when you mix older things with newer products on the same input, having this ability is a huge plus.”

Staying On Course
The production level of the show is anything but stuck in the past. With motion having become a bigger part of the show over the past two tours, moving video walls now help to visually reinforce the show, along with a large-scale fixed video wall running along the back of the stage. There are about 300 cues for the show including count-ins and clicks.

“Each member of the band essentially likes to hear a mix mirroring the sound of the record,” Coyle notes. “And despite their traditional use of effects, they do enjoy newer technologies like the Pro Tools snapshots.

Click to enlarge
Another view of Fleetwood Mac on the current tour.
“All that said,” he continues, “to mix for this tour effectively, you can’t lose sight of the fact that these are actual inputs. They are not heavily compressed, polished, or mastered. When you turn it up, that’s what you get. You have to use your VCAs every night because these are live musicians in the most classic sense. There’s nothing programmed here, you have to mix if you want it to sound good.”

Kob concurs with Coyle’s assessment of the importance of staying on the VCAs. “There are a lot of moving pieces on this show,” he concludes. “As long as they stay in parameters that are workable for me, it’s OK. I just call that mixing, and that’s what I love to do. I don’t expect this band to come across at the same level every night. Take your hands off the helm here and things will veer off pretty quickly.”

Gregory A. DeTogne is a writer and editor who has served the pro audio industry for the past 30 years.


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  #21  
Old 01-29-2015, 10:29 AM
jbrownsjr jbrownsjr is offline
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Originally Posted by Macfanforever View Post
I agree .You can feel Mick and John inside me.LOL.....
hahaha!! you made my day..
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  #22  
Old 01-29-2015, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by SoundBoyBrad View Post
Hi all,

So I haven't posted in prettttttttty much forever, but I figured this article would be a good fit for this topic. It's a really good read - even aside from the technical aspect, which is also very interesting:

http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/on_with_the_show/

"His house mix comes together based around tried-and-true formulas, as youd expect. There is, first and foremost, the matter of overall level. In the Kob canon, level has to be exciting. You can go below that occasionally and its OK, but remain there and it gets boring. He mixes loud, but a clear distinction must be made between good loud and bad loud. Good loud keeps everyone dancing, and if someone onstage is playing something, it will be heard."

Brad

Thanks Brad for the great read.I love this kind of info since I'm into that kind of stuff.I always like to know what the band used for equipment.


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Originally Posted by jbrownsjr View Post
hahaha!! you made my day..
Hahahahaha.I figure that will get attention.LOL....
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  #23  
Old 01-29-2015, 04:13 PM
Ghost_Tracker Ghost_Tracker is offline
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Originally Posted by elle View Post
thanks so much for that Brad!

pasting the whole article here:
On With The Show

“Having Chris back is just a wonderful thing.”
The legendary quintet The show today is up to two and a half hours of hits.

tried-and-true formulas, as you’d expect.

There is, first and foremost, the matter of overall level. In the Kob canon, level has to be exciting. You can go below that occasionally and it’s OK, but remain there and it gets boring.

He mixes loud, but a clear distinction must be made between good loud and bad loud. Good loud keeps everyone dancing, and if someone onstage is playing something, it will be heard.
“Then there’s balance,” he adds. “That’s the first critical part of actual mixing. Once you get that together and the EQ, you can animate the sound. Animation, in this sense, takes things and makes them jump out of the mix.
Staying On Course
The production level of the show is anything but stuck in the past. There are about 300 cues for the show including count-ins and clicks.
“Each member of the band essentially likes to hear a mix mirroring the sound of the record,” . . . .

I thought that article was very interesting! Thanks for posting it.
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  #24  
Old 01-29-2015, 04:37 PM
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Way to loud. Chest was pounding and ears were ringing
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  #25  
Old 01-29-2015, 06:12 PM
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Saw them in Providence last night (Jan. 28) and the volume was perfect, and the sound was very good.
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  #26  
Old 02-01-2015, 08:26 PM
TimeCastASpell TimeCastASpell is offline
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Cant be any worse then what todays teens and twenty somethings listen in their Boom Boom car stereos.98 percent what I hear out of those systems sound like crap nevermind the music is crap.
If you lived near me I'd be sure to drive by often,as a 20-something who only turns up the volume on FM/ Stevie songs. I also dance in my car seat, drum on the steering wheel, have a penchant for suddenly singing bass lines instead of the lyrics while air bass playing, it's all good if the boom boom is Mick and John, right?

Seriously though I know exactly what you mean, it's a gift my younger brother sold off his car for a motorcycle, he had those expensive speakers that deafen you and rap music. I've always had super sensitive ears, you'd probably think I listen to most music too quite, i love to blast FM though, think finally seeing them in concert did it for me too, they sound better loud now.
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  #27  
Old 02-01-2015, 08:37 PM
TimeCastASpell TimeCastASpell is offline
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I think the volume was great this tour, and we were on the side practically at the stage and near the speakers, it was a good loud as the article posted mentioned. Though I did have an aunt and uncle with me who were more casual fans and just people who love concerts (and love me and making me happy!) so I remember trying to explain a couple of things to them and that was basically hopeless. You sort of need to be able to explain the Gold Dust coked out dance to people who aren't familiar with that. Lol

During the 2013 show, I thought there was some bad loud going on, notably that Stevie's mic was up too loud. Think they may have had some problems with the venue, her headset also went out during the show (which at least meant we got an unscripted impromptu joke about it being 76 all over again or something to that nature). But yeah, I remember asking in the thread about the 2013 Detroit/ Joe Louis Arena concert if anyone else thought there were sound issues on the Stevie front. I had a hard time making out the words she sang and it would sort of hit static at the loudest points. It was kind of a bummer to me being a lifelong SN fan and that being my first show. But I will say given that experience, this tour she's sounded absolutely phenomenal and I'm so so thrilled at the way she's doing the end of Silver Springs, have a video I posted of it on Facebook and I fought to keep quiet to record it but I lost my mind over that part. That's an example of good loud too, if she had been singing that last "follow you down" with the kind of force of this tour and the original recording during the show I saw in 2013 it would've sounded awful because the volume was just so screwy especially on her. So I'm pretty happy with where things currently are at.
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  #28  
Old 02-01-2015, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TimeCastASpell View Post
If you lived near me I'd be sure to drive by often,as a 20-something who only turns up the volume on FM/ Stevie songs. I also dance in my car seat, drum on the steering wheel, have a penchant for suddenly singing bass lines instead of the lyrics while air bass playing, it's all good if the boom boom is Mick and John, right?

Seriously though I know exactly what you mean, it's a gift my younger brother sold off his car for a motorcycle, he had those expensive speakers that deafen you and rap music. I've always had super sensitive ears, you'd probably think I listen to most music too quite, i love to blast FM though, think finally seeing them in concert did it for me too, they sound better loud now.
Hahahaha.That was funny as you said you were dancing in your car seat.I do the same thing.LOL. If no cars around I'll add the horn section to the mix by tapping on the car horn..LOL.....

I actually burned out my old car speakers with Stevie or FM on a concert trip so far I haven't blow the speakers in my current car yet.
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  #29  
Old 02-02-2015, 10:05 PM
TimeCastASpell TimeCastASpell is offline
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Hahahaha.That was funny as you said you were dancing in your car seat.I do the same thing.LOL. If no cars around I'll add the horn section to the mix by tapping on the car horn..LOL.....

I actually burned out my old car speakers with Stevie or FM on a concert trip so far I haven't blow the speakers in my current car yet.
LOL about the horn tapping, hilariously awesome, I usually forget the horn is there unless some other driver does something really stupid... That's gotta be fun on Tusk. I like to blast Tusk when I'm angry and pound on the dashboard, luckily I'm a bit smaller than Stevie so nothing's broken...
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:50 PM
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LOL about the horn tapping, hilariously awesome, I usually forget the horn is there unless some other driver does something really stupid... That's gotta be fun on Tusk. I like to blast Tusk when I'm angry and pound on the dashboard, luckily I'm a bit smaller than Stevie so nothing's broken...
Hahahaha ,Sounds like you are having fun.LOL......
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