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Davey Review: Rick Fielding Strikes Again! (28) RE: Rick Fielding Strikes Again! 09 Nov 99

WW, I'm not a sound person or technician, and if Arnie is still reading this thread perhaps he can give a more complete explanation. Jason and Lydia are acoustic musicians, and they decided that if they were going to make a living at it they should get good equipment, so they invested a considerable sum to get a quality soundboard, good main and monitor speakers, and a number of the most highly recommended microphones for voice and instrument.(there are different mikes for different purposes)

Acoustic instruments have a particular warm presence which requires a certain type of microphone, plus proper equalization on the sound board to reproduce accurately. I was at a showcase concert put on by some friends at a local bar that specializes in rock groups. The person running (if that's the word) the sound board was accustomed to rock groups, and the acoustic trio sounded terrible, the voices were muddy and the instruments not properly balanced, individually or in relation to each other. It took nearly the entire first set before things began to improve.

On another occasion, my partner and I were performing at an outdoor benefit concert, and during our set-up I plugged my 12-string (a Laskin) into the sound system. It sounded terrible, producing an unbalanced and overly loud sound that I couldn't fix no matter how much I fiddled with the controls. I ended up unplugging it and playing into a mike, which was a considerable improvement. I haven't used it plugged in since then. Acoustic instruments with pickups don't sound the same as unamplified instruments.

Jason and Lydia, being performers themselves, develop a good rapport with the evening's entertainers and quickly understand the sound that entertainer is looking for. Then, during the actual performance, they listen closely and constantly adjust the eq, levels, balance, etc. as needed to take into consideration the changes in sound produced by different instruments, sound absorption caused by the size of crowd, and any other factors that may be interfering. In short, they don't just set the controls and leave it there, they work hard at maintaining the best sound possible, and they are very good at it.

That's a non-technical look at things, and I hope that helps somewhat...

Davey... (:>)

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