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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw Jon Boden's right foot (43) RE: Jon Boden's right foot 08 Oct 08

Well JohnB, here I am. What do you want me to say?

Try this. I did the sound for S&B at Bromyard a few years back (which was the time you are referring to, I suspect). This year, they had their own sound engineer - Mark Whyles - who is also the engineer for Bellowhead (and also their manager), and is highly respected by folk musicians far and wide.

Now then, Mark mixes the stompbox much louder and bassier than I did or would. I cannot say whether this is right or wrong. It's a matter of musical taste. Mark, and S&B by assumption, obviously want it like this. Some like it, some don't. But I really don't think that any of us have any right to dictate how any artists presents themselves. It's a bit like telling Status Quo to turn the volume down.

At the final reckoning, audiences will vote with their feet (not stompboxes!!) and either come because they like it, or don't come because they don't. If nobody comes, then presumably the audience will have been vindicated, and the artist will change the way they do things.

Re volume levels in big tents. It is fairly obvious that it will be louder at the front than at the back. You can't fight the Laws of Physics - sound levels diminish over distance. Although high frequencies diminish quicker than bass frequencies. This is why you can only hear the bass at the other side of the field.

The PA system that I use is designed to minimise that difference, so that the volume at the back is very nearly the same as it is at the front. I won't go into the technicalities of this - far too long-winded and boring.

Interestingly, a few people at Shrewsbury this year complained because it wasn't LOUD ENOUGH at the front!!

Yes, I have been doing this for a long time, and have been continually striving to improve the quality of sound. I do a lot of festivals of all shapes and sizes - Bromyard, Shrewsbury and Warwick being 3 that have been mentioned. Every year, we seem to add more to the list. I assume that the organisers book us because they like what they hear elsewhere.

And yes, hearing does diminish both with age and with exposure to continued loud sounds. This is why I take my hearing very seriously, and no longer do gigs with heavy metal bands, and restict myself to folk. I also have my hearing checked regularly with a private Consultant who is one of the World's leading specialists in the field of noise damage from loud music. He says that my hearing is far better than most people of my age!!

So there you are - I've said a lot. I'll leave the rest of the discussion to you lot.


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