A Hypothetical Question About Roguish Bandmate Activity

Discussion in 'What's left to Talk About?' started by toomanycats, Oct 8, 2019.

?

A bandmate turns down your amp on stage during a performance. Do you . . .

  1. Turn it back up!

    12 vote(s)
    27.9%
  2. Pack up your stuff and leave the stage.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Be adult and professional by grinning and bearing it, then address the issue latter.

    31 vote(s)
    72.1%
  1. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Let's say you're a guitar player on stage with your band, performing in front of an audience. The curtain is up so to speak, you're on public display, you're in what all who consider themselves "professional" to any degree know as performance mode. During one of your guitar solos another member of your band stops playing, walks behind you, puts his hands on the controls of your amp, and turns your volume down . . . what would you do?

    Let's also assume that the entire incident is recorded on video, so there's no denying the fact that you were already deeply buried in the mix before you got turned down.

    Anyone ever have this kind of thing happen to them?

    Any ideas as to why somebody would do such a thing?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  2. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    F*ck it, let's forget the hypothetical thing. Here's the video of the real incident.

    0:08 Lead singer verbally segues me into my solo.

    0:10 I turn the volume knob on my guitar from 4-5 up to 10. That is my only "boost" for solos. I use a single channel, non master volume amp and do not use any stomp boxes for solos.

    0:12 I begin my solo. In my opinion it's already low in the mix, with many notes being barely audible. At the same time the bandmate in question walks behind me.

    0:34 He leans down and adjusts the volume of my amp down even further.

    0:42 My hands can be seen moving, though what I'm playing is no longer audible.

    0:48 Where my level was at for the rest of the show.

     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  3. BatUtilityBelt

    BatUtilityBelt Well-Known Member

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    Boot to the head. In reality, I would play out the piece as if nothing happened, quietly tell him to leave your gear alone between songs, and bring it up for the whole band to discuss in any meeting later.
     

  4. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Who this big-headed bastard is?
     
  5. Fat Jack

    Fat Jack Well-Known Member

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    @BatUtilityBelt Wasn't that a Bon Jovi song ? 'Boot to the head and who's to blame? You give jerks a bad name.' Like Bat said mention it off to the side and maybe bring it up to the whole band if you don't think the side talk helped.
     
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  6. Buddy

    Buddy Well-Known Member

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    The harmonica was hot in the mix. He was looking around sort of puzzled. Is there ANY chance he thought he was turning down his harmonica? Maybe he didn't know it was through the PA and thought it was through an amp?

    Or maybe, since he was standing directly in front of your amp, he THOUGHT you were loud (from his perspective), not really taking into account the general mix that the audience would hear. That would be kind of a rookie mistake. He does not look like a rookie.
     
  7. Buddy

    Buddy Well-Known Member

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    The harmonica is louder than the vox. Even the singer gave a sort of cock-eyed look, like, "whoa... that's a bit harsh."

    I think he somehow thought that he was turning himself down, not you. You are semi-inaudible in the later clip.
     
  8. mark_morton

    mark_morton Well-Known Member

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    That's fucked up.
     
  9. fullonshred

    fullonshred Well-Known Member

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    Was he drinking a bit? It DID look like he thought something was up with the harmonica, but hard to say for sure.

    You sure didn't sound too loud in the mix from the video. That much seems certain. Aren't there sound men/man in the audience who handle the mix?

    Here is a video that seems relevant if we replace the word fries with the word amplifier......

     
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  10. voodoorat

    voodoorat Well-Known Member

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    yeah as others have said that looked more like a confused mistake than anything malicious... and yeah, you went from being already a little buried to almost inaudible.
     
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  11. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    The harmonica is always hot in the mix. It will get even hotter when he stomps on the three gain pedals and 2o db Boosta Grande on his pedal board.

    Absolutely not. He knew he was turning me down. It was 100% done on purpose.

    It is his practice to mix the band from the side of the stage. I tried to convince him to use the snake he has, but to no avail. He continually complains about the mix, but won't take the most basic steps to correct it. Namely, turning his own levels down and mixing the band from a position in front of the stage.

    Yeah, it's very difficult to play like that. You have to hit the strings as hard a possible to hear anything at all. All nuance and dynamics are lost.
     
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  12. ID10T

    ID10T Well-Known Member

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    Then my vote is...... beyond passive aggressive to assertive. I truly would wash my hands of all of it, might not be friends anymore but wouldn't be enemy's.
     
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  13. tonray

    tonray Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    Next show bring a much bigger amp and remove the knobs after you set them on 11
     
  14. tonebender

    tonebender Well-Known Member

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    That is messed up. Find another band.
     
  15. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    First step, and I'm screaming this in MY head for me, was there any malicious intent? Pretty much the whole world needs this one pushed. Was he truly trying to help the band and song sound better? Right or wrong. If hes a jerk then you won't be fixing that anytime soon. Still you never touch anothers knobs. Its just too risky live and you can certainly make that clear. The tape is on your side. You were already too low in the mix. Talk to him first and see how over the top apologetic he is. If he isnt bring it up to the band. Say you wont be in a band with knob twiddlers. Say there can be mistakes but if either of these mixes are where they want you on a solo then this isnt the band for you. Say you are open to onstage suggestions about vol level. Get a wireless so its less subjective real time. Do a live mix with sound guy and you playing out front wirelessly. If he thinks that is the mix he wants then get out.
    I used to play with a guy early on who could be a real vol bully but for some reason the bass/mixer kept telling me to turn down. So I did. For 3 practices. It took those bozos 3 times before they realized he was the problem and they really missed me in the mix. It was hilarious how clueless all of them were. I just had the amp near my ear and played for myself over 5 hours of rehearsal. I still can't believe I did that. So unlike me to play it so cool. And the other guy admitted he has that problem. I saw it once at an open mic when the guy running it told him to turn own 3 times. Finally he went over and yanked his cord out.
    Maybe you demand that you are in charge of the mix or they get a 3rd party. Is it only vox and harp in the pa? If so thats pretty limited control.
    This'll be fun to hear how it turns out :)
     
  16. t-glo

    t-glo Well-Known Member

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    Our band has mix issues at times so I kinda know what yer feeling. But everyone must and I say MUST police themselves on stage and keep levels low so if needed you can boost your signals to meet the needs of the song....which change from song to song. But that being said....hands off my ampppp dude. I can't say find another band but I hope all works out.
     
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  17. adad

    adad Well-Known Member

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    Maybe just ask to be moved to the opposite side of the stage from the harmonica player since he has a hard time hearing himself.
     
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  18. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Pretty sure I would be running hot after the show because stomping off looks immature at best live although I'm sure you probably felt like it. An open discussion with your band mates should help to make up your mind. Very unprofessional on his part and no way were you to loud from the point it was recorded.
     
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  19. Rollin Hand

    Rollin Hand Well-Known Member

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    I would (after cooling down) talk to him without getting heated. It is possible that where he was standing that you were very loud to his ears. Discuss calmly. If he is difficult about it, raise it to the band, calmly.

    If this guy is doing the mix from the side of the stage, perhaps gently suggest an impartial listener from in front of the band as arbiter.

    If this resolves nothing, and he does it again, DDT him mid show.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    While it's an amusing idea, it's A) not going to make the overall mix of the band sound better, B) will be punishing the audience, and C) would have many venues not inviting us back.

    Let me put it this way. Earlier while we were setting up our equipment he asked me specifically about how the built in attenuator on the back of my amp works. I innocently explained it to him, just thinking he was interested in talking about my gear. It was only later that I realized he was premeditating my turn down. After he actually did it, right after the video cuts, he tapped me on the shoulder and said, "I turned you down." I was in disbelief. For one, I couldn't believe the chutzpah of this guy. Second, we're performing . . . what in the hell are you doing stopping your own performance, lurking around behind me, messing with my amp, and then trying to have an onstage conversation about it with me?

    Let's assume he had good intentions. Still, a guy with ears like that shouldn't be making decisions about the mix, intentions be damned.

    Sometimes we only mic the vocals. The harp either goes through his vocal mic or through his amp, he switches back and forth. Sometimes we also mic the guitar amps, line out the bass amp direct into the board, and mic the kick drum.
     
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