What follows is an email response from another audio engineer concerned about excessive sound levels in clubs.
>Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 12:24:38 -0600
>Subject: Live Sound Engineers
>I am an audio engineer and unfortunately, I have to agree with
>comments about most people doing live sound. I find it ridiculous
>that to hear a concert properly one must wear ear protection to
>avoid distortion and hearing loss. The ear has a certain dB and SPL
>threshold before distortion that is passed when one goes to "hear"
>a live band today. I've been to bars no larger than the one on
>Cheers where the entire drum kit is miced and run through a 1000
>watt PA. I am wondering when people will come to their senses
>and realize that for optimum sound quality and enjoyment from the
>audience (many people at shows are wearing earplugs now, so it
>goes to show that the audience does NOT want it that loud!) the
>people doing live sound need to TURN IT DOWN! Thank you.
Thanks for your note. I also find the situation "ridiculous" but rather than spending my energy ridiculing folks, I try to focus on the fundamentally good, in contrast with the thoughtlessly bad, audio engineering principles. It´s a strange time out there in the audio engineering world but I sense it´s about to improve. I hope so anyway. [Several days after writing this note I went to a concert at UC Berkeley of the Global Divas, three fine female singers and their bands - from Africa, from Peru, and from the Tex/Mex border; the audio engineering was bad beyond belief and it depressed me so much I didn´t want to write about it so I wouldn´t forced to recall it.]
Good luck in your work. With your considerate attitude toward the audience I´m sure your audio work is in demand. Let folks know what your attitude is and you´ll have to start hiring help to meet the demand.
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