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wolfgang last won the day on March 28 2017

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About wolfgang

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  1. For the record, Pulse Open was bumped in 2012 and made WC Finals. They have made WC Finals 5 of the past 6 years. On what basis does anyone have a leg to stand on claiming they should not have been promoted?
  2. New Open Class corps in 2018

    They are applying for World Class. I am asking about groups applying for Open Class, hence this is on the Open Class forum.
  3. Any info on which groups plan to apply for Open Class status in 2018?
  4. And Capitol Regiment starving their kids in Oklahoma.
  5. Yes. I believe both Columbus Saints and a group from west Texas applied in 2017 but weren't approved.
  6. Any info on who may apply for either World or Open class status in 2018? Hopefully some of the Soundsport groups will get approved for Open.
  7. How much more do you think it can grow? The building has already maxed out the front sideline seating area. There are only so many people who are going to choose to sit on the sides, which is where any growth would occur. Fyi, the ticket cost is not going to decrease. Law of supply and demand. The Friends of DCI section is slowly expanding and that will continue next year.
  8. How About Some Common Ground?

    What do you want him to prove? His post only stated what he thought the Directors ought to do.
  9. How About Some Common Ground?

    And even if he was, for the integrity of the brass/ensemble judging, would it not be wise to be proactive to prohibit such things?
  10. How About Some Common Ground?

    One aspect alluded to in other threads is the volume settings of some speakers. Should DCI implement a maximum volume/decibel level for artificial amplification? We live in a society that loves the courtroom. If a plaintiff sued DCI for alleged hearing loss due to the volume of a sound system, whether they would win or not, the costs of defending such a suit would not be cheap. Its one thing to sit in the upper deck several hundred feet away. Its something else entirely to have the amplified volume level sitting in the first few rows of the lower deck. With the above in mind, should DCI set a maximum limit on decibels from artificial amplification? What would be a good organizational policy to ensure the best and safest experience for the paying customer?
  11. How About Some Common Ground?

    Another poster made this allegation. In a larger sense it's irrelevant if it's been done (yet) or not. If the ability to do this exists (it does), and if this type of thing could or would give a distorted version of the actual playing, then imo it makes sense to get out in front of things and make it against the rules. I love creativity, but when something has the potential to influence a music score through artificial means, that seems to me to be contrary to the concept of good sportsmanship. As technology develops, I'd rather DCI be proactive rather than reactive.
  12. How About Some Common Ground?

    One issue I hope gets addressed is brass or brass-like sounds either played or sampled at the same time the horn line is playing. In a judged activity, this gives the people evaluating the brass a false perspective of what they are supposed to be evaluating.
  13. Lots of good discussion. Lets not forget one of my main points for this thread: Integrity. There are thoughtful counterarguments, especially Mike New's piano concerto reference. However, IN A JUDGED ACTIVITY, one thing that should be an absolute no-no is having any artificial brass (or brass-like) sound AT THE SAME TIME as the full ensemble plays. For a horrifying possibility, listen to the link below between the 4:25 - 5 minute mark. Imagine a lengthy, cool, fast drill which ends with a loud chord... with audio help. This is a perfect example from the world of professional theater that should be banned in a judged activity. http://www.marchingroundtable.com/2017/08/13/637-change-right-now/ Another related thing that is unethical (in a judged music activity) would be amplifying a few top players during what is presented as a full ensemble moment. If this was an exhibition or non-competitive activity, no problem. However, whenever judges are introduced to the mix, that adds the responsibility on the shoulders of DCI as an organization to ensure as much as humanly possible that the sounds being adjudicated are the actual live sounds produced by the performers. When Bluecoats did the pitch-bend in Tilt, I believe they put down the horns to make it obvious. I am concerned about the possibility of things that are not obvious.... and imo contrary to the spirit and sense of honor that should accompany a "level playing field."
  14. Stream of conscious thoughts about amplification, electronics, vocal music, and judging from a tired mind at 1 am: At the heart of any competitive activity is the idea of a level playing field. If we look at two other subjective artistic sports, figure skating and gymnastics, the US and China will tend to have more resources, funds for better coaches, etc. than for example Bulgaria or The People's Republic of Bananarama. However, for the actual things the athletes are judged on, the balance beams, size of ice rink, etc.... those things are the same for everyone. Those are also visual things. It's hard to hide falling off the balance beam or missing a triple jump on the ice. Audio can be more tricky. In other threads, allegations of electronic augmentation of brass sounds have been made including - tuners strapped to the bells of horns, synths doubling brass, brass playing the root and fifth of a chord with a synth playing the third, only the best players being amped during full ensemble moments, etc. (Btw, if making these allegations, I would hope the accuser would actually name names of which groups he believes are doing this). "Thunderous goo" is sadly a term that needs no explanation since it's become so common. The thoughts below are for Music Analysis and Music GE judges in the press box. On the field, these shouldn't be an issue. 1) Regarding brass specifically-WHAT exactly is being judged from an ensemble standpoint? "That's easy, Wolfgang. The quality of brass playing is being judged." Ok. If some or all of the allegations above are true, than is the quality of the entire brass ensemble really being judged? IF any corps, whether Pioneer or Blue Devils or anyone else, is doing some of the things others have referenced (or perhaps other types of audio enhancements nobody is aware of), how can the true integrity of the judging system be maintained? In a Music Analysis role if the entire soundscape is open to evaluation- if A & E is utilized, should judges be required to receive training from professional sound engineers (at DCI's expense) in proper use and best practices of amplification and electronics? There are standards of brass pedagogy and percussion pedagogy (and singing.. . see next point). Is there such a thing as industry-standard "proper" uses for amplification and electronics? If so, whether a corps uses A & E (and to what extent), if we're trying to determine the best in the world, and if these things are used in the audio design of the programs, shouldn't the people deciding these captions be trained in best practices of the technology? 2). Speaking of singing, since this is part of the musical soundscape that a number of corps are utilizing, should DCI Music Analysis and Music GE judges also have training in proper vocal pedagogy and performance? If we're picking between the best apples and best oranges, and the differences are subtle and minute, why shouldn't vocal music be subjected to the same standard scrutiny? I'm not suggesting a separate judge or subcaption for vocals..... not everyone will use them and the thought of a Vocal Analysis judge at a drum corps competition is as absurd as the thought of Brandt Crocker announcing the Best A&E award after the 6th place corps is announced..... However, as I understand Music Analysis and Music GE, if a corps chooses to use this as part of their music package, and if these 2 captions are to evaluate the entire soundscape per their caption descriptions, then it only seems logical that the people judging this be required to have at least some formal training on proper techniques, vocal pedagogy, etc. so that those groups that choose to incorporate singing will have a trained evaluation of this aspect.... unless we're just going to say anything besides brass and percussion, while legal, will for practical purposes be ignored in the Music Analysis and Music GE captions. 3) Amplification - There are legitimate areas of disagreement among the DCI fandom. Beating the heck out of marimba to be heard over a 70 member hornline seems (to me) to be a good argument for amplification. Creating a jazz club or big band sound with a mic'ed and amped flugelhorn solo, I get it. The question is- is there a line, and what should it be? I don't have access to music tapes, but are all (or even a few) judges nailing corps for balance issues due to bad amplification or amplification failures. ... For example, if I see 12 - 16 tubas and only hear the bass synth, the musician in me feels that is a balance problem. If I see 12 - 16 tubas and a world class corps is playing a held fortissimo chord, then I expect to hear the tubas. 4) Integrity of the system- To me, this is where the rubber hits the road. IF corps are using some of the tricks outlined above, then it seems to me in a competitive activity where one effect (intentional or not) is to blur the line between the acoustic sounds made by the players, and recorded samples of the corps dubbed over a FFF chord, or mic'ing the top couple players on each part, etc, this gives the judge a distorted picture of what he/she is supposed to be evaluating. To take this to an absurd extreme- if a hornline puts the horns to the lips and doesn't play a note but a professionally mixed recording of them is pumped through speakers, while they would get killed on the field, what would the Music Analysis judge do if they are supposed to judge what they hear, and if what they hear is the corps on the field…. Just recorded at an earlier time, edited, and professionally mixed and pumped through the highest quality system a corps could afford? 5) Limits? - I don't believe it's realistic to put the cork back in the bottle, but that doesn't necessarily mean the audio portion of a show has to be a free-for-all. Here are things I would like to see made illegal with a large penalty for violations. Even if these things alleged are not yet being done, be proactive and encode them in the rules. *A ) Any type of tuning device will be illegal during the judged performance. (if a corps wants to use a tuner before the judged performance begins, ok. Once the corps is introduced, then no.) * B) No doubling of any brass part by an electronic instrument whether by a live player or sampled recording. (Electric instruments like electric guitars, electric violins, vibraphones, etc. are ok. This is specifically dealing with electronic keyboards doubling any brass part. This would allow the judges in the press box to make a better evaluation of the quality of brass playing they hear without any other brass mimic sounds to interfere with the sonority. The use of the vocoder was not doubling. The way it was used would still be a-ok). *C). No parts of a chord played by the brass shall be performed by an electronic instrument. (This needs to be better worded I admit. If the allegation of horn lines playing root/fifth and synth playing the third are correct, this would make that practice illegal. Note this is not technically doubling if the brass are not playing those notes in a chord, but if this is being done, it distorts the sound being judged in the press box by giving basically an aural illusion.) *D). <<<< unsure how to word this at 1am but what follows is a description of something that imo should be prohibited >>>> The practice of amplifying only a few of the top players in a tutti section seems to be the opposite of integrity. Stripping away rationalizations, at the end of the day it amounts to trying to fool the judges in the press box by giving an illusion of the entire horn line projecting a certain sound, when in reality it gives an Animal Farm-esque quality (all sounds from the hornline to the press box are equal…. But some are more equal than others). If this is done, it is like the DCI version of a pop singer's recording being autotuned. It's her voice, but not her "true" voice without artificial aids. My beef is if there are 20 trumpets, 20 baris, etc and all are playing what is obviously a tutti passage, and the top 4-6 players are getting amped a little bit above the rest of the horns, it would give a distorted version in the press box of what the actual brass sound is. This does not include obvious solo notes, as for example when Blue Devils play a FFF chord, and one lead trumpet goes up to double C to cap the chord. Also, this really isn’t what SCV did this year. Their 12 person ensemble was mic’ed but I could clearly hear when they were playing compared to the rest of the hornline. That’s one person’s thoughts at 1 am in the morning. There are different opinions, and that’s fine. Personally, I have no issue with amplification and electronics per se as long as they are within well-defined boundaries. If DCI was an exhibition-only organization, then have at it. Do whatever you want. However, since this is a competition, then I feel there should be some boundaries to maintain credibility and integrity with the adjudication, and it’s be up to the corps designers to be as creative as possible within those boundaries. It’s natural for someone with a corps to want to give their kids every competitive advantage….. but as technology progresses, shouldn’t the rules governing that technology also progress to allow the judges to compare apples to apples as much as humanly possible?
  15. Death to the Seat Poachers

    Just asking because I'm not sure how this works. Assuming the Stadium Authority (people that run the stadium) has a contract with the company that provides security, and if the ushers are not doing their job as (maybe) the terms of their contract with the Stadium Authority dictate... If the security company is not doing their contractual duty .. Is Lucas Oil possibly in violation of their agreement with DCI if the security is not being handled per agreement? Disclaimer- I do not know what agreements are in place or how DCI's agreement with the venue is worded. Just thinking out loud.