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6 hours ago, BigW said:

 

The real issue with the mic could be, do we want to just have people blow their brains out to project, in the good ol' fashioned way or maybe try and play more within themselves and just maybe sound a bit better? I can crack concrete, a given. Maybe people might want to rather hear me play a feature on a concert Euphonium that's miked and see that maybe I'm not just a screamin' Philistine.

 

This is spot-on.

At Cabs, we are using microphones to amplify the french horns for two reasons....we want you to hear them, and we want them to have a characteristic french horn sound when you do. We could do it unamplified, but the sound wouldn't be appropriate for our show. If we were doing a show about fox hunting, maybe that would be a good design choice.

Our french horn soloist is also amplified for the same reasons.

We also use trombones, which are currently not amplified. It's possible we will later, as we want the best and most characteristic jazz trombone sound...and not the super-edgy sound trombones played overly loud tend to make. Edgy can be good, but it depends on what you're trying to play stylistically. 

The traditional Caballeros screaming trumpets in the closer were not amplified.

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Amplifying soloists and small ensembles has been a GOOD thing. The best example that comes to mind is last year's Phantom Regiment. Three outstanding soloists stand on separate stages, each with a different instrument, each featured playing alone.  All three musicians were absolutely perfect, and it was great to hear that talent so clearly.

Amplifying an entire brass line by placing open mics along the front sideline is NOT good. Neither is using a synthesizer to create DEEP, ORGAN-LIKE, chords throughout the numbers, especially at the finish. That's not just cheesy, but dishonest, misleading, and a gateway to lip-synching drum corps. These attempts to create massive walls of sound appearing to come from properly trained, talented, brass players are more frequent this year in DCI.

Hopefully, DCA corps aren't following down that same Milli-Vanilli path. It's an insult to the craft, and just plain silly.

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lets face it, if it aint the way some people did it, they hate it and it sucks.

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I don't mind the amped soloists for the most part this year, as many of them are being used to get the right color out of the instrument, rather than having to belt out for the entire stadium to hear.  There was only 1 very glaring instance at Clifton of electronic malfunction (not including Bush where somehow the electric cable became unplugged through no fault of their own) which made me remember why the guard should never be used for counting purposes :)

 

Really good shows this year, I dig Bush, Cabs and Bucs.  Bucs decimated their closest competition.  Bush needs to close the holes (not hope for people to fill them) and clean and they can move up the ranks a lot this year.  Cabs opening number has great momentum, but the endpoint was a bit of a let down (not execution, because they did great until the end of the show with fatigue setting in), whereas Bucs momentum just has your jaw dropped because they couldn't possibly add on to this machine - until they do and you never want it to stop.  So many awesome drill moves, so many loud moments, and they have probably a 40-48 count long AND loud note that puts the G bugle argument to shame (even on horrible horns.)  Sorry to say this, but everyone is fighting for 2nd place.  Yes, I have an obvious bias, but I talked with many fans in the audience who agree.

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Maybe we have an opportunity to learn the current technology, as we consider the level of bleed or juicing.   And then influence to control it.

I heard a varying amount of “amplified full line horn sounds”.  Probably dependent on many factors, proximity to microphones being most influential.  Truly, when it sounds “juiced”, and not saying by foul intent, it could be 35-40% electronic.   

So OK, amp SOME soloists (special case should be made) and special instruments like French horn. 

The quality of microphones today is phenomenal.  I remember being amazed back to 1975 at what my condenser mic in a boom box could do, and certainly smartphones for most of the audio the world hears today is quite high quality.  Here is general info on microphones (sources easy to find, not a term paper LOL):

>>>The most common are the dynamic microphone, which uses a coil of wire suspended in a magnetic field; the condenser microphone, which uses the vibrating diaphragm as a capacitor plate, and the piezoelectric microphone, which uses a crystal of piezoelectric material.  Also, there is microelectromechanical (MEMS).

So what type of mic’s are on the field, on the horns?   Found this …

>>>Most horn and reed instruments have a slightly harsh character and sound better through ribbon or large-diaphragm dynamic or condenser mics, especially at close distances. However, small diaphragm condenser mics offer a little high frequency "edge" that can help solo instruments stand out. Several companies manufacture miniature condenser mics with clamps for mounting on saxophone or trumpet bells, and these are ideally suited for wireless mic applications.

So, in my experience, a condenser mic will zoom in toward the loudest sounds, esp. if the close sound source goes quiet.  There is a lot of potential for field bleed.  But maybe our teams are way ahead and controlling it somehow.

In future shows, we can observe how much bleed / (bleed + acoustic sound) there is (0-100 %)   Do most of us agree we would not prefer going toward the fully mic’d up stage sound, or the arena sound we expect at large audience concerts?

There’s probably a lot of discussion, water under bridge, in DCI threads.  Post the links if it helps jump to the chase.   DCA can be different, maybe.

Edited by trptmagnet

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Like most things in drum corps, if it is designed well and properly, mics can be a very effective tool.  Just like with the new allowable instrumentation. 

 

Case in point, the horn feature in the Cabs show is absolutely perfect, especially with the mic and sound effects they use.  Their trombone feature - pointless.

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 4:40 AM, BigW said:

The real issue with the mic could be, do we want to just have people blow their brains out to project, in the good ol' fashioned way or maybe try and play more within themselves and just maybe sound a bit better? I can crack concrete, a given. Maybe people might want to rather hear me play a feature on a concert Euphonium that's miked and see that maybe I'm not just a screamin' Philistine.

If I wanted to hear people playing within themselves, I'd go to a symphony performance indoors (in fact I went to see the Racine Symphony Orchestra performance just last week).  The roots of drum corps for most folks my age are "screamin Philistine in nature.  That is what drew us to the activity in the first place. Scremin Philistine goose bumps baby.  It doesn't mean that I don't appreciate a little concert Euphonium from time to time. Back when I was attending drum corps shows, I was paying to witness the loudest, coolest, all acoustic, unamplified outdoor musical activity ever invented. But hey, that's just me.  The activity is surviving without me.

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1 hour ago, J.C. said:

If I wanted to hear people playing within themselves, I'd go to a symphony performance indoors (in fact I went to see the Racine Symphony Orchestra performance just last week).  The roots of drum corps for most folks my age are "screamin Philistine in nature.  That is what drew us to the activity in the first place. Scremin Philistine goose bumps baby.  It doesn't mean that I don't appreciate a little concert Euphonium from time to time. Back when I was attending drum corps shows, I was paying to witness the loudest, coolest, all acoustic, unamplified outdoor musical activity ever invented. But hey, that's just me.  The activity is surviving without me.

 

Why not both?

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The last season of the Westshore Alumni, I felt, rightly or wrongly, that I was getting a rap from certain corners about my playing with the Kanstul. I don't think some people involved realize how much the Kanstul cuts, and is not a "pretty" instrument, and really can't be played with any consistency below Mezzo-Forte, if then, unless you like the gacks when the beast won't respond because you haven't hammered it.

 

I offered then to bring my Euphonium instead, no response, along with other things I mentioned that were concerns, didn't go back.

 

If I was on a System Blue horn rather than the Kanstul, there wouldn't have been issues, I wouldn't have felt the way I did. So much for the whole "G is better than everything in the world" myth.

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no offense to a former west Coast team, but loud isn't always good

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