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DrumScorps

Zionsville, IN - July 11, 2018

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I noticed the crazy amount of amplification BD uses starting in 2016, it got a bit worse last year, and seems to be about the same as 2017 this year. I’m as big of a BD honk as anyone on here but even I can say that they indeed do have a problem

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2 hours ago, PopcornEater1963 said:

Re:Cavaliers. Don’t know how noticeable it was from the stands, but my son said they had some issues with the tarps last night and that multiple MM’s tripped with several falling to the ground. In other words, not the smoothest run. And still have Devils in their sights. 

It was noticeable. But I saw individuals do smart things about correcting this. One guy moved quickly out of place and knelt still for several seconds waiting for guys to change, then quickly snapped the tarp back in shape. Then just as quickly ran to catch up to where he needed to be. Guys thinking pretty smartly on their own, I hope. Maybe they trained for it.

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A smattering of belated thoughts from last night: My view was from the top row between the 45 and 50 yd lines.

Legends provided a rewarding kick-off to the show. Some nice moments musically and they used the entire field. My novice companion (NC) said it best later that evening, "So what are the differences between open and world class corps? They looked like they belonged in the same class to me."

I'm still struggling with the Madison Scouts show this year. As a long time fan, had it not been for the introduction and previous views, I would not have known I was watching and listening to the Scouts. It seemed like the performance was a lacking the energy I've come to expect from MS. I had hoped that yesterday's live view would erase my recent "meh" live streaming reaction to the show. That said, NC liked the "heart" theme and her 5-yr-old declared the "girl in white dress" show was her favorite and expressed her disappointment when the 4th place score was announced.

Phantom didn't let me down (other than some soloist mic issues). I liked and enjoyed the show, but NC and 5-year-old were fairly neutral. Nothing stood out (good or bad) for them.

Cavaliers were the favorites in my area. Became distracted for a bit with some of the tarp issues, but I was impressed with the recovery efforts. NC and 5-yr old loved the energy and the "color change". Also, the Cavies flat out know how to perform an encore. (one of my highlights of the night).

Not surprisingly, the Blue Devils were the other big favorite of fans in my vicinity. I am in complete agreement with @mjoakes regarding the amplification issues. It was the one thing that kept pulling me out of a visually stunning performance and (when the amplification wasn't getting in the way) the music was awesome. For NC, Natural Woman was the highlight of the evening. 

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59 minutes ago, mrk said:

A smattering of belated thoughts from last night: My view was from the top row between the 45 and 50 yd lines.

 

I just wanted to say that I appreciate reviews like this that also include the impressions of "novice companions" and youngsters seeing a DCI show for the first time. Always interesting to get a perspective from those that don't know what the "sheets" say, or what constitutes "proper staging," etc. Entertainment value is in the eye of the beholder, and it doesn't necessarily take a 240 bpm whiplash drill, or the most prop or pit square footage, to be entertaining.

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9 hours ago, Cappybara said:

I noticed the crazy amount of amplification BD uses starting in 2016, it got a bit worse last year, and seems to be about the same as 2017 this year. I’m as big of a BD honk as anyone on here but even I can say that they indeed do have a problem

Interesting. Other than the bass, I felt that there was far less than last year. The new line array speakers do get the sound up, so there is less saturation down low in the stands. But they only have two, and Bluecoats have four. Can't imagine that BD would be louder than Bloo.

 

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10 hours ago, BDCorno said:

Interesting. Other than the bass, I felt that there was far less than last year. The new line array speakers do get the sound up, so there is less saturation down low in the stands. But they only have two, and Bluecoats have four. Can't imagine that BD would be louder than Bloo.

 

It probably has to do with the placement and the way they use them. I think BD churns out goo from the speakers more than they amplify the hornline. Other corps have started doing slightly the opposite where they amplify the hornline but have been putting out less bass synth 

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2 hours ago, Cappybara said:

It probably has to do with the placement and the way they use them. I think BD churns out goo from the speakers more than they amplify the hornline. Other corps have started doing slightly the opposite where they amplify the hornline but have been putting out less bass synth 

I get ya. From my couple of days watching them live, I thought the bass was too heavy and that the solos were juiced too hot, but they're dealing with all new equipment on both sides of the equation, so it's going to be a process. To hear the same reactions from others, two weeks further into the season, makes me sad. I'm hoping that they dial this in more finely to help the listening experience. I have faith. Oh, and I don't think there is much of an effort at all to amplify the larger hornline, other than to achieve balance. They're plenty loud.

 

Edited by BDCorno

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1 hour ago, BDCorno said:

I get ya. From my couple of days watching them live, I thought the bass was too heavy and that the solos were juiced too hot, but they're dealing with all new equipment on both sides of the equation, so it's going to be a process. To hear the same reactions from others, two weeks further into the season, makes me sad. I'm hoping that they dial this in more finely to help the listening experience. I have faith. Oh, and I don't think there is much of an effort at all to amplify the larger hornline, other than to achieve balance. They're plenty loud.

 

For what it's worth, I saw them live in 2016 relatively late in the season and the balance seemed perfect. 

Last year as well, I did not get to see them live but from many recordings I watched, the balance seemed to have gotten better as the season went on. 

They'll figure it out, their team is too smart not to

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34 minutes ago, Cappybara said:

For what it's worth, I saw them live in 2016 relatively late in the season and the balance seemed perfect. 

Last year as well, I did not get to see them live but from many recordings I watched, the balance seemed to have gotten better as the season went on. 

They'll figure it out, their team is too smart not to

Yeah, Brian is a sharp guy. Maybe it's more the sound engineers than anything. They're all functionally deaf...was at a Tower of Power concert a few years back, and if you got within 50 feet of the speakers, you pretty much got vaporized. How all those people managed to stand/sit in that zone for two hours is beyond me. The new line array speakers that many corps have gone to now, allow the sound to be better distributed around the venue. Subwoofers and bass speakers? That's the goo, and it needs to be managed. It's always going to be heavier in a closer proximity, so I think in smaller stadiums on tour, it's bound to be too much. Would hope they'd dial it back in response, but maybe it's not thought of. I'd also hope the music staff would see/hear that as well, but...

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16 hours ago, BDCorno said:

Interesting. Other than the bass, I felt that there was far less than last year. The new line array speakers do get the sound up, so there is less saturation down low in the stands. But they only have two, and Bluecoats have four. Can't imagine that BD would be louder than Bloo.

Amplification first we need to understand the purpose. Is it for clarity of the spoken word common in the shows today, loudeness (1984 PR used db meters to tone down William Tell) so it can't be that. That leaves acoustical modeling (blending) of the music a wonderful goal.

Then we ask the near impossiable out of the Corps audio engineers. Set up an line array speaker system in a unknown acoustic enviroment that changes every show w/o any sound checks and in no more than 17 minutes. Hats off to them for pulling this off. There needs to be a recognition of how many watts you require for a particular venue but the engineers are not afforded that opportunity to discover maybe over time this will work itself out with experience at the venues ,

I like loud but at times there is a fuzzy mush of sound on the low end from amped corps. At times ampilcation creates an conflict between the visual and the auditory that wasn't notched in the past. Quite frankly I don't know where to sit anymore and wish I could move after I see where the speakers are placed.

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