MarimbaManiac

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MarimbaManiac last won the day on March 31 2015

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  1. I'm not saying they aren't doing *something* at the board, but automation and allowing for tempo variations and applause breaks etc. are very easy to do. For instance, building a scene that begins with an articulated hit and then interpolates for a set period of time with variance built in for leeway, and a closing envelope that's triggered by the next scene after any transitional material. Building this type of system is infinitely easier than having someone at the board that's turning mics on and off, especially if that person is managing 32+ channels. For instance, let's consider a large production like a broadway show, or a 'Cirque' type of event where there are dozens of microphones and channels that are being switched off and on or attenuated at various intervals. Would it make sense for a sound engineer to be standing at the board turning individual mics on and off throughout the show? Maybe in the past with analog boards, but the digital work stations can handle all of this work automatically now. The front ensemble alone has probably 30+ channels (3 mics per marimba, 1 or 2 for each vibe, overheads for the racks/drumset, 5 for the timpani, hand percussion, synths and samplers, etc.). Add in the mics for the soloists, as well as anyone on the field who has a microphone, and it gets a bit unwieldy. I've run analog boards for some schools I've designed for, or in concert situations, and it's a BEAST of a project to manage everything. It's much easier to program scenes and just tap "Next" a handful of times throughout the process, and that can be tied to the person playing the sampler in the front ensemble. Again, I have no knowledge of what Bloo or these other groups are doing, but with the pedigree/background of these designers I doubt they would let the validity of their work hang on the random tech that's running the board on a daily basis to hit all of the changes correctly. That being said, I'm sure that there is someone just below the press box talking to the board operator saying "pit is too loud" or "I could use more low-end" etc.
  2. If that's what your experience is, I guess it must be true. You obviously have far wider ranging breadth of experience in these matters.
  3. At every point, I've said that it depends on the group, the rep, and and venue. Wind ensembles are very similar ensembles that play largely in the same venues as orchestras, with the same acoustical advantages that come with those venues. If that's not clear to you, then I can't exactly help you. Sometimes logic isn't a skill that can be taught or explained, especially when someone is being willfully blind.
  4. Sooo... a wind band composer, whose pieces are played in the same kind of (or same exact) venues as orchestras, with nearly identical instrumentation (basically an orchestra without strings +sax), having the same view that I have conceded many times earlier as an almost identical ensemble in an almost identical space. You're right, that's completely different. Compelling argument. I think the real revelation here is that you're so hyped to try and prove me wrong on any point that you'd harass John on twitter. You sir, are a ridiculous human. Hats off to you for officially letting go of reason.
  5. If the sound designer has done their job correctly, they shouldn't have to do anything during the show. Levels and scenes are set in rehearsals, the system is set to the stored environmental preset, they test to make sure everything works, and that's it. If everything goes well they sit on their hands and let the show play out. They might make small adjustments throughout the show to deal with unforeseen environmental issues (due to there not being adequate soundchecks), but unless there is a catastrophic failure, they probably don't do much. The muting/unmuting of channels, changing of levels for individual microphones, or cueing of soundfiles/samples is all probably automated and controlled by the performers. Of course it all depends on how sophisticated the rig is, and what system they are using, but it's completely possible/probable that this is the case. Hypothetical example: The corps reaches a transition point. -> Someone in the front ensemble triggers an event with a midi controller of come kind -> The program being used (Mainstage/Ableton/Max MSP/etc.) recognizes that input and automatically triggers a series of events for that particular moment. -> Mic channels are unmuted, others interpolate closed over a set amount of time, a sample/sound file plays, another begins to fade out, and levels adjust across the board. Then the computer waits for the next input to detected. I have no direct knowledge of what exactly these designers are using, but that type of "one touch" system is pretty standard and easy to build. I work with performers and live electronics on a daily basis, and create performance environments for them to use during the performances. All of the patches I create are designed to allow the performer to run the piece completely independently by simply pushing a foot pedal. That "one touch" will trigger dozens of processes and adjustments, from playing sound files, to adjusting microphone and output levels, changing settings in the live DSP, turning on or off video streams, etc. etc. etc. The possibilities are literally endless. Most likely, the performers do 95% of the work during the performance, and the sound board operator (most likely NOT the designer on a daily basis), sits at the board to make sure things don't blow up. It's not like they are sitting there turning mics on and off and adjusting volumes in real time. *again, I can't speak to the details for each corps, but this is my best guess based on my experience*
  6. ...and what is the point of any of that? Subs can be placed anywhere in a room. Correct, but directional high frequencies from a close source will always be perceived louder than an omnidirectional low frequency. Hearing aids....not sure how this is relevant. You're talking about someone with reduced hearing (which can mean they have a hard time hearing the higher frequency range) in a situation with no comparison to what we are discussing (brass judges on the field). Battery drummers....how is this different than pre-A&E? Judges (members, instructors) have always had to listen through the ensemble to hear specific elements. #### for a front ensemble member that's our raison d'etre! "Listen for the drumline, ignore the trumpets blaring behind you and try and hear the snares!" It's a pretty standard skillset in this activity.
  7. "Filter out" might not have been the right term, but the ear does perceive sound in front of us far more efficiently than that coming from behind us. Hence when you're balancing a multi-channel array, those channels behind and to the side will usually need to be set louder than those directly in front, if the intent is to perceive them equally. science.
  8. It says clearly in the article that they perform all types of music in that space, including a specific mention of medieval pieces that take advantage of the technology to make the space sound like a cathedral. Perusing the website you can see that they preformed Monteverdi and other period pieces in there as well. This space is one example of the tech being used to enhance acoustic performances, which you were adamant doesn't happen at all. If you dig in further you'll find other ensembles and venues that are doing the same. National Sawdust comes to mind, as does the San Francisco New Music Center, Tanglewood, etc. etc. etc. No of course the larger buildings like Davies proper, and the BSO don't use amplification because their multi-million dollar buildings were constructed specifically to create a perfect acoustic space. However smaller venues, and those with less perfect acoustic situations (like the soundbox and others I've mentioned) use amplification to recreate those conditions that otherwise only exist in these incredibly expensive specially designed rooms. That being said, I saw a Mason Bates concert in Davies with amplified instruments/voices and organ, so it does happen. As for the popularity of new music itself...who cares? Orchestras play "the hits" because it brings in cash which allows them to invest in other ventures, that doesn't negate the work that's being done by composers and musicians that are working with other forces, nor does it negate the fact that technology plays a large part in most of those performances. You're continually moving the goalposts. First it was that instrumental music doesn't use tech, then it was symphony orchestras don't, now it's that those that use tech aren't popular enough to appear on your radar. Take the 'L' man. You've been proven wrong at every point.
  9. I'm sorry, how were you able to get through life with your poor reading comprehension skills? I've said multiple times that whether or not these techniques are being used depends on the rep being played, the ensemble, and the venue. I've provided an example of a major institution that is using technology to enhance their acoustic performances. You're choosing to ignore that because it doesn't fit your personal narrative and experiences. While major orchestras that are playing Classical (pre-modernism) rep in quality venues probably aren't using amplification, any time they play chamber music pieces, or anything newer than 1900, the odds of them using tech jumps up depending on their venue. Or have you not noticed how many string instruments are fitted with pickups? Yes I work in music technology, but I also have a Master's degree in composition in addition to my degree in music technology, and a PhD in composition and theory. I'm immersed in the instrumental music scene and go to tons of performances with orchestral instruments CONSTANTLY. Here's something you don't realize. The orchestras/opera are a very small part of the new music community. Why? Access to professional orchestras that are willing to play new music is ABYSMAL. They mostly stick to playing music by dead white guys, and leave very little room for living composers. So the vast majority of music composed and performed today is for chamber ensembles, small duos and trios, and mixed ensembles with electronics. Technology plays a huge role in the presentation of new music, whether or not you're willing to see that.
  10. Several things... Higher frequencies tend to be directional, while lower frequencies tend to spread out evenly in all directions. Your ears are able to filter out sounds that are coming from behind you, and focus on the sounds directly in front oh you (hence why they're shaped the way they are). Sounds coming from behind you, especially lower frequencies, need to be MUCH louder than what's in front of you in order to perceive them as equal (ask anyone who has tried to balance a 5.1 or 7.1 system in a performance space. So yes, brass judges who are standing behind speakers (which are directional and pointing away from the judge), and facing the horns (which are directional and pointing at the judge), are easily able to distinguish the horns from what's coming from the speakers. This is especially true when you consider the Fletcher-Munson curve, which shows that the ear perceives higher frequencies (between the 2000-5000hz range) to be louder than lower frequencies, even when each are equal in intensity. So a tone at 100hz at 40db will sound significantly softer than a tone at 2000hz also at 40db...especially when considering directionality. So yes, they can hear the horns. It's science.
  11. It's just one example of an instrumental venue/organization that's using technology to enhance their space. And again, because you seem to be conflating the "electronic enhancement of acoustic music" with "electronic music." We're not even talking about electroacoustic or electronic music, which is a whole other can of worms. You're still grasping at straws to ignore what people who have direct experience with this are telling you, because you're convinced that we're somehow trying to pull the wool over your eyes about the prevalence of technology in the instrumental medium. Get a grip man, you seem a bit unhinged.
  12. We're talking about the brass field judge, not MA (which, if I recall is in the box, unless that's changed). The MA judge would be also concerned with blend and ensemble cohesion, so they would listen to the whole package and blend accordingly. As someone who has listened to MANY tapes from music judges, they WILL call you out and dock you if, for instance, your front ensemble is too loud and overbearing. Just like they would call out corps before A&E if the opposite was true. "Wow, it looks like the pit is working really hard down there, unfortunately I can't hear much of it" <---Actual judge commentary pre A&E that I've experienced.
  13. Yes I've seen where they stand, and I've stood in the same place on multiple occasions, as well in similar positions in other domes and similar venues. You can hear the horns just fine.
  14. Or they are standing on the field behind the stacks. Spent much time in that position at LOS? You can hear the horns just fine from that position.
  15. Yes, that's very easy to do in Mainstage/Ableton or whatever they are using to trigger their effects. You can adjust the attack/release envelope to fade smoothly between files and then add leeway on either side of the attack to deal with fluctuations in time. It's very simple to make many sound files/samples sound like one continuous gesture.