onfirepro

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About onfirepro

  • Rank
    DCP Rookie
  • Birthday 10/12/1967

Profile Information

  • Your Favorite Corps
    cavaliers
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    cavaliers 2002
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
    1991
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    albuquerque, NM
  1. Lucky you! 89 Cavies are one of the most underrated shows in DCI history. It seems overshadowed by the competition between SC and Phantom that year. That Rutter show was gorgeous in every way. Drill, music, arrangement, and execution, all top notch.
  2. The first early 80's legacy DVD I bought was '83. It was extremely disappointing because of a lack of high visual camera work, so someone on the forum suggested that 82 was a good year. I bought it and couldn't be happier. So what would be some years between '80 and '99 that have plenty of high camera shots, and what would be some years to avoid?
  3. And it makes the corps sound weaker. Everything is a contrast, and the human ear is good at distinguishing what the natural volume of an instrument group should be. When we hear mallets and special effect percussion punching through at the same relative volume as the rest of the corps, it diminishes the perceived power of the brass. Maybe it should be called "pit and bugle corps."
  4. I'm glad you mentioned that. As the OP of the Cavies 1982 thread, I noticed the exact same thing. What a great line! Actually, that whole '82 show was across the board a very solid show. Not only were they loud, they were tight. A lot of credit to the arrangement. Really nice visual too. I don't think it was the instruments, I think they just had a competitive line with good instruction, and a reputation going back to the 70's to live up to.
  5. Actually, 82 was the year they opened with pines, it was '83 and '84 that they closed with it.
  6. You're right. When I listen straight through to all the corps in succession, with the three corps leading up to them (Bridgemen, Freelancers and Skyryders) the Cavies have a noticeable drop in brass quality. I hear some nastiness not just in the hornline, but phasing problems in the opener with the lower brass too, and an overall anemic brass sound in general. (with some intonation problems to boot). And either the Skyryders really came up a notch at championships, or the Cavaliers had a rough night, because the Cavies beat the Skyryders throughout the season in every single contest they were both in until championships.
  7. Exactly. That's a great quote, and some good thoughts. Thanks. And to sum up your other quote "For some the only glimpse. For some the... Umm well maybe that one doesn't work so well here. How about "How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some.... umm....ahhh maybe that doesn't work either. Well anyway, thanks!
  8. I think it is. I think at both live shows and on the dvd's the pit is out of balance and is louder than it should be relative to the wind instruments. Even people I introduce drum corps for the first time complain that all those "bells and xylophones" as they call them are too noisy and distracting To many drum corps fans, this manipulation of gadgets and amplification detracts more than it adds. What's most impressive, I think, is the natural acoustic volumes of the various instruments being performed and blended in such a way as to be pleasing on the whole. I think that better embodies the spirit and tradition of drum corps. When I know that the tuba sound I'm hearing is being backed and supported by a synth, it's less impressive. When that "wall of sound" is being manipulated by mics and synthesizers, then I don't know how much is the pure power of the corps, and how much is attributed to the technical wizardry that is behind them. take a year like 1991 or 1992. There was so much power, dynamics, and subtleties in those shows. Everything came through loud and clear, yet there wasn't one amplifier or speaker helping any section. The soloists, sounded great. The sections, including pit, came through loud and clear. Not only did it not sound worse, it sounded better, IMO, both live and on the recordings. (I was there live, and I have the recordings). In this case, I'm referring to the kind of amplification occurring in DCI, where primarily one section is miked and the others are not. In your examples, those venues are exceptions, not the rule, and the entire band or orchestra is being miked as a whole, not individual sections. You even admit that they use them "at times." Again, it's the exception based on a specific entertainment purpose. Amplifying a DCI pit section seems to me like an answer to a question the fans, even knowledgeable ones, never asked. Were audiences really complaining that they couldn't hear the pit? Those instruments are plenty loud, and the pit places them right out front! '91 star even had pit players stroking a glockenspiel with violin bows. No problem hearing those, and there was no amplification there. We can disagree, and you can argue for the modern approach to drum corps,and I can argue for a more traditional approach, and it's all subjective. I just find the balance of pre 2004 corps to have a better blend and more natural sound as they work to achieve that power and balance without the need for amplification. In fact, in a world where amplification for "wow" effect is becoming more common, I think it would be a worthy badge of honor for Drum Corps to shun such things as a matter of principle, and be able to proudly proclaim "what you hear is us, all us, and only us. no help required"
  9. Exactly. Dynamics is the key. Working through balance issues using positioning, dynamics, and musical skill has yielded some of the most creative and effective musical moments in DCI history. I would add that the argument for hearing all instruments at all times is a musical fallacy (I realize your not making that argument, but are summarizing the arguments of others) Nevertheless, one of the worst mistakes that can be made in large ensemble arranging is for all instruments to be heard at all times,(aside from very few exceptions where it's for momentary effect). From classical orchestras to parade and military bands and virtually any other large ensemble including drum corps, the most musically satisfying arrangements are those where each section yields sonic territory to other instruments at different times throughout the piece. Otherwise it becomes overload. One of the main differences I hear between modern and classic drum corps isn't only about synths and narration, it's about a lack of perceived balance due to amplifiers, musical selection, and arrangement methods.
  10. The need for forum netiquette is self evident on the whole, and I'm sure that most users are happy to follow the rules of any forum they're on, including me, but it seems that the reasons given against necroposting, such as annoyance and confusion, are overstated. Because someone gets irritated doesn't necessarily mean something legitimately made them irritated. I don't care how entrenched in a forum's ideals I am, or whether I'm a veteran or a rookie, I don't think I can ever bring myself to make an issue of someone else's necroposting, or even be concerned about it enough for it to bother me one way or the other. If that happens, it's a sign I'm taking the forum and it's rules too seriously to the detriment of my casual enjoyment of our common interests. The ironic thing is, I checked the forum guidelines before I began posting, and there's nothing about it. In any case,even this old discussion has generated some interesting and enlightening points.
  11. Besides the possible addition of woodwinds in the future,I can't see too much else on the horizon. I've already reached a point where I won't buy anymore DVD's past 2009. The main issue for me isn't only about pits or amplification or narration, it's just gotten boring: obscure melodies punctuated with a bunch of brass stabs, staccato phrases, and brief motifs followed by a loud chord when the corp reaches a critical formation. Repeat. In contrast, years like 1991 were rich in diverse musical flavor and excitement with something DCI has far less of today: Melody. From star's respighi to Cavies anthems, PR's opera and SC's Miss Saigon down to an awesome seventh place madison with "city of angels" and beyond, years like that were golden. The musical programs were so rich you can go back to them time and again. 2008 was a year with really good music, too, but years like that are becoming few and far between.
  12. I agree 100%. Setting aside the debate about the existence of the pit, I think the pit instruments weren't out of balance at all before they were allowed to be amplified. It seems the other way around; the pit can now sometimes be out of balance with the ensemble I personally don't mind having a pit, but I respect the traditional view of marching corps you suggest, and it would also be a joy to watch the corps stick to only marching, and only acoustically amplified instruments . The very existence of the pit, while innocuous in an of itself, may have helped push corps down a slippery slope. While I enjoy the sonic textures added by pit instruments (such as timps and tubular bells in classically based programs), I also think the percussion battery, cymbals, and marching glock and mallets can provide all the needed texture for a well rounded percussion section. The slippery slope looks something like this to me: Once you have a stationary pit, then why not amplify it? And if you already have those mics and speakers, why not add some more and mic up the drum kit too? And while were at it, let's use one of those mics and add a narrator or singer? And hey, that mixing board and speakers can also accept line level inputs like synths, so can we add those too? Oh, and since we have these mics, why not set one up where soloists can walk up to it and wail away? And so on..... We all have our favorite periods in DCI. Mine is the late eighties and early nineties: The pit existed, but wasn't amplified. Music and marching were at an equilibrium of priority in my view, and G bugles were still in use. Singing was used sparingly and with good effect, but not as soloists and the corps had to work at singing well without mics. Props were used less and with better effect, and there wasn't as much of a reliance on gimmickry.
  13. Thanks for the explanation, although I don't see why the pit would be a bad thing for the performers. I think most pit performers appreciate not having to lug timps around the field. As for dead topics and the various replies to this one, why not just autolock them after a predetermined time? That's a common practice in forums concerned about keeping the topics fresh. The fact that the topic was still open to replies suggested to me that DCP was a forum that wasn't concerned about the age of a topic, and that members are welcome to post on whatever topic they desire, regardless of its age. I think such a policy has more benefits than deficits, especially in an activity like Drum Corps. I would think that members perusing the various topics and responding, even to old ones, would still be welcome. Instead of an "awww, man, that topic is so old and now it's back at the top" attitude, how about a "it doesn't matter the age of the topic, we're just happy people are engaged and responding on our forum" attitude. Nevertheless, I'm happy to be here, and will be more mindful of the age of the topics in the future.