Guitar1974

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Everything posted by Guitar1974

  1. Woodwinds are definitely MUCH more finicky than brass, but would probably stand up to touring similar to synths and stringed instruments. Most intermediate-level WW would probably survive with care. The main thing is keeping them dry. They also go out of adjustment really easy and fixing leaks would be a big challenge for a horn tech all summer long. I can't see corps using actual wood instruments due to temp and humidity, they'd likely use the higher end plastic ones. Still very $$$, though- and reeds are really expensive, too. The thing that you need to consider when talking about employing woodwinds is the need to think of them like an electric guitar- they would all need mic'ing / amplification and pricey audio systems would go hand-in-hand. More finicky/delicate, expensive stuff to keep dry, etc... I can't for the life of me think how anyone can believe the juice is worth the squeeze as far as all the potential additional expense, but same could be said for electronics, French horns, sousaphones, trombones, giant props, etc etc... yet they are now requisite.
  2. One thing I hope that gets discussed when they consider judging and adding A/I is the potential this will further the gap between the corps at the top with funds to provide professional-level, highly engineered electronic support. I see woodwinds and electronics going hand-in-hand, as woodwinds would be at the mercy of amps and audio processing to be heard in the context of DCI. Corps with deep pockets and super fancy audio rigs will have a HUGE competitive advantage over those corps just trying to scrape enough funds to get down the road. The disparity is already huge. Look at the A/E productions of the bottom of the World Class vs. the top. The bottom tier have basically garage band setups and the top have fully professional, Broadway-style A/E rigs. Definitely NOT apples to apples and I find it silly that they are even judged against one another in a competitive manner. If the A/I rules passes, I envision the top corps using woodwinds will mic every one of them, and run them through a gamut of sweetening studio effects, as is already done for most brass soloists (reverb/delay/chorusing/compression/etc). Those corps with the financial means to provide professional-level live sounds rigs will have a gigantic advantage over all the others- they already do since there seems to really be no limit when it comes to A/E and the use of professional audio engineering, effects, etc. Woodwinds widens the gap and competitive advantage even more. DCI can steer the activity in any direction it chooses simply by giving credit on the judging sheets and awarding corps doing whatever new thing it wants them to do. Seems if they choose to give scoring preference to woodwind use (which they surely will, if rules change) then the "haves" of the activity will just have an even bigger advantage then they already do. Corps already seem to have so many added expenses for the "extra" stuff now (giant props, a separate line of trombones for the requisite trombone feature and solo, A/E rigs, etc... since BD was successful with strings and a sousaphone we better figure those will now become requisite, too, etc etc). The more extra stuff is added, the sillier it seems to judge it and make this a "competition."
  3. I have not heard ANY positive comments from anyone on the inclusion of woodwinds, including from the many young DCI-age kids I know. Even all the woodwind players I know who aspire to one day march DCI don't like the idea of ww. The only positive comments I have heard are from the few folks here on DCP who favor marching band. But... Was this not the same for electronics? Same for trombones/french horn/etc? Was there an outcry from marching members to add this stuff? Outcry from audience that we must include this extra stuff? No. If kids seemed to want this, or audiences were excited for the changes, I'd understand. But, nobody seems for this- like most the changes that have made it marching band and taken the "drum & bugle" out of it.
  4. Your story of the alto sax player is my story- exactly. But I didn't feel discriminated against, left out, or slighted at all. Drum and bugle corps were drums and brass, and I didn't play brass, I played sax. Just as there are string quartets, chamber orchestras, big bands, and bagpipe ensembles, drum and bugle corps were a unique ensemble with brass-only instrumentation. That is what it was and I never considered saxophone to belong to that ensemble just as I don't consider the electric guitar to belong in a chamber orchestra. I wanted to be in DCI BECAUSE there were no woodwinds. To me, the brass and percussion created such a powerful, unique, and cool ensemble both audibly and visually. It was NOT band it was something way cooler, IMO, 100% because of the unique nature of being all brass and percussion. So, I did what multitudes of other woodwind players did and currently do, I picked up a brass instrument and got to work, eventually making it into a world class corps. Both my kids are young woodwind players (oboe/saxophone) who would like to march DCI in the future. Both HATE the idea of woodwinds in DCI. They like the sound and look of brass and drums. Drum & Bugle = percussion and brass... Why is this so hard to understand and accept? What if the fictitious sax player in the quoted post joined a woodwind ensemble that didn't feature brass? Does his brass playing buddies cry foul and we destroy the woodwind ensemble because it doesn't allow brass? Long live the power and purity of all-brass while we have it, looks like the days are numbered.
  5. I am sad to see them go coed simply for the loss of the brotherhood and their all-male identity was unique and cool. That said, we all know males and females can both be equally great at drum corps. I predict they will likely improve over last year. I would imagine there are some very talented females who would like to be trailblazers in the first truly coed Scouts. It'd be interesting to see a breakdown of auditions in terms of how many girls attended. I'll forever miss the Mighty Men but would rather cheer on a coed Scouts than none at all. Hope it works out for them.
  6. Darn, I was going for BOTH histrionic AND sarcastic! At least give me credit at attempting both! ...Okay now maybe that was a little overly sarcastic... As long as Scouts go back to blowing down the stands then I'm sound as a pound. I truly hope it is all super awesome as DCI is reporting. Seems a little simplistic to me given the huge controversial changes but I truly hope the best for them.
  7. On second thought, you're right. The DCI reports do state that everyone just absolutely loves the new improved Scouts. All couldn't be more hunky dory apparently. The Scouts are 100% better off thanks to these awesome changes and there is no alternate point of view to these giant changes.
  8. That's not what I mean- I am just saying the change will be the focus front and center every opportunity possible. It sounds like the Scouts are fine, and I sincerely hope so. I expect to only hear one side of the story, however.
  9. I wish Scouts all the best and hope it all works out because there is no going back now. That said, I take all of DCI's reports/news etc with a grain of salt. DCI is simply doing what it always does... Takes whatever controversial change is going on and shoves it down everyones throat with stories of how wonderful the change is etc etc. We can expect it all season long.
  10. Yah, it wasn't easy back in the 90's, either. Kids now have way better access to online tutorials, lessons, audition tips, etc than we ever did. A ww kid picking up a brass instrument and immediately making BD's line is far fetched, I agree with you. But that kid certainly could go to a lower placing corps, get experience, and then eventually make BD or whatever. If/when woodwinds are added it won't be much different- a handful of talented we players will get in and the large majority cut. Sounds like your pipe dream is a large/all instruments/give everyone a chance/etc ensemble. Well, you are in luck!! I hear this already exists.. Called high school/college marching band. They do that very thing already!
  11. YES- thank you! There are a bunch of ww players in DCI now. Always have been. A great player is a great player. With hard work a talented ww player can certainly learn brass and participate. I did. Lots of other kids I know did. Would any of us rather played our woodwinds in DCI? NO WAY!! Then it wouldn't be DCI, would it? Being a woodwind player made the experience even deeper and more meaningful to me. Opened my eyes to a completely new family of instruments. After starting from scratch and going through all the work it took, I truly learned you can do anything you set your mind to do. Would I have wanted to be in DCI if it were just summer marching band? No way.
  12. I agree with this statement. But, being all brass and percussion certainly makes it a different product, a unique product, and a product that is defined in the very nature of the name "drum & bugle corps." It is not a question of "better."
  13. Absolutely, to each his own. My prior message was in response to your statement implying "a few" people may find the instrumentation an important and defining factor. My counter to your statement is that it is likely many, many diehard fans/alumni/members feel the all-brass and percussion sound and visual look is THE defining characteristic of the activity.
  14. Good grief- is it so hard to understand that MANY people, young and old alike, love the all brass and percussion of drum & bugle corps. I can't think of many kids I know who are current corps members who would enjoy clarinets and flutes in the ensemble. In fact, I don't think any current members I know would welcome that change. For many, the all brass and percussion sound and clean, uniform, muscular look of the all brass horn line is what makes drum corps unique. Add woodwinds and all the other stuff and it kills it forever. Why is this so hard to grasp? Why must we become an all star college marching band and destroy the very thing that makes drum corps so unique? So you can hear a flute solo or clarinet feature? Great if you love that- I highly recommend the mutlitude of bands and orchestras that do that kind of thing already.
  15. I joined a world class corps as a saxophone player. I learned brass to be in DCI. I wouldn't have had any interest if it had woodwinds. I wanted in BECAUSE of the all brass instrumentation. There were many other woodwind players doing the same, and feeling the same. Many woodwind players love their instruments but feel the look lame on the field and are simply not the proper tool for the job. I wanted to be in DCI because it was NOT like typical marching band with "clarinets to the box" haha...
  16. I don't see it going down like this at all (DCI increasing corps size to accommodate woodwInds, extra buses, etc). I see it like this: 1) DCI soon adopts rule that allows any instrument (woodwinds) 2) Due to many factors (high cost of obtaining and maintaining instruments, need for additional instructional staff, the fact woodwinds are finicky instruments, etc) corps will relegate 99% of woodwind use to solos or small ensembles. A novelty instrument, used- at most- like trombones/sousaphone/etc now. 3) DCI will shove woodwinds down our throats. With lots of pictures in email blasts, website coverage, etc. Just like trombones when first adopted, same for french horns, etc. There will be some great sax/flute/etc players brought in who shred and put on an entertaining show. Woodwind proponents and DCI will swoon. 4) The root of drum & bugle corps is now completely removed for the sake of what amounts to minor useage of "non-drum corps" instruments, which could easily have been omItted by using aforementioned drums & brass to play the parts. It'll be just like trombones.. For the minor/subtle difference they bring to the show the entire look of the activity was changed. Woodwinds push it even farther down the path. I'm obviously not a fan of the loss of traditional bell front brass instrumentation haha... But at this point it is silly to NOT allow woodwinds. It is all about the look- obviously enough people can't stomach seeing flutes and clarinets on the DCI field. We have the voice now in the synth. We also have strings and everything BUT woodwinds allowed on the field. It is okay to play woodwind patches in the show on a synth but not actually allow the instrument to play it live on the field. Seems odd to me at this point.
  17. Definitely! And I understand where you are coming from, I loved many of the shows this past season. My corps is probably the one pushing the envelope the most on a lot of the new tech- but I still miss my pure all-brass sound haha.. Good discussion.
  18. I respect your opinion and I still do love the activity, but my point is that the entire activity was forever changed when it no longer became an exclusive brass and percussion activity. I understand there are, presumably, many fans who love the changes and look forward to anything-goes DCI marching band. However, there are many who lament the loss of the purity of brass and percussion only. For me it has nothing to with wanting it to stay the same. I just don't agree that allowing any instrumentation was needed for it to evolve. I loved a lot of the shows this year- and every year- but feel they would be no less awesome without all the superfluous elements. I am a saxophone player. I hit the woodshed, learned low brass, and joined a drum corps because of the all brass and percussion instrumentation. I LOVED the unique instrumentation and to me the instrumentation and sonic quality is what made it cool. The all-brass acoustic large horn line blasting on bell-front brass was unique and awesome, the only thing quite like it in the world of music! Now it is gone forever. There are already a million marching bands, why did we have to dismantle drum & bugle corps and make it like everything else? Getting back to Kimber's post, the loss of the pure acoustic brass sound was what drove him away. I still love the activity, but definitely morn the loss of the unique all-brass acoustic ensemble.
  19. Well, if this is true I would say that is silly. But, if you are saying that adding a contra is the same as adding woodwinds, strings, etc then I also say that is also silly. Drum & bugle corps used to be easy to define as percussion and bell-front valved brass. That look and sound. It was cool and unique. An exotic niche that had such a unique sonic footprint and clean, muscular look. I am all for innovation and moving forward. But why change the things that made it unique to make it something that looks like everything else? Why did they add trombones and change it to look like Big 10 marching band when the baritone is essentially the same voice minus the ability to gliss? Are there seriously people out there that are saying "this show is sooo much better thanks to that 30 second trombone soli?" But we forever changed the look and definining element of drum corps for what- a very minor change in timbre? Why? All these new elements added to enhance creativity are just that- minor enhancements that forever change the look and sound of the all brass and percussion ensemble that was once drum & bugle corps.
  20. I agree in that basic timbre of brass and percussion is still the core product (for now!), but by continuing to layer in other instrumentation it looses its purity and what made it unique, IMO.
  21. There is no comparison to adding a valve or two to a bell front brass horn and adding woodwinds (or synths or strings or trombones). Adding a valve or two (or even going to Bb) are minor changes to the overall look and sound. Adding strings, synths, amps and- especially- woodwiinds is a HUGE step in a different direction. No comparison.
  22. At this point I think it is odd and silly NOT to allow woodwinds in the pit since any other instrument is allowed (strings, guitars, sousaphones, etc). Plus, anyone can pull up an oboe/saxophone/flute patch on the synth and layer in those sounds as much as they want. At this point, it's all just the look of seeing an actual woodwind instrument in the production. We've already allowed the "voice." It makes no sense to me not to just allow any instrument. That said, I am highly against it- as I am trombones, strings, etc. I love the look and sound of valved brass and percussion. Only. But that ship has sailed, sad to say. And this is from a guy who plays sax and guitar for a living haha.
  23. Many people on here, understandably, don't know who Kimber is. He is a big name in the audio business. Kimber Cable is top of the line audiophile stuff. I had no idea he was a drum corps fan. His opinion does carry a lot of weight, to me anyway, since I am a blue collar music industry guy. His ears are well trained, his critique on the evolution of drum corps sound and implementation of A/E would be similar to someone who crafts AV sound stage for top Broadway and Hollywood productions critiquing corps' use of props. Kimber is an expert in the audiophile world with an extensive background in live sound recording.