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Everything posted by Guitar1974

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Stop... The goofy "gnashing of teeth" attempt at being dark and menacing. The fashion this year was dark and sinister, and if I had a buck for every time I saw someone squat down and gnash their teeth and try to look overly angsty I'd be driving a new Ferrari to Finals next year. Stop the corny "emoting" and simply play some sinister licks on your instrument instead. Start... Taking and leaving the field like pros. I loved seeing Madison actually MARCH crisply onto the field, and hearing Cavies play off with the always awesome bass cadence Iowa. This is the stuff that makes it feel like the big leagues. Plus it adds extra entertainment and cool factor to the show. More of this, please. Change... the compulsory trombone feature thing. Nothing against the bone, but why must everyone have a trombone solo and feature? Did we really have to change the entire look and vibe of DCI for a slight change in timbre which is used in a very predictable way? Seeing trombones on a DCI field is like seeing a mini van on the grid of an Indy Car race. Now it looks like sousaphones may be the new trombones. Then electric guitar will be the new sousaphone. Eventually maybe this one obscure bright/kinda rude yet awesome sounding horn will make its way into the mix- it is crazy, pitched to key of G, only has a couple valves, super sexy though... a true hammer of the Gods- called a bugle or something like that.
  5. Last night I was at Prelims seated near the 30 so I had a good beam of amp sound in my ear. There were times when mid/high range synth notes were layered into loud sustained chords in addition to the low sub "goo" we've all grown accustomed to. One corps in particular- well regarded for its incredible horn line- seemed to have a lot of synth layering to add support for the horns. There appeared to be a loud synth sound used during impacts that sat somewhere in the sonic spectrum as a mellophone. The closing chord especially, the artificial layering and support was really noticeable. Seems a bit too smoke and mirrors to me, horn lines have never been better. The quality of the horn line talent is astounding but has a synthetic sheen to it. Since it is all legal, I guess it is perfectly okay for a corps to use brass synth patches to layer in perfectly in-tune/loud synthetic brass layers to the live performance. This is the way it is done in the pop world, you hear about 50% human and 50% machine. I think most pop music fans realize the dont really sound like that but are fine with it. DCI fans I assume want the real thing, not machine made. At what point do fans say enough is enough? I think most corps seemed to use A&E appropriately, but the added tech and capability make me wonder if what I am hearing is truly live or not.
  6. I saw Cavies show for first time last night at Prelims. That ending! Best ending of the night- I love when the guard is chucking rifles all over the fIeld over the closing chord- what a cool moment!
  7. Here is where I am stuck when it comes to the current state of A&E. At what point does it seem silly to continue to have a true competitive comparison between corps when there is a vast difference in ability to control and manipulate sound. A LOT of soloists are highly processed with reverb/delay/chorusing etc. Their sound is so buffed and polished that it seems silly to score it, the technology is greatly enhancing it. Technology enables to pitch correct real time, and sweeten the sound an incredible amount. Go to any pop concert- do you think they really sound like that without all the added technology? We have all come to accept computer enhanced music and images as the norm now, I guess it is logical for drum corps to follow suit. I love Bloos show this year but it does bother me to think that much of it relies on artificial technology, tracks, and A&E effects. Are we to a point where it is goofy to keep "judging" them and just let it be a free-for-all field show? Once technology becomes a big contributor then the competitive element is corrupted IMO.
  8. I think the main thing is that the corps is just obviously young and green, they don't have the player-to-player experience of the top corps. I was actually very pleasantly surprised when I saw Scouts live. We watched in the lot and they were all business, kids were focused. Then they came out and put on a solid show. Yah, it was dirty for sure (early season). And yah, it was old school. But people dug the heck out of it. The people I took to the show had absolutely no preconceived notions and liked Scouts second to Bluecoats. Scouts had the best crowd reaction overall after Bluecoats. Scouts had the only drill moments that anyone applauded for. There are some seriously cool parts in their show. DCI wants drum corps to be different, though. For better or worse the cool stuff that the Scouts do that resonates with crowds isn't being scored well. I hope Scouts can find a way to integrate some complusory new elements (huge props, etc) whilst still keeping the vibe they are establishing this year. If they can do that, they may really have something that will compete for judges scores. Regardless, I really love their show this year and I feel it resonates with a lot of fans. I hope the kids feel the love from the crowd- scores be dam**d- because it is definitely there.
  9. I agree about the end of the opener- those rapidly collapsing boxes are super cool! Probably my favorite dril moment of any I have seen this year. When I saw Scouts live the crowd went nuts for the end of the opener. Scouts had the best reaction aside from Bluecoats. I know everyone is slagging their show for being behind the times but honestly the old school moments got WAY more crowd reaction than the over-emoting/body sculpting/prop climbing stuff most others were doing. I hope Scouts continue to add more blistering drill- keep it coming, Scouts! Move fast, play loud, toss high!
  10. Well, he does lose the option of the all-male version of Scouts with Cavies being the only all-male corps now, and if many posters on this thread had their way there would be no all-male option at all in the future. My son is a hardcore hockey player and likes the brotherhood/bond of that athletic experience, thus had interest in Scouts since in his mind it offered the kind of commardarie he finds in hockey with the guys he plays with. Actually, my daughter reacted the most negative to the news of Scouts going coed, she thinks it will change their entire vibe and she digs the “Mighty Men” thing they have. Also- I completely agree the decision to go coed was made to widen the talent pool and attract more kids to audition.
  11. Thanks for the responses crest99 and ndkbass. I understand where you are coming from and, like many, try to see both sides of the situation. I still do not think it is fair to eliminate all-male options on the grounds of being exclusionary while condoning all-female as empowering, but I respect your points of view. I am torn because I have boy/girl twins nearing marching age. I love that there is so much support of females in DCI, but also lament the loss of options for my son. Regardless, I hope nothing but the best for Scouts.
  12. This is a thoughtful and well-penned response, although I disagree in that I feel not allowing people to have the freedom to choose what is the best fit for them (coed or all-male/all-female) is, in itself, being exclusionary. Why is it that an all-female group would no doubt garner a lot of support and an all-male group garner all the "discriminatory/exclusionary" etc response? Can't we just allow there to be a diverse array of choices for people and be happy there are unique opportunities for those who wish to seek them? I also marched a coed corps, gender has nothing to do with performance on the field. I know plenty of guys who went to Scouts for the brotherhood and fraternity- the "magic" of that experience. They benefited from the all-male aspect. Why is this discriminatory when there are lots of great options for females in DCI? I just find this all very contradictory. “There’s something magical about the feeling of an all-female guard,” said Lydia Marshall, head drum major of the Crossmen. “When it clicks in DCI, it is one of the most empowering and inspiring things that you can see. It is absolutely incredible to share the field with those ladies and be in the show with them.”
  13. Again, why is this statement okay to everyone “There’s something magical about the feeling of an all-female guard,” said Lydia Marshall, head drum major of the Crossmen. “When it clicks in DCI, it is one of the most empowering and inspiring things that you can see. It is absolutely incredible to share the field with those ladies and be in the show with them.” but insert "all-male" and "guys" in for "all-female" and "ladies" and now it is toxic and frowned upon? Are guys not allowed to experience the magic?
  14. Today I received the routine DCI email blast with all the latest news. Of course the top story is celebrating the Scouts going co-ed. I find it ironic that- in the same email blast- there is a story celebrating Crossmen's all female guard. Why when it is male brotherhood/camaraderie it is bad/toxic but if female it is celebrated? I have no problem with Crossmen's guard being all female, I just feel that it should be able to work both ways. Why can't it be empowering and inspiring for young men to share the field together in brotherhood? From today's story: “There’s something magical about the feeling of an all-female guard,” said Lydia Marshall, head drum major of the Crossmen. “When it clicks in DCI, it is one of the most empowering and inspiring things that you can see. It is absolutely incredible to share the field with those ladies and be in the show with them.” For the record I marched in a co-ed corps and feel gender absolutely makes no difference to one's ability to perform in drum corps. I couldn't imagine my corps being anything but co-ed. That said, I don't understand why all-male things are immediately deemed negative but all-female celebrated. If people want an all-male or all-female experience I don't have a problem with that.
  15. In Hamilton on Tuesday I think it is an accurate statement that Scouts were the fan favorite behind Bluecoats. Scouts definitely had the most crowd response behind Coats, and my small cross section of people I took to the show loved Scouts show and this ranged from adults to middle school kids. What they liked most, in no particular order: the way they took the field- marched instead of walked to opening set; the collapsing box drill at end of opener (very cool!); the uniforms; the music; the loud/lush orchestration in the closing chords. Old school elements that always please. I know the show is dirty, but I liked how they stood out with something that- ironic since it is dated/old school- is very different from everyone else. We liked all the corps, but honestly Colts/Spirit/Cadets were interchangeable in many regards. They seemed very “same”.... same dark look, same angsty style, similar costumes, etc. Scouts and Bluecoats were the only corps there that had a unique identity. Sure Scouts are young and green, and the show is dirty, but give the guys a break already... I was just happy to see a glimpse of the old Madison mystique back. Whether they make finals or not, at least they are doing something bold and unique, and they have a “brand” and personality. My .02, but my opinion seemed to be shared by many in Hamilton. Even after getting beat (badly) on the scoreboard at that show my 13 year old son, when asked where he would someday want to march, said he’d pick Scouts to march second to Bluecoats because, in his words, “Scouts are just cool.” I hope the Scouts hear this kind of feedback instead of just all the constant negativity.
  16. What Blooo is doing this year goes beyond scoring/placement/etc. Last night in Hamilton my 13 year old daughter wept on and off from the fIrst chord to last final bow, the music and show moved her that much... As a member of the 1992 Bluecoats (and the often slagged '92 Beatles show) the 2019 production is mind blowing. The show is amazing- it is light hearted and deep at the same time, one beautiful melody after another. One other thing that makes the show pop is the juxtaposition with all the dark/angst oriented shows. Last night in Hamilton Colts, then Spirit, the Cadets came out one after another with the same look/same dark angst/etc. Then here come Bluecoats with a totally bright, fun, uplifting show. Like a rainbow after storms haha... Don't get me wrong I highly enjoyed everyone last night, but Bluecoats seems extra fresh after the dark angst of everyone else. Thank you 2019 Bluecoats for bringing my DCI days back to life with the Beatles.
  17. With all due respect, Scouts got probably the best reponse of the night behind Bluecoats. They had some very cool elements that the crowd really dug, cool drill, etc. I thought they moved as much, if not more, than most. The group I took included adults and middle school band kids and they all liked Scouts second to Blooo.
  18. Scouts in Hamilton- awesome show, huge crowd response- some great moments- crowd loved you, Scouts!
  19. For what it is worth Madison has been and remains one of my favorite corps. My kids and I can’t wait to see the Mighty Men bring the noise tomorrow in Hamilton! I bleed Blooo but will always dig Scouts. Blow the stands down tomorrow, boys.
  20. What is the best way to get to Hamilton coming around I-275 from Kentucky? I went through Fairfield last time and it was slow going.
  21. I am really excited to see the Scouts tomorrow in Hamilton! I am eager to see the old school show and am always glad when they are at the gig- go Scouts!
  22. I had the pleasure of seeing Crown rehearse tonight in Lexington, KY including a full run through. TheY sound great- lots of impact. Good blend of new and old school drum corps, lots of drill, minimal use of props, tasteful use of electronics, minimal reliance on voiceover to tell a story. I am not sure I followed the concept very well (math?) but I rarely pay much attention to the deeper meaning of show concepts. I liked the music and the kids are working their tails off. Drums have some cool licks. My middle school band kids remarked numerous times of getting chills. I'll always be a proud Bluecoat alum but sure enjoyed my evening watching Crown. Best of luck to them this season.
  23. Props take away two things that I always dug most about the experience of a corps' time on the field- both as a former member and now audience member: the taking of the field and the trooping of the stands and leaving the field like professionals. A few things that I loved and will always stick in my mind: the Scouts in their Mighty Men glory days doing their "extreme slow" march onto the field... The Blue Devils doing backfield warmup tuning sequence while the drums ripped through "Ditty"... Cavies trooping the stands to "Iowa" whilst the crowd clapped in unison... These were true rock star moments which made the whole thing seem so much more "big league", plus gives the corps lots more actual performance time and entertainment value since the "show" is happening from the time they enter the stadium until the time they disappear in the tunnel to their street beat. This stuff has been lost to the chaos of running props on and off the field. It all feels more amateurish and unfinished, it is awkward to watch them setup and tear down.
  24. Agreed that when done correctly it can sound good, but I feel it creates an environment where we are no longer comparing apples to apples. Competition no longer seems very relevant if corps aren't performing with the same gear. Modern audio technology allows for seamless enhancement/"smoke & mirrors" of live audio. We've all come to accept that in pop music most of what we hear- even live- is heavily propped up and enhanced by machines. I hate to see DCI go down that road. Corps like BD with the budgets to invest in highly sophisticated electronic systems have the capacity to electronically enhance/manipulate/buff including running sophisticated samples. Nothing to stop them from layering additional studio brass into the live package, far as I know.