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Blue Devils and Mics


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Buuut let's stick with the way things were. Improvements suck.

... but that's just it. To so many of us there's no "improvements" involved, just cheapening what we've come to hold so dear.

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i've actually seen some high schools use wireless microphones already, so it's just a matter of time.

Why not? If it helps create the desired sound the staff is looking for, I don't have a problem with it.

One year the band I teach was very small..around 19 winds, and we wireless micced 12 of them, most of the WW and certain brass.

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I was absolutely APPALLED when I saw/heard BD using mics for the soloists!! (FYI I didn't see any of the corps that used them last year).

For any DRUM & BUGLE CORPS to use microphones to amplify brass soloists is so outrageously LAME it's almost beyond words. It's a "flip of the bird" to the legacy of the activity. Yes, the acoustics of a football stadium are a huge challenge for a primarily acoustic musical ensemble. HELLOOOO??? THAT'S THE POINT OF THE WHOLE ACTIVITY!! It's the surmounting of this challenge with (mostly) acoustic, human powered instruments that is what makes this activity great!

What this is, is a total show design COP OUT!. It's a function of lazy designers who want to take short cuts. My opinion - if you can't stage the soloists or balance the rest of the ensemble so that the soloists can be heard, or if you don't have soloists that can project well enough, THEN YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE SOLOISTS!!

What's even more appalling is that Blue Devils probably have the best soloists in the activity, and therefore are the least in need for amplification!!

How long will it be before we have clip-on wireless microphones on the bell of every player?

I thought it would be the legalization of woodwinds that would mark the beginning of my retirement as a DCI spectator. However if amplification continues its invasion into the brass section, I may not wait around for the reeds before I start planning something new for my mid-August vacation.

been around long? This is hardly the first, and likely not the last. Blame the rules... For the record, I don't like mics, recorded music or talking during a drum corp show...

Best thing for you to do is plan a different vacation, maybe at a beach where you can listen to the soothing waves crash on the shore. Just relax...

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Okay, I have no problem with the microphones. If they need them for the solos to be heard, then that's fine. I buy into the theory that if they'd rather have tone quality over volume, then it's fine. Most musicians would rather save their chops for the rest of their show, or save their solo chops for a big show instead of a smaller one, so more power to them.

And again, this could be a big help in LOS for Finals. If you've never performed in that stadium, it is the weirdest feeling in the world. It is a black hole for sound out there, playing out there is like playing with 149 other people, all by yourself. In order for the soloists to be heard in those weird acoustics, they need some kind of amping. It helped the Cavaliers last year, so that their screamers could be heard over the rest of the horn line. Crown even changed the end of Danzon, so that the high trumpet part was played by the whole section, instead of just one lead over the top, since it couldn't be heard in the indoor stadiums. Just my thoughts here, but I don't see what all of the anger is about.

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I was absolutely APPALLED when I saw/heard BD using mics for the soloists!! (FYI I didn't see any of the corps that used them last year).

For any DRUM & BUGLE CORPS to use microphones to amplify brass soloists is so outrageously LAME it's almost beyond words. It's a "flip of the bird" to the legacy of the activity. Yes, the acoustics of a football stadium are a huge challenge for a primarily acoustic musical ensemble. HELLOOOO??? THAT'S THE POINT OF THE WHOLE ACTIVITY!! It's the surmounting of this challenge with (mostly) acoustic, human powered instruments that is what makes this activity great!

What this is, is a total show design COP OUT!. It's a function of lazy designers who want to take short cuts. My opinion - if you can't stage the soloists or balance the rest of the ensemble so that the soloists can be heard, or if you don't have soloists that can project well enough, THEN YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE SOLOISTS!!

What's even more appalling is that Blue Devils probably have the best soloists in the activity, and therefore are the least in need for amplification!!

How long will it be before we have clip-on wireless microphones on the bell of every player?

I thought it would be the legalization of woodwinds that would mark the beginning of my retirement as a DCI spectator. However if amplification continues its invasion into the brass section, I may not wait around for the reeds before I start planning something new for my mid-August vacation.

Oh good. More melodrama.

Have fun on your vacation. I encourage you to start asap.

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One year the band I teach was very small..around 19 winds, and we wireless micced 12 of them, most of the WW and certain brass.

The ability to compete properly in marching band does not equal the ability to play as loud as a band with 40 or 50 winds (or more).

The 'technique' of staff using microphones to balance an ensemble should not be allowed.

But this is DCI. Commence hostilities, people!

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Yes, the acoustics of a football stadium are a huge challenge for a primarily acoustic musical ensemble. HELLOOOO??? THAT'S THE POINT OF THE WHOLE ACTIVITY!! It's the surmounting of this challenge with (mostly) acoustic, human powered instruments that is what makes this activity great!

Yes, thank you! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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No mics for Madison this year (soloists anyway), and I heard them just fine from the top by the box in Bridgeport. In fact, Madison used the amplified pit the best that night, of all the corps on the field. I say that because the pit was not to loud. Crossmen on the other hand had the pit overpowering the rest of the corps in several spots that it was just obnoxious.

I can handle change for the better, even though I prefer the "old school" way of doing things. But mics on soloists just flat out suck.

This I believe..... :cool:

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Why not? If it helps create the desired sound the staff is looking for, I don't have a problem with it.

One year the band I teach was very small..around 19 winds, and we wireless micced 12 of them, most of the WW and certain brass.

I’d think that as staff, their teacher, you’d teach them how to achieve that desired sound by educating them as opposed to fixing or achieveing that sound through a mixing board

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If you had the option of blowing your chops for Just Another Show at Run-of-the-Mill HS every night or playing with a good tone and saving those same chops, what would you pick?

Does anyone really think those screamers CAN'T project over their corps if they wanted to? You don't become a Blue Devil screamer by impressing the staff with, "Well, his projection isn't there but thankfully we have mics." No. They COULD and choose not to.

Your post seems to advance the idea that some audiences are more worthy of the performer's effort than others. If so, I would have to reject that premise on several levels. The most important audience is the one that's in front of you right now. They are as important to one's artistic/musical success as any talent you were blessed with and any work you have done. What your post seems to allow for is what we used to call sandbagging. I'd prefer (being the fossil that I am) that we leave that sort of thing to the world of athletics.

All in every run through. It's a question of commitment. If a soloist has to "lay out" or "save himself" for the big moment, I have to question whether they are the right person for the job. The music world has enough 5 minute wonders. Most performances are longer than that.

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