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Blue Devils and Mics


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I will stand to be corrected, but I do not believe any of the Madison horns are mic'ed. Certainly not the Tuba or bari soloists who are backfield and on the move throughout their solos. My impression was that the sops (trumpets?) at the end were just projecting.

Having seen the show 3 times live, the tuba at the beginning of the show is very obviously wireleslly mic'd. You could hear the hiss of the PA system at one of the shows. The bari is not mic'd

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I have a sense that "ambient micing" the field (that is.....micing behind the pit, pointed toward the field) is in the future for all corps. Softer corps will have a louder and more "listenable" presentation, while louder corps will be more balanced and... yes....louder still. It's not about getting an edge up on the competion, it's about giving the audience the best sound experience possible while respecting the traditions of drum corps sound.

If you look at BD's relationship with professional sound producers in all their forms (System Blue brass manufacturers, sound recording, xylosynths, etc) you'll see a pattern of "quality" as a goal....and enhanced listening experience. Taking technologies advantages and showing how they can be used to increase the quality of the drum corps experience for the fans. Having said that, I think individually mic'd brass, etc is taking it too far, but some would argue that's just what the pit does. I also think that if ambient micing is available to any corps, it should also be made available to all corps.

In the same way, one could argue that the new multi-camera addition is not traditional, and "if you can't see it on the field without help, then you can't see it!" But it appears to be well received by all. Ultimately, the Standford BD production was a masterful blend of sound and a glimpse into what I hope all corps will eventually work toward....everyone in the audience hearing just what the corps wants them to hear.

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I have a sense that "ambient micing" the field (that is.....micing behind the pit, pointed toward the field) is in the future for all corps.

As I understand it you can only mic 12 people and ambient micing is not allowed

Doesn’t mean it won’t happen or maybe I don’t understand it correctly but I think its currently illegal

anyone?

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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.

In reality, do you think ANY corps treats Podunk HS's show the same way they treat Finals? Even San Antonio? Or Allentown? Not in an ideal world, in reality. No. No corps treats the small, local shows the same way they treat important shows. The performance levels are still so high that it's sometimes hard to tell. That's just a fact. There may be INDIVIDUALS who feel differently but you can tell when a group is really firing on all levels above and beyond what they are being called upon to do. Just a fact. No disputing it.

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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.

And what of the developing soloist? Never forget: these are not professional musicians...yet.

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I have a sense that "ambient micing" the field (that is.....micing behind the pit, pointed toward the field) is in the future for all corps.

I think we've already experienced some "ambient" mic usage from overzealous pit amplification.

Softer corps will have a louder and more "listenable" presentation, while louder corps will be more balanced and... yes....louder still.

Oh, I'm sorry....you are seriously suggesting this? Mic moving performers with stationary mics behind the pit? Good grief....the wireless mics referred to above are a better idea in comparison.

It's not about getting an edge up on the competion, it's about giving the audience the best sound experience possible while respecting the traditions of drum corps sound.

This statement makes no sense. First of all, if your claim of a better sound were true, how can you also claim it would not be a competitive edge? Secondly, how on Earth would even more electronic amplification be "respecting the traditions of drum corps sound"?

If you look at BD's relationship with professional sound producers in all their forms (System Blue brass manufacturers, sound recording, xylosynths, etc) you'll see a pattern of "quality" as a goal....and enhanced listening experience.

And if you spoke to BD's staff and those professional sound producers, they would explain to you why your idea won't achieve the quality you seek. Or, in the interim, you could read up on mic response as a function of the sound source's position (distance and direction) relative to the microphone. Should only take a few paragraphs for the realization to kick in.

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I have a sense that "ambient micing" the field (that is.....micing behind the pit, pointed toward the field) is in the future for all corps. Softer corps will have a louder and more "listenable" presentation, while louder corps will be more balanced and... yes....louder still. It's not about getting an edge up on the competion, it's about giving the audience the best sound experience possible while respecting the traditions of drum corps sound.

:sad:

I hope not. It does not sound better to me.

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In reality, do you think ANY corps treats Podunk HS's show the same way they treat Finals? Even San Antonio? Or Allentown? Not in an ideal world, in reality. No. No corps treats the small, local shows the same way they treat important shows. The performance levels are still so high that it's sometimes hard to tell. That's just a fact. There may be INDIVIDUALS who feel differently but you can tell when a group is really firing on all levels above and beyond what they are being called upon to do. Just a fact. No disputing it.

This not a fact. In my experience, corps are taught (and rightly, in my opinion) to execute their show at the highest level possible every time they perform it. I think your premise is completely ridiculous.

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In reality, do you think ANY corps treats Podunk HS's show the same way they treat Finals? Even San Antonio? Or Allentown? Not in an ideal world, in reality. No. No corps treats the small, local shows the same way they treat important shows. The performance levels are still so high that it's sometimes hard to tell. That's just a fact. There may be INDIVIDUALS who feel differently but you can tell when a group is really firing on all levels above and beyond what they are being called upon to do. Just a fact. No disputing it.

Your cynicism is depressing. With all respect, I hope you're not involved in teaching on any level. We have enough people that do just enough to get by.

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In reality, do you think ANY corps treats Podunk HS's show the same way they treat Finals? Even San Antonio? Or Allentown? Not in an ideal world, in reality. No. No corps treats the small, local shows the same way they treat important shows. The performance levels are still so high that it's sometimes hard to tell. That's just a fact. There may be INDIVIDUALS who feel differently but you can tell when a group is really firing on all levels above and beyond what they are being called upon to do. Just a fact. No disputing it.

This is not even remotely true. If it's this is your experience with the corps you marched with, I feel bad for you and the horrific approach your staff took. I can assure you that no corps I've ever been associated with, either as a performer or instructor, has ever taken the approach you describe. EVER.

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