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Ultimately, the governing bodies of drum corps, reflecting what they believe to be the desire of the participants and the audience, will decide this, and in this case they have. But that doesn't mean everyone else is not allowed to have an opinion. I mean, everyone on this forum surely believes the U.S. Congress has made bad decisions, right? And who would say we mustn't complain about those decisions? And while we may think much more highly of drum corps directors--and naturally the importance of what happens in DCI's and DCA's board rooms is less important--they too are capable of making mistakes, about which we should express ourselves.

I totally agree that people have the right to an opinion. Expressing an opinion is great, sometimes thinking it's going to do something may just be wishful thinking for some. Bottom line this was not a surprise at all. As I said earlier it happens alot in DCA that several years after DCI adapts something DCA eventually does. An addition to all this I think as DCA grows younger in membership, and it has you will see these adaptions happen alot faster than in the past.

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I'm posting the following status/comment from my Facebook timeline, because I was dared to do so and I like challenges. The comment is 100% mine: "All the old farts crabbing about DCA allowing electr

Amps or no amps... synths or no synths... circus animals or no circus animals... jet packs or no jet packs... IMO, it all comes down to the programs the corps put on the field. If the programs engage

So you missed the Caballeros, Buccaneers, and others. Your loss, IMO.

John, slow down. The corps you list WILL handle the additions best. That's the point. Unfortunately, DCA has, maybe, 25 other groups that perform at its events. I'm thinking several of them will get carried away, do things poorly, etc. just because of some need to chase the 'big guys.' It will be similar to small, lower talented corps we ALREADY see presenting shows that are way beyond their reach. Say, corps with 40 members who write drills that use the entire 100 yards. Playing too difficult parts.

In other words, the 'margin of error' is greater in DCA than in DCI. Maybe I should have said smaller, rather than greater!

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John, slow down. The corps you list WILL handle the additions best. That's the point. Unfortunately, DCA has, maybe, 25 other groups that perform at its events. I'm thinking several of them will get carried away, do things poorly, etc. just because of some need to chase the 'big guys.' It will be similar to small, lower talented corps we ALREADY see presenting shows that are way beyond their reach. Say, corps with 40 members who write drills that use the entire 100 yards. Playing too difficult parts.

In other words, the 'margin of error' is greater in DCA than in DCI. Maybe I should have said smaller, rather than greater!

Oh, that absolutely will happen, not because the rules have changed, but because the corps you cite suck at design. They'll just be able to suck at design using a few more tools.

PEBUAK: Blame the user, not the tool.

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I was unclear, since I didn't mean to besmirch the mental power of high school corps-geeks: I mean that there simply aren't ten memorable electronics moments in DCI's six years of using synthesizers, so that said corps-geeks would get stuck not due to brainiac limitations but for want of material.

Beyond stand alone effects like Bluecoats' pitch bend, elex serve a higher purpose. With the ability to mic the pit, the players on the marimbas, xylo's, and other "gak" can now play with good technique, which before the ability to amplify these, performers were causing damage to both their fingers and wrists, as well as the equipment. So this is a great addition. But the little space and video game sound effects that MBI used in their show, the voiceover and echo effects in Cabs this season, and the speech that the Bushwackers used were all pretty good usage of elex. Its not just a synthesizer, its the ability to add some more polishing and flare to each production and another tool to use in the design of a show. Heck, with this addition you can pull from the library of congress sound clips and design that into your show.

Those are things that wow potential members without them knowing it does.

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Oh, that absolutely will happen, not because the rules have changed, but because the corps you cite suck at design. They'll just be able to suck at design using a few more tools.

PEBUAK: Blame the user, not the tool.

This is it exactly. You hit the nail on the head. And no one HAS to use these. They just have the option now to. Santa Clara Vanguard the last few seasons has only used elex to amplify their pit, so has Blue Devils and many other top 12. Its not about synthesizing anything.

And those who can't design a show before, still won't be able to design a show. Just because the Oakland Raiders stink at football, doesn't mean they dumb down the rest of the league do they?

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I'm sure I'm going to regret putting my 2 cents in, but here goes:

The way I understand it, the purpose of drum corps is to provide entertainment. DCI/DCA/etc. assign rules in order to entice corps to not go on the field and perform something painful to watch/hear/experience.

If I understand correctly, the addition of these electronics rules is supposed to help the corps increase entertainment value by giving designers more to work with. Have a wicked synth solo, or have certain parts in the pit more audible, that wouldn't be audible otherwise. Maybe have a synth provide sounds that the corps otherwise would've been unable to produce?

I'm sure this added voice amplification would've made the Bushwackers' lives a bit easier this past season. It was near impossible to hear what was being said onfield for most of the season. I recall a few other shows among the years I've been aware of drum corps where the new rules would've been a great help.

Please allow yourself to be entertained, because that's what those corps want to do for you. I never enjoyed marching a show I wouldn't want to watch myself.

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hey the elephants happened with Star 87. flames are still illegal.

take the scores away honestly...you lose bodies on the field and in the stands

I do find it hysterical seeing people say corps will go broke when many corps borrow stuff from bands already like they could with this.aid if you don't strive to excell

Didn't say that corps would go broke.

As for scores,if a corps is faced with putting on entertaining show,one that will get them booked,they will strive to make that show the best they can. Think of Broadway there is no scoring by just six people and yet there are great shows.

Really you would not go to see MBI,CABS and others just because they aren't getting a score?

People will pay to see MBI,and the likes if the shows are entertaining. if the corps' get lazy and push less for excellence, people will not pay regardless of scoring or not.

Think of it as a rock concert with a bunch of great groups,there's no scoring but you are there to see a great show.

You don't need a score to tell you ,you re good the people in the seats jumping up and are telling you, you are good

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If I understand correctly, the addition of these electronics rules is supposed to help the corps increase entertainment value by giving designers more to work with. Have a wicked synth solo, or have certain parts in the pit more audible, that wouldn't be audible otherwise. Maybe have a synth provide sounds that the corps otherwise would've been unable to produce?

Like the sounds of woodwinds, for instance?

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Beyond stand alone effects like Bluecoats' pitch bend, elex serve a higher purpose. With the ability to mic the pit, the players on the marimbas, xylo's, and other "gak" can now play with good technique, which before the ability to amplify these, performers were causing damage to both their fingers and wrists, as well as the equipment. So this is a great addition. But the little space and video game sound effects that MBI used in their show, the voiceover and echo effects in Cabs this season, and the speech that the Bushwackers used were all pretty good usage of elex. It's not just a synthesizer, its the ability to add some more polishing and flare to each production and another tool to use in the design of a show. Heck, with this addition you can pull from the library of congress sound clips and design that into your show.

Those are things that wow potential members without them knowing it does.

Generally in discussions here, amplification and electronically-produced sound are treated as separate items, the more so because DCI allowed the former beginning in 2004 and the latter not until 2008. Both annoy me for various reasons, but the latter is my biggest peeve. As for amplification, it was already permitted for pit instruments this year in DCI. I've never been greatly convinced by the arguments in its favor, which I find somewhat specious and in fact anti-drum corps, and I do have the corps who had what I consider to be the finest front ensemble in the years immediately preceding its 2004 DCI inauguration on my side: the Cavaliers voted against it, arguing that they were training their members just fine, thank you very much, and that the rule change was unnecessary. Of course, once they saw how the judges were responding in 2004...

But again, not my focus. Turning to the specific electronic effects you mention from this year, two of which were preshow recordings, count me not as horrified but not wowed, the more so in the case of Cabs and Bush because no one was performing them on the spot--or did Bush dig up Charlie Chaplin's corpse (which happened once before, you know) and reanimate him when I wasn't looking? Seriously, I think if we made a list of all the uses of synthesizer or prerecorded audio used in actual shows over the past six DCI years, better than 90% would be greeted even by electronics advocates with "meh".

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This is it exactly. You hit the nail on the head. And no one HAS to use these. They just have the option now to. Santa Clara Vanguard the last few seasons has only used elex to amplify their pit, so has Blue Devils and many other top twelve. It's not about synthesizing anything.

What was supposedly optional certainly seemed all but mandatory in DCI starting in 2009, when corps after corps had a surfeit of nasty bass goo. This is why my first post in this thread was to advise DCA to learn from DCI's mistakes. My point being, there really were a lot of mistakes, a lot more than there should have been from people who were supposedly going to handle amplification and electronics expertly. Several sound engineering professionals on these forums have said so repeatedly. I took a professional sound engineer to a show last year, and he concurred.

SCV the past two seasons has indeed shown improvement in this regard. But it's completely wrong to say BD only use electronics for amplification in the last few seasons--and even though BD this year was less overrun by noise than in the two previous seasons--da da is da da is da da--I am led to believe (not having acquired the 2014 CDs or DVDs yet) that some of their prerecorded material this year was actually cut from the recording for copyright reasons.

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