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What would you think if...

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8 minutes ago, mfrontz47 said:

The Dr. Beat on field you can hear how the group lines up with the metronome, but having it in the ear makes it hard to hear yourself and everyone else. Couldn’t see why that’s helpful. 

Lol saw The Who in concert over Memorial Day weekend and Pete Townson was saying he’s proud he doesn’t use ear buds.

Oh course next thing you heard was Roger Daltry... “he’s deaf as a post anyway” 😝

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23 minutes ago, Cappybara said:

I think you're being a little disingenuous or obtuse here. There are some actual implications to all this and while I don't want to assume, I suspect your aloofness regarding the subject has a little bit (okay, a lot) to do with the fact that your favorite corps has pioneered the electronics arms race. 

The main negative implication (the answer to your "who cares") is that this will only move to further the disparity between corps that do have the funds to keep up and those that do not. Allowing corps to essentially have a metronome in their ear and wireless mics for half the hornline will allow some corps to get more creative in show design and at the same time reduce environmental difficulties of the things that they are doing. 

Not to mention that this IS a judged activity and honestly if we're going to allow metronomes to be used then what's the point of the drum major? What's stopping a corps from deciding to autotune some of their brass output? I think it's against the spirit of the activity, the kids are there to be challenged and to learn. Now if we're turning DCI into an exhibition then fine, let's make it a free for all. 

I'd just hate to create a G7 type situation where corps without the money don't stand a chance to compete because they can't afford to use the equipment that the top 6 or so corps use 

This is actually a very fair point..

We are actually seeing in the Music captions this year who is utilizing the technology to their benefit and those who are lacking..

Bluecoats has had the fortune to make these investments in the technology little by little over the last 4 years since 2016 when Aaron Beck came on board..

Imagine you're a finalist corps looking to make a push towards a championship and you haven't made these investments over time, you try your best with the old formula but you are getting slammed over the head in the music captions with no relief in sight other than to make a drastic investment into designing with Electronics in mind from the jump... 

Meanwhile those corps who have pioneered this area and are teaching others to get on board, are doing so to protect their investment and not have a sudden rule change banning such extensive use of electronics..

It was interesting watching the DCI videos on their YT channel around the 2018 DCI meetings.. Cavaliers actually went into those meetings trying to limit the use of electronics in DCI, but Bluecoats surprisingly spilled all of their secrets with that Aaron Beck presentation and let all of DCI corps know how they where doing, what they where using equipment wise to achieve it... Mighty nice of Bluecoats to do that, where it not to protect their investment and maintain their advantage in the area.. 

 

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5 hours ago, jwillis35 said:

While this stuff sounds fishy and all, in reality judges can tell when half or less of the ensemble is being mic'd vs not. It's an obvious sound. I could tell years ago (before amps and mics) when a corps watered down their most difficult brass parts for only the best players. That sort of thing has been going on for years. Even the best corps have watered down their horn books to improve cleanliness going into finals week. 

Also, I believe it was 3 years ago (?) that SCV use field wireless mics on about 25 to 30 players who were playing different parts from the full ensemble, and then when they were playing with the full ensemble the mics were turned off. It was something like that. I didn't have a problem with it. 

It the end, all the mic/amp combo does is amplify the sound being produced by the instrument. That can be a good or bad thing depending on how well they play. But good musicians can tell the difference between 30 mic'd brass players and 80 acoustic brass players. The notion that you can make ensemble brass sound bigger by amping 4 or 5 folks to replace 20 or 30 is ridiculous. Listen to the great big bands (using mics)and while they are fantastic they do not sound like 40 or 50 brass, let alone 70 or 80. 

I think people are worried that some corps are cheating. No. That is not happening. If they are amping 20 or 30 players, it is for a certain effect or to help the players better produce their tone and articulation without forcing the sound. That is all. Nothing sinister. Very much what most corps do these days with solos. I get the sense this thread is bringing up the notion that some corps, or corps(s) are trying to cheat. Trust me, judges can tell who is playing, how many are playing, and what they are playing. They can then apply the appropriate credit for who is achieving the musical content, how it's done, and so forth. You simply cannot cheat the sound of a large brass line. Using 20 or 30 people on the field with mics does not cut the mustard. I enjoyed Future Corps (back in the day when they marched around Epcott and Disney), and that mic'd up style was what they did, but it's still not 80 brass. 

But no one said anything about trying to duplicate an entire 80 person line with 30.  That's a straw man argument.

It's more about arranging parts so that some super technical stuff is being covered by your really strong players and the rest are 'supporting' their parts in a clever way.  It's not hard to do and you WONT be able tell unless you're literally in the bell of every player in the line. 

Also...

This whole excuse of "well the visual guys are putting are guys in ridiculous positions so we need IEMs and mics to pull it off" is complete misdirection.  Visual designers need to be accountable for BAD STAGING.  It's part of what makes great visual designers great -- right person at right place at right time.  You're not freeing the visual designers:  you're straight up making them irrelevant.  Environmental demands are such a huge part of the activity.  And with a single vote they were made irrelevant.  It's sad. 

Finally...

Anyone claiming things sound better amplified than acoustic is straight up lying.  There's isn't even any room for debate on the topic.  I'm behind mic'ing the FE.  Whacking the marimba was not a natural sound.  But brass needs no amplification.  At all.   And it's natural sound is far more pleasing than it's amplified, processed, narrow bandwidth, electrical sound.  

Want to mic a soloist?  Put them behind a mic on the front sideline.  Get rid of the rest (shotgun mics, wireless, all of it).  If it's a step behind the FSL it's illegal.  Want loud?  Learn how to play loud well with good tone (not by turning a knob).  

</rant>

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11 minutes ago, karuna said:

But no one said anything about trying to duplicate an entire 80 person line with 30.  That's a straw man argument.

It's more about arranging parts so that some super technical stuff is being covered by your really strong players and the rest are 'supporting' their parts in a clever way.  It's not hard to do and you WONT be able tell unless you're literally in the bell of every player in the line. 

Also...

This whole excuse of "well the visual guys are putting are guys in ridiculous positions so we need IEMs and mics to pull it off" is complete misdirection.  Visual designers need to be accountable for BAD STAGING.  It's part of what makes great visual designers great -- right person at right place at right time.  You're not freeing the visual designers:  you're straight up making them irrelevant.  Environmental demands are such a huge part of the activity.  And with a single vote they were made irrelevant.  It's sad. 

Finally...

Anyone claiming things sound better amplified than acoustic is straight up lying.  There's isn't even any room for debate on the topic.  I'm behind mic'ing the FE.  Whacking the marimba was not a natural sound.  But brass needs no amplification.  At all.   And it's natural sound is far more pleasing than it's amplified, processed, narrow bandwidth, electrical sound.  

Want to mic a soloist?  Put them behind a mic on the front sideline.  Get rid of the rest (shotgun mics, wireless, all of it).  If it's a step behind the FSL it's illegal.  Want loud?  Learn how to play loud well with good tone (not by turning a knob).  

</rant>

The problem with doing away with the mic even for soloist is that you could not achieve the magnificent quality that these hornline soloist are achieving without the use of Sound Reinforcement. The duet at the beginning of Gabriel's Oboe would suffer and certainly the expansion of the field and staging of the soloist would be #### near impossible to enjoy without Wireless mics and amplification.

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3 minutes ago, Glenn426 said:

The problem with doing away with the mic even for soloist is that you could not achieve the magnificent quality that these hornline soloist are achieving without the use of Sound Reinforcement. The duet at the beginning of Gabriel's Oboe would suffer and certainly the expansion of the field and staging of the soloist would be #### near impossible to enjoy without Wireless mics and amplification.

Want to mic  someone?   Plant them on the FSL. The whole number would work just fine. 

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1 hour ago, Cappybara said:

I think you're being a little disingenuous or obtuse here. There are some actual implications to all this and while I don't want to assume, I suspect your aloofness regarding the subject has a little bit (okay, a lot) to do with the fact that your favorite corps has pioneered the electronics arms race. 

The main negative implication (the answer to your "who cares") is that this will only move to further the disparity between corps that do have the funds to keep up and those that do not. Allowing corps to essentially have a metronome in their ear and wireless mics for half the hornline will allow some corps to get more creative in show design and at the same time reduce environmental difficulties of the things that they are doing. 

Not to mention that this IS a judged activity and honestly if we're going to allow metronomes to be used then what's the point of the drum major? What's stopping a corps from deciding to autotune some of their brass output? I think it's against the spirit of the activity, the kids are there to be challenged and to learn. Now if we're turning DCI into an exhibition then fine, let's make it a free for all. 

I'd just hate to create a G7 type situation where corps without the money don't stand a chance to compete because they can't afford to use the equipment that the top 6 or so corps use 

1. It has nothing to do with the corps that I marched.  You don't really have to take my word for it, because I think that this thread was started with a different drumcorps in mind... and I am eager to jump to THEIR defense... mostly because symphony orchestras and wind bands have been employing these techniques for outdoor venues for decades, because it makes sense.  I promise you that if you catch the Boston Symphony at the shell on the Charles River... you are going to hear an audio engineered performance.

2. The financial disparity issue is not furthered by the addition or subtraction of any sort of equipment.  More funds will be used to buy more stuff in the interest of creativity no matter what is or is not allowed.  The argument is a red herring (that is mostly irrelevant these days with most world class corps using electronics on a fairly comparable level).

3a. A drum major is a metronome.  A drum major is the BEST metronome.  Using a click is really settling for inadequacy when the drum major isn't in view... or when you would otherwise need 5 drum majors to get the job done.

3b. Autotune... don't make me laugh.  THIS is the assertion of the thread, that electronics make it all easier.  And that is what I was getting at with my post.  It's a nonsense assertion because it has no example to base it on.  You can't take a hornline playing at full dynamic, capture, filter, and amplify in a way that actually deceives the audience.  The ensemble is right there to be heard (and they are heard)... not in some glass partition.

3c. Competition and rules is really what this comes down to.  People are obsessed with regulation when points are involved.  But the laughable thing is that we are talking about techniques that are allowed as if they aren't.  And when you examine the reasons why they are allowed, then you quickly understand that they are not allowed for the benefit of technical point value, but rather for the benefit music production.

Anybody who has done this knows that balance, blend and tuning in drumcorps is ENTIRELY a mechanical enterprise.  You don't "listen" for balance and blend.  You don't adjust to your neighbors.  You don't tune to your 'trio'... or to the tuba section.  You repeat the phrase hundreds of times in a controlled environment with constant critique.  You put your tuning slides at the notch markings that you are told.  You learn to play in the 'center' of the horn.  You develop the kind of muscle memory that would... let's say you dropped dead in the middle of the show... your dead corpse would finish the show before it gave in to rigor mortis, or turned to jelly.  These things are conditioned, not negotiated.

Electronics change none of that.  You can't make something that is entirely mechanical and make it more mechanical.  There is an assumption that brass sections sound better by using electronics... and that is nonsense.  Brass sections sound better by being better.  They sound better by having people that are picky making the decisions.  They sound better by having students that are able and willing to do what picky people tell them to do... and getting it done yesterday.

Ironically, electronics (amplification specifically) as it is being used actually puts a whole lot more weight on the performer.  Now that soloists are amplified, they are expected to be musical.  They are expected to convey interpretation.  They are depending on far less mechanical conditioning and far more on playing the horn with nuance that is amplified for everyone to hear.  It's gotten to the point where FLO-watching home judges are quickly saying things like "ooo, that was a rough run" because they heard the sleight crunching sound of attack in the soloist.

Amplification doesn't make a corps sound better... it helps to show off just how good (or rough) they are.

Think about it.  When people have to do public speaking... and they approach the microphone... do they feel better or worse about their situation?

 

I stand by my analogy 100%

Edited by cfirwin3
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4 hours ago, PamahoNow said:

Somewhat related to this topic is a discussion between Doug Thrower and Matt Jordan about "The Cacophony" in "The Bluecoats".

 

Very interesting that in this very video we can see at the 4:15 mark two tuba players come into focus and they have mics clipped onto their bells.

http://imgur.com/gallery/6gB9kM8

Took a picture with my phone.. couldn't get it to display...

Edited by Glenn426

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This is such a positive an uplifting post. 

Edited by dci76
Because

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3 minutes ago, cfirwin3 said:

 3a. A drum major is a metronome.  A drum major is the BEST metronome.  Using a click is really settling for inadequacy when the drum major isn't in view... or when you would otherwise need 5 drum majors to get the job done. 

1.  I might be simplifying  this but, once a corps is playing, is a DM needed to conduct the whole piece?  Yes there is some music with changes, but so much has the beat already set.

2.  One of the currently placed 7-12 corps has 5 DM's.   I feel so bad for the three on the back side directing no one most of the time they are there.

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13 minutes ago, cfirwin3 said:

mostly because symphony orchestras and wind bands have been employing these techniques for outdoor venues for decades, because it makes sense.  I promise you that if you catch the Boston Symphony at the shell on the Charles River... you are going to hear an audio engineered performance.

Again, symphony orchestras playing outside are doing so to an entirely different audience, and realize that their strings won't be heard over the wind and the sirens by audience members 100 yards away.  Please tell me which of the Berlin, Vienna, New York or Chicago symphonies use microphones in their natural setting - the concert hall?

Because  you know what?   Orchestras don't have 24-person trumpet sections.

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