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2 hours ago, MarimbaManiac said:

Yeah, I'd still use synthesis. Maybe just record the tubas and analyze/resynthesize based on the recorded waveform and resonating harmonics. Splitting hairs though either way 

Why not just have one mic’d contrabassoon in the pit

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Only on DCP can you get references to The Crucible AND Caddyshack on the same thread.  I’m dead. 😂 

What would I think? The more I hear about this stuff, it impacts how impressed I am with what I'm hearing.  If what I'm hearing is mostly a talented soundboard guy and expensive equipment, then t

But that's just it ... I don't go to a live drum corps show in a stadium atmosphere to listen to musicians play virtuoso scales at mp as if they're in a practice room., just blasted loud through a spe

4 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

bravo.

 

and for all of the hand wringing....you actually think DCI is going to read DCP and change a rule because of it?

Well....  It’s finals week and in a day this discussion has generated 30 pages.  Trust me, those within the activity are aware of what happens on DCP.  If nothing else, it definitely provides some “entertainment”.

Change a rule?  Yeah, no.  If some earnest discussion here helps brings about questions and dialogue within the member corps about audio engineering...probably a good thing.  This discussion has had its share of the expected snark and defensiveness one would expect.  But, there has also been decent, respectful, well reasoned, and even technical talking points exchanged.  Which is great.  You are the consumer.  They listen, but don’t always respond as quickly or in the manner as some would like.

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This is probably the best discussion I’ve ever followed on DCP.  THIS is what makes Drum Corps Planet the only place I visit for knowledge of the art. Can’t imagine Facebook, Twitter,  Reddit, and whatever else out there can come close to the education available here.  If individual corps staff, judges, and circuit officials are not visiting here regularly . . .  . they SHOULD be !

Obviously, some very knowledgeable, reputable people participating . 

As a non-musician, I can’t relate to some of the specific terms but have now been convinced the emergence of electronics is being done for all the right reasons, with legitimate concern for making our product sound better for more members of the in-person audience That’s been paramount to me through the years.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OK.... I haven't read every page of this discussion, but I would like to throw in my two cents. I was at a competition earlier this year, and one Corps came out and just blew everyone away as far as volume, very impressive, but when I tried to focus in on what I was hearing, I didn't know where to look, because the sound was coming from speakers and not just the performers. At a later event, during the earlier Corps that didn't have the funding of the upper Corps, I noticed I could tell where the sounds were coming from, and although they didn't blow me out of my seat, the texture and tone were quite beautiful !! I believe the adjudicators should reward these performers and help solve the funding war.  

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23 minutes ago, onionhead said:

OK.... I haven't read every page of this discussion, but I would like to throw in my two cents. I was at a competition earlier this year, and one Corps came out and just blew everyone away as far as volume, very impressive, but when I tried to focus in on what I was hearing, I didn't know where to look, because the sound was coming from speakers and not just the performers. At a later event, during the earlier Corps that didn't have the funding of the upper Corps, I noticed I could tell where the sounds were coming from, and although they didn't blow me out of my seat, the texture and tone were quite beautiful !! I believe the adjudicators should reward these performers and help solve the funding war.  

Onionhead -

Don’t doubt for a minute your in-person experience was not satisfactory. I’m sure I wouldn’t want to sit in certain seats. That’s a problem to be solved. But, reading all this has given me additional patience with the ‘mission.’ I think those active in delivering this product will get there!

The heavy-handed goo should be easiest to control. Don’t know why that hasn’t happened across the board. But, achieving the other benefits of technology is a worthy pursuit , I think.

Even a single guitar player under a small outside festival tent can be made more enjoyable for most of the live, in-person audience. Still, a a listener up close to even a small speaker might find things too harsh, yes.

There is much to be learned here. That will take time, and money unfortunately.

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Interesting that the advocates for ultra-amplification try to turn the argument to "we just help the audience hear you" instead of addressing the true driver of this technological debacle:  visual designers wanted it.  Why?  Because it "frees" them from the requirements of proper staging.  No one wants to talk about that.  Instead it's "reinforce" this and "audience benefit" that which is all a bunch of misdirection.  Some visual designers have lofty aspirations to go "beyond drum corps" and create some pseudo-stage production.  

But reality hits that hard in the face.  

Stage productions have (wait for it) a real stage.

They have lighting.  They have a curtain.  They have an actual sound system tuned to the venue.  They have a real "off stage".  They have an entire professional crew to handle props, lighting, sound.  

The list is endless.  

But a handful of designers aspire to the stage. 

On a football field.  

And they don't want to do "drill" because that's just not done on a stage.  Therefore they want the "freedom" to place musicians wherever they like on the gridiron :doh: 

It's absurd.   Blast! worked because it had all those things.  It's painfully obvious some productions we see don't.  And a lot of Broadway reviewers still slammed Blast!  even with all those advantages.  

"It's the Bluecoats" sort of works but in fact the music completely carries this production (all hail Rarick and Thrower)   .   If you really examine the sheets carefully the show falls flat on it's face visually.  Don't get me wrong -- it's entertaining and I like the show.  But it's really not being judged properly on a set of visual sheets designed for drill.  Nevertheless a handful of designers have convinced the judging community to creatively interpret the criteria to credit it visually.

It's not about sound.  And it's not about brass. And it's not about sound reinforcement.  It's all about a few old guys who are in love with broadway and think they can bring it to a football field.  And don't you dare tell them they can't!

But in the process they've destroyed one of the most unique and difficult aspects of creating a drum corps show: environmental challenges.  It took amazing skill on both the visual designer's part and brass instructors part to get brass instruments separated by 70 yards to play together.   Now the sound engineers do it.  Drum corps used to be the performers playing their instruments.  Now it's playing stagehand, pushing a prop, and listening to a click track.  Is that REALLY where we want the activity to go?  I know I don't.  

Amplification has its place. The front ensemble certainly needed it.   And I can understand there are moments when soloists perhaps need it.   And I don't mind synths or electronic instruments.  I don't want to return to bugles and marching bells.  

But it's already gone far beyond that.  80 brass players certainly don't need amplification of the full ensemble!  It's downright silly.   

DCI needs to rethink this now.  Because it's just going to keep getting sillier and sillier.  

</rant>

Edited by karuna
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15 hours ago, Eleran said:

And at MetLife, Bluecoats were allowed to stop their show in the middle of some rain in order to wipe-down their props (and potentially protect their electronics) for a few minutes, then restart their show from where they left off.

Not exactly.  Because of rain, Bluecoats were stopped mid-show.  The instant they stopped, so did the rain.  The corps was going to leave their performance unfinished, but realizing the rain was done, contest crew and corps staff changed their mind and decided they could safely restart where they left off.

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7 hours ago, MarimbaManiac said:

False. 

This is just not supported by fact in any way shape or form. You know what happens when you turn down a system while the ensemble plays the same volume? THE COLOR AND TIMBRE CHANGES. The mix between the electronic and acoustic instruments is ripped apart and the two are heard as separate entities. That is antithetical to the entire goal of these systems, and these engineers (who I'm sure are being paid tons of cash) would never let that happen. 

 

The above is exactly why the discussion of "parity" must continue.  For as long as "Effect" is judged based on the output from these technical toys, or quality of blend, or timing of players to improve performance, and all the other "benefits" being discussed here, and while at the same time there is a wealth disparity in what corps are capable of spending on such "enhancements" for the benefit of a score (and with it recognition, sponsorship, recruiting, acclaim, and demand), then we don't really have competition among corps.  Instead, we have a bunch of disparate groups putting on performances that are, by the definition of those commenting in favor here, somehow less-balanced, less-nuanced, less-blended, less-all-those-things and is, therefore, "less" than those able to spend without limit.

I don't care how much a drum corps is worth in their 990s (and, as most know, I applaud the "wealthy" corps - I don't vilify them), but to be an actual competition among participants using equal equipment, the activity needs to place a limit on what can be spent on A&E and the engineers running them, and on the amount spent on props.  Would anyone send any "Major League" baseball team out to contend using pee-wee gloves, wiffle balls, and plastic bats against, say, the Yankees?

I can hear the outcry already:  "Oh, the CREATIVITY that would be lost!".  Bull.

 

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8 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

bravo.

 

and for all of the hand wringing....you actually think DCI is going to read DCP and change a rule because of it?

Sure.  We can’t even get them to open the west gate to everyone. 

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