Ray Kimber

Time to Say Goodbye, after 15 years

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8 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

championship event today hence the rehearsal

Sunday championships... saw Saturday pics but didn’t realize Sunday too....

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On 11/1/2019 at 2:24 PM, MikeD said:

Why should they, have to in  2019? 

Because drum corps does not have woodwinds.

Better yet, because woodwind players who are compelled to pursue drum corps will get an expanded educational experience.  They will learn a whole new set of skills, whether it is brass, percussion or auxiliary.  For those who aspire to a career in music education, that experience is of unique value.  For those who do not, the life lessons they acquire about learning new skills and rising to challenges will serve them well throughout life.

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Yes, there are some who do. But given the audition approach of today, it is much more difficult to just pick up a horn and make the BD hornline.

Not since 1973 has it even been possible to "just pick up a horn and make the BD hornline".  They created a B corps for beginners.  And when their B corps became too good, they created a C corps for beginners.

But if you still consider it a problem that it is hard to make the BD hornline, there are several alternate solutions.

  • More corps would provide more such opportunities.
  • More feeder corps could give more students direct access to the same staff that teach top corps.
  • You could just keep bumping corps size limits up, or remove all limitations so that everyone can join the 5,000-horn BD line.
  • You could drive the other applicants away by raising the cost of membership, causing an economic downturn, or scaring them away with member safety/health scandals.

I know your method will never work.  The clarinet player will never make the BD hornline on their chosen instrument.  It will not be a "hornline" at that point.

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12 hours ago, Lance said:

You want to pretend that the addition of a saxophone changes the definition of a drum and bugle corps more than an electric piano.  The amount of mental gymnastics required for that is pretty funny. 

The gymnastics are yours, actually.

At this point, woodwinds represent the only remaining difference between drum corps and marching band.  Add them in, and there is no "definition of drum and bugle corps" anymore.

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Aesthetics of style and sound aside, I've often wondered about the logistics of woodwinds on the DCI tour.  

As.I understand it, a number of the brasswinds used during the season are sold on to high school outfits at seasons end to recoup the cost of buying them?  So they're kept in shape through the season in a way that makes them resellable (aside from those dropped in horn tosses, run over by props, or used for playing tethermello perhaps).

Woodwinds are a different beast, tons more intricate moving parts.  As a sax player in high school, the wear and tear on a woodwind instrument was enough that those of us who were serious concert or jazz players had a 'good instrument' and a 'marching instrument.'  We MIGHT consider using the good one for state finals, but more often than not, we'd stick with the marching one all the way through the season.   And that was high school, with much fewer performances and fewer hours on the field in rehearsal.  

The rigors of a DCI tour might destroy resale value and even perhaps require a fair few new instruments by the end of the tour to make sure everything is set for finals.  Plus techs to keep those instruments in shape, instruction staff, etc.   

That's adding on a good chuck of $$$ to corps budgets, even if they keep the overall MM numbers the same.  I could see sideline soloists and solis be more manageable financially or the 'featured musician' like we've seen with strings, but full on woodwind integration would be a financial arms race that could hurt the bottom line for some corps feeling the pressure to keep up with the corps that could perhaps absorb that sort of cost.

 

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On 11/3/2019 at 4:13 AM, JimF-LowBari said:

Thought that was year before DCI formed.

And amps were allowed so mallet players could play with proper technique. Amazing how small changes work out to be a lot bigger...

I appreciate you posting this aspect of mallet players.  I might be wrong, but my understanding was, in regards to loudness, there were 2 problems with such instruments.  First the player had to resort to a playing technique that was not good for the player. Second the instrument suffered.  I had some long brainstorming sessions with various persons.and formulated a game-plan.

Determine how loud a single instrument could be played with proper player technique and still respect the limitations of the instrument.  Record and measure in a space with minimal reverberation, at a reasonable distance, say 20 feet.  Next play the same instrument without regard to mallets, player, or instrument as loud as possible - measure and record that result.  If I am considering the unstated goal, the desire would seem to be to have that marimba even louder than could ever be played at maximum.

If I wanted to make just one marimba louder using sound reinforcement I would choose minimal microphone technique.  If many (more than one) microphones are used on the same instrument there is a devil's choice to be made.  If a microphone is far enough away to not hear unwanted "mechanical" noises of the instrument, then the microphone is far enough that another similarly positioned microphone will also "hear" the same acoustic.  When the signals of those microphones are mixed there will exist a non-musical steady state "flange effect", think of singing too close to a wall.  Microphones too close sound bad, microphones too far sound bad.  This is just ONE marimba, if other instruments and microphones are used the results is acoustic mush, and the louder it is the more shrill and confused it gets.

When deciding close-up microphone locations for an instrument, put your ear in that location.

I believe that only contact microphones would work, or an electronic marimba.  It is delusional to imagine that a "normal" microphone would pickup ONLY the target instrument.  Just record that microphone in isolation to understand.

Assuming we have the microphone/pic-up decided (we don't but we are moving on), there is next the devils choice of speaker placement.  The speaker (just one!) needs to be more distant from the listener than the instrument, i.e. the speaker needs to be behind the instrument otherwise the sound will have the wrong precedence of arrival and/or displaced in space..  A speaker could be placed just in front of the instrument and a few milliseconds of delay applied.

When a marimba is in the center of a stage, the sound reinforcement output should be associated with THAT location. 

A small(ish) battery powered speaker might do the trick quite nicely.

It could be that a solution would be compact,  portable, durable, and sonically believable. but not possible in the environment of rewarding corps with scores for locker room swinging of falsies.

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Credit Jeff Ream for telling this horn player about proper mallet technique lol. IIRC the first amps were underneath the mallets and not that easy to tell if amped.

And not sure if mentioned smaller pits because amps meant no doubling parts.

following recording issues as remember DCA having problems in late 70s. Marching bells doing elevator drill down the 50 was overpowering on the recording. Next few years mics were moved around (changed every year or so) and a hand carried shotgun mic for soloists was even tried.

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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23 hours ago, garfield said:

Those against A&E, who got an audience with Pope Dan, had their concerns heard

... and summarily ignored.

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I don't recall any effort here to organize a task force, call for a meeting, or stampede the gate.  I think this crowd is like much more accustomed to the notion than most fans that it's coming (whether they agree with it or not).  My impression is that mostly it's debating the result and what individuals plan to do when it does happen.

Exactly.  And the whole A&E saga has a lot to do with that outlook.

Recall that not only did we have the petitioning, counter-proposals and gate-stampeding protests you describe... there were sympathetic voices coming from DCI member corps.  One in particular, the Bluecoats, presented their case against the change in their impassioned "Pandora's Box" open letter.  Boy, did that change quick.  One "no" voting corps amplified their pit in 2004, the first possible year, simply out of fear of "competing with one arm tied behind their back".  As for Bluecoats, before the 2004 calendar year was over, they entered into a strategic partnership with Yamaha and began their campaign to become the king of electronics in drum corps.

I am not alone here in the realization that it is not a question of "if", but merely "when".  All I can do is point out, as others here have, that my support ends "when" they go there.  I fully expect that at some point, their strategic partners will matter more than the fans who share my feelings.

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14 hours ago, Lance said:

The people who petitioned online and were eventually invited to make their case to the DCI board said the same thing about the addition of amplified electric pianos and such.

You want to pretend that the addition of a saxophone changes the definition of a drum and bugle corps more than an electric piano.  The amount of mental gymnastics required for that is pretty funny.  

Again, I'm stating facts, not trying to argue with children. If I had it my way, we would never have veered from G. 

Devolving into inferred name calling reveals the bankruptcy of your argument. Thank you for making my point for me. 

Edited by greg_orangecounty

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On 11/3/2019 at 7:52 AM, cybersnyder said:

Is there really any “financial gain” in drum corps. 

yes, some people make it their means of livelihood and financial stepping stone to other means of resources.

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40 minutes ago, cixelsyd said:

... and summarily ignored.

Exactly.  And the whole A&E saga has a lot to do with that outlook.

Recall that not only did we have the petitioning, counter-proposals and gate-stampeding protests you describe... there were sympathetic voices coming from DCI member corps.  One in particular, the Bluecoats, presented their case against the change in their impassioned "Pandora's Box" open letter.  Boy, did that change quick.  One "no" voting corps amplified their pit in 2004, the first possible year, simply out of fear of "competing with one arm tied behind their back".  As for Bluecoats, before the 2004 calendar year was over, they entered into a strategic partnership with Yamaha and began their campaign to become the king of electronics in drum corps.

I am not alone here in the realization that it is not a question of "if", but merely "when".  All I can do is point out, as others here have, that my support ends "when" they go there.  I fully expect that at some point, their strategic partners will matter more than the fans who share my feelings.

 

Hello,

As a noob I am missing some pieces to this puzzle.  Could someone kindly tell me who (or what) is "pope Dan"?  And I would like to read the Bluecoats Pandora's Box open letter.

Kind regards,

Ray

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