Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!

Posted by nomotrouble 
Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 06:14AM
I have spoken to several boardies since those fair days in june, and one almost universal theme is the incredibly loud volume of sound at the Valley Stage. When i first attended SNWMF in 2007 i recorded Bunny Wailer with my videocamera, standing halfway between the stage and the soundboard, and it sounded excellent, not distorted. No way that would work now. Since then the sound has gotten louder and louder, to the point that when one stands in the back of the bowl at the booths, its still too loud to not wear earplugs.

Yes, i have gotten older, and don't appreciate super loud music the way i once did, but that is not what's going on here. I've worn earplugs at all concerts for years now, this is just getting louder and louder.

I know the powers that be listen to suggestions. If it was possible, i would spend all my time at the Village, but much of that reason is that i'm more comfortable with the sound levels there. I don't think there would be complaints if the sound pressure at the Valley was eased a bit.

Who else feels this way?

Love that reggae!
AJ
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 07:14AM
IMO ~ The sound is fine at both stages. In fact I think the sound at the Valley Stage is perfect ~ up front and in the back. It's a large area to fill with sound.
I think if you start turning the volume down you will lose the vibes of the music.
Please do not mess with a good thing.

The dancehall could be turned up a little.smiling smiley
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 08:05AM
I agree with NoMo. Over the past few years it seems the volume has been too loud at times, especially considering SNWMF is billed as a family friendly event.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 08:07AM
At the risk of sounding like an old man, "turn it down!"
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 08:40AM
Hafta disagree on this one, love the sound at the valley stage!
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 09:21AM
How about a compromise? Turn it down on the valley stage but turn it up in the dancehall? grinning smiley
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 09:22AM
I'd leave it to the professionals (Loren) at the sound board to provide the best possible experience for everyone! Props to him and his crew. Nomo, I'm not at all surprised video camera mics are over-driven and distort. Maybe you can get a clean board recording or feed or perhaps there are more appropriate microphones or placements. It isn't a film set, it's a festival. Respect for all you do and attempt to do! Bless.

PS Only occasional problems conversing towards the back.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2013 09:25AM by EvanCR.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 09:52AM
I agree.....That the dancehall should be turned up! And we can also turn down the diesel on the village stage.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 10:58AM
i totally disagree... if ya don't want it loud, listen to your music at home....

--------------------------------------
FullWatts on your stereo...™
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 11:34AM
I own and operate a sound system and like my music loud, but I have already stated that I thought the sound at the Valley Stage was too loud most of the time, but not always; So, it depended to some degree on who was running the board. Certainly the system had enuff power to go overboard with the sound level. Thats where common sense and good judgement is necessary and comes into play. Always, the louder the better? I think not; There is a reasonable range of sound levels that is a compromise where most everyone can enjoy the music.

IMO, If your are at the far back of the viewing area and you can't hold a conversation with the person next to you without yelling then the sound is too loud. There should be some area where the sound level permits this and the sound is not uncomfortably loud. Those huge vertical array speaker systems can throw the sound back to where it seems like its almost the same sound level as is front and center of the stage.

I'd be interested to know how the sound levels are established for an outdoor venue like this. Is it simply one persons subjective determination or are sound level meters used as well in some capacity to provide some objective data and criteria.

What if the guy on the board setting the sound levels has damaged his hearing over the years...can someone like that establish a desirable sound level?

For the patrons, if you have already damaged your hearing should you still be demanding higher and higher sound levels to compensate for your hearing loss at the detriment of everyone else with normal hearing?

Should large numbers of patrons be forced to wear ear plugs because a much smaller group of people like their music exceptional loud or because their hearing is impaired? There is no question you should not have been close down in front of the stage without ear protection and I don't think that is the right way to go.

These are some interesting and important questions worth considering in the planning for future shows.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 11:52AM
Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and throw my two cents in here... I am neither an old man, nor a long time sound board head. But I remember a big hoopla a few years back over some new equipment that was invested in for the festival...

Maybe this was 4 years ago (?) Anyway, before that time the only complaints I heard were from artists, sound guys, dj's etc. wishing we, (snwmf) could invest in the equipment neccessary to get the sound right and proper out on the Valley stage.
I remember reading articles about the new equipment that was going to be used after that and even a thread or two of sound folks looking forward to the change. So I went that year with a bit of an education on what to expect and what to listen for as far as sound at the valley stage, and what I can remember is that was the best sound ever.

Now it seems to me that (maybe because we have the equipment to do it) that the pendelum has swung the other way and every year the Valley stage gets 10% louder. It's not just me, lets not wait till there are actuall injuries (or imagined ones) if the sound really has been "going to 11" because we can perhaps it's time to consider, just because we CAN do something, it doesn't mean we SHOULD do it.. while it seems to me that the sound has been richer than ever over the past few years it has also DEFINITELY gotten louder... Maybe we CAN dial back the volume a hair and still keep the rich tones and vibrant bass?

Just a thought from a man who enjoys my music loud, soft and in between.
.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 12:06PM
Quote
HiGrade1
i totally disagree... if ya don't want it loud, listen to your music at home....

Hmmm, me thinks that would not be good for the festival business.

Why does it have to be just the way YOU want it?

Is there no consideration for other peoples views and desires?

Pehaps you are the one who needs to listen to your music at home, nah!
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 20, 2013 06:49PM
Jah shaka needed to get turned up, and I think it was a lot quiter this year then prior years
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 21, 2013 12:10PM
you're right, other opinions shouldn't count and it should just be the way YOU want it.... eye rolling smiley

--------------------------------------
FullWatts on your stereo...™
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 21, 2013 12:18PM
turn it up at all 3 stages!!!
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 21, 2013 04:49PM
We thought the bass was distorted at times at the Valley stage, due to high volumes.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 21, 2013 05:57PM
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 21, 2013 08:56PM
I agree that the sound was too loud on the Valley Stage for most of this year's sets there......
AJ
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 22, 2013 04:20AM
Well....I guess I buy a hearing aid and adjust the volume to my liking.
The only problem I can think of is I would be hearing a lot of conversations at the same time. Madness................winking smiley
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 22, 2013 05:14AM
I'm not suggesting making the Valley quiet, just moderating the volume a touch. Turn the knob back down to 11 from 12.

I attended with an old friend this year. We went to listen to a couple acts Saturday afternoon at the Valley, and the buzzing in our chests from the bass was really bothering my friend. So we went back to where he was comfortable, we were both wearing earplugs, and that was so far back you couldn't see well. Just saying, that buzzing in your chest is probably not so good. I'm not talking just feeling the bass, i'm talking buzzing.

Love that reggae!
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 22, 2013 08:51AM
I'm going to disagree with this one too.

I remember Jah Shaka's set in 2009 being way louder than this years. Turn up the dance
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 22, 2013 10:41AM
Have to agree with Nomo. 5 years ago I was pretty comfortable around 25 feet from the stage....this year I retreated to near the sound board.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 22, 2013 03:21PM
I agree.

Turn it down!

Several times on Saturday and Sunday I was center stage at the Valley Stage and it was very uncomfortable, most notably during Holly Cook's set. I was 25 to 30ft away from stage.

The bass in particular was SO loud, it just made standing there unbearable. I am a bass player and usually love bass loud -not that loud. In my opinion, it detracted from the bass tones, etc.. and made it just not a pleasant experience, rather a painful one.

I found it really difficult to listen well or to enjoy myself. Others I spoke with also noticed it.

It was just wrong - way too loud and too much bass. I can't believe I am saying this - sound like an old fuddy-duddy!

Still what a great festival!

-much love-
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 22, 2013 08:00PM
Having become habituated to a constant state of Tinnitus by the age of 6 (I @ that time thought the buzzing in my ears was actually the sound of the universe: D), I nonetheless recall shows over the years where the sheer volume was overwhelming/overpowering/deadly. Despite the primacy of bass volume in JA music, I usually found that even with bass boosted, overall music volume didn't compare to the upper level of arena rock-biz amplification.

Just for myself, I found the level of sound this year quite OK, but would hardly claim my reaction means anything more than

A), it's my reaction, and cool smiley, It was said while being in a hopeful belief that research in human cloning will eventually provide me with new inner ears.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 22, 2013 08:05PM
Stem cells papa, stem cells.

Maybe they will start including them with early bird tix! winking smiley
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 10:20AM
The volume was GREAT if you have children and find yourself at your camp spot A LOT feeding and checking in with the fam. Obviously I didn't see the stage, but feel like I wasn't missing any music coming from the Valley Stage!! I said multiple times over the weekend how loud it was and didn't find myself ever getting closer than the sound board area and mostly stayed on the periphery, it was just too uncomfortable on the ol ears to get any closer. Having said that, it would be sad if next year the sound levels were much lower ... because I would prefer them be too loud than too low. cool smiley
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 12:16PM
Yeah, I went out to the Venue Camping area to look around and I did notice that you could hear the music exceptional well in the family camping area, even though you were some 50 yards or more away from the far end of the stage viewing area.

I can't understand why anyone would be sad to bring back the sound levels to what had been the norm some two or three years ago.

You know, there are lots of people that bought day tickets for Saturday and spent the whole day with their families on a blanket in the stage viewing area...all kinds of people of all ages, not just young reggae-heads.

Do you really think most of them enjoyed being bombarded with a very uncomfortable sound level for much of the entire day?

Who knows, but in my opinion, I'm guessing that a lot of those people will not be returning next year because the music was just too damn loud.

If that's true, that will represent a significant loss in revenue for the festival...perhaps in the tens of thousands of dollars.

If you care about the comfort of the general audience and your revenue stream you would be wise to error on the low side of the sound level, otherwise you will be driving away many repeat customers.

Enuff said.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2013 12:25PM by Rhythmwize.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 12:20PM
I never felt it was noticeably too loud, and I love the fact that I can hear the music from camp. The way the speakers angle, when you approach the first motorhomes behind the vendors is where it is the loudest: we noticed a significant increase every time we walked by (same as last year). Bass got a little too high a few times, but overall the volume seemed great to me, but of course I rarely post up in one spot for too long at these things

Not sure on amplification/boards/effects, but the speakers are essentially the same as they have been since moving to Boonville, the major exception being that the bass bins are all configured in the middle-front, facing the photo pit (the past few years), whereas they used to be directly under the main columns stacked up in a cube on each side.

Sound guys have a lot to do with it. Good ones will back channels off rather than continuously increasing things (as is the natural tendency - boost that solo a little, etc.), especially when you have the wattage/headroom available to push major decibels without clipping

"I'm gonna put on a iron shirt, and chase the devil out of earth" - Max Romeo
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 12:56PM
Quote
Dubguy
Not sure on amplification/boards/effects, but the speakers are essentially the same as they have been since moving to Boonville, the major exception being that the bass bins are all configured in the middle-front, facing the photo pit (the past few years), whereas they used to be directly under the main columns stacked up in a cube on each side.

I thought they may have added some extra speakers to the vertical arrays, seems like they were a little taller this year, but maybe not.

Its my understanding that laying out the bass bins in a single line across the front of the stage is a technique to generate a horizontal line array of speakers similar in principal to the the vertical speaker arrays on each side of the stage. A line array or line source of sound decays at much slower rate then a point source, thus the sound will be much louder at a given distance.

That said, lining up the bass bins front-of-stage like that right in the face of the audience trying to get a close-up view of their favorite artist seems like a horrible idea. That just represents zero consideration for the members of the audience, you know, the people paying the bills with their ticket money.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 01:06PM
I thought SNWMF was held in BOOMVILLE! smiling smiley

I must say I never once at SNWMF this year felt that the music was too loud. My fiance would tell me that I am not very observant though. I just want to go back to Boomville and watch Abja again. That was such a wickid set.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 01:11PM
Quote
Rhythmwize
That just represents zero consideration for the members of the audience.......

that's just an absolutely ignorant statement......

--------------------------------------
FullWatts on your stereo...™
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 01:58PM
Gonna have to disagree Rhythmwize....as a paying attendee, the bass and the loud music draw me and others to festivals in general. In my opinion you shouldn't be able to hold a normal conversation during a set if you're in front of the sound board
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 02:02PM
Quote

I must say I never once at SNWMF this year felt that the music was too loud.

What did you think of the levels during the "Inner Standing Sound Sanctuary" that preceded Midnite's set on the 4th Tyler? Did you think that was too loud or was it just my weak-hearted ossicles that forced me to exit the place during that......?
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 02:07PM
I wear 33 db earplugs at all shows. Period. I should be able to stand in front of the soundboard with my earplugs in and not feel like i'm going to have a heart attack from the bass. I love bass, bass is what makes reggae for me. I stand in front of Ron Benjamins bass amp at all Midnite shows, no problem. You cannot comfortably stand in front of the bass speakers at the Valley, whether in the photo pit or not, and be comfortable.

Love that reggae!
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 02:50PM
Quote
Redwood Rebel
Gonna have to disagree Rhythmwize....as a paying attendee, the bass and the loud music draw me and others to festivals in general. In my opinion you shouldn't be able to hold a normal conversation during a set if you're in front of the sound board

I would agree with that. As I said, you should be able to hold a somewhat normal conversation without yelling IF you are at the extreme end of viewing area, ie almost as far back as you can get. Or at least find a spot in that area where the sound is not terribly uncomfortable. Is that too much to ask? Thats why I always prefer outdoor venues for my bass culture music, I know it will be loud and I can almost always move back to where the sound is at my desired level for enjoyment. If I can't find a spot where the music is enjoyable (without leaving the venue) then Im done with that event. There should be a gradient of sound level such that everyone can enjoy the music, not suffer.

Heres an exerpt to consider:

At this point I need to return to one of the requirements of PA that I previously said had been solved: that the PA system should be loud enough. There's no difficulty in making it loud enough, providing you have the budget — but it has to be loud enough for all members of the audience, and that's a problem that isn't necessarily solved just by spending a lot of money.

There are two scenarios here: one where the audience are seated, the other where they are standing and free to move. If the audience are free to move, it is acceptable to have different levels in different parts of the venue. Those who like it loud will gravitate towards the loudspeakers. Those who perhaps want to chat during the show will move further away. However, if the audience is entirely seated it suddenly becomes much more difficult. You don't want to deafen the front rows of the audience while leaving those at the back struggling to hear. If only certain members of the audience are delivered a level that is adequate, without being too quiet or too loud, the PA has not fully met its purpose. Let me therefore refine the requirements of PA into this simple statement: all of the audience should enjoy high–quality sound that is loud enough and clear enough.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 23, 2013 05:00PM
if you can conversate at normal volume anywhere equal to or in front of the sound board the volume should be turned up...
This year while center stage less than 10 yards from the subs we were able to chat at conversational levels during both hollie cook and leroy sibles sets, seems like we should turn it up to me

Respect Same Way
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 24, 2013 09:03AM
Quote
Daniel
Quote

I must say I never once at SNWMF this year felt that the music was too loud.

What did you think of the levels during the "Inner Standing Sound Sanctuary" that preceded Midnite's set on the 4th Tyler? Did you think that was too loud or was it just my weak-hearted ossicles that forced me to exit the place during that......?

I dont remember anything about the music before Midnite's set at the New Parish. I got there around 1130 and remember running into you and Michael outside but dont really remember anything about the music being loud before Midnite came on at 1230 that night. I remember thinking Ron looked really tired but once the show started he was all grins and laid it down as usual. I guess everything sounds better to me than the shows we have here at the domino room in Bend, OR.

What do you mean by "Inner Standing Sound Sanctuary" ??
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 24, 2013 09:41AM
Quote
Daniel
What did you think of the levels during the "Inner Standing Sound Sanctuary" that preceded Midnite's set on the 4th Tyler? Did you think that was too loud or was it just my weak-hearted ossicles that forced me to exit the place during that......?

Hey Daniel, I do remember speaking with you while standing only 10 feet away from stacks they had setup. I remember you hanging in there for about a minute or so before you excused yourself to head to higher ground. Me personally, when listing to DJ spin music, I don't only want to hear the music but I also want to feel it. I personally thought the sound level and heavy bass was perfect for my taste. With that being said, I can see how others would think that it was to loud. I guess it just comes down to personal taste just like music.
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 24, 2013 09:45AM
Inner Standing Sound Sanctuary was the sound system set up and operated by Lionheart Sounds that was pumping out tunes until Midnite started playing just after midnight......
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 24, 2013 11:06AM
Quote
JingoBa
when listing to DJ spin music, I don't only want to hear the music but I also want to feel it.

Boom - that's the dividing line right there. Soundsystem culture wants the music to move you - literally!

"I'm gonna put on a iron shirt, and chase the devil out of earth" - Max Romeo
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 24, 2013 11:30AM
Though the Inner Standing Sound System was quite loud (I could hear it blocks away when approching the venue), I thought the chest thumping bass was pretty awesome!

Another example of a very loud sound system, but still quite clear and not obtrusive, was the 2012 ROTR After Party at the Cooks Campground dome. That was some of the best sound quality I've heard in my life!
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 24, 2013 11:40AM
I have never really enjoyed the DJ scene. Does not mean I dont appreciate DJs or what they do. I tend to hear music but not really pay any attention to it. I am drawn to live bands. I dont remember the music that night being any louder than any other night. I was so excited for that Midnite show that my mind was thinking about being in the perfect spot that night. LOL
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 24, 2013 11:45AM
Bummed I did not run into you Reggabe
Re: Sign here if you want to turn down the volume at the Valley Stage!
July 24, 2013 11:47AM
Quote

I personally thought the sound level and heavy bass was perfect for my taste. With that being said, I can see how others would think that it was to loud. I guess it just comes down to personal taste just like music.

Yes, I agree it comes down to personal taste (coupled with the tolerance that a person's ears have). I like being 'moved' by the music, literally, but there comes a level of sound where the only 'moving' that gets done is to move me away from the sound (as was the case in Oakland earlier this month).

I'm guessing there comes a level of volume at which point even the most 'devoted' soundsystem cultured individual thinks it is too loud. To me, the key is to strike a 'balance' so that the people who want it loud can hear feel it, while those who want it a little more subtle can still enjoy the music. While I don't personally sign onto the notion that the music at a festival should be low enough to carry on a conversation, I DO believe that people shouldn't be relegated to the Family Camp area in order to hear the music without having their ears buzz for the next 2 days as seemed to be the case for a large number of artists performing on the valley stage this year........
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login