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Author Topic: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands  (Read 1537 times)

arconaut

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The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« on: October 19, 2008, 10:59:32 pm »


Seriously.

I went to a wedding today and all I wanted to do was tell the band to STFU. Nobody's seen Grandma for a year and she can't have a conversation because these overzealous cheeseballs have to play "Celebration" at 105 dB. How many times have I been in this situation? It's so rare that all these people are in the same room at the same time, what a shame that we had to be terrorized by "Brown Eyed Girl" instead of actually speaking to each other.

Also, the guitarist botched the solo to "walkin' on sunshine". Come on, now!

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jetbase

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 11:13:14 pm »

The loudest sound I have ever heard in my entire life is an amplified bazouki at a Greek wedding.
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Podgorny

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2008, 11:13:54 pm »

MUSTANG SALLY!!!!!
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Devin Knutson

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2008, 05:33:02 pm »

I did sound for a wedding a few weeks ago, and was asked specifically to keep it down to a conversable level.

I was of course happy to oblige, but privately dreaded telling the band, whom I had never met.

Turns out, they were well seasoned jazz guys and girls, and understood immediately.  I had vocals and keys through the mains, and just a touch of sax on the solos.  Nothing else.

They were great.  Wedding party was happy.  This state of affairs, sadly, tends to be the exception.

On the other hand, one of my bands played a wedding a few months ago, and we were specifically asked to "blow the roof off".

<shrug>
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John Ivan

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2008, 05:39:19 pm »

Yep. I've done both too. I've had them ask for mostly standards and a few pop tune toward the end, and I've had them ask for a rock show.. Thankfully, I'm using folks who can do both well..

The checks don't bounce, and we have a good time.

Ivan.......................
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Barkley McKay

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2008, 05:46:13 pm »

Podgorny wrote on Mon, 20 October 2008 04:13

MUSTANG SALLY!!!!!



NOOOOOOO!!!

I hope I NEVER have to play that again, or Build Me Up et al

barks
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DarinK

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2008, 06:23:57 pm »

I did sound for a wedding a few years ago, and it was pretty bad.  The dj wanted to be cranked up (this before the "dancing" part), and didn't get that he was just meant to be audio wallpaper initially, background noise that people could talk over.  He accepted my lower level for him, though.  Then the band (a sloppy rock-n-roll outfit, friends of the groom, really good band to see in a club, actually) were too loud.  The room was huge & echo-y, with tile floors and lots & lots of glass windows, including a huge window directly behind the stage.  The band just couldn't play quietly, and I ended up pulling everything out of the p.a. but the vocals.  The wedding organizer still came up to me & asked me to "turn down the drums."  If the drummer could have played quieter than everyone else could have turned down, but he was a basher & could play no other way.
Anyhow, I felt bad for everyone involved.  The bride & groom didn't mind too much (he's a great guitarist & songwriter who's been in a couple pretty big bands, and he understood the situation), but I still wish a bit more planning had been put in place - just thick curtains behind the band would have helped a lot.  "Wiffle sticks" (plastic brush drumsticks) have saved me at a couple quiet gigs since then - give 'em to the drummer & have him play normally, and it just ends up quieter.  Tone is compromised, of course, but it's worked for punk bands playing in quiet coffeeshops.  Unfortunately, I didn't know about those sticks at the time of the wedding.
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rankus

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2008, 09:53:49 pm »


I have two girls that hang at the studio. One is a cellist the other on violin. One day they picked up their gear and said sheepishly that they "had to play a wedding".  I told them that was a great gig don't be ashamed... They have been steadily booked by the same wedding planner since.

If it's too loud then maybe think about some strings instead... A little chamber music would be a nice chill vibe IMO.

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Larrchild

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2008, 10:53:47 pm »

Poor cellists and violinists.
As America became more upwardly mobile, the tragically-hip insisted on "Canon in D" as de rigeur to replace "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" for wedding music.

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arconaut

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2008, 09:39:09 am »


Chamber music is a nice idea, but you'd be hard pressed to get people to Gavotte in a "chicken dance" society.
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John Ivan

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 05:48:36 pm »

Weddings can be strange territory. They pay pretty well, sometimes REALLY well, but one needs to use caution when dealing with what the Client THINKS they want. I've played more than one where they swore up and down they wanted standards, instrumental or otherwise during dinner.. So, we'll be half way through "One Note Samba" or "Song For My Father" and they will wonder why we don't sound like the local "Smooth Jazz" Station Shocked . Then we'll play fly me to the moon and they will say, "well, it's nice but we really don't want Jazz!!


Man, it's crazy out there..

"Here's a little something called, "she fucks Like a beast, By WASP"!!

{Sorry} Surprised  Surprised

Ivan...............
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Devin Knutson

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Re: The Other Loudness War: Wedding Bands
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2008, 06:14:56 pm »

arconaut wrote on Tue, 21 October 2008 06:39


Chamber music is a nice idea, but you'd be hard pressed to get people to Gavotte in a "chicken dance" society.


The wedding I just did had a very good string quartet outside, in front of the seats, to house left of the bride and groom.  Sort of an extension off the line of Bridesmaids.  They played immediately before (including the aisle walk) and after the ceremony proper.  The band and dancing was in the tent during the reception.

I must say, the quartet was lovely.
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SpongeBob, reel it in, quick! Can't you hear the music?
That's a 4/4 string ostinato in D-minor!
Every sailor knows it means death!
    - Mr. Eugene H. Krabbs
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