Sound is a funny thing.
People think that with all the professional sound reinforcement equipment that exists these days, louder is better.
Nope. Not how it works.
Quieter is really better. Better on the patrons, better on the ears. Better on the hands and body.
The truth is: Hearing is better. Better on everyone.
On Saturday night, at the Green Lantern Lounge in Clinton Twp. Michigan, we were reminded again, just how wonderful it is to be heard. Wonderful on so many levels.
Arguably the greatest group of musicians that have ever existed in the modern age of Rock & Roll, The Beatles, quit playing live, for one simple reason: They could not hear themselves.
Remember in the sixties, in rock N’ roll’s infancy, there was really not much that existed to project the sound from those bands. Take any concert venue of the day; say, Shea Stadium in New York. Put four tiny musicians with primitive amplifiers out in the middle of a baseball stadium, and add 55,000 screaming girls . . . See a problem problem? More to the point; hear a problem?
Not only could the crowd not hear the Beatles; but the Beatles could not hear themselves. And they were standing right next to each other.
Now I would never compare ourselves to the Beatles. On any level. But, the sound problems that they faced, are still the same today. All of those logistical sound inadequacies still exist today; there is just better science to solve its’ short-comings.
Fast forward: Sound reinforcement equipment has come light-years forward in both its’ design and application. Although the latest sate-of-the-art sound systems have both the power and the flexibility to bring music and voice to any venue, it will never take the place of any well designed stage or theater.
The acoustics of any building play the primary part in how any artist or ensemble is heard. More than anything.
You can mask problems with equalization.
You can reach the audience with brute power.
But playing in a building designed to have the artist heard is the pinnacle of the sound hierarchy.
Well, I’m not likening The Green Lantern Lounge to Carnage Hall – but we have played there twice; and the best part of our experience was not the alcohol or even the pizza.
The best thing is simply hearing ourselves. Sounds pretty simple, I know; but its true.
On this night, Carl and I could hear each and every note of every chorus of every song. To an artist, that is true gold. It really makes it a pleasure to play.
We play in so many venues of beer-halls, banquet halls and barbecues that are so difficult hear ourselves; that when some place comes along that we can actually hear ourselves, I simply needed to take pause and write about it.
Saturday was such a place; and it was glorious to us. We were working very hard to bring people in and keep them for the evening. We were doing our part. So was the staff, and so were the patrons who reached out to us with their requests.
There were even some people who looked on quietly, but were listening intently. These people were wonderful too. Just what we need some times.
I can’t stress enough what a joy it is to simply hear. There were actually people in a booth right in front of our speakers who could have a conversation, all the while enjoying the drinks the food, and the music. Joy.
We had a great night; if for only that reason. Each and every song that we played resonated with us on some level.
When you can hear, you can match pitch better, match dynamics better and match artistic intensity and artistic energy better. It all works together, for a much better performance.
Don’t believe me? Listen for yourself. Click here to listen to our 3rd set of the night . . .
We had fun, we played lots of great songs and even got to sing a hearty rendition of the worlds’ most enjoyed song: Happy Birthday for Nicole!
Happy birthday Nicole; so glad you could hear it.