2013-01-10

Clubbing DJs, Do Lower Your Bass!

So I was in a club the other night, and I asked the technician about the equalizer on his sound board.
"These three knobs here. Low, mid, and high tones."
That's it? I would assume, a board with so many knobs, sliders and buttons surely has a prominent 10-level equalizer.
"Why? There's no need. The music has already been remastered when recorded." The idea that he should tweak the sound further seemed preposterous to him, and my question echoed dumb and amateur.

Let me tell you, guy, that the process of remastering includes "equalization" of frequency levels only for the benefit of perceived improved sound, subject to the acoustic properties of the anticipated playback medium and environment.

In other words, you can completely screw the otherwise wonderfully melodic DnB track by playing it, as you say, 'already remastered' in a setting of thrice as many sub+woofers as there are mid-to-high-tone speakers, while at the same time generously taking away forever the miracle of high-pitch (or any) hearing from everyone unfortunately present.

Dear vainglorious DJs: Please remain attentive to the implied needs of your audience during your marvelous performance. And please tune your foldback monitors to 1.4-times the level of volume you have gushing on genpop. That should assure you go deaf first, or no-one does, which is fine.

4 comments:

  1. The 3 band EQ and filters on a DJ mixer are for the blending of tracks tracks together rather than compensating for the quality sound-system and the acoustics of the room. The latter task is the role of the sound engineer (who will most likely be hiding away somewhere where clubbers cannot pester him). It sounds like you were bugging the wrong person!

    If you're finding the club environment too loud (let's be honest, it almost always is) I'd recommend a set of musicians earplugs. They dampen the sound relatively evenly across the frequency spectrum so you can look after your hearing while still being able to enjoy the musical performance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I should look for both.
      Is there a particular benefit to musician's earplugs? Otherwise, I think I'll just get the industrial ones as there's 15-pack available on eBay for $2. Thanks! :-)

      Delete
    2. Industrial earplugs tend to dampen sound more towards the higher end of the spectrum. Musicians earplugs are tuned to provide a more consistant dB decrease over the range of audible frequencies. I have both and the industrial set has a very murky sound quality, while the musician set is extremely clear, and actually tend to give a little more emphasis to the upper frequency relative to the sub ~500Hz range.

      Delete
    3. Thanks. That sounds wonderful! I bought these. They're likely shite, but they look kind of musician's, so worth trying for a dollar. Will report.
      Even though, I'd prefer the volume of most perturbing frequencies much lower. The prolonged exposure to Dubstep wobbles can't do much towards anyone's good health, I think.

      Delete