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It's too loud, man!

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jazomir View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 February 2019 at 1:29pm
Doing a search through my PC archives (looking for the EV Sentry IV files in the post below), I found this old pic. It's not mine but is a real eye opener to see how much systems have changed in the last 50 years - showing the final Cream concert on 26th November 1968. They were using a 5 or 6 hundred watt WEM system (think - 'less power' than a modern floor monitor) with a couple of 4x12s as monitors.

Regards

Jazomir
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Robbo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 2:39pm
Jaz---That is only a four hundred watt WEM PA as there are only four pairs of 4x12 columns including the ones laid flat across the top of the vertical ones--Each pair of 4x12s would have been driven by an SL100 amp and the very slim horn loaded HF cabinets were just linked into a pair of the 4x12s via a built in passive Xover.
I always smile when I see that pic because if you look close you will see that the two horizontal 4x12s are tilted upwards to try and cover the multiple upper tiers of the Albert hall which would definitely never have worked.
Going back to the early seventies when I first started covering PA gigs at the RAH we used to take in systems not much larger than the WEM one in your pic but we always linked into the in house system as well to give total coverage using their large central cluster which was flown above the front of stage as it was always a serious problem trying to get sound coverage up in the cake tiers as we used to call them---It was also a major problem trying to get big rigs in and out of the RAH in those days before all of the building mods were done for easier access.
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jazomir View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazomir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 2:49pm
I seem to remember from the re-mastered video I watched a while back that there were also some cabs facing to the back and the side that were not visible in the photo I posted. The first band I saw at the RAH in the late 60s early seventies (I was still at school) was Deep Purple using a Marshall PA system rated IIRC at 600 watts - the phrase "tinklings at the edge of perception" comes to mind as I have sat next to people with MP3 players where the leakage from their headsets was louder than  the band that night. How things change!

As a spectator, in 1971 I was at a Mott The Hoople gig at the Lyceum Theatre in London and was stunned to hear Ian Hunter announce that they were using  'kilowatt' WEM rig - the first time I had heard such a large system indoors.
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Jazomir
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markie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 3:42pm
I saw my first band on 11.10.64 at the Birmingham Odeon. The backline was 2 Vox AC30s and a Vox AC50 for bass. Whilst I knew absolutely nothing about PA then I do remember the Vox column speakers with chrome fold out stands at the back. Having looked them up they would have been Vox LS40, 4x10 cabs, 40 watts each.

The band was the Beatles.
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Robbo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 3:59pm
You were there at the start of the Odeons live music venture Markie and I was there at the end in 1987/88 with Go West for two nights when it closed to be converted into a Multiplex----Sad day as it was a great venue with nice easy get in access.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jbl_man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 4:01pm
Be seeing you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jbl_man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 4:07pm
Correct me if im wrong...but was the 'PA' purely for vocals back in those days?....the rest of the band relying on massed guitar and bass cabinets for their own instruments?
Be seeing you.
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markie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 4:17pm
Originally posted by Robbo Robbo wrote:

You were there at the start of the Odeons live music venture Markie and I was there at the end in 1987/88 with Go West for two nights when it closed to be converted into a Multiplex----Sad day as it was a great venue with nice easy get in access.

I was also there in 1970 for the Supremes, I believe it was the first tour for Jean Terrell after Diana Ross went solo.

Also 1976 for Rod Stewart but that was a disaster. Gig was great but I ended up marrying the girl I took with me.


Edited by markie - 01 February 2019 at 4:18pm
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Robbo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2019 at 4:34pm
It all started out as being used purely for vocals Ian but rapidly progressed to having guitar cabinets miked up which was absolutely crazy as they were the loudest thing on stage anyway, but obviously there were a lot of superstar guitar divas about in those days that had got to be heard louder than anyone else.
Then the drummers started moaning because no-one could hear the drum kit above the stupid guitar volumes so we started miking kick drum and snare with the odd overhead mic if you were lucky and then a couple of years later they finally realised that no-one could hear the tom toms amongst the rest of the row from the kit so we then had to start miking everything on the bloody drum riser including the drummers arse if he asked you nicely!!!

Back on a more serious note, I was one of the first live sound engineers to start double miking toms to get a punchy sound that could pin you against a wall--Senheiser MD421 over the top of the shell and an SM57 up inside it through a hole cut in the bottom head---there were a few jealous old style sound guys around at the time that dismissed it as a gimmick but it gave me the sound I had been trying to get for years without ringing feedback and only enhanced my personal reputation as an in demand FOH engineer for lots of top bands from that era.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Digbethdave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2019 at 1:19am
Hope that book is nearly finished john. 
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