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Thread started 07/08/11 7:29pm

mcslomo

Terrible sound at first NSJF Rotterdam show

It has to be said, the sound at the first NSJF Rotterdam show in the Ahoy was absolutely terrible, in parts the sound was painful, ear-bleeding. In addition to this, everything was way too loud, way up in the mix, way too much treble & too bright, P's guitar barely audible at times being drowned out by everything else, and there were many more issues as well. Tarnished the music and the experience I think.

Anyone else experience this?

I must say that after seeing a few other shows on the first day of the North Sea Jazz Fest, all of them had good to great sound except for Prince. I just couldn't believe it as it was happening.

?

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Reply #1 posted 07/08/11 7:36pm

JowiiCoco

You know, I was afraid something like this might happen. That's why I got tickets for the second show, hoping that if there would be sound problems they'd be fixed the next day.

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Reply #2 posted 07/08/11 7:37pm

JowiiCoco

BTW, plenty of complaints on Twitter, so you're definitely not the only one.

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Reply #3 posted 07/09/11 3:03am

Trashcat

avatar

Please buy earplugs if you can for tonight's show!

You may find them at your drug-store (DA), Hubo or opticien.

Have a look at 'The W2A: Euro Tour Song Survey' http://prince.org/msg/12/362417
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Reply #4 posted 07/09/11 3:12am

shockadelica19
69

Mh...we´ve tix for sunday....I hope the problems will be solved.

But we´ve also also tix for Cologne on July 28th....2nd chance...

(akime from germany...adoring HIM since the purple days....)......and....sorry for less quality in grammar...if your german is in a better shape....it´s up 2 u wink
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Reply #5 posted 07/09/11 3:31am

MarcelArnhem

YES, it was not good. Too loud, and the set was so so.... A lot of people left before 3.30 so many empty seats towards the end of the show around 4.00.

This was my 14th show, also in the ranking I think.... just after Rotterdam, june 1990 (rain, short set of 75 min)

I have tix for sunday so lets hope things will be better than.

[Edited 7/9/11 3:33am]

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Reply #6 posted 07/09/11 3:34am

qpvb

Zo was het vroeger bij ons elke keer in Gent, in Flanders Echo. Oeps, sorry, Flanders Expo.

---------

In the 90s it used to be so every time in the venue of Flanders Echo. Woeps, sorry, Flanders Expo.

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Reply #7 posted 07/09/11 3:40am

AndGodCreatedM
e

avatar

I think Prince's state of mind is simular to the weather today if I have to rely on the comments of last night concert lol

Like JowiiCoco I am hoping on a better performance tonight

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Reply #8 posted 07/09/11 4:39am

shockadelica19
69

Let´s think positive...

A cool warm up with my big friend Snoop, then a session with Bootsy and.....maybe....this funky maniac will join the jam of the little purple Yoda coming from the heart of Minnesota....

(akime from germany...adoring HIM since the purple days....)......and....sorry for less quality in grammar...if your german is in a better shape....it´s up 2 u wink
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Reply #9 posted 07/09/11 5:32am

tdavison

I was also at the 1st NSJ gig and in the seats opposite the stage and the sound volume and mix was as described here. Was it the same for the people standing down the front? Prince was aware there were problems with his regular reference to too much brightness in the mix and that 'John' could still not get rid of a bass rumble on the stage after 45 minutes into the show. The lighting was also overwhelming. The rear lights made everyone on stage become silouhettes.

The non fanatics would have been very disappointed at the lack of popular songs.

What was good about the gig were the relentless (in a good way)funk grooves dominated by drums and bass and playing familiar songs in darker keys. Add this to the dominance of the contrast of the no lighting and then full on lighting, suggests to me there was an intent to create something different, which I enjoyed.

Looking forward to gigs 2 and 3
DrD
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Reply #10 posted 07/09/11 5:43am

JowiiCoco

tdavison said:

I was also at the 1st NSJ gig and in the seats opposite the stage and the sound volume and mix was as described here. Was it the same for the people standing down the front? Prince was aware there were problems with his regular reference to too much brightness in the mix and that 'John' could still not get rid of a bass rumble on the stage after 45 minutes into the show. The lighting was also overwhelming. The rear lights made everyone on stage become silouhettes. The non fanatics would have been very disappointed at the lack of popular songs. What was good about the gig were the relentless (in a good way)funk grooves dominated by drums and bass and playing familiar songs in darker keys. Add this to the dominance of the contrast of the no lighting and then full on lighting, suggests to me there was an intent to create something different, which I enjoyed. Looking forward to gigs 2 and 3

I've actually read quite a few comments on different Dutch sites and Twitter that a lot of first timers were really impressed. My guess would be that people who enjoy festivals like NSJ probably enjoyed it more than folks who used to be into Prince back in the day and hadn't seen him in over 20 years and thought they'd relive the 80's. I guess it all depends on what people expected to hear.

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Reply #11 posted 07/09/11 10:26pm

AndGodCreatedM
e

avatar

I just woke up and am still in disbelief how awfull and how bad the acoustics were and don't give me any abs bt what I expected.

Horrible sound!

(abt edit)

[Edited 7/9/11 22:26pm]

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Reply #12 posted 07/10/11 3:17pm

MyComputer

It's ridiculous.

Yeah, apologize the next day. But it's not like money is gonna be returned.

How can things like this happen at this level of professionality. It's not like it was his first show.

So, the one guy behind the panel that mattered was asleep right there and NOTHING could be done about it?

[Edited 7/10/11 15:18pm]

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Reply #13 posted 07/10/11 3:34pm

JowiiCoco

MyComputer said:

It's ridiculous.

Yeah, apologize the next day. But it's not like money is gonna be returned.

How can things like this happen at this level of professionality. It's not like it was his first show.

So, the one guy behind the panel that mattered was asleep right there and NOTHING could be done about it?

[Edited 7/10/11 15:18pm]

How many times have you heard Prince say he's sorry about anything? This shit is PRICELESS! lol

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Reply #14 posted 07/10/11 3:41pm

MyComputer

JowiiCoco said:

MyComputer said:

It's ridiculous.

Yeah, apologize the next day. But it's not like money is gonna be returned.

How can things like this happen at this level of professionality. It's not like it was his first show.

So, the one guy behind the panel that mattered was asleep right there and NOTHING could be done about it?

[Edited 7/10/11 15:18pm]

How many times have you heard Prince say he's sorry about anything? This shit is PRICELESS! lol

It was my first show where half is played in the dark, the other half in way too bright light, but still, I just don't understand in a familiar setting where you did a soundcheck and after years of knowing every in and out of the business how something like that can happen. How is that simply possible? I just don't get that.

And on top of that, certainly with the prices he charges I feel you have an obligation to go out of your way to make it at least sound good.

[Edited 7/10/11 15:42pm]

[Edited 7/10/11 15:47pm]

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Reply #15 posted 07/11/11 7:28am

mordang

avatar

Last gig on sunday the music was still way too loud. I had to put pieces of tissuepaper in my ears to take a few decibel off. But I still found the experience physically uncomfortable. A lot of people left early and to my regret I was one of them.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan
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Reply #16 posted 07/11/11 7:53am

jenst

Trashcat said:

Please buy earplugs if you can for tonight's show!

You may find them at your drug-store (DA), Hubo or opticien.

I can't understand a true music lover without quality earplugs.

How can someone invest tons of cash in cd's and gigs, but let the most important equipment to listen to them get ruined?

I had to save up for a year to buy these baby's, but they've been well worth the money:

[img:$uid]http://www.keymusic.com/gfx_productcode/116360/Variphone-ER15-Musician-Earplugs-15-DB.jpg[/img:$uid]

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Reply #17 posted 07/11/11 10:03am

JeePee

avatar

MyComputer said:

JowiiCoco said:

How many times have you heard Prince say he's sorry about anything? This shit is PRICELESS! lol

It was my first show where half is played in the dark, the other half in way too bright light, but still, I just don't understand in a familiar setting where you did a soundcheck and after years of knowing every in and out of the business how something like that can happen. How is that simply possible? I just don't get that.

And on top of that, certainly with the prices he charges I feel you have an obligation to go out of your way to make it at least sound good.

[Edited 7/10/11 15:42pm]

[Edited 7/10/11 15:47pm]

First, Prince wasn't at the soundcheck, which was his fault so he had to make up during Controversy. Second, it wasn't Prince's soundsystem.He had to use the North Sea Jazz equipment, which obviously was too difficult to understand for John, the last-name-less soundtechnician.

Prince's gear was already shipped to Luxembourg.

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Reply #18 posted 07/11/11 10:39am

Trashcat

avatar

jenst said:

Trashcat said:

Please buy earplugs if you can for tonight's show!

You may find them at your drug-store (DA), Hubo or opticien.

I can't understand a true music lover without quality earplugs.

How can someone invest tons of cash in cd's and gigs, but let the most important equipment to listen to them get ruined?

I had to save up for a year to buy these baby's, but they've been well worth the money:

[img:$uid]http://www.keymusic.com/gfx_productcode/116360/Variphone-ER15-Musician-Earplugs-15-DB.jpg[/img:$uid]

I have those almost a year now, but for on the shortterm, you cannot get these if the next concert is the next day wink .

But I can recommend every one these protections, great sound, well worth the money.

Have a look at 'The W2A: Euro Tour Song Survey' http://prince.org/msg/12/362417
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Reply #19 posted 07/11/11 5:22pm

MyComputer

JeePee said:

MyComputer said:

It was my first show where half is played in the dark, the other half in way too bright light, but still, I just don't understand in a familiar setting where you did a soundcheck and after years of knowing every in and out of the business how something like that can happen. How is that simply possible? I just don't get that.

And on top of that, certainly with the prices he charges I feel you have an obligation to go out of your way to make it at least sound good.

[Edited 7/10/11 15:42pm]

[Edited 7/10/11 15:47pm]

First, Prince wasn't at the soundcheck, which was his fault so he had to make up during Controversy. Second, it wasn't Prince's soundsystem.He had to use the North Sea Jazz equipment, which obviously was too difficult to understand for John, the last-name-less soundtechnician.

Prince's gear was already shipped to Luxembourg.

How did you find out?

Well, that explains it, I guess. But extremely sloppy for professionals.

I suppose at a certain level of fame and money, you just don't really care anymore...? You're too busy rolling on the floor laughing over the kind of money you make, while others work boring jobs...

Okay, don't wanna be too pessimistic - I will always love his music with all my heart, but don't really get that they're so messy with these things. What is the most important thing at a concert - the sound.

Also, I wonder what the point was then of clearing the whole venue totally for 90 minutes before the show - an opportunity which none other artist at the festival had. There's even more chance there to get everything optimal...

But okay, don't wanna go on about it forever. You get what you get at a show - even though it's expensive - and it's certainly not the only time I've experienced things not being that great at shows - it goes with the territory of doing things live in general.

[Edited 7/11/11 17:22pm]

[Edited 7/11/11 18:10pm]

[Edited 7/11/11 18:11pm]

[Edited 7/11/11 18:12pm]

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Reply #20 posted 07/12/11 12:04am

udo

avatar

P had his own board.
The soundcheck (on the day before NSJ) was not so loud. (I was there...)
Not everyone used plugs.
Not everyone was in the sweet spot.
Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill... If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry.
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Reply #21 posted 07/12/11 12:47am

hjd

The sound on sunday was mixed well, but way too loud. I measured it a few times using noise patrol. That may not be 100% accurate, but it showed between 110 and 120 DB. I was in section Dc on the first floor. It didn't bother me, as I brought earplugs after reading about friday and saturday here.

What DID bother me were the lights. Lighting at the back of the stage was shining blindingly right into the stands where I was sitting, preventing me from seeing pretty much anything. Especially the blue light was annoying. What kind of genius designed something like that? John the technician has a brother who does lights?

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Reply #22 posted 07/12/11 12:56am

udo

avatar

Sunday was kinda soft w.r.t. sound.
Are we sure about 120 dB?
Because that would be very loud...
Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill... If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry.
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Reply #23 posted 07/12/11 4:07am

hjd

udo said:

Sunday was kinda soft w.r.t. sound.
Are we sure about 120 dB?
Because that would be very loud...

It didn't quite touch 120, it hovered between 110 and 120. It's a needle on a scale, so it fluctuates. Maybe it was so loud because I was at the opposite end of the stage, under a balcony and in front of a concrete wall.

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Reply #24 posted 07/12/11 5:51am

michael11000

The sound quality at the HOP FARM FESTIVAL in England was the best I've ever heard from Prince after being to over 10 tours. It was outdoor though and had no stadium stands or buildings to bounce off. So it's a shame it was bad for you all there. The worst I remember, for me, was Earl's Court London in the early 90's.

[Edited 7/12/11 5:53am]

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Reply #25 posted 07/13/11 12:50pm

unique

avatar

michael11000 said:

The sound quality at the HOP FARM FESTIVAL in England was the best I've ever heard from Prince after being to over 10 tours. It was outdoor though and had no stadium stands or buildings to bounce off. So it's a shame it was bad for you all there. The worst I remember, for me, was Earl's Court London in the early 90's.

[Edited 7/12/11 5:53am]

hop farm sound was shit. it was far worse for the support acts, it was a fucking mess. prince got it sorted much better, but it was still way too bassy

the ONA tour sound was the best in a long time as the guitars etc were mic'd off stage. i remember discussing this with takumi who agreed it was the best sound in a long time

the sound at the indigo aftershows was also excellent, particularly after the first few shows when they replaced the PA and prince started using his full pedal set

sound at the main o2 and musicology shows was hit or miss depending on venue and where you were located in the auditorium. in some spots the sound was fine, in others it was awful. that's the problem with gigs in the round

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Reply #26 posted 07/14/11 3:31am

hjd

That the sound isn't very good at stadium concerts or outdoor gigs is to be expected. There is no real excuse for bad sound indoors. We've been to many shows at Ahoy Rotterdam (including many Prince shows since 1986). It can sound great there. Artists that come to mind that had (near) perfect sound are Sade, Fleetwood Mack, Steely Dan, Luther Vandross, George Michael, E,W & F and Barry White. It's a shame Prince apparently doesn't feel the need to achieve the best sound possible.

And from a legal and business point of view, I don't see the upside in possibly damaging your clients' hearing.

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Reply #27 posted 07/14/11 4:01am

JowiiCoco

hjd said:

That the sound isn't very good at stadium concerts or outdoor gigs is to be expected. There is no real excuse for bad sound indoors. We've been to many shows at Ahoy Rotterdam (including many Prince shows since 1986). It can sound great there. Artists that come to mind that had (near) perfect sound are Sade, Fleetwood Mack, Steely Dan, Luther Vandross, George Michael, E,W & F and Barry White. It's a shame Prince apparently doesn't feel the need to achieve the best sound possible.

And from a legal and business point of view, I don't see the upside in possibly damaging your clients' hearing.

Why do you say he doesn't care? Can you back that up with some quotes from the man himself?

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Reply #28 posted 07/14/11 11:07am

hjd

JowiiCoco said:

hjd said:

That the sound isn't very good at stadium concerts or outdoor gigs is to be expected. There is no real excuse for bad sound indoors. We've been to many shows at Ahoy Rotterdam (including many Prince shows since 1986). It can sound great there. Artists that come to mind that had (near) perfect sound are Sade, Fleetwood Mack, Steely Dan, Luther Vandross, George Michael, E,W & F and Barry White. It's a shame Prince apparently doesn't feel the need to achieve the best sound possible.

And from a legal and business point of view, I don't see the upside in possibly damaging your clients' hearing.

Why do you say he doesn't care? Can you back that up with some quotes from the man himself?

In my view the performing artist is responsible for the quality of the performance, including the sound and lighting. It's a fact that out of the 50+ shows I have attended by Prince, there were sound issues at at least 15 of them and the sound was never, ever, very good with the exeption of Indigo2. Brixton Academy comes to mind as an absolute low. NSJ was my worst overall experience (because of the hopeless lighting too).

When you are in a business for as long as Prince has been and at your shows the sound is consistently below average (and I've seen at least 25 shows in any given year for the last 30+ years, so I am in a position to compare), sound appears not to be your top priority.

He is still the best live act I ever saw though. Imagine how good it would be if he got the sound right....

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Reply #29 posted 07/14/11 1:27pm

unique

avatar

hjd said:

JowiiCoco said:

Why do you say he doesn't care? Can you back that up with some quotes from the man himself?

In my view the performing artist is responsible for the quality of the performance, including the sound and lighting. It's a fact that out of the 50+ shows I have attended by Prince, there were sound issues at at least 15 of them and the sound was never, ever, very good with the exeption of Indigo2. Brixton Academy comes to mind as an absolute low. NSJ was my worst overall experience (because of the hopeless lighting too).

When you are in a business for as long as Prince has been and at your shows the sound is consistently below average (and I've seen at least 25 shows in any given year for the last 30+ years, so I am in a position to compare), sound appears not to be your top priority.

He is still the best live act I ever saw though. Imagine how good it would be if he got the sound right....

let's just clarify the number of shows you've been to, it's just about 50 right? out of 25 years, so an average of only 2 shows a year? so basically what you are saying is you don't really have a tremendous experience of prince gigs on that basis?

brixton academy sound was shite from where i was, but i was front row and then onstage, and any seasoned gig goer will tell you that sound quality will vary depending on the type of venue and where you stand

the sound quality isn't the artists responsibility. the artists responsibility is to play the music and it's other peoples responsibility to setup the PA and operate the sound desk. we are fortunate that prince is pretty adapt at helping sound guys in their job, but prince's job is to play, not fix the sound

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