Thursday, September 22, 2011

Noise Makers

I remember being in high school with long hair and the joy of being able to hide behind it. Watching the world I felt so disconnected from without its ability to watch me.
I've learned since not to be uncomfortable feeling disconnected yet still enjoy the disconnection.
Day off in Sao Paulo, Peppers tour surf trip #3 and rolling large. I love simplicity and freedom and also have no problem embracing adventures I love to remember. So a helicopter ride to a surf spot was an easy yes. Too cool, too fun and now fast forward back to the practical world of proffesional speaker wiggling, I am going to take a stab at a budget opinion tour of the popular sound systems I run into.
How do I ike this or that system I am quite often asked. Well, they each have their assets and issues. So in the least technical word I can find:
Meyer's Milo sounds solid and the top end holds together well. It has a processed sound so transients sound subdued. I like the sonic consistency rig to rig and like that I know the sound I'll be getting. I guess it drives like compact town car, a bit corporate, soft-ish shocks, but not a full limo plush.
JBL Vertec is tough to get not to sound raw and boxy. Midrange resonance as you can hear the composite construction overlay a cardboard like sound with splashy HF, yet it gets loud and works. Though they vary from company to company sonically due to amp and processor variation, they are strong utility systems. Also being able to hang more boxes due to the light weight can be crucial in some scenarios. To me Vertec is the "Ford Explorer of sound systems" a roughish but toughish ride and they are everywhere.
Adamson Y10 gets loud too and has a solid and rigid push. I also find it a bit raw, unwieldy and unforgiving. I would say it could use a more refined processor but would rather see the finesse in the actual box and component designs. I find myself chasing EQ as it sort of handles like a stock muscle car. Neither is it small nor light and is a real watt guzzler.
And on that thought I have decided I really do not like 21" subs. They sound heavy, slow and boomy, take tons of power and seem to spend most of theiir effort just getting out of their own way.
21" subs are kind of like building a race car and startiing with a steel semi-truck frame. So big and heavy you need a giant motor just to hit the same volume as more finesse-fully built race cars, and when all is said and done, they just don't handle all that well at all.
D&B J rigs bump it all up a notch. Well behaved, powerful almost in an alien way compared to their size and weight competitors. Crisp top end yet edgy. The partially horn loaded design makes it jumpy, especially in the mids. If it was an eq thing, it would be easy to fix. If I wanted a more aggressive sound I could see that jumpiness as useful. When was 16, my dad bought a used Porsche 912 and he let me drive. I remember the lurching forward and touchiness of the clutch, stiff shocks and power. Mixing the J rig reminds me of driving that car. Fun for the driver but can be a bit tough on the passengers so ya really have to stay on your toes.
And then their are the brown boxes. Maybe just my exposure, time spent and familiarity or perhaps that same reason I bet the bank and future of Rat Sound on them, twice, based on what I heard in the way those L-Acoustics cabinets sound. Finesse. Tame emough to hold a tonal balance at lower and louder volumes, yet dynamic enough to sound natural. I don't find myself starving for compression like I often do on other systems. When pushing the rig, V-dosc tend to run out of juice in the mids at higher levels while the K1 deals quite well with volume abuse. Its not just being able to get a tonal balance, its being able to hold a tonal balance throughout the volume range that sets it apart. Ahh, its almost not fair and oh so much less work.
And on that note, oh! I can't wait for the cool K1/Kara rig I'll be seeing for the euro Peppers tour!
And all my system opinions aside, I really have enjoyed all the techs that have been doimg all they can to get things rocking. Thank you sound humans!
Oh, oit took me two days two peck this into my blackberry between adventures and rock shows, Sao Paulo show was a blast, hello Rio two days off!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


  1. Waaaa! I want to beat Chad's skins - actually I wanna ring his giant cowbell! -- just kidding!

    I'm so excited to finally have a regular Rat Blog. I love it and please don't stop!!

  2. Hey Dave, just wanna thank you once again for the set list you gave in Sao Paulo. It's was a great moment to meet you there and see u doing your thing ! Keep on rockin'! Abra├žo Guilherme

  3. How do you like the Yerba Mate? ( Rocket scientist that I am, I figured out what was in the orange)

  4. I ♥ Chris Warren on timpani and octabons

  5. In the line array world you really do pay for what you get and the K1's are properly expensive. And having heard them twice, they sound properly amazing. For most production companies however, it's far out of reach. In that sense which cabinet could you live with if cost were an issue?

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