[Dixielandjazz] A rant on the unamplifi...and sound systems

GWW174 at aol.com GWW174 at aol.com
Tue Jan 28 11:07:01 PST 2003

In a message dated 1/23/03 9:47:18 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
paul.edgerton at eds.com writes:

> The antidote to all of this is exemplified by the Jim Cullum band. Every
> time I have heard them, they've been unamplified. Yes, there may be a PA
> system, but that's not what sets the volume on the stage -- the musicians
> themselves do. 
> Somehow, they manage to balance horns with unamplified acoustic 
> instruments.
> The trumpet dominates the ensemble sound, as it should. Every instrument 
> can
> be heard in its proper acoustic perspective. When a softer instrument gets 
> a
> solo, the others just PLAY SOFTER.

As a sound system designer and operator, the best compliment I get from the 
audience  is "Oh, I didn't know there was a sound system".  That is the way 
it should be - but given budgets, physical and pther constraints, it is not 
always easy.  Over the years the term "PA" (Public address) has given way to 
the term SOUND REINFORCEMENT.  The purpose of the equipment is to re-inforce 
the accoustic sound made by the source - i.e.  talkers or musicians.  If done 
properly, the audience is unaware of a sound system.  That is the way it 
should be.
Gordon of Northridge
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