I can confirm that "tapping" was still working as late as 1986 or '87. My first flat in Mt Eden had a phone box outside my bedroom window and I'd go to sleep to the sound of furious tapping.
In other old-fogey ruminations: Imagine The Kids Today reading the opening sentence of William Gibson's cyberpunk classic Neuromancer.
"The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel."
The Kids read that and think "the sky was brilliant, vivid, unbroken blue."
At the recent Emily Edrosa show at Golden Dawn, a guy was sitting at a back table, mixing the front-of-house on an iPad. I’d never seen it before. So the gear’s pretty common, then?
Wouldn't say it's commonplace yet, but seeing it more and more. $1600 at the Rock Shop gets you a 16 channel mixer (minus the iPad).
Not sure I'd want to attempt a live dub mix on one tho! But starting to become a viable solution for some situations.
"I heard from a reliable source recently, that concerts these days are largely wireless and can be mixed on an iPhone…"
After 30 years of playing on stages, it IS one of the wonders of the modern world to have the monitor engineer sidle up beside you and adjust your monitor mix on an iPad while he's hearing what you're hearing...
I can’t believe there’s no way of remediating the problem.
You really can't. In a huge, high-roofed tin-and-concrete shed (ie most "arena" venues) maths and physics are simply against you. The sound travels a _long_ way up before it bounces down, in multiple out-of-time copies of itself (reverberation). Higher frequencies can be absorbed by lining the venue with soft, deep, absorbent materials - very, very expensive, and not really practical in huge spaces - but there is no comparable way of absorbing bass frequencies, other than architecture/design.
Think of that noisy party down the road, what drives the neighbours crazy? THE BASS! Bass frequencies have more energy which is why they're harder to contain/control. The only way you can absorb bass is with mass. A box with feet-thick concrete walls which will stop the bass getting _out_, but it'll still be bouncing around inside the box.
If the architectural brief is for a high-ceiling, enclosed space made of concrete and steel that can hold thousands of people, you're plum out of luck. As Byrne says in the talk and the book, large spaces made of stone such as cathedrals are inherently better suited to elongated notes and slow changes of sound, not repetitive beats, and certainly not that new-fangled electrical amplimification!
Went to the Lorde... I was sitting half way up at the rear... + 1 for the bass being overdone.
Putting on my sound engineer hat for a second: bass frequencies "pool" or build up in corners and against the walls in an enclosed space, and the bass will sound artificially louder in these areas. The best sound at any concert will theoretically be heard standing right in front of the sound-desk (thats where you'll always find me at parties) since the sound engineer will be doing their best to make the PA and room sound as good as they can - to their ears, from that position.
Thats one reason the sound is usually so clear and compelling at outdoor gigs/dance parties, because there is no "room" factor in the equation - the sound shoots out of the loudspeakers in a single direction, never bouncing back-and-forth and muddying itself up until the sound energy has dissipated. Outdoors, the sound wavefront passes thru you like a dose of salts - the pure, uncut waveform. :-)
Check out David Byrne's great TED talk about the relationship between music and the venue it's performed in.
I hate the term "content" too. For me, it's one of the other two "C-words"... "Content" and "Client".
If you've never seen the British panel show "QI" (Quite Interesting) you're missing out on a treat. Its the TV equivalent of "My Word" and "My Music" - i.e. clever people being brilliant. A quick YouTube search will turn up dozens of episodes.
Here's a quick taster - host Stephen Fry fluffs his lines and the panel pounces relentlessly...
Friday fun- even terrorists have to pitch:
Could we do a whip-round to finance Russ to attend the seminar in March. I'd _love_ to see a blog from the inside...
I'm reminded of two choice quotes from David Lange in the 1990's NZ doco "The Green Green Grass of Home":
"I think more people in New Zealand have been killed by butter than by marijuana."
"Why on earth do we ban a drug that makes people drive SLOW?"