Your title is: “The Blackmechs”
In a metaphorical Victorian Britain, a young flying message courier stumbles across an otherworldly portal which spurs him into conflict with murderous robots, with the help of a shape-shifting female assassin and her reference book, culminating in wish-fulfillment solutions to real-world problems.
So I go out last night to hear Ethan and Lou, the rhythm section of Tyrannosaurus Mouse, play in a cover band called The Joybuzzers at the Red Lion.
About 1/3 of the audience was wearing hearing protection in the form of earplugs and such. Where I was sitting/standing the percentage was nigh on 80 or 90%. I was talking to Lou -- "Do you remember the '80's? Nobody wore earplugs at a club." Of course, the audience was probably older - mostly over 30's - still, we'll have more high end in our hearing than the baby boomers who are half deaf from listenin' to that loud rock 'n roll their parents warned them about.
In any case, it got me thinking about vocals and the overall sound of a band -- especially in a club situation.
Problem #1 is that louder generally sounds better. Up to a point (pain) most people will interpret a sound which is played at a higher volume as "better" to them. But more than that, the actual sound quality of drums hit really hard and of guitar amps being pushed to the ends of their specifications, just has this big awesomeness which everyone loves - at any volume the listener hears. (As a side-note Raphael Rudd told me that Phil Collins hit the drums harder than anyone he'd ever heard.)
In any case, you have a situation where the band wants to play loud -- both because it's fun, and because it does indeed actually make them sound better. But what can't be that loud? Vocals. Even an opera singer just can't sing over a rock band playing at full tilt.
So we put a microphone right up to the vocalist's mouth. I'm sure you've seen that before. And hope that we can make them louder (slightly) than the band. Ha! Well there's a mortal enemy of the vocal:
That's the snare drum.
There are all kinds of tricks we can use to get the gain-before-feedback on that microphone to be up up up. But that dang snare drum is going to get into the vocalist's microphone. In a stadium situation (or even a decent -sized theater) we can physically put the drums further from the vocalist. Every time we double that distance we get 6dB more vocal (or less drums, depending on how you think about it).
Sometimes the drum kit goes in a "fishbowl" -- a plexiglass barrier which is supposed to keep the drum sound out of the vocal mic. They certainly look terrible onstage.
Where was I going with all this? Oh, vocals sound terrible in clubs. And the drums never have enough reverb. So Tyrannosaurus Mouse will have to just play theaters.
Here's a not-terribly-helpful roundoup of live vocal microphones from Pro Audio Review.
The Audix OM7 is $230
The Audio Technica Artist Elite 5400 is $380
The Neumann KMS105 is $700
The Rode S1 is $330
The Clockwork Century, via Scalzi (too lazy to look up URL). Cyberpunkishness. Specifically steamship zombie airpunk suchlike.
Here's the foolproof no-hassle way to get a Dell 10v to run OSX. So far it hasn't worked at all for me. So I guess it ain't "foolproof" after all. I'm trying again because apparently... I'm like that.