Monday, June 24, 2013

Empty amps and PA systems.

The internet is abuzz. Teenage girls and middle-aged metal heads are in uproar over the recent realization that Black Veil Brides are using empty amps on the Vans Warped tour. It isn't a big shocker. Big amps are something of a rock icon, but that just isn't practical anymore.

Contrary to popular belief, empty amps don't always mean your favorite bands are playing tracks. There are just better ways, clearer ways even, of getting the sound from the stage to the crowd, especially in large outdoor venues like the main stage at Warped. Real amps are often miked; sound comes straight through the PA system. The result? Better quality, less instrument-fighting-instrument and better control of sound distribution to the crowd.

Okay, it may be a little less "rock n roll" to do things the practical way, but it sounds better. We could stack amps across the back of the stage, have an awkward and deafening sound at the front and not understand anything, but would that really make sense? The fact is venues are bigger, sound is better, and we need a system that keeps up with the times. Empty amps give you the sound and the appearance of a real rock show, you just get to hear the music.

Where you stand on BVB's rock status doesn't matter. Similar setups are used by tons of bands, old and new, rock and not-so-rock. Carry on, do your thing and don't worry about how a band is getting its sound to you. Unless they're lip-syncing. Don't tolerate that.

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