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I like to hear the the more unusual instruments played in their traditional way. The cimbalom in the Taraf set was way too quiet drowned in boom boom. So too did the Creole Choir need a thumping bass to give it a disco feel? Sometimes the bass was so overpowering I had to move away! Am I a wimp? Ok don't answer that
No - you're not a wimp. I didn't hear the examples you gave but I thought that the sound mixing was pretty poor this year. Major feedback problems with Baba Maal and when he was singing with acoustic guitar the gourd percussion was ridiculously loud and booming. Lots of other examples of feedback, over loud percussion and bass with inaudible acoustic instruments and voices on other stages as well. When you see the high tech nature of the gear, it beggars belief that some of these guys can't eradicate feedback and get a decent mix.
I thought the bass was mixed too high in quite a few sets - for 9Bach in particular it virtually drowned out the ethereal and delicate voices and harp. I'd never heard them before, and was really enjoying them until the bass kicked in and actually made it physically uncomfortable to stay in the tent (call me a wimp, but I never expected to be forced to flee Welsh folk because of the booming bass...)
The musicians in Taraf de Haidouks seemed to be quite upset at one point by the feedback that was distorting their sound, judging by the glances they were throwing at the mixing desk.
Both of these were in the Siam tent, though I did hear some feedback elsewhere, and the bass seemed to be too loud for Afrocubism on the main stage too...
Siam got it right for I Am Kloot on Sunday - perfect sound and one of my highlights
Open Air and Siam both had poor moments of sound quality with far too much bass and volume on occasions. Not normally an issue what went wrong this year?
I noticed a lot of feedback, but I think more to the point some of the programming didn't help. I gave up on Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal as I was near the back and their delicate sound was drowned out by drumming from the chai tent. Several times artists I was watching were out-bassed from other stages, and on the Thursday and Friday in particular the main stage was so loud it was painful at times.
even golgol lost all lyrics in favour of bass
We found the sound quality in part at least, definitely poorer than last year. I've never before been driven away from a stage by the uncomfortable booming volume.
Why was it so difficult to get the equipment working well .... I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Baba Maal was really annoyed with Womad organisers. Such a great pity on a usually wonderful weekend.
Even sitting (yes sitting) past the sound tent at the CG on occasions it was so loud I could not hear the music. As my ears topped out and resulted in distortion.
Sound quality on the Radio 3 stage was fantastic - best at the festival.
CG was too quite most of the time.
OK by all means turn up the volume on the main stage for the last couple of acts - but does it really need to be quite so loud? I'm not averse to loud music but you have to consider the effect on the other stages which often are playing quite music at the same time.
Big Red tent was far too bass heavy.
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