Live sound questions

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relic245relic245 Frets: 901
Below are 2 short clips of our gig on friday (usual disclaimers of - I wasn't on form that night so don't judge my playing lol ) 

In both I switch from a clean sound to a dirty one and lose myself in the mix a little. 

I don't know if you will be able to tell from a youtube clip but I'm wondering if this is an eq issue or if I just need more volume.  In isolation the dirty sound is considerably louder.  I know try it and see is the obvious answer, but I don't get that much chance to hear myself in context of FOH so if there is an obvious place to start that would be goo. 

For now I'm not going to post what I'm playing through - I know for some people that would cause them to judge the sound with their perceptions not their ears - I know you're not that person though :)  If anyone is interested I'll post my rig after I get a few suggestions. 







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Comments

  • ICBMICBM Frets: 71482
    In the second clip it's a bit misleading because the volume of the whole mix goes up when you go into the chorus, which compresses the recording - you can hear the vocal level drop significantly - and hence makes the guitar sound quieter, but it's still too thick and bassy.

    You need more volume and more mids with an overdriven sound in a live mix, compared to clean. In isolation, the overdrive sound is apparently much louder, and if you dial in what sounds like a 'good' tone - with plenty of bottom end and some nice top-end jangle - then it tends to disappear compared to the clean sound when you use it in a live mix. This is one of the reasons valve amps are still so popular with guitarists, and especially why 'power amp overdrive' is so favoured - because a valve amp tends to compress the sound into the mids when the power stage is overdriven due to the limitations of the output transformer, as well as increasing the actual power output by up to double - so they do that naturally, without the player even necessarily being aware of it.

    Solid-state amps don't do that - in fact conversely, they generate too much bottom-end, which sucks power away from the mids, as well as a bit too much top-end - so need to be helped by deliberately EQ'ing them for much more midrange and less bass and treble. This is exactly why pedals like the Tube Screamer were designed to be so mid-focused, because (unlike how they're almost always used now) they were in fact originally intended to be used to produce a 'valve-like' sound into a clean solid-state amp. So what you need is to both bump up the level for your overdrive sound a little, and reduce (particularly) the bass a bit.

    It can be even worse with a modern Class D/SMPS amp - the sort of power stage you usually get in a modelling amp - they're even less responsive to dynamics changes than Class AB/linear solid-state, due to the way the power output is limited by the power supply regulation, as well as the signal usually being intentionally limited to prevent clipping, which would otherwise be likely to cause trouble.

    So I'm going to guess that - along with your caution about snobbery - it's a modeller of some sort. I'm very much not a snob, I use all forms of the technology and I'm very happy with my solid-state guitar and bass amps... but even I was astonished how much louder (relative to its rated power) the old valve bass amp I just got sounded in a band mix compared to a far more powerful solid-state one.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 3561
    Easy fix is a Klon Clone. Set the drive low to compliment your present sound and use the natural mid hump and appropriate level increase to punch the driven sound in the mix. Solo driven sound and good live driven sound are different parts of the same thing.
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  • maharg101maharg101 Frets: 652
    EQ. It's all about the mids.
    This one goes to eleven

    Trading feedback here
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  • CaseOfAceCaseOfAce Frets: 1238
    edited February 12
    Much respect for posting clips of you and your band live (your drummer is rather good!).

    As for the question - I have the similar issue with clean vs. dirt levels. It's a constant balancing act for me.
    The immediate answer is use less gain... but then you run the risk of your dirt not being distinguishable from your clean in amongst a band mix.

    Personally I think EQ will only get you so far as will gear choices and I've started going for full barre chords where appropriate using dirt rather than power chords on the bottom 3 strings at the end of the neck which can just get  your buried i.e. working on the voicings for songs.

    A lot also depends on what your rhythm section is doing ( and if they are giving out a rock solid foundation - if you are lucky) and the arrangements. Amateur bass players don't half get busy on the neck I find. Lead bass is a pet hate of mine.

    We do Price Tag and run into the same issue - it's the same 4 chords thru the entire song. I'm still working out how to differentiate the chorus from the verse. For me doing that metal guitar thing on pop songs ran its course a long long time ago. I generally stay around the 5th fret for the F, Am, Dm, Bb change - you're popping out the mix way too much in the vid above at the 12th or so position in a 4 piece. Ideally the chorus would have vocal harmonies to add depth.

    Finally... and this is not meant to be triggering. We as guitarists can lose sight of the bigger picture. 
    It's about the vocals and slightly less so performance. Focusing major effort on rigs, settings, pedalboards, etc etc..
    no matter how good you get it .. and nobody in the audience cares...
     
    We have the issue in our band of a lady singer singing a lot of guy songs and it's not always in their range or suits their voice...

    There's not a lot I can do in my situation (or yours I suspect) and you accept the status quo and have fun with what you've got to work with... such is the lot of a cover band guitarist!
    It's not your job to be as confused as Nigel.
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  • relic245relic245 Frets: 901
    Some really helpful points here thanks Everyone.

    I’ll certainly try turning down the bass. Just had a play at home and it was quite bassy. Lovely on its own but if it’s part of the problem then I can have it eq’d differently at home.

    ill play with increasing the mids too whether on the amp or a pedal.

    As suspected by @ICBM it’s a modeller of sorts. A tonex to be exact.

    my back gave me the order that I can’t carry amps anymore a while ago and I’ve been round the houses with ampless rigs. For me this is the best feel and sound I’ve ever without an amp so now just learning to get the best from it.

    as for the metal bit in price tag, it’s going nowhere
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 10280
    What I'm hearing is more an arrangement issue in your voicing. If you go from playing a clean chord, which always slices through ... that contains  4 notes or so including a 3rd to a power chord that's basically just root and 5th then you lose harmonic power and it sounds smaller. 

    When you are the only guitarist it's sometimes better to back off the gain a bit and get some more harmonic information into the chords ...then they will sound more power and fuller. 
    Also let the bass do some work so the 2 of you create a larger chord. If the bass is changing from D to G for example then you change from D to Dsus4 

    So I would turn down the clean tone for a starters then use less gain on the drive sound but put more notes into the chorus chords


    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 71482
    Yes, as Danny said - it's actually partly the clean sound being too loud which is the problem, especially in the second clip, where it's noticeably louder than the vocals - sadly for guitarists, that should never happen except during a solo :). The actual volume of the guitar clearly does jump up when you get to the chorus, or the recorder (phone?) wouldn't compress like that, but it's the frequencies present (and not present) which make it bury itself.

    I don't actually think it's being a modeller which is the problem, just as I've never thought that solid-state amps are, or preamp distortion - you'll hear old school guitarists moaning about all of them, and really it's just down to the different ways they respond rather than the technology. If you understand why they sound different from a 'natural' overdriven valve power amp and compensate for it, they will work just as well.

    Putting a pedal in front to boost the signal might also be counterproductive, even if it's a pedal which adds mids and cuts bass - pushing the input harder will probably make the modeller compress more, which is the opposite of what you want - I think it's a settings issue between the clean and dirty sounds in the modeller itself. (Although I might still try a pedal if it's convenient to.)

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • kennedydream1980kennedydream1980 Frets: 1126
    edited February 12
    I’ve used modellers for approx 15 years. I very quickly came to the conclusion that switching to a dedicated clean preset never worked for me. The volume differences and the transients between a clean and dirty sound make it really difficult to balance them out effectively. 

    So I approach modellers like I would a real amp. I pick a single channel amp, a plexi style Marshall is my go to. If the modeller is good the amp will clean up in a similar fashion like the real world amp. For me the Fractal stuff and the Tonex have been the absolute best at this.

    So I set the preset up for a medium crunch sound with the guitar volume wide open. I can then back off the volume to get all my levels of gain all the way to a clean sound with the guitar volume on 4ish. Hit that with a boost for more gain for lead breaks etc which is normally a TS style OD to add some mids and cut a bit of bass. 

    The natural compression in the amp model evens out the level enough so the guitar stays consistent wherever the guitar volume is set.

    The nice thing about this is with the guitar volume on 4 for my clean sound, I can hit the same boost and it’s also a nice crunch sound. Great when you need a quick change from clean to crunch, rather than having to mess with the volume on the guitar. 
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  • relic245relic245 Frets: 901
    Danny1969 said:
    What I'm hearing is more an arrangement issue in your voicing. If you go from playing a clean chord, which always slices through ... that contains  4 notes or so including a 3rd to a power chord that's basically just root and 5th then you lose harmonic power and it sounds smaller. 

    That makes a lot of sense @Danny1969 . In price tag it's our arrangement so i can play about with that. 

    For other songs (All the small things - blink 182 for example) the sound is all about the chugging of the power chords. I guess in the studio they had engineers who understood these things and could still create a good mix.  As was said in another thread recently - they also probably have separate channels on pa live so have much more control. 

    As has been said - perhaps there is also a part of accepting that we are an amateur band playing in pubs and have to accept that we're not going to get a perfect sound. 

    ICBM said:
    Yes, as Danny said - it's actually partly the clean sound being too loud which is the problem, especially in the second clip, where it's noticeably louder than the vocals - sadly for guitarists, that should never happen except during a solo :)

    As much as it pains me to admit it, I agree that clean sound was too loud :) 

    I think the solution is to turn up the overdrive sound then turn the whole thing down at the mixer.  It's about volume difference between clean and overdrive that will make the difference. 

    At that gig the soundman was the pub owner - he is a drummer so has got some idea of what a good mix sounds like but he's not a sound man. 

    We soundcheck with our loudest songs which are overdriven sounds for me. 2 reasons for that, he won't be surprised later by my playing louder than i did at soundcheck. They are also the songs where we have the most backing vocals so we get to check everything together. So he would have set up for my overdriven sound being good in the mix (for that particular song when the pub was half empty) then if the spread between my clean and dirty sounds isn't large enough it has the effect of the clean being too loud. 

    So if i turn up the vol on the od sound and we sound check to that - then when I hit a clean sound it's going to sound quieter. 


    So I set the preset up for a medium crunch sound with the guitar volume wide open. I can then back off the volume to get all my levels of gain all the way to a clean sound with the guitar volume on 4ish. Hit that with a boost for more gain for lead breaks etc which is normally a TS style OD to add some mids and cut a bit of bass. 


    Interesting @kennedydream1980 ; all of my sounds are the same patch with different levels of gain - it's the Amalgam Superbass which you put me onto when I first bought the tonex. It's the only capture I need for live.

    I wonder if turning the guitar vol down will have a different effect that hitting a footswitch that effectively just turns down the gain.  Worth trying  I guess. 

    It will mean me adjusting my playing style as I have got very used to clicking footswitches but I'm sure I can adapt. 
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  • relic245 said:
    Danny1969 said:
    What I'm hearing is more an arrangement issue in your voicing. If you go from playing a clean chord, which always slices through ... that contains  4 notes or so including a 3rd to a power chord that's basically just root and 5th then you lose harmonic power and it sounds smaller. 

    That makes a lot of sense @Danny1969 . In price tag it's our arrangement so i can play about with that. 

    For other songs (All the small things - blink 182 for example) the sound is all about the chugging of the power chords. I guess in the studio they had engineers who understood these things and could still create a good mix.  As was said in another thread recently - they also probably have separate channels on pa live so have much more control. 

    As has been said - perhaps there is also a part of accepting that we are an amateur band playing in pubs and have to accept that we're not going to get a perfect sound. 

    ICBM said:
    Yes, as Danny said - it's actually partly the clean sound being too loud which is the problem, especially in the second clip, where it's noticeably louder than the vocals - sadly for guitarists, that should never happen except during a solo :)

    As much as it pains me to admit it, I agree that clean sound was too loud :) 

    I think the solution is to turn up the overdrive sound then turn the whole thing down at the mixer.  It's about volume difference between clean and overdrive that will make the difference. 

    At that gig the soundman was the pub owner - he is a drummer so has got some idea of what a good mix sounds like but he's not a sound man. 

    We soundcheck with our loudest songs which are overdriven sounds for me. 2 reasons for that, he won't be surprised later by my playing louder than i did at soundcheck. They are also the songs where we have the most backing vocals so we get to check everything together. So he would have set up for my overdriven sound being good in the mix (for that particular song when the pub was half empty) then if the spread between my clean and dirty sounds isn't large enough it has the effect of the clean being too loud. 

    So if i turn up the vol on the od sound and we sound check to that - then when I hit a clean sound it's going to sound quieter. 


    So I set the preset up for a medium crunch sound with the guitar volume wide open. I can then back off the volume to get all my levels of gain all the way to a clean sound with the guitar volume on 4ish. Hit that with a boost for more gain for lead breaks etc which is normally a TS style OD to add some mids and cut a bit of bass. 


    Interesting @kennedydream1980 ; all of my sounds are the same patch with different levels of gain - it's the Amalgam Superbass which you put me onto when I first bought the tonex. It's the only capture I need for live.

    I wonder if turning the guitar vol down will have a different effect that hitting a footswitch that effectively just turns down the gain.  Worth trying  I guess. 

    It will mean me adjusting my playing style as I have got very used to clicking footswitches but I'm sure I can adapt. 
    I’m experimenting with a Jason Sadites capture pack at the moment. It’s this one:

    https://www.sadites.com/product-page/ik-multimedia-tonex-fried-taco-double-cream-ultimate-tone-models

    I like the way he approaches the Tonex and his capture packs. There are only 6 captures in the pack and they are designed to be used with any guitar. His approach is if he needs less or more gain than the amp or captures provide, he just reaches for a guitar with lower output or higher output pickups. 

    The pack above sounds great it’s very well balanced and it cleans up great with the guitar volume. The captures in the pack range from clean, pushed 1 & 2 to OD1, 2 & 3.

    I’m using the OD1 capture as I described earlier. So I can get clean all the way to medium gain just using the guitar volume. I use a tube screamer to push it a bit for more sustain and mid push, great for leads to stand out.

    Jason also has done a video where he advises to set the input trim on the pedal to -3 for his captures to sound as he intended.
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  • relic245relic245 Frets: 901


    His approach is if he needs less or more gain than the amp or captures provide, he just reaches for a guitar with lower output or higher output pickups. 


    I know it's horses for courses but to me that seems like such a backwards way of doing things. 

    The capture ($15 bit of software) doesn't do what I want so I need to get a new guitar.  It seem to me like saying ,these tyres don't give me as much grip as I'd like so I'll buy a new car. 

    To me it's more logical to say this capture doesn't do what I want so I'll go find one that does. 

    I want to play my 335 not change it to match a profile that has been created by some guy I've never met. 

    Anyway just musing - I'm glad that you are getting on with that pack - and I'm glad that you introduced me to the Amalgam ones as they sound great to me - just working out the finer details :) 


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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 16106
    Always difficult with these things because they are subject to the placement of whatever you are recording on, how we are listening back,etc. Just watching the first clip again obviously everything goes a bit smmmshshh through the mic when the band kicks up a level. But I am drawn to the slap bass. Not something you hear a lot combined with distorted rhythm guitar probably for good reason, the band lose bottom end which is then badly filled in by the guitar. Much less of an issue on the second clip (although if this is representative of your mix I think the guitar is too loud)that has no slap. If in some weird alternate universe I was producing your band I’d say either lose the slap or come up with a guitar part that isn’t fighting it for space. 


    Tipton is a small fishing village in the borough of Sandwell. 
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