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2nd guitar - sounds too muffled

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Vacume, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. Vacume


    Jan 11, 2006
    in my heavy metal band we have 2 guitarists and the problem is when one guitarist missis practice we sound alot better but with 2 guitars we sound too muffled and muddy, playing with 1 guitarist is out of the question because we do a couple covers that would sound funny only 1 guitar, any suggestions or advice?
  2. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI

    Is it that if EITHER one doesn't show, then whoever the other one is sounds good?

    Is one of the guitars MORE muffled than the other? By 'muffled', do you mean like 'muddy', or not enough highs or 'bite'?

    Do either of them use the deep 'chugging' effect a lot?

    Is that they're just not playing tightly together, and there's a certain looseness that's less-noticeable when only one of them are playing?

  3. Vacume


    Jan 11, 2006
    well they are in time with each other, but I do think its just one guys distortion thats muckin it up but im not shure, but if it is, can it be solved by fiddling with his amp, or diff distortion?
  4. Flatbass


    Mar 13, 2004
    Try using less distortion on the guitars.
    Try EQ'ing the guitars differently; they may be in the same frequenty range.
    Don't let two guitars play the same thing at the same time. Sometimes, it's better if one guitarplayer doesn't play anything for some parts in a song.
  5. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I was in a death metal band that had 3 guitar players, who all had different tone. They worked perfectly with eachother. I think the problem lies in the tone of the guy who misses practice. He probably has a good tone for playing by himself, but it doesn't mix well with the whole band.
  6. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    It's all about having each guitarist use a different EQ setting. It sounds to me like their EQ's are way too similar and causing muddiness. ;)
  7. I play in a band with 2 guitars, keys and a harmonica all competing for the same sonic space. Besides doing the obvious, which is listening to what everyone else is playing, and trying to fit their parts into the music as a whole, we have tried to get different tones so everyone has separation in the mix. We often record our practices on a Yamaha digital recorder, and when mixing it becomes very apparent what tones work together, and which ones clash.

    One guitar player uses a Paul Reed Smith and has the thicker humbucker tone. The other uses a Tele, so he can get extra bite that sits on top of the PRS in the mix. The keyboard player uses either a piano or a Hammond organ, and he is easier to distinguish because of the different tonality. Harmonica also comes through over the guitar, but can clash with the keys.

    IMO, part of being in a band is not only knowing how to play, but knowing how your sound, and your part fits the rest of the band. Silence is an important component of music too. The challenge for me, as a bass player, has always been to play enough notes to give songs a solid rhythmic foundation, keeping the energy of the song going without overplaying. Sometimes, the right thing to play is nothing, so that the other instruments can shine through. Playing music is like having a conversation, everyone needs to get their words in. If one person (instrument) dominates the conversation it becomes boring and loses its effect.

    In my current band, we try to avoid sounding like a 'wall of noise'. Each player has learned where to play and where to back off and let someone else get a word in. Something I learned a long time ago from some professional studio players in Austin is that 'less sounds better'. My experience shows this to be a good working theory.
  8. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    What amps are your players using? I dunno. Scooped mids can cause a muddy problem, I've found.

    As far as the songs sounding funny with just one guitar, I dunno... The audience is usually clueless, and the only thing one guitar does is put more responsibility in the hands of the bassist... you.
  9. With a lot of distortion, two guitars playing identical stuff can get really muddy. Try EQing... if you still feel it sounds muddy, change the riffs around. A lot of the time, you can make a song a lot more interesting if the guitars are playing different things.
  10. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Along with that, I like to have the rhythm player "chugging" and then I can accent it with sustained chords, different voicings, or leads. And the last rhythm player we had was pretty good about sustaining when I was palm muting or chugging along... and he even started coming up with some pretty good single note counter melodies before he moved away...

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