Amps and sound/ band performance

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KingCrimson, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. KingCrimson


    Oct 6, 2008
    I'd like some genuine knowledge here. In my thrash metal band i have two of the most hard headed members alive (love em to death but their heads are made of steel).

    Anyways i (probably) know most about gear tone etc..... As well i am willing to put the time to set up and get good tone etc..

    Now at a live gig its my impression that as a thrash band that

    Guitar MINIMUM half stack

    Bass same, prefferably full

    Drums well are drums (hopefully have monitor)

    and Vocals through PA

    So here is my example.

    Our last show we had to bring all our own amps because that was our end of the bargain to pitch in for this show (the other brand bringing drums and we couldn't use their guitar amp). So i am running a Ashdown MAG 300 through a Yorkville 410 and 115 which is plenty loud, I never have turn past 12 o'clock at gigs as well i have some great low end response.

    Guitar amp, well he has some money issues so he's running a Crate 120watt solid state 212 combo, as well he uses a terrible BOSS metalzone that cuts his frequencies so I can't hear him well. This amp was the best I could find used for him and the most he could afford at the time after his ughh Cube 60 blew. Got it 120$ used. Its a GREAT amp for the price and it works well for band practise as i only go through the 115 there, but for a show at a decent sized venue....ehhhhnnn.

    So before this i am worried about the sound and find some way to get my hands on a nice Peavey Tube amp with 412 cab to use for guitar at the show. I get it there and as i'm setting up my guitarist bitches at me like "The guitar amp is already mic'ed I don't see why you have to change it yadda yadda yadda. I ask the soundman how long it would take to mic, he said go for it it would take 2 minutes so i do.

    Guitarist and drummer still hold the argument that "everythings miced and we got monitors from the PA we don't need a different amp".

    So the opening band comes on, we're buddies with em and they ask if they were gonna use our amp anyways, while their other guitarist was also bringing a small 100watt 212 combo.

    Band plays set Guitarist 1 through peavey was getting a sick tone, he sounded better then ever that night and audible....

    Guitarist 2 was not loud enough and hard to hear from a crowd perspective....

    So my argument being, it doesn't matter if your getting PA support or not, if you are playing metal, you will need bid loud amps to get the sound and VOLUME that is required.

    Needless to say i wasn't to happy with my members, am i right is this justified?

    (OH PS my drummer also has the thought that when recording all tone can be effected and changed by studio tricks........which IMO makes no sense as why would people buy good gear in the first place? You need a good input to have good output)

    Seems to me they believe that amps don't matter as much as instruments, or they like to be "right". My guitarist thinks any guitar under 1000$ is not "pro", drummer thinks any amp can sound good with EQ.
  2. Tim C.

    Tim C.

    Feb 4, 2010
    Who cares what he thinks? He hits wooden tubs with sticks.

    If it sounds good, it is good. It does NOT have to be a "big" amp/speaker stack to sound good, even for metal.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    my brain hurts!

    anyway, i think you're always better off using good stuff, but i've been in situations where i couldn't get what i wanted and i made it work. for metal, i think it does help to have big rigs, but you could have made a 100w 212 guitar amp work, even a cheap one. still, if someone has a better amp than mine, i'll use it every time. nobody ever does, of course ;) but i understand your thinking and the guitarist should have appreciated it.
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    My tinnitus is acting up just reading this.
  5. andymcclure


    May 10, 2008
    Don't confuse quantity with quality. A 5-watt tube amp can sound like a million bucks... stick a mic in front of it, run it through the PA, and you're all set.

    Also, small amps and lower stage volume allows the sound tech to actually mix the band for the audience. You'll hear more on stage, and the audience will get a well-rounded mix.

    Personally, after hundreds of shows, I've never seen a need for a guitarist to have more than about 25 watts of tube power. In a bigger venue, you'll have all the PA support you need, and in a smaller venue, you can't control anything bigger.

    Just my 2 cents.
  6. Pat C.

    Pat C. Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    What you seem to be referring to is stage vibe. Yes, metal should be loud. Stage volume should be loud enough so that you can all hear each other and get your proper groove on, for lack of a better word. A 2x12 combo, plus monitor support may be fine for that. Your guitarist may not feel the need for as much volume as you, maybe that will required an extension cab off his rig on your side of the stage so you can hear him better. I agree that a half stack would be better.

    I can understand him not wanting use an unfamiliar amp/cabinet, even if it was better and/or louder. Guitarists are particular about their tone (IME even more so than bass players) and switching things around at a gig may throw some guys off their game.

    Regardless, there needs to be significant PA support out front. You mention vocals through the PA...everything else was mic'd too, right? If the PA is adequate it really shouldn't matter how loud or quiet the stage volume is, the PA can be used to get adequate rock volumes out front. If the two guitarist in the other band weren't balanced out front it could be due to the way the band was being mixed and not necessarily have to the do with the amps being used.

    What was the PA like, can you describe it?

    I think GIGO applies here. Also the phrase "you can't polish a turd."

    The source needs to be as high quality as possible, in this case: musician > instrument > amplification > microphone > PA (or mixing board if recording). None of those components can be fixed in the mix with EQ or effects because if something is missing (such as a lack of mids in the guitar tone) it cannot be added later. All the studio or PA bells and whistles won't make a difference if there isn't a quality source.
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