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Bass is too loud (according to guitar player)

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by kev451, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    So im 100% sure this has happened to many guys. So here’s the run down. I played a show this weekend and during soundcheck and the sound man when checking my levels complimented my bass tone. He then asked me to turn up a bit to which I did. His words “perfect stay right there” I gave a thumbs up and muted my sound via my tuner pedal. He then goes to my guitar player checks his level and tells him to turn up he does and then he tells him turn up again. He then sound checks everyone else’s levels. We then play and and great set. Afterwards as we were packing up had quite a few people come and say I had a great sound. Fast forward to the next day, video clips get shared around. Now the guitar player isn’t upset that my bass was too loud. Mind you he’s said this before. I didn’t turn up or anything. The only thing I did was tune my bass here and there. The video clips are from a few places. The one he’s talking about is from the back of club, and I’m audible in that one. But the other clip which is from right near the stage I’m not. You can barely hear me. I’ve told him that he needs to turn up. But now he’s raging about stage volume. Even though mind you we play with 3 guitar players...I’ve asked him time and again to spend time with his gear and get to know it. Which I know he doesn’t. He comes into every practice and spends 20 min just setting up to get ready to play. I’ll give a gear rundown so you all can see what I’m working with
    Bass-Spector EuroLX-Sans Amp BBDI-Darkglass Xultra-Darkglass compressor right into a Tech 21 SVT bass head. For the gig it was a 8x10 Ampeg. Going into the board via DI

    His guitar Gibson Les Paul Studio Boss Digital ME-25 Digital effects pedal board and a Marshall JCM 900 2x12 combo Tube amp. For the gig he had a mic draped over his speakers. Which was fed to the front of the house.

    How can you convince a guiar player he needs to either get a stronger volume or better amp without causing an issue to where you are looking like the bad guy. Because I’m being made to look like this is my fault...
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
    fleabitten, Eric Mercer and Ggaa like this.
  2. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Is he the only one having issues?
    btmpancake likes this.
  3. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    Yup we have two other guitar players and neither one of them has ever had an issue with my volume.
    djaxup likes this.
  4. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Suggest to him that he ask the other 2 guitar players what they do eq wise that allows them the hear themselves well enough without crankin their volume up.
    djaxup, Nunovsky, sludgetail and 2 others like this.
  5. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Your guitarist is a self centered person - when he has a problem, well, he can't be the source of the problem (that's what's going on in his head), so...you're the best nearby scapegoat - blame the bass player! At least that's my assessment. You'd be better off playing with other folks, or (better yet), if the other 2 guitarists are decent, just dropping "issue guy" from the band.
    Groove Doctor, PillO, djaxup and 10 others like this.
  6. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Most live video, short of bringing in a pro crew, is shot on iphones. Their fidelity is so bad you cannot tell anything about a mix. The 'automatic volume control' on telephones is nothing more than a limiter. Every bass drum shot turns down the whole mix. Want to know about your FOH mix? Ask the fans.
  7. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    Well depending from where it’s shot the audio can be quite good. The clips that I’ve seen sound really good. But TB for some reason won’t let me load them. iPhones have come a long way in terms of being able to record things. But this also depends on the sound of the band itself. But that’s just MHO.
  8. kev451

    kev451 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    New Jersey
    It’s upsetting because he was one of the founding members of the band so kicking him out is a no-go. He seems to at times think that getting to know your gear and the gear itself is over-rated. We have had the argument so many times about stage volume vs House mix volume and how one affects the other. I’ve asked him to spend time with his gear and it’s always some kind of excuse. It’s frustrating.
  9. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Was the guitar player's problem around the monitor mix, stage levels or FOH? Completely different things IMO.

    In any case, EQ and an SPL meter are your friends.

    SPL meter for those that say "Too Loud"; objective measurement solves that concern.

    EQ applied judiciously at the channel level for each instrument; this is a soundman task for monitors and FOH. .
  10. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    Upload them to youtube first then you can copy/paste them:cool:
    Engle, DJ Bebop and ELG60 like this.
  11. CatchaCuda


    Feb 3, 2018
    Transfer, PA
    Guitar Hero Syndrome. To quote one of the loading screens- "There seems to be a problem with your bass amp. I can hear it!"
    OogieWaWa, PWRL, djaxup and 13 others like this.
  12. Lava

    Lava Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    Do you set up next to the guitarist in question? If so, switch sides.
    That Marshal 2x12 gtr combo is plenty loud, especially if he's also using a mic with it.
    rtav, MCF, DJ Bebop and 2 others like this.
  13. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Is it an originals band? Because it is REALLY rare to need three guitarists for cover music.

    Guitars take up a whole lot of sonic space, and have a tendency to be overbearing on live stages. A quick listen to most “hit” reference studio mixes will show you that the chordal guitar work is usually mixed beneath the vocals, snare, and bass. Experienced guitar players will have two levels, one for solo and the other for backing. When not solo, the guitar is usually rather back in the mix. Players who can’t accept that dynamic are to be avoided.

    Furthermore, there should be an intended overall mix dynamic; all players should be aware of it, hear it, and play to it.

    Of course, if you are DI’ing to a board, then those levels and dynamics are on the Sound Engineer.
  14. Cheez

    Cheez Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    So, your guitar player needs to be told to turn UP? Don't know if I've ever experienced that.
    OogieWaWa, PWRL, Kickdrum and 16 others like this.
  15. Droopy_TX


    Jul 17, 2016
    From my experience, when a guitarist tells a bassist that the bass is too loud, what he really means is "I can hear you; but, I can't hear me." This is common due to the fact that bass sounds are more omnidirectional than guitar sounds.

    Tell him to put his amp on a stand (and/or kick it back) so that it points at his head, so that he can hear it better at a lower volume. Many guitarists don't want to do this because they don't like the direct sound coming from their amp. The truth is if the tone sounds bad directly from the amp, the tone sounds bad. If the guitarist doesn't want to hear it, neither does anyone else; especially the audience member in direct line of fire of the guitar amp.

    Arguing that a guitar needs to sound overly harsh to "cut through the mix" is B.S.; and is usually the sign of a guitarist that won't take the time to get a good tone, and won't do what is necessary to improve on-stage monitoring and volume.

    If the sound guy says your levels are good, your levels are good. The guitarist needs to do something to correct his situation, not just deflect blame; but, the latter is the more typical response.
  16. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Question.............is he bitching about the sound in the videos? You can never judge how a band sounded on a video unless it was fed audio from a mixing board. If he's bitching about a video, he's wasting his time. Video means nothing. I get videos all the time. Some you can barely hear the bass. Others you can. Tell him to go suck his thumb and calm down.

    If the sound was good during the gig, onstage and out front, that's all that matters.

    Uh yeah, tell him to stop moaning about a video. If he wants perfect sound in a video, tell him to spend the money on a professionally done video.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  17. Droopy_TX


    Jul 17, 2016
    And not even then, if there are amps on stage. The board mix is supplemental to the stage volume. If you trust your sound guy, that's the only true judge. If he says it's good, the guitarist is just complaining about monitoring.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I suggest you take a cue from him based on how he responds to your suggestions and requests and simply ignore his complaint. If he persists, politely point out that your volume wasn’t an issue for the sound people, the audience, or the rest of the band. But be prepared for the response, which will probably be along the lines of how he has superior or “more sensitive” hearing the the normal run of humanity. Try very hard not to laugh.

    (Do you think the fact the lowly bass player was picking up so many compliments that evening might have something to do with his problem? I’ve found that far too many guitarists are relatively insensitive to sonic issues. But they’re extremely sensitive to lighting levels and tend to react in a passive-aggressive manner whenever they sense the spotlight has moved away from them)
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Guitarist is complaining about the sound from a random video.
  20. B-Lo

    B-Lo One day I'll figure out how to play this thing... Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2017
    Northern Alabama

    ...and ^^THIS!

    You guys were sound-checked, the audience enjoyed it and thought the band sounded good. End of story.

    Like DWBass said, it wasn't recorded from the board (or some other professional mic setup aside from the camera phone mic), you're not going to get an accurate account of how everything sounded.

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