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Effects Lost In The Mix

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ThatLowEnd, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. ThatLowEnd

    ThatLowEnd Dirt, Trucks, BBQ, Whiskey Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Down In The Delta
    Has been/Never was
    Hi All,

    I have been having issues with my effects being lost in the mix while playing live. We are a 4 piece consisting of Drums, Lead Guitar, Bass, and Singer whom plays Keys. We are Indie, Pop, Rock style, think radiohead meets maroon 5.

    The effects I am using are:

    Zvex Mastotron
    Eventide Mod Factor
    Eventide Time Factor
    Moog MF-101 Low Pass Filter

    Is this an issue of needing a blend pedal of sorts or is this just the nature of bass and effects. Seems the bass player in Muse can always be heard, thats the mix quality I am aiming towards.

    Here is a clip from last night's show, tell me your thoughts.

  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    A blender could certainly help, but so could your amp's eq. Try cutting the low eq, and boosting the mids.
  3. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Also many "big" bands biamp their rig (or even triamp).
    I agree with rickenboogie - re-eq and boost your mids.
    Try talking to the band about eq as well.
  4. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    A bi-amp is almost necessary IME, I like to let my effects shine in the high frequencies with a clean tone underneath.
  5. ThatLowEnd

    ThatLowEnd Dirt, Trucks, BBQ, Whiskey Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Down In The Delta
    Has been/Never was
    Typically I also run a comp, set for hard limiting, at the end of my chain. Will this usually help or hinder effects cutting through the mix?
  6. ThatLowEnd

    ThatLowEnd Dirt, Trucks, BBQ, Whiskey Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Down In The Delta
    Has been/Never was
    I currently run a Sansamp RBI into a radial passive di, which is what goes to the board, then out to my QSC 2 channel power amp. To Bi amp would I need another pre and second DI going to the board? Will sound guys be annoyed with this?
  7. I think mids are pretty much the most important thing in getting your effects heard, and IMO Sansamp is synonymous with massive mid scoopage...

    So I dunno
  8. Gadgetjunky


    Aug 9, 2011
    Funny you mention Muse, because I thought he is always strong in the mix too, but some of these live videos of the new stuff he is not as out-front, but that may be the audio on the recording. They are coming here and I'm going and it will be interesting to hear the real mix.

    Blending is good, but if you can get in 2 channels of the PA that's even better. One clean feed and one fx feed. Then you may have to dial in more highs and mids than would sound good to you when you are dialing stuff in at home.

    Try these things and get a Tascam type field recorder and record what's going on FOH, you may find that you are stronger FOH than you think. It's really difficult to judge while it's happening, both from stage and even if you walk out front.

    Also remember that fx don't need to be obvious to be effective. Just my 2 cents.
  9. Gadgetjunky


    Aug 9, 2011
    I got lucky and our sound guy suggested the 2 feeds from what he read that Flea does. Flea actaully uses 3 feeds, straight bass signal, post fx and mic the cabinet.
  10. Massimo636


    Aug 3, 2011
    I agree that you may want to boost your midrange EQ a touch to cut through a little better and/or, depending on the sound you want, a higher end boost between 2khz and 4khz to bring out your attack a bit more and make you more audible. Effects on bass are tricky. Some people have suggested bi-amping and having your effects working on the upper frequencies which will work, but a cheaper method is to try getting a looper pedal (like a Boss LS-2) and put an EQ in the loop with your effects with the low frequencies EQd out (like say everything below 800 hz) to mix back with your original signal, this way your original deep sound is untouched, while the effects shimmer/distort or whatever they do over the top.

    Also I think your guitarist could reduce his lows a little bit. He has some resonating lower freqs (maybe it's the venue or whatnot, I dunno) coming through that if removed could give you more space in the mix.
  11. Gadgetjunky


    Aug 9, 2011
    I do have this one part when I really get going with my Hot Hand, The guitar player always played this feedback over me and didn't think it was a big deal. I asked him to stop, he did once, but then did it again. He think's it was fine, but I just wanted that one moment to be bass/drums. I think we finally have it worked out. We'll see tomorrow night.

    I feel ya.

    Edit: isn't the dominating instrument in that video the keyboard? And then the guitar does seem to be heavy on the lows on the second half. The guys always tell me that my recorder must not be giving me an accurate sense of the bass live, maybe?
  12. bludog

    bludog Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Brooklyn 11217
    + for more mids. It makes a huge difference.
  13. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Didn't watch the video, but mids are where effects are audible. If you're competing with a guitarist and keys which are with naturally voiced for midrange strength you'll have a challenge cutting through.

    If you listen to the way Muse arranges a lot of their music, guitars are usually sparse if not entirely absent from their verses giving Chris plenty of space for effects. Arrangements, band eq use, blending and volume will be your answers.
  14. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Blending or Bi-Amping can help keep the bottom end intact but unless the rig you are running your effects through is EQ'd to maximize their sound (and a guitar amp often works well for bi-amping things like distortion and fuzz) neither option will really help the effects be more present in the mix.

    But again, if you are worried about losing low end, they are great solutions.

    I'd also agree that properly EQing your mids is a big part of being heard both with effects and while playing clean. Honestly, while I thought you had a good tone (and in general the band sounded good) it wasn't as if you were super present in the mix without the effects. Then again, it's hard to tell given that it's a YouTube video from what I assume is an onboard camera mic.

    How close of a representation of your recorded mix is this video? Because the guitar is almost inaudible too.

    As for your effects being heard in the mix, the simplest solution is just to crank the gain on them. There's a tendency to run things like fuzz at unity gain and if you do that you disappear live. I find that my fuzz settings seem ridiculously loud when playing alone but work perfectly in the mix.

    And at the end of the day that's all that matters. Too many guys focus on their own tone or what sounds great at home when the real goal should be that the overall mix sounds great.

    Just my $0.02
  15. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    +1 to Jared, sometime the issue may not be eq, different FX just need different volume to cut through. Keeping all your FX to be in the same volume as your clean sound may not be a good idea.
  16. Dark Barn

    Dark Barn Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2010
    It could just be the position of where the recording was done but everything sounds decent except the guitar. The guitar sounds horrible in the video, just wolfy ringing throughout, with so much junk sound in that register it would be hard to tell what impact your effects are having regardless of your set up. This might not be your guitar players fault and just an artifact of where the camera and mic are set up.
  17. Gadgetjunky


    Aug 9, 2011
    this is so true, the mix varies around the room and that was a huge space. Still eq tips are a great place to start. Then just resolve yourself that no all sound guys mix the way we like to be heard.
  18. Vlad5

    Vlad5 Chronic Knob Twiddling Tone Chaser

    Feb 17, 2011
    New England
    Mids, instrumental compliment (every works together to get the overall sound mix right), mids, turn up your distortion volume, mids.
  19. Should only engage if you wail on the strings, otherwise yeah, blech if it regularly squashes you.