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Live sound, stage sound and practices

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by lavaxtris, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    I'm bored and I thought I would start a post for some advice.


    So I'm in a 4 piece band. typical setup.
    Singer also plays rhythm, theres a lead guitar, a drummer, and I play bass. We all use nice big 4x12 tube amps and TS overdrives and muffs.

    So sometimes the rhythm player likes to play a solo- not a problem. Flips on the boost pedal and away he goes.

    But the lead guitar player (who thinks he knows lots about sound music and stuffs) cant seem to cut though and still maintain a decent volume. He does not use a boost pedal.
    Last practice he was TOO LOUD. At least you could hear him, but it was too much. He overpowered us all and I think we all were extremely sloppy because of it. :scowl:

    Now we are a very powerful sounding band- (think the Who- only progressive rock) and the drums get really loud, and we like it like that, and it doesn't seem to be much of an issue when the lead guitar player isn't there -but when he is.... thats when the guitars get all washy, the sound piles up like a train wreck, and nobody can hear themselves clearly.

    So how can we separate ourselves without sounding too thin or less powerful? Is there a way our lead guitarist can squeeze in with the rest of the band without having an overly thin, nasally tone? Are the presence knobs on our amps really the key to our success?

    so what do you guys think? :help:

    p.s. Our lead player is really arrogant. How can I get him to listen to me without bitch slapping him? :p
  2. gricko


    Mar 29, 2004
    EQs overlaping?
    rhythm and lead play same lines?
  3. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    most of the time, yes. I recently tried to get the rhythm player to back off on the presence control... which seemed to help, but the lead player is still having trouble being heard during his solos.
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Bitch-slapping can be effective if done in a loving way. Try it.
  5. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Aren't both guitarists playing rhythm and leads? And is your problem that the "lead" players' rhythm parts mix okay, but his leads get lost? If so, a boost pedal might fix it (unless there are other underlying problems).

    If the "lead" player's rhythm work is also lost in the mix, then maybe he's just too quiet. But it sounds like he's lost in the scrum until/unless he's turned up to the point that he's too loud. If so, a few possibilities:

    • The band needs to tailor eq of the midrange instruments so each voice has more of its own space.
    • The band needs to work out its arrangements to give "lead" guitar more space/support.
    • Y'all are generally too loud.
    • Y'all are just too loud during the lead guitar's leads. Sometimes, accompaniment plays *louder* during guitar leads instead of leaving room for the lead player to pump that section of the song. If that's the case, the band needs to rehearse its dynamics during those sections.
  6. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    The Truth, just record your practice and prove it to him.
    Recordings don't lie.
  7. almightycrunch


    Apr 21, 2011
    Well, sounds as if your lead player needs a lead boost to me??????? what am I missing here???
  8. almightycrunch


    Apr 21, 2011
    buy him a Boss GE-7 at music go round for 30 bucks.
  9. Chazinroch


    Feb 2, 2003
    Ontario N.Y.
    Volume control and dynamics are as important as tone, timbre, technique and note choices.

    First volume, everyone....everyone needs to play to the lowest volume instrument, not the other way around. Play softer to support the solos, it sounds really cool and it adds dynamics (an all to often missing piece).

    Volume is not equal to talent.

    Also look at alternate chord voicings for the guitars. Do they both play the same chord in the same position on the neck?

    +1 on recording your rehearsals.

    Lastly, maybe the lead guitar player is right? Consider it.
  10. Try and get one guitarist to use 10" speakers and the other 12"...Friend was a manager of 2 bands that had this problem....in which the cabs were cancelling each other out somehow.
  11. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    ok... soaking in all this info.

    Heres a story:
    The lead guitarist decided to stand away from the practice spot while playing. He determined he was "too quiet" and turned himself up to hear himself. The thing is, the volume was WAY TOO LOUD for the rest of us- louder than the drums, when screwed us up when playing the songs. Now, the rhythm player and I like to sit nicely at a volume right below the drums, and it sounds fine when our lead player is not around, so I don't think he is right at all. He seems to be the problem.

    Idk why our lead player refuses to get a boost pedal. We brought it up and he says he just needs more volume, or some other excuse. He seems to have an ego about being up front.

    As far as alternate chord voicings, I think he does play chords differently. I think it makes things sound sloppy.

    so if he does get a boost pedal... should it be a clean boost (my rhythm is using a bety boost right now) or a boost with extra midrange?
  12. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
  13. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Sounds like its time for a new guitarist.
  14. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    oh no. not this response again. lol
  15. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Record it.
    I've been using a Zoom H4(later H4N) to record EVERYTHING. It does not lie.
    Example: We learned that our drummer's snare was WAY too loud(louder than anything on stage) at a lot of gigs so he fixed that(head, damping pads, playing differently).

    Recordings will also show the band:
    1) If you and the drummer are working together
    2) Let you hear YOUR sound in the band mix(it's a LOT different than at home alone)
    3) Let others hear how they fit or don't fit or hinder "the sound" of the band as-a-whole
  16. mmm...one of the reasons I went to bass.lol
    Can only be as hard to fix as your guitarits is hard headed. He HAS to be willing to take and give input/ constructive criticism before the band can sound better . Hey- I'ts part of the reason I'm here...to grow .
    We play with 5 pcs and had a "reverse strummer" that was mudding up our mix and we went and recorded it and it was clear as a gong.. he finaly got in synk with a few practice sessions and no more problem..because he was willing to work it out.
    Good Luck!

  17. That’s fine (and appropriate) when he’s doing a solo, but why does he think he has to be “up front” in the mix the rest of the time? He needs to learn that playing in a band is different than being a solo act. Maybe he’s better suited to be a solo act than a member of a band.

    Since you have a rhythm player, your lead player should be crafting his rhythm parts work around him – i.e., sparse “noodling” here and there during rests or sustains in the vocal part, etc.

    As others suggested, I’d try recording with and without him to let him hear for himself. I’d also hazard a guess that in addition to (probably) being to busy when he’s not soloing, he also has too much low end dialed in. Both of these things are trued-and-true methods of muddying up a mix.

    I like what nolezmaj said in Post #20 of this thread: “Everything about playing in the band revolves about one musician leaving enough room for others - in the sense of mix and notes played. This is basic for a good gig.”

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Administrator, Pedulla Club #45
    Administrator, Tobias Club
    Big Cabs Club #23
    My Rig: Stage and FOH Friendly

  18. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    actually, no. his tone is VERY thin and almost has no power to it.
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The 2 guitars need to adjust their tones to compliment each other instead of fight each other. That means neither one of them is going to end up with a big, full, bottom to top sound with their rhythm tone soloed, rather just part of one. Add the two together = huge sound, bigger than you can get from a single guitar. This may require some checking of egos.