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Negociating sound problem

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by The Artist, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. I recently bought a decible meter to see how loud we really practice, cos I always thought we were too loud. It read close to 120db (!) That is way too loud!!! I did manage to convince our other members to turn it down a litte and were at 110db. But I still can't always her myself. I've tryed cranking up the mids, or highs, and many other combinations. I think the problem is that the guitars have too much bass. I mean, when they play on thair own they feel a lack of bass (becouse there is no bass playing^^) but I either seem to be making a hell of a lot of vibration in the room but with no definition or just cant even tell the difference if im playing in the set or not.

    Any advice? I've tryed turning out the bass on his amp when he wasn't looking and I did find that it sounded better but after a while he sais: "bah, theres no bass in my sound!" and cranks it up again. But he is always telling me there's a problem with my sound. like that there are too many mid in it and doesnt sound like a bass. but i need to crank them up to hear what i'm doing cos I feel he's taking my range....

    (I play a Warwick Corvette over a Trace Elliot GP7SM top and a 4x10cab)
  2. stylonpilson


    Jun 30, 2008
    Reading, UK
    You need to talk to your guitarist. You need to explain to him that he doesn't need bass in his sound when he's performing with a band. The tone that sounds great when he's playing solo in his bedroom is not appropriate when there's a bass present.

  3. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Unfortunately unless everyone is on board to fix this.. it's the dumb circle of getting bigger ear (and going deaf)
  4. it could also be the acoustics of the room. some just do no justice for bass. where i rehearse with my band i got no probs hearing myself over 2 guitars and a drummer. but i was jamming with some other guys and could only just hear myself over1 guitar and drummer. i even cranked my volume more and the guitarist wasn't really that loud. then when guitarist 2 joined in it didnt get any better.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    ^^^^^end of story^^^^^
    Your guitar player is NOT a pro. He has no idea what he's doing. If he were a pro, he would try anything (within reason) to make your BAND ( and not just himself) sound better. So either....
    A) You guys are a garage band and it's really no big deal. Just deal with it and gain some experience "jamming" with these guys....and put in some ear plugs.
    B) You guys play out and perform in front of people and your guitarist makes to sound like A$$. You need to talk to him and tell him what you have learned. If he goes for it, work with him and move on. If he tells you to go get F'ed, then if you out rank him, tell him to get lost. If you don't, find another project to work with.

    Good luck. MOST of the time they don't change. I hope yours proves me wrong.
  6. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Also maybe try making a recording of the whole band together to show him how unbalanced the sound is.
    Sounding bad makes no one look good, so it's in everyone's best interests to get it right.
  7. Next time he does that, you should very gently, and carefully, poke him in the eye with a sharp stick.
  8. +1 to the above quotes. I know a couple of guitarists who play loud in spite of repeatedly told to turn down. Another guitarist friend of mine refuses to play with one of them for this very reason, says the other guy is a prima donna attention hog. These people are not being team players.

    To hear yourself better, you might try putting your speaker cab on a stand so it will be closer to ear level.
  9. LOL!!! I know that's what a lot of us would like to do, buuuuuut.....

    ...having dealt with individuals with volume/tone problems in the past, I would offer this: when he cranks up the volume & bass back to previously (unacceptable) levels, I would: 1: turn off my amp...2: unplug my bass...and 3: return my bass to it's case. If no one says anything at that point, continue to pack up the rest of your rig. When they do rest ask what you're doing, explain that gui**** is cranking enough bass/volume for the both of you (plus a Kiss concert to boot!) and that there's no need for your input as long as he continues to play that way. It's as subtle as a Peterbilt, but should get the point across: if he continues to play in such a manner, you won't be a part of it. Either he tones it down, or they can find another sucke...err...bassplayer.
  10. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Also helps immensely to make sure his amp is pointed directly at his oversized melon. Amazing how many times guitar players turn up, then turn their amps away from them, then turn up more.

    Keep their amp pointed right at their own skulls and they usually tend to control their volume more.
  11. stylonpilson


    Jun 30, 2008
    Reading, UK
    Yup. Instead of treating this as *your* problem, treat it as *their* problem. Ask them if the reason why they are turning up so much is that they are having difficulty hearing themselves.

  12. stylonpilson


    Jun 30, 2008
    Reading, UK
    I agree that it's not subtle, but I don't think that it will get the point across. I do think that it is an incredibly efficient way of getting kicked out of a band though.


  13. If that's the way the gui**** intends to sound, I wouldn't be a part of it. That's a choice the original OP has to make: tolerable & workable, or not.

    I've been down this road before...worked on a keyboardist/2nd guitarist who didn't know when to turn down, drowned out everyone else with his volume/tone. Singer actually did as I described, & got his point across. Depends on the severity of the problem, but I've heard guitarists with the type of tone the OP's describing playing out. Guitarist comes across like a sea of mud. Makes the whole band sound like $h!t, not something worth being a part of anyway. It doesn't sound like subtle hints & opinions were working anyway, so some hard choices have to be made...JMO...
  14. Jehos

    Jehos Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    Yep, this. Plus, *your* sound that sounds good to you isn't right for the band either. By yourself you probably play with kind of a smiley-face EQ. You need to do the opposite in a band--more mids and mid-bass, less highs and deep lows. Mids and mid-bass are what cut through the mix, highs are the realm of guitars and cymbals, and deep lows are generally a waste of power--you can turn up more without clipping if you drop out the lows and add mid-bass instead.
  15. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    110 - 120 db at practice???

    I'd be out of that room so fast my shadow would be huffing and puffing to keep up with me.
  16. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    When you're practicing that loud and everything's muddy and distorted, how can you tell if a song actually is played correctly or if anyone makes a mistake or if the vocals are out of tune....etc. etc. :meh:

    IMO, the band won't make any progress or develop into anything worthwhile because every song will sound the same and if you do get a gig, you won't be invited back. Imagine how loud the guitar player will turn up if he thinks he has to fill a club or gym with his "sound"? :eek:

    +1 on recording the rehearsals. If they thinks it still sounds good....well, the ball will be in your court. :bassist:

    Otherwise you'll need about 1600 watts and a couple of stacks of 4x10's to pound the guitar player into submission (and a set of -25 db ear plugs). Maybe you can borrow some amps/cabs for a rehearsal and give him a taste of his own medicine.
  17. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I find that the dynamics of a band is best controlled by the drummer. Loud drummer=loud band. Quiet drummer=quiet band. If you can't hear the beat, you tend to play quieter as a result, unless you're just a total wanker tard.

    Try to get together with the drummer and play quieter. If the guitarist is still being a tard, he'll figure it out sooner or later that he needs to turn down in order to hear the rhythm. If he doesn't, then you know he's just a total wanker who's in it for himself and needs to be shown the door.
  18. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    Unfortunately, this is all too true. I've done the same thing pretty much. Guitarist is blasting; I turn my bass down to inaudible just to see what happens. If they don't even notice the absense of bass, then they obviously don't need me around. If I can't be heard, then my presence in the band is very pointless and I should be out fishing instead.
  19. walk
  20. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg

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