Pedal volume help

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Richard Mac, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Richard Mac

    Richard Mac

    Jun 16, 2018

    I’m fairly new to running a pedal board, I have mainly always played clean until recently.

    My question is this:

    Say I’m sounchecking, and each of my pedals is audibly similar in volume to my clean tone so everything sounds great. Then the sound guy asks me to lower the volume on my amp....if I turn my amp master volume down does that lower everything in relation to each other including my pedal board without needing to re check all my pedal volumes or would I still need to go back and readjust each pedal individually to match the new amp volume????

    This is prob a really silly question but I’m just sat here wondering, recently I watched a show back that Someone filmed and I noticed that when I hit a certain pedal it lowered in volume massively so either I hadn’t checked the pedal levels properly pre gig or adjusting my amp master volume had affected the pedal. I want to avoid making the same mistake again.

    Any answers on this would be much appreciated.

  2. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    The answer depends upon how the audio tech is getting your signal and why he is asking you to lower the volume of your amp. Usually a request to lower the volume of your amp means your blowing out the room so the audio tech cannot mix any of the bass into the subs or main speakers. However if he is getting your signal by mic'ing your speaker, running a speaker level DI, or running a post DI he may be requesting you to reduce signal level he is getting at the board.

    As far as balancing your effects. In my experience, the perception of balance often changes a bit from room to room and when your rig is run at different volume levels. So if you turn your amp down, I suggest you step through your pedals quickly to determine if they still balance the way you want. Also, there is no guarantee that what you perceive as balanced on stage will come across as balanced to the audience, so you need to decide what to prioritize. If you prioritize the audience, you'll need to work with the audio tech to ensure the levels balance from his perspective. YMMV
    Richard Mac likes this.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    no, i think your sound guy just wanted less volume from the stage = acting as final, master volume, the amp was 'offending' his FOH mix and he needed an overall (master-volume-type) reduction/attenuation.

    i think you're fine! rock on! ;)
    tfer likes this.
  4. Richard Mac

    Richard Mac

    Jun 16, 2018

    Great. Yeah I find the sound guys at most places ask me to tweak my master one way of the other I just wasn’t sure how that affected the pedal volumes.

    So assuming my pedal volumes are set up right to begin with, and my clean volume (no effects) is pumping out 100dB and when I put on a pedal that is also still pumping out 100dB, if I then turn my master down so I’m only at 50dB would my pedal then be at 50db because the master volume was lowered?

    Btw the dBs I mentioned were just a made up example to better explain my query
    JRA likes this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    it doesn't/won't. the individual pedal volumes, once set, remain the same. the amp volume is your master control (the whole system into which the pedals feed) and the one your FOH is concerned with. no worries --- you're doin' it right with that "master" on the amp! :thumbsup:
  6. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Totally agree that amp settings don't have any impact on the pedals**, but changes in SPL and EQ can impact our perceptions of balance, so it may be necessary to make adjustments. IMHO, the best way to check is actually to sound check the song you use the pedal with, as your perception of balance may also change in a busy stage mix.

    ** The exception of course is if the pedals are run in the amp's effects loop, but I don't think that is the case here.
    JRA likes this.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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