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There shouldn't be any reason why I can't hear myself (room/space issue).

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by beforeitsallove, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. But there is.
    So. I play in a band.

    Two Guitarists. a drummer. and Myself.
    Play some loud hardcore, distortion, metal. some of you all would know the drill (see pg. 99, envy, ampere, neil perry, saetia).

    And here's the issue. I have a carvin b1500 (700W @ 8 ohms), Ampeg 810e (800W @ 8ohms), proco t-rat.
    The guitars are turned up to hear over the drums, and i turn myself up to 5.5 on the volume knob with an 8ish on the drive knob which is essentially, a nifty OD knob, which in turn, duh, puts out more volume... i turn that up to hear myself from 3 feet away and still get blown away by the guitars (both are 120 watt blue voodoo).

    we turn the guitars down, they get lost behind the drumming. i can be heard over the drumming without a problem (drum and bass solos ftw)...

    i've busted one pevey 2x12 (4 ohm, W = N/A, not 100% sure why it died, unfortch it was my friends, but he used that and a pevey 300 Bass head to play guitar.. go figure) and one PA speaker (killed the tweeter, duh, that would happen, it was meant for a day's practice while i got my 810 over there).

    the issue is, i get nervous about cranking the volume up on this past 6. i got to six today, and i shook the house violently enough to: knock an empty bottle of sangria off a countertop 2 rooms away, loosen a few screws on cabinet doors, create the jurassic park water bump. y'know. i also worry about screwin up my cabinet.

    i play a lot of stuff between 37-100 hz and again in the WAY upper registers, like 3-5kHZ (lots of high register soloing). common logic in my head says, the way to fix this would be boost the lows and the highs (carefully, carvins have sensitive eq knobs). even though i have the mids set up to about 5'oclock, i still don't hear it (most everything is set to flat anyway, 30hz is @ 4.5, bass @ 5, low mid @ 5, mid @5)

    with that backstory settled.
    do i

    A) just ask you all for help especially you people who play with more metally hardcore screamy bands, what does it take for you to cut through in an eq sorta way.
    B) buy an 118/115 and biamp it at 400hz, get more low end power out of it.
    C) quit being a wuss and turn up the volume and hurt my (and everyone elses) ear drums (i guess A and C would also go hand in hand)
  2. Actually it's the opposite, you have to bump your mid section to cut through the guitars. That or crank it way up, your 8x10 should be able to handle it.
  3. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    Start with the drums and bass and make it sound nice and tight. Then blend in the the guitars carefully. And tell them to turn down the bass on their rigs. I suspect that is the problem. How large is the room you're playing in?
  4. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Yeah, you need more mids to cut through. I've also played in rooms that no matter what you do, you cannot be heard like you want too. Either its the echo or some weird cancellation of the lower frequencies it just never happens.

    Oh, and the 8) 10's will handle the power much better than 2) 12's. From a thermal standpoint, you should be able to get that volume way up there. But boosting the lows out of control can cause cone movement to exceed the design of the speaker and therefore blow the speakers.
  5. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Cut the bass on the guitars. That's YOUR space, get them out of it. And crank the mids on your rig. That's where you're going to hear yourself.

    EDIT: Also, since you're only having trouble cutting through guitars, then DO NOT solo the bass and drums and blend in guitars. You know you can cut over drums, so EQ where the problem is: when the guitars are in the mix.
  6. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    Add some 1khz-1.2khz
  7. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    People will get mad, but this cab is a joke, big as an elephant, sounds like a mosquito. Get yourself a decent cab, Avatar, Bergantino, Accugroove and you'll see the light again. Also, you may want to read the thread "Ampeg, I don't get it".

    Best of luck.
  8. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    a few thoughts, most of which you probably won't like

    1. earplugs. for the love of gandhi, earplugs! if you want to be able to hear ANYTHING 10 years from now, get earplugs. please understand, this isn't negotiable. earplugs, or just give up the idea of being a musician now. and/or cut off your ears. same effect.

    2. midrange bump. set everything flat. the smiley face EQ curve is the devil, and needs to die a painful horrible firey flaming death. while being @$$ raped. that how much i hate it. mids = tone = cutting through. set everything flat, and see where that gets you.

    at low volumes, high and low frequencies sit about even with all other frequencies, but the louder you get, the easier it is to perceive high and low frequencies. so the smiley face EQ with a loud rig is just overkill, and asking to blow some speakers. also, YOU CAN'T HEAR YOURSELF

    3. i know it's the style with all the young dudes, but ask the gui****s to turn their bass knobs down a touch. the low end is your responsibility, not theirs. if you set your EQ flat, and they turn down their bass knobs (i'm assuming they have the smiley face EQ going as well, as is common for metal gui****s), then i can guarantee that it'll be easier to get everything to fit together.

    of course, IME and IMHO.
  9. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    +1 on boosting the mids. Also remember the 37-100Hz is only the fundamental. Midbass is what is going to help you cut through. 118 is not really going to help with that. Play with the low-mid/mid eq a bit.

    Also +1 on trevor's suggestions on earplugs. I hope you use them!
  10. Connor


    Jun 21, 2007
    nah, let the guitars have bass, in metal i think it's very important, the bass should "support" it with lows, and be heard with loud mids... i think kill the highs, but that would interfere with your sound, it's all your preference... just boost the mids, or buy a warwick, because people say they cut through better than most basses
  11. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    +1,000,000 This cannot be stressed enough. Rock of any variety gets loud, especially anything vaguely punk-influenced. I remember seeing Circle Takes The Square a while back and my friend's ears started bleeding half way through their set. Be careful, dude.
  12. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Interesting thread. If you (or the guitar players) developed your "sound" in solo bedroom practice, that COULD BE part of the problem. What sounds good when practicing alone may not mix well.

    I hear more guitar players with this problem than bassists but then I play old R&B and most older bassists who play blues get that mid-prominent stuff. Too many guitarists who are into the SRV stuff/tone don't (IMO) get it. They'll use the treble and bass and forget about the mids. This means that to be heard they'll crank the volume to glass-shattering levels and then everyone else is playing catch-up football.

    All the members of a band have to work together to make the mix sound good.

    YMMV, IMO, etc.
  13. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Ever heard any of the music he's talking about? The guitars are clanky, bright and crunchy. It's not a traditional metal guitar sound by any means.

    Even then, a good metal guitar doesn't have that much in the low-end. On the extreme side, guys like Necrophagist and Cryptopsy can't afford any slop, so the lows are cut. On the thrashy side, Megadeth and Slayer have always been tight on the low-end. Iron Maiden never had much on the bottom end except for Steve Harris. It's only with nu-metal and crappy metalcore that you're going to be seeing a lot of bass in the guitars, and that's to cover up the sloppy guitar playing.
  14. Turn up your mids to cut through, no more bass, the cabinet may not be supporting the bass and mid-range cut through you require. Go with the Mid-boost first then re-evaluate if you need a different cabinet.
  15. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    boost 250hz.

    ask the drummer to use lighter sticks... and dare I say it... play quieter.

    If you really love music and want to play til your dead, use ear plugs. Otherwise you'll develop a painful ringing in your ears that NEVER GOES AWAY.

    another solution is to use a mixer and have the instruments go in there. Then you can adjust the vol of each instrument to your liking.

    But really the drummer just needs to play quieter so the rest of you can turn down. When music is that loud its just sounds more like noise than music.

    I honestly dont know how people who play that loud can tolerate it.
  16. Also don't stand directly in front of your cab. Give yourself like 10 feet away from the cab, if possible.
  17. Ah. Excellent stuff.

    The reason why I stick with an A810 is because i have loved the way it sounded in my previous band, which is much like this band (of course, instead of having an Ampeg SVT, i have the Carvin). I'd add to it. But not replace it. In the style of music i play, it's normally just a great force to be reckoned with.

    The room that we play in is like 15x10, 9 foot ceilings with a cut out wall and a stairwell. It has one large window and drywalled and painted.

    Earplugs: wear them about 90% of the time. My problem is. I can play by feel most of the time, meaning, i can feel the attack in my strings through both my hand and my feet to determine the pitch i'm playing at. I can't hear anything fundamental. nothing between 37-50Hz. Sure, you should feel it. Duh. But earplugs completely sap it. And for the most part that's what i need to hear a lot. Hence. My drummer is a drum recording studio producer person person, and always says, go to your audiologist. get fit for musicians earplugs.

    now, back to the meat.
    I do play with my eq pretty much flat. no more than 1 oclock in any direction shifted. so, a little better shaping on my part will address my need better i assume. to beef the bass, pump the low-mids. right? i mean, in ugly-guitar world, i'd think, to reduce the bass, you turn the bass knobs down, to pump them, you raise them up. The good old counter-intuitive punch. I cant hear the bass, so pump the mids. I think that's the general consensus it looks like.

    +100k. I bought my head from kathy from ctts (and actually, play the same rig as her, t-bird, ampeg810, carvin b1500 ). they are terrifyingly loud, and we sound a lot lot lot like them, same type of guitars, they can be so loud it's frightening. also +1 (negligable, yeah i know) for bringing in necrophagist and cryptopsy into the mix. heh. but, i mean, it is a valid point, tons of bad metalcore bands just sit on fundamental d and pound it all day (obviously, i'm not one of them), i mean, for that, i think darkest hour, at the gates, the hunted, death metal ish, who do play a lot on that fundamental d or c, but only as a support structure to keep the low end rolling. a lot of that is what i do. i don't sit on d-e-f (lol), that part of support though has no clarity, i can hear it, but it has zeeeeeeeeeeeeero definition in this context. just a thump bang boom.

    :: Bassist ::, loud is just loud. van halen is loud. soft is soft. music is music neither loud nor soft. you can play with distortion and be quiet. you can play clean and be really loud. i think what you're looking for is being 'full'. lots of pitches, lots of attack, lots of areas... our music sphere is full. so. that's really how we handle it. wall-of-sound-and-fury-esque. but, really, lots of people like noise. sonic youth style noised and meshuggah like noise.

    edit: tl;dr i know, but, thanks to everyone thus far in helping. and yes, i realize that standing next to my cab is now not a good idea.
  18. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets

    Generally speaking, a bass guitar EQ curve cuts through a mix best when it looks like this:

  19. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    yup, i'm thinking that's a bit exaggerated though?
    i crank my mids, leave my lows flat, and cut my highs. to the OP, it sounds to me like you're cranking your lows to compete with the bass drum, this is a futile effort, and it's gonna muddy up your sound, also cranking the highs wont work because the guitarists take up all of those frequencies. so like i said lows flat: don't cut them because you still need them, you just can't boost them too much. mids cranked: this is how you cut through in a metal band:) highs cut: guitar's take them up anyway, and IMO the mids sound better without alot of highs. and what i mean by daves diagram being exaggerated is that your EQ shouldn't be that far from flat, with only slight cuts and boosts.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=378173 this thread is mostly about fingerstyle picking technique in metal, but it also has alot of useful info on cutting through the mix, and better explains what i just said.
  20. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Depends on the kind of music, IME. For me personally, yes, that's exaggerated: I bump up my mids, but not that severely usually, just depending on which bass I'm using, and the room (I play funk). For a metal band, with down-tuned rhythm guitars + shrieky lead guitars + double-bass kick drum patterns and lots of crash cymbals, that doesn't leave a lot of sonic space for the electric bass guitar, especially if you play Korn-esque slap-style bass. Boosting the mids like that will cut through, but it may not sound good, haha

    As always, use your ears!

    In all seriousness, though, no matter how your EQ curve is set, if you are getting lost in *rehearsal,* at *home,* with an Ampeg fridge, you guys are just too dern loud. Playing that loudly just isn't necessary for rehearsal.

    IME, a lot of bands confuse practice with rehearsal. Practice is what you do on your own time to improve your ability on your instrument. Rehearsal is what you do with your band to work on playing songs together and to prepare for shows.

    There is definitely something to be said for simulation - doing everything as close as possible to real-life conditions, as a mental thing to prepare for a show - but if you are having this much trouble, perhaps your drummer should play much more softly during rehearsal (or even get a smaller kit, with smaller/softer cymbals, or an electronic kit), and the rest of you should turn down.

    My band rehearses with an electronic kit and Line6 gear through headphones. We each have our own headphone volume knob and complete control of our tone & mix. It's great for rehearsal, but obviously, our drummer can't practice playing his drumkit on the electronic one, just like our guitarist can't work out the best settings for pedals and how they drive his amp if he's using the Line6 built-in effects instead, and I don't like not feeling my bass shake my body... but we deal with it, because the purpose of rehearsal is to tighten up and go over material, not to practice our instruments.

    Save the ear-splitting amps for doing what they're designed to do: filling clubs! Always use appropriate gear for your situation. At home, if your rig is shaking things two rooms away, it is not appropriate for the situation - a small combo should be plenty for rehearsal.

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