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Old May 25th, 2012, 05:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
Patrick (Nemesis)
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Solo guitar live performance

Well, not actually a question regarding music production, but I assume a lot of people on this forum are playing an instrument, right?

As long as I can remember, I always had the same problems with playing solos during a live show:

Typical metal band setup with drummer, bass, 2x guitar and vocals. The FOH engineer pulls up a more or less decent sound and everything is fine until after the second chorus of that one very cool song including an awesome guitar solo performed by me (thats where I get a little hypothetical haha). 2nd guitar is doing some riffing like many bands do in such situations.

Everything is fine on stage, can hear myself quite well on the monitors and maybe from the cab directly, but while looking at the audience, I can see that the reaction is like: "what the fuck just happened? No vocals, guitars just got unbalanced and thin and this one guy is fiddling around but it's hardly audible".

Now, how do you guitarists deal with that? Do you pull up gain or something, even though the FOH guy told you not to do? Or put the other way around: how is a FOH engineer assumed to work with that? Should the band rely on him to fiddle around with the sound constantly, even if he doesn't know the material?

Any ideas and insights are welcome
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Old May 25th, 2012, 05:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
Firaxis
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I have a solo boost, bit more volume bit more mids. I always let the sound engineer know I'm going to use it whilst we are sound checking so I don't clip his preamps etc.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 05:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I know what youre saying Patrick.. Big problem when the FOH guy doesnt know your material (or doesnt care lol). For soloing in that case i would use just a few dbs boost on the solo. But hopefully you will get some real advice because last time i was in a band with another guitarist was a long time ago.. This time though we were considering having the singer play as well since he is a guitarist but there will be parts where he has to stop and without an FOH guy that can deal with that (1- singer singing playing along, 2- singer singing only me playin, 3- singer playing rythms on a particular solo, 4- solo on its own over keys..) then i dont see it happening.

So in my opinion better hold out on that idea. I know this is a bit different from what you ask but the issue is related. Hope you find a good solution!
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Old May 25th, 2012, 05:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firaxis View Post
I have a solo boost, bit more volume bit more mids. I always let the sound engineer know I'm going to use it whilst we are sound checking so I don't clip his preamps etc.
I didnt see this answer,
Yes i expect what Firaxis said to be your best bet
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Old May 25th, 2012, 06:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
StefTD
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I had to lent my rig to our lead guitar player for a long time in my former band, it was a Digitech 2101 preamp
so I was able to programm different patches-for Lead I just used more mids, less bass, a bit of delay and I put
the volume about 2-3db higer, told the FOH guy before and it always worked like a charm.
Our second guitar player played two pretty short leads during the complete set, using just one Channel of his
Laney head, it worked, too because he used a rather medium output bridge humbucker and a pretty high output
and very middy neck humbucker (forgot the name, some strange brand I've only seen once since than) and his
leads were more like Slayer leads worked pretty nice, just a bit off a boost and a different sound.

But if you boost your signal for leads, I would tell the FOH guy-if you use a 3 chanel amp for example and all
your rythms are played through the 2nd chanel and you use the 3rd for the leads, always add mids, that just
helps soooo much for leads live imho, a bit of treble isn't that bad, too
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Old May 25th, 2012, 08:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
Patrick (Nemesis)
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Ok, cool. Thanks guys! So it boils down to boost the lead sound in some desired fashion and tell the FOH guy to incorporate that into his settings beforehand. That's cool and answers my (probably naive) question of whether the FOH should be reliable for this or the guitarist. I sometimes was told explicitly to NOT do that, but I can be confident in argumentation now, as it seems to be good practice.

Currently, I'm running an Engl Fireball, which effectively has 3 "settings" for me like clean, overdriven and some additional gain boost (you could have the boost on clean too, but doesn't matter for me). Physically just one channel with one eq section though. But I think I can go with that, as I like my lead tone with some added delay as it is now. It's just a matter of boosting gain a little bit then.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 08:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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not sure about the Fireball, but many amps have a footswitchable fx-loop, you could use a graphic eq there
for example, boost the volume and the mids a bit and put the delay there, just activate it for the leads and
be set
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Old May 25th, 2012, 10:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Doesn't have one. It's a fixed parallel thing, where I set the wet/dry value once on the back side of the head and bypass or enable my delay that is routed there as desired. And I never pull it completely on the wet side, so I assume the graphic eq should go between guitar and input. Not a problem though, I'll think about that!
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Old May 25th, 2012, 10:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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you could use a graphic eq before the input, it just works completly different there
if you use it in front of the amp, it might sound not that different from using a tube screamer
for example, just a bit of a gain boost, not that much volume wise, but in the effect loop, it
is used after the preamp, so you won't have much of a difference gain wise, but you can have
a huge difference volume wise and a pretty different sound due eqing it after the preamp.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 10:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh ok, I was thinking about that like a TS, yes. EQ after preamp makes sense to me. But I'll probably want to have it serial/100%wet then... that's all cool, will try that, thanks!
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Old May 25th, 2012, 11:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Pretty simple: I Turn my FX loop on, which contains a Boss GE-7 (I use it as a booster) and a Delay. For me this is the best way to have a perfect level on leads. You can't trust on the sound guy
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Old May 27th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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a GOOD foh guy will ride solos up but don't count on it because a lot of guys just don't give a shit.. use a boost and tell the foh guy beforehand that you use a solo boost, and don't overdo it.. some guys go from moderate volume to blasting loud, you only need 3-5 db I'd say

personally I love when guitarists have solo boosts cause it's less work for me and I can concentrate on other things in the mix and roughly 90% of guitarists don't use them
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