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Finding a good live sound

Discussion in 'Musicians Discussion' started by King Chaos, May 7, 2007.

  1. King Chaos

    King Chaos Pomeo Osoponeor

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    So far for me and my band it's been trial and error. It doesn't help that our amps are not of amazing quality or amplitude, but I've seen bands have better live sound with worse equipment than us.

    basically I want to ask any guitarists out there, what processes do you go through to find the sound that suits you all live?




    I'll list my bands hiccups and if anyone can help me out with anything in the list let me know.

    1. Amps sound too loud on stage but are quiet to the audience. This really puts me off strumming hard (this problem is more abundant at venues that don't mic amps up).

    2. Not enough Chug!

    3. Bass guitar sounds distant from the guitars and the drum kit.

    4. Chuggy riffs sound messy because of the contrast in guitar EQ.

    5. Not knowing if the master volume should be turned up or the EQs on the amp should be turned up when it sounds too quiet or the sound isn't cutting through.

    right now I have my mids at about 12 oclock... treble at about 12.30 and bass at about 11.00. This sounds good in practice alone or with the other guitarist, but I grant it probably won't work anywhere near as well with drums and bass involved. I just need tips cos it's getting depressing. My band has some amazing songs but it's getting increasingly hard to get them across.
     
  2. Inaphyt

    Inaphyt Member

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    A good idea is too have the bass central to the overall sound, and/or work out the reasonable settings before you actually get there.

    Also get someone to stand in the audience and tell you how it sounds when your messing about at the beginning, i always do this with our drummer as it's acoustic and it has to be just right to fit with the electric guitars.
     
  3. MasterT44

    MasterT44 In the Groves of Death

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    The position of everything can make a huge difference on the overall distribution of sound.
     
  4. King Chaos

    King Chaos Pomeo Osoponeor

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    Cheers for the advice. After messing with my amp and pedal for ages, I'm pretty sure my struggle begins with my equipment. Will start saving for a larger beast pronto.

    That signature is unbelievable!
     
  5. ParsonsMatt

    ParsonsMatt Alas, Tyranny

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    What equipment do you have?

    Keep in mind that the type of music your band makes determines how you need to sound as a band. If you're super slow groove metal, a really tight, precise sound won't work. Likewise, Necrophagist would sound like ass with a nice oversaturated sound.
     
  6. HellWolf

    HellWolf DemonThatHauntsYourDreams

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    sounds to me like your problems can be solved fairly easily. first off, with lower quality amps, your biggest problem is usually that they don't put forth enough bite or growl, and they also give off a lot of feedback and extra noise.
    first thing i would suggest is that you get a Boss metal zone dist. pedal, and couple that with a noise canceller. that should really pick up your live sound. if not, then you may wanna try putting a set of new pickups in your guitars, possibly some passive EMG's or seymore's. either should have a hot enough sound for you.
     
  7. Kudzu

    Kudzu Hi Tech / Low Life

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    One of the great enemies of live sound is badly adjusted reverb. It just wreaks havoc and the sound turns into a great ball of crap.

    Start from 0 reverb and build up according to the characteristics of the hall and its PA system.

    It's a silly tip but its important!
     
  8. Kudzu

    Kudzu Hi Tech / Low Life

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    oops sorry. ignore this post.
     
  9. colonel kurtz

    colonel kurtz Member

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    alright, i'll take a crack at answering your shit 1 question at a time...

    1. you kind of already mentioned the remedy for this one - turn the volume down on the amps, mic them, run them through the PA. if the venue doesn't do this for you, get a shure sm57 for each amp and mic it yourself and run into the PA. i'll leave it to you how to best set up the mics, because that's dependent on the amp, cab, player, room, etc. etc.

    if mic'ing the amps for whatever reason isn't possible, try moving the amps closer to the stage, and put them at an angle so that both the band and the audience can hear them...this might help, but mic'ing the amps will work much better

    2. get high-output pickups, palm mute hard, use lots of gain. if that doesn't work, look into a new amp.

    3. i don't know what you mean by "distant". is it just not loud enough? get yourself a decent DI box, then run the bass through it and into the PA. now you'll have bass coming from the both the amp and PA, and will be able to tweak accordingly.

    4. i don't really know what you mean by this one...see #2 i guess

    5. since you said you had cheap gear, i'm going to make the assumption that you have a solid state amp. if this is the case, try to keep the master as low as possible - solid state electronics tend to distort shittily when pushed hard. turn down the low end on your amp(3-4:00ish) - not only is it the job of the bass to fill in the low end, but lower frequencies take more energy to push(you don't see any 1200W guitar heads out there, do you?). the less low end your amp pushes, the more energy there is for the mids and highs.

    start with the mids and highs ALL the way up - bring down the high until the harsh fizziness goes away, and pull the mids back until you're not cutting through the rest of the band, then bump it back up a notch or two.

    remember that the guitar is a midrange instrument! guitars don't put out much in the way of extreme lows to begin with, and don't extend very far into the upper freq. range.

    now i'm not saying that any of this info will be a cure, but it's probably a good place to start...it's impossible to rectify shit like this w/o being there 1st hand, but i hope at least some of what i typed is useful to you.
     

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