Sound problems in band practice


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Megatallica
01-09-2006, 04:25 PM
When your band is practicing, is there anything you can do so that all the music doesn't just sound like one big mess!!???

We can play the songs right, in the right time and all, but it just all SOUNDS like a big jumble.

We play on small practice amps. I've a 30w Vox Valvetronix. The other guitarist uses a 15w Kustom and the bass player uses a 15w Fender Frontman, sometimes hooked up to another 15w Kustom.

BobFromReboot
01-09-2006, 04:27 PM
Umm. The volumes are probably all messed. Start with the weakest amp and turn it up untill you can hear it over the drums and then repeat up untill the strongest amp. With those little amps though it might be a problem even hearing them over the drums.

starálfur
01-09-2006, 04:29 PM
yeah youre going to need bigger, better sounding amps.

Megatallica
01-09-2006, 04:31 PM
The Vox can go quite ****in loud tho I must say, and the bass rig too!!

We havn't practiced with our drummer yet tho.

So we just sort out all the amp volumes 1 by 1? Should they all be at the same volume, the 2 guitars and bass? What do you recommend?

ooblah
01-09-2006, 04:34 PM
yeah if you know for sure the band is nailing the song but it still sounds like that then i would turn to the gear to figure out whats wrong. I have a fender front man too and the last time i tried playing with a drummer it was a disaster, i would agree with staralfur and say just improve the live gear.

me@tandb@ll
01-09-2006, 04:55 PM
ok fom personal experience and my self just updating my equipment, dong any of this isnt really gonna help your sound, and once you get with your drummer, your gonna have even more problems because you wont b able to hear yourself. and to get to hear yourself your gonna push your amp to the limit and with 15 watt and even 30 wat amps u have to turn down the bass and mids as you have to turn up the volume. and even at that at a loud volume at just enough to barely hear yourself and others over the drums your ampo is gonna bottom out and your sound is gonna b real distorted and you notes will come up to short and **** and its just a big ass mess. i even had my effect boards running on higher volumes to get my amp to go louder and iot wouldnt. well it did but it sounded even worse. the only way to fix your problem is to get a much bigger amp. 60 watt for you and the other guitar would be the minimum to be able to play with drums and not sound like ****. the bass would have to get at least a 100 watt because do to the frequency levels the bass needs to be turned up much higher than the guitars for it to be heard along with them. and these wattages would be able to level out with the drums but they would probly still sound like **** if turned up too loud. my reccomendation is to go with either a 100 watt or 120 to 150 watt combo amp. those classify as pro audio gear and will deffinetly pack the punch you need to sound great and level out with every one else. i used 2 play a marshall 15watt little amp. that was good practice but ponce u get serious with a band and need to sound you need to upgrade thats the only way to do it. now i play through a 120 watt crate amp and its about 15 times louder than my other amp and even at level 10 you dont need to turn any controls down to stop distortion and the notes dont bottom out on you. and you gotta pick the right amp also for your type of playing. what kind of music are you guys gonna play and ill tell you the right amp for the job. we play heavier stuff with 7 string guitars, hughes and kettner - mesa boogie - crate - and b52s are the only good amps for that so if thats what u got u could to that. again just tell me what u play and ill tell you your amp

Gibaha
01-09-2006, 11:30 PM
Meatandball got all about the amps. But one thing is the settings. Especially with 2 guitarist you want to not just make your amp sound good. But, you want to set it so that both amps jell together nicely. This can be a kinda boring and long process. But, it has to be done. It took my band a few months for us to get our sound just right. With an equal volume and balanced tone. Just keep tweaking those knobs.

Remebol
01-09-2006, 11:42 PM
it helps if u refrian from playing to many chord tones. like if you are playing power cords, try just playing the root note instead. Its less muddy

jof1029
01-10-2006, 01:57 AM
for now i wouldnt worry about the power of the amps. meatandball says that it will be fine if you just get louder amps, but frankly this is wrong. instead of getting a louder amp and just sounding bad at a higher volume, work with your current amp to get a good sound. the place to start is with your EQ and gain knobs. the jumble probably comes from too much overlap in each persons tone.

first step is to get the two guitars to sound good together. start by having the guitarist who is more rhythm part oriented turn up his mids and have his treble and bass turned down a bit. then the more lead guitarist turn up his treble, then bass a bit lower, then mids a bit lower. but dont scoop the mids really low, just have them a bit lower than the bass. then maybe turn down the gain a bit, you dont need a ton of gain to sound heavy or distorted so try turning it down for a bit less mud. then level out the volumes on the two guitar amps. another thing to try is having one guitarist use a neck pickup and the other the bridge, this separates the tone a bit more.

next bring the bass into the mix. you shouldnt have overpowering low end because the bass on the guitar amps isnt cranked. this leaves the bass to fill in the low end instead of it competeing with the guitars. i dont play bass, so im not going to give too much eq advice on the bass, but maybe turn up the low end a bit and find a volume where it fits.

the whole process is to find each instrument a place where it fits in tonewise and isnt competing too much for that slot with other instruments. an example would be a band like velvet revolver. slash uses marshall amps and LP guitars, and both give a very mid heavy sound. Dave Kushner then decided to use amps like VOX for recording so that he wouldnt interfere too much with Slash's mid-heavy sound. its all about finding the right balance.

you probably will need better amps in the future if you are going to be gigging. but for now as long as you can find a good sound with what you have, then dont worry about upgrading till you need the volume. then you have to worry about tone as well as volume when you upgrade. and anyone who says:
we play heavier stuff with 7 string guitars, hughes and kettner - mesa boogie - crate - and b52s are the only good amps for that
probably doesnt know as much about amps as they would like you to think. if you do infact decide that you need a new amp, pay a visit to the Gear and Accessories forum, people there know a lot about amps and can help you find something that sounds good in your budget.

PurpleMonkeyDW
01-10-2006, 05:32 AM
Some good advice there (maybe this should be stickied for future reference), I don't play in a band but if your local school/college/any place has a PA you have access to then you could just mic your amps (if it's just for practice).

jof1029
01-10-2006, 07:09 AM
^ i doubt this will be stickied, first of all its in the wrong forum. it should be in the bandleading forum that is a subforum of MT. anyway, i had another idea/more advice.

Megatallica, how are your amps physically set up? if they are all in a circle that could also be your problem. if amps are facing one another then sometimes there is sound quality loss. so instead set your amps up like they would be if you were gigging, so they would be straight across. for now have the bass in the center and the guitars on each side. when you add drums put them in the middle, then move the bass to the side with the lead guitar. then if you want to focus the sound a bit more give them a slight half circle curve, but never have the two end amps facing one another. this is a bad diagram:
DO:
DK
b/ \r
l/

DON?T:
b DK
l| |r
l=lead guitar r=rhythm guitar b=bass and DK=drum kit
the underscores and slashes are supposed to give a baisc idea of which way everything is facing, tho the amps shouldnt have that much of a slant.
that is a basic set up that you can get your idea from. just dont put everything in a circle because standing in the middle will sound bad. also give each instrument a bit of separation so it has its own air space to project sound into and everything isnt trying to use the same space.

remember that everything i have posted is meant to be a starting point for you to work with. it is not the perfect way to set things up and is not supposed to be. it is to give you something to start with that you can work with to get a good set up that sounds right for your band.

me@tandb@ll
01-10-2006, 01:49 PM
for now i wouldnt worry about the power of the amps. meatandball says that it will be fine if you just get louder amps, but frankly this is wrong. instead of getting a louder amp and just sounding bad at a higher volume, work with your current amp to get a good sound. the place to start is with your EQ and gain knobs. the jumble probably comes from too much overlap in each persons tone.

first step is to get the two guitars to sound good together. start by having the guitarist who is more rhythm part oriented turn up his mids and have his treble and bass turned down a bit. then the more lead guitarist turn up his treble, then bass a bit lower, then mids a bit lower. but dont scoop the mids really low, just have them a bit lower than the bass. then maybe turn down the gain a bit, you dont need a ton of gain to sound heavy or distorted so try turning it down for a bit less mud. then level out the volumes on the two guitar amps. another thing to try is having one guitarist use a neck pickup and the other the bridge, this separates the tone a bit more.

next bring the bass into the mix. you shouldnt have overpowering low end because the bass on the guitar amps isnt cranked. this leaves the bass to fill in the low end instead of it competeing with the guitars. i dont play bass, so im not going to give too much eq advice on the bass, but maybe turn up the low end a bit and find a volume where it fits.

the whole process is to find each instrument a place where it fits in tonewise and isnt competing too much for that slot with other instruments. an example would be a band like velvet revolver. slash uses marshall amps and LP guitars, and both give a very mid heavy sound. Dave Kushner then decided to use amps like VOX for recording so that he wouldnt interfere too much with Slash's mid-heavy sound. its all about finding the right balance.

you probably will need better amps in the future if you are going to be gigging. but for now as long as you can find a good sound with what you have, then dont worry about upgrading till you need the volume. then you have to worry about tone as well as volume when you upgrade. and anyone who says:

probably doesnt know as much about amps as they would like you to think. if you do infact decide that you need a new amp, pay a visit to the Gear and Accessories forum, people there know a lot about amps and can help you find something that sounds good in your budget.

ok i agree with most of what you said. although regardless of where they put there amps, which also helps (in reply to the little diagram) iof they begin to play with drums it isnt gonna matter what ton e they get because you have to put an amp at a certain volume to get the tone you want , anyone knows at different volumes the tone changes, so once they find a good tone, then they add drums they wont hear themselves since those amps tones come long before the volume increase to play with drums. they could use them, to record yea but not to practice unless the drummer i dunno yells out what hes suppose 2 b playin. ok enuf with the debates and compliments on your good knowledge, time for the insults like you brought unto me.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, bitch i bet youve never even played a 7 string ,,,, which i cant blame you for because most people dont even know they exist,,, but apart from that when i bought my newest amp which is the crate i personally went around to all the amps you could possibly buy in this area and sat and tweaked each one to its furthest extent and those are the only brands that come up with good sound with 7 strings downtuned. lets explain the science of a 7 string guitar thats downtuned and how it reacts with amplifiers and distortion. ok to start the 7th string puts off alot of bass especially chorded with another string. this creates mudd in the sound and you have a big ass mess with it. marshall was one of the worst i had found in the use of a 7 string. you'll read where people are like yeah we hooked up to sum marshall amps and started recording like korn for their first album. ok ok truth is yea they did, but for the whole album head used a b52 stack and munky used his mesa back the a dual rectifier for the whole album. the marshal came in when they were recording the high notes. that works theres no mud in the high notes. so mr jof if you dont think i know what im talking about come out to cleveland and we'll kick your ass in a custom battle of the bands. thats sumthin we do alot around here and we always win. so come on bring it on.

jof1029
01-10-2006, 04:02 PM
^ you are right, i havent played a 7 string through many amps. infact, ive only played one once. but guess what, i do know a little about amps. just because you tried all the amps around you and those were the only good ones doesnt mean that there are no other good amps for that sound. some high end amps such as ENGL would most likely fit the bill, seeing as how they are very high gain and very high quality. then we can start getting into boutique amps that are hand wired. or maybe we can just try some nice bass amps, seeing how they are made for low end but guitarists still use them to good effect. i was just pointing out that naming four brands and saying they are the only good ones is narrow minded and isnt good advice. people need to try everything that they can get their hands on to see what they find fits their sound. you were trying to make it sound like you know everything about amps, and i was pointing out that you probably dont. if you infact work for a company that makes amps and you are involved in the design of amps, then i retract my statement. otherwise *shrugs* ill see you next time im in cleveland.

me@tandb@ll
01-10-2006, 05:55 PM
^ you are right, i havent played a 7 string through many amps. infact, ive only played one once. but guess what, i do know a little about amps. just because you tried all the amps around you and those were the only good ones doesnt mean that there are no other good amps for that sound. some high end amps such as ENGL would most likely fit the bill, seeing as how they are very high gain and very high quality. then we can start getting into boutique amps that are hand wired. or maybe we can just try some nice bass amps, seeing how they are made for low end but guitarists still use them to good effect. i was just pointing out that naming four brands and saying they are the only good ones is narrow minded and isnt good advice. people need to try everything that they can get their hands on to see what they find fits their sound. you were trying to make it sound like you know everything about amps, and i was pointing out that you probably dont. if you infact work for a company that makes amps and you are involved in the design of amps, then i retract my statement. otherwise *shrugs* ill see you next time im in cleveland.


ok hit me up next time your here, but no i dont work for an amp company but im quite familiar with how they work and actually im working on a sound engineering degree. youre right its closed minded and it all depends on the person. although i was just saying for my purpose of playing those were the good opnes to use if u use one and do heavy things with it. then i suggest those amps cuz most other amps are too muddy to fit with the 7th string and play heavy riffs. if you play bluesy type sound such as thou then anything can work cuz its a lighter style. and dont go accusinmg me of stuf with that statement i kno thats closed minded too although im just saying in general i dont do the blues thing so tyo me thats what its all like and i know they use lighter distortion which light distortion actually works with the 7th string without mud. in fact a blues artist **** i dun remember his name made the first 7 string guitar and used it. so maybe on this subject we can go ask him. steve vai only took the 7 string to ibanez but he didnt make it. but actually fro a 7 string you dont want high gain because it muddies things out together. so engl would quite fit and boutique i dunno never played one. its common sense to know that u have to look to finmd your own sound and i just named those amps as a starting point for this style of music i didnt even say the dude played that kind of music. so yea lets just shutup quit takin up the baord and let the kid rest with all the knowlege we gave him and stop confusin him with all our talk and disagreements, with all that said, its been nice sharing knowledge with ya its kinda hard to find sumone these days with any knowledge at all. c ya around

SilentDeftone
01-10-2006, 06:06 PM
*moved*

-SD :dance:

Freunleven
01-10-2006, 09:13 PM
If you got a PA, you could just use the line-out from your amps (if you like the tone) and run the signal to the PA. The bassist probably wouldn't even need his amp - he could just jack right into the PA.

A decent PA is expensive, but still cheaper than everyone getting a 150w head and half-stack.

:satan:

me@tandb@ll
01-11-2006, 07:04 AM
yes that could work as well although if he doesnt have a pa thn hes gotta buy one, which u can get a cheap one for a litle less than a hundred buks for a 4 channel mixer. in your case the drums wouldnt b plugging in so u wouldnt need your fifth channel so i would go with a four. but the problem is the studio speakers which can cost from 200 up for each which is about the same as buying the amps. cheaper yes so that could also work. and it c ould let you keep your tone.

Next_Hendrix
01-12-2006, 09:12 AM
It could be the equipment, however, every time my band has an EQ problem, it turns back to the low-end. Get the Bass more to the mid-range, make sure the amps aren't oscelating off each other, get the rhythm guitar audible, and the lead-guitar a tad bit higher. In some cases if it is the equipment, maybe your drummer could use brushes, or lighter sticks. Check the distortion levels too, that can be a big problem.