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Old 12-10-2012, 03:17 AM   #1
pushkar000
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Need help with sound

Hey guys, nice to meet you all.

I play guitar in a band and I wrote a song for it. The thing is, I wrote it on guitar pro and it was all fine until we practiced it and the chorus sounded flimsy/weak. I play a simple distorted power chord progression and the bass follows me, the drummers plays a simple beat with a kick with each beat, and the lead guitar plays a simple lead melody. We sound incredibly flimsy and I have no idea why. I kinda want to sound like Always All Ways by The Lost Prophets(the chorus). That song has a very non-flimsy chorus. I go easy on my distortion, my amp settings are treble 4 mid 7 bass 6 or something close.

I can't understand how it sounds fine on GUITAR PRO but not when we play it.

There are a few things that I think are the problem.
The other players don't know the song well. We suspect our bassist needs to do something about his tone cause it's just not strong enough. It's like some super funky ass treble up to 100% I want to play lead guitar kinda tone. The lead melody was supposed to be clean but we played it distorted.

So my question is, are my settings right to get that super strong chorus sound? Who's fault is it/what's the problem? Are anybody's tones clashing or something? What does one do as a band to put more power in the chorus?

Thanks in advance to anyone who bothers to read and help. I appreciate it. Have a good day and Merry Christmas in advance!
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:08 AM   #2
racertj5
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Would help if you could play / record it or at least post the gp file so people could understand your problem a little better
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:48 AM   #3
Laith5
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Lost Prophets tune their guitars down which helps with sounding heavier when you play powerchord progressions. Also, having a humbucker equipped guitar which is made of a heavier wood will help. Your amp might not even be suited to playing metal, and if so you might be fighting a losing battle.
The drummer in my band always concentrates on filling the empty spaces and making the choruses sound as big as possible, so a change of approach from your drummer may also help.

It is hard to say though without a recording of the track or tab of it to look at.

Hope I helped anyway.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
pushkar000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racertj5
Would help if you could play / record it or at least post the gp file so people could understand your problem a little better


thanks for posting in.
2:22 onwards. the recording kinda freezes, thats my bad. i hope its good enough. this is the guitar pro version and i recorded it using audacity straight from my laptop speakers.
i cant upload a gp file since i used a demo version and it didnt save
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
MrFlibble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laith5
Lost Prophets tune their guitars down which helps with sounding heavier when you play powerchord progressions.
How a guitar is tuned has no bearing on how 'heavy' it sounds when you're playing the same chord. A G5 powerchord played at the third fret on a guitar tuned to E Standard sounds exactly the same as if you tuned the guitar to C Standard and played the G5 chord at the seventh fret.

Quote:
Also, having a humbucker equipped guitar which is made of a heavier wood will help. Your amp might not even be suited to playing metal, and if so you might be fighting a losing battle.
Fact: Lostprophets, the band OP's trying to imp, track almost all their guitars with single coil-equipped Telecasters.


OP, the reason why you can't get as full a sound live as you can on an emulated recording is because of how you're hearing the sounds. On a recording the stereo separation, effects and range of tones is much more exaggerated than it will be live. This is why most bands end up using more powerful heads, larger speaker cabs and more bass live than they do in the studio, to compensate for the fact that some of that sound will be lost in the room.

Using your example of Lostprophets' Always All Ways, in that recording there are four guitar parts going on; double tracked rhythm, acoustic and the lead. If you watch them do the song live you'll see the sound is much thinner. They compensate for it a bit live by running the rhythm guitar stereo with some modulation (I believe chorus, might be light flange) and polyphonic octave/harmony effects for the lead guitar, effectively doubling each part.

Things you can do to make your sound bigger in person include, but are in no way limited to:
Getting the bass player to expand what they play, as simply following the same progression the rhythm player uses is wasting two instruments for one part.
Play fuller chords rather than powerchords.
Have the lead guitar, or even both guitars, doubled up by a chorus, octave or harmony effect.
Work out different parts; expand how you harmonise. Many people vomit at the mere mention of their name, but check out how the two guitar players in My Chemical Romance work together for a great example of how good harmonising can make you sound much bigger than you are.
For the truly lazy, buy bigger amps, more and bigger speakers, dime the bass and mids and pump up the volume.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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Good points by MrFlibble. Another thing I would add for live playing... you might not have thought about it but a keyboardist could really help round out the fullness of the sound. A good keyboardist will know how to add background "substance" to the mix without becoming intrusive. You can tweak the voicing of a keyboard to fit with your band's sound - it doesn't have to sound like a synthesizer from the 80's (unless that's your thing). Have the keyboardist play chords and/or octaves that support the rhythm guitar and bass, but at slightly less volume so that it rounds out the sound without being noticed as one of the main instruments.

In addition to guitar I also play piano/keyboard, and I've done that exact thing in band situations before. You'd be surprised how much it helps to support the other instruments, even in rock or metal.
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Last edited by 57Goldtop : 12-10-2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:00 PM   #7
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Listen to MrFibble: the demonic-looking penguin hand-puppet knows his stuff, and proves it yet again.

Quote:
OP, the reason why you can't get as full a sound live as you can on an emulated recording is because of how you're hearing the sounds. On a recording the stereo separation, effects and range of tones is much more exaggerated than it will be live. This is why most bands end up using more powerful heads, larger speaker cabs and more bass live than they do in the studio, to compensate for the fact that some of that sound will be lost in the room.

Using your example of Lostprophets' Always All Ways, in that recording there are four guitar parts going on; double tracked rhythm, acoustic and the lead. If you watch them do the song live you'll see the sound is much thinner. They compensate for it a bit live by running the rhythm guitar stereo with some modulation (I believe chorus, might be light flange) and polyphonic octave/harmony effects for the lead guitar, effectively doubling each part.


Just got a good example of this on the new album from The Sword. There are live bonus tracks on it, and if you know their catalog, you'll notice immediately that some of the live stuff doesn't have quite as full a sound as the studio version.

Quote:
Work out different parts; expand how you harmonise. Many people vomit at the mere mention of their name, but check out how the two guitar players in My Chemical Romance work together for a great example of how good harmonising can make you sound much bigger than you are.


Good point on MCR, too. Other multi-guitarist bands like Judas Priest, king Crimson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, April Wine and Iron Maiden know this as well, and put it to good use.

Quote:
A good keyboardist will know how to add background "substance" to the mix without becoming intrusive. You can tweak the voicing of a keyboard to fit with your band's sound - it doesn't have to sound like a synthesizer from the 80's (unless that's your thing). Have the keyboardist play chords and/or octaves that support the rhythm guitar and bass, but at slightly less volume so that it rounds out the sound without being noticed as one of the main instruments.


Some of the better hard rock, prog & acid rock bands have mastered this: Deep Purple, Yes, Dream Theater, Black Country Communion.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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I actually forgot, Lostprophets do (or at least did) use a keyboard player as well, as it so happens. Even Iron Maiden have one behind the stage, in addition to three guitars, pre-recorded dubbing and the world's most ridiculous drum kit.

And in defence of my street cred, I was going to cite Iron Maiden and Judas Priest too. I just figured MCR were a more relevant example for this kind of sound. I'm not an emo kid, honest.

My mom says I'm cool.
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Last edited by MrFlibble : 12-10-2012 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:23 PM   #9
pushkar000
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Thanks to everyone who posted! I learnt a lot!
Ill try out your suggestions.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:21 AM   #10
dannyalcatraz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
I actually forgot, Lostprophets do (or at least did) use a keyboard player as well, as it so happens. Even Iron Maiden have one behind the stage, in addition to three guitars, pre-recorded dubbing and the world's most ridiculous drum kit.

Iiiiiiiiii don't know about "the world's most ridiculous drum kit." I've seen some pretty insane ones.

The craziest one I know: the kit Terry Bozzio uses these days

...playing Frank Zappa's The Black Page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS4Jt9LV5Rc&sns=em

...at the Guitar Center Drum-Off
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR3KWRDK3_U&sns=em

It's just nuts.

Quote:
...I'm not an emo kid, honest.

My mom says I'm cool.


Hey, I ain't gonna judge! I have one or two MCR CDs myself. And Mariah Carey.

Everybody has something in their collection that someone they know would razz them for.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 12-11-2012 at 12:28 AM.
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