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Old 12-19-2012, 12:14 PM   #1
kitarmen
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Gear setup on Live Gigs?

hello! did you ever experienced that everything went well on rehersals, you realy liked your sound...but on live gigs, the sound wasnt what you expected. it happened to me that i just wasnt satisfied with my setup and i could not fix the problem. how do you deal with this problem in small clubs, open air gigs, big hall...? what are the key points? maybe more bass, more treble, less reverb...? thanx
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
food1010
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The problem (at least in my experience) is generally that the sound guy just turns everything up way too god damn loud and it all gets really muddy. You fix this in a few different ways:

1) Yell at the sound guy. Tell him it doesn't need to be deafeningly loud.
2) Play music that isn't loud. I realize this isn't always an option, but it does help to plan out your parts so that you're not just cranking out chords all the time. It's very easy for the mix to get really muddy if you have just one (and far worse if you have two) guitars mashing out chords.
3) Play less. The more silence you can use in your parts, the better. Space out your rhythms a bit. Constant eighth notes/chugging is the worst for live sound. Plan some syncopation/small cutouts into your parts. This will give the sound some time to reverberate in the hall and dissipate a bit before you slam more notes into the mix.

What kind of music do you play?
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
kitarmen
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hard rock, we play what we play. we are not gonna change the song for the sound. the sound has to improve. anny other suggjestions?
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
MaggaraMarine
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You can change the rhythms a bit and it won't really change the sound. I mean, add some muting, I think that's what food1010 was saying.

But really, every gig I have seen has had too much bass. Not necessarily too much bass guitar but the bass frequencies are so much boosted that when the drummer plays double bass beat, you can't hear anything from the song. Also the bass guitar is too muddy. You can't hear what the bass guitar is playing but it still overruns everything. And this must be due to boosted bass frequencies.

So get a good sound guy who doesn't boost all the bass frequencies. I have noticed that many times guitars are too quiet. You can't hear them but they just add more mud to an already noisy and muddy sound.

So less bass, more treble and mids. Bass is what makes you sound really muddy. And yeah, you don't really need reverb unless you are playing surf. (I actually hate drive sound with reverb.) Especially cut some of the bass frequencies of bass guitar. Some guys just crank their bass frequency knob on their bass amps and I really hate that sound more than anything.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:54 AM   #5
food1010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
You can change the rhythms a bit and it won't really change the sound. I mean, add some muting, I think that's what food1010 was saying.
Yeah it's really more of a technique thing. I know it's not something you want to hear, but most of your tone is technique.

I realize your sound is fine in the practice room, but you have to learn to adapt to different environments. It's one of those things a really solid musician does. You always should be listening and adjusting.

One thing that helps when you're having trouble hearing yourself because of a muddy mix is to NEVER turn up. Always adjust volumes down to a comfortable level. This may be one of the things to tell the sound guy, but it may be something you guys can do yourselves on stage.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
MaggaraMarine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by food1010
Yeah it's really more of a technique thing. I know it's not something you want to hear, but most of your tone is technique.

I realize your sound is fine in the practice room, but you have to learn to adapt to different environments. It's one of those things a really solid musician does. You always should be listening and adjusting.

One thing that helps when you're having trouble hearing yourself because of a muddy mix is to NEVER turn up. Always adjust volumes down to a comfortable level. This may be one of the things to tell the sound guy, but it may be something you guys can do yourselves on stage.

This is true. Many times when you can't for example hear the bass, you boost it. After that you notice that guitar is too quiet, you boost it. Then vocals are too quiet, you boost them. Then drums are too quiet, you boost them. Then bass is too quiet, you boost it etc. After that you are at ridiculous volume levels and everything sounds muddy and crappy.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:04 PM   #7
HotspurJr
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Another important thing:

At a certain point, you have to trust the sound guy. He's adjusting based on what he hears in the audience. What the audience hears is NOT what the band hears. Often, it's a lot muddier on stage because the big speakers are pointing at them, while you're getting much more bounce off the back wall.

So don't assume that just because it sounds terrible to you that it sounds terrible on the floor. One of the challenges of gigging is that you have to learn to play well when you can't hear what you're used to hearing.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
food1010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotspurJr
What the audience hears is NOT what the band hears.
Good point.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:04 PM   #9
Matt.Guitar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitarmen
hello! did you ever experienced that everything went well on rehersals, you realy liked your sound...but on live gigs, the sound wasnt what you expected. it happened to me that i just wasnt satisfied with my setup and i could not fix the problem. how do you deal with this problem in small clubs, open air gigs, big hall...? what are the key points? maybe more bass, more treble, less reverb...? thanx


Yes.
It can be rather frustrating.
You get all your settings dialled in the rehearsal room, then go out to a venue and you sound totally different.
Happens to me on most gigs.

Also happens in soundchecks - everything sounds ok, then fill the room with 50+ humans and everything changes.

All venues sound different in my experience too. Experience will help you figure out what to do and when to do it. I've found that boosting the highs a touch helps me cut through a bit better, but that's kind of stating the obvious.

I like to just make sure I can hear my amp - I'm not as bothered about whether my tone is as amazing as I think it was before, so long as I can hear it on stage I'll generally have a good gig.

Another thing I think happens is that everyone plays louder on gigs, especially drummers, and your ears start to get tired/destroyed. With that comes the loss of certain frequencies (I believe) and things will sound different as a result.
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