My band and I are getting ready to play a battle of the bands show in Charlotte (NC) and are trying to get the best sound possible so that everything's at least decently balanced as far as levels go.

One of the guitarists in the band has been able to find a fairly well-balanced sound using my Carvin V3 with an Avatar cabinet (not sure of the speakers).

I'm trying to either match my tone to his tone, or replicate a tone that I use when I'm practicing (albeit quieter).

I'm using a Mesa 5:50 Express running through an Avatar cabinet with Celestion speakers, preferably through a DigiTech Metal Master distortion pedal. While having a "formal" sound check with some friends, I had some of them tell me that using the distortion pedal cut a lot of the tone from my playing, resulting in them hearing nothing but noise or whatever.

Normally, when I practice by myself, I run through a small Drive practice amp and use the Metal Master pedal with that, and while I can get a perfect (at least, ideal to how I want to sound on stage) tone running through that, I can't seem to figure out how to use it with my Mesa.

I'm wondering if any of you can help me either find a pretty chunky setting using solely the gain out of my amplifier or find a way to use my distortion pedal with the amp and have the audience be able to hear it clearly.

I've done some reading in the settings thread, and have been able to find some options, but I was just wondering if anyone would be able to help me understand what exactly I need to be doing to get that ideal tone.

Thanks in advance, and if you have any questions feel free to ask; I'll be playing this gig on Sunday...all help is appreciated!

I'd crank the amp, bump the mids up and stick an OD and an EQ in front of it, the Digitech isn't going to help much. If it really is the only pedal you've got then turn the gain right down and whack the level up so it acts more like a booster.

Bear in mind that how you like to sound at home isn't necessarily going to work in a live situation - you need to make sure that the guitars sit in the right place tonally so not too much bass otherwise you're competing with the bass and you'll lose. Midrange is where the guitar's sound lies, if you don't have enough then you'll simply go missing in the mix.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jan 13, 2009,
try boosting your mids just a touch so your sound will cut through the mix. I know that Mesa can get some really great sounds out of it. Then just try fiddling with the contour and gain settings until you get something you really like.