I have been playing guitar for ages, but very little of it in a band situation. I am now practicing with a band that plays songs with a lot of dynamics, and I have maybe 6 or 7 different patches set up on my multiFX /amp modelling thing. They range from a clean jazzy sound, thru heavy delay/reverb used with volume pedal for atmospheric stuff, to full on distortion for power chords.

So my issue is, we'll be playing soon, at a small venue where the sound guy wont know the songs, and apparently the monitoring system pretty much sucks so the guitar /bass and keyboard amps will probably be the only way we hear ourselves. So I'll have to try and get the volume balance right from the amp, and I'm a bit concerned about how this will work in real life. In the practice sessions, the bass, drums and keys (a stage piano, the songs are written by a pretty good pianist and have a lot of nice playing) seem to not have to worry about volume. The drums are louder than everything, just acoustically. But I'm always having issues with getting the right volume. When I switch from my clean sound to heavy distortion, in one song its too loud, in another its too quiet, depending mainly on how the drums are being played at the time. I try to muck around with the volume pedal, but if the sound level is not right when you hit that first chord, it sucks. And its hard to get the level right with a pedal i think, there's no visual feedback, like when you move a knob to 7, say. If the sound is too loud, my playing becomes timid, or I back off on the volume knob on the guitar, then the sound sucks... etc. etc

So should i be spending time at practice to make sure I have settings saved that are just the right volume for each song? like maybe I have 3 or 4 different 'powerchord' patches, that are all the same sound but different volumes?

I was thinking it would be cool to have a pedal that was just maybe 5 footswitches, and each selected a volume setting from quiet too loud. and stick that between my FX and amp.

How do other people cope with this? I don't know if other people have issues with this but it's doing my head in! any advice gratefully received.