#1
Ok, I've been thinking and Instead of getting an affordable set up, I want exellence. because in the next few years I really wanna be gigging, So i want EVERYONE's INPUT ON THIS SUBJECT. I wanna know what it takes to have a Proffesional set up. I wanna know Guitar wise, amp wise, pedal wise, string wise, pick wise. And i really want to know about Console Racks and how to use them properly. This would be very appreciated. I play things from Joe Satriani to Behemoth if that helps.
#3
you don't NEED rack stuff, it's just easier to carry around and to use live
you don't NEED pedals either, it really comes down to personal preference

in the end, what matters the most is the amp, then the guitar. a pro amp will run you 1500$ and over, and a pro level guitar would be over 1000

of course, this is all kind of a norm, you don't need these, some pros use bad gear; billie joe armstrong from green day still plays with his fernandes starter guitar live, and wayne static plays with marshall MGs
it really comes down to which kind of sound you like, and how you want to achieve it
#4
lot's of professionals use peavey and marshall amps, although they tend to be more affordable. Most professional musicians aren't millionaires and don't have tons of money to blow on expensive amps and pedals.

at least 1 out of three responses you get will contain this sentence. go play lots of things and decide what you like the most. (that's what professionals do.)
MoOsEkNuCkLe......All my friends yell OI!

Gear:
Jackson Dk2m
Peavey 5150 II
Marshall 1960a
Kramer Focus 1000
Dunlop Crybaby
Hardwire Tuner
Boss NS-2

Red Bear 120 $50/$600
#5
After you start gigging a while, you'll find that simple is best. I used to drag a 1974 100W Marshall stack around to gigs, with a big batch of pedals & some rack FX. Even ran a dual half-stack setup for a while. You get REALLY TIRED of lugging crap around.
Nowdays, I use a little 1983 50W Music Man 112 combo w/ 2 small pedals, or a 65 Soho w/ a 1X12 cab w/ the same 2 pedals. WAY WAY easier.
If you're the only guitar player in your band, you'll want a 2nd guitar ready on stage(w/ strap already attached) in case you break a string & can't continue. I play blues mostly, so there's usually another guitar or harmonica player, so I don't even drag an extra guitar to my gigs. If I break a string, I can usually muddle through a rhythm or backing part by quickly retuning a couple strings.
I keep extra picks tucked in my pickguard, & another few on top of my amp next to my beers !

For your situation, I'd look at a Mesa Mark IV 1X12 combo & a couple pedals. You'll thank me later if you start out simple now.


Edit: As someone stated above, I'd definitely prioritize the amp. Spend your big money there. I gig with $200 guitars all the time (I do my own setup & swap pickups & such), & believe me, I can make my $200 guitars sound as good as a '59 Les Paul with my amps. I don't give a rat's ass what anyone else tells you, you don't need an expensive guitar. Just get one that plays very comfortably, & just feels good to you, & put some decent pickups in it. Even great pickups aren't a NECESSITY, but they do do articulate a bit better.
I personally don't like FX muddling up my tone, so I only use an Xotic BB Preamp w/ my 65 to make it a bit gainier. It's all in the fingers..........
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Last edited by riffhog at May 26, 2010,
#6
Being able to spell "professional" would be a good start. But seriously, none of those guys would have all that gear if they didn't have a label buying it all for them...get what you can afford and play well enough that eventually, someone will buy it for you.
We've dressed up in our best...

...and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.

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The PBT is for those too TGP for the rest of UG.

#7
Gear is completly personal preference (obvious answer but it's the right answer)

Sure you get cheap gear that most people buy when they first start playing, which after a couple years they'll wanna upgrade, but you don't have to upgrade it man, not if you like it alot... On the flipside just because something is expensive, it's not always good.

Seconding riffhog's opinion, simple is DEFINATLY better.

There is definitive answer to what it takes to have a professional setup.

However money, experience, time, and trying out lots of different things will help you find YOUR perfect sound.

Imagine how boring everything would sound if everyone used the same gear!

Also, remember that playing live is actually about music rather than gear.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#8
most amps between 1500-3000 new would fit the bill.
most guitars 1500-2500 new.

you gotta actually figure out what you want.

also budget. what have you played before. what you're thinking about looking at now.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#9
Being a professional just means that you get paid for your services. Jack White is a professional who uses shitty guitars (not opinion -- his guitars are actually broken) and cheapo amps. The Edge and Neil Schon use.....well, if you haven't seen their rigs, I won't ruin the surprise.

If you're going to be playing gigs, you just need some reliable gear (and back-ups, of course).

However, if you ever want to talk sweet rack set-ups and rig design, my door is always open.
#10
Quote by colin617
Being a professional just means that you get paid for your services. Jack White is a professional who uses shitty guitars (not opinion -- his guitars are actually broken) and cheapo amps. The Edge and Neil Schon use.....well, if you haven't seen their rigs, I won't ruin the surprise.


Wise words.

The Edge is a twat though.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#11
^I don't think he's a twat, just a weirdo in a shitty band.


Get an amp that you know is reliable (a backup can't hurt) and preferably two guitars. Spare tubes, spare cables, spare strings, more spare strings, more spare cables, lots of picks. Get your amp checked if you bought it used.

I'm not a pro by any means, but I've gigged and that's what I'd advise you to do.

Oh and ALWAYS BE NICE TO EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY THE SOUND GUY.


EDIT: Don't leave your stuff unattended btw.
Last edited by TheQuailman at May 26, 2010,
#12
Take some time and put together a setup that is solid and simple. Sure I can afford a half stack, but that is a huge pain to lug around, and overkill for most gigs I get called up for.

Get a nice solid combo or head +2x12 cab that gives you the sound your looking for, and is reliable for consistent use. Any guitar that you can work with is fine. I'm still using a $450 Ibanez s470 that i bought 6 years ago. I've upgraded to pretty killer pickups, but the guitar itself is basic.

From there, figure out what your missing, and invest in some quality pedals. They don't have to be boutique, they just need to work reliably. Put together a board, and make sure you get an isolated power supply for it. I haven't yet felt the need to go rack.

I would also highly recommend getting road cases for all your gear. I even have one for my cab. They are expensive, but will last a lifetime. If your gonna spend the cash on quality gear, you may as well protect it.

Remember most of professionalism is about how you do things, not what gear you bring with you.
#14
Key Properties of a Pro Rig (in descending importance):

#1 RELIABILITY : You're not gonna look very pro if your rig breaks down half-way through a set. Either use a very reliable amp, or have a back up. Actually, have a back up anyway, nothing is 100% reliable. If you use lots of effects, have a bypass switch in case they go wrong.

#2 SOUNDS GOOD : Not necessarily amazing though. Most people won't even notice the subtleties of your tone, especially in a live situation. Just get a decent set up and know how to EQ it. As long as it doesnt sound like a swarm of angry bees it should be ok.

#3 DURABILITY : Pros use their gear a lot, so if it lasts longer than a year without getting smashed up, it will save some money in the long run.
A metal band?
Gear:
A Guitar with an LFR > Korg Pitchblack > Behringer EQ > Hardwire CM-2 Overdrive Boss SD-1 > Hardwire CR-7 Chorus>
Orange Tiny Terror >
LzR Engineering 212 cab

My other amp can run Crysis
#15
i would say there is a general standard that a guitar must meet to be a certain quality and level of play. i dont think a pro guitar mustbe over 1000 or anything. for example a 1000+ strat and a chinese 600-700 dollar strat will probably have negligible diferences to the audicence reguarless of the players opinion of the instrument...and if there is a slight tonal difference, its probably negated by whatever effects and EQ is being used cause everybodys setup will sund different anyways.

i would say a guitar would have to be 500-600 plus minimum and well maintained and setup to be considered a fine usable guitar. i would have no problem playing my epi les paul custom in front of a crowd IF i had a REALLY nice amp. is it a fantastic guitar? heck no. but if run through a great amp there is nothing wrong with the way it sounds. and it plays well. set up beautifully.

but yeah i would own a better guitar if i wanted "pro level" . however thereae a lot of musicians who go on stage with super old beat up guitars. i saw a pic in guitar world magazine abou a band and the guitarist had duct tape all over his guitar cause stuff was broken on it. still probably sounded good.....

i would expect far more from the amp than any other thing. it is the only thing that is actually delivering our sound after all. if i wanted to be pro level of play? i would probably start at 1000. probbly easily go over 2000 depending on the size and variation i needed, cab, etc.

effects? well that is entirely the player and what music you want. however prsonally i would find myself going for more unique pedals cause thats just how i am....rather than going all BOSS or something. i like thier stuff, but im saying if i had unlimited funds. pedals sculpt your tone ie- add additions to your base of guitar and amp. you want them to be good too. QULAITY TUNER PEDAL

then, i would hve an organzed pedalboard and power supply, a quality instrument microphone incase you needed it with a stand, atleast 1 guitar stand, cables starting with monster or higher grade, pick is entirely up to you,

and personally, if i was going to play on a pro level i would find a quality string you like. my roommate refuses to use ernie balls cause he literally wears them out in 2 weeks max. he ues elixers. cause most pros that use balls have a tech that changes their strings pretty much every time they play.

i mean if you play that much, your going to change a lot anyways. its a question of buy a generic string in bulk for cheap and change them a lot, or buy quality strings an change them semi less? i dunno. your call. there are lots of extended life strings these days but its all tone so go with what sounds good to you.

and the most important thing...have an employee, sound guy, or one of your boys at the show sound checking you. i cant tell you how many times ive heard good bands sound like crap cause being on stage is sooooooooo different than being in the crowd.
Last edited by ikey_ at May 26, 2010,
#16
Guitars:
Well, for this, there is a lot you can use. Stick with the kind of guitar you like. Just make sure you try it out before you buy it. However, for your genre, I would recommend looking at Ibanez, Gibson, ESP, Jackson, Schecter, and many others.

Amps:
Check out Splawn amps. Most of them are around $2000, and are hand-built. They are only sold in a few places though (most of which are local stores. A few people sell them online.) They sound absolutely great though.

http://www.splawnguitars.com/amps08.htm

For what you play, I highly recommend the Splawn Nitro. It can get great high gain tones, and can get some good crunch sounds as well.

If you don't want a Splawn, it is a good idea to check out the Marshall JVM205 head or combo. They are actually very good amps, and are very versatile. It has clean (good) crunch (pretty good,) mid-gain (great,) and a high gain channel (great.) It is worth trying, they have them at most music stores.

As for the cab, it is a good idea to check out Mills Acoustics.

http://millsacoustics.com/models.html

These cabs are hand-built, and are about $1000 each. I have heard great things about these cabs on UG.

I can't help you with pedals, but other people can.

Picks and strings don't matter, just use what you prefer.
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/notfunnyatalljoke.


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#17
One key thing I forgot to mention (but "denied" mentioned it above) is how important a power conditioner is. You can buy a basic Furman on c-list or ebay for about $40 US, & it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT if you play out. You never know what's going to happen in old club buildings/bars etc electrical-wise. A power conditioner protects your beloved amps from voltage/current surges that can easily destroy them.
I can't stress this enough! I use one at EACH AND EVERY PLACE I play!
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Riffhog for President


Quote by Cathbard
There's no point apologising for your feet smelling when there's a 300lb gorilla in the room taking a crap on the couch.


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#18
Quote by TheQuailman
^Could you link to that big thread you made some time back? I think it'd be pretty helpful.


Yeah, no problem.

I made this thread a while back about lessons I'd picked up from running sound. It basically turned into a what to do/not to do thread.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1305882

This is Colin's thread. It's touring focused, but has a huge amount of super useful tips you need to read:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1296897

I would also read page 2(at least) of this thread

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1316662


Hope that helps
#19
Professionalism has little to do with gear
Just get a rig that you like, then professionalism is mostly about your perfomance.
Of course, like it was pointed, have a spare of everything, and also know your rig, it bugs when I see people that just don't know how to dial-in their amp.
#20
Just a little side note. Being able to improvise and play different genres of music. If you are a very good player I believe you are going to have equipment that will be playable.
My Gear
Fender Strat ('97American Lonestar HSS)
Ibanez RGTHRG1
B-52 AT100
Marshall1960A Cab
Marshall 1960B Cab
#21
Quote by halfstacked
Just a little side note. Being able to improvise and play different genres of music. If you are a very good player I believe you are going to have equipment that will be playable.


Good point. I play a lot of open blues jams & such, & many times I don't even bring my gear, just one guitar. I seldom know which rig I'll wind up playing, but I have played some DOGS. It sucks getting onstage, & having literally 5-10 seconds to dial in a rig as some harmonica player is counting out a song that I don't even know WHAT KEY it's in ! I have to quick-adjust everything on the fly in front of 80 people, & sometimes it sounds decent, & sometimes it sounds like your speakers are buried in sand. I've had to become a MUCH better player to overcome the fear of this type of shit, so I've practiced hundreds upon hundreds of hours playing super clean & compensating for lack of the sustain that I crave, & being able to play aggressively to compensate for an amp's weak dynamics. The main thing about professionalism IMO, is not the fact that you're making money at it (which I understand is the definition-but WTF), but playing well & being in control---being able to cleanly execute what you hear in your head instantly, even after 4 Sierra Nevadas.
That's professionalism
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Riffhog for President


Quote by Cathbard
There's no point apologising for your feet smelling when there's a 300lb gorilla in the room taking a crap on the couch.


Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2011
#22
Don't go on what seems "professional". All too often someone watches slayer playing live, thinks all 10 of those cabinets are pumping (they're actually empty -.-) and goes out and buys the first stack they come across. My recommendation is get some amp modelling software (RP series will do fine, and its cheap too!) and play with all the amp models. You may find that, even though your playing heavy blues, that dual rectifier is kinda the sound you like, or vice-versa. Please don't buy now for what you THINK you will be playing in three years.
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#23
to me the gear isnt always the most important thing. if you told me right now i had to be ready for a gig tomorrow, i would just grab what i have here and be ready to go. my pedalboard cost more than my main guitar, amp and cab combined (or close). i think it sounds good, but i sure as heck dont have any $1500 amps or guitars.

the thing it comes down to is i know what im doing with my gear. i have guitars that are comfortable in my hands and i know what they do. knowing how to utilize your pickup selector switch, tone knobs and especially volume knobs will get you a lot further than having a fantastic guitar you dont know up and down. professional is knowing what you are doing and being comfortable doing it.

so yeah, to me the big thing is being comfortable, being in control of what you can, and being prepared.
#24
^^
Honestly, if you want to appear professional gigging, learn to mix the sound with your band. Don't crank the guitars too high, scoop the mids to mud, or have insane amounts of noise.

I've seen so many bands with sub $500 amp setups that sound better than bands with $2500 amp setups because they know how to EQ and play at the appropriate volume for the venue. Theres nothing worse than everyone getting the levels set, then one guitar player turning up, then everyone having a volume/EQ battle from there.

Aside from having a good live mix, it helps to have someone run lights, even if its a really basic $50 ghetto home-made light setup. Have confidence and get your set tight.


Act like a band and people who have no idea who you are will assume you're more experienced than you are.
/rig