#1
Hi guys, me and my band are basically just starting out, so we don't know much. We have a guitarist (me), bassist, drummer, and a keyboard(ist?). Now, the problem is, we all think we should be louder than each other. In what order should the volume of each of us be? Also, any general tips for a band just starting out?
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#2
Do what sounds right. Depends on what style you play. Cause for example in punk rock, pop-punk bass has to be just as loud as the guitar in blues, it certainly does not.
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#3
Idk about keyboardists
but i tend to have my bass roughly the same volume as the drummers snare, and my guitarists adjust their volumes accordingly with the lead usually louder than the rythm player, and the vocals should be fairly loud.
but that's just a rough guide, and it's all up to you.
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#4
Bass and Keyboards should be the quietest most of the time.
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#5
im not in a band but i'd say

1. vocals
2. lead guitar
3. keyboard
4. drums
5. bass

drums and bass essentially are jumped up metronomes for the rest of the band whereas lead guitar and keyboards often do lead type stuff and vocals obv the main part of any song. but another reason i put the bass and drums at the bottom are their loudness anyway. the drums should be heard but not out-do everything else otherwise it sounds like a bit "too much" and bass unless they're soloing are basically metronomes so should again be heard but not be the forefront of everything. just look at any band and you'll realise you CAN'T hear the bass unless it's really the only instrument playing. or if the other instruments are really high pitched.

but thats my opinion, it's your band...
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#6
Quote by Dempsey68
drums and bass essentially are jumped up metronomes for the rest of the band


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#7
Personally, i use the drummer as a reference.
First, i adjust my amp's volume (i'm the guitar player) until the drummer can clearly hear me while drumming.
Then, the bass player adjusts his amp's volume until both me and the drummer can clearly hear him.

Basically, the drummer and i decide my volume, and then we decide the bass player's volume. It's up to us to be reasonable, and not overpower eachother.
If you're serious about the band, you will focus on evolving the band instead of overpowering or overplaying eachother. Unfortunately, sometimes big egos take the best of a person, and that's when you have to give that member the boot... :p


As an advice, i tell you this: start writing your own songs right away.
Playing a couple of covers for warm-up, or just for fun in the middle of the rehearsal is fine, but really focus on writing originals (unless you want to be a cover band only).
That will help all of you to develop faster.

Also, take rehearsals seriously.
Every member should train the songs on their own, at home, so you can use the rehearsals to really develop the musical chemistry between all of you.
For example, by now, in my band we can tell what the others will do next during a song just by looking at eachother. And believe me, that's awesome, and very useful when playing live.
Defining a "setlist" for the rehearsals beforehand is always a good idea, since you don't waste time, you just get together, and it's like "Let's play the song A.", "Now, let's play the song B."
But always save some time for jamming together, because a lot of great ideas for new material come from just messing around.

Good luck to you all!
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#8
Also, one more question. I'm our only guitarist, so if I go into a solo, will it sound weak, or will just the bass playing rhythm stuff be fine? Our style is pop-punk/alternative I'd say..
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#9
Quote by protest000
Also, one more question. I'm our only guitarist, so if I go into a solo, will it sound weak, or will just the bass playing rhythm stuff be fine? Our style is pop-punk/alternative I'd say..

Ask your bass player to add distortion during your solos.
That's what we do in my band, and it works (we play something like instrumental progressive alternative post-metal).
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#10
Quote by protest000
Also, one more question. I'm our only guitarist, so if I go into a solo, will it sound weak, or will just the bass playing rhythm stuff be fine? Our style is pop-punk/alternative I'd say..


If you solo over a previous riff in the song, I use a looper pedal and hit it when playing that riff. If not, then you could 'record' the looping riff into the looper, or do what Linkerman said.
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and then there's free jazz, which isn't even for musicians.

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As my old guitar teacher once said: Metal really comes from classical music. The only difference is pinch harmonics, double bass, and lyrics about killing goats.
#12
^Good article!

For that genre, the vocals are a critical - probably THE most critical - thing. That's us too. Everyone HAS to be able to hear the vocals. In most practice situations, this is also usually the weak link in the equipment chain. So what happens is the band dials in a level they like, and then the singer has to scream his lungs out, and still not be heard even then. This is the beginning of most problems.

Start with the vocals. Then everyone adjust their level from there. If the guitarist or the drummer doesn't like it because they want to play louder... too bad. Either suck it up, or get a new PA.... which starts the NEXT band discussion.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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#13
Quote by axemanchris
If the guitarist or the drummer doesn't like it because they want to play louder... too bad.


This. Normally the biggest problem with sound levels is the members egos, especially lead guitarists in my experience, rather than any issues with the equipment.

I also agree that the vocals should be louder than everything else, in most cases. The rest is really down to personal preference and the style of your band. I prefer having vocals loudest, guitar and drums a little louder than the bass but still having the bass audible, and keyboards lowest in the mix.
#14
Quote by axemanchris


For that genre, the vocals are a critical - probably THE most critical - thing. That's us too. Everyone HAS to be able to hear the vocals. In most practice situations, this is also usually the weak link in the equipment chain. So what happens is the band dials in a level they like, and then the singer has to scream his lungs out, and still not be heard even then. This is the beginning of most problems.

Start with the vocals. Then everyone adjust their level from there. If the guitarist or the drummer doesn't like it because they want to play louder... too bad. Either suck it up, or get a new PA.... which starts the NEXT band discussion.

CT


This is absolutely right.

I want to be a little bit sympathetic though. It is really hard when you start out to pick yourself out of the mix. Some people are better than others at this and it is a skill you have to learn. Whether you are on stage or in the practice room space yourselves out. Then you can move around. Get in the habit of moving towards your own amp to get a bit more of your own sound. Lean it back to point at your ears or raise it on a stand. If one instrument is drowning out everyone else it is always better to get them to turn down rather than to turn yourself up.

Have Fun
#15
Quote by Phil Starr
This is absolutely right.

It is really hard when you start out to pick yourself out of the mix.


Very true. Recording your rehearsals can often be revealing.

Also, it bears repeating what you said about moving around the room to find the spot where you can hear everything the best. Bass players, for instance (because of the length of the sound waves of low frequencies), can stand right in front of their amps and think they're not loud enough. Move them across the room and they're like "holy cow... I had no idea I was that loud!"

Same with me... I have a closed back cabinet. Loud enough, and tight as anything, but the sound becomes *very* directional. With an open-backed cabinet, the sound disperses much more freely (and evenly) around the room.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#16
I love being able to hear my bass player. When I'm soloing not only are the notes he's playing setting an underlying mood, but he's also matching his rhythm the drums bass. This leaves a nice little spot open for a good guitar phrasing is key. Respect the bass!

On Topic: Axeman and Phil have the right idea. My two cents is this, save up and buy a PA. My band bought one and it works wonders. The drummer and bass player share a monitor and then myself and the other guitarist share one and our keyboardists has his own little one. Good investment more so if you can start to record your jam sessions so you can remember possible song idea's and to see where you need work.
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#17
If you're not miced or anything, adjust to your drummer.
My drummer hits pretty hard, so I adjust my amp so that you can hear it over the drummer then stick plenty of mids in, the bassist sets himself a bit quieter than me and the vocals are the loudest thing in the mix. I'd assume keyboards would probably have to be at a similar level to the guitarist, though that's dependant on how you use your keyboardist!
#19
I lol'd at your ridiculous bump...

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#20
Quote by HitaroX
I lol'd at your genre


Three posts in a year and 8 months, and you choose *this* as your fourth?!


CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#21
Old thread is old, but here's the short answer for anyone else who checks it out!

1. Turn the bass up until it matches the drums
2. Turn the guitars up til they match the bass
3. Turn the keyboard up so it sits well with the guitars
4. Turn the vocals up so they cut clearly over everything else
#22
Quote by kyle62
Old thread is old, but here's the short answer for anyone else who checks it out!

1. Turn the bass up until it matches the drums
2. Turn the guitars up til they match the bass
3. Turn the keyboard up so it sits well with the guitars


Sounds great in theory, until you get to this....

Quote by kyle62

4. Turn the vocals up so they cut clearly over everything else


Many (most?) bands don't have a PA (or a space) that will allow everything to be this loud. The result:

Singer "I can't hear myself!"
Band "Sing louder!"
Singer "okay, I'll try" (proceeds to scream lungs out for two hours)

Everything sounds like crap, and the singer can't sing at tomorrow's gig because he blew out his voice at yesterday's practice. In fact, he can barely speak...

This is why I always suggest to start with the vocals, and get what you can out of them. The nice thing about volume knobs is that they also go down. And though drummers might not like not being allowed to beat the crap out of their kits, it is sometimes a necessary tradeoff to hear everything and for the singer to be able to sing without wrecking his/her voice.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#23
yeah. Um, I mostly use UG for tabs. But dude, did I really just get a warning for 5 words? I didn't even cuz
#25
Quote by HitaroX
yeah. Um, I mostly use UG for tabs. But dude, did I really just get a warning for 5 words? I didn't even cuz


Call it spam or trolling. Take your pick, seeing as you want to discuss this publicly.

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CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#26
Quote by protest000
Also, one more question. I'm our only guitarist, so if I go into a solo, will it sound weak, or will just the bass playing rhythm stuff be fine? Our style is pop-punk/alternative I'd say..

If your bassist has a good punchy tone you'll be fine.
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