#1
First off I would like to apologize if this has been asked before or if there is a dedicated thread for this issue.

So I have been practicing with a group of people lately:
Myself who is a guitarist, another guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer.

Now we have work very well together and our timings are usually pretty spot on. The only thing that's bugging me is that we can't seem to get a consistently good balance on everyones volume levels, primarily the other guitarist and myself.

Depending on what parts we are playing, the volume levels will be inconsistent and one will overpower the other. Is there a method or technique any of you guys use to help this problem?

My only guesses are to:
A) Keep a record of exactly where our amp knobs are when we do happen to get it spot on, as well as the placement of the amps as a guide.

or

B) Get a PA or mixing board so that everything is adjustable from the single unit making everything much easier.

I'm thinking solution B is probably what's going to have to be done.
#2
What you hear on the stage is not what the crowd hears, not one bit. So having a guy stand about 20 feet away telling you who's too loud, or who's cutting through too much is a good way to get everything balanced.

Sometimes you just need to lower mids, or up mids, instead of increase your volume.
#3
i am in a band with another guitarist and a drummer. (no bassist yet) i got an alesis multimix8 and it is superb. the drumset is electronic so we have two guitars, a mic, and a drumset all going in to the mixer. saves a lot of time too when setting up
Gear:
Alesis Multimix 8 USB 2.0
Alesis DM6
Two Colling's acoustics (my dad's)
Ibanez SoundGear bass
Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Reissue
Ovation 12-string (also dad's)
Sony 5.1 system
#5
The easiest answer is after you set your levels at the start (making sure all channels are the same volume) DONT CHANGE THEM AGAIN. With two guitarists, it can always be a hassle because they'll be at roughly equal volumes, and you'll want to hear yourself more than the other guy. If you can't hear yourself, move closer/in line with your own amp.

The one rule is DON'T CHANGE THE VOLUME. Upping the volume after levels starts simply instigates amp wars, and you'll both get louder and louder as you struggle to get over each other. If you feel that your amp is not loud enough (and you've tried the above), ask the other guy to turn down a little.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
Quote by CronoMagus
First off I would like to apologize if this has been asked before or if there is a dedicated thread for this issue.

So I have been practicing with a group of people lately:
Myself who is a guitarist, another guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer.

Now we have work very well together and our timings are usually pretty spot on. The only thing that's bugging me is that we can't seem to get a consistently good balance on everyones volume levels, primarily the other guitarist and myself.

Depending on what parts we are playing, the volume levels will be inconsistent and one will overpower the other. Is there a method or technique any of you guys use to help this problem?

My only guesses are to:
A) Keep a record of exactly where our amp knobs are when we do happen to get it spot on, as well as the placement of the amps as a guide.

or

B) Get a PA or mixing board so that everything is adjustable from the single unit making everything much easier.

I'm thinking solution B is probably what's going to have to be done.

It's just getting familiar with that sonic spectrum that be EQ.

As a guitarist, you need to look for that part that other musicians need the least, and although this is cliche, it just so happens that you'll find that niche somewhere in the middle.

Boost your mid range.
#7
Quote by mdc
It's just getting familiar with that sonic spectrum that be EQ.

As a guitarist, you need to look for that part that other musicians need the least, and although this is cliche, it just so happens that you'll find that niche somewhere in the middle.

Boost your mid range.


I'll also add that I gig a lot....and it's not common to have a good mix on stage. I've done some gigs where I can't really hear myself, and have to trust my own skills/knowledge of the material to pull it off. It's good experience.

Probably the best mixes I've had have involved either a massively expensive PA setup, or simply micing up my amp and having its back turned toward the audience, like it's my personal monitor.

But even then....well listen to your favourite album, how loud are the guitars really? That's the sort of level you have to learn to play with, rather than the one you have playing by yourself at home. Unless you have access to individual in-ear monitors, your guitar will never be at the "front" of the mix per se.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#8
Yeah, after playing more and more live, I realized that the tone I like at home, would just come across as real thin and not cut through in a live setting.
#9
Where you're standing in relation to the other instruments in your practice room determines what you're going to hear at what volume. I assume you're not mic'ing amps, drums up at practice, correct?

The thing my band does to get a nice mix for practice is have the drummer start laying down a beat at "playing volume", then have the bassist come in with him and adjust his volume. The guitars are next (remember to emphasize those mids!!!), and then the vocals.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#10
In the bands I've been in, we always start with the vocals. Give those as much gas as you can on the PA and set the levels of everything else from there.

Given that you don't have a singer, though, all of the instruments you have will have a tendency to want to participate in the volume war snail race.

I agree that you need to set things up in the beginning of the rehearsal and you all need to commit that you won't touch the levels unless the rest of the band agrees that you are either too loud or too quiet. Without that consensus, everyone believes that they need to be a little bit louder, and before too long, everyone's level is louder than a fighter jet.

Alternately... it is good practice to record your rehearsals so you can evaluate your progress, etc. So, at the far end of the room where you figure you should have the best balance, set up something like a little Zoom H2 or something and press record. Play it back. You might be surprised. The bass player thought he wasn't very loud, but the recording says that he's actually thundering ahead pretty imposingly. You didn't think you were loud enough, but the recording says that you can be heard out front just fine.

When the recording says your levels are fine, the next step from there is to move around the room. Bass frequencies take time and distance to generate. As a result, maybe the bass player didn't think he was loud enough because he was right in front of his amp. If he stands across the room a little further, he can hear himself better without having to turn up. Your amp that you couldn't hear very well was because your tone is fairly high frequency which tends to travel in a straight line. You were off-axis from the amp, and the amp was pointing at your shins. Shins aren't usually close to your ears. Solution: prop the amp up on a chair and have it facing your ears. You'll hear it much better, but without having to turn it up.

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.
#11
You guys have been a great help. True story about the amp wars haha. The only pain is switching between the different distortion settings with the various pedals and all. It's definitely going to take some fidgeting.
Again, thank you guys for the input.
#12
Also it's very true about amp placement. I usually have it either tilted back so it's facing up at my head or have it on something like a chair or table like you indicated. Didn't know about the Bass though so I'll have to mention that. We place 3's and 7's and that bass line is a bitch to follow so I end up just tuning it out, especially for that end solo. It's harder to tune out the louder it is haha.
#14
Use more delay than reverb.

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.