#1
Hey guys I had band practice last week and everything seemed to immediately go wrong. My tone and our lead guitarists tone just seem to complerely want to fight each other. I'm running my washburn wi26 into my ac30 and for dirt I'm running a soul food. He's running his fender strat into a egnater tweaker 40 then into a v30 loaded open back avatar cab. We've had this problem for a while where it seems like my tone is either unable to be heard. But if I turn the volume up even a notch I'm completely burrying our lead. His volume is nearly dimed and mine is like a quarter of the way up. My ac30 is jumped the normal channel is about half way up and so is the top boost channel. My treble is at 10 oclock and my bass is at 2 oclock. Then master is about a quarter of the way up. So I decided last practice I would try to be heard. I turned the treble up to 3 oclock and I burried everyone clashing with the cymbals and the guitar. So I rolled the treble down a bit and turned my master down and then I was way too quiet. I just want a punchy aagressive rhythm that sets well in our mix is that too much to ask? Any tips on how to get a food sound for our pop punkesque band would be appreciated. Thanks in advance

-cole
#2
I don't know too much about those amps but you should be able to keep up with eachother. You didn't mention a cab so I'm guessing you have the combo.

Some people turn this stuff into rocket science. It can be you want it to be, but I'm not one of those people. Tone blending is a huge part of any band, and is usually one of the most over looked elements...unfortunately it's also one of the biggest indicators of novice vs. know what the **** is going on. A lot of kids with money think buying expensive amps is the solution. I cannot count how many bands I've seen with Orange full stacks that sounded like crap.

Since your wattage is similar, and probably very similar cabs, you two are probably trying to exist in the same pocket. For me that's the difference between rocket science and common sense. Similar power, similar speakers, same settings. Adversely, you two could be trying to exist in different pockets too far from eachother, creating a harsh tone that sounds artificial.

That brings me to my next point, don't discount it's the playing. If your playing styles differ greatly, timing and attack might be an issue you're hearing in the sound and misdiagnosing as tonal problems.

Lastly, every band I've been in we've used a very simple method. Trial by error, it's my tried and true way.
#3
Blizzard. Thanks for the input my friend. We do have very different styles. I play very heavy strings and have extremely heavy agressive hands while he prefers lighter strings and has a light touch. That being said we are never playing the same thing. So it's not like we're trying to match up just right. We're trying to complement each other while also maintaining a solid level of volume. If our drummer can't hear us that's a problem. But if we can't hear our drummer that's also a problem. So it's a very fine line we walk with trying to stay audible and yet not make everyone fight to be heard or send a crowd of people home with a headache. Also it's a hard thing to do to try to get tones from our amps that we like and also aren't stepping all over the others frequency band. In a live setting where would you stick the rhythm? Low mid? Or higher mid? Which would be the lead?
#4
Try raising your amp up off the ground.

Also try switching amps. Play through your songs and go through your usual procedure of tweaking volumes, just use each others' amps.

With your own amp, try setting the amp fairly dark. Not much treble. Then get at a volume where you're fairly loud, but still getting buried. Then slowly inch up the treble while going back to playing for a minute, stop, inch up treble, play again, etc.

Try changing where your amps are pointed. Point his at you and point yours at him. Point both amps away from both of you. Point both amps at the drummer. Etc.
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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#5
It could be as simple as switching which pickups each of you are using.
Like when you use the neck pickup when the other guitarist is using the bridge pickup.

I think it would also be a good idea for just the two of you to get together to work out your musical differences, without any of other band members as often as possible.
It doesn't matter what you play, just play.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Dec 23, 2014,
#6
Quote by ibanezguitars44
Try raising your amp up off the ground.

Also try switching amps. Play through your songs and go through your usual procedure of tweaking volumes, just use each others' amps.

With your own amp, try setting the amp fairly dark. Not much treble. Then get at a volume where you're fairly loud, but still getting buried. Then slowly inch up the treble while going back to playing for a minute, stop, inch up treble, play again, etc.

Try changing where your amps are pointed. Point his at you and point yours at him. Point both amps away from both of you. Point both amps at the drummer. Etc.

I like this idea.

Kill that ****er.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#7
Quote by ibanezguitars44
Try raising your amp up off the ground.

Also try switching amps. Play through your songs and go through your usual procedure of tweaking volumes, just use each others' amps.

With your own amp, try setting the amp fairly dark. Not much treble. Then get at a volume where you're fairly loud, but still getting buried. Then slowly inch up the treble while going back to playing for a minute, stop, inch up treble, play again, etc.

Try changing where your amps are pointed. Point his at you and point yours at him. Point both amps away from both of you. Point both amps at the drummer. Etc.

Don't forget the bassist when doing your volume adjustments, specially if he has a puny rig/not going to the PA/etc.
#8
Our bassist runs through a 500 watt head through a 6x10 it sounds amazing and punchy. In fact I would say that the very few times when he's playing roots in the same rhythm I'm playing. It feels like we're the biggest sound ever.
#9
Also thank you so much to everybody who has made suggestions I'm going to try all of these at the next practice!
#10
You might also be standing on the wrong side of the room. My band had issues like this for a while, i either heard my amp only, or only the other guitar. We solved this pretty effectively by just switching positions. If you are standing right next to your amp, you arent really in the position to hear it properly until its way to loud i guess. So yeah, first lift it from the ground, and then try moving around the room. In a small room, even a minimal amount of repositioning can give you amazing results. When we switched places, we literaly moved only 1.5m and it made a world of difference.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#11
Quote by ibanezguitars44
Try raising your amp up off the ground.

Also try switching amps. Play through your songs and go through your usual procedure of tweaking volumes, just use each others' amps.

With your own amp, try setting the amp fairly dark. Not much treble. Then get at a volume where you're fairly loud, but still getting buried. Then slowly inch up the treble while going back to playing for a minute, stop, inch up treble, play again, etc.

Try changing where your amps are pointed. Point his at you and point yours at him. Point both amps away from both of you. Point both amps at the drummer. Etc.


This guy^^. Your friend's open back probably has a lot better dispersion but your amp is probably just shooting at your shins. Raise the little sh!tbox up and bask in its glory. You arent hearing your full sound, probably mostly just the bass end. Also, maybe have your friend roll back a touch on his mids or presence, as his v30s are probably giving him a big highmid peak, unless youre using v30s also.
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Last edited by Watterboy at Dec 24, 2014,
#12
Practicing extra with just your lead player mentioned earlier in the thread is a great idea I do this often as me and my lead player had similar issue I play heavy handed he plays like he's gonna hurt his guitar after a few practices everything balanced out nice.
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#13
Also have a look at your lead players settings. He might be too bass heavy and not have enough mids to properly cut through the mix.
#14
Having guitars that compliment each other is job#1 if you want the band to have a great sound and groove.

What we do:
* Get our amps pointed at our heads instead of our knees so we can really hear ourselves in the mix. Pointing them somewhat inward also helps the rest of the band hear us.

* Match our loudest passages to the crack of a full snare drum so the band is balanced. Bass matches the kick drum.

* Get together with the other guitarist without the rest of the band and work on tone, balance, and rhythm so we are totally in synch and compliment each other instead of burying each other.

These 3 things go a long way towards getting a cohesive band sound that grooves. Good luck!
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#15
Quote by Cajundaddy
Having guitars that compliment each other is job#1 if you want the band to have a great sound and groove.

What we do:
* Get our amps pointed at our heads instead of our knees so we can really hear ourselves in the mix. Pointing them somewhat inward also helps the rest of the band hear us.

* Match our loudest passages to the crack of a full snare drum so the band is balanced. Bass matches the kick drum.

* Get together with the other guitarist without the rest of the band and work on tone, balance, and rhythm so we are totally in synch and compliment each other instead of burying each other.

These 3 things go a long way towards getting a cohesive band sound that grooves. Good luck!


Good advice.

Just a note though, be cautious about pointing your amp at your head. Since guitar speakers are so incredibly directional what you hear is going to be a LOT brighter than what everyone outside of it's direct path is hearing. It will definitely make it easier to hear yourself, but the tone generally isn't very pleasant and not a great representation of what your guitar sounds like to the rest of the room, or through a mic. Some guys swear by this method, some hate it. It's great when you want to play quietly and still hear yourself.

Re-reading the OP, I suspect you may have your bass a bit too high. I can see running it at 2 with a single coil guitar, but with humbuckers I just see it being too bassy. It'd probably sound great when nobody else is playing but I suspect you're ove lapping with the bassists frequencies a little too much. Also try running the treble higher but the cut higher as well. It's really important that you EQ with the band playing rather than in silence. What sounds great on it's own will often sound like garbage in a mix.

Generally how my band does it is this: Generally we have the amps pointed toward the center of the room. The bass and drums will start jamming on 1 chord and get their volume right. Rhythm guitar will join in to get his volume right. Stand in the center of the room and set the volume so it's clear and audible over the bass and drums. The only thing to make sure of is that your tone isn't conflicting with the bass and that your sound isn't super middy. From there the lead starts playing and he tweaks until he's slightly louder than the rhythm but both are still audible.

If at this point he's struggling to be heard, or he's drowning you out you should both check your bass levels and he should check his mids & perhaps dial his gain back if his tones are really saturated. The fact that he's got his amp nearly dimed is a bit troubling. It indicates either a problem with the amp or really REALLY bad EQ.
#16
+1 for both Cajundaddy and icronic.

One thing Icronic mentioned that I did not think to mention and is usually the biggest culprit of bad mixes:

guitar players who are used to playing by themselves. This was a huge issue for me when I transitioned from playing/practicing in my bedroom to playing with other people. I listened to songs and records and developed this idea of the sound I wanted.

So I eq'd my amp so I could have the highs, the mids, and the lows. It doesn't work this way in a mix. In fact if you've ever heard guitar tracking from a recording session, particularly for the rhythm guitar, you'll notice how undesirable it is of a tone for playing by yourself.

This said, I play D-Beat, Hardcore and punk rock. We kind of just mess with the knobs till it sounds good and I still set my bass way high. It works though. The amount of distortion helps

At the end, maybe it's not that bad. Never discount bringing a friend over who has an objective ear. Chances are they'll tell you your worrying about nothing.
#17
Put your amps next to the drummer, up on something (amp stand?), and walk to the other side of the room and practice from there, facing the drummer and the amps. You'll never hear what your audience hears any other way.

Leave spaces in your music for everyone; don't try to be playing every note, every beat, every measure. Find a sonic space where each musician can fit -- we had both a strat and an LP, and each lived in a different sonic space, and it really worked well. Listen to some old AC/DC for a bit. One guitar is a single coil and NOT gainy. The other is a humbucker-equipped guitar and has more gain. And they'll play something, stop, and then the drummer will fill the space. Your bass player pretty much lives with the kick drum, but you should leave him some space as well.
#18
Remember that this guy pointed the speakers at his head:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Jimi_Hendrix_1967_uncropped.jpg

And this guy:
http://spd.fotolog.com/photo/61/46/24/anukapower/1227611712524_f.jpg

And this guy:
http://yaplog.jp/yarzi/img/451/img20050819_1.jpg

And this guy:
http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/ultimateclassicrock.com/files/2012/08/VH1.jpg

And this guy:
http://cbsradionews.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/jeff-beck-with-brian-wilson-maria-ives.jpg


You don't have to run a full stack to hear yourself but hearing what is coming out of your speakers is kinda important and your knees don't really do it very well.

Tilt em back, put em up on a road case, put them on a stand or a chair but get the direct sound of the amp to your ears.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY