My band and I have been playing together for roughly a year or so, and lately we've been recieving more opportunities to play (a few gigs coming up, a friend that owns a studio who's willing to record us for real cheap, etc.), which is great, but here's the flipside: With all these opportunities, I want us to sound really tight with our tone so we have a great live show, because in my opinion a good show is the key to success. But, we can't get the perfect balance out of our equipment (yes, some of it is kinda cheap; we play through Crate amps, but we use them as heads through B-52 cabs). Anyway, I was just wondering what some of the experts here at UG have to offer in the ways of getting a beautiful live tone. We have two guitarists, bassist, drummer, and I sing while playing guitar. Our songs generally use gain, but we try not to overdo it, so we don't get really scratchy unintelligible riffs. But still, our guitar melodies aren't as clear as they should be. So how can we get a nice tone during practice and at live shows? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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build your tone so that they work together. Even with crappy amps, you can still make some sound more clear.

if you have two guitarists, vary the tone so one is more rythem based, and the other kicks through more, try mid scooping one of the amps a bit, then turn up the mids for the other, then try to get the bass to sit evenly across. You can only do so much, a lot of it is in the playing as well, try to make things tighter and work on melodies on clean so you can hear if the notes are working together or not

also, i fyoure working with a good engineer/producer in the studio, youll understand more about your tone and see that high gain aint always the key to a great distorted tone. I know for my band, getting in and out of the studios makes us better players as well as better tone artists, and we've been able to find the equipment that works for us and use it in a way that compliments the band instead of just stand out on our own. These things take time, i keep changing my gear and messing with my tone at least a few times every tour we do.

Gibson Les Paul Studio w/dirtyfingers pickups
Gibson Joan Jett Melody Maker
VOX ac30 head
Marshall 1960 4x12 cab
Fender Hot Rod Deville
Last edited by ark at Feb 6, 2007,
thanks man

That helps some, we'll keep working on it. I figure tone is one of those things that you just kinda have to figure out for your own sound also.
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Last edited by IronBeast at Feb 7, 2007,