i'm a guitarist in this rock band, and i feel like we have a big problem (though i'm pretty sure i'm the only one who thinks so).

we've been around for a couple of years, with people coming and going, and the size of our band varying from time to time. one of the things right now that makes our band so unique is our large number of members (nine: 2 guitars, drums, bass, 3 strings, piano, and singer), and our recordings sound pretty good when we're blended together. but when it comes to the live performances, some of us like to crank up our volume (compared to- to be heard or stand out, and the sounds of the instruments either get muffled together so as not to be distinguished from one another, or some instruments are not heard at all. vocals haven't been a problem right now since we've been able to raise their volume so as to be heard the most.

the point is, i wanted to know if it IS possible to have a band of that size to be able to sound well and balanced during live shows, (and that we sounded bad because of other factors, like no concept of sound check, bad equipment, amps, mics, ect.) or is it that having that many people in a band is too ridiculous and a lost cause. any imput into this thread will be greatly appreciated.
Word. At practices work out a sound level that works for everyone and use that live.

If you're doing legit live shows, there should be a sound guy for all that.
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I'm pretty sure it's okay to have that big of a band. There are entire orchestras that play together and still they manage. You just need someone (like your singer) to go stand where the audience stands, and have a sound check...

Everyone plays and he says who's too loud or not loud enough. That way nobody turns themselves way up and masks everyone else.
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I agree with everyone that balence is your problem. I'm interesting in hearing your recorded stuff
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Just check out the Polyphonic Spree. They have like 23 members and it all sounds amazing, both live and on the recording. As other people have said your main problem comes from balance so that everything can be heard.
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It's also a personal thing. If members in your band actually want to drown out others to make themselves heard, they're probably not too into the whole 'band effort' thing, in which case... they probably shouldnt be in the band anyways.
Wanting to be heard is understandable, but wanting to be heard more than others is a problem.
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If your looking for a "thinner sound" give less notes to each player. That will really help it blend. Also make sure you sound check and that each player understands what their volume should be at.
Of course it is, you just need to organise yourselves, some bands have members in the double figures, A sweedish band (who i forgot the name of have 32 members).

Egos may be a bit of a problem though...
well, i think that 3 strings is too much.. in the recordings you can just play different samples.. 1 string is enough.. why don't you just turn the volume up like the recordings, then you all should be happy
Yeah i agree with what everyone says, also care to share any of your music?
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Go on youtube and find some of Eric Clapton's 24 Nights stuff

Its simply breathtaking, and he uses a 9-piece band on the best songs
Even has an orchestra playing with him on three songs - so if he can manage it mate...