#1
I have no problem coming up with a decent tone when practicing at home. It sounds great - amp (a valve 40W Marshall DSL401).

My problem is when taking these same settings to practice with my band.

The tone just disappears the moment the volumes increase and all the instruments come in. My tone is just lost in the overall mix and half of the time I can't even make out what I am playing. My tone just doesn't cut through!

In these situations, the only tone that cuts through the mix is a clean tone.
I don't over saturate my distortions and don't apply too much reverb / delay, so I am stuggling to understand why can't my tone settings at home sound good during practice.

Is it a volume thing?
Is it an EQ thing?
Is it me?

The band I play in consists of drums, bass, rhytm guitar and lead guitar (me).
By the way, I use my Marhsall at practice, not the PA.

My rig is:

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Custom 68, Fender 50th Deluxe Strat
Amp: Marshall DSL401
Effects: Boss GT-10

Thanks for your advice
#2
possibly EQ, lower lows, raise mids and treble
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#4
Quote by robinmccready
what do you usually have the bass set to?


It varies (depending on the patch).
Are you suggesting it should be lowered for band practice?

My issue is a general one - i.e. with the exception of a light crunch, I can't get any OD / distortion tone cut through the band sound. It just gets lost in the overall mix...

I am starting to thing my 40W is not powerful enough to handle the band volume... But then again I've heard of people gigging with a 40W and playing small halls with no issues of this type...
#5
Quote by Sirakov
I am starting to thing my 40W is not powerful enough to handle the band volume... But then again I've heard of people gigging with a 40W and playing small halls with no issues of this type...

Nah 40W can definitely cut it. I don't have a solution though, I was wondering the same thing..
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#6
Quote by Sirakov
It varies (depending on the patch).
Are you suggesting it should be lowered for band practice?

My issue is a general one - i.e. with the exception of a light crunch, I can't get any OD / distortion tone cut through the band sound. It just gets lost in the overall mix...

I am starting to thing my 40W is not powerful enough to handle the band volume... But then again I've heard of people gigging with a 40W and playing small halls with no issues of this type...


im not sure i was gonna say that it if its too crunchy and trebly turn the bass up but that would have been obvious lol but yea i guess you could try turning it down.

"depending on the patch"
what pedal have you got? could be something to do with that
#7
You've got to realise the guitar sits in the middle of the frequency spectrum in a band situation. Cutting your mids is effectively ignoring the entire goal of guitar. Mids will make you cut through.

Your clean tone probably has more highs and presence than your distortion tone. You can't really judge a good tone for band use by yourself in your room. What sounds crappy alone can sound great in the mix.
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#8
^win.
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#9
Robin,

I use a boss GT-10 pedal board, but I don’t think that where the issue resides.
In fact, the lack of definition occurs even when I plug the guitar straight into the amp.

I will try to illustrate this with a practical example, reminiscent of a typical band practice:

Set up guitar on its own
Cleans – OK
OD – OK
Distortion – OK

Practice in a mix with other instruments
Cleans – OK, notes cut though clearly
Rhythm work with OD or crunch – feeling the presence, but lacks definition of single notes
Solo work with Distortion – lacks definition of single notes and sound is lost in overall mix

I just feel that as soon as I select a distortion, all the definition disappears and the result is a melee of noise. But that’s only when the other instruments play (and not the case when I model the same sound at home).

It also feels as if my distortions are completely sucked in and overpowered by the drums, bass and the other guitar. It’s so frustrating, because the only way I can hear the individual notes of what I play is by selecting clean tones – even for solos – and that is just not what I want, especially when all my OD, crunch and distortions sound so sweet when I dial them at home or when the other instruments are not involved.

I don’t over-saturate my distortions, neither do I add too much delay or reverb, so I can’t really understand why I am lacking definition

What are your findings when using distorted sounds in a band environment?
#10
Quote by Resiliance
You've got to realise the guitar sits in the middle of the frequency spectrum in a band situation. Cutting your mids is effectively ignoring the entire goal of guitar. Mids will make you cut through.

Your clean tone probably has more highs and presence than your distortion tone. You can't really judge a good tone for band use by yourself in your room. What sounds crappy alone can sound great in the mix.


Thanksfor your input. The way I understand your advice is that I should add some more MIDS. Would you then advise that I over-saturate my MIDS (i.e. more that what they should be when set up at home)?

Your suggestion that a tone sounds different at home, compared to a high volume / practice situation is well taken. But my problem (which I also assume would be the problem of quite a few others) is that it would be unfeasible to do all these tweaks during band practice. Or are you suggesting that I ask my band-mates to jam, whilst I tweak sounds on my amp / pedal board for an hour?
#11
i dont have a band unfotunatley but have you tried just turning the volume on the distortion patch up? if your distortions set really high maybe you could turn it down a little, im not too sure though :/
#12
Quote by Sirakov
Thanksfor your input. The way I understand your advice is that I should add some more MIDS. Would you then advise that I over-saturate my MIDS (i.e. more that what they should be when set up at home)?


Well, the bass and drums are going to drown out your lows, and cymbals your highs, as well as possibly vocals. So yes, you really need to push those mids. At home you don't have instruments drowning out your lows and highs, so it's not necessary.

Quote by Sirakov
Your suggestion that a tone sounds different at home, compared to a high volume / practice situation is well taken. But my problem (which I also assume would be the problem of quite a few others) is that it would be unfeasible to do all these tweaks during band practice. Or are you suggesting that I ask my band-mates to jam, whilst I tweak sounds on my amp / pedal board for an hour?


Well, there really is no other way. I used to put little marks on my dials for different kinds of tones, so that I didn't have to remember. Of course, if you have a piece of gear that you can save EQ settings and whatnot on, that's even better.

The good thing is you only really need to do it once.

Of course, it could just be your amp isn't powerful enough, is faced the wrong way, etc... Acoustics matter a lot too. The way your amp is facing, how near you are to the drummer, if the amp is facing upwards, downwards, is on the floor, is on carpet, is on a chair... There are just some general pointers.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.