#1
What volume should we set each instrument? We are a five piece band consisting of a lead guitarist, a rhythm guitarist, bassist, drummer and a singer. I want a sort of AC/DC back in black era sound, cheers.
Dave
#2
for practicing or recording? for practicing just make sure that you aren't drowned out by the drums.. it sounds like you are just starting off, and prolly dn't have big amps, so if they're under 20 watts, crank them.. if they're like 30 watts, about 8 o clock..
#3
Well, it depends... what you have to do? Gigs or band practice? And you don't have mentioned the wattage of the amps.
#4
The guitarists have 100 watt combos, the lead guitarist has a 2 by 12 combo and the rhythm guitarist has a 1 by 12, the PA for the singer is 80 watts and has 2 speakers, and the bassist has a 450 watt amp. We dont mic the drums for practice, the reason we want the volumes right is because we will be filming some stuff to put on youtube.
#5
If its practicing, start with the drums then add bass, then guitars, then vocals. Point everyones amps in a circle, so the other members can tell you who's too loud, etc. There's no set level, just make sure you don't look like a douche and crank your amp way louder than the rest of them. Guitarists have the tendency to play too loud.

Then record some stuff, listen to it, and fix anything.
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Last edited by aetherspear at Jul 29, 2008,
#8
Quote by CurbstompBass
Start with drums, then add bass. Layer the rhythm guitar after, and then lead. Vocals over that.


Actually.... go in the exact opposite order. Nine times out of ten, it is the singer who gets drowned out. Best remedy for that is to start with the lead vocal. Get as much gas out of that as you can, and adjust everyone else accordingly. If it means drummers and guitarists need to play quieter... so be it.

I have a 150W Solid State amp.... my master is on about 4. We can always hear our vocals just fine.

BTW... rehearsal or gig doesn't matter. You want it to sound good either way. If I was mixing a live set, I would still start with the vocal for exactly the same reasons.

An extra caution to guitarists about live levels. If you play too damned loud on stage, sound engineers will HATE YOUR GUTS. Give them a nice, easy stage volume and they can mix the band perfectly, which is his/her job. Give them a full-on assault of tube power and the best they can do for you is damage control, with the end result being somewhere between total crap and just barely listenable.

LOL-ing about the guitarist being the loudest thing in the room. Good humour does have its roots in the real world, doesn't it?

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.
#10
The thing is volume is hard to justify in a practice situation since usually the rooms are less than ideal for rehersal, and the positioning of the amps are poor, for being able to hear each other. Ideally you just want to set things up so everything is loud enough for each other to hear, start with the drums since you can't adjust the volume, and get the bass sitting with the drums, and than bring the guitars up to a level that everyone can hear them clearly.
#11
Quote by axemanchris
Actually.... go in the exact opposite order. Nine times out of ten, it is the singer who gets drowned out. Best remedy for that is to start with the lead vocal. Get as much gas out of that as you can, and adjust everyone else accordingly. If it means drummers and guitarists need to play quieter... so be it.

Y'know Chris, in all my years of sounchecking, I've never seen anyone do that or even heard of anyone doing that, but it makes so much sense, I think I'll get the lads to experiment with this type of setup.
It also has the added advantages of getting my bit out of the way early and keeps our drummer out of the bar until he's done his bit.
It's brilliant.

Quote by axemanchris

An extra caution to guitarists about live levels. If you play too damned loud on stage, sound engineers will HATE YOUR GUTS. Give them a nice, easy stage volume and they can mix the band perfectly, which is his/her job. Give them a full-on assault of tube power and the best they can do for you is damage control, with the end result being somewhere between total crap and just barely listenable.
CT


What would you say to guitarists who claim that they can only achieve their particular sound by overdriving their amp?
#12
Quote by SlackerBabbath
What would you say to guitarists who claim that they can only achieve their particular sound by overdriving their amp?

Point them in the direction of an attenuator.
#13
Quote by Retro Rocker
Point them in the direction of an attenuator.


Ahh, clever, and what if they are so deaf that they have to turn their amp up just to be able to hear it properly?
#14
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Ahh, clever, and what if they are so deaf that they have to turn their amp up just to be able to hear it properly?

Some sort of wireless headphones that sends whatever is coming from the PA mixer stright into his head? I'm not sure if they exist, but it sounds like it can be done.

Or just find a younger and physically superior guitarist
#15
Quote by Retro Rocker
Some sort of wireless headphones that sends whatever is coming from the PA mixer stright into his head? I'm not sure if they exist, but it sounds like it can be done.

Exellent, we can fasten Mr. Spock type vulcan ears to them.
Quote by Retro Rocker

Or just find a younger and physically superior guitarist

Hey, who said he's old? That's ageist that is! You just assume that because he's deaf that he's also old which really isn't fair.

Actualy he's older than me.
#16
Quote by IrishmanGuitar
for practicing or recording? for practicing just make sure that you aren't drowned out by the drums.. it sounds like you are just starting off, and prolly dn't have big amps, so if they're under 20 watts, crank them.. if they're like 30 watts, about 8 o clock..

For a bass amp you might just get away with that, but you are underestimating how loud a cranked 30 watter is.
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#17
In my opinion the Guitars should be a little louder than the bass and drums, but it also depends on the songs too.

lol, my bassist wanted the guitars and bass to be the exact same volume!
#18
Quote by take_it_t
The thing is volume is hard to justify in a practice situation since usually the rooms are less than ideal for rehersal, and the positioning of the amps are poor, for being able to hear each other. Ideally you just want to set things up so everything is Quiet enough for each other to hear

personally, I think this is a much better way to do it. Cranking up to be heard over each other is never as good as turning things down and learning some subtlty and dynamics Quieter playing forces you to listen to each other and controll what you're doing in relationship to each other, not rely entirely on setting and forgetting the volume at the beginning of a session and hoping the mix stays right.


Quote by take_it_t
start with the drums since you can't adjust the volume

And this is a flat out lie Any good drummer can express a good dynamic range.
#19
Finding the right volume level is trial and error. Right now I'm playing with a drummer who hits very hard. I have to take a crappy 100 watt solid state combo (half stacks are to big of a bitch to move all the time) and I keep pre, post, and master volumes all at 10. Somedays he can only barely hear me even at that!
(But on a side note, the few times I do actually bring my 6505+, I keep the post volume at 2.5)
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#20
Quote by dullsilver_mike
And this is a flat out lie Any good drummer can express a good dynamic range.


Yes and no, the fact is that the drummer should be playing the right dynamics for the song. As much as I think drummers should hold back, I don't think should hold back because the band can't adjust their volume enough. You want to make sure the drums have the right articulation and tone.
#21
This is how i have been taught to soundcheck

Drums (and any other precussive elements)
Bass
Drums and Bass (Groove of song)
Rhythm Guitar
Drums, Bass and Rhythm (part of any song)
Lead Guitar
Drums, Bass, Rhythm and Lead (Solo of song if applicable)
Another other instrument (keys, mic'ed acoustic instruments)
Drums, Bass, Rhythm, Lead and other instruments (Chorus of song with no vocals)
Lead Vocals
Drums, Bass, Rhythm, Lead, Other instruments and Lead Vocals (First Verse and Chorus)
Backing Vocals (if applicable)
Drums, Bass, Rhythm, Lead, Other instruments, Lead Vocals and Backing vocals (generally first full song played at practise/gig)
#22
about setting mix levels with vocal first - I got that idea reading an article on mixing about the differences between mixing a pop song (key element is the vocal) vs. mixing a rock tune (key element is the driving 'band' sound), that suggesting starting with the vocal. I just kinda took that idea and ran with it, for reasons I justified above. Makes perfect sense.

about what to do about guitarist who insists on cranking it - I belive the technique is called 'sidewashing' where you point the amp away from the stage (towards the back wall or something). You mic it up same as you would anyways, and make sure the guitar player has a good mix in his monitor so he can hear himself. At least you don't have a gazillion watts of guitar filling the room with sound that the soundman can't control.

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.
#23
Volume is really easy. Have your drummer play a steady beat and have the singer just kind of talk. Then for your clean tone volume just have the 2 guitars play an open chord (my band uses C) and the bassist play the root. Continuing playing them until you're all even. Switch to distortion and play some power chords and make sure you're all even. Adjust singer volume as necessary. Done.