Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Mardi Gras gig: I LOVED it, the guitar player HATED it!


Nu2Keys

Recommended Posts

We played a Mardi Gras Benefit for a local hospital Tuesday night. Sound was provided by the facility. It was an awesome system with JBL monitors. I played my NE2 DI with a dedicated monitor just for me. We had to play at a very low stage volume. I could hear everything I played, every nuance. Compared to most of our gigs where nothing is miked and everyone is blasting away, I thought it was GREAT! The guitar player, who is used to playing so loud that his little 22 watt Fender amp is bouncing off the floor, HATED having to play at such a low volume. I think he's mad at me for saying I loved the sound. Oh, well..........
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 29
  • Created
  • Last Reply
His problem, lol! Seriously tho, I do know guitarists who say they can't get their tone out of certain amps at low volume. Lots of guitar players, and this includes excellent ones, play their amps as much as they play their guitars. My former music partner was like that. But the difference is, at low volume, he had tone for DAYS. If you guys are going to be doing lots of lower-volume gigs, or if you can convince your guitarist that it'd be lucrative in the long run to be able to adapt and play such gigs, then maybe he should consider in investing in a rig that sounds good and responsive at low volume. Those amps are out there.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you guys are going to be doing lots of lower-volume gigs, or if you can convince your guitarist that it'd be lucrative in the long run to be able to adapt and play such gigs, then maybe he should consider in investing in a rig that sounds good and responsive at low volume.

 

I have almost completely stopped using guitar amps altogether.

 

http://www.avid.com/static/resources/common/images/products/cw_200x112_elevenrackMAIN.png

 

The computer models and rack processors get you 90% there at reasonable volumes. And most of the newer amps have switches to lower the wattage to 5 watts or less. They breakup nicely at much lower volumes!

 

I have had more issues with loud drummers lately!

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of guitar players, and this includes excellent ones, play their amps as much as they play their guitars. My former music partner was like that. But the difference is, at low volume, he had tone for DAYS.

 

My primary instrument is keyboard and I double on guitar, yet I totally appreciate this concept.

 

Low volume guitar rigs with decent tone are here now. Low volume electronic drums with decent sounds are here now.

 

The R-n-R groups of the 1950s and 1960s got along great with low volume. We're headed that direction. Things come around in cycles.

 

Any guitar player who refuses to acknowledge good tone from a low volume rig is only playing for the pleasure of rattling his b@lls :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes its the eleven rack, its also great for live work in conjunction with a midi floor pedal. It sounds incredible, there are others too. The Axe FX ultra II and the Line 6 HD Pro are great too, the Axe Fx is the current king.

The technology is improving by leaps and bounds and every single year it gets better and cheaper. The muse box is supposed to have ReValver in it. That's huge for a keyboard player that doubles on guitar.

 

The times they are a changin'

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a lot of low-watt boutique guitar amps designed specifically for this purpose...5W, 7W, 12W, etc. I believe our own Giffinator just went through the process recently of evaluating the current crop.

 

But even with higher wattage amps, I think tone is an excuse for many guitar players who simply like to play louder than everyone else. In that case, one of 2 solutions can help:

1) IEM's: they can crank the guitar in their ears as much as they want, and nobody else hears it.

2) tilt-back amp stand: point the guitar amp at the guitar player's head instead of his knees

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We played a Mardi Gras Benefit for a local hospital Tuesday night. Sound was provided by the facility. It was an awesome system with JBL monitors. I played my NE2 DI with a dedicated monitor just for me. We had to play at a very low stage volume. I could hear everything I played, every nuance. Compared to most of our gigs where nothing is miked and everyone is blasting away, I thought it was GREAT! The guitar player, who is used to playing so loud that his little 22 watt Fender amp is bouncing off the floor, HATED having to play at such a low volume. I think he's mad at me for saying I loved the sound. Oh, well..........

 

It's the guitar player's problem, not his equipment's problem.

 

Some of us saw B3er's blues band when their tour brought them to the DC area. The guitarist had a little amp that looked like a typical 20-watter. The amp was miced into the house PA. We had no problems hearing him. The volume balance between him and B3er's rig was perfect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....2) tilt-back amp stand: point the guitar amp at the guitar player's head instead of his knees

 

I've mentioned that to the guitar player as a way that he can hear himself as loud as he wants but not be too loud for everyone else and you know what he says? Believe it or not he says "I don't like it. It's too bright sounding and too loud."

I kid you not!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....2) tilt-back amp stand: point the guitar amp at the guitar player's head instead of his knees

 

I've mentioned that to the guitar player as a way that he can hear himself as loud as he wants but not be too loud for everyone else and you know what he says? Believe it or not he says "I don't like it. It's too bright sounding and too loud."

I kid you not!

 

Well, being on-axis instead of off-axis, it will be brighter. But guess what? That's what it REALLY sounds like to everybody else besides him! Wow.

 

Ok, I'd go with option 3) new guitar player

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We played a Mardi Gras Benefit for a local hospital Tuesday night. Sound was provided by the facility. It was an awesome system with JBL monitors. I played my NE2 DI with a dedicated monitor just for me. We had to play at a very low stage volume. I could hear everything I played, every nuance. Compared to most of our gigs where nothing is miked and everyone is blasting away, I thought it was GREAT! The guitar player, who is used to playing so loud that his little 22 watt Fender amp is bouncing off the floor, HATED having to play at such a low volume. I think he's mad at me for saying I loved the sound. Oh, well..........

 

It's the guitar player's problem, not his equipment's problem.

 

Some of us saw B3er's blues band when their tour brought them to the DC area. The guitarist had a little amp that looked like a typical 20-watter. The amp was miced into the house PA. We had no problems hearing him. The volume balance between him and B3er's rig was perfect.

 

That was a little 5watt Valco amp from the 1940s. He uses that to get his tone. It has a 1/4" output on the back that can go into another amp if he needs more volume.

 

I'm lucky to play with sensitive musicians that don't have egos about playing loud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....2) tilt-back amp stand: point the guitar amp at the guitar player's head instead of his knees

 

I've mentioned that to the guitar player as a way that he can hear himself as loud as he wants but not be too loud for everyone else and you know what he says? Believe it or not he says "I don't like it. It's too bright sounding and too loud."

I kid you not!

 

Well, being on-axis instead of off-axis, it will be brighter. But guess what? That's what it REALLY sounds like to everybody else besides him! Wow.

 

Ok, I'd go with option 3) new guitar player

 

I'm also a guitar player also and I have to dissent. The hi's that come out of the cone are piercing only at a short range. Those hi's do not make it past the second row of the audience and are non-existant in the back of the room. My guitar amps sound completely different from only 20ft away vs the 3-5 ft you have to monitor them from on a typical bar stage.

 

I do tilt my amps but I hate having them point right at my head. Mostly I tilt them so that I can get them loud but not have the laser beam light-saber through the middle of the room. Point the sound into the rafters and get most of your FOH sound from the PA.

You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I'm also a guitar player also and I have to dissent. The hi's that come out of the cone are piercing only at a short range. Those hi's do not make it past the second row of the audience and are non-existant in the back of the room. My guitar amps sound completely different from only 20ft away vs the 3-5 ft you have to monitor them from on a typical bar stage.

 

I have to dissent to your dissent. Our guitar player uses a low watt amp and fires it across the stage at relatively low volume so mics don't pick it up. We use IEM's. At one venue, with about a 30-40' wid stage, him on one side, me on the other, since I'm next to the wall, if it's pointing towards me, even at 90 degrees from my vocal mic, I can turn him completely off in my IEM's and still have the guitar borderline too loud. If he rotates his amp a few degrees to miss me, it goes away and I mix as normal.

 

In fact, unless obstructions are in the way to absorb them, the high frequencies should carry the furthest just by the laws of physics.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree with DD; those high mids are really difficult on a stage. I did my second consecutive christmas tour in december. We had a pretty big band (2 keys, guitar, bass, drums, sax, 5-piece choir) big PA, everybody using in-ears. Last year, the guitar player had a 4x12 cabinet on the opposite side of the stage. It was placed behind plexi (not full, just in front of it) and was pretty loud. Even with in-ears, I could hear it all the time and ended up not having it in my in-ears. This year, the guitar player had an Axe FX rack. To me, it sounded just as good as the amp, but with no fatigue to the ears. He had a small monitor for feedback and I could not hear that it wasn't a tube amp - and I've spent many gigs listening to cranked tube amps... :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There may be some truth to that, but on stage or in a practice room the highs from a guitar amp can take your head off. Also, on a related note, when in the studio or on a concert stage, amps are always close miked, so the close up sound of the speaker is usually what is on a recording or in the mains. Bottom line to me is too loud is too loud, whether it's a 22 watt amp, a 100 watt amp, or whatever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm also a guitar player also and I have to dissent. The hi's that come out of the cone are piercing only at a short range. Those hi's do not make it past the second row of the audience and are non-existant in the back of the room.
I was listening to a guy just Saturday night with a 4x12 in a small venue, and believe me, he was peeling paint on the far wall. I was very glad I had my etymotics in my car!

 

OK, don't point it straight at his head, but at least at his torso. With an amp blasting past your knees, you have no idea what it sounds like.

 

Admittedly, for certain kinds of music, you do have to get to a decent volume before the guitar handles properly, with the right amount of acoustic feedback for sustain, etc. There are transponder devices you can attach to the guitar to simulate that, which I'd like to try.

 

I use a modeler, but I haven't heard one yet that really sounds like a good amp. I suspect they may have tube modeling down, but not speaker sim. All the speaker sims I've seen are convolutions, but convolutions are linear and speakers aren't.

 

In any case, tilt stands and 8-watt amps FTW; everyone should use them! I'm lucky that the guitarists I play with don't have to compensate for their size with their volume.

 

My hat's off to the venue who forced everyone to play at a reasonable level. My soul band would have a hard time with that, though: horns just don't sound the same when blown softly. It's a challenge for a drummer, too: only the best I've known can sound like they're wailing while playing softly.

 

Point the sound into the rafters and get most of your FOH sound from the PA.
I missed that the first reading. Good idea! But, don't a lot of amps sound odd that way? Also, might lead to even higher levels on stage. I still think tilted back pointed to guitarist's torso is best. But, it's worth a try.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I'm singing I like having the monitor pointed directly to my head. When I'm playing my NE2 thru a monitor I like the monitor pointed directly toward my head. I assume what I'm hearing in both cases is an accurate representation of the sound. I guess my question is why that would be different for a guitar amplifier? Wouldn't having your guitar speaker pointed at your head give you a good idea of your actual sound?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In fact, unless obstructions are in the way to absorb them, the high frequencies should carry the furthest just by the laws of physics.

 

I'm pretty sure that low frequencies travel the farthest due to their long wavelengths and the energy needed to create them in the first place compared to higher frequencies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In fact, unless obstructions are in the way to absorb them, the high frequencies should carry the furthest just by the laws of physics.

 

I'm pretty sure that low frequencies travel the farthest due to their long wavelengths and the energy needed to create them in the first place compared to higher frequencies.

I'm pretty sure you're right about that, Jim. Not sure if the reason is the energy, but from experience, thunder has less highs the longer it is between seeing the strike and hearing the boom. There are lots of other examples from everyday life, but for most it's hard to rule out obstructions as a big factor.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In fact, unless obstructions are in the way to absorb them, the high frequencies should carry the furthest just by the laws of physics.

 

I'm pretty sure that low frequencies travel the farthest due to their long wavelengths and the energy needed to create them in the first place compared to higher frequencies.

 

If you're standing far enough away from an outdoor concert that you can just barely hear it, what are you hearing? Subs? I don't think so...highs. As you approach, the sound gets fuller (more mids and lows). When you're in front of the speakers, it's kicking you in the chest. In reality, the reason for this is directionality. With low frequencies, the energy is spread in a 360 degree space, or if against a wall, 180 deg, or if in a corner 90 deg. Highs are highly directional, even without the use of a horn.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I'm singing I like having the monitor pointed directly to my head. When I'm playing my NE2 thru a monitor I like the monitor pointed directly toward my head. I assume what I'm hearing in both cases is an accurate representation of the sound. I guess my question is why that would be different for a guitar amplifier? Wouldn't having your guitar speaker pointed at your head give you a good idea of your actual sound?
Good point. The difference here would be whether you're listening to a monitor of something that's being fed directly to FOH, or you're listening to something you plan to feed into the audience.

 

We keyboard players would prefer that guitarists do the former, miking their guitars, and letting FOH feed the crowd. I suspect most guitarists would rather have the audience hear their amps directly, only using FOH to fill in as needed to round it out.

 

IMHO, the ideal is somewhere between these two. I'd generally rather hear the instruments themselves, than hearing it all only as reproduced in the mains. But that only works for smaller venues, and it also tends to lead to stage levels that are too high, unless everyone shows real discipline.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...