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Need advice from some Tone pros regarding tone adjustment in a band setting
by maxoliver on 2013-03-29 08:07:14


I'm sorry if I come off as a noob here, but I am at a loss and don't really know how to fix this on my own.

Here's the rundown:  I'm in a local band in my area and we have a pretty good following.  I've been using the Spider Valve 212 Mk1 for about a year, love it.  Had the tubes replaced when I first purchased it with JJs.  Great sound.

Recently, I just bought a mesa rectifier 2x12 floor cab to go along with my rig, basically turning it into a halfstack.  Now it sounds huge, but since the speakers are now more close to ear level, I noticed that the sound is just extremely bright after a while, so much so that it's annoying.  When I'm playing by myself, it sounds AMAZING...but I walked out to the middle of our practice room while the whole band was playing, and the sound from my amp sounding very tinny and bright, I could only hear my high frequencies.  Although the rest of my bandmates said it sounds great.  I think they are just used to it.

My settings right now are:

Model - Metal Amber

Gain - 7.5

Bass - 7

Mids - 2

Treble - 7

Chan Volume - 6.5

Reverb - 2

Master Volume - 4

Presence - Slightly past 4

The type of music we play is kinda post hardcore, with some energetic punk rock mixed in.  So i'm trying to get my guitar to have that "Rise Against" tone.  My guitar is a PRS Santana SE with JB SH-4 loaded in the bridge position.  The sound I am primarily going for can be found here:


LikeI said, when I play by myself, I have this tone achieved...but with the full band...I just sound too bright.  So I'm trying to find the settings to achieve that tone with the full band. 

Any advice would be appreciated.


Re: Need advice from some Tone pros regarding tone adjustment in a band setting
by esibanjack on 2013-03-29 11:50:23

There are a lot of things to consider when trying to achieve a good sound mix, and it really is a science and an art. EQ, cabinet placement, volume, etc, etc, etc, all play a part in how the overall mix will sound. You also need to remember that it's very tough to achieve a stellar mix unless you are going through a mixing board, which is why even the tiniest clubs run all of their live sound through one. You also have to take into account that the size and layout of the room has a profound effect on the sound, which is why even bands who have been doing this for decades and get paid millions of dollars do a sound check before every gig.

Having said all of that, I believe your issues are probably not too hard to find an acceptable fix for. Your post suggests that you are OK with your tone at first but then it gets bright "after a while". That sounds to me to be ear fatigue, especially if you are playing at high volumes. Your ears are a sensitive instrument, and while not getting too technical or dropping any big medical terms on you, if they aren't happy, they will tell you so by making everything sound like sh*t after a very short time. Another culprit could be your EQ settings. Just because your tone sounds great by itself doesn't mean it's going to sound good when played with the band, especially if you aren't putting everyone through a board and then running the mix back through speakers and/or monitors. Sound frequencies can stomp all over each other and/or cancel each other out, so you need to find that balance that sounds good as a whole. You need to think of them as the physical thing they are, as proven by that one note you hit that causes your drummer's snare to buzz or that thumping bass you can literally feel in your chest.

And remember, this goes for everyone in the band, not just us guitar players. Your bass player might need to bring his mids up or down to compliment your tone a bit more and/or your drummer might need to go a little easier on the double kick now and again.

The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.