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How much louder do you guys set your lead tone?


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Just curious. I basically started all of my patches over with a new amp. I like the tones. Currently my rhythm channel volume on my HD500X is set at 35%. My lead tone channel volume is set at 54%. Those are just arbitrary numbers really, as I haven't had band practice yet. However, I don't want to waste band practice time fiddling with my rig since time is limited.

 

So, this is my long winded way of asking: Do any of you pros have a stead fast rule, such as "my lead tone is always 10% louder than my rhythm tone"?

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1. Depends on the music. 

2. Depends on the volume. 

 

For example, I don't do lead volumes. I do fx changes. Maybe change the eq to boost the highs. Maybe turn on the wah or some echo.

 

But, if I played a different style of music, maybe the guitar would be buried in the mix and would need to be brought out for a solo. Or, maybe the lead lines that needed to be more of an emotional effect that needs behind the rest of the music instead of overpowering them.

 

 

The reason why your volume level comes into play is because of math ---

These numbers are not true to life, but they show my point.

 

Let's say in your bedroom that you are playing at 1db. You boost your leads to 2db a 100% increase. Which is exactly where it needs to be to sound good in that situation.

But, once you get on a stage and you turn your amp up to 6 instead of 2, you are now playing at 3 and 6 db. And then when they hook up the pa, it now comes out at 300db and 600db.

 

Do you want a change of 300db?    

Probably not. Which is why your volume is important in determining patch setup. 

 

 

*volume is important to all decisions. 

the perfect echo at bedroom volume becomes an annoying sound sound sound when you are sound playing at sound stage levels sound

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What you're saying, of course, makes perfect sense. My issue becomes, these devices aren't exactly "stage friendly" when it comes to editing them at a gig, on stage. I almost never use the interface on the board. I do it all on my PC. Any suggestions how to compensate for volume issues "on the fly"?

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That is why you have sound check, and two hours before show time. 

I know it is a pain in the lollipop to do some of this type of stuff, but you do what you gotta do. 

 

 

Imagine living in a van with 5 other guys while touring the country. You literally need learn songs while behind the wheel. Or, learn new songs for soundcheck. 

 

When you have down time, you use it. 

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Well, if you want a 'rule of thumb' that covers all situations ---- 

 

Adjust the EQ. No actual volume change, but a perceived one. 

 

 

I will also, on an HSS guitar, switch pickup position. 

I have the middle pickup screwed down really far, which gives it a low volume. I use the bridge and middle for regular playing. 

When it comes time for a lead, switch to just bridge. A slight volume boost because the middle one isn't bring it down. A slight eq shift because, well, it is the bridge pickup. 

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  • 2 months later...

Actually, the volume explanation is wrong. 20db is double the perceived volume of 10db, 30db is double that of 20db, 40db is double that of 30db, and so on. +10db is always double the perceived volume, no matter what you add it to.

 

However I totally agree with EQ or FX changes for solos for some genres. For me, I just add some delay and a drive pedal with a mid boost dialed in.

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Actually, the volume explanation is wrong. 20db is double the perceived volume of 10db, 30db is double that of 20db, 40db is double that of 30db, and so on. +10db is always double the perceived volume, no matter what you add it to.

 

which is why I said the numbers weren't true to life.

People understand 10x2=20

They understand 20x2=40. 

 

Not everyone understands that 4 to the 4th power is 256. 

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When creating a lead patch, I like to move it up about a 3db or so. But like Pianoguyy said that also includes fx/eq changes as well. In the end, since it's perceived volume, I just use my ear during rehearsals or sound checks to dial in the what my final lead patch will be. And I don't use a lead patch on everything. Some times just kick on some fx (overdrive,dist,compressor,etc...) without changing patch is enough.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In the end, since it's perceived volume, I just use my ear during rehearsals or sound checks to dial in the what my final lead patch will be.

All the obsessing over volume baffles me. Using your ears is the only real answer...there's no "magic number" for a bB boost that will work for all patch combinations, because the perceived difference will change based on the overall master volume. The decibel curve is logarithmic. Boosting from 95dB to 98dB is not the same as going from 100dB to 103dB...thus, there is no magic bullet, and there never will be. Use your ears, that what they're there for.

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I play in a band with 2 electric guitar players and in a different band where I'm the only guitar player.

 

What works for one, does not work for the other!

 

So really it depends on what you're competing against.  If you need to solo over another rock guitar, you need way more help from volume and eq that if you're soloing over a piano or organ.

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  Here's my two cents on this subject: I agree that it depends on the music, especially something like metal or hard rock where it's easy to be drowned out by an ocean of distortion. But even more than volume would be overall tone and EQ. I really like to utilize my guitar's volume and tone control and have one or two sounds that have what I want in them. Just crank up for solos and back off for comping. This is almost always the way I would do it in a jazz/ fusion environment. Since I'm literally comping for another instrument or soloist.

  But I understand that in heavier types of music, it's easy to lose crunch or bite if you back off too much. In that case, never underestimate the importance of MID-RANGE. Im my mind, guitar almost always sounds better with a lot more mids than highs or lows. Especially for soloing. And since mid adds body (and is where the different instruments' frequencies tend to overlap), and volume, this will cut through the mix without puncturing eardrums causing grimaces. 

   Having said that, I feel that around a 6db boost is a healthy place to start, especially if you can also bump those mids as well. If you ask 50 people, you'll probably get 50 different answers. So I hope this is helpful in some small way. Good luck!!

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  • 1 year later...

my patch for lead is configured in this way.

1) expression pedal control eq, gain, volume, as much i press the pedal the much the sounds more liquid, highs becomes quiter and mids are gained. at the heel position the volume is not zero, is set to play on clean base track, when i goes down to toe position you can break trough all other instrument.
2) if you press the toe switch, the wha comes on

3) assigned to FS4 (closest switch to expression pedal) i turn off a pedal volume in the chain that is configured to have 85% volume, this means that in normal play (also toe position) the volume is high, the higher i can reach with the expression pedal, but in some heavy heavy part of some songs i need a super boost, thats why i turn off the 85% volume pedal configured and always on in the chain, so the patch comes out at 100% of the volume (of the chain not 100% of the amp)

hope i explained it clear lol

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I know this might sound obvious but you need to get the manual out and learn to program the POD using the buttons on it. That way you can adjust the necessary settings quickly whilst you are playing.

 

I relied on the Edit Software and got caught out a couple of times needing to change a patch at rehearsal but not being able to. I woodshedded using the buttons and was surprised how quickly it all made sense. Easy to make changes on the fly now!

 

I bet you know how to change the settings on your guitar and amp so just add the POD to that list...

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