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kpsion

FRFR volume

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When I occasionally play in a band with another "volume wars " star guitarist I simply change my POD output setting to combo return and plug it into either my Marshall JCM800 combo or my Fender BDRI and watch his little Vox AC15 get squashed like a fricken bug lol!

 

That little Marshall will peel the paint off the wall.

I have the same problem, only he uses TWO 4x12's and a Peavey 50/50 power amp. My FRFR rig has no problem keeping up, without having to go over the top with my mixer levels or change the output mode. I just kneel down, turn up the master on my pod & watch him squirm. I used to own a JCM800 combo & yes they crank. I miss that amp.

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Just wondering...does your lollipop get larger the more volume you have???

Lol...seriously, volume so DOES NOT make you sound better. One of the best live shows I've ever seen was Dream Theater @ Irving Plaza in NYC, probably 16 or 17 years ago now. They did a stripped down version of their usual stage set-up, still plugged in (at least the good Lord has delivered us from the "Unplugged" concept ;)) but a smaller drum kit, everybody out in front, using maybe half the stage. And most notably, they weren't trying to blast the audience into next week. When everybody isn't fighting for the extra 3dB they need to be audible, it's easier to get a good mix.

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I play in both a Sabbath Tribute and Classic rock band, I'm always saying "Turn down, it'll sound better".  The only time I actually need more volume is outside gigs, which I don't do very many of those.

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I wouldn't think you'd need much more volume outside.  When we play outside we're still pretty close to our same inside volume unless it's a much larger stage.  You have to remember the sound going out front comes from the PA, so you only need enough volume onstage for the band.

 

I bring this up because I'm often called on to do sound for outdoor events and invariably you get bands that think it's up to them to get their sound to audience.  The problem with that is they only end up interfering with the mix, not helping it.

 

One time I had a guitar player who insisted on cranking his Marshall stack.  I explained to him that all he's doing is overwhelming the mix in the first few rows of people.  He didn't turn down so I removed him from the mix.  So the only people in the outside event who even heard his guitar were the ones toward the front on his side of the stage.  On the other side of the stage and throughout the rest of the event area they heard a nice mix of everything else, with his guitar more or less a whisper in the background.

 

Guitar amps aren't built for projecting sound over long distances like PA speakers are.  Leave it to the PA system to do the heavy lifting, and try not to compete with it.  You'll only lose.

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My band had a rehearsal Tuesday night and there was already a band in the middle room playing with the door open , we could hear them over some of our quieter songs even with our door shut , so I asked them why they had the door open and told them they'd have to shut it, their response was "we can't mate, it's hurting our ears too much with the door shut"

 

I told him his nose was about to start bleeding

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"we can't mate, it's hurting our ears too much with the door shut"

 

Wow. Obviously a Rhodes Scholar. The 68 IQ in its native environment is a thing to behold...

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their response was "we can't mate, it's hurting our ears too much with the door shut"

 

Good Lord, LOL

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I also play with race cars on oval tracks and it's kind of a similar thing that happens there too.  Someone will cause a wreck and sometimes I'll ask why didn't you just slow down or hit the brakes.  Evidently some people think volume knobs and gas pedals only work in one direction.

 

To me the worse offense is the (lead) bass player that has to drown out the band.  More than likely he's sick of the guitar player who's been doing it for years and has finally had enough.  But as someone in the crowd listening I'd rather hear the guitar being too loud than nothing but bass.  But in either case the vocals are usually drowned out and that's usually the most important thing to the audience. 

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All this makes me realise what I take for granted with my band, there aren't any egos knocking about and we're all after the same thing, to sound the best we can possibly sound given the time we have at sound check. If I tell the bass player to turn down ,he does, no questions asked, if he tells me to turn down, I do it straight away , I don't want to waste valuable time at soundcheck playing at the wrong volume on stage and I trust his opinion (the drummer? Not so much)

There has to be a heirachy, but as stated before its always vocals first, as soon as I see a band competing with each other for volume my first thought is "noobs"

Sometimes the sound guy will save them though

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All this makes me realise what I take for granted with my band, there aren't any egos knocking about and we're all after the same thing, to sound the best we can possibly sound given the time we have at sound check. If I tell the bass player to turn down ,he does, no questions asked, if he tells me to turn down, I do it straight away , I don't want to waste valuable time at soundcheck playing at the wrong volume on stage and I trust his opinion (the drummer? Not so much)

There has to be a heirachy, but as stated before its always vocals first, as soon as I see a band competing with each other for volume my first thought is "noobs"

Sometimes the sound guy will save them though

 

I think a lot of this tends to work it's way out the longer a band is together.  Our band has been together coming up on 8 years, but I remember the first year or so trying to find that sweet spot of volume mix where everything matched up correctly.  That can be a challenge with 7 people in the band.  Sometimes we were dead on, but most times something would be out of whack, and it was never the same thing.

 

The two things that really helped us was getting a good multi-channel live recording and then, from mixing that recording, learning where each instrument and voice needed to be in terms of relative volume and using that to gain stage everyone on the PA mixing board.  That took care of the mix out front, the stage mix has just been a process of each discovering where our amps need to be set and sticking with it.  This was made a whole lot easier through the use of electronic drums and modeling setups.

 

What makes me feel good is that we can literally step into almost any environment and we'll have the same mix, or very close to it, every single time.

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