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Heaphones/Live Gigs Settings


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l know that there are old topics about that, but i would like to know what are, in your opinion, the best settings for Headphones and for live.


I mean, how do you do to be sure that, if you play during the night, your sound is great and you play live, through the PA, the sound is the same.


I love my sound with headphones but during my last gig, it was maybe too garish.


Of course, i don't know if there is a way to obtain the same, but if someone can help me, it would be great. 


Maybe, it's coming from my headphones...


Marc (From France)

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Your live sounds need to be set up while using your live gear at the volumes (or as close to) you will be playing at,

Here is how I program my patches, and I've been much happier since I started doing this

First I create the tone on headphones , I'll take regular breaks between tweaking as my ears get tired very quick and after a 10 minute break I'll come back to the tone and immediately notice something that could be improved, quite often taking a break can be more productive


I'll save that tone with a "H" in the title so that in future I know it was created using Headphones


Next , I'll try it through the speaker I use live , that's usually a few days later at a rehearsal or something. It's not unusual to find that the tone sounds too harsh, muddy, boomy or anything else that sounds bad but don't panic, your awesome tone is still there somewhere


First I listen for the low end , is it too boomy? If it is, I use the eq and set the low shelf to about 130hz and cut it by 4db


Next I listen for harshness, if it sounds harsh I cut my high shelf by 4 dB too and slide the frequency down until I get a good balance between clarity and harshness


Then if it's still too harsh I drop the treble in the amp model ( I used to drop the presence but I found keeping the presence fairly high gives the amp models more life across the full frequency spectrum and not just the high frequencies as I previously thought, basically, adding presence can really improve the bass and mids too)

Next I check my reverb level, I nearly always add more than is necessary when using headphones so most of the time I dial it back a bit for a live tone


Delays I turn up as they don't cut through like they do on headphones


And that's about it.


I've tried a ton of different headphones over the years to try and find the perfect set that will let me create tones that transfer to live use seamlessly but they don't exist , headphones and speakers are 2 different beasts and have to be treated as such, but that being said a good quality pair of studio monitor headphones will get you closer to a live tone and cut down the amount of tweaking required.


As I said earlier in the post, once I accepted that for my tones to sound good live they HAD to be set up using my live equipment I was much happier, yes, it's more work than I was hoping to do , but now I couldn't be happier with my tones

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If you give me an idea of the kind of tone you're looking for I might have something similar that I'd be happy to share on the cloud

It might not sound exactly like I intended as we're using different guitars and speakers but if it does sound good you could use it as a reference to see how I set the eq up

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All headphones seem to have a character of their own. Some are very bassy/boomy others may sound a bit harsch. I ended up using my Shure SE535 in-ears for setting up my tones and EQ settings. The Shure SE535 is basically a mini-FRFR PA speakerset with a flat response.


When playing through a PA system set in neutral EQ without any effects, I really get the sound I dialed in when using the in-ear headphone.

And during a gig the PA of our tech is pre-adjusted to my Firehawk to generate the sounds I want. When I receive the overall bandmix and my own tone via the in-ear there is no (tone) tweaking required other than (volume)leveling of the other instruments and vocals.



I do experience a lot more tweaking when using an actual (power)amp, probably due to the CAB-sim and normal cab-speaker voicing. It often sounds a bit darkened, turning the CAB sim off doesn't always make the sound better.

Larger amps with a presence knob in the power section set to full do come pretty close to the intended tone when using the Firehawk CAB-sim though!

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OK I uploaded a tone called "hard rock"

I'm using a variax 59 on the les paul model , neck pick up

For amplification I'm using a powered pa speaker (stagesource lt3)

It sounds absolutely killer my end , try it through your rig and let me know how it sounds for you

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Hi Mcbeddall


Thank you for the upload. It works well, but i had to make some changes, maybe because there was too much bass. Of course, i found it with my headphones...I had the same problem for exemple when i want to use the other Brit J45. I know that normally, it's this kind of amp which is used by ACDC, but when i choose it, bass are always leading. But when i go to youtube, and see some videos with this amp for Pod HD, i don't understand how people do to have this great sound, maybe they put some equalization....


But anyway, i'll try this sound thru our PA for a gig in a few days, i'll tell you...

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Ok, I know i ask a lot but if you've got the opportunity to upload your version for headphones on the cloud, it would be great and a good way for me to compare them


Of course, if you're ok because you already made a lot... :)  

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