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Rocco_Crocco

How loud do you set your solo boost?

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Generally speaking... I know it could vary by patch.

 

I either use an EQ or the output block.

 

I was using 3dB, but in the past some audience members said it wasn't loud enough, so I set it up for 4dB on most of my patches. It sounded too loud to me in rehearsal but I am going with it for tonight's bar gig.

 

 

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Rocco - I program a gain block to a second expression pedal, then set the sweep from 0db to 6db. Works great, as I can vary the gain boost level from song to song as needed.

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try it with an mesa EQ block.  Boost 2db and boost 2K a few, cut 250 a few.  Just some alternate methods.  you may find less overall boost needed.

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Depends on many things , but,

 

against backing tracks and when im the only guitar ive sometimes had to set as little as a 3db boost , but with my band, depending on whats happening at the time ive had to go as high as 8-10db,

would help a lot if our other guitarist changed to a quieter rhythm behind solos like i do for him but hey ho,

 

you know guitarists, turning down is an act of shame lol

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I'll agree with two things here.

 

First, how much you need to increase really depends on the type of lead you're doing and tons of other factors.  If you're keeping the same general tone as you've been playing throughout you may need a 3 to 4db shift in volume for it to stand out.  My preference is to change the tone (EQ) of the lead typically toward more high mid and treble.  In some cases you may not even need a boost in volume, or just a slight one.

 

Second, it's not just about the rhythm guitarist dropping volume IMO.  My preference is that he keep close to the same volume but simplify and lighten his strumming pattern.  The key to getting good separation for the lead is to simplify things backing it up..all instruments.  I do this all the time for the harmonica player when he has a lead.  I simplify and lighten my pattern and he stands out just fine.  You don't want the whole foundation of the song to dissipate, just a little less busy.

 

The bad news is, this type of thing takes some maturity from everyone in the band to want the band to sound good rather than simply getting attention for themselves.

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Generally speaking... I know it could vary by patch.

 

I either use an EQ or the output block.

 

I was using 3dB, but in the past some audience members said it wasn't loud enough, so I set it up for 4dB on most of my patches. It sounded too loud to me in rehearsal but I am going with it for tonight's bar gig.

Generally speaking, not a single dB boost amount will work in all scenarios. Way too many parameters affect how it will sound (guitar, amp type, effects, what other band members are playing, etc...). Your sound guy should be able to tell you if you are cutting through the mix. If you aren't, then boost some more or turn other things down. 

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Getting levels right from song to song is half the trick. If the guitar is 4 or 5dB low in the mix to begin or if there is any compression applied at the console or FOH then the boost isn't going to help much. I find that bringing my own monitor that I have already tweaked levels on helps with that at least on stage. The monitors I use have two inputs. I use one for the monitor mix from the console and one direct out from the Helix TRS outputs. I have the master level on the Helix only set the control level going to the TRS in the global settings.  That way I have my own control of the monitor level for my guitar.  Of course you still have to rely on sound guy for the main mix but at least you are not fighting him when tweaking stage levels. 

 

I apply the gain method but I subtract -3dB so the gain is only on when I'm not soloing. I have a 2nd extra expression pedal not doing anything. I think I going to try assigning that to global cut/boost control for solos like what was mentioned above. Much easier than going through and editing patches after the fact. 

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First, how much you need to increase really depends on the type of lead you're doing and tons of other factors. If you're keeping the same general tone as you've been playing throughout you may need a 3 to 4db shift in volume for it to stand out. My preference is to change the tone (EQ) of the lead typically toward more high mid and treble. In some cases you may not even need a boost in volume, or just a slight one.

 

Second, it's not just about the rhythm guitarist dropping volume IMO. My preference is that he keep close to the same volume but simplify and lighten his strumming pattern. The key to getting good separation for the lead is to simplify things backing it up..all instruments. I do this all the time for the harmonica player when he has a lead. I simplify and lighten my pattern and he stands out just fine. You don't want the whole foundation of the song to dissipate, just a little less busy.

 

The bad news is, this type of thing takes some maturity from everyone in the band to want the band to sound good rather than simply getting attention for themselves.

This is very well said and very important. Its not just the volume you want to change, but the tone, feel, expression, etc.

 

A few other things to consider:

1. Start with a -3dB cut for your non-lead tone, then set to 0dB for lead - this helps ensure there's no digital clipping.

2. Use the output volume to avoid having to use a block just for changing volume.

3. Consider changing more than just the output volume. You can also change amp gain, and low and high cut (in a tube preamp, a cab model or IR). Instead of just turning the volume up, add a bit of extra amp gain to get a bit more distortion. This will add more dynamics to the tone. As the volume and gain go up, you might want to do a bit more bass and treble cut to get a more mid focused tone. This will keep your guitar from overlapping with other instruments in the mix when your turn up.

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Nigel Tufnel is a huge influence for me, and as a result I have been setting my solo boost to infinity.

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interesting perspective about the other guitarist having to turn down when one solos....

 

If the band levels are allowing the vocal to sit nicely in the mix then I would have thought bringing the solo up to fill that gap would be the right move.  If the band is playing too busily for the solo then surely they are also too busy for the vocal?

 

I use the adjustable gain block with a knob controller...with the knob down all my patches are close to the same volume (useful at home and recording).  With the knob full up its a +6dB boost on my solo patches or snaps....  With a 3 piece Id set it about halfway...about +3dB.

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If the band levels are allowing the vocal to sit nicely in the mix then I would have thought bringing the solo up to fill that gap would be the right move.  If the band is playing too busily for the solo then surely they are also too busy for the vocal?

 

 

Typically the simple fact that the lead guitar is no long playing its normal rhythm part while playing a lead usually adds enough space so that a smaller increase in volume of maybe 2 or 3 db is sufficient to stand out.  It becomes a bit more complex with more instruments because the lead guitar is still providing a rhythm part while another instrument is taking a lead (such as a harmonica or a keyboard).  By laying back just slightly it gives more space to the solo without a large boost in SPL and tends to sound more musical.

 

What doesn't work very well in my experience is that if you try to fill the space left open by the vocals with the same level of volume from the lead, the lead sounds too loud, especially if there's more than one voice such as in the case of multiple part harmony.  Generally a lead instrument doesn't need quite that much volume lift to be heard correctly.

 

 

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Typically the simple fact that the lead guitar is no long playing its normal rhythm part while playing a lead usually adds enough space so that a smaller increase in volume of maybe 2 or 3 db is sufficient to stand out.  It becomes a bit more complex with more instruments because the lead guitar is still providing a rhythm part while another instrument is taking a lead (such as a harmonica or a keyboard).  By laying back just slightly it gives more space to the solo without a large boost in SPL and tends to sound more musical.

 

What doesn't work very well in my experience is that if you try to fill the space left open by the vocals with the same level of volume from the lead, the lead sounds too loud, especially if there's more than one voice such as in the case of multiple part harmony.  Generally a lead instrument doesn't need quite that much volume lift to be heard correctly.

yes....most lead tones have more "cut" than a vocal. 

I saw Queen a couple of years ago (with Adam Lambert) and the Sound guy had the solos actually louder than the vocals. It sounded odd...like the solo had no foundations to rest on.

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Is there any way that I can switch to a lead sound using the expression pedal.  What would be ideal would be to say have snapshot8 be selected when expression pedal is in the up position and snapshot0 when in the down position.  But any way I can accomplish something similar would be great.  I have some really short leads and am not good at having to use 2 switches that quickly.

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Can a snapshot footswitch be momentary? I know stomp switches can be, so if snaps can't work the same way, building your solo setup as a stomp instead of a snapshot might be your best answer.

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Is there any way that I can switch to a lead sound using the expression pedal.  What would be ideal would be to say have snapshot8 be selected when expression pedal is in the up position and snapshot0 when in the down position.  But any way I can accomplish something similar would be great.  I have some really short leads and am not good at having to use 2 switches that quickly.

You can control multiple parameters with the expression pedal. Pedal back you could have amp gain at 5, master at 8. Pedal forward you can have amp gain at 8, and master at 7. Just an example. Scott at the Helix channel does that on almost all of his presets with the expression pedal. Sometimes I have an external expression dedicated just for that. 

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