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GrampaBob

Helix, PC+ and cutting thru issues during rehearsals

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Hi I'm looking for some advice.  I now use the helix and powercab+ 112.  I use some free presets from lots of users and I've bought quite a few presets from Jason Sadites and Glenn DeLaune.  These all sounds awesome alone in the rec room and playing along with spotify no issues.  However when I get into the band rehearsal space situation and find myself competing with acoustic drums, another 4x12 cab player, a bassist with a large rig etc......I am having a hard time cutting thru the mix.  It's very thin.  If I have the PC+ flat on the ground, I can't hear myself.  If I tilt it up, I can hear but then the band can't hear me.  If I put the PC+ on a chair I can hear but it's kinda thin. 

 

All in all, still thinnish/brash sound.  I originally was using an AES cable but have also tried a patch cable and setup some global EQ according to one of Steve Sterlacci's videos but this is all after the fact.  My presets are in FRFR mode.  I did try raw but didn't really hear any difference flipping them back and forth.  I leave my volume knob around 2pm and the PC+ light is green not getting into orange or red.

 

The other night I brought my blackstar mkii 212 and used the old 500X HD in 4CM like I used too and I don't use any EQing or global EQ on any patches I have made (and I dont use any compressors on the old HD500 patches either now that I think about it), it sounded great as usual, cut thru the the band loved it.  I'm like argg I want this to work so much.....is this EQ issues or relying on amp models now rather then a tube amp?  I'm sure it'll be fine when it comes to showtime and we use proper monitoring with my in ears but we don't in rehearsals.  I guess I'm also concerned how it will be translated thru a FoH as well since I haven't had a gig to test this situation out.

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I'm going to guess a lot of what I'll say you already know.  But if you get cut through with your other rig, I'd be looking for what's different (at rehearsal volume).

I'm not so sure about the Power Cab as I have never used one, but I've been concerned about it's output for an FRFR system - I use 2 x 1000 watt wedges and I have no problem (500w RMS)

It sounds like your band is loud (do you have problems with volume in a lot of clubs?) so it might be that one power cab is a bit marginal anyhow.......more on that later.

I'm also thinking that the market for these off the shelf patches is aimed at people playing at home.....they are always going to audition them that way.

Now, you do realise that the way you hear changes with volume?  So you will need to tweak a sound that was great at home levels when you turn it up - generally you will need less really low lows and high highs and more mids.  That's just life and loud music. It is not possible to create a great sound at conversation level and expect it to work at band level.  Yes, you can turn up even more to be heard, but it still won't sound great or have cut.  So EQ is 100% part of the issue.  Then there is the frequencies of 2 guitar players - mostly you have to play in different ranges and your sounds need to be different enough and in different frequencies for it not to be a constant battle for definition. The old trick was if one guy used a Les Paul, the other used a Strat - that tended to mostly fix the audibility issue.  I was watching Classic Rock Show on YouTube a few minutes ago - the 2020 show, and if you check Pete Thorn, he's always pretty bright - that cuts through.  Those sounds sound over high mid and lacking lows at low volume and people would say not warm - if you saw him on That Pedal Show, they commented on his sound being bright.  My point is you need to EQ for the volume you will play at not what sounds good at home.

Your rehearsal space might not really represent your live conditions either.  It's a bit of an old world idea that you get this huge level on stage - if you are struggling for volume it's kind of a question of are you too quiet or are they too loud?  That's kind of a decision you have to make as a band - if sound guys are always complaining that you are hard to mix, you have to think about how loud you really need to be.  You may know that some bands are very quiet on stage these days.  I've been in a lot of rehearsal studios and some just build up mud (probably standing waves - see if your vocal mics want to take off at low frequencies) which won't help especially if it's in the range of your bass player.  Venues can also do that - if your bass player can't or won't EQ around that you are just going to have a bad time.  Definitely get your guitars out of the mud frequencies.  Sometimes you have to kill 250Hz say just to clean up the sound.  Something you'd never do at home.

Anyhow, I'd look at EQ firstly, then I'd think about your choice of tones and parts.  Obviously you liked your old rig - so what's the difference??  And if a power cab at edge of clipping is not loud enough........you guys need to think about your ears. (yes I said I have way more power than you - I like to have that security - but I don't try to fill the room - my monitors are exactly that - monitors - they point at me. So I'm never anywhere near full.)

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 412 (50 watt?) guitar amp + BIG bass amp + acoustic drums vs 112 amp = Godzilla vs the Geico Gecko.

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13 hours ago, GrampaBob said:

Hi I'm looking for some advice.  I now use the helix and powercab+ 112.  I use some free presets from lots of users and I've bought quite a few presets from Jason Sadites and Glenn DeLaune.  These all sounds awesome alone in the rec room and playing along with spotify no issues.  However when I get into the band rehearsal space situation and find myself competing with acoustic drums, another 4x12 cab player, a bassist with a large rig etc......I am having a hard time cutting thru the mix.  It's very thin.  If I have the PC+ flat on the ground, I can't hear myself.  If I tilt it up, I can hear but then the band can't hear me.  If I put the PC+ on a chair I can hear but it's kinda thin.

 

A 1x12 combo will always have a hard time competing with a 4x12 cabinet... it's almost over before it starts. If you're gonna be running straight to the PA live anyway, you might try doing that at rehearsals as well, and just use the Powercab as a monitor just for you. Then there shouldn't be any issues with everybody else hearing you.

 

13 hours ago, GrampaBob said:

 

have also tried a patch cable and setup some global EQ according to one of Steve Sterlacci's videos...

 

Global EQ is really for minor tweaks for a given room... don't rely on it for creating your tones. You're not necessarily gonna want the same baseline EQ curve for every patch you create. Clean vs dirty sounds for example, will rarely (if ever) benefit from the same EQ treatment.

 

13 hours ago, GrampaBob said:

 

is this EQ issues?...

 

EQ and volume... heavy on the volume. Comfy living room levels and a full band setting are night and day scenarios. Our perception of tone varies drastically with significant volume differences. You have to tweak your patches at, or very close to the volume at which you intend to use them.

 

13 hours ago, GrampaBob said:

 

I'm sure it'll be fine when it comes to showtime and we use proper monitoring with my in ears but we don't in rehearsals.  I guess I'm also concerned how it will be translated thru a FoH as well since I haven't had a gig to test this situation out.

 

Getting any given patch to sound the same through your Powercab vs IEMs and FOH is going to be a bit of a challenge as they're different animals. The Powercab was designed to provide some of the "amp in the room" feel that some find lacking when transitioning to modelers.

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