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Pod Hd400 / Volume Control For Stage Performance (best Approach?)

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After lot of years (of playing in my basement), I have started to play in a band (cover songs).

Having hard time with getting the right volume (POD HD400) because of my lack of experience on stage and new HD gear. 

During lead guitar time, I don't hear proper volume. Other (rhythm time), I hear the sound okay. 

Wanted to know how do you guys manage the volume? Only via built in expression pedal (if yes, is it calibrated 0-100?) or is there any other trick?



I am a jamming kind of person. but now I need to copy those licks. I want to able to copy the licks and put it in tabs so that I can get back to it later. 

Can you recommend any product/software that I can use to record my tabs for both cover (tab books are not available for lot of the songs I play) and original songs? 

Quality is a priority, so I am willing to pay for the sofware.




POD HD400 

(w/Ibanez JS1000)

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Without knowing more, it's hard to say why you aren't hearing your leads well, but a few questions:


1. How is your guitar EQ set up in relation to low/mid/treble levels?

2. What other instruments are you competing with when playing live?


I'm new to the POD myself, but if you're just transitioning from playing at home to playing with a band, it's very likely that you need to change some basic things about your tone to work in a mix, and these things would be true regardless of your equipment.


One of the biggest common mistakes is to use a scooped tone with a live band. A guitar's main tonal output is in the mid range, and a guitar rig that is set up with low mids, but higher treble and bass, will not cut through a mix. Adding more volume to a scooped tone like that will only make a very loud but extremely thin sounding lead. Guitars compete with keyboards and sometimes vocals, and really need the mid range of their tone to be prominent to be able to stand out and be heard.


If your mids are low, bring them up. If your bass and treble are high, lower them. Low range output for a guitar competes with bass, and high range competes with other parts of the mix, but the mid range is where the guitar sings and makes it's mark.


Dialing in your EQ this way will sound nasally to you at first, so you may want to make different patches for playing at home versus playing with a band.


Other things you can do are to add some compression before the amp in your signal chain, and have a preset for lead work that uses a booster and/or has a little more volume at the preset level.

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It depends entirely on the song, but when I used my 400, if there was a lead section that I had to kick it up for, many times I would set a patch that didn't have any OD/distortion on FX1, and then for the lead, I'd add FX1, and that could be a simple boost, if I needed to stay clean, or the OD/distortion effect that you want for the particular song.  I'd have that level a bit above the FX1-off level, but primarily use my guitar volume for that last bit of extra oomph.  Always have something in reserve; i.e., I wouldn't have my guitar on 10 all the time, especially not on rhythm.  If I needed some crunch for rhythm, I'd just pick an amp and dial up the drive and master settings to get that.  (However, a lot of times, I'd just turn up my guitar volume for the lead - again, don't play on 10 all the time!)


I used the volume/wah pedal on the 400 only actively for ambient swells.  Occasionally, where it seemed like I needed to knock down what was going to the house (I used the 400 direct), I might tap it back off 100/full, but it was just a "global" kind of setting.  Within a song, I'd rely on the guitar volume, and not use the pedal, but that's just as much because I never played with a volume pedal much, and the knob's right there....

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And don't forget about the old Fletcher Munson curve! If you don't know what that is I would look that up it very much pertains to us guitarists when setting up it tones.As alienux said your guitar lives in the mid range the bass and treble range is where it starts fighting with other things and starts to get lost. I would still suggest looking the idea up but in short if we are creating our patches at low volumes the mid range is going to seem exaggerated compared to the bass and highs which results in the impulse to either turn the mids down essentially scooping like alienux said or turning the bass and the highs up. When you crank your stuff up to play with the rest of the band our ears perceive the bass and highs more as you get louder which defeats you because now you are fighting with the other pieces of the band. There are two ways around this either A. Create all your patches at band volume-so that when you are actually playing with them everything comes out exactly as you intended. This is how I like to do it though I know it's not feasible for most people due to kids, wives, neighbors,ect. B. If creating at low volumes try and keep your bass and highs lower-might sound like crap but might keep you from falling victim to the curve. I know your question is about balancing volumes but sometimes it's not how loud you are that's killing you from being heard, you just can't be hard because your tone is buried behind everything else in the band. I follow it and have very little issue cutting through on the mix.

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