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greigmcmillan

Heavy Sounds Disappear Live!

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Hi,


 


I've played about four gigs now in fairly large rooms. I go straight from my POD to the PA and use IEM's to hear myself. This all works great and has so many benefits for the rest of the band..........less stage noise by having no guitar amp, no bleed into mice, no feedback. The thing is I've listened to recordings of those gigs from iPhones, from recording devices, from straight out the desk and every time, the guitar is really quiet!


 


My clean sounds seem to cut through, my solo's can be heard but general heavyish rhythm parts just can't be heard. There sort of mush in the background. Ive spent ages working on my patches and I balance all the levels between them so thats not an issue. It just seems that when i'm playing through the song the guitar sounds like its squished into a corner of the room or something. I play in a Rush tribute band so songs like Tom sawyer and Spirit of Radio have nice big (but not mega heavy) guitar sounds. I'm pretty pleased with the patches and at home and at rehearsals they sound close to the real deal. I can turn the PA at rehearsal up loud without clipping these patches so why doesn't the sound engineer at these gigs do that? Is it just because maybe they don't know the songs so keep the guitar at a level they think is decent or do you think I've got too much of a gap between my solo boost and my normal song level? If that was the case though surely the engineer could just turn me down at solo's if they were too loud? 


 


I'm starting to think that the sound guy's set the levels on the desk for the loudest level they get i.e the solo and just leave it there. Then when you're playing the main song at a lower level - the guitar is way too quiet. Any ideas? I'm really starting to think I might have to go back to playing through an amp which I don't really want to do but I'm getting fed up with low guitar at the gigs. For some patches I'm going to look again at the amount of compression I use, but thats not on all of them and even if it was - it should be even easier for the sound guy to turn me up as my level should be more balanced with the compressor smoothing things out.


 


Just wondering if anyone had experienced the same or can think of something I'm doing wrong.


 


Thanks


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Get a DT25 or DT50 amp, use the Line6Link, and take the XLR DI out from the DT; *and* also have them mic your amp. Both will be mic level signals which would play nicer with traditional mixer preamp channels taking XLR in; especially through a snake. IMHO..

 

I messed with my HD500 four years trying various versions of direct, through several different amps; would think I had dialed in perfect patches, then my sound was just lost in the context of stage volumes. The DT uses a transformer tapped XLR out, and it does sound perfect; the reason I say add a mic on the amp/cab is to fatten up the sound, and give the soundguy a layered sound to work with. Plus, for monitor sends, the using the DI from the DT gives a punchy, clean perfect - mic level - signal. Soundguy can crank that through the monitors and never worry about feedback.

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Can you share your patches so we can take a listen.  Sometimes, but not always it can come down to an EQ issue. 

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Can you share your patches so we can take a listen.  Sometimes, but not always it can come down to an EQ issue. 

I was going to ask this, too.

 

What are your EQ settings like? If you have a great patch that sounds good at home but has low mids, it will almost definitely get covered up in a band situation. The guitar needs the mids to be fairly high in order to be heard, especially with higher gain settings. This will sound nasally when you play by yourself, but is a must for a band mix.

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Thanks for all the response. The sound guys we have are pretty good to be honest, in all other respects i.e stage sound, great drum sound, great vocal sound great IEM mix, just seems to lack guitar out front. I've got a feeling it might be an eq issue as some of you have mentioned. A lot of the patches use a fair bit of compression and chorus - but thats what Alex Lifeson uses (Rush) and you can always hear him!

 

I'll add a few patches and see what you think. I'm deco open to any criticisim/suggestions on the patches. Hopefully I won't have to reconstruct them completely but some helpful eq and compression tips I reckon might crack it.

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Yeah, I would definitely focus on EQ at this point. A lot of guitarists love the "scooped" tone sound, which is great for playing alone, and can work well in recording if done right, but in a live mix, a scooped tone with high treble, high bass and lower mids will absolutely get lost. If you turn up the volume of a guitar with a scooped tone to compensate for getting lost in the mix, you just get a very loud, thin and weak sounding tone. The mid range is the real voice of the guitar.

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Do what i used to do with sound engineers..deliberately turn guitar volume down on guitar and even HD if you have to. Soundcheck..whens its done tweak it back up

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I don't think that worked at all! How do you drop patches into this post? I just dragged them from HDEdit but didn't seem to work.......

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They are attached as ".TXT" files. I assume we can just re-name them to the proper extension. You should be able to use the "More Reply Options" button and add whatever attachments you want (within any limits set by the forum). I assume using this method you could attach patches to a posting.

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1. get a good sounding HD backing track of the song u wanna cover (without guitar)

2. record it on audicity or other daw s/w.

3. record the original song sound track also.

4 .play 'n record ur guitar over 'n above this backing track.

5. compare original sound track vs ur recording

6. tweak @ taste  'n goto 2 step 4, until u r satisfied.

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After opening up your patches, I agree with guilhordas. I think there's too much bass in each of those patches, and even though the EQ isn't scooped, I personally would still want more mids to help the guitar stand out more (not a lot more, but more than there is now).

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1. get a good sounding HD backing track of the song u wanna cover (without guitar)

2. record it on audicity or other daw s/w.

3. record the original song sound track also.

4 .play 'n record ur guitar over 'n above this backing track.

5. compare original sound track vs ur recording

6. tweak @ taste  'n goto 2 step 4, until u r satisfied.

Good idea. I actually did this when learning the songs but I used the real tracks with guitar in it. I played over the top and panned my guitar left and the real band right. It was good to get an idea how close the sounds are and how accurate my playing was but I guess my ear would still be tricked by the real guitar.

 

Backing tracks would let me hear my patches and see if they fit like the real song. Only thing is recording and live are very different!

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..Only thing is recording and live are very different!..

not really, cause in both cases u have to match ur guitar sound/eq with the mix/band...

if the live sound guy is an ...actual sound guy, then he should eq the whole band in a manner similar 2 recording, so that the live band mix is heard like the real song recording...

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After opening up your patches, I agree with guilhordas. I think there's too much bass in each of those patches, and even though the EQ isn't scooped, I personally would still want more mids to help the guitar stand out more (not a lot more, but more than there is now).

Thanks for listening to them. Yeah, I'll defo take on board reducing the bass. I usually turn the thump up to 70% as well. I should have added though that I use a JTV69 set to Lester 1. Maybe that would affect your thoughts on how bassy they are? Depends on what you were using to play the patches. I don't feel that the bass is too much, its just nice and full, powerfull, but I guess when its in the mix next to the full band it might get lost.

 

Interestingly on one of the patches although I used the same amp and cab (Treadplate with V30) I changed to Lester 4 and instead of 57 off axis I used a 67 condensor. On this track the guitar seemed to cut through more. Maybe I'll experiment a bit more with that. I changed to 57 off axis as I read loads on the forums that people thought this was best for hi-gain sounds. Everyones different though!

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not really, cause in both cases u have to match ur guitar sound/eq with the mix/band...

if the live sound guy is an ...actual sound guy, then he should eq the whole band in a manner similar 2 recording, so that the band mix is heard like the real song recording...

Yeah fair point. I'll give it a go. If anything it will polish up my playing. I'll have a search for some backing tracks. Thanks.

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I was just listening to Alex's tone on "Limelight" and his tone there has the mid's boosted big time.  His guitar tone was always great at cutting through Geddy's synth and bass parts. 

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Yeah, I looked at the patches in Edit....I barely use any bass at all in my "loud" live tones to keep from getting lost in the mix.

 

I'd say on an average "heavy" patch (think metal rhythm/semi-djenty) for my eight string with the Mesa Model I probably have the bass at 30-40, mids at 60-75, treble 60-70, and then presence is kind of wherever you want to hear the sizzle. 

 

I'm not a scientist, but I do know the Fletcher-Munson effect works ten-fold (to my ears) on heavy distortion. Try, if you can, to set up your patches at the volume you will be playing through relatively similar equipment to get a good idea of how things will sound. I'm guessing that even though you have a practice PA, its nowhere near as loud as the one at your gig, and any/all difference in mixers/amplifiers/speakers is going to change your sound somewhat...kind of a myth that PAs are truly flat response. 

 

I've had success with live patches actually zeroing my amp's EQ then setting the mids where I like them, followed by bass/treble/presence to "support" the mid-tone.

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Yeah, I looked at the patches in Edit....I barely use any bass at all in my "loud" live tones to keep from getting lost in the mix.

 

I'd say on an average "heavy" patch (think metal rhythm/semi-djenty) for my eight string with the Mesa Model I probably have the bass at 30-40, mids at 60-75, treble 60-70, and then presence is kind of wherever you want to hear the sizzle. 

 

I'm not a scientist, but I do know the Fletcher-Munson effect works ten-fold (to my ears) on heavy distortion. Try, if you can, to set up your patches at the volume you will be playing through relatively similar equipment to get a good idea of how things will sound. I'm guessing that even though you have a practice PA, its nowhere near as loud as the one at your gig, and any/all difference in mixers/amplifiers/speakers is going to change your sound somewhat...kind of a myth that PAs are truly flat response. 

 

I've had success with live patches actually zeroing my amp's EQ then setting the mids where I like them, followed by bass/treble/presence to "support" the mid-tone.

thanks to everyone for their input. It seems the overriding thing here is to cut the bass and apply more mids. To be honest I haven't really experimented with mid in the past I just kind of float about with it. Bass and treble are usually what I zone in on and yeah I keep an eye on the presence to make sure its not too bright or too dull. I'll definitely experiment. Your totally right about tweaking patches at higher volume. I usually set them up roughly at home and then tweak them when their louder at rehearsal. Trouble is you don't get that much of a chance as everyone wants to crack on with the set. I should really book the rehearsal studio just for myself for a few hours and get the patches sorted.

 

Cheers.

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Get a DT25 or DT50 amp, use the Line6Link, and take the XLR DI out from the DT; *and* also have them mic your amp. Both will be mic level signals which would play nicer with traditional mixer preamp channels taking XLR in; especially through a snake. IMHO..

 

I messed with my HD500 four years trying various versions of direct, through several different amps; would think I had dialed in perfect patches, then my sound was just lost in the context of stage volumes. The DT uses a transformer tapped XLR out, and it does sound perfect; the reason I say add a mic on the amp/cab is to fatten up the sound, and give the soundguy a layered sound to work with. Plus, for monitor sends, the using the DI from the DT gives a punchy, clean perfect - mic level - signal. Soundguy can crank that through the monitors and never worry about feedback.

Do you think the same would work with an L2m in terms of DI'ing and micing up?

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Do you think the same would work with an L2m in terms of DI'ing and micing up?

I'd have to say "maybe"... I think what the L2m would offer you, without substantially changing your current rig, is a dedicated floor monitor for your HD500, because you could still feed the FOH mix with the stereo XLR from the HD500 - while connecting the L6Link to the L2m. I haven't messed around much with using my L2t as an amp with my HD500; but with that route I would lean more towards adjusting some of the EQ as the other posters suggested, and maybe use a combination of your in-ear for the band mix, and the vocals, and use the L2 as your primary guitar monitor. I would imagine if your patch cuts well and sounds right coming out of an L2, it should also sound pretty good in the main mix.

 

For me, I realized I liked the more 'traditional' guitar amp sound as my monitor. The sound of actual tubes and power amp interaction, paired with a nice Celestion speaker. Nothing against the full-range, flat-response that the HD500 is capable of; it just "felt" right coming through the DT25, in ways that I didn't get previously. It may just be due to laziness on my part; instead of spending the time sculpting my HD500 patches, I just let the DT25 do what guitar amps do, which in a lot of ways, creates a natural pleasing to the ear sculpting of the tone. Alot of the "high def" audio we get used to hearing in live broadcast, studio recordings, live concerts - much of that is occuring way, way "post" - it's not originating on stage, it's from behind the mixing console, with plugins, multi-band compression, stereo expanders - all of the stuff you can do with Pro Tools to make your mix pop, is what professional audio engineers are doing to a mic on an amp, and a vocal, and a snare mic, kick mic, bass DI - if the stage mix was that hi-fi, I think it might be a bit of a mess. That's to me, why there are two mixes - main and monitor.

 

A total aside to that, at some point along the way, Phil Lesh decided it would be a cool idea, along with the board recordings they were making (Betty Cantor, best of the best at making that mix!) Phil decided they should record the monitor mixes. Very interesting side-by-side listening experience. Two different world of sound.

 

Which sort of comes full circle, to my take on it, which is - the pairing of the DT25 + HD500 is a heck of a powerful amp switching tool. First and foremost, that is the #1 most valuable function it offers. That you can integrate various external pedals into the FX loops of both, even while utilizing the L6link, makes it that much more functional. In some ways, I think alot of us get hung up on "stereo", when in most cases, live at least, stereo is a detriment to the tone, rather than an enhancement. For me, the DT25 forces me to think "mono", and get through the hurdles of programming, and narrowing the "Way too many choices" panic reaction effect that working too much with tweaking this gear can cause.

 

At this point, I am even considering going to the alternate FS setup, and limiting myself to like, four main patches, and then possibly, a couple banks following that pattern. Like, 1A, 1B, 1,C, 1D; 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, and set them up with the same footswitch assignments in all patches - make the 'D' bank acoustic JTV friendly (do the radatats option, where you define two amp blocks, just select one amp model, leave one blank, turn down the actual amp model all the way, use the blank channel to pass signal direct to the DT power amp, and select a good typology and class to best reproduce JTV acoustic models - he's got a more detailed explanation floating around in various posts - worth a try, check it out - works quite well) - anyway, 'C' bank is lead, 'B' bank is crunch, 'A' bank is clean.

 

I'd choose a few of the amp models I like the best, and maybe switch each patch according to a good amp choice for each intent. I use the Plexi alot, for almost everything, but the various other Fender and Marshall models all sit in the right vibe for where I end up going. I've been adding external (Keeley) pedals to the mix, to free up more FS settings - which is why I mention the FS programming.

 

How many people prefer having instant access to four patches, and using just the four FS switches?

I've almost always done that; and very rarely bothered to program the full bank of 8 FS settings - where you use the toggle up/down bank switches on the left side to trigger a patch change. Leaning heavily toward that concept; rather than programming out each patch to change so many multiple settings, or be "just right", I lean toward "controlled chaos", where the programming ensures that any given effect on/off, in conjunction with most any other efffect on/off, creates a decent tonal combination. I'd rather be choosing between on/off for three or four external pedals, and 8 FS switches, to have full control over each and every effect block in each patch. Sort of 'back to the drawing board'. Alot of that vibe is coming to me from interacting with the sound, from the DT25.

 

It's a subtle distinction, but they key is - your amp sound is your amp sound; and the sound of a mic on that amp is a different thing. It's up to you to make your amp sound right to get your tone - it's up to the mic on your amp to get that sound to the audience or the recording. While the HD500 does a great job of both of these things - it cannot do them both at the SAME TIME. Meaning, you are either listening to the "control room" version of your amp with a mic on it (Studio Direct) or you are listening to your "Actual Amp" sound - Combo/Poweramp, as in using the L6Link to a DT25. I ended up realizing I preferred the sound of the amp to the mic'd up / studio direct tone; and the DT25 gives you that "mic modelled' signal back, as the XLR out from the DT25. So, that's my reasoning, and where I am going with my rig.

 

That' just me though - but thinking about how hearing your tone and the source of it - a mic on your amp being presented through full range speakers; or an amp with it's guitar voiced speaker and tubes - that's the most important decision / factor which will most properly influence your choice of gear. It's far less logical, it's a matter of the heart, and what moves you to play better and with more soul, with your being in the notes, rather than your head stressing the technical details.

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Here's a quick mock up patch concept, going toward that "multiple FS 1-8 with an FX loop for external pedal" setup; I still always end up not defining FS3, but I have the rest of the FS defined to control an effect. I put the effects I am most likely to toggle on/off more often in the bottom row (FS5-8), and the others on the top bank (FS1,2,4) since they will most likely stay on; but I like the idea of being able to turn on off the FX loop if something goes wrong with the outboard pedals, or switch on/off the noise gate as needed. I am just recently liking the idea of having the extra control over things like the FX loop and the noise gate - which I typically just left "on"; or the ability to control multiple reverbs and multiple delays - rather than just leave the '63 spring on all the time, or toggle between the '63 spring and something like the hall verb or the particle verb (which is a wayyy cool effect, can be totally chaos, but at low enough mix levels, can create a very subtle background texture that sounds like waves on the ocean or wind and rain - I like it alot!)

 

So, I've made the offline patches; I created 5 banks using the same FX layouts in all, just altered the amp model, all using the 'PRE' versions for use with DT25 / L6Link. Haven't tried these at home yet with the gear, so I expect that the levels are pretty off, just to illustrate the signal chain thought process. The 'D' bank in each is set to force the JTV to that acoustic model, and the typology is set to III on all bank 'D'. I need to explore a bit more on those patches. I also switched out the wah on the acoustic patches for a volume pedal. It doesn't want to save the setting offline, where you set the expression pedal EXP2 to control the amp volume - will have to tweak that at home when I have all the gear together, see what happens then - it just keeps defaulting back to drive / none - not sure why... It lists "CH VOL*" as an option, but with an asterix* next to it.

 

1A: J45

1B: TWEED

1C: PLEXI

1D: Martin D28 [JTV acoustic#1 ]

 

2A: P75

2B: FENDER 'LUX

2C: J-800

2D: Martin O18 [JTV acoustic#3 ]

 

3A: DR-Z

3B: FENDER DOUBLE

3C: DIVIDED/13

3D: GIBSON J200 [JTV acoustic#5 ]

 

4A: HIWAY

4B: VOX A-15

4C: VOX A-30

4D: MARTIN D12 [JTV acoustic#2]

 

5A: SLO CLEAN

5B: SLO CRUNCH

5C: SLO OVERDRIVE

5D: GUILD F12 [JTV acoustic#4 ]

 

Here's the basic layout, including the external Keeley pedals in the two FX loops:

 

JTV59 >

VDI >

HD500 >

Wah (toe switch/EXP1) >

[HD500 FX LOOP SEND]>

:Keeley Neutrino envelope filter>

:Keeley 4-knob compressor>

:Keeley Bootlegger overdrive>

:Keeley White Sands luxe drive>

:Keeley Time Machine clean boost>

[FX RETURN]>

[*Amp Model*] >

'63 Spring verb [FS4] >

Hall verb [FS5] >

Particle verb [FS6]>

Dynamic Delay [FS7]>

Digital Delay w/ Mod [FS8]>

[LINE 6 LINK TO DT25]>

[DT25 FX LOOP SEND]>

:Keeley Seafoam chorus>

[DT25 FX LOOP RETURN]>

[DT25 XLR OUT]>

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Wow Colonel Forbin, these are such in depth responses! I'll have to read them several times to take it all in. I,ve never tried then complete dream rig and it would be interesting to try my patches through a dt amp. My aim though was to not have an amp and go straight to the pa. Many advantages to this including less stage noise, less stage space, less stuff to carry. I did think about an l2m as it's full range flat response, good for the house, studio and portability.

 

Really like your last post with the same Pedal layout but changing amps. That would pretty much cover any situation! I'm still not sure how the acoustic part works. Surely you would need lots of dsp to have dual amp patches and your fx blocks?

 

Good work, let me know how you get on with that. I'm sure others will be very interested in this as well.

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is not an easy task even do that drives sound good in PA. Or is too high or too low, or too much bass or treble, very difficult, but a mistake we often make is not thinking at frequency that generates a whole band, and indeed that we should let our sound in a way that when we play with drums or bass it sounds good.
does not help achieve a beautiful sound when you are playing alone, in your room, you have tried along with the band, that's what I try to do in all my soundcheck, but I confess that it is very difficult,
I have the pod hd ha about 3 years and I connect the mixer straight, there is not a week where I did not change my patches.
I think that get a good sound in the PA is an art as well as knowing how to play, and very much work.Mas but even with all this difficulty I still prefer to run my pod directly in the mixer

sometimes when we are playing alone, we think our tone is very mid or lacking bass, but when we play along with a band  is sounding good, it is difficult art to get a good tone

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I'm still not sure how the acoustic part works. Surely you would need lots of dsp to have dual amp patches and your fx blocks?

 

 

 

Ahh, a good point! I totally forgot to mention - when using something like the L2t/m, since it's "full range / flat response", that means you have to use the "full" amp models. In which case, you won't need to jump through any special hoops to get the JTV acoustic models to sound good. The trick with the DT amps, is you are using only the "PRE" versions (preamp only) of the amp models, and all the power amp portion of the modeling is left out, and created by the Bogner portion of the DT amp - actual tubes, actual analog relays. As as result, concerning DSP usage, the PRE versions of the amp models use far, far less DSP.

 

For those interested in radatats HD500 / DT amp / JTV acoustic patch idea, the links to his patches are here:

( you can also try to search customtone for "Rads Acoustic DT")

 

http://share.cx.com/yGRXwV

 

 

 

some threads discussing the idea, here is the summary he wrote:

 

"- Set input to Variax, same. (you may need to change from global to preset which may mean checking all your other patches)

- make a dual channel setup with Fliptop pre amp in channel A with no cab, change topology to III.

  (topology III changes the physical settings in the power section and just gets that nice sort of resonance you would expect from an acoustic)

- no amp in channel B.

- in the mixer Mute channel A, channel B to 0 or higher if needed, and center both channels.

- place Tile reverb as last effect in chain.

- place a graphic EQ in the pre section with the two lower sections set to -2db, top 2 knobs to +1db. (adjust to taste, this worked for my cab)"

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which seems more correct is always check how your sound is coming on PA, because sometimes we get very good at sounding amp or monitor but the PA is not good,

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...a mistake we often make is not thinking at frequency that generates a whole band, and indeed that we should let our sound in a way that when we play with drums or bass it sounds good....

 

u r absolutely right!

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