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How much do you boost your solo? And how?

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I am having trouble cutting through the mix during my solos. I play in a 4 piece (drums, bass and 2 guitars) playing indie rock. I generally cut through just fine and in fact get regular comments from musos in the crowd complementing my tone. The problem comes in when I hit the 'solo button'. The result is either ear bleedingly loud or non existent. My rig is JTV 59 into an HD500 into an L3m.

 

The nearest I have got to the boost I'm looking for is kicking in a screamer at the beginning of the chain to add a bit of grit, a studio eq after the mixer block with a 2db boost and a digital delay before the reverb. All these are turned on and off with one of the footswitches.

 

What do you guys do to melt your audiences faces but keep their eardrums intact?

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When I hit the "go" button I will have the EQ also increase the mids which is the range I am fighting to be heard through. I can't win against the bass or the cymbals with the ole "scooped" setting. :)

 

Peel that paint my man! \m/

 

-B

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I do one of two things, or sometimes even both. I switch in the studio EQ set flat but with a 5dB gain. This will not change the sound except to make it louder. Or/and I switch on the Mid-Focus EQ set to 5dB of gain with the lows and highs cut somewhat.

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I use the effect loop and punch in a gain of +3db, works great.  Just drop an FX loop block at the end of the chain, run the effect out right back to the return on the back of the HD

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I have my volume pedal set to post o I can control the volume without changing the tone. I also use the volume knob on the guitar to turn down a bit to clean up the sound. For for a lead, volume knob on the guitar up and adjust the volume pedal as needed. Depending on the song might turn a tube screamer or other overdrive on.

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Really interesting guys. You seem to be boosting by 3-5db. I am boosting 4db so that would seem to be ok but the thing I may have been missing is giving an extra boost to the mids. I've got a gig this weekend so I'll give it a go and report back.

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I probably do this the least efficient way in regards to usage of physical pedal/switch space, but I start with good solid mids for my rhythm preset, then I copy the same patch but add an "L" to the end of the name on the next footswitch, but increase the volume of the amp slightly and often add some compression (and occasionally chorus). That way I have enough presence from the high mids and lower treble/bass settings for both rhythm and lead, but still get a nice clean boost for solos.

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Using a different patch has never worked well for me due to the delay that occurs whenever a new patch is called up. I've had to resort to FS modes and only switch patches between songs, if needed. Within a song, no patch changes for me. Be glad it works for you.

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On every patch my last 3 pedals are a volume pedal, delay, and reverb. I set the volume pedal to a minimum setting of 70% and a maximum of 100%, so all I need to do to get a gain increase is step on the pedal. It's much easier and a lot smoother transition from rhythm to lead than programming a button to increase the volume using an EQ.

Plus doing it this way it allows me to get my sound and then simply make it louder without changing it. I've seen videos of people saying to assign the pedal to the output of the amp. Not only is that very inconsistent, because all amps are designed different, it also changes the tone. Many amps get more distorted with their volumes all the way up.

My way is just like having the sound guy turn you up and down.

I'm in a 5 piece, so you may want to experiment with the minimum settings.

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I ended up using the Tube Comp at the end of of my chain as a boost on a FS. Threshold set to 100%, and Level set to 20%. It gives me a nice bump for solos, but has (to my ears) no effect on the tone. Similar to the EQ method others are using. YMMV.

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I've seen videos of people saying to assign the pedal to the output of the amp. Not only is that very inconsistent, because all amps are designed different, it also changes the tone. Many amps get more distorted with their volumes all the way up.

 

The Amp Volume on an HD500 is a simple Output Level and it is linear and completely clean; it is not a model of the Amps Volume control - the Amp (Master) Volume knob is a DEP option. 

 

But it can change the Tone because it changes the level into following effects many of which are quite sensitive to being overloaded and will. So I agree with you about not doing this but for slightly different reasons.

 

It should the be Output or Mix level of a late in the chain effect that you control, and don't forget that an Expression Pedal can change many parameters at the same time, so it could cut bass and boost mids/treble at the same time as increasing the volume level; for example a Mid Boost EQ or Vintage Pre at the end of the chain can have not just volume but also EQ settings changed by rocking Exp2. 

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Sometimes the problem lies in the EQ of the complete band.  One of the things I've found is how the bass is EQ'd and sitting in the live mix.  If the bass has too much mid it's hard to hear the guitar.

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Blame the bass player  ;)

And the Keyboard player  :P

And the other guitarist  :D

And the drummer  :lol:

And the singer(s)  :o

 

In fact if they all shut up there wouldn't be any problems being heard at all  :rolleyes:

 

 

Actually, humour aside getting the whole band to sit nicely together in a mix is essential to sounding good

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Blame the bass player  ;)

And the Keyboard player  :P

And the other guitarist  :D

And the drummer  :lol:

And the singer(s)  :o

 

In fact if they all shut up there wouldn't be any problems being heard at all  :rolleyes:

 

 

Actually, humour aside getting the whole band to sit nicely together in a mix is essential to sounding good

 

BLAME CANADA!

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I sing a lot and hate looking down to hit switches, so I use the pedal to change from rhythm patch to lead. I have a lot of different patches, some clean to loud clean, but on most I want to add more dirt, so I typically make two channels, one with a dist pedal and one without. I use the pedal to pan back and forth between them. You have to move the amp after the mixer, and you have to have a mono fx before the pedal (noise gate or compressor works).

 

I usually also adjust the amp and fx, to get the ideal sound for rhythm and lead. All these parameters can be assigned to the pedal. The only thing that's dicey is adjusting the delay time - you get some weird pitch shifts as you rock the pedal.

 

Sometimes I use two separate amps, but usually not - if I had a 500 X I might do that more often.

 

One of the pluses with this tech ique is you can get some nice medium sounds in the middle position of the pedal too.

 

Be advised it will take you a little longer to set up these patches, but I'm a working musician so it's worth the effort to me.

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4 cable method into a JVM410C.

 

I use a studio eq after the fx loop and last in the chain, assigned to a footswitch, eq set flat and the gain adjusted so it has no effect when switched on or off. Then, assign the gain to the expression pedal and boost by about 4db. This way, heel down for rhythm, toe down for solo.

Split the main chain with a pan pedal and throw comp & drive pedals to one side and you get a massive option for sounds, solo sound with boost or not, rhythm sound with boost or not etc

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I'm not sure of the exact dBs, but I raise mine quite a bit. Prolly over 5 dB. I like to mix my signal like a record. The rhythm level is right in the mix and the solo is at lead vox level.

 

I use the pedal to change from whatever rhythm sound to the lead sound. I change a lot of parameters - maybe 50% for both amps and effects. The beauty of using the pedal is that you can keep your foot on it and switch instantly from rhythm to lead, or use an in between setting. Part of the reason I developed this method is because I am also a singer and I don't like looking down all the time to hit switches. But now that I use this, I would never switch back. It is so versatile and liberating.

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How do I boost solos? 

 

1. you can't throw the sound man into a hissy. Let him do the boosting. 

2, If i want to change something, for a solo I have a few ways based on what guitar I am using and what style the music is:

a. The middle pickup is always in the way of my picking hand, so I set it fairly low. When used in conjunction with another pickup, it acts as a volume reducer. Solos can be as simple as switching to just one pickup.

b. change the eq.  

c. use a wah. which can be used as expression, or simply turning it on and letting it act as an eq, similiar to item B. 

d. I have a guitars with active pre-amps (different from active pickups). Many of them are designed to do a little boost of some sort (volume, eq, etc). 

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How do I boost solos?

 

1. you can't throw the sound man into a hissy. Let him do the boosting.

The last time I relied on the soundman...................................................sorry, blacked out from laughing. What were we talking about?

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I use graphic eq in my latest patches. Just boost middle three frequencies by about 0.6 and it makes it pop out without too much volume. Seems to be just enough to push it to the front. Ymmv.

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The last time I relied on the soundman...................................................sorry, blacked out from laughing. What were we talking about?

I don't know you, or your level of performance, but you gotta depend on every person on your team. If you can't depend on your soundguy, get a new one. Lights, dump the guy. Roadies, pull over and leave them on the side of the road. 

 

As far as live situations go... 

when you are playing in your bedroom designing patches:

you are playing at 1db, and you create a patch that increases your volume to 2db... that is a 100% increase. 

When you get that mic'd and are now pushing it through a 50,000 watt system... can you imagine what happens if out of nowhere your guitar volume doubles? Your 1db increase isn't 1db when you turn up the volume. Let the sound guy control your 'boost'. That's his job. 

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I am having trouble cutting through the mix during my solos. I play in a 4 piece (drums, bass and 2 guitars) playing indie rock. I generally cut through just fine and in fact get regular comments from musos in the crowd complementing my tone. The problem comes in when I hit the 'solo button'. The result is either ear bleedingly loud or non existent. My rig is JTV 59 into an HD500 into an L3m.

 

The nearest I have got to the boost I'm looking for is kicking in a screamer at the beginning of the chain to add a bit of grit, a studio eq after the mixer block with a 2db boost and a digital delay before the reverb. All these are turned on and off with one of the footswitches.

 

What do you guys do to melt your audiences faces but keep their eardrums intact?

 

I set the volume pedal in the end of the chain, but in front of delays and reverb; heel down position is like 85% volume and toe down is 100%, so I can choose how much boost I want. The second thing that comes to mind, is check your arrangements. It's not the EQ, it's what other band members play. If I could have a dollar each time the solo is drowned out, because the rhythm guitar  plays a part in the same octave plus many more notez, I'd already own an island.

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Unfortunately, there are way too many people who don't see it as a joke, they see it as a lifestyle. 

They blow off the expense of sound and lights and think they can do it themselves. All they're doing is destroying their own careers.  

And any future readers (because responses aren't viewed by just you) that come around next year (because posts don't have a 48 hour time limit) will see your 'joke' and the 'right way to do things'. 

 

 

NOW... 

As to the rest of the post: 

After 30 years in the business (and two Grammy's), one would hope that I know a thing or two. But I listen more than I talk, which is one way to learn. I also don't want to see music die, which sometimes means ya gotta help the next generation learn. And how do they learn when no one is going to telll them anything in fear of being ridiculed?

The only people that will tell them what to do are the people that are trying to line their own pockets --- anyone in the business can tell you - that is not always the best advice. 

Furthermore: 

I have a touch of the Autism. Highly intelligent. But I lack social skills. Particularly one that some call the Mommy-syndrome. I just refer to it as asskissing. If you ask a question, you get the answer, you don't get an emotional hand holding with someone stroking your hair saying "there there". I am no one's mother, this isn't grade school. Your time of being coddled is over. 

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Unfortunately, there are way too many people who don't see it as a joke, they see it as a lifestyle.

They blow off the expense of sound and lights and think they can do it themselves. All they're doing is destroying their own careers.

And any future readers (because responses aren't viewed by just you) that come around next year (because posts don't have a 48 hour time limit) will see your 'joke' and the 'right way to do things'.

 

 

NOW...

As to the rest of the post:

After 30 years in the business (and two Grammy's), one would think that I know a thing or two. But I listen more than I talk, which is one way to learn. I also don't want to see music die, which sometimes means ya gotta help the next generation learn. And how do they learn when no one is going to telll them anything in fear of being ridiculed?

The only people that will tell them what to do are the people that are trying to line their own pockets --- anyone in the business can tell you - that is not always the best advice.

Furthermore:

I have a touch of the Autism. Highly intelligent. But I lack social skills. Particularly one that some call the Mommy-syndrome. I just refer to it as asskissing. If you ask a question, you get the answer, you don't get an emotional hand holding with someone stroking your hair saying "there there". I am no one's mother, this isn't grade school. Your time of being coddled is over.

Beautiful. Proved my point for me. Narcissism at its finest. Sadly, I have no Grammys on the mantle to polish. If that's the price I have to pay so that I don't go trough life with no sense of humor, so be it. I can hold my head up just fine.

 

Sleep well tonight. Music will live on thanks to you, and your tireless dedication to "educating" those of us beneath you.

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Luckily, for me... 

I haven't even looked to see your screen name. Which means the next topic that someone posts, I won't need to watch my "p's and q's" in fear of upsetting you again, because I have no clue who you are. 

 

HOWEVER... 

Can the same be said in reverse? 

You have admitted to paying attention to my name and my posts.

That's a compliment! 

 

 

How's that for narcissism.

You know me. Yet, even though I have engaged in conversation with you, I have no clue who you are. 

And the next time we speak, it will be as if its the first time we have met, because its not important enough for me to pay attention to your name. 

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For the record, it was just a soundman joke. Hardly worthy of such a scathing response, imho. But fear not, I done learnt my lesson...

 

Scathing response?  That was a SCATHING response?  Maybe you should just chill out a bit.  His response didn't seem condescending to me.  He was just sharing his thoughts on how to boost followed by a very interesting point about the difference between bedroom volume and stage volume.  

 

Alex

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dog%20fight.png

Lol...well done. We can't joke though. It will be the death of music. You want that on your conscience?...lol

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I love this forum... I learn a little and laugh a little every day...

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I just use a separate patch with the patch volume (amp volume knob) raised a little over my rhythm patches. Probably about 6-7% increase on the dial, can't recall off hand. I also use a separate model solos too (JCM800) and also keep the presence way down and treble in check with the bass and mids very high. My lead tones are the last thing to sound really really good, but almost there with this.

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I don't know you, or your level of performance, but you gotta depend on every person on your team. If you can't depend on your soundguy, get a new one. Lights, dump the guy. Roadies, pull over and leave them on the side of the road.

 

This might be your 2 Grammys talking, but you do realise that probably 95% of people on this forum don't have their own sound person, right?

 

Normally you go to a venue, they have their resident FoH person. They may or may not care about your band, and they may or may not be paying attention when you start a solo. They may not even realise it's a solo.

 

We have to let them handle the overall mix, but dynamics are the musician's job.

 

you are playing at 1db, and you create a patch that increases your volume to 2db... that is a 100% increase.

That's not how decibels work.

 

Anyway, a proportional boost that works in the practice room should work equally well through a full PA (Fletcher-Munson perceptive stuff aside). I would advise not setting it up in the bedroom before a gig, though.

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I open 3 tubes of Model Airplane Glue and shut the windows . It boosts the lollipop out of my solos by at least a Gazillion db.

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This might be your 2 Grammys talking, but you do realise that probably 95% of people on this forum don't have their own sound person, right?

 

Normally you go to a venue, they have their resident FoH person. They may or may not care about your band, and they may or may not be paying attention when you start a solo. They may not even realise it's a solo.

 

We have to let them handle the overall mix, but dynamics are the musician's job.

 

That's not how decibels work.

 

Anyway, a proportional boost that works in the practice room should work equally well through a full PA (Fletcher-Munson perceptive stuff aside). I would advise not setting it up in the bedroom before a gig, though.

 

 

I may not be an entry level player in 2015. But in 1983 when I began this journey... 

Always be in control of your business. You can use 'house sound', but if he ruins your sound --- 200 people at the bar (who have never seen you before) are not going to say "That band was great, too bad the bartender's boyfriend's brother ruined the mix." They are just going to remember how horrible you sounded and won't want to ever see you again. 

 

So, make the choice. Run it like business and prosper. Or play for pizza and beer, while some college kid runs your sound on the weekend so he can pick up chicks and drink underage. 

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Good advice in theory, but not widely applicable. I don't think most bands these days get to play to 200 people when they're near the bottom of the ladder, and most of the venues I play in explicitly forbid bringing external sound engineers. (Also, most bands starting out these days don't get the opportunity to treat it like a business since there's so little money around. Not much we can do there.)

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Then like I said in leu of the blight brought upon the music industry and lack of fans therein let's all open 3 tubes of Model Airplane Glue and hallucinate that crowd and business into reality.

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you can't get any of the good glue from the old days... it's just this newfangled digital stuff... lol...

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Ha ha ha Rad.... perfect accompaniment. Guess we move on to industrial paint thinner and Bath Salts.

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