how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

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almann1979
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how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by almann1979 » March 21st, 2009, 12:34 pm

Im not sure what i am doing wrong - although im sure it is a lot. :D

when we soundcheck i always make sure the volume of my distortion is the same as the volume of my clean guitar. to get a volume boost for lead i switch pickups.

however, when we begin to play i can hear my guitar well when it is clean, but when i apply distortion it is totally drowned out by drums, keyboard etc.

i have no idea why, as I know i set it as the same volume as my clean sound??

what can i do to get the distortion to cut through the rest of the instruments??
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Wes Inman
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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by Wes Inman » March 21st, 2009, 6:06 pm

Could be a couple of things. You might be using too much gain. Super distortion sounds great by itself, but in a band situation is simply sounds like air escaping from a flat tire, or tearing paper. That may sound dumb, but that's exactly what too much distortion sounds like. So try coming down on the gain. The pros do not use nearly the gain that you might think.

It is also very probable you have the EQ on the pedal set wrong. Everybody loves the "scooped Mids" tone where you boost the Lows and Highs and cut the Mids. This also sounds great when playing alone, but again will get completely lost in a band situation. Boost your Mids. I keep my Mids up to almost max in a band situation. Mids is the guitar tone, it is the center. Cut your Mids and nobody will hear you.

Here is a very helpful video, this guy knows what he is talking about, I would listen to him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQanVdQPAMg
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almann1979
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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by almann1979 » March 21st, 2009, 10:40 pm

thanks wes. very useful stuff. much appreciated.
"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)

Ande
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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by Ande » March 23rd, 2009, 9:54 am

Wes is a pro; I'm a newb. But I'll just add my most recent discovery.

I just got a digital multi-effect pedal, and ALL of the distorted pre-sets on it were using the EQ to scoop the mids. SOunds really cool, but doesn't cut through anything at all. If you're using a multi-effect, I'd make sure to check the EQ on all settings you use. A guy I play with told me that most of them are like that- scooped sounds great when you try it out in the shop, so it sells the pedal.

But if you're going to play with others, you need to change the EQ or you disappear.

Best,
Ande

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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by TRGuitar » March 28th, 2009, 11:46 pm

Very true! Scooped mids sound cool but they make a very smooth sound that does not cut the mix. Ever notice on SS amps that have countour controls the manual always has the control to the extreme for their "metal" sound? I found the sound has more punch on middle contour settings. I am finding as I get older / more experienced I like my mids about the same level or slightly above the bass setting on my "non contour" amps. I do boost the treble a bit, especially with my Les Pauls.

Almann, are you using a distortion pedal or just your Valve king's distortion? I've noticed as mentioned above, most distortion pedals have the tone that makes them walk out of the music store, not necessarily work the best in the mix. Personal preference, I like my amps gain chanel with an overdrive pedal to push it.
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almann1979
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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by almann1979 » March 31st, 2009, 6:47 am

as much as i like the valvekings distortion, there is a delay when i use the footswtich to turn it on - so i use a boss me 50 at the minute on the screamer setting.
"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by TRGuitar » March 31st, 2009, 10:40 am

Yeah, I can see where that's a problem. Like the guys said above then, I bet the scooped mids are your problem. Did you try adjusting the ME50's EQ? Can you? The reason I asked about the Valve King is that I find tube amps, even on distortion settings seem to have lots of mid. I think thats one of the reasons we percieve them to be louder than a SS amp watt for watt. Hope all works out for you. :D
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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by Sin City Sid » March 31st, 2009, 12:51 pm

almann1979 wrote:as much as i like the valvekings distortion, there is a delay when i use the footswtich to turn it on - so i use a boss me 50 at the minute on the screamer setting.
Is that a Peavey switch? I don't remember having that problem with mine using my bandit switch.

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almann1979
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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by almann1979 » April 1st, 2009, 10:14 pm

yeah, its the valveking footswitch. not a great buy really :D
"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by jwmartin » April 2nd, 2009, 6:58 am

It's funny, I'm following a thread on talkbass.com about how to get bass guitars to cut through all the distorted guitars in the mix. :D I'm sure on a drumming site, someone is asking how to get the drums to cut through the mix.

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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by Gabba Gabba Hey » April 2nd, 2009, 7:57 am

I saw that talkbass thread too; same answer over there as here ... more mids!

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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by Moonrider » April 2nd, 2009, 1:17 pm

Gabba Gabba Hey wrote:I saw that talkbass thread too; same answer over there as here ... more mids!
Hmmm. Looks like we have a pattern here . . . . :wink:
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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by Laz » April 8th, 2009, 8:30 am

Just remember that those mids will conflict with the vocals, so be sure to adjust your overall volume and/or leave space for the singer.

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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by Dimefan0908 » February 10th, 2010, 10:42 am

I seem to be having the same problem. I am playing a Dean FBD guitar through a KranKenstein half stack I play with the bass on 9 mid's on 4.5 Treble on 8 and distortion around 4.5 but only certain riffs cut through? It seems we have to keep turning both the guitars up in order to cut through? I seen the youtube vid where the dude said to add mids. I have added alot of them should I add more? It seems ether a crunchy guitar and not alot of definition or a thin sound and cut through like a mother. Where oh where is the sweet spot? Thanks for any help on the situation

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Re: how to get a distorted guitar to cut through the mix??

Post by Ricochet » February 10th, 2010, 5:08 pm

jwmartin wrote:It's funny, I'm following a thread on talkbass.com about how to get bass guitars to cut through all the distorted guitars in the mix. :D I'm sure on a drumming site, someone is asking how to get the drums to cut through the mix.
Isn't it sad in a way that various players want to "cut through the mix?" Isn't the "mix" what the music is?
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