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

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almann1979
(@almann1979)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

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??

"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)


   
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Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
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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.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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almann1979
(@almann1979)
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Topic starter  

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)


   
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Ande
 Ande
(@ande)
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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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TRGuitar
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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.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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almann1979
(@almann1979)
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Topic starter  

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."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


   
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TRGuitar
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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

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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Sin City Sid
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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
(@almann1979)
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Topic starter  

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."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


   
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jwmartin
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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.

Bass player for Undercover


   
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Gabba Gabba Hey
(@gabba-gabba-hey)
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I saw that talkbass thread too; same answer over there as here ... more mids!


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

Hmmm. Looks like we have a pattern here . . . . :wink:

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
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Dan Lasley
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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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Dimefan0908
(@dimefan0908)
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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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Ricochet
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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?

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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