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New...need help!


(@kchambers)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

Hi,

I'm new here and i'm in great need of help with my sound. I play through a Kustom QUAD 100HD head and Kustom Cabs. I also use a Spider II head...both which are not tube. I know that tube is the best way to go but i have to do with what i got for now. What i'm wanting help on is my distortion. I have a hard time hearing myself when i play distorted. I have been told to turn my mids up higher and my bass lower, but i still cannot get the sound i'm wanting.

The style of sound i am looking for is along the lines of breaking benjamin or sevendust. I need to know if there is anything i can do so me and my drummer can hear me play. IF any of you can help me i would appreciate it.


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(@twistedlefty)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4166
 

are you saying that when you play with distortion thru your 100 watt amp,
that you cannot hear yourself over your drummer?
what size cab?,
is your drummer amplified?, or just beating hell out of the drums?
is your question about a particular tone, (the 2 bands you named) or volume when distorted?

Welcome to GN!, please give an intro in the "meet & greet" forum

#4491....


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(@dagwood)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1029
 

Welcome to GN.

Define: "You can't hear yourself" a little more.

on that note: Despite what one may think. A lot of distortion get's muddied in the mix. (Mix being the rest of noise from other band members). To cut through that, dialing down the distortion--believe it or not, boosting mids, and other things can/will help.

Also, yeah is your drummer just pounding the snot out of his skins? There's a lot to be said for a drummer that understands dynamics :)

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


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(@kchambers)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

In answer to your questions, When i play through my 100 watt amp i cannot hear myself over the drummer but my distortion tends to get lost in the mix while we're playing. I play through a QUAD ST 412A Slant 4x12 w/ Kustom 12s.

As for the question about the two bands i mentioned, i'm actually looking for both the tones and the volume when distorted.

I apologize if i have confused any of you. This is my first time on a forum like this, trying to get help. I've always struggled with being able to hear myself over the drums.


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(@dagwood)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1029
 

OK - The 'volume' question only cuz I don't know those bands very well nor their sound.

for the "Smart-A$$" answer... "Get a new Drummer" LOL

For the correct one. I'll ask another question.. How close is your amp to his kit? Does it help at all if you move your amp/cab away from him?

Also be aware, what you hear "On Stage" isn't necessarily what an audience hears. I still think though that if you can't hear yourself over a drummer with 4x12 (for Christ's sake), he's playing wayyyy too hard.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


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(@kchambers)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

I can give you the basic lay out of our area. We play in a fairly large garage. My drummer plays up against the wall facing me so we can keep visual contact and he is not amplified. My amp is off to my left angled so i can hear and so that he can hear it. I would say that the amp is about 8-10 feet from him.

I've told him to tone it down in the past and he has but it just doesn't seem to help. I didn't know if there was anyway for me to adjust the settings on my head amp to help clear up all noise?


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(@twistedlefty)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4166
 

build a buffer in front of his drums?
something to redirect or muffle the sound a bit.

#4491....


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

While the drummer does need to bring it down, you should be able to blast him out of the water if you wanted.

You are probably using way too much gain. When guitar tones are over-saturated like this they almost turn into "white noise". It is almost like the sound of tearing paper, or the sound of air leaking out of a tire. :D

All that sounds cool on your favorite recordings, but recordings do not represent the real world. On recordings instruments are especially compressed into a vary narrow range of frequencies so that you can hear each instrument distinctly. You can do this live, but it takes lots of work. You have to sit down and experiment with the sound to bring each instrument out.

As was mentioned before, come way down on Gain and go up on your Mids. Mids is the natural sound for guitar. The scooped Mids tone where you boost Lows and Highs and cut Mids sounds great in the bedroom, but you will be smothered by the drums and bass in a live situation. The tone you need does not sound so great in itself, but it cuts through and occupies it's own little niche. This is how you do it in live performance. Let the bass player handle the Lows, that's his job.

So, go way up up Mids and cut your Lows and Highs some. If you still can't hear your guitar, then face your amp directly at your drummer and max it out. Maybe then he will get the message.

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


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(@kchambers)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

lol! thank you so much for your help! I'll just have to mess with the settings. I know you cannot capture the magic of studio recording while playing live, unless you have a great set up, but hopefully i can achieve the sound i want.

Also, i would like to know about the pedals i use. I use a digitech tremolo, metal master, and a mark tremonti wah pedal. For the pedals, should i set them the same way i would for my amp? Should i bring my lows and gain down and turn the mids up?


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

The order I would use is wah first, then the distortion pedal, then the tremelo pedal.

Here is a really good site I have posted before that explains why most guitarists put their effects pedals in a certain order.

http://users.chariot.net.au/~gmarts/fx-order.htm

Of course, nothing is written in stone and you can put the pedals in any order you personally like. :D

I suspect that Metal Master pedal is your biggest problem. Pedals like that are usually so high gain that they sound like white noise even at the lowest settings. I guess I am an old geezer, but I cannot understand why anybody would like tones like that. The pros do not use pedals like this. They have great amps which they push into overdrive, and then usually use a quality overdrive or distortion pedal at much lower gain settings than you might imagine to get those killer tones. Those hyper-distortion pedals just sound so artificial in my opinion.

But that is strictly the opinion of an old geezer. :D

You might use a good distortion with much lower gain on your amp. If possible add some delay to it. You will be surprised how awesome this sounds and the delay will give you the extra sustain for solos. The tone will cut through much better than that hyper-distortion. Experiment and see.

Here is an excellent video on setting your amp's tone settings on YouTube. I agree with this fellow's advice wholeheartedly, he knows what he is talking about. Notice when they show a closeup that his gain (Drive) is only up about half!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQanVdQPAMg

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


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(@kchambers)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

wow! thanks for the help. you have helped me more than anyone has! i have been struggling with this issue for a long time! i'm going to put it to work this weekend and show my drummer he isn't the only one that can be heard!


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(@kchambers)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

so for my pedals....i do not use my metal master anymore because i was seeing this problem and got rid of it. i have another distortion pedal that isn't as aggressive. so i can use that at a much lower gain setting to work with getting better tones?


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