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obsessed76
(@obsessed76)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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Topic starter  

HI . any advice for me?
I feel that I'm constantly fighting my volume while playing in a group. There are times when I'm not loud enough and run out of dial on my guitar, and times when I switch channels/pedals and I'm wayyy over in the mix. I started to mitigate with a volume control pedal but Its a real feathering thing when I'm trying to concentrate on playing. That and I can't really start fiddling with the settings on my amp/pedals while I'm playing.

Any tips?


   
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kent_eh
(@kent_eh)
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Unless there's some technical limitations of your amp and pedals, you could dial the levels in during a few hours of "woodshedding".

It will probably take several go-arounds of adjusting the level on this, then that, then back to the first and repeat.

Are your effects in the amp's loop, or all in front of the amp?
What amp/pedals are you using?

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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obsessed76
(@obsessed76)
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Last night was a good example.
Strat straight into a Marshall haze 15watt tube. No external effects just 2 channels. So starting out I'm full up in the mix pretty up front, then gradually things get louder and louder until i'm barely being heard. Ran out of dial.


   
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kent_eh
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Sounds like you are inn a volume war with your bandmates.
This is not something technology can solve.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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obsessed76
(@obsessed76)
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True enough. unintentional I think. Do I just crank the amp to max and use the volume on the guitar as the master?


   
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Jethro Rocker
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Are the other guys turning up as they go? Decreasing volume on guitar, of course, leads to less gain which is fine if you want that. I say set it to stage level and make sure it's the same with each guy, then don't turn up. As the night goes on, your ears lose the ability to hear high and mid highs - don't compensate for this or it is as mentioned a volume war....
my 2 cents worth, cheers!


   
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Dan Lasley
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Are the other guys turning up as they go? Decreasing volume on guitar, of course, leads to less gain which is fine if you want that. I say set it to stage level and make sure it's the same with each guy, then don't turn up. As the night goes on, your ears lose the ability to hear high and mid highs - don't compensate for this or it is as mentioned a volume war....
my 2 cents worth, cheers!

Exactly. Do you have singers? They probably can't hear themselves after a while either. If they ask to turn up the PA, turn down the guitars instead.


   
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obsessed76
(@obsessed76)
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good advice here. I'm glad people understand what I'm going through. I think that as a song goes on we play louder? or we start off too loud to begin with and then when we are looking for a boost it's just triggering a volume war.. and yes there is a singer and towards the end of some tunes it's a blow out from all parties.
Decreasing volume on guitar, of course, leads to less gain which is fine if you want that. my 2 cents

So I have tried out a volume pedal in an effects loop to give me more control in overall volume without affecting tone. But it's just another thing to fiddle with while I"m trying to play. And theoretically another missle for the volume war.


   
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Diceman
(@diceman)
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KISS ! (Keep It Simple Stupid) This is what I do . As the lone guitarist in a three piece cover band (guitar , bass , drums) , I have little room for there to be a gap in the music while I adjust my volume . I have a three channel amp with built in effects which gives me six different combinations of sounds : clean / clean with effect (usually chorus) , rhythm channel / rhythm channel with a short delay , and high gain / high gain with a longer delay . These are what I use the most . Everything is foot switchable so I seldom have to take my hands off the guitar to switch between presets . Each channel has a separate volume control which I balance before we begin playing .

The way I see it , it is more important to play the correct notes and be heard than to worry about sounding just like the combination of tones and effects that whatever guitarist was using in a particular song .

On the other hand , if you were to set up your rig in a place where you can play at gig volume and adjust the gains on your effects pedals WITHOUT TOUCHING THE AMP SETTINGS it should be possible to get your sound under control . This is best done alone !

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .


   
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Moonrider
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Last night was a good example.
Strat straight into a Marshall haze 15watt tube. No external effects just 2 channels. So starting out I'm full up in the mix pretty up front, then gradually things get louder and louder until i'm barely being heard. Ran out of dial.

Your band mates need to learn how to resist turning up. Your drummer needs to learn how to keep a steady volume too.

One thing that can help with this is to take a look at how you're setting up in practice. DON'T set up like you're on stage unless you're practicing show moves. If you're working arrangements or just jamming, set up so your instrument amps are on stands, beside the drummer, slightly angled towards him, and the entire band is in a semicircle FACING THE DRUMMER, THE AMPS, AND THE VOCAL MONITORS. This way you have the amps blasting right into your face, and the tendency will be to turn down instead of up.

Plus you can throw things at the drummer when he gets carried away on bashing the cymbals ;)

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

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
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notes_norton
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My Parker DF has a master volume near my picking hand. I use it with my ears all the time to blend with the music (along with picking force). You could use a volume pedal for the same thing.

I do the same with my saxophone, but I use the amount of wind and proximity to the microphone.

Vocals: same as sax.

Wind synth: wind and master volume on the synth module.

Most music doesn't ride along at the same volume level from song to song or even within the same song. Playing dynamically is part of the skill of being a musician.

Even if you are not in a loudness war, and everything is running perfectly, you should expect to make some volume adjustments during the gig. The amount probably depends on the type of music you are playing.

I also have a pedal on my guitar that has the ability to have a boost (Digitech RP355). For soloing I can hit the boost switch that will pump me up for that part of the song, and then hit it again to decrease the volume when the vocals or other instrumental solo comes in. It's easier and faster than using the volume control.

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cnev
 cnev
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This all good advice and maybe trying Moonriders practice may help the rest of the band realize they are playing too loud.

I know cuz I'm in the same place with my band. The drummer likes "to get into the music" which usually means banging the drums harder than need be which starts the volume wars.

Last week the drummer had taken some videos and then told me he couldn't hear my guitar in the mix...duh you gusy are all playing to loud.

So this week I turned my amp up and although I could be heard in the mix the vocals were starting to get wiped out.

There is nothing that a volume pedal or anything else can do to correct the situation it's up to everyone in the band to work on that together. Then once you have a good working volume you can work on dynamics within the song itself, but if you are all playing LOUD all the time there will never be any dynamics.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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Dan Lasley
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Try this: after a nice blistering solo, bring everything down low before you start the next verse. This is lesson #3 from the DH School of playing live.

Also, our drummer has a set of sticks that look like bundled chopsticks. They are not nearly as loud, but they still give him a good bounce. Suggest these.


   
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kent_eh
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Also, our drummer has a set of sticks that look like bundled chopsticks. They are not nearly as loud, but they still give him a good bounce. Suggest these.

Something like these?

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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JasonRain
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It will probably take several go-arounds of adjusting the level on this, then that, then back to the first and repeat.


   
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