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Home tone vs live tone

echos

Member
Messages
792
So I was reading an article that Gibson put out on home tone vs live tone. The concept is that your live tone needs to be altered to stand out in the mix and I get that. But when I hear conversations about it, it typically sounds like the end of this article.

Dial some punch into the midrange, some cutting power into the higher frequencies, and some tightness into the low end,

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifesty...tm_content=Editorial+eBlast+-+October+9,+2012



So I don't have a punch, cutting power or a tightness knob. So what does this mean? What frequency do I need to alter to get this "punch" etc? Or what else am I supposed to do to get these effects? Thanks
 
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germs

Member
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6,025
there's no magic bullet.

generally speaking from a live performance viewpoint, your guitar needs to have a good bit of mids to really stand out. reduce highs and lows. so...yeah, envision a "frown face" on a graphic EQ.

but...every room is different, every PA situation is different. it's just a rule of thumb.

the idea is to have it sounding good at low volume so it sounds REALLY good at high volume.
 

8len8

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,522
For me, at home I want a full sound since I have no band beside me, so the tele, mid, and bass are at about the same level.

When playing live with a band, the bass player fills up the lower frequencies and the cymbals/hi-hat fill the upper frequencies, so I usually either down down the lows/highs, or crank the mids up.
 

rob2001

Member
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16,927
To add, look up the Fletcher/Munson curve. It has to do with the relationship of volume, frequencies, and how human ears perceive the sound.
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
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18,605
Tone is SOO much more important to me at home than at a gig.

There's so much going on at the gig that a lot of the nuances are lost.

It's funny because people here act like "At the gig" is the most important thing when to me a LOT of gear sounds good at the gig because yer cranking the piss out of your amp!

Home is where the tone can be savored more. There's nothing like cranking my Victoria Super on 10 and that is pure sex, but I can't just sit back and enjoy it like other gear at home.
 

bluesdoc

Gold Supporting Member
Platinum Supporting Member
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13,479
And often, less gain for lead tones.

jon
 

echos

Member
Messages
792
Well let me clarify a question. I've heard about adding some mids, but if you read that quote I posted, it says to add cut to the highs and tightness to the lows. If I'm adding some mids, lows and highs have I really changed the frequency relationship? (Sorry I really don't know how to articulate that question). It seems like I'm just turn all my tone knobs up. Thanks for the replies.
 

HoboMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,948
When you do you sound check adjust all frequencies as needed until you sound good in the mix.
 

NewbyRock023

Member
Messages
875
I did a a pretty extensive test of live vs home tone about 2 years ago.
One particular night I had this killer live tone, pretty open club high ceilings and wood dance floor. I loved it so much I took pics of my settings and tested them at home. My garage is slightly sound proofed so volume wasn't an issue. I immediately started to notice what differences there were, size of venue, need for tighter lows in bigger rooms, more mids for cut when multiple instruments are involved etc. now I have a better idea of what I need to generally increase or decrease at each venue.
Now playin outside...... That's a whole other deal o_O
 

dragonbat13

Member
Messages
87
Here is the easy way for me to explain my findings. At home I like more bottom end and bass in my settings.

When there is another guitarist and bass player I like alot of mids, which exactly OPPOSITE of what I like at home. If I were to use my home settings the whole band would sound muddy and overwhelmed with bass. Same with treble..
 

Dale

Member
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10,314
What sounds good in a mix generally is not so pleasing when heard alone ... at home.
 

michael.e

Member
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20,573
when playing live, I tend to use less distorto. I knock down the bass and monitor the highs.
Funny, whether playing my Trainwreck or JCM800, I am stoked on the tones in a band situation.

Bottom line for me, they both clean up so well, that when I brush the strings, I get this beautiful chime.

Everybody's touch is different, so your personal gain levels and mid frequency level is going to differ.
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,020
The bigger difference of home vs. stage sound is that there is usually a mix on stage, unless you're playing solo. So whatever sounds good by yourself in the music room may or may not work on a gig. It depends on instrumentation, volume levels and group member abilities as much as on room variations.

Another big variable for me is line noise. At my house, fluctuates all over the place, to the point I never know if my setup sounds bad there for a real reason, or it's just the house wiring. Ironically, it's almost always better at gigs.
MD
 
Messages
6,841
My home sound is the same as my live sound and it has always stood out in the mix,

I usually have a good balance in both places, and will only have to dial out treble a bit in a live setting as the amp gets louder. If I use my Strat, I'll need to adjust for lack of output, but never lost/burried frequencies.
 

dspellman

Senior Member
Messages
8,308
when playing live, I tend to use less distorto. I knock down the bass and monitor the highs.
Puzzackly.

A couple of things happen at home that should NOT happen at a gig. One, you don't have other instruments that you have to make room for, so you can expand to include some blowsy bottom end and you can go for a big rich tone. Second, you usually find that your amp is giving you more bottom end thump because you're coupling with your walls and floors, acoustically (and sometimes mechanically).

At a gig and with a band, you need to find your place within the "orchestration" of the group.

The kick and bass should have fairly free rein over the bottom end. You'll actually want to cut the lowest frequencies. When you crank up the amp, two things will happen to the bass. One, as you dial up, you'll be able to hear it better with the bass tone set to a lower number, thanks to Fletcher-Munson. Two, as you turn up even further, you'll find the bottom end becoming muddy because you're wasting too much power down there. A good bass player will tell you that he cuts in a high pass filter to *eliminate* frequencies below a certain point because the amp is working too hard to push those out and they're not adding anything to the bass sound anyway. He's able to be louder and more defined. The same goes for a guitar -- you don't want to be trying to produce fundamentals below a certain range; your amp (even a 100W full stack) doesn't have enough power to reproduce them accurately anyway at band volumes, but more importantly, you don't need them to give your audience the *aural impression* of those notes.

Let your bass and kick drum players have the bottom end. Guitar is a mids instrument, right around the vocal range. This is where it reproduces best, and this is where it lives. A good guitar player will try to play in the spaces around the vocals, not over them. A mediocre guitar player will think he's responsible for making the band sound huge, and will be playing all the time. Make sure your mids are up, your gain has been turned DOWN from where you practice in your bedroom. That's how you really get some definition to your instrument.

I usually do NOT cut treble at a gig. Just the opposite. I use it to ADD some "cut." Note that it's not icepick. You want enough to allow those harmonics to come through. It's important that you hear your amp accurately when you're setting these. Treble beams if you're running a 12" speaker, and it does so even more if you're running multiples. You need to be directly on-axis in front of your speaker to hear what you're actually putting out. Most players avoid putting tweeters in their guitar cabinets for two reasons: One, tweeters are often more efficient than cone speakers and you get that treble more easily, and two: because tweeters actually SPREAD treble better than, say a 4x12, they can suddenly HEAR what they're putting out if they're off-axis, and they panic. They can now HEAR how fizzy their gain pedals really sound, for example.

But in the end, treble can define your tone more than anything else you do, because it carries harmonics that your guitar and amp can (and do) produce. Add a bit of "cut" by increasing your treble slightly on a gig (it's gonna be sucked up by the warm bodies down front anyway) and you'll be heard even better.
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,445
Lot's of good advice on this thread. One thing that I've noticed apart from EQ is the amount of power amp overdrive. I play pretty much clean. A big, fat clean sound in my living room will typically sound anemic with other instruments. If I add some power amp hair, even if it would result in an ugly sound in my living room, often results in the perception of a big, fat clean sound with other instuments.
 






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