How's your stage volume?

How's your stage volume?

  • Practically silent

  • Moderate. We can talk to each other

  • Too loud. We need to fix it

  • What...I can't hear you-my ears are bleeding

Results are only viewable after voting.


I play small places.
I refuse to play small places without ear plugs. Hell, I see people using plugs while using a weed whacker... why would you want to stand 4' from a crash cymbal and not knock that down a bit before you loose that ability to hear and/or hear a constant ring for the rest of your days.
Ear plugs - westone is the company. I like them. I got custom molded versions. I can put in these variable efficiency plugs that will be rated for medium efficiency or light or full on as best as they can be shut down the noise.
I go with the lightest duty. I can clearly carry on a conversation and the dynamic and sensitive nature of on stage volume is mitigated.

We do play loud.
We do mitigate it sometimes and in some ways.

My amp is usually turned away from the crowd. I never want to do that to them.
We try our best to make the fill of sound become the best it can be in the pub/place we're playing.
We mix our small monitors the best we can so we feel what the crowd is feeling.

I have the utmost respect for a band that sets up and plays great music... and the crowd can actually communicate with each other. If I have to turn down so I get no real amp benefit with respect to drive, I adjust my pedals. We practice for that as well - play with less volume to get used to it.

We get to open up at out door gigs in summer time.

That's some gratifying stuff.


Runs with scissors
Platinum Supporting Member
The main issue is that our practice volume is too loud. We practice in such a small room that there's just no way to bring the volume down. Literally any drumming is too loud for the room so it becomes tough for the vocalist to get legitimate practice since they can barely hear themselves. But theres really no great way around that.




Yeah, that's the best solution but still tough in such a small space...we actually just parted with our old vocalist who refused to wear headphones without ever giving a practical reason why. Hopefully our new vocalist will display more common sense.


Silver Supporting Member
This thread makes me very glad we have a drummer who listens to the mix and is not too loud at all. He plays with touch and dynamics. There ARE such drummers & they are worth their weight in gold. Drums don't have to be deafeningly loud. They just don't!
It is SO nice to be able to hear everything & not have ringing ears at the end of the night.
We keep it moderate volume. I'm constantly being told to turn down in the middle of Genesis songs - then they can't hear me during the Rush, and King Crimson songs!

"Turn down!"
"I can't hear Bill...

Ours is a phenomenal jazz drummer, had lessons with Chad Wackerman. We need volume control AND someone with power, when the songs demand it. We used to audition our drummers with La Villa Strangiato. It makes a big difference.
He's playing songs by:
Bill Bruford
Neil Peart
Phil Collins
John Weathers
Nick Mason
Barriemore Barlow
Carl Palmer


My personal stage volume the last number of years is ZERO. I run my pedalboard into a Roland Micro Cube, and into a Radial JDI Direct box, and out to the board. Sounds great in my In Ears!

If I play a tube amp gig, my stage volume is moderate, using a Peavey Classic 30.

CC Overdrive

I'm of the opinion that our band could stand to be a little louder. We try to do a quick sound check before every show, and invariably, members within say we're too loud. Then, we get feed back that were not loud enough or the re order pi ks up crowd noise where people are clearly louder than the band. I play a 40 watt black star on 2, and our drummer hits HARD. Too be honest, I bitch about this often, and the reality of it is when I say I wanna turn it up a notch, I mean to 2.5 or 3, so at least our amps start to sound good....I'm not at all one of those guys who wanna crank it way up to 11 or anything, too loud is too loud....but a little balls would be nice!

Flyin' Brian

On the low end of moderate. I usually use a modified SCXD with the volume control on 3-4. When I take it to jams it ends up on 6-8. No need for in ears. Nothing is ever miked except for the vocals.

I've been told by various people that I need to turn up.
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One big problem we used to run into with too much stage volume is the need to turn up the wedges so we could hear our vocal. This was when we mic'd it all.
After a year of this, I discovered while running sound was that the vocals were very muddy. Turned out that the 15's in the wedges were pushing muffled vocals all thru the room!
We solved that by going with small near field monitors and ditching the wedges. We also quit mic'ing everything and turned it all down.

We are hiring a new drummer and are hoping he won't hit so hard live. He was reasonable in practice.


I just started subbing regularly with a band. The other guitarist told me "I don't know if anyone warned you, but we're pretty loud". He and the Drummer use in-ears (and maybe the drummer is the worst of all possible people to use in-ears!).

I found it loud, but tolerable the first night I sat in, and the next time we played the same room I was actually able to dial my amp back down a number - so I kind of bought into it the first night. We played one gig where the other guitarist's amps were facing right at me, killing me, but his keys were inaudible through the monitors - when he played keys I had to back way off to hear him (I'm still kind of following at this point because I don't know the whole set yet and each time I play with them it's the first time for at least 1/4 of the things) and then when I was taking any leads I had to sear it to make sure I could hear myself.

I also play in a 60s band and the rhythm guitarist is always too loud, but it's not horribly loud. Drummer is in control and that makes all the difference. The bass player is the worst in that band - want's to play through a fridge with 2000 watts, no matter where you are.



Silver Supporting Member
I think there's something between "we can talk to each other" and "we need to fix it".

If you can talk, that's not moderate, that's quiet. We're too loud to talk, but I don't think there's anything to fix.


Louder than a standard speaking voice but not too loud, generally. Drummer has a plexiglass shield, which helps. When it gets too loud the problem is the other guitar player.


Silver Supporting Member
I think volume is relative to the room!

If you're playing at a restuarant you're not gonna play as loud as you would at the Nokia Center!


Too loud to hear us talk to each other unmic'd, but not too loud. Frankly, if we could hear each other talk I don't think it would sound right.


I think there's something between "we can talk to each other" and "we need to fix it".

If you can talk, that's not moderate, that's quiet. We're too loud to talk, but I don't think there's anything to fix.

Absolutely & totally dependant on the type of music & venue you play. No one on a stage with my band could talk & be heard but it doesn't need to be "fixed". We play heavy rock & I need to be able to feel the power of the band to pull off what we do.


Usually moderate.
Sometimes we have some problems with the voices being to loud in the monitors (4 lead voices and 2 backup) but we usually can keep it down.

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