Live guitar cabs, Rock Trios, Bigger Sound..

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Snare227, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Snare227

    Snare227 Vendor

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    I play in a rock trio and we try to keep the stage volume down and let the PA do most of the work in smaller clubs. Being a three piece I'm always trying to make my guitar sound as big as possible. I currently use an Egnater Rebel 30 head and 112 cab close miked with a E609 or SM57 and a plexiglass sound sheild to keep the stage volume down. I also have a 212 cab and a Marshall DSL50. I'm thinking about doing away with the shield and getting an additional 112 cab with a different speaker for the Rebel and putting it on the opposite side of the stage. I thought about going with a little more stage volume from the cabs, and miking them and panning them hard left and right through the mains. Basically I'm just wondering what would be the best method for getting a fuller sound, 2 112 cabs spread across the stage and miked, or just isolate the one cab and let the PA do the work.
     
  2. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    As a soundman (and guitar player), I'd much prefer that you keep your sound controlled and localized on stage and let the PA do the work. I would not want your cabinets spread out on stage. If you are getting the sound you want out of one cabinet, mic it and let the sound man make it sound huge with subtle short delay, reverb, EQ etc. Lots of tricks to get big sounds out of a PA.
     
  3. cram

    cram Member

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    The only time I've ever used two amps spread on stage was when I didn't have a PA for the guitar in a smaller club. This sort of jives with the first reply and your first point about letting the PA do the work.
     
  4. Telefunky

    Telefunky Member

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    For starters, don't trust soundmen. Their goal is usually CHANGING your sound, instead of DUPLICATING it. They mistakenly think running sound is a 'creative' endeavor, therefore they must fundamentally CHANGE the source signal so they can take credit for "creating" the sound. Make sense?

    Running one head into two CABS won't make for a fatter sound. Running both your heads and cabs in stereo WILL. EJ himself showed me this trick: stereo chorus pedal, RATE all the way off, DEPTH all the way up. This gives you massive stereo spread with NO chorus-y swirl. It increases stage volume so beware. When I did this, I turned my cabs around so they pointed backwards.

    The easiest and best way to get a HUGE sound at club level is to use a JTM45-type head (any good clone or a Germino Club 40) into a closed back 2x12 cab pointed backwards.

    One BIG secret is to use greenback speakers, they have thick creamy midrange and pump out far less volume than other Celestions, such as G12H's and Vintage 30s. They act as natural attenuators. (Another secret from EJ)

    Early Marshalls had 4 inputs and NO master volume. The 4 inputs means you can STILL do the stereo pedal trick, but I eventually quit doing it because the amp sound was so perfect on it's own that "enhancing" it just became unnecessary.

    Once you play in a good power trio, every other setting is a bit less exciting, at least to me. Hope you're enjoying the experience!
     
  5. Snare227

    Snare227 Vendor

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    Well it sounds like going with a 112 cabinet and the plexiglass shield to isolate may be my best bet without going true stereo. We do not usually have a soundman at our small club gigs, so setting up the PA and manipulating the sound is our job. I do currently use a Greenback or a Green Beret (GB clone) with my amps for the very reason that they will breakup and sound "driven" with less volume. For 30 watts that amp is crazy loud and I can't turn it up very loud.

    All together... keeping the sound isolated on stage with a 112 and let the PA work for the spread is the better option? This is my current setup and would save me from buying a cab and hauling it around, though I would be more than willing if it helps the sound.

    Do you guys hear major benefits from using stereo or multiple amps at the same time?

    We currently just use reverb on the vocals and run the guitar dry on the PA and reverb comes from the amp. What do you guys think about adding a subtle/short slapback delay along with the reverb to the vocals and guitar through the PA? The sound is rock based (Think Gin Blossoms, Foo Fighters, Stereophonics) and artists covered range from 70s classic rock through modern rock.
     
  6. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    i use a Palmer PDI-09 for FOH signal.

    very very consistent, soundmen almost always love and prefer them, ONCE they've used one.

    i have (3) 1x12 cabs- (1) Avatar Vintage 1x12 closed back w/celestion Heritage G12H-55, and (2) Roland 1x12 closed back cabs, both with english celestion greenbacks.

    I can run these straight and dry;
    or run these as a wet/dry rig, using a hafler power amp to send a mono or stereo signal from my yamaha DG stomp to the left/right speakers, with the center speaker dry and unaffected.
    pointed out towards the audience, this is a typical live setup. i'll use the Palmer PDI-09 to capture my basic dry sound, and mic up one of the side cabs for the FX, and the FOH mixer can blend in as much of the wet as is needed.


    if i want the FOH to have total control of the guitars in the house mix, i can mic the celestion heritage (the avatar) with it aimed backwards, or use the palmer direct. i'll put the FX back in the loop, and send a mono signal to the Hafler so that all 3 speakers get the same signal.
    i then use the other cabs as monitors, for the band, and for myself.

    i can put one of the roland cabs to the side, behind the drums, or across the stage from the side, for the band to que off of...
    and the other, goes on the floor in front of me, angled up like a vocal monitor, ..

    with the palmer, i don't need any mics...
    the sound man loves it.

    all the cabs are away from the audience, so it can actually be mixed...
    but i've got sound pressure on the stage for myself and band, so it sounds solid on stage, without being overwhelmingly loud.

    then i use a volume pedal with about 5db extra headroom for mixing my solos and rhythms in and out. soundman doesn't touch a thing once the loud peaks are set, and the rhythm volume is dialed for the fader setting in the FOH.

    open back cabs add to the 'three dimensionality' of the sound.
    if i take the back panels off, and scatter the speakers around me and the other players, it fills the stage with guitar sound, but does not take anybody's head off, and doesn't overwhelm the other players.
    they hear it, but not directionally.
     
  7. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    Makes no sense at all. :nuts
    Sound is an extremely creative endeavor.
    I play guitar as well (11 years, 2 years now in a professional capacity), and I think that doing sound is more challenging, more fulfilling, and more creative. Not too mention more fun.

    You've got a nasty little bee in your bonnet because you've never worked with a decent sound tech.
    Have you even bothered to get to know some sound techs who can work with you to achieve your goals? Did you pick just any drummer?
    Or did you audition a few and hire the guy who clicked with you both musically and as a bandmate?

    The same effort needs to go in to choosing the right sound man (or woman) AND when you do your band will blow up. The mix will be great at every gig, crowds and promoters will love you, and you'll perform better because your stage mixes are slamming.

    Please don't slam all sound techs. I for one work extremely hard to build a sound that both the band and crowd love.

    OP, keep your 1x12, crank the thing with the shield in front of it. (The shield will keep that guitar off the punters in the front row.)

    Ask the tech (or do you have your own?) to use two mikes on the speaker.

    That way the two mikes will each have their own vibe and the two together will sound HUGE as long as they are in phase. And the tech can pan them a bit to get that massive stereo spread with no lame slow stereo chorus like Telefunky suggests.

    Even carry your own mics with you - ideally a 57 or e609, and a Cascade Fat Head or Royer 121. I've also had great tones using a LDC such as a AT4050 or Rode K2, along with a 57.
     
  8. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    I'm also a guitarist in a 3 piece rock band, you don't want your guitar to sound TOO big, but there are way's of giving it more spread. Whenever i've used an open back cab, there seems to be a lot more spread in the room, so depending on your setup, you could have a closed back 112 and an open back 112 stacked on each other. This is what i'm planning to do. At the moment i have a 112 orange cab on an amp stand facing inwards and that's mic'd up.

    Also just to quickly add something that's a bit of a pet peeve, if you mic the same speaker with two mic's in phase and then pan hard left and right, you're still getting a mono signal. There will be a minor stereo spread due to the difference in the mic's, but not enough to really make it stereo...
     
  9. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    Wikipedia says
    'The term Stereophonic, commonly called stereo, sound refers to any method of sound reproduction in which an attempt is made to create an illusion of directionality and audible perspective. This is usually achieved by using two or more independent audio channels through a configuration of two or more loudspeakers in such a way as to create the impression of sound heard from various directions, as in natural hearing. '

    So two mic on a single speaker, individually panned in a stereo FOH system is stereo. It's not ping pong delays, but it's stereo for sure.
     
  10. Snare227

    Snare227 Vendor

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    So many different views! That's exactly what I was hoping to get though, because it always comes down to trying different things and see what works best for your personal situation. What sparked this thread was me spotting a good deal on another 112 and thinking it would be cool to spread my sound so it hits the crowd evenly.

    From what I'm gathering, going with the lowest and most isolated sound I can get out of my amp on stage would probably be the best option for me when the overall sound of the band needs to be low. We use IEM's so stage sound for monitoring and "feel" don't really have a huge impact on things. I'm leaning towards staying with the 112 cab behind the plexiglass like I have been doing.

    On another note, (which has been beaten to death) I just picked up a E609 and it seems to be much easier to find a sweet spot on my speakers compared to my SM57. Both are great mics but the E609 is nice for a quick and dirty job.
     
  11. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    Haha wikipedia...try it then, i'm just telling you from experience that it's not going to do a hell of a lot.

    Just to make it clear, that wikipedia excerpt basically describes the idea of panning and not micing a single source with two mic's. When you mic the exact same source with two mic's and pan hard left and right, the sides will phase cancel out, and the middle will bunch up, the result is mono sound up the middle, because the human ear will hear the same sound coming from both speakers at the same time and it will appear to be coming from the centre (like i said before there will be a minor spread due to the difference in mic's, but it will be pretty minor). That wikipedia excerpt is describing the idea of "directionality" which is panning, if the sound is louder in one speaker, it will trick our ears into thinking its coming more from that direction. Whilst that's still stereo, i don't think that's the effect you're trying to describe (the effect you're talking about is dependent on a timing difference, so ironically out of phase mic's would do better than one's that are perfectly in phase).

    Again i urge you to actually try it for yourself, because then you'll understand what i'm talking about.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  12. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    yeh basically...the sm57 can get a WIDE variety of tone's, but because of that, it can be quite hard to place it in the first place, so many variables. The e609 or the one i use the e906 is MUCH easier to place, i always default to that live cause it's just less hassle to set up. Nothing against the 57 though! I use that much more when recording.
     
  13. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    Is this honestly what you think audio engineers do? Do you think that we are out to get you, and to make your guitar sound bad? Do you think that mixing live audio is really not a creative endeavor? Do you really think that we are out to "take credit" for your sound? For real? There aren't too many bands out there that I would care to take credit for. We are not out to get you, especially you in a local band, playing crappy covers, or even crappier originals. Maybe if you were in The Rolling Stones or something would I want to "take credit for creating" part of the music, but it's pretty safe to say that nobody but you and your band mates want to take credit for your music. The soundman is there to help you, not to hinder or change you. You must really think your band and it's sounds are some hot **** if you think that the soundguy is out to take credit for your sound. Until you get over your fear of soundmen, and pay them the respect they deserve, putting up with your crappy attitude, you are right, they ARE out to get you. Just like the boogeyman is. Get a grip, guy.
     
  14. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    Haha, totally agree. If anything, i'd add to that. A lot of guitarists will focus on creating their tone as a singularity, whereas a soundman will work on the tone of the whole act. Some guitarist's get pissy when a soundman take's out lows from the guitar so the bass can come through...people just need to understand that the soundman is there to make the WHOLE band sound good together. If your tone doesn't work that great, they might do something to fix it a little (like a little EQ), if it already works, they probably won't do anything. It just amazes me how many guitarists will think their tone is the beezneez, but it just fall's apart when it's put in with all the other instruments. The soundman is there to help you, if you're going into the gig with a negative attitude towards him, chances are that things won't go that great.
     
  15. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    i promise you your guitar hero, Eric Johnson, has mad respect for his sound crew. if he didn't, he would simply find another.
     
  16. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    plus, the pdi-09 is excellent for grabbing a feed for recording while playing live.
     
  17. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    10 years doing live sound and recording as a hobby, 2 years as my job. I've tried it.

    Two different mics, with different positions on the speaker, panned somewhat left and right, makes for a big and undoubtably stereo sound.

    The only way to achieve what your talking about with phase cancellation on the sides and mono up the middle would be to use two identically matched mics very, very close together, exactly in phase and panned all the way. Which is not what I suggested.

    I suggested two different mics positioned on different points of the speaker, panned but not hard.

    I urge you to actually try it for yourself, because then you'll understand what i'm talking about.
     
  18. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    I've tried it a bunch, not worth the hassle. Live, recording....IME you're better off mic'ing two separate cabs or amps for different information. Of course YMMV, i'm glad it's worked for you, i've just found different method's work better for the situations i've been in.
     
  19. Somniferous

    Somniferous Member

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    I find this extremely funny. Mostly because the ONLY time anyone in the audience thinks the soundman does anything is when things are sounding bad, because there's no way a band can make THEMSELVES sound bad (maybe by not trusting the soundmen?). When things are sounding great, however, all the soundman does is twirl knobs.
     
  20. rod horncastle

    rod horncastle Member

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    I wish soundmen were creative. All the ones I come across are mostly lazy...ignore the band and the show in general. Any soundman that actually desired to create an acoustical vision for the music would impress the Heck out of me.
    Most of the concerts I go to generally sound like crap. So attempting huge guitar tones and sonic excellence is a mighty challenge. Just making the P.A. sound pleasant and somewhat accurate is often a small miracle. But achievable on occasion.

    I'm just curious how the BASS and drums sound to the OP? Do they get the same treatment? One well mic'd amp coming out of the P.A. is usually enough to please 99% of the room. If one mic on a singer is good enough: shouldn't that be enough for a great guitar tone?

    Interesting discussion. I generally play festivals in the summer. You got 5 minutes to stick a mic in front of your amp and hand it to a soundman who has no time to chat.
     

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