"Live, you can't tell the difference." Have you found this to be true?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by james..., May 22, 2019.

  1. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    I think my philosophy on gigs has served me well. "Take only what you need to survive." I can live without my industrial strength hair dryer, so therefore I don't need to bring it.
     
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  2. Clark GriswoId

    Clark GriswoId Supporting Member

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  3. cosmic_ape

    cosmic_ape Supporting Member

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    Well, since you asked:

    Years ago, I got a cheap, used guitar at Guitar Center (don’t ask which, I will not open that can of worms!). I bought it as a project guitar. I intended to swap pickups and all electronics, get it refretted, upgrade the bridge, etc.

    I had only upgraded the pots and resistors before I took it to its first gig. My wife was in the audience.

    Mind you, she’s not a musician. But she tags along to many of my band’s gigs.

    She hadn’t even seen the guitar before. After the gig, she asked: “What guitar is that?”

    I thought she was gonna give me grief about my incessant gear purchasing. I replied something along the lines of: “Just a cheapie I got as a backup”.

    She replied: “Don’t play that guitar out again. It sounds terrible!”

    So, I didn’t.

    Wifey knows tone.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  4. Sam Xavier

    Sam Xavier Member

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    Dunno about the audience but I can and to me, that's what counts since I'm the one playing. If it sounds off, it puts me off.
     
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  5. Wyatt Martin

    Wyatt Martin Member

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    I couldn't tell the difference in anything until we let our too loud drummer go. Now I can use my effects that were once useless.
     
  6. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    To an audience, the vocals matter more than my tone. Tone matters to me. It's a balance.
     
  7. Captainruss

    Captainruss Member

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    For me it is more about having the right FX in the FX loop. I tried to get away with not using it because I lazy and didn’t want to do the 4CM, however, the few time-based FX I use sparingly had no impact. So I had to buck up and embrace the loop and 4CM and it has made a difference. I don’t totally rely on FX but when I do they need to serve the song and hit at the right time and if I hit a powerful delay passage and wait for it to ring out while the rest of the band lays back and it just isn't cutting through going in the front of the amp then it kills the song or at lest the moment.

    Otherwise, I just want to hear my amp and feel it on my back enough to know when I’m not making major mistakes.

    Last saturdays gig the sound guy had my stage volume so low I had no idea if I was playing the right notes or not or if i was bending notes to the right pitch. Really hate that. I was sharing a monitor with the singer too so it’s not like he was helping me out there either because I couldn’t take over that mix .
     
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  8. Island3r

    Island3r Member

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    I play in a duo. I can hear everything live that I can at home.
     
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  9. Monkeyboy23

    Monkeyboy23 Member

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    As an audience member, I only care if the band sounds good and I am entertained. NFG about the gear being used.
     
  10. bluesoul

    bluesoul Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    In a live mix I have on my board the pedals I know work best...so I am confident they will do the job. But, it really does not stand out what delay pedal I use or which overdrive gets stomped on. So yeah, once you are in a live mix, I think it matters less than when you are hearing things by themselves.
     
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  11. bobcs71

    bobcs71 Member

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    It’s too broad of a statement. Is guitar in FOH or not? Is the guy at the board drunk or doing it for a living? Can the guitarist play? Etc.

    I’m certain an audience can tell good from bad. A great amp can be dialed in badly. Some lower priced gear sounds really good.

    It’s easier to say “It doesn’t matter so I’ll just go direct from guitar to the board” or “the audience can tell who wound my pickups and if they were left or right handed” than to play well.

    Common sense and listening to recordings goes a long way for gear and playing.
     
  12. hippieboy

    hippieboy Member

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    Of course I can tell the difference, without a doubt.

    If the audience doesn't it's not relevant at all to me, I don't know why people think that is a "good point" it makes no sense whatsoever to me, I'm playing, I feel it, I get inspired or in the zone or whatever you want to call it, and that will make a better show and of course the audience will notice it.
     
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  13. Jamie_Mitchell

    Jamie_Mitchell Member

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    no, i haven’t found that to be the case. while *i’m* playing, or on the other side of the glass, with someone who really knows how to use their ****.
    the audience thing is a deeper discussion that’s a little much to try to type out.

    the flip side is that the gear doesn’t really matter than much relative to the philosophy, imho
     
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  14. Godspeed64

    Godspeed64 Member

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    It is a lazy rhetoric that undermines your role as a musician and an entertainer, and insulting to not just the craft but to the audience as well by dumbing them down.
     
  15. Tzirfigu

    Tzirfigu Member

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    If no one can tell, why angus got his wizard amps?
     
  16. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    my music partner and I agreed that we're playing for the one guy or gal in the back corner who can hear it.
     
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  17. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Member

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    We're musicians - inspiration matters. Life's too short to use gear that doesn't bring you joy.
     
  18. hugbot

    hugbot Member

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    I used to play in a reggae band and one of the things I really wanted was dub echoes. That big whomp whomp whomp whomp space echo sound.

    Some pedals when played at gig volume really sound massive and fill out the soundscape in that trippy way. Some just sound thin and totally drop back into the mix. The old line 6 M series echoes were bad for this.
     
  19. don carney

    don carney Silver Supporting Member

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    Simple is best for live gigs in my experience. I need to sound right to my ear or I get distracted by the thought - why do I not sound right tonight? Simple means easier to dial in for the venue which is the key variable for a gig. Bigger venue means less or no reverb.
     
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  20. LqdSndDist

    LqdSndDist Member

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    I think people are kind of missing the implied point....

    I don’t think anyone is saying there is zero difference in gear, but simply that subtle differences don’t come through always...

    Gorilla amp vs a proper Marshall/Friedman, sure anyone can hear that

    Centura vs a real Klon vs an Archer ? Doubt anyone would notice that at a gig, as they sound 99% the same even at home...

    Still, guys will obsess over which model to buy, even though I bet in 95% of cases no one could notice any final difference between pedals, as there are far larger gig to variables any night of the week, far more important that the diodes in a pedal
     

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