My amp is way too loud.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by unsunder, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. unsunder

    unsunder Member

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    I play a Laney vc-30 . I mostly play with a worship band in quieter environments. By the time my amp is at a reasonable tone I get asked to turn down. I can "solve" this sometimes by having it up way too loud so when I'm asked to turn it down I can comply.

    I'm sure we all face this from time to time. How do you deal with it?
    I would love some sort of pamphlet that I can hand out to sound guys that states why you can't just turn down tube amps till they're whisper quite.
     
  2. guitarsam

    guitarsam Member

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    At my church we've been putting the sound absorbing thingys behind the amp and pointing the amp away from the congregation and tilted up. This seems to help some. One of the worship leaders also watched Paul Baloche's electric guitar dvd. He said seeing that dvd helped him sympathize with the electric guitar players amps woes.
     
  3. Belmont

    Belmont Member

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    nothing says "amateur" more than a guitar player who can't understand why a soundman asks them to turn down,sorry.
     
  4. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    I'd suggest getting a Fender Princeton Reverb or a Fender Champ---- i'm talking blackface amps here from the 1964-1967 era----- some Silverface Fenders from 1968 to the early 70's are pretty good, also.
    These are excellent sounding, time tested amps that are @15 watts (Princeton Reverb) and @6 watts (Champ).
    They will work well with your pedals and sound much better than the Laney you have now....................gldtp99
     
  5. Teh RedWizard

    Teh RedWizard Supporting Member

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    Exactly how does this comment help the OP with his problem again? :)
     
  6. ski_fast

    ski_fast Silver Supporting Member

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    Try and buy a big clear piece of plexi glass plastic and put it in front of the amp. Mic the space between the plexi and the speakers. Aim your amp backwards. Install greenbacks or other inefficient speakers. Drape a leather coat over one side of the amp if you have two speakers.
     
  7. xroads

    xroads Member

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    Try an attenuator, or the inefficient speaker/plexiglass shielding solution others have suggested.
    Do not try to convince sound guys that you need that kind of volume. It will not contribute to a solution of your problem (YMMV...).
     
  8. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Not good form around these parts.

    Emee
     
  9. mcgriff420

    mcgriff420 Member

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    A good inexpensive attenuator will help some but will affect the interaction of the speakers with the sound. People bag on the Marshall PB100 powerbrake but I have two and they sound great to me. After several years using attenuators I finally started using lower watt amps, kind of a 'make the amp suit the gig' not 'the gig suit the amp' ethos. Or dial in a nice thick clean tone and get a couple choice OD pedals.

    :edit, I see you already have some nice OD's in your signature. One thing that I've seen suggested is using the OD to 'choke' the volume by setting it lower than the amp volume. Not sure that it would work in your case.. but I'm just sayin'
     
  10. KHK

    KHK Silver Supporting Member

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    It's very difficult to play all venues with just one amplifier. It's usually easier to bring a low watter up to the required levels by sending it through the PA than to attenuate a higher watt amplifier. To my ears it just sounds better. Get a good, used lower output amp in your price range that you can use for that gig and I think you will be thrilled with the results. You'll also have a much needed backup if the Laney ever goes down.
     
  11. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Get a long lead or radio and listen for yourself.

    If you are too loud you need to use one or more method to get the sound down. IMHO Hotplates are good for 3-6db. You can try less efficient speakers. If you are not aiming the amp sideways and at you, do so. If it's a 1x12 put a 2 inch patch of tape in front of the speaker. You might want to invest in a smaller amp. Ask the soundman if he'll pay for it :stir

    If you are not too loud then if you practice in an empty building with the soundman present then turn down a bit for the practice. If he asks you to turn down do so visibly. I've had thumbs up when I pretended to turn the amp down and complaints when I actually turned down from the guitar. For some reason many sound people mix with their eyes. If the fader is up then it's working. If the red light flickers it must be distorting. Try playing a song in practice with the amp off and see if the soundguy notices.

    It will help to learn about sound yourself so there will be one person who knows what they are doing. I've had a soundman get the guitar turned right down because there was feedback everytime the guitar played. I stuck my hand in front of the offending vocal mic. Not subtle but point made. I've seen a sound guy yell at the band to turn down because they were drowing out the singer. Whilst this was happening the singer unplugged the mic and replaced it with one that was working :jo I've sat through a service where the guitar was barely in the mix and then done sound for a rehearsal to find that the guitar mic was not working and the channel next to it was for a vocal mic that was picking up a bit of guitar. Quick look at the board-green lights when the guitar plays, must be going through the board. Back to this mixing sound visually. I've seen mutes left on for whole services and it goes on and on...Learn to problem solve this stuff and even do what I never did and learn to be dipolomatic :tapedshut
     
  12. mitch236

    mitch236 Member

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    It's always best to be diplomatic with the soundman. Hopefully, everyone involved is trying to do the best job they can with the equipment. If the soundman gets pissed with you he (or she) can make you sound lousy. He can "forget" to put your vocals in the monitors and have you sing blind. He can make your great tone sound like crap.
    I don't understand why all small time guitarists don't use attenuators. Yes, you could claim that attenuators rob some tone but not nearly as much as turning a tube amp down.
     
  13. slacker

    slacker Senior Member

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    Some of the ones I worked with if they intentionally tried to make it sound lousy they would probably improve things.
     
  14. David-R

    David-R Supporting Member

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    Is your amp being mic'd? If so, there are a number of ways to orient the amp or block the sound dispersion that you could employ. If it's not being mic'd, then it may simply be too loud for the venue.
     
  15. photios

    photios Member

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    why dont you just get a cheap modeler and go direct?
     
  16. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Get a smaller amp or an attenuator. Problem solved.
     
  17. Walter Broes

    Walter Broes Member

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    first of all, that's a very rude comment. If you said that to someone in person, you wouldn't be surprised if he punched you in the nose, so what makes it O.K. to say it on a forum?

    But what I find wrong with your statement most of all is that it assumes all soundmen are great, professional, capable, reasonable professionals....
     
  18. dksouthpaw

    dksouthpaw Member

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    hah amen! i have one semi decent sound guy at our church, the other is a bumbling idiot with the attitude that he could (as has done) sound for someone like U2.

    He was late to practice the other day, i remixed the whole board. (i used to do the sound till i got asked to play guitar) And he didn't even notice. Me and the bass got tons of compliments on our playing the next sunday.


    But as for the OP i plug in direct using a radial passive DI. When i do get the small chance to use my amp i use my Blues Jr. with a few lower gain preamp tubes, i think i've got a 12AT7 in there some where and it really helps bring down the volume to more useable levels.


    but definitely turn it away from you. Also another trick to turning it down is just turn down the highs instead of the volume. then turn them back up a bit later when he's not looking :)
     
  19. unsunder

    unsunder Member

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    Thanks for all the comments. I have been playing with a 12 watter recently. It's really quite. I can play it at home without waking anyone up. It's an original rocket. I love it but I don't want to be gigging with it twice a week.

    To address a few things:
    I try as much as I can to turn my amp backwards, sideways or in front of me. The problem is there's usually only one or to monitor mixes where I play. So by the time you mix my guitar(by band members preference not mine) in 3 or 4 monitors enough for everyone to hear it's now louder on stage than it was in the first place. I'm happy to have my amp off stage. It's really not about being loud our being able to hear myself above anything, it's about the tone. My Laney sounds super fizzy on less that 1.5.

    I wouldn't call myself an "amateur". I'm probably just as good of a guitar player as a sound guy.
    I do agree that sound guys tend to mix with their eyes and that church sound guys are usually of their one breed. I'm a church sound guy myself.

    I think what I'm looking for most of all is a way to explain that simply turning down is not the only option with an explanation of why tube amps are like that.


    I had the pleasure of dealing with a sound guy that had done sound for Clapton. He was sure to let us know that fact whenever he could. He wouldn't let me use my LR Baggs DI. I explained to him that my acoustic would do a lot better with a 1 Meg Ohm active input. I asked him what the impedance was and he didn't know. He asked me how much my DI cost. He claimed that his Whirlwind boxes also cost $150. He said if it was good enough for Clapton it should be good enough for me.
    When it came to sound check time he said my eq was messed up and I needed to go straight to the direct box. He must have thought I also used my pedal board for the acoustic and it was messing up the tone. I showed him that the cable went straight from the guitar to the DI. He didn't have much to say after that.
     

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