Played my first (two) gigs where I couldn't mic my amp...

tele_jas

Member
Messages
4,357
I am amazed at how few guitar players have learned to use the volume knob. It's always cranked, all the time. Even the "really good" guys that come out to jams I host, they stand there blazing away at full volume all the time. If they're using my amp that I set up as you described, with the full volume set for solos and rolled back for rhythm, then they are too loud overall because they never back off for their rhythm work. And if I happen to bring in a tweed amp, that makes it even worse, because to really get the best out of tweed you HAVE to work the guitar volume. They are amazing amps when you know how to play them, they can be unforgiving when you don't.

It's hard to turn down your guitar when you need a good gritty sound, even for rhythm.... Turn it down sends less signal to your preamp or pedals and kills any drive/grit you need (or like). I have my rhythm settings all about the same volume (on all my pedals), so there is no volume increase when i change tones.... I use a boost pedal to bump it up a few notches for a solo. So turning down the guitar isn't really feasible for my situation in most cases, but I do if it's a soft part and my guitar is over-baring.

And when I say "competing with the other guitar player", I don't really mean it's a contest, I mean I have to turn up a bit to hear myself... Then he turns up to hear himself.... Then I have to turn up to hear myself. We dont do it to be louder than the otter guy, we do it to hear ourselves.

I do understand that some of you are used to playing without micing your amp... I guess I've just been spoiled by micing my amp the last 17 years and it's a shock and out of my comfort zone to not mic it. It sounds as if there's no right or wrong way to play out, just what you prefer and what you get used to doing.
 

rmconner80

Cantankerous Luddite
Gold Supporting Member
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4,402
I like to get miced. It means I can turn my amp up to an appropriate volume to get a good tone, hear myself on stage from the amp, and then I can let the sound guy worry about the rest. Amps in the 15W range usually cover me here, so that's what I usually bring. Sometimes they are too loud, or are not loud enough, and those situations are tough.

Miced or not, drums are always way louder than the guitars, and you can still count on complaints about the guitars being too loud.
 

DannyG

Member
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245
Tele..what you're doing would work well as long as the rhythm parts aren't over powering everything else. The thing to remember is..when you're not soloing you're supporting...either a vocalist or another soloist. Yeild and give whoever or whatever is soloing some space. Oftern, less is more.

We have two guitars and keys in the band. when the lead singer is singing, ofter times there are times where I don't play anything at all. Or, I find a part that doesn't get in the way. You don't need two guitars and keys all blaring away within the same frequencies of a G chord.
 

pgissi

Member
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2,478
Miced or not, drums are always way louder than the guitars, and you can still count on complaints about the guitars being too loud.

low freqs and fast transients = drums

higher freqs, distortion and sustaining beamed sound from a guitar speaker will always give the false perception of higher avg loudness


the complainers need to stand next to the kit for a bit, that will change their mind
 

meterman

Member
Messages
8,106
I've played probably 50-50 miced to unmiced gigs so I always bring enough amp to do it unmiced if need be, usually a 35w-50w amp and a good attenuator. You won't catch me onstage with a 15w amp! :D I like to set my stage volume according to the drummer's volume, so that I can hear myself and my amp onstage. If I have to go less than that and rely on the monitors to hear myself it's just too much of a crapshoot that the soundguy is going to give me something I can work with, I have had a number of gigs ruined that way or at least made much more difficult and much less enjoyable. I prefer to play at rehearsal volumes onstage which means everybody sets their levels relative to each other and let's play some music and have some fun. If the soundman wants to reinforce that I'm all for it, but IMHO they should be as unobtrusive as possible on the band. If the soundman wants us to reduce our stage volume way below the moderate volume that we practice at, it becomes a problem.
 

meterman

Member
Messages
8,106
Tele..what you're doing would work well as long as the rhythm parts aren't over powering everything else. The thing to remember is..when you're not soloing you're supporting...either a vocalist or another soloist. Yeild and give whoever or whatever is soloing some space. Oftern, less is more.

We have two guitars and keys in the band. when the lead singer is singing, ofter times there are times where I don't play anything at all. Or, I find a part that doesn't get in the way. You don't need two guitars and keys all blaring away within the same frequencies of a G chord.

This is great advice. With some bands it seems like every time I crank up to take a solo, the whole band especially the drummer starts playing harder and louder, so eventually the solo is drowned out and not heard clearly. Then at the end of the solo there is a "calming down" measure or two where the whole band's level comes back down to normal. Not very professional!!! (I'm sure I'm guilty of it too...) There are times when the "full band jam" is great and there are times for the rest of the band to be playing with a focused, controlled intensity that keeps the groove cooking but lets the soloist, vocalist etc be heard and create that extra sense of excitment without having to get ridiculously loud. I've found it's one of the hardest things to find in other players, that listening and sense of dynamics.
 

hasserl

Member
Messages
4,708
It's hard to turn down your guitar when you need a good gritty sound, even for rhythm.... Turn it down sends less signal to your preamp or pedals and kills any drive/grit you need (or like). I have my rhythm settings all about the same volume (on all my pedals), so there is no volume increase when i change tones.... I use a boost pedal to bump it up a few notches for a solo. So turning down the guitar isn't really feasible for my situation in most cases, but I do if it's a soft part and my guitar is over-baring.


You get your dynamics with pedals, that's your thing. OK. At least you're using dynamics and are not playing at full volume/intensity the whole time, which is really what I was addressing. We're just taking a different path to get a similar effect, and due to differences in preferences and probably music each of our methods works for us. It's a sidebar, not really germane to the thread topic.


And when I say "competing with the other guitar player", I don't really mean it's a contest, I mean I have to turn up a bit to hear myself... Then he turns up to hear himself.... Then I have to turn up to hear myself. We dont do it to be louder than the otter guy, we do it to hear ourselves.

IME far too often the real reason for not hearing yourself is not the other guitar player, but the drums & bass. They set the volume floor the guitars have to work with. Next time you might try getting them as well as the other guitar player to bring it down. The best mixes I've played in have been with other musicians that each find their spot in the mix, drums and bass are key to this, if they don't get it there is nothing in the world you can do to get things under control.
 

hasserl

Member
Messages
4,708
This is great advice. With some bands it seems like every time I crank up to take a solo, the whole band especially the drummer starts playing harder and louder, so eventually the solo is drowned out and not heard clearly. Then at the end of the solo there is a "calming down" measure or two where the whole band's level comes back down to normal. Not very professional!!! (I'm sure I'm guilty of it too...) There are times when the "full band jam" is great and there are times for the rest of the band to be playing with a focused, controlled intensity that keeps the groove cooking but lets the soloist, vocalist etc be heard and create that extra sense of excitment without having to get ridiculously loud. I've found it's one of the hardest things to find in other players, that listening and sense of dynamics.

Very well put. :bonk
 

Sleepless

Member
Messages
91
+1 You've just put words on what I experience at every rehearsal and gig... I use the guitar volume and tone knobs all the time during a song. I always back up the singer and turn myself down. Then when the time for the solo comes I turn it up and hit the boost pedal. But then the rhythm player turns himself up as well because he says he can't hear himself... And I'm not so in front anymore... Kind of drowned in the loud mix...

The worst part is that they all blame ME for being too loud. I don't think they have ever noticed that I use my volume knob...

Sometimes being in a band just sucks...
I have a gig on Saturday, I'll try an dthink about the tips I got here. And I'll manage soundcheck myself. First drums + bass, then rhythm guitar, then me, then singer above all the rest... And I'll tell them not to play harder when I play solos...
 

traviswalk

In the Great State
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,710
Most of ours are un mic'd, and I solved the battle for volume by keeping it a trio and getting a 150 watt amp to stay clean all the way up the dial!
 

fatb0t

Member
Messages
86
This is a very interesting thread. My band generally plays unmiced, but I've decided recently I want to play through the PA. What is the difference between using the line out on your amp and actually being physically miced?
 

DannyG

Member
Messages
245
Fat
From what I understand, the line out will give you just the preamp of your amp. Sometimes this works and sometimes not. depends on the amp I guess. I've never tried it on my Boogies and the Fuchs doesn't have a Line out. I want to capture the interaction between power amp, preamp and speakers. The speakers are what colors (or not) the tone. If youve recorded with your amps line out and like what you got then you should be fine.
 

fatb0t

Member
Messages
86
Oh I see, thanks for that. Ok, so mic it is. When I record my Mesa F-50 I always use a microphone. Obviously the line out won't capture all the nuances of the amp and it's speaker. Thank you
 

Fuchsaudio

Member
Messages
7,954
Fat
From what I understand, the line out will give you just the preamp of your amp. Sometimes this works and sometimes not. depends on the amp I guess. I've never tried it on my Boogies and the Fuchs doesn't have a Line out. I want to capture the interaction between power amp, preamp and speakers. The speakers are what colors (or not) the tone. If youve recorded with your amps line out and like what you got then you should be fine.

Something more high tech, like a Palmer Direct box can be used to tap a speaker, and then produce a line-level output for adding guitar to a PA. A THD hotplate or Weber Mass has line outs too, although not speaker compensated. Our "line out" is the effects send, which is pure preamp, no reverb, not eq'ed and line level.
 

pula58

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,677
I hate hearing my guitar through the monitors. I spent 3 years on a speaker/tone quest. Hearing the guitar back through the monitors always sounds bad too me. I don't mind the guitar being miked up, but, I don't want to hear it in the monitors.
 

DannyG

Member
Messages
245
Andy...Thanks., I knew that but for some reason forgot..duh.
I never like my guitar in the monitors...something about a horn and 15" speaker just doesn't cut it.
 

1fastdog

Member
Messages
411
Oh I see, thanks for that. Ok, so mic it is. When I record my Mesa F-50 I always use a microphone. Obviously the line out won't capture all the nuances of the amp and it's speaker. Thank you

Also aim the mic at different zones on the speaker to dial it in. Pointing a mic at the dead center of the speaker will usually be peaky in the highs.

If you picture it like a "clock", work the mic more toward where the numerals would be on the "clock" face, rather than where the hands of the "clock" would attached. IOW, mic the paper of the cone rather than the dust cover in the center...
 

jboyjams

Member
Messages
2,300
I've done that a lot. It's good to keep an extra gear to pop some leads out front. Some rooms are fine to play in un-miked.
 




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