Running direct sounds thin and fizzy. How to fix?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by stellablue, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. stellablue

    stellablue Member

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    I play at a fairly large church. I have to run direct and use IEM's. Here is my signal chain: K-Line Springfield>polytune>TS(buffered)>Timmy>Klone(buffered)>Ampli Firebox>El Capistan>Eterna reverb>Radial passive DI(xlr in)>SBD. I don't know which of the other pedals are buffered. The iems are running off a wired pack, and the guitar is wireless. More often than not, my tone is thin and fizzy. I turn on the TS and it sounds very grainy/fizzy even at low gain settings. I get the same thing with the klone and Timmy. I am happy with the amp sim and cab IR from the Firebox. I'm currently using the Deluxe sim with the twin deluxe cab. My rig sounds great when I dial it in at home. Sometimes, possibly depending on who is behind the board, my rig sounds amazing at church and has all the punch and clarity that I expect. I don't want to be the guy that is always complaining about his direct tone.The distance from the sbd to stage is probably 100 feet. I need help figuring out how to remedy this problem. Thank you.
     
  2. Funky54

    Funky54 Member

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  3. The Funk

    The Funk Member

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    Are you testing it at home with the IEM? It should sound identical. If not, there is likely an issue with the EQ on the board, or an issue with your monitoring feed.
     
  4. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a gain staging issue at the P.A. level.

    Many inexperienced people try to control channel volume at the "Gain" control which can wreak havoc. It sounds like maybe the gain on the guitar channel at the board is either too high or too low at times.

    Take care to send the same level signal out of your board every time you play. If you're making adjustments that impact the level being sent to FOH, you need to settle on a reasonable level and leave it there.

    Next, take notice of the engineers who give you a good tone and have a chat with them about the differences you notice when they aren't there. They can probably coach up the other "engineers" to get you a more consistent tone.
     
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  5. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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  6. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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  7. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    yea, that's right.

    me, i just would never bang my head against a situation like that,
    not when there are better tools that are inexpensive, to handle just those sorts of setups.

    actually, if it was me, i'd crank my amp up and tell em 'i don't need no P.A.!!"
    heheh
     
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  8. Quantum Cat

    Quantum Cat Member

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    This is my first thought. Something is distorting post Amplifire Box.
     
  9. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    One way to test is to find another PA rig (a simple powered speaker will do), plug your pedal DI rig into that, and see how it sounds. If it sounds great through a cheap powered PA speaker but bad through the church PA, the problem is the church PA (or how it's being operated). If it sounds thin and badly distorted even into the simplest possible PA, the problem is your rig.
     
  10. RockManDan

    RockManDan Member

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    Lots of components in this chain. Are you using the same earbuds at home to test your tones? If you're using big fat headphones at home, and then monitoring at church through who-knows-what kind of eq at the board AND whatever cheapo earbuds they're giving you, thats a recipe for disaster. For me, when i went IEM, i got a small mixer and run a DI output from my helix right into that, which goes right into my ears, seperate from the board monitor feed. That way I always have control over my direct sound. I'd say figure out a way to plug your earbuds into your rig directly somehow, to compare the tone.
     
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  11. rog951

    rog951 Member

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    Since you state that the sound is sometimes good at church using this same setup, that kinda points to the board/sound guy IMO. Are you 100% certain it's a FOH issue and not a monitor/IEM issue?
     
  12. dalezjc

    dalezjc Member

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    And this is easier than micing up a real amp? I thought DI/modeling was the panacea.
     
  13. stellablue

    stellablue Member

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    I think you're right concerning the gain staging. Last night at rehearsal I popped out my iem and listened to my tone over the PA. It was thin, and when I played an open E chord, the low end was distorted. (iem mix is by wifi on my phone) Thankfully the other guys in the band agreed that the tone sounded bad. I don't want to be that guy who always complains too much. I asked the sound man to turn me up on the board, then I lowered the output on the AFB. It sounded much better like this. I have it set up where you can dime the output level and it will never clip, so I had been running it wide open. Some of the other guys that use my channel have been having these same issues. One of them mentioned that the sound man had increased his gain instead of raising the level on the fader. When we had the new system installed, we had a guy come in and tune it up. It sounded amazing.
    I play the majority of the time on Sunday mornings. However, I share a channel with whomever plays Wednesdays at our teen service. The sound guy said that there's a pretty large variation in the level of our signals coming in to the board. The other guitar player is not happy with the tone on this channel either. The church is considering buying a board for us to use to eliminate some of the variation. I suggested that we save those hundreds of dollars and simply teach the sound guy how to make a digital rig sound better. We've agreed to get together to discuss this issue and run some tone experiments.
     
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  14. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah buying a second board just to account for different settings on different days would be crazy.

    People have been working around these issues for decades. It can be as simple as writing down the correct settings. No need to waste a bunch of money.
     
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  15. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    Gain staging issue at FOH for sure. The FOH console should also be set so that you get the direct feed from the guitar rig into the IEMs - without any added EQ or compression. This is simple to achieve on just about any console and usually the easiest way is to split the input into two channels, one with processing for the front of house mix, one with no processing at all (apart from a hi-pass filter) for the stage.
     

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