Why do my drive pedals disappear in the mix as the band starts playing

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by ekkybedmond, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Highway Man

    Highway Man Member

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    ‘His/her’? I think the word you’re looking for is ‘their’.

    Btw, this is a from a British comedy show, and will mean nothing to anyone who hasn’t seen it, so may be a pointless post.

    Apologies, back to the topic at hand.
    I think the most important thing in band mixes is that everyone knows their place in the mix and their role. There is little worse than someone strumming a chordal rhythm part insisting they should be as loud as the lead melody.
     
  2. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    Effects add something to the mix that makes it so guitarists using them always seem to turn up annoyingly loud. That something is phase cancellation , which is far more obvious standing in front of the amp than out in the room.
    That is one of the reason that guys with pedal boards are so often a pain in the ass to everyone else both on stage and in the audience, guys that don't know how to use them well don't realize that when they step on that button the definition of their sound goes down, and to compensate they crank it up.
    The rare guitarist who knows how to use a pedal board well knows how to adjust his pedals so that they sound like they have unity gain when they step on them, rather than every pedal causing a drop in what the guitarist percieves on stage.
    As well, any guitarist, pedals or not, knows that the sound of the guitar coming from the PA, or in cases of low end bar bands who don't mike everything, what the amp sounds like, is much different 30 feet in front of the stage than it is on the stage, and that the idea is for a guitarist to set the sound so that it sounds good coming from the PA, not to his ears on stage.
     
  3. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    Sadly, for the unskilled unprofessional, that is the solution they use. Which isn't a solution, it is the root of the problem.
     
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  4. mikendzel

    mikendzel Member

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    Here's a trick I use; pick the g string as hard as you can clean, then set the drive to be at a similar volume. That string in particular seems less sensitive to the distortion-sounds-louder phenomenon.
     
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  5. guitarbilly74

    guitarbilly74 Supporting Member

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    This kind of comment should always come along with a demonstration of the poster's amazing playing and mixing skills. Obviously, it never does.
    Oh well, one more to the ignore list.
     
  6. Tom Von Kramm

    Tom Von Kramm Vendor

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    Make your cleans a little dirtier, make your dirt a little cleaner, and fuzz needs to be twice as loud as you think it does.

    Oh, and sometimes your guitar isn't supposed to "stick out in a mix."
     
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  7. ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Supporting Member

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    Could you elloborate on the phase canceling you mentioned. Does it have to do with reflections from (rear) walls ?
     
  8. sleeperaxe

    sleeperaxe Supporting Member

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    This is it. I dial in my tone during band rehearsals, and I either write the settings down or take pics. When I'm rehearsing by myself, I might change settings to get a more pleasing solo tone, but generally what sounds good unaccompanied disappears it a band setting.
     
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  9. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    Nice copout, but no cigar.

    For those wondering what my response to this is:
    Facts are facts no matter how well I play or do not play. A lot of sound men know what I posted to be fact, but many sound guys are not musicians. And the reason I know what I posted to be fact is that I am both a performing musician and a sound man.

    And, thank you for ignoring me, if you see this. I would rather the inexperienced who haven't a clue do not respond to what I post unless it is to learn from my experience, which I am glad to share.
    And which I have a great deal, as in decades , of.
     
  10. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    I think so. At least that is my conjecture, based on my knowledge of how sound waves can reflect and cancel each other out.
    But not just that. If you have ever noticed, when running a guitar amp into distortion whether it by by overdriving the amp or with an external device, amps always sound like sh!t when you sit right in front of the speaker.
    The distortion sounds harsh and irritating rather than smooth and pleasant.
    The same thing when you mike an amp, that is the main reason for miking the edge of the speaker rather than right in the center.
    But if you get away from the amp a few feet and have the amp aimed away from you ( or in the case of high powered amps that you have to turn up insanely loud to get the rock era sound , much further away and out of the line of fire) you notice that it sounds much smoother and fuzzy.
    I think that is probably because of phase cancellation which de-emphasizes certain frequencies by cancelling some of them out.
    Standing right in front of an amp so for example in the situation of a stack that is closed back, you can be blasting the front row away and not hearing it yourself, or not hearing good definition, because all you are hearing is a wall of noise instead of the individual notes, and the inclination is to crank it up more, which ruins the mix.
    But with open back cabs, the sound is reflecting off the back walls and blossoms out, which no doubt causes phase cancellation and probably the Doppler affect, which seems to tone down the irritating fuzz.

    But the same applies to any effects such as chorus or maybe even reverb. You hit a chorus pedal and can immediately lose the mids in a room even though they might sound exaggerated on stage.
    Or in another situation it might exaggerate the mids on stage and muffle them out front.
    Again, I think it is mostly phase cancellation, because phasing is different everywhere in a room, if you are right in front of the amp you don't notice it, but in the room phase cancellation can completely change what frequencies are enhanced.


    Something else that even a lot of sound guys don't even know that is probably due to either the Doppler affect or phasing is that sometimes it will sound like a singer is singing flat if the vocal is too loud in the mix.
    I've had that happen myself where I have had the vocal a little too loud and it just sounds like hell, but crank it back into the mix a little above what it takes to make it clear and intelligible in the mix, or sometimes even just change the frequency the midrange focuses on, and the problem disappears.
    Particularly with female voices or men singing in a high voice.

    My point being that the same phenomenon exists with everything sound, so any time you change the sound of an instrument with devices all kinds of different things can happen both in front of the source of the sound and in the room.
    So it is very important to know how to adjust pedals so the problems created aren't as drastic.

    Also, I am amazed that there are a lot of guys who don't even realize that it is very important where you place pedals in the signal path. For example you don't want a compressor last most often, because it will tend to boost any noise or anything undesirable coming from the previous pedal.
     
  11. DisasterArea

    DisasterArea Owner, Disaster Area Designs and Alexander Pedals

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    I'm a bass player, and I cut my bass for the same reason. Yes, my amp will pump out signals in the sub-30Hz range but ain't nobody gonna hear it. Even if I'm fortunate enough to be in a venue with big subs under the stage or something, the mix is going to be a horrible mess if I start cranking the lows on my rig.

    [​IMG]

    There you have it. That's Mal's amp - Presence 3, Bass 1, Middle 4, Treble 6.5, High Treble (volume) 7, Normal (volume) 0. Loud and clean(ish) and almost no bass.
     
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  12. Old_Man

    Old_Man Member

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    I can tell you I would not work for that guy. Some of these turd club owners need to get the message.
     
  13. Will_Pancake

    Will_Pancake Member

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  14. soma

    soma Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. jens5

    jens5 Silver Supporting Member

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  16. jcs

    jcs Member

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    I wanna hear the kick drum too!
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  17. jcs

    jcs Member

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    This.....same settings i use in my music room with my 71 Marshall Smallbox 50 (which is a very dead room i might add).....most Marshalls put out a LOT of bottom anyway so i rarely have the bass above 1 on my Marshall unless its at lower volume with certain OD pedals for low volume playing to keep the neighbors happy LOL!

    I like semi open cabs in smaller rooms for sure and certainly they are popular for many rooms.

    However some of the best live tone in smaller rooms i heard was 1 Marshall slant cab with whatever amp, which you would think would cause issues with 1 pair ahead and the other pair on top slanting upward.
     

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