Constant talk of volume

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by jleftyy, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what you mean by "big". We've played indoor clubs that were on the larger size and had their own sound system and sound man, as well as very small clubs with our PA, and outdoors with our PA. I much prefer outdoor gigs, using our PA, as we can crank things up and move around.
     
  2. trax1139

    trax1139 Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if any of you guys were actually sitting at FOH position behind the console for any rock shows in various sized venues.
     
  3. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Not as such. I do the sound for one of my bands when we use our own equipment. Gotta set it n leave it for FOH. So solo boosts required!
    At first the other guutarist had a 2203 half stack and I found I was always mixing it around his amp instead of the drums. A bar somewhere, he couldnt hear himself, well it projects out pretty far before it starts to spread and he would be too close to it to be in front of speakers. But out front? Would go fro can't hear it to burying the drums amd thjngs would get too loud as 2203 volume controls tend to go.
    Finally bought a 2x12 combo and at least I can mix to the drums . Mic everything and run through FOH.
     
  4. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    Nope, always playing. I do walk out front during setup/sound check and tweak the mix with a laptop while playing. After that, I pretty much leave it alone.
     
  5. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Nice! Digital mixer? Cool way to do it. I listen out front with my wireless when we start and tweak as required.
     
  6. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    Yes, works great. Got tired of our drummer and his analog mixer, he's definitely not cut out for running sound.
     
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  7. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I haven't gigged without being mic'ed for close to 20 years. Used to haul my DSL100 head/early JCM800 4x12 halfstack (which I still have), have used my SV20H/EVH212 rig for the last year and a half. And honestly, as much as I LOVED the DSL rig, the SV rig just sounds bigger, warmer, fatter. And even before opening up the mic, I have ZERO issue competing with the various drummers I've played with.
    Stages range from smaller indoors venues (couple of hundreds capacity) to outdoors stages (couple of thousands in attendance). We also more and more (well, before the whole pandemic thing came into the picture) have our own soundguy who adjusts things depending on the song and to account for the way sound changes over the course of the evening (the way sound travels to the air depends a lot on temperature, air pressure, hygrometry and the natural dampening that human bodies provide).

    Amusingly, last Friday gig was pretty relevant to the discussion, as the opening act's guitar player had a 30th Anni head (with the exact same 412 I own) which was setup in front of my rig, and actually was completely hiding it (we were actually joking about it with my soundguy, who commented that the "baby rig" was actually sounding bigger and warmer). The guy was opening it up quite a bit, to the point of slight discomfort in the room. Also, in the venue (that has a 300 or so capacity) there was no point in actually opening up the mic in front of his cab, as he already was too loud compared to the rest, including vocals.
    Stage change, my comically smaller rig comes into view (I set it loud enough that I can get controlled feedback instantly and I can hear myself without getting much guitar in my wedge monitor, so not whisper quiet by any stretch of imagination)...instantly much more control over the band balance, bigger guitar sound. And definitely much better overall balance. So better band sound.
    Plus my whole take on the thing is, better have fewer speakers and actually let them "breathe" than having more speakers and using them below their efficiency threshold.

    Also, in my experience high SPL on stage is very fatiguing. I love to "feel the music", which means I also hate whisper-quiet stages where everyone's on IEMs, but when you're doing several gigs a week consistently, blasting yourself night after night is very taxing on your body and ears, so you definitely need to find some kind of balance between "good loud" and "too loud".

    Note that I'm also working as a live soundguy (usually in a pretty big theater venue with a big line array PA and big digital desk -my favorite toy being the Yamaha CL5- also worked in some even bigger venues), so I'm equally at home on stage and behind the desk (been doing this for a living for the last 20 years or so), and I'm 100% of the opinion that you need to find some kind of balance. Volume isn't the end-all, be-all. You need some, so as to get speakers to sound "right" and to get some balance onstage without relying entirely on the PA (better, more natural feel for the player, too), but at some point you need to let the PA do its job. Especially if you want vocals to sit on top of the mix as they're supposed to.
    You have to remember that guitar amps were designed in an era of little to no PA, where you relied on sheer volume simply to be heard, which means that in this day and age you have to approach the whole question differently. Hell, EVH designed his fabled rig (with the Variac and all) because he was too loud for the venues he was playing, so it isn't a new discussion either.
     
  8. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    I've been doing that since the late 70's/early 80's. The solution is so simple
     
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  9. avspecialist

    avspecialist Active Member

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    After experimenting with my JVM410H for about 10 years, I finally figured out its all about the setup. Correct speakers and proper power tube biasing, filling in the holes with the preamp tubes. I very easily dial up my volume and gain, adjust the tone controls and dial back the master volumes and get very balanced clean to overdrive tones. A lot of times I practice at 12/1:00 am with the master dialed down low and I’m able to get the tones I want.
     
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  10. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    So you have joined the JMD club. Or have you always had it? Is there a NAD thread that I missed? Great amp, especially for the type applications being discussed here.
     
  11. FleshOnGear

    FleshOnGear Well-Known Member

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    I would point to Neil Young as an example of how to use a small amp and not sound tinny. Or Brian May, if you consider a 2x12 combo small.
     
  12. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

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    I stopped using my amp as sound reinforcement 20 some years ago and use it solely for my personal monitoring enjoyment. Also have not played a gig where I wasn't direct to FoH with Axe-FX or using a traditional Amp+Cab with mic on cab in 15 years, let alone seen a gig with no FoH or basic floor monitoring provided.

    I'm just doing covers at local watering holes these days, venue size up to like 300, I'm using a 50watt 6L6 EVH 5150III into a 212 cab loaded with G12EVH and V30. Also using a Fractal Audio FM3 in a 4 cable method setup, mostly for EQ's and effects.

    So to dial it in.... First I insist the Bass dial in to the drums all alone, as IMO this is a basic foundation of rock music and the most important part of the soundstage. Once they are good to go, I basically stand across the room from my cab, about 20 feet, and have it pointed at my head/ears, not my knees, at rehearsal volume. I use a 50 ft speaker cable from the head so I can dial it in from across the room. I also use a DittoX2 Jam looper cause it tracks the beat, and then loop a riff and dial it in while they (drummer and bass player) play along.

    The end result is having an amazing mix at reasonable volumes with no reinforcement. We then bring this to the stage.

    The final tip I can give on "guitar" is, it's really not as important as you think it is, do everything you can to make the mix clean so everyone can be heard clearly and realize the vocals are 1st, then the beat which is tied to the bass, and finally your guitar to fill it in. Don't worry you get your solos....
     
  13. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    This completely nails everything that I have seen as well. Guitar or overall volume for that matter that is uncomfortable to painful in a short time is pointless. Not enjoyable for me and damaging long term. When guitar dude in openjng band is loud enoughto drown vox and is pajnful, that is just ridiculous. While I like floor shaking volume when you can get it it must be appropraite for venue.
    It should sound good in the context of the band and I find my 2x12 combos sound good and spread the sound around nicely. Always mic'd to FOH for spread if nothing else.
     
  14. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Got it a few weeks ago. I havem't taken a decent pic of it yet. I ran through some modes with it last week but haven't taken the proper time to dial it in yet.
    It will be very useful!

    Speaking of volume, in our jam space which is a decent size, I don't want to leave anything there simply for safety reasons for my equipment. There are no "house" cabinets there for everyone to ise so I usually just haul up my Katana. Light n small, it is just practicing. I went up when another band was just finishjng up. While I too like the sound of a 4x12 I was up there for maybe 2 mins amd my ears started to hurt. Insane. Now that is no fault of the 4x12 it is the user. Crazy loudfor that space amd my enjoyment would drop right off if it hurts.
     
  15. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

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    and that my friends is the bottom line. :agreed:
     
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  16. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean. I have a 1BR apartment, and I get so much low-frequency build-up in the room, that I have to roll off the bass on the amp (DSL20CR) completely. What's more, the bass build-up also gets into the mic when close-miking, so rolling off the bass is necessary both for live playing in the room and for recording.
     
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  17. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    I think it goes without saying that small amps are meant to be used as practice amps, and bigger amps as gigging and pro recording amps. There is nothing preventing anyone from having a full stack in their apartments, but that may not be the ideal choice of tool for the room. As mentioned by me in a previous post on this thread, my 1BR apartment suffers from real bad low-frequency build-up and possibly other phasing issues due to the small size of the room and other aspects of it, and that is even with my relatively small DSL15C or DSL20CR. For bedroom players, 1 Watt and 5 Watt amps with smaller speakers are the most sensible choice.
     
  18. trax1139

    trax1139 Well-Known Member

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    You said it’s no fault of the 4x12...it’s the user. Hmmmm
     
  19. trax1139

    trax1139 Well-Known Member

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    That’s kinda what I’ve been saying from the start.
     
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  20. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes. But it isnt necesaary in many venues to use a 4x12 nor is there room. Here at least. But I stand behind the sound of my combos. While they dont sound the same as a 4x12 they work excellent in the venues I use them in.
    Amd being able to reasonably haul them there does enter into it for me as well.
     
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