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Author Topic: Guitar Players Levels  (Read 18316 times)

Ned Ward

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Re: Guitar Players Levels
« Reply #70 on: December 23, 2011, 12:31:29 pm »

I use a Barber Tone Press .  It's on 100% of the time.
Haven't tried a Keely, but would like to!
The Barber is quite the pedal - parallel compression in a stomp box? Wish I'd been able to A/B it with the Keeley before buying.


Bob's right (as usual); compressors do help to tame Fenders as well as my mini Z. Can't imagine not having one now.

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Guitar Players Levels
« Reply #71 on: December 23, 2011, 02:41:36 pm »

The Barber is quite the pedal - parallel compression in a stomp box? Wish I'd been able to A/B it with the Keeley before buying.


Bob's right (as usual); compressors do help to tame Fenders as well as my mini Z. Can't imagine not having one now.

Ned, the difference is that you and Bob are *musicians*.  You take the right gear to the gig and use it appropriately as *ensemble* players.

The reality is that too many guitar players (at the level LAB Loungers will encounter them) are engaged in mental/pseudo-musical masturbation.  "My tone!" is nothing more than too loud distortion that is fundamentally indistinguishable from "My OTHER tone!" which is also too loud.  Toss is the propensity to use a 4x12 cab w/50 or 100w amp and any hope of "band" is gone.

After 30 years of doing this for a living, my admiration for good guitarists continues to grow, but so does my dismay for the others that deface the music and ruin any chance of ensemble playing.

I like Steve Hurt's suggestion about using a recorder's metering, but let's go one step further.... actually record the guitar.  Send it to the amp (Re-Amp) and have the rhythm player or drummer play along.  With any hope the guitarist will notice his level problems.  If he doesn't, there is a good chance your local zoo needs another ape in their exhibit.

Have fun, happy holly-daze.

Tim Mc
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Bob Leonard

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Re: Guitar Players Levels
« Reply #72 on: December 23, 2011, 06:09:07 pm »

Thank you for the compliment Tim. Another issue most lesser experienced players have is not understanding that the perceived on stage level is actually much lower than that experienced by the audience. We have always refered to it jokingly as the cone of silence. That area on the stage where you can stand and talk in normal tones while pumping 125db from your guitar amp. Walk out 20 feet and you'll find out just how well you sit in the mix.... or not.
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BOSTON STRONG........
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Ned Ward

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Re: Guitar Players Levels
« Reply #73 on: December 26, 2011, 02:44:02 pm »

Tim - thanks also for the compliment, although I don't consider myself in Bob's league - I'm still learning and reaping the benefits of better tone!

Bob is totally right - you can have an 85 watt tube amp up halfway, tilted back, and 4 feet away it sounds fairly quiet. It's also why they have longer guitar cords to Bob's point so you can hop off stage, play out front and notice how loud or not your amp is in relation to the whole mix.

Or just listen when the sound man asks you to turn down your amp...
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Nils Erickson

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Re: Guitar Players Levels
« Reply #74 on: December 26, 2011, 05:12:36 pm »

Electric guitar, like most other instruments, can be plenty dynamic.  I see no need for it to be at the same volume at all times, as some have said.  Play to the group and singer, play to the song, pick the right amp for the gig (I have around 10, but the Deluxe Reverb gets used almost always).   Sounds like basic stuff to me.

Same as with other instruments: good players fit in and play at the right volume. If everyone gets a monitor, then it is even easier...   ;)

It's a balancing act with everyone; the band, crowd, sound guy.  It doesn't always work. 
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Ned Ward

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Re: Guitar Players Levels
« Reply #75 on: December 27, 2011, 05:26:49 pm »

Nils - no one here has been saying it needs to be at the same volume all the time - what I've been saying and others is that the Maximum level for clean and crunch should be the same; beyond that, feel free to use the volume knob to vary the sound below that. This of course is assuming the guitar player isn't sandbagging his guitar volume during soundcheck...
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Guitar Players Levels
« Reply #76 on: December 27, 2011, 05:46:19 pm »

Nils, What Ned says above.

The use of a compressor with guitar, in my case the Ross, is to generally tame the dynamics of the amplifier, not rid the amplifier of dynamics all together. It would be ridiculous to think that a song could be played with feeling without the subtle nuances of volume and dynamics. And of course a compressor can be over used as well. Apply to much compression and you can eliminate all sense of touch and feel. Some people find this to the benefit of thier music, most do not.

Gain stages and effects pedals should be matched to one another. Gain through most pedals should be set to unity with probably the exception being the pedals used for lead or solos, or if you use the guitar volume they can all be set to unity gain and the guitar output increased as needed. This is where many begginers will sandbag the old sound guy. I have found, as has Ned, Steve, and all of the other successful players lurking and responding out there, that once you have established a good mix on stage and established a base line for your levels, everything else will fall into place as long as you can set your ego aside.
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BOSTON STRONG........
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I did a gig for Otis Elevator once. Like every job, it had it's ups and downs.

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Guitar Players Levels
« Reply #77 on: December 27, 2011, 07:05:43 pm »

Nils, What Ned says above.

The use of a compressor with guitar, in my case the Ross, is to generally tame the dynamics of the amplifier, not rid the amplifier of dynamics all together. It would be ridiculous to think that a song could be played with feeling without the subtle nuances of volume and dynamics. And of course a compressor can be over used as well. Apply to much compression and you can eliminate all sense of touch and feel. Some people find this to the benefit of thier music, most do not.

Gain stages and effects pedals should be matched to one another. Gain through most pedals should be set to unity with probably the exception being the pedals used for lead or solos, or if you use the guitar volume they can all be set to unity gain and the guitar output increased as needed. This is where many begginers will sandbag the old sound guy. I have found, as has Ned, Steve, and all of the other successful players lurking and responding out there, that once you have established a good mix on stage and established a base line for your levels, everything else will fall into place as long as you can set your ego aside.

Worth a listen -

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/27/144316386/the-guitar-passions-of-sharon-isbin-and-steve-vai
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: Guitar Players Levels
« Reply #77 on: December 27, 2011, 07:05:43 pm »


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