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Title: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 18, 2016, 10:16:40 am
I did a gig Saturday night in a long narrow room. The 30" high "stage" was so shallow we ended deciding to use it as just a drum riser so the amps and rest of the band went on the floor. They were all half stacks and pretty loud but I still had what I thought was a fair amount of guitar going thru the PA.   Unfortunately having a good mix at the front of the room, meant not having enough guitar being heard at the back of the room because the bodies on the dance flloor and the first set of tables (packed house) blocked all the stage sound.

 I was at the halfway point in the audience and the mix was good where I was however the majority of the audience was seated in the back third of the room so I ended up putting much more guitar in the mains than I would like to.  And they still didn't have enough guitar while the front was getting pummeled with it.

The room is local so I'm sure I will be there again and the guitar players in all 3 acts  all had the same "Marshall Stack deafness" that plagues this region among the loacl bar bands. They will never turn down their volumes enough to solve the issue in spite of me asking them to. I've just been through this with too many of these local "rock stars".

So I've come up with 4 options I can work with next time I'm in this situation and I'm wondering what everyone's opinion is on the best method. I have them listed in the order of best to worst per my judgement.

1. Delay speakers for the back third of the room.
2. Have them place the amps on the side of the stage facing in.
3. Get the amps up on the same level as the drum kit. (I don't think this helps enough and potentially puts too much guitar in the vocals and therefore back through the wedges.
4. Move my mix position to the back third of the room and mix for there .

Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: John Penkala on April 18, 2016, 10:23:39 am
I did a gig Saturday night in a long narrow room. The 30" high "stage" was so shallow we ended deciding to use it as just a drum riser so the amps and rest of the band went on the floor. They were all half stacks and pretty loud but I still had what I thought was a fair amount of guitar going thru the PA.   Unfortunately having a good mix at the front of the room, meant not having enough guitar being heard at the back of the room because the bodies on the dance flloor and the first set of tables (packed house) blocked all the stage sound.

 I was at the halfway point in the audience and the mix was good where I was however the majority of the audience was seated in the back third of the room so I ended up putting much more guitar in the mains than I would like to.  And they still didn't have enough guitar while the front was getting pummeled with it.

The room is local so I'm sure I will be there again and the guitar players in all 3 acts  all had the same "Marshall Stack deafness" that plagues this region among the loacl bar bands. They will never turn down their volumes enough to solve the issue in spite of me asking them to. I've just been through this with too many of these local "rock stars".

So I've come up with 4 options I can work with next time I'm in this situation and I'm wondering what everyone's opinion is on the best method. I have them listed in the order of best to worst per my judgement.

1. Delay speakers for the back third of the room.
2. Have them place the amps on the side of the stage facing in.
3. Get the amps up on the same level as the drum kit. (I don't thing this helps enough and potentially puts too much guitar in the vocals and therefore back through the wedges.
4. Move my mic position to the back third of the room and mix for there .

Is it possible that people were in the back of the room because it was too loud?
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 18, 2016, 10:40:19 am
I'm told that I'm not allowed to shoot guitar players :(

Not wanting to start a confrontational rant I'll say only this:  these players think they're Artistes.  Yes, yes yes.  They will not change anything for any reason because it might mess up the precious voodoo (my apologies to actual Voodoo practitioners) and render their entire "careers" moot.

Stage SPL and the constant complaints from from bar managers, band wives/girlfriends/significant others regarding levels and mix content are why I fired myself from bar work.  I realize that the vast majority of LAB Lounge participants don't have that luxury but I had to do it to save my sanity and to keep my weapons pointed away from guitarists and cymbal-bashing drummers.

YMMV and all that, but if this is a constant problem you need to either grow a really thick skin and be able to say "piss off, fuckface" to whomever really needs it, or find other ways to use your audio talents.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Stephen Kirby on April 18, 2016, 11:00:21 am
I remember seeing Corby Yates (young loud blues rock guitarist) in a small club some years ago.  It was almost comical.  The dance floor was almost empty and the audience was huddled in the back third of the room looking like a Maxell ad (for those who remember them).

It kind of depends on what the purpose of the venue/show is.  Often some people want to get up front for the "full effect" and others want to relax in the back and not get pummeled.  OTOH maybe everyone is there to hear the band but the shape of the room is such that not everyone can be up front.  I used to play in one such "blues hallway" and when it gets crowded and you get pushed to the back, you don't hear the same thing as people up front.  In which case, delays are the only things that work.  HF just doesn't make it's way down a long humid room full of sweaty bodies.

My issue with half stacks isn't so much that they're loud, but that they generate a big low end thump to the attack of a note that obliterates the bass player and turns everything into mud.  It's a seductive visceral effect for the guitarist standing right in front of it, but combined with todays fascination with excessive gain nobody in the audience hears the same sound.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 18, 2016, 11:07:30 am
Is it possible that people were in the back of the room because it was too loud?

No. This was a sold out event. They were in the back because they didn't get there early enough and that's where most of the tables were set up. It really wasn't that loud, as the room was pretty dead. I just could not get an even mix in the back without ruining the front mix.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Len Zenith Jr on April 18, 2016, 11:26:00 am


Stage SPL and the constant complaints from from bar managers, band wives/girlfriends/significant others regarding levels and mix content are why I fired myself from bar work promoted myself to customer

I fixed that for you ... always a silver lining somewhere.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Chuck Simon on April 18, 2016, 11:32:40 am
Did you have the main speakers located up high enough?
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 18, 2016, 12:02:01 pm
I fixed that for you ... always a silver lining somewhere.

Most bars are just rooms with booze (and really gross restrooms).  For the most part the music presentation sucks (because it's a bar, with all the inherent factors that come with) so unless a band is full of my friends I seldom go out to hear local acts.  I don't drink alcohol, either, so unless I'm meeting someone or there is a social event I'm a part of there is no reason to spend time in a bar.

Booze pays for lots of entertainment expenses, though, and to those patrons who support live music I say "thanks".

Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Ned Ward on April 18, 2016, 12:11:03 pm
Been there as a band member... it's why I also have several Fender amps of differing wattages depending on the venue - bar with our own PA or crappy PA, club with good PA and iffy monitors, club with good PA and good monitors, and outdoor gigs.  I also have tilt-back legs on my amps or an amp stand for the Princeton reverb that lets my ears hear better than my ankles, and keeps volume down.

Just went and saw a band at a local bar, and the guitar player was painfully loud to the point of it drowning out everything else. When I asked him afterwards how it went, he complained that everyone is always telling them that they're too loud... and he had a full pedalboard, so could have gotten the drive and lead sounds at a lower level.

The people I can't stand are idiots who buy non master amps like a plexi Marshall and try to gig with it - they are an awesome amp if you're in a studio, live on a farm, or have an iso cab or a Palmer. Otherwise, you're making everyone cringe in the corner.

Auralex GRAMMA are a godsend for shows like this as it decouples the amp from the floor so you don't get as much low end to fight with bass and drums. I have 2 for home studio use, but always bring one to a show for our bass player just in case.

Other option - take an old passive monitor wedge and remove the crossover and speaker and replace with a guitar speaker. With a speaker cable, you could run out of their amp or speaker cab to this front monitor. They'll be able to hear themselves and not have to turn up as much. Mesa used to make this and Avatar sells one, but for bar bands I think a DIY could be a good start... http://avatarspeakers.com/product/g212-pro-tour-monitor/ (http://avatarspeakers.com/product/g212-pro-tour-monitor/)
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Chris Hindle on April 18, 2016, 12:22:28 pm


1. Delay speakers for the back third of the room.
2. Have them place the amps on the side of the stage facing in.
3. Get the amps up on the same level as the drum kit. (I don't think this helps enough and potentially puts too much guitar in the vocals and therefore back through the wedges.
4. Move my mix position to the back third of the room and mix for there .
5. Fly the PA. Get them boxes up nice and high, let the stage take care of the front.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Steve Oldridge on April 18, 2016, 12:23:19 pm
Most bars are just rooms with booze (and really gross restrooms).  For the most part the music presentation sucks (because it's a bar, with all the inherent factors that come with) so unless a band is full of my friends I seldom go out to hear local acts.  I don't drink alcohol, either, so unless I'm meeting someone or there is a social event I'm a part of there is no reason to spend time in a bar.

Booze pays for lots of entertainment expenses, though, and to those patrons who support live music I say "thanks".
yeap.. bars/clubs/meat markets, whatever you want to call them, I no longer do SR there, but PLAY at quite a few of them still.
Some of them simply do not support good sound. Before I quit doing that kind of work, I never worried about it being loud enough at the back.. If they can talk to each other - without screaming in each others ears - I'm fine with that. If they want it louder, they move closer, or complain to mgmt about lack of seating. If mgmt comes to me, they get a choice.. make it nice for folks at the back and drive folks from the dance floor, or move your seating....
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Kevin Maxwell on April 18, 2016, 12:34:26 pm
I was going to post a question that has been on my mind lately and it relates to this thread and guitars. My questions was how come it seems like some guitar amps, usually the ones with 4 speakers in them, seem to be very directional? Is this part of the cause of the problem? One advantage to putting the guitar amps on the stage is they might be closer to the ears of the guitarist rather than the back of their knees. And maybe they will turn down a little bit then and let you put them in the mix. One can dream. 

The question of where your house speakers are in this situation comes into play. I have been very fortunate it that I am usually working in rooms or outdoors where I can have the mains out enough from the stage (and high enough including sometimes hung) to get some decent gain before feedback and then use front fills to fill in the gap and time align it all to the stage and usually the backline. And in many cases I use delay speakers. Delay speakers when they are hung and away from people can be great. If you need to put them on stands on the floor there are a lot of problems with that.

I always try to be towards the back or at the back of the room. The outdoor summer concert series we do, I am as far as the 125foot snakes will get me and there is still a lot of audience behind me. But I figured if they want to hear it louder they would move up front. I have walked the area and it reaches clearly pretty far back. If the weather looks good I try to strike the tent after sundown. To give those behind me a better view.

But back to guitars I have, even at these outdoor concerts had guitar players that I can’t get to turn down. But we tell them if they aim the guitar cabinet straight at me there won’t be much if any of the guitar in the mains and it will be very uneven in the audience. We once had a band show up and the bass and guitar player powered up and started playing around. We told them to turn down and play just loud enough so that they could hear themselves on stage and they did. After the show their groupies came up to us and said they never sounded so good. The band members came up to us and said they never heard themselves so well on stage. So sometimes you get lucky and they listen.   
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Gordon Brinton on April 18, 2016, 12:52:42 pm
What about a sound shield in front of the amp?

Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 18, 2016, 01:07:10 pm
Did you have the main speakers located up high enough?

Well above the crowd but not to the ceiling. Peopl in the back could vocals just fine.I think you're missing the problem statement. Not being able to hear the mains is not the problem for the people in the back, but rather the lack of hearing the sound coming of the amps mixed in.  Butting more guitar in the mains just mean too much guitar up front.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 18, 2016, 01:14:36 pm
5. Fly the PA. Get them boxes up nice and high, let the stage take care of the front.

No money in this gig for flying, but I did have pretty high ceiling for cranking up some smaller angled tops.

So I get the speakers high enough that the people in front don't hear the guitars in the mains and then they also can't hear the vocals in those same mains, so now I need front fills instead of delay speakers. Would probably work, but delays would be easier to implement successfully I think. 

Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 18, 2016, 01:20:52 pm
What about a sound shield in front of the amp?

I've actually considered sheilds that block the bottom 2 speakers of a half stack. Still let them still hear the two angled up. But Ugh, more gear to put in my already overloaded trailer.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Art Welter on April 18, 2016, 01:24:23 pm
So I've come up with 4 options I can work with next time I'm in this situation and I'm wondering what everyone's opinion is on the best method. I have them listed in the order of best to worst per my judgement.

1. Delay speakers for the back third of the room.
2. Have them place the amps on the side of the stage facing in.
3. Get the amps up on the same level as the drum kit. (I don't think this helps enough and potentially puts too much guitar in the vocals and therefore back through the wedges.
4. Move my mix position to the back third of the room and mix for there .
Scott,

1. Good idea if on a separate mix or matrix out so the guitars can be mixed louder in the delays than up front where they are not needed.
2. Helpful, but the guitar players probably won't go for it.
3. Helpful, the 4x12" are very beamy so they will hear the high end that normally blows up their ass for the first time. Again,  the guitar players probably won't go for it, but more of a chance than #2. If it results in "too much" bleed from the vocal mics in their monitors it might be "just right". When actually singing, the singers head blocks the HF guitar wash.
4. Better for you, worse for the average audience member.

Blocking the lower speakers only knocks down 2-3 dB of the top end, and "looks ugly", not worth doing.

Art
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Bill Hornibrook on April 18, 2016, 01:31:40 pm
Putting a 4/12 cab on a 30" stage will be putting the top 12s right in people's ears, so I wouldn't advise that. How about a halfway approach? Try putting the amp on boxes or something maybe 12-15" high - just enough so the guitar player can hear himself a little better and carry a little further back into the room. It's something I've done in the past.

If his playing position is on the end of the group and you can toe the cab in a little diagonally that would be even better.

Clubs are all about compromises. If this one was packed, you are doing something right just the way you were. So I wouldn't sweat it. That's rather uncommon these days.

Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Gordon Brinton on April 18, 2016, 01:41:36 pm
...1. Good idea if on a separate mix or matrix out so the guitars can be mixed louder in the delays than up front where they are not needed...

I was just thinking the same thing. The delay speakers (or speaker) could be fed from an additional aux (monitor send) and could include more guitar than anything else. If your mixer doesn't support delay capability on an aux channel, then any decent effects processor should work.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jelmer de Jong on April 18, 2016, 01:48:53 pm
Place the amps on the side of the stage, at ear-level, pointed inwards. Although think otherwise, they actually hear with their ears and not their feet.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 18, 2016, 01:51:13 pm
Scott,

1. Good idea if on a separate mix or matrix out so the guitars can be mixed louder in the delays than up front where they are not needed.


Art

Yes, that's how I planned on doing it. I alway run delay speakers with a  separate mix. Only put in what's lacking.   Delay speakers are one of the few things I feel I'm really good at doing.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Brian Jojade on April 18, 2016, 02:07:42 pm
There is really no winning at the game if everyone participating isn't willing to make it happen.  The problem with guitar amps is that the placement of the amp will never be in a position as such that it covers the entire audience on its own.  However, it will cover SOME audience members.  So, unless you can design your PA to not have guitar coverage where the stage amp is covering, you will end up with an uneven mix.  The best solution is to get the guitar amp to cover as little of the audience as possible, doing whatever it takes to make that happen.  It's annoying, and a PITA to get some guitar players to understand the mess of sound that their beloved amp is creating, but if you can't  get them to cooperate, you won't get it to sound right.  It's a team sport, and we all need to work together to make it happen.

Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 18, 2016, 02:24:53 pm
There is really no winning at the game if everyone participating isn't willing to make it happen.  The problem with guitar amps is that the placement of the amp will never be in a position as such that it covers the entire audience on its own.  However, it will cover SOME audience members.  So, unless you can design your PA to not have guitar coverage where the stage amp is covering, you will end up with an uneven mix.  The best solution is to get the guitar amp to cover as little of the audience as possible, doing whatever it takes to make that happen.  It's annoying, and a PITA to get some guitar players to understand the mess of sound that their beloved amp is creating, but if you can't  get them to cooperate, you won't get it to sound right.  It's a team sport, and we all need to work together to make it happen.

And sometimes we have to accept it's a crap gig, make the best of it and cash the cheque.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tom Roche on April 18, 2016, 02:27:46 pm
This issue probably bugged me the most when I ran sound in a venue (not a bar).  My MO was to establish rapport first.  I'm polite, offer suggestions (many already mentioned in this thread), and always let the band know I'm on their team and that my goal is to make them sound as best as possible.  Some were easy to work with and others not so much.  Sometimes there's nothing more you can do.

Upon further contemplation...  An approach that worked a few times was to talk to the other band members.  I've told them they sound great, but the guitar is a little too loud and drowning out the rest of the band.  It has worked.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 18, 2016, 03:10:17 pm
What about a sound shield in front of the amp?

Does anyone do this succesfully?  Or do the players complain about not being able to hear their tone? 

Usually I get "I can turn down if you can put it back through the monitor"  but then they really don't turn down enough to help the overall mix, or thye just turn it back up again. Shelds look like thye would be abetter solution but, do they cause more problesm?
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: John L Nobile on April 18, 2016, 03:43:56 pm
Apparently they need it loud for their tone. Trying to mess with their tone makes YOU the guy ruining the sound.

I've always suggested that they turn their amp sideways if they want to be heard in the mix. The guitar and bass player in the show have been doing that for years. I've tried doing that with other bands with mixed results. The nicer ones are open to give it a shot especially when you tell them that you can put them louder in the mains.

It's not a perfect solution but it does help.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 03:50:37 pm
Some guitar amps have to be cranked up to produce the tone the guitar players want. My 3 Marshall JCM800 2205 amp have to be cranked to sound good , it's the way many of those tube amps were made. A friend has an old Ampeg tube guitar amp that has a chink-a-chink-a sound when you turn it way up.I would use a full stack and not connect the bottom speakers or put the cabinet on something to get it up in the air above the audience heads. Another idea would be to turn the cabinets around and have the speakers facing the stage and mic the guitar cabinets through the pa.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 18, 2016, 04:02:21 pm
A truly good musician knows how to play for the environment they are in. Guitarist, drummers bassists or whatever inst.

If you are on "11" and should be on "3" then you are not a good "all around" musician.

Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 04:14:01 pm
A truly good musician knows how to play for the environment they are in. Guitarist, drummers bassists or whatever inst.

If you are on "11" and should be on "3" then you are not a good "all around" musician.
I dont think you understand guitar amps. Some "tube" guitar amps sound muddy and compressed and choked until they are cranked up and the power tubes are drivien hard. They could also bring a lower power tube amp to that club. As for your comment on drummers I have been playing since 1970. Drums and cymbals have to be hit with a certain force to sound good. Some drums are very loud due to the type and thickness of the wood. My 1980's all birch thick shell Tama Superstar drums are very loud and I dont hit hard. I am a rock drummer and "all around" really good drummer according to other musicians , recording and sound engineers.

If the amp has an effects loop you can plug a "gain" box into the loop and drive the power tubes so they make the tone at a lower volume. I have one on my home amp in the circle in the foto. I think i paid $30.00 for it on ebay.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 18, 2016, 04:45:02 pm
I dont think you understand guitar amps. Some "tube" guitar amps sound muddy and compressed and choked until they are cranked up and the power tubes are drivien hard. They could also bring a lower power tube amp to that club. As for your comment on drummers I have been playing since 1970. Drums and cymbals have to be hit with a certain force to sound good. Some drums are very loud due to the type and thickness of the wood. My 1980's all birch thick shell Tama Superstar drums are very loud and I dont hit hard. I am a rock drummer and "all around" really good drummer according to other musicians , recording and sound engineers.

If the amp has an effects loop you can plug a "gain" box into the loop and drive the power tubes so they make the tone at a lower volume. I have one on my home amp in the circle in the foto. I think i paid $30.00 for it on ebay.

I stand by my previous statement.

I've played drums since '64. Play the proper volume for the setting you are in.

Double stack Marshall for a small environment....HMMM what could the problem be?
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Ned Ward on April 18, 2016, 04:50:14 pm
Some guitar amps have to be cranked up to produce the tone the guitar players want. My 3 Marshall JCM800 2205 amp have to be cranked to sound good , it's the way many of those tube amps were made. A friend has an old Ampeg tube guitar amp that has a chink-a-chink-a sound when you turn it way up.I would use a full stack and not connect the bottom speakers or put the cabinet on something to get it up in the air above the audience heads. Another idea would be to turn the cabinets around and have the speakers facing the stage and mic the guitar cabinets through the pa.


Jeff - with a JCM800, the early to mid 80's ones only sound good when cranked, so I agree with you there, and the JCM800 is a really loud 50 watt amp. However, if it's too loud for the venue, it may not be the right tool for the job. Yes, you could point the cabinets backwards, but at that point, maybe a different amp or a pedal in front is in order. Curious - what years are yours?


I'm sure my non-master volume blackface Fender Showman that Bob worked on would sound amazing dimed. I just haven't found an open field big enough to try....


Top cab connected and bottom cab not connected is also what Pete Townshend used to do with The Who. Of course, a 100 watt Hiwatt into those Fane speakers would have been insanely loud with just 1 cab alone...

Stage volume and getting the best out of very loud tube amps is why so many pro touring acts use a Palmer PGI-03 speaker simulator and don't even have FOH sound. You can dime a JCM800 or a Superlead Marshall, but the onstage sound comes through monitors only. Pete Thorn has a video on his site of recording his amp through a Two Notes Torpedo live, which lets you save the impulse responses of your speaker cab. It's very close; for recording, if you could record the amp it would be slightly better, but at night, for most of us without home studios, or for live use the Two Notes would win out. It is however expensive ($995 MSRP) so not something a lot of people willl have in their arsenal.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 18, 2016, 05:12:38 pm
I was recently helping at a local church. The drummer was pounding the drums. The sound guy looked at me and said, "He's a good drummer." I said not really. If he were a really talented drummer he would realize he is playing too loud for the setting.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 05:32:12 pm
I stand by my previous statement.

I've played drums since '64. Play the proper volume for the setting you are in.

Double stack Marshall for a small environment....HMMM what could the problem be?
when in a small place you do not connect the bottom cabinet. the botton cabinet is there to get the working cabinet "up off the floor". I dont believe you have ever played drums. If you did you would know that the tone of the drums are diffderent when played soft. A big complaint from recording engineers and sound men is the drummer isnt hitting hard enough for the drums and cymbals to sound good and the singer is not singing loud enough. Here is a real good forum to learn about drum tone.  http://www.drumforum.org/
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Holtzman on April 18, 2016, 05:35:13 pm
  HF just doesn't make it's way down a long humid room full of sweaty bodies.


It does if you have enough trim height.

I am blessed the chain of music clubs/gastropubs I provide for were designed as music venues and other than the stages being way too small and no acoustic treatment they got it right.  We have 25-30' trim heights.  Makes a  huge difference.

Of course we still have the issue with too loud guitar players and the drums getting into every mic on stage but it's one of the best combo venues I have ever worked.

I have seen a trend in the younger bands to carry a small digital mixer and all run in ear.  They had me a split and take care of their own monitors.  I would say 50% of the bands do this and the quality difference between the bands that don't is even noticed by the dishwasher.



They actually pay the artists and production staff fairly too.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 05:37:10 pm
I was recently helping at a local church. The drummer was pounding the drums. The sound guy looked at me and said, "He's a good drummer." I said not really. If he were a really talented drummer he would realize he is playing too loud for the setting.
Talent doesnt have a thing to do with how hard you hit the drums. as i said before some drums are LOUDER than others. I have owned Ludwig super classics , Slingerland , Tame Imperialstars and Tama Superstars. My Tama Superstars are the loudest of the bunch and I have been uising 3A sticks and Remo black dots heads on all since the 70's. The room the drums are in also affects how loud they are.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 18, 2016, 05:49:56 pm
when in a small place you do not connect the bottom cabinet. the botton cabinet is there to get the working cabinet "up off the floor". I dont believe you have ever played drums. If you did you would know that the tone of the drums are diffderent when played soft. A big complaint from recording engineers and sound men is the drummer isnt hitting hard enough for the drums and cymbals to sound good and the singer is not singing loud enough. Here is a real good forum to learn about drum tone.  http://www.drumforum.org/

Since I was 9

I never said it didn't change the sound.

So what you're saying is hit the drums at the same intensity no matter what. Even if it's too loud. Turn the amp up to 11 even if it's too loud.

It's all about compromise.

I bring a sound system that is sized for the venue. Smaller rig for smaller venues. Bigger rig for bigger venues.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 05:51:49 pm

Jeff - with a JCM800, the early to mid 80's ones only sound good when cranked, so I agree with you there, and the JCM800 is a really loud 50 watt amp. However, if it's too loud for the venue, it may not be the right tool for the job. Yes, you could point the cabinets backwards, but at that point, maybe a different amp or a pedal in front is in order. Curious - what years are yours?


I'm sure my non-master volume blackface Fender Showman that Bob worked on would sound amazing dimed. I just haven't found an open field big enough to try....


Top cab connected and bottom cab not connected is also what Pete Townshend used to do with The Who. Of course, a 100 watt Hiwatt into those Fane speakers would have been insanely loud with just 1 cab alone...

Stage volume and getting the best out of very loud tube amps is why so many pro touring acts use a Palmer PGI-03 speaker simulator and don't even have FOH sound. You can dime a JCM800 or a Superlead Marshall, but the onstage sound comes through monitors only. Pete Thorn has a video on his site of recording his amp through a Two Notes Torpedo live, which lets you save the impulse responses of your speaker cab. It's very close; for recording, if you could record the amp it would be slightly better, but at night, for most of us without home studios, or for live use the Two Notes would win out. It is however expensive ($995 MSRP) so not something a lot of people willl have in their arsenal.
I have 3 Marshall JCM800 2205 50 watt full stacks. One head is a 1988 year and the other 2 are 1989 years. 3 B cabinets and 3 A cabinets all have the same Celestion G12T-75 speakers. I did a lot of research on these. The 82-83 years didnt have much gain and channel bleed, mine have lots of gain and no channel bleed. The 84-86 have more gain but still have channel bleed. All my heads are factory stock and I put new ps caps in a few years ago. The amps start to come alive when they are loud. One full stack requires earplugs when on 4. That little gain insert I bought drives the EL34 tubes hard at low volume and I can get the loud tone on it at very low volume. I posted in another reply that a lower power amp is better when thats all you need. A lot of the newer amps can be programed to get the tone at very low volume. Btw I have a chance to get 3 of the JCM800 2210 100way version of my amps but passed. The only place I could see the 2210's used is in a huge huge room. They are LOUD !!!
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 18, 2016, 05:54:17 pm
Talent doesnt have a thing to do with how hard you hit the drums. as i said before some drums are LOUDER than others. I have owned Ludwig super classics , Slingerland , Tame Imperialstars and Tama Superstars. My Tama Superstars are the loudest of the bunch and I have been uising 3A sticks and Remo black dots heads on all since the 70's. The room the drums are in also affects how loud they are.

I would suggest not using those where you need to be softer.

These sound great when lightly struck. Good for low volume settings
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Dave Pluke on April 18, 2016, 05:56:41 pm
My questions was how come it seems like some guitar amps, usually the ones with 4 speakers in them, seem to be very directional? Is this part of the cause of the problem? 

Most 4x12 cabs have completely closed backs.  That, combined with the frequency range of (especially, lead) guitar creates a very directional sound.  If that direction doesn't happen to be pointing at the guitarist's ears, net volume can easily become overbearing.

Installing Beam Blockers over each speaker is one approach toward "widening" the sound.  Proper aiming of the cabinet can be a big help - if the room permits.

One really clever approach to conquering this issue was developed by a guy I met in St Paul.  Dubbed the "Hermit Cab", it had a solid front panel with sound-absorbing material inside.  The front tilted open to let sound out as desired.  A mic could be mounted inside and the cab could run in full isolation mode.  Life would be easier for Sound Engineers if more players had them:

http://hermitcab.com/HermitCab_Catalog.pdf

Dave
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 05:58:07 pm
Since I was 9

I never said it didn't change the sound.

So what you're saying is hit the drums at the same intensity no matter what. Even if it's too loud. Turn the amp up to 11 even if it's too loud.

It's all about compromise.

I bring a sound system that is sized for the venue. Smaller rig for smaller venues. Bigger rig for bigger venues.
I NEVER said turn the amp to 11 even if its too loud. Go back and read my post. If the drums are too loud get one of those clear drum shields. Drummers usually get to where they always hit and kick with the same force. It called being cinsistant and engineers love that. the drum volume doesnt go up and down in the mix. there are some rooms that are not fit for acoustic drums. If thats the case use electronic drums. You can also fill the drums with foam but the sound will be like hitting cardboard.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 18, 2016, 06:03:37 pm
I NEVER said turn the amp to 11 even if its too loud. Go back and read my post. If the drums are too loud get one of those clear drum shields. Drummers usually get to where they always hit and kick with the same force. It called being cinsistant and engineers love that. the drum volume doesnt go up and down in the mix. there are some rooms that are not fit for acoustic drums. If thats the case use electronic drums. You can also fill the drums with foam but the sound will be like hitting cardboard.

You can play all the Eddie van Halen licks you want. But if you are too loud for the environment you are playing in then IMO you are not a "good all around " musician. Has nothing to do with talent.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Ned Ward on April 18, 2016, 06:06:44 pm
Most 4x12 cabs have completely closed backs.  That, combined with the frequency range of (especially, lead) guitar creates a very directional sound.  If that direction doesn't happen to be pointing at the guitarist's ears, net volume can easily become overbearing.

Installing Beam Blockers over each speaker is one approach toward "widening" the sound.  Proper aiming of the cabinet can be a big help - if the room permits.

One really clever approach to conquering this issue was developed by a guy I met in St Paul.  Dubbed the "Hermit Cab", it had a solid front panel with sound-absorbing material inside.  The front tilted open to let sound out as desired.  A mic could be mounted inside and the cab could run in full isolation mode.  Life would be easier for Sound Engineers if more players had them:

http://hermitcab.com/HermitCab_Catalog.pdf (http://hermitcab.com/HermitCab_Catalog.pdf)

Dave


Dave - the hermit cabs are interesting iso cabs with the potential to have them open. But, iso cabs have their own odd sound compared to a mic'd cab. At that point (and price point), I'd rather have a Palmer or Torpedo Live and save the space in the van/truck if I needed to play amps that loud. Don't think I'd ever be able to get to a Rush stage with dryers or chicken rotisseries, but once you get into iso cabs, why not go all the way to a load box? Better sound, less weight...


what am I thinking. Most guitar players will feel neutered if they don't have a half stack or full stack behind them... so for those, a pretend cab that's actually an iso cab could be a good idea.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 06:10:16 pm
It does if you have enough trim height.

I am blessed the chain of music clubs/gastropubs I provide for were designed as music venues and other than the stages being way too small and no acoustic treatment they got it right.  We have 25-30' trim heights.  Makes a  huge difference.

Of course we still have the issue with too loud guitar players and the drums getting into every mic on stage but it's one of the best combo venues I have ever worked.

I have seen a trend in the younger bands to carry a small digital mixer and all run in ear.  They had me a split and take care of their own monitors.  I would say 50% of the bands do this and the quality difference between the bands that don't is even noticed by the dishwasher.



They actually pay the artists and production staff fairly too.
A few minutes after I first started playing drums I put cotton in my ears. That didnt work so I tried unused clean toilet paper. I found that buy making tight balls it cut the volume way down but then I could hear the stereo speakers. I got a set of  full ear cover headphones and have used them ever since. We played a number of gigs where I needed monitor speakers and I decided to ditch them and use headphones instead. I wonder how much sound the goes back into the drum mics from the drum monitors. I have seen some 4 foot high straight drum monitors that those drum mics must be picking up. I wonder how much of that could affect the FOH mix. In ear monitors or headphones are the way to go.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 18, 2016, 07:05:35 pm
This thread demonstrates EXACTLY the prima diva bullshit of players impersonating real artists and musicians that makes it all but impossible to deliver a quality audio product in small venues.

Here's the deal:  The license on the wall of the bar isn't a permit to inflict some "this one goes to 11" asshat's idea of art, it's to put liquor in a glass and make a profit (and pay taxes).  It's not a concert, it's wallpaper music for men to buy drinks and hope to get laid.

That said, why do religious-based performances have to be so damn loud?  Thread detour: I will no long work "WinterJam" because of the SPL (among other things).  /detour

If the band sucks because they're so loud the bartenders and wait staff cannot take food and drink orders the band is not doing the bar any favors and should not expect to be asked back.  If they are, and bar management still complains, it's on them and not the band.  Some managers just like to bitch...
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 18, 2016, 07:28:11 pm
This thread demonstrates EXACTLY the prima diva bullshit of players impersonating real artists and musicians that makes it all but impossible to deliver a quality audio product in small venues.

Here's the deal:  The license on the wall of the bar isn't a permit to inflict some "this one goes to 11" asshat's idea of art, it's to put liquor in a glass and make a profit (and pay taxes).  It's not a concert, it's wallpaper music for men to buy drinks and hope to get laid.

That said, why do religious-based performances have to be so damn loud?  Thread detour: I will no long work "WinterJam" because of the SPL (among other things).  /detour

If the band sucks because they're so loud the bartenders and wait staff cannot take food and drink orders the band is not doing the bar any favors and should not expect to be asked back.  If they are, and bar management still complains, it's on them and not the band.  Some managers just like to bitch...

Amen brother

Nobody's got dynamics any more.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Art Welter on April 18, 2016, 07:29:57 pm
Does anyone do this succesfully?  Or do the players complain about not being able to hear their tone? 

Usually I get "I can turn down if you can put it back through the monitor"  but then they really don't turn down enough to help the overall mix, or thye just turn it back up again. Shelds look like thye would be abetter solution but, do they cause more problesm?
A shield can be an improvement, but the short reflections are not "true" to the sound of the amp/speaker combination.

Guitar players using tube amps that have to be "dimed" for their sound should invest in a variable power soak (load resistor).
Most don't realize that to sound half as loud requires a ten dB reduction, their 100 watt amp needs to be cut to 10 watts.

They also don't realize that using a single 12" rather than a 4x12" would reduce level by six dB, and allow the speaker distortion that is part of the "dimed" sound too.

As far as humidity, it lessens HF air attenuation compared to dry air.

Using this calculator:
http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-air.htm
At 100 feet (in addition to the 6 dB inverse distance losses) we see losses at 12.5kHz are 4.9dB dB at a temperature of 80F and 60% relative humidity, at 20% RH the loss increases to 11.4 dB, you would need over four times the VHF power to compensate for the difference.

Will be moving to Florida from New Mexico in a few months, expect that things will sound a lot brighter again...

Art
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 18, 2016, 07:34:25 pm
A few minutes after I first started playing drums I put cotton in my ears. That didnt work so I tried unused clean toilet paper. I found that buy making tight balls it cut the volume way down but then I could hear the stereo speakers. I got a set of  full ear cover headphones and have used them ever since. We played a number of gigs where I needed monitor speakers and I decided to ditch them and use headphones instead. I wonder how much sound the goes back into the drum mics from the drum monitors. I have seen some 4 foot high straight drum monitors that those drum mics must be picking up. I wonder how much of that could affect the FOH mix. In ear monitors or headphones are the way to go.

Should have tried used and dirty. I'm told it works better  ;D
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tom Roche on April 18, 2016, 08:01:14 pm
You can play all the Eddie van Halen licks you want. But if you are too loud for the environment you are playing in then IMO you are not a "good all around " musician. Has nothing to do with talent.

Jamin, I think your point has fallen on a deaf ear.  ;)   

Jeff B., yes, a drummer can get a different sound playing rim-shots on the snare or by bashing cymbals, but if you can't adjust to the environment and to the level of the other band members, you have much to learn as a musician.

No pro drummer I know plays obnoxiously loud because their drums are loud or because it's the only way to get their tone.  Actually, none of the pros I know play obnoxiously loud.  It's only amateurs.  Some pros can and do play loud, but it's a developed technique and not due to the drum material or the heads.

A well-known drum maker/manufacture I know often says there are no loud drums, only loud drummers.  While technically speaking some drums may produce a slightly louder tone, his point is still valid.  Being a good musician means having the ability to play appropriately to the venue and the level of the other players.  Great tone can be had whether playing softly or loud.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Hyam Sosnow on April 18, 2016, 09:19:13 pm
Drums and cymbals have to be hit with a certain force to sound good.

This is true for heavy (thick) cymbals, in which case to play quietly you need the following:

1. Thinner cymbals
2. The proper playing technique so that you don't break #1. (Glancing blows that draw the tone out of the instrument.)

For drums this is absolutely 100% FALSE. Give me your Tama Superstar drums, allow me to select the drumheads, allow me to properly tune your drums and your drumset will be magically transformed into an instrument that will sound wonderful at low volumes, but only when a drummer who can play with the proper technique is playing them. From your statements throughout this thread I'm not convinced that you possess this type of technique.

Some drums are very loud due to the type and thickness of the wood. My 1980's all birch thick shell Tama Superstar drums are very loud and I dont hit hard.

Shell thickness is much less important to this discussion than 1) playing technique, 2) drumhead choice, and 3) drumhead tuning. I own a set of 1990 vintage Ludwigs with 3/8"-thick shells, yet when I mount thin Remo Fiberskyn 3 heads on them (tops and bottoms), tune them properly and play them properly, they absolutely sing at low volumes.

When I was a kid I owned a 1930s-vintage drumset that still had its original calfskin heads. Natural skin heads are hygroscopic, so their tuning will change dramatically with humidity and temperature changes. Keeping that drumset tuned properly gave me a tremendous amount of knowledge about tuning drums, not to mention lots of opportunity to put that knowledge into practice.

As for "A big complaint from recording engineers and sound men is the drummer isn't hitting hard enough for the drums and cymbals to sound good ...", the opposite is actually true. If the drummer hits hard and buries the sticks into the heads when they hit them, they're killing the drums' tone and making everything sound dead. Proper technique dictates that you use your wrists and fingers to momentarily snap the sticks against the heads and draw the sound out of the instrument. Doing this will get you more tone and volume without your having to overplay the instrument. The same goes for the bass drum beater—if you leave it against the head after the stroke your bass drum will sound like a cardboard box filled with Kleenex instead of a musical instrument. Watch videos of John Bonham some time—you'll see that he drew the sound out of his drums using his wrists, almost never lifting his arms very high. This technique, combined with clever drum choice and tuning (big drums tuned high, with the resonant heads even higher than the batters) allowed him to get great response from his drums at medium to softer volumes, along with tremendous power when he wanted it.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: John L Nobile on April 18, 2016, 09:39:11 pm
This thread demonstrates EXACTLY the prima diva bullshit of players impersonating real artists and musicians that makes it all but impossible to deliver a quality audio product in small venues.

Here's the deal:  The license on the wall of the bar isn't a permit to inflict some "this one goes to 11" asshat's idea of art, it's to put liquor in a glass and make a profit (and pay taxes).  It's not a concert, it's wallpaper music for men to buy drinks and hope to get laid.

That said, why do religious-based performances have to be so damn loud?  Thread detour: I will no long work "WinterJam" because of the SPL (among other things).  /detour

If the band sucks because they're so loud the bartenders and wait staff cannot take food and drink orders the band is not doing the bar any favors and should not expect to be asked back.  If they are, and bar management still complains, it's on them and not the band.  Some managers just like to bitch...

Good points.
I played bars for years in my youth and found out early that we were only there to keep people in the bar to drink. Owners didn't care if you were great musicians. All you had to do was play popular songs.
And you could play as loud as you wanted UNTIL the bartender and servers couldn't hear the orders. If you didn't turn down then you never got called back.

Honestly, if you want to play flat out, ear bleeding volume,  make a hit record and sell out concerts. That's when you can make your own rules.

Too many musicians think they're special. Some get it and are great to work with. Hope I see more of them in my new position. The rest will remind me that bottom line, this is a job.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Bob Leonard on April 18, 2016, 09:52:50 pm
I've been reading and biting my tongue very hard. Fuck it.

Anyone who can't control the volume of their instrument either through the correct choice of the tools being used, or through the technique being used is NOT a musician. Having to turn an amplifier to 10 in order to achieve tone nirvana is bullshit. Use a smaller amp, effects, shields, etc., but don't tell me it can't be done. And telling me drums have to be played hard to sound good is a fucking myth and just more bullshit from people who lack talent or understanding, or both.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 18, 2016, 09:55:37 pm
One of the best concerts I ever attended, the drum kit consisted of a small kick, snare and a hat. Along with a grand piano and stand up bass. 1 vocal. Technique made the show. 

I've seen Stevie Ray Vaughn several times years ago. (RIP) At one show they tried putting a shield in front of his amp in an attempt to keep from killing people in the front row.

Stevie motioned at the monitor guy numerous times to turn up his guitar in his wedge. After several frustrating jesters, Stevie grabbed the shield and threw it across the stage....the crowd roared.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 11:12:59 pm
And telling me drums have to be played hard to sound good is a fucking myth and just more bullshit from people who lack talent or understanding, or both.
You are welcome to come over to my place and see for yourself. I was on the fone to a guitar player friend earlier. He has been playing gigs since the 70's and recording since the early 80's and will tell you the same thing I said about how some tube amps need to be cranked. It is what it is and I can prove it anytime.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 11:28:00 pm
Jamin, I think your point has fallen on a deaf ear.  ;)   

Jeff B., yes, a drummer can get a different sound playing rim-shots on the snare or by bashing cymbals, but if you can't adjust to the environment and to the level of the other band members, you have much to learn as a musician.

No pro drummer I know plays obnoxiously loud because their drums are loud or because it's the only way to get their tone.  Actually, none of the pros I know play obnoxiously loud. 
I never said obnoxiously loud so why do you say I did ? I dont dent heads and I dont bash cymbals either. Take a crash cymbal and lightly hit it and the hit it hard enough to make it move down a few inches and you will hear the difference. i do not bash my drums. I play hard enough to get the sound. You say I have much to learn as a musician so then teach me what you think I need to know. The problem is with a place that is not sutible for certain types of guitar amps and acoustic drums. The solution is an electronic drum kit and digital guitar amp that get the "tone" at any volume. Its that simple. A friend recently bought a new Marshall digital guitar amp and can get any tone he wants at a wisper volume. Electronic drums hardly make a sound until you turn the amp up and will sound great no matter how hard you hit. Maybe those small clubs should supply an electric drum kit and a couple of low watt digital guitar amps. That would the problems. 
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 18, 2016, 11:35:33 pm
Should have tried used and dirty. I'm told it works better  ;D
Hay ! They wernt available back then. The company in this video wasnt around then. See video >  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=008BPUdQ1XA
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Stephen Kirby on April 18, 2016, 11:57:45 pm
I don't think anyone is saying that there isn't a sweet spot where guitar amps sound their best.  Even master volume amps sound different at higher volumes when the output tubes are cooking.  And speaker cabinets sound different when the whole box is vibrating instead of just the speaker cone.

The trick is to have the appropriate sized rig for the gig.  Or a way of mitigating having a larger rig.  My favorite guitar speakers are Emi Tonkers.  Unfortunately they're 103dB @1W.  I also have some other cabs with less efficient speakers and a few things in boxes in the garage that I can put in to make the rig work for me.  I also have a plexi shield that comes halfway up the top speaker on my 2-12, or completely covers any of the single 12s I have.  By moving the shields distance from the speaker you can kind of tune the sound you get.  It has the side benefit of funneling the sound up to you which I find infinitely preferable to having it pointed at me at close range (which I've pointed out here previously is as totally unnatural as putting a mic dead center on the dust cap and sounds nothing like the amp does to anyone in the audience).  By playing with the spacing I can usually get an acceptable tonality and get it up at me even on a tight stage with the amp at my ankles.  Then good mic placement at the speaker and hopefully the people out front hear what I hear.

As for drums, Just as with guitar amps they sound different depending on how you hit them.  I've even had recording engineers tell me to hit them harder.  But that more "attacky" sound you get by hitting harder can be had with different heads, stick tip shapes, and as was pointed out, technique.  I've had my heads dented in on several occasions by people sitting in who hit down into the drum instead of trying to get it to vibrate by hitting it in the vibrational plane and getting the stick out of the way.  I also have a collection of cymbals that I can mix and match depending on the gig's volumes.  From very thin Dream Bliss to dry K Customs.  I continue to work on my technique though.  I've done some guitar gigs with drummers who when I go over and sit on their kits I can't believe how quietly they're playing, especially given some of the amazing stuff they're doing.  So I've taken it as a personal challenge to learn how to play anything I would normally play but with the sticks no more than a couple of inches off the head.  It really improves your chops when you develop the control to do things quietly as opposed to full Moeller strokes.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 19, 2016, 12:38:07 am
I don't think anyone is saying that there isn't a sweet spot where guitar amps sound their best.  Even master volume amps sound different at higher volumes when the output tubes are cooking.  And speaker cabinets sound different when the whole box is vibrating instead of just the speaker cone.

The trick is to have the appropriate sized rig for the gig.  Or a way of mitigating having a larger rig.  My favorite guitar speakers are Emi Tonkers.  Unfortunately they're 103dB @1W.  I also have some other cabs with less efficient speakers and a few things in boxes in the garage that I can put in to make the rig work for me.  I also have a plexi shield that comes halfway up the top speaker on my 2-12, or completely covers any of the single 12s I have.  By moving the shields distance from the speaker you can kind of tune the sound you get.  It has the side benefit of funneling the sound up to you which I find infinitely preferable to having it pointed at me at close range (which I've pointed out here previously is as totally unnatural as putting a mic dead center on the dust cap and sounds nothing like the amp does to anyone in the audience).  By playing with the spacing I can usually get an acceptable tonality and get it up at me even on a tight stage with the amp at my ankles.  Then good mic placement at the speaker and hopefully the people out front hear what I hear.

As for drums, Just as with guitar amps they sound different depending on how you hit them.  I've even had recording engineers tell me to hit them harder.  But that more "attacky" sound you get by hitting harder can be had with different heads, stick tip shapes, and as was pointed out, technique.  I've had my heads dented in on several occasions by people sitting in who hit down into the drum instead of trying to get it to vibrate by hitting it in the vibrational plane and getting the stick out of the way.  I also have a collection of cymbals that I can mix and match depending on the gig's volumes.  From very thin Dream Bliss to dry K Customs.  I continue to work on my technique though.  I've done some guitar gigs with drummers who when I go over and sit on their kits I can't believe how quietly they're playing, especially given some of the amazing stuff they're doing.  So I've taken it as a personal challenge to learn how to play anything I would normally play but with the sticks no more than a couple of inches off the head.  It really improves your chops when you develop the control to do things quietly as opposed to full Moeller strokes.

I appreciate the emphasis on technique and the musicians that continually hone their craft.  One of my college professors said "you'll never sing or play as well as on the day of your last lesson."  The commitment to practice and especially to  continue with a coach or teacher is a big thing and I hope those players are rewarded.

I've recently worked with a drummer in a full-on rock situation that pleasantly surprised me both with his solo and his overall SPL.  First, he *looked* loud in his physical style and technique but didn't have the SPL that one would expect based on the visual; second was the the depth of his improvisational vocabulary in his solo.

Excuse me while I crank up some Ronnie Montrose...
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 19, 2016, 02:40:02 am
^ What Bob said +1.

Steve.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 19, 2016, 05:47:06 am
Great tone played at the wrong volume....is still the wrong volume
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: David Buckley on April 19, 2016, 06:15:10 am
So, old-school non-master-volume Marshall 100 (or worse: Orange 120), volume on max, full clip, two 4x12s?  Try a phase reverse speaker lead to one cab.  It sounds pretty shitty nearby, very thin, but quiet-ish shitty, but next to the cloth, where the mic is, it'll sound as sweet as ever.  Bring it back on the wedge to taste.

Also, dressing rooms, or a room behind or under the stage are made for putting a cabs in.  Carry long speaker cables.  Carrying pictures of the fake 4x12 walls can help convince the learners that "this is the way the pros do it; you didn't actually think all those amps and cabs were real, did you...?"

And those who have gone with the "delays" half way back with a different mix; yes, it needs a different mix for the difficult instruments, a matrix mix being one's friend, otherwise the problem is just being replicated further down the venue.  In a world of X32s, it is actually a easy thing to do.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 19, 2016, 06:40:18 am
Great tone played at the wrong volume....is still the wrong volume

I have to chime in as well about drums and guitar volumes in general:

I've done numerous shows where a kit was provided and shared by all the acts. Unquestionably the more pro drummers hit lighter and the drums sounded better. So anyone can say whatever they want, but real world experience trumps opinions any day.

In fact, at the show I started the thread about;  the headliner provided the kit and it sounded great the first band, then like shit for the second band because the drummer beat the shit out of it (and no, the mics weren't clipping) and then like a studio recording for the headliner, who had a female drummer with a light touch. In fact the female drummer who had the lightest touch ended up sounding like the hardest hitter because we could push the drums through the system and they were full and punchy because of it.

Not only due heavy hitters ruin the sound, they also screw it up for the other players. I have one band that I play in that rotates between 2 drummers. One guys pounds the shit out of his and they do sound good but the stage mix is so F'd up every show is a disaster for the sound crew as everyone ends up turning up their amps trying to hear themselves over the drums. When the other drummer is playing it is heaven as we can all turn our amps down to about half the volume as the other drummer and the stage mix is beautiful.

I have been playing guitar for money since I was 15 (51 now) and I simply will not play with other guitar players who insist they have too be loud. Most of the bands I've been in I've been the only guitarist, but I've also played with and have done sound for lots of guitar players over the years who have rolled in a half stack and have not been loud and still had good tone. Maybe it's the head they were using? IDK, I'm a huge fan of the Marshall sound but I've never had a desire to drag that cumbersome of an amp around so I'm not that familiar with using them. But obviously it's possible to use a half stack and not be too loud.

My experience is that it's not the gear, but the bar band attitude and the hard rock music genre that produce these ridiculous volume junkies.  I have not had volume issues with every rock guitarist I've dealt with, but every guitarist who I've had volume issues with was playing harder rock and had a "local rock star" attitude. 

Fortunately most of those clowns can't afford to pay for sound. Unfortunately; they show up as opening acts for the bands that can and quite frankly I'm tired of them making me look bad by ruining the house mix.

BTW, no one ever did answer my question about whether the amp shields are effective? Should I invest or just stop taking these gigs?
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Bob Leonard on April 19, 2016, 07:19:04 am
Amp shields are very effective if used properly.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Stephen Kirby on April 19, 2016, 07:48:19 am
There's a guy around here (Daniel Castro) who brings two Super Reverbs to most gigs regardless of the size of the club.  He not only has plexi shields in front of his amps, but he has plywood shields he puts behind them.  I've played through his rig and it both sounds and feels really nice on stage.  I've also played drums when others were playing through his rig and it isn't killing anyone else on stage.  Seems like a lot of effort to go to in order to get a tone, but it works for him and it does sound good and is easy to play on a shallow stage where you can't get 15' out in front of the amps.  If the house system is good and run by someone who knows what they are doing, you get a good sound all over the room.  So it can be done.  I imagine that without the shields it would be murderous, but they do the trick.  And he sounds great in just about any venue.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: John Fruits on April 19, 2016, 08:52:11 am
I suppose providing one of these wouldn't be practical:
http://www.whisperroom.com/sound-booth-models#.VxYo_kexX9I
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Bob Leonard on April 19, 2016, 11:55:20 am
There's a guy around here (Daniel Castro) who brings two Super Reverbs to most gigs regardless of the size of the club.  He not only has plexi shields in front of his amps, but he has plywood shields he puts behind them.  I've played through his rig and it both sounds and feels really nice on stage.  I've also played drums when others were playing through his rig and it isn't killing anyone else on stage.  Seems like a lot of effort to go to in order to get a tone, but it works for him and it does sound good and is easy to play on a shallow stage where you can't get 15' out in front of the amps.  If the house system is good and run by someone who knows what they are doing, you get a good sound all over the room.  So it can be done.  I imagine that without the shields it would be murderous, but they do the trick.  And he sounds great in just about any venue.

Steve,
For general purpose use when needed I use a single piece of 1/8" Lexan in front of any of my amps including my Super Reverbs, Deluxe Reverbs, and Twin Reverbs. The stand is a slotted piece of 3/4" pine. Total cost was about $10. This is something anyone who cares, or who wants to pull their head out of their ass can do. If not they can use the wrong sized amp, no shields, turn up loud and go for it. Just don't complain to me when the crowd runs up and tells me the guitar is too loud or that the band sucks. I don't have an anti-suck knob on any of my hardware. If I did have one though it would probably be right beside the "dumb ass" and the "he needs a punch in the head" knobs.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Hyam Sosnow on April 19, 2016, 03:54:57 pm
I suppose providing one of these wouldn't be practical:
http://www.whisperroom.com/sound-booth-models#.VxYo_kexX9I

These reminded me of something that relates to this discussion: In 1970 I saw Deep Purple play at the Hollywood Bowl along with the LA Phil. DP played 2 songs by themselves (Wring That Neck and Child In Time) for which Blackmore played through a Marshall half-stack. Then the Phil came on stage and they all performed the Concerto for Group and Orchestra (the only time DP ever played it besides when it was recorded). For the Concerto the roadies rolled the half-stack off-stage and replaced it with a box on wheels (about 2' tall by 3' wide) that was completely covered on all surfaces in thick foam. The foam had a 5" diameter hole into which a crew member placed an end-address microphone. Blackmore plugged in and the Concerto sounded great, with an excellent balance between the group and the orchestra. I don't know what amp was inside of the foam, but I'm guessing that it was a Marshall model 1962 combo amp. (The group—along with their amps—was set up downstage of the orchestra.)

FYI, this performance was a substitution. The concert was originally to have been the LA Phil along with The Nice, who were to have performed Emerson's "Brandberger", but that spring Emerson broke up The Nice to form ELP so DP subbed for them. Like the T-shirt says: "I may be old, but I got to see all the cool bands".
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tom Roche on April 19, 2016, 04:01:50 pm
Electronic drums hardly make a sound until you turn the amp up and will sound great no matter how hard you hit. Maybe those small clubs should supply an electric drum kit and a couple of low watt digital guitar amps. That would the problems.

Bars/small clubs providing e-drums and small guitar amps to counter musician inability to play at appropriate levels reminds me of churches resorting to shields/enclosures for drummers who play too loud.  It's a Band-Aid that doesn't address the actual problem.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tom Roche on April 19, 2016, 04:07:36 pm
These reminded me of something that relates to this discussion: In 1970 I saw Deep Purple play at the Hollywood Bowl along with the LA Phil. DP played 2 songs by themselves (Wring That Neck and Child In Time) for which Blackmore played through a Marshall half-stack. Then the Phil came on stage and they all performed the Concerto for Group and Orchestra (the only time DP ever played it besides when it was recorded). For the Concerto the roadies rolled the half-stack off-stage and replaced it with a box on wheels (about 2' tall by 3' wide) that was completely covered on all surfaces in thick foam. The foam had a 5" diameter hole into which a crew member placed an end-address microphone. Blackmore plugged in and the Concerto sounded great, with an excellent balance between the group and the orchestra. I don't know what amp was inside of the foam, but I'm guessing that it was a Marshall model 1962 combo amp. (The group—along with their amps—was set up downstage of the orchestra.)

FYI, this performance was a substitution. The concert was originally to have been the LA Phil along with The Nice, who were to have performed Emerson's "Brandberger", but that spring Emerson broke up The Nice to form ELP so DP subbed for them. Like the T-shirt says: "I may be old, but I got to see all the cool bands".

I would love to have been at that concert.  I saw DP was during their Mk 2 reunion tour in 1984 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD.  One of the best concerts to this day.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Bob Leonard on April 19, 2016, 05:21:31 pm
Bars/small clubs providing e-drums and small guitar amps to counter musician inability to play at appropriate levels reminds me of churches resorting to shields/enclosures for drummers who play too loud.  It's a Band-Aid that doesn't address the actual problem.

I agree Tom. How did it ever get from bands (garage bands) playing in the average sized club with small PA's and a backline that didn't need to be mic'd, to that same sized club and a band that needs a half stack, 100 watt amplifiers, heavy monkey fisted drummers, distorted over the top vocals, guitar players that can't finger a full chord.

I know where that came from. It evolved from musicians that used what they could afford with a backline that filled the room, and just the room, and a vocalist singing through a PA that supported him or her alone. Then that band would work hard to find a proper stage mix that made them sound great and feel proud of their product, which was a product appreciated by the crowd in the club.

Today there's no concept of what an on stage mix should be in smaller clubs because the wannabe musicians of todays breed feel that as long as they have IEMs who gives a shit anyway. No dynamics, touch, sense of timing, sense of tone, or any idea at all of what a true on stage mix is supposed to be.

Why oh why does anything other than the vocals need to be mic'd in a 30x50 foot room??
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Bob Leonard on April 19, 2016, 05:26:25 pm
You are welcome to come over to my place and see for yourself. I was on the fone to a guitar player friend earlier. He has been playing gigs since the 70's and recording since the early 80's and will tell you the same thing I said about how some tube amps need to be cranked. It is what it is and I can prove it anytime.

I don't need to come over to your house. I've seen more than my share of ham fisted drummers in the past 50+ years, but luckily for me I was the guy making the final choices and none of them ever made it past the auditions. Every time I see a ham fisted drummer I'm reminded of a tin wind up monkey and it's drum. One speed, no touch, feel or emotion conveyed through their instrument. Just the same sound at the same volume every time you wind it up.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 19, 2016, 05:42:09 pm
I saw DP was during their Mk 2 reunion tour in 1984 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD.  One of the best concerts to this day.

I also saw them in 1984 - at Knebworth.

EDIT: It was 1985!


Steve.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tom Roche on April 19, 2016, 07:01:02 pm
I also saw them in 1984 - at Knebworth.

EDIT: It was 1985!


Steve.

I believe you're correct on the year.  August 85 for the show I saw.  I'll check my ticket stub to be sure.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 19, 2016, 07:34:53 pm
My gig last Saturday. Shriners ball. Lots of older folks. We furnished all backline.  The band was very good, not loud at all. Big harmony vocals. Fun to work with. Mix of country, swing and classic rock.

That '65 Fender Super Reverb on stage sounded very good, even at low volume. Drummer was in the pocket and under control. Bass was perfect.  NO issues. Real Pros.

So...it can be done.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Rob Spence on April 19, 2016, 09:38:28 pm
One of the best gigs I had was when the gtr player asked me if it would be ok for him to put his amp next to the wedge on tilt back legs and could I mic it?

Very pleasant evening 😎

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeremy Young on April 19, 2016, 10:19:18 pm
This thread is great!  Lol. 

I got into sound after being a guitar player for 10 years.  Stage volume was always something our band took seriously (keeping it low to keep the mains in control of the mix).  I built a tube head with a licensed version of the "power scale" circuit developed by London Power.  30w cathode bias head, dialed back to about 7w and then cranked.....it got all that power-tube compression I wanted without the ear bleeding.  Got to open for Big Wreck in an 800-seat theatre with that rig before our band imploded; got lots of positive feedback after the show about my tone (and people going to see Ian Thornley know tone).

My strategies for your issue, now that I'm on the other side of the board:
1. Ask the guitar player to turn down, offer more monitor (only if they turn it down, not if they "pretend" to turn it down)
2. Ask them to turn the amp toward the back wall (with a closed back cabinet).  I find turning it to the side just creates problems for vocalists being able to hear their monitor who might now have a guitar amp in their ear.
3. If they don't heed the instructions, strike the guitar mic while muttering something along the lines of "well I guess we don't need this anymore"
4. Remind them that if people can't talk, they can't pick up dates or order drinks (bar venue application) and won't come to the next "big gig"
5. Realize they're paying me, set up some delays like you suggested with a separate mix, take a breathe and do the best you can with the sh*t they're feeding you.  Don't accept future work (if possible). 
6.  If it's a wedding and it's the groom, do nothing.  It's his day after all.

 :)
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Gordon Brinton on April 19, 2016, 11:12:16 pm
...BTW, no one ever did answer my question about whether the amp shields are effective? Should I invest or just stop taking these gigs?

The band that I work for regularly, uses a shield in front his amp, (I think it's a little JVM combo that sits on the floor behind him). Anyway, it works very well for the house mix. It reduces beaming and I can blend him much easier. He also wants guitar in his floor wedge to supplement. However, he complains that it sounds phasey to him where he stands. I suppose that the shield shoots the sound upward which reflects off the ceiling and back to him, (probably causing comb filtering against the monitor). He says that his guitar sounds very different with every step that he takes in any direction.

Thus, worse for him, better for the mix.

EDIT: I wouldn't invest in one just yet. Instead, make one home-made using something either rigid or absorbent as a test to see if you like it.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tim Padrick on April 20, 2016, 01:15:43 am
The amps start to come alive when they are loud. One full stack requires earplugs when on 4. That little gain insert I bought drives the EL34 tubes hard at low volume and I can get the loud tone on it at very low volume.

Sorry, but that is not what's happening.  The signal level into the grids of the EL34s (or other output tube type) is directly related to the signal level out of the speaker jack.  This the case with any amp I'm aware of.  In the 1983 2205 for instance, the FX return drives V3b, which drives the phase inverter (V5a and V5B), which drives the master volume control, which drives the power tubes.  The distortion you are getting (at reasonable volume levels) is from V3b and/or V5.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 20, 2016, 03:06:04 am
Correct.  The only way to drive the EL34s hard at low volume is with attenuation between the output and the speaker. What you are doing is overdriving the preamplifier valve before the volume control.

Vox have an amp with a different approach.  They use the two triodes of an ECC83/12AX7 in a push pull configuration driving a small transformer.  Probably equivalent to a 0.5w output stage.  The output of this stage is then amplified to make it louder.  The advantage is that the overdrive comes from a push pull stage with a transformer but at low level.


Steve.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Stephen Kirby on April 20, 2016, 03:09:30 am
Steve,
For general purpose use when needed I use a single piece of 1/8" Lexan in front of any of my amps including my Super Reverbs, Deluxe Reverbs, and Twin Reverbs. The stand is a slotted piece of 3/4" pine. Total cost was about $10. This is something anyone who cares, or who wants to pull their head out of their ass can do. >>snip<<
Bob, mine is just a couple of pieces of 1/4 Lexan with clear tape acting as a hinge.  The tape is the stuff you use to repair plastic inflatable mattresses and the like.  Also something anyone can do.  Around here we have a company called Tap Plastics but I'm sure there are plastics suppliers in any locale.  You can even get the stuff from Home Depot.  Now I fire polished the edges because I know how to do that.  But a little hand grease and sandpaper and anyone can round off the sharp edges.

I kind of like the 2 panel V shape as it doesn't have a flat reflective surface in front of the speaker.  As I said, it funnels the sound up to me pretty nicely.  Daniels rig with the 3 panel arrangement of one large panel and a couple of wings sound more "over there" to me.  It has a nice sound and is playable but less immediate sounding than my "V" shield.  Which may matter to someone who's used to hearing themselves head and shoulders over everything else.

Which is really where this comes from.  Most of these folks are used to playing on their own and only hearing their own instrument.  They get into a band and lose the sense of hearing themselves with all the competing noise.  Often other instruments mask certain frequency ranges the bedroom player is used to hearing from their rig.  All this leads to them turning up to get that familiar experience.  These same players also rarely play arrangements and often the whole band is composed of people trying to play the whole song by themselves.  As they do at home.  Which creates even more of a muddy mishmosh and they all try to turn up to hear themselves.

Or they read somewhere that their hero used a 1969 Super Lead and think that they have to use one too, even though their hero was trying to fill up the Avalon and they at at Joe's corner bar.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Ned Ward on April 20, 2016, 10:24:24 am
Stephen - i know where I'm going in 2 weeks when I'm back up in San Mateo - there's a TAP plastics right there in town. On yours, is the clear tape flexible enough to fold on itself?

Also Bob and Stephen - with the plexi shield, does that work only if you have monitors for the rest of the band, or is there still enough guitar for the rest of the band? We have some guest members for whom this could be great.  And yes Stephen, agree that there is a leap from playing at home to playing in a band - you've got to become a better listener, and in some cases that means turning down so you can hear what others are doing.

As for heroes, yep, I love the sound of Pete's 60's - 80's live Hiwatt rig, but today that isn't a bar rig, club rig, or even a county fair rig now. Surprisingly (maybe because of tinnitus), his current onstage amps aren't that loud - look at the volume settings down the page:
http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/gear/guitar/fendervibroking.html
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: David Scoville on April 20, 2016, 03:11:29 pm
 8)
   Congratulations !!!
    This has got to be a contender for one of the most highly swayed/swerved threads ever!
    That said there are lots of valid points made here from all sides of the question at hand.
   I do find though that some who maybe cross lines by discounting to downright berating others experiences and ideas remember the differences between acrylic shielding and glass houses  ;)
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 20, 2016, 04:23:26 pm
My gig last Saturday. Shriners ball. Lots of older folks. We furnished all backline.  The band was very good, not loud at all. Big harmony vocals. Fun to work with. Mix of country, swing and classic rock.

That '65 Fender Super Reverb on stage sounded very good, even at low volume. Drummer was in the pocket and under control. Bass was perfect.  NO issues. Real Pros.

So...it can be done.

Jamin,

That has got to be one of the cleanest stages I've ever seen.  Doesn't even look like you have enough cables.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Stephen Kirby on April 20, 2016, 11:59:46 pm
Stephen - i know where I'm going in 2 weeks when I'm back up in San Mateo - there's a TAP plastics right there in town. On yours, is the clear tape flexible enough to fold on itself?

Also Bob and Stephen - with the plexi shield, does that work only if you have monitors for the rest of the band, or is there still enough guitar for the rest of the band? We have some guest members for whom this could be great.  And yes Stephen, agree that there is a leap from playing at home to playing in a band - you've got to become a better listener, and in some cases that means turning down so you can hear what others are doing.

As for heroes, yep, I love the sound of Pete's 60's - 80's live Hiwatt rig, but today that isn't a bar rig, club rig, or even a county fair rig now. Surprisingly (maybe because of tinnitus), his current onstage amps aren't that loud - look at the volume settings down the page:
http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/gear/guitar/fendervibroking.html
Ned, on the tape hinge; I put it across on one side and then folded the two pieces flat and put another piece on the other side, which when I opened it up I pushed into the gap so that the hinge is on the same plane as the other side.  Hope that makes sense.
For extreme volume you have to put it fairly close to the cab to knock it down.  If the level is moderate then it can be further away and the sound spreads more.  Other folks on a quiet stage will definitely hear.  It doesn't drop the level as much as it just keeps it from killing the front row.  And if the cab is open in back the stage will get that.
I did a gig at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz with an acoustic piano, horns and a good jazz drummer with light hands.  I was stuck standing almost on top of my amp behind the horns.  I could hear myself as if I was 20' in front of it and the soundperson came up at sound check and put a mic in front of it.  This was a 100W Fuchs ODS with a 1-12 oval open back cab with a 103dB efficient speaker.  In other words, capable of making some noise.  I operate on the premiss that when comping if I can hear myself clearly, it's too loud.  But when soloing, it should be the dominant voice and I shouldn't have to beat the instrument to hear myself.  I want to be able to put dynamic expression into a solo which means not every note is at the same level.  So some headroom is needed.  The other part of playing this way is that it's not a constant stream of noise either.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 22, 2016, 02:08:03 am
I don't need to come over to your house. I've seen more than my share of ham fisted drummers in the past 50+ years, but luckily for me I was the guy making the final choices and none of them ever made it past the auditions. Every time I see a ham fisted drummer I'm reminded of a tin wind up monkey and it's drum. One speed, no touch, feel or emotion conveyed through their instrument. Just the same sound at the same volume every time you wind it up.
I'm not a ham fisted drummer. You are wrong about me and your ego is os HUGE that your meekness has been swallowed up by it. You are closed minded and I dont give hoot who you are or how long you have been doing sound nobody knows it all and I can PROVE what I posted, yes I can PROVE it and you cannot officially disprove something you have not investigated. I also have MANY musicians that will tell you I play with feel and emotion, I'm not super fast or a basher. Btw I play Paiste 2002 cymbals that most people break, I never broke one, that outta tell you something. Maybe you have ham lobed ears.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 22, 2016, 02:15:13 am
Great tone played at the wrong volume....is still the wrong volume
Thats true !
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jeff Bankston on April 22, 2016, 02:31:33 am
Bars/small clubs providing e-drums and small guitar amps to counter musician inability to play at appropriate levels reminds me of churches resorting to shields/enclosures for drummers who play too loud.  It's a Band-Aid that doesn't address the actual problem.
It will solve the problem. Are you willing to teach all the drummers you encounter how to play softer ? All the churches I was ever in that had drums had an electronic drum set.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Bob Leonard on April 22, 2016, 06:46:17 am
I'm not a ham fisted drummer. You are wrong about me and your ego is os HUGE that your meekness has been swallowed up by it. You are closed minded and I dont give hoot who you are or how long you have been doing sound nobody knows it all and I can PROVE what I posted, yes I can PROVE it and you cannot officially disprove something you have not investigated. I also have MANY musicians that will tell you I play with feel and emotion, I'm not super fast or a basher. Btw I play Paiste 2002 cymbals that most people break, I never broke one, that outta tell you something. Maybe you have ham lobed ears.


You've said over and over you have to play/hit drums hard for them to sound good. How's that work out for you playing a song like "Misty" or "Dark end of the street". I have no ego Jeff, and that's what's help through all these years. All those people who have given constructive criticism, and me listening to them. Playing drums hard all the time for the purpose of supposed tone is the equal to setting an amp on 10 in every club or venue played. No feel, no touch, just a crutch. 
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jay Barracato on April 22, 2016, 07:34:08 am

You've said over and over you have to play/hit drums hard for them to sound good. How's that work out for you playing a song like "Misty" or "Dark end of the street". I have no ego Jeff, and that's what's help through all these years. All those people who have given constructive criticism, and me listening to them. Playing drums hard all the time for the purpose of supposed tone is the equal to setting an amp on 10 in every club or venue played. No feel, no touch, just a crutch.

Submitted without comment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X4o8Sht5Ww (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X4o8Sht5Ww)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9dY6FM9mVM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9dY6FM9mVM)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiXLIwr7xxg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiXLIwr7xxg)

Ok I will comment. I have a recording of Dom on one of my computers that has a 30 db swell in it. A 30db change in dynamics just through stick control.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Jamin Lynch on April 22, 2016, 08:55:43 am
I find it a bit ironic that the most of the guitar amps mentioned here are older amps that the "older guys" have been getting good tone out of at lower volumes for decades.

It seems these days the "young kids" can't to get good tone from those same amps unless cranked up.

What changed?  ::)
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Josh Millward on April 22, 2016, 10:12:17 am
I find it a bit ironic that the most of the guitar amps mentioned here are older amps that the "older guys" have been getting good tone out of at lower volumes for decades.

It seems these days the "young kids" can't to get good tone from those same amps unless cranked up.

What changed?  ::)

Chops.

The old guys got it, the young guys don't.

Keep working on it, young guys. You'll get there eventually. ;-)

To that end, it is also worth noting that the Reaper has also recently claimed guitar greats Bob Saxton and Lonnie Mack.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Rob Gow on April 22, 2016, 11:04:48 am
you have to play for the room, play as a band, and use the proper tools. Most gigs I use a 1984 100W JCM800 into a 212 cabinet. I get my overdrive from a pedal so I don't  have to nut the amp. (Thank god) I get a decent sound in front of the stage, and let the PA fill the room. There's been other smaller gigs where I use a 30W Vox something or other, a practice amp really and it works out fine. 2 channels, and then I use the volume knob on the guitar for leads etc.

If I need more me, then I put more me in the monitor. Working together to keep stage levels reasonable always helps out the front end. Even though I'm not balls out in volume I can still get some of that sweet marshall feedback when needed. In the band I understand that it's not lead guitar all the time. Most times you sit in the mix until it's time to take a lead. Vocals are always king.



Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Ned Ward on April 22, 2016, 12:44:59 pm
Rob - yep, pedals are the key to getting sounds other than clean at acceptable volume levels. My Fenders are all pretty clean, and I have 4 main pedals to get different sounds:
Barber Direct Drive - crunch
Paul Cochrane Timmy - Dirt on its own, lead paired with the Direct Drive
Keeley Fuzz head - fuzz lead paired with direct drive
Xotic EP Boost - paired with a delay for a slapback lead

With all of these, once the clean volume is set, I'll work to ensure the dirt and crunch tones are at the same level with the lead sounds not much louder, but enough to be the lead voice during solos.

Is my Barber Direct Drive the same tone as an overdriven amp? Probably not, but I like the sound, and like that I can have it at the volume needed for the gig. As I mentioned before, tilt-back legs and or a tilt-back amp stand for smaller amps really helps too.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Bob Leonard on April 22, 2016, 02:56:40 pm
+1 for Mr. Ned.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: David Buckley on April 22, 2016, 04:47:05 pm
The old guys got it, the young guys don't.
Many of the young guys understand that a guitar amp is actually far more trouble than its worth, and use modelers.  Many modern bands have no amps on stage at all.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 22, 2016, 05:09:05 pm
Many of the young guys understand that a guitar amp is actually far more trouble than its worth, and use modelers.  Many modern bands have no amps on stage at all.

And many of them have "tone" that requires pass band EQ.  The amount of LF/HF present is simply stunning (and not in a good way).
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Ned Ward on April 22, 2016, 08:16:28 pm
David - while some of the pop bands (Katie Perry, etc.) guitar players are using Kempers or Fractal Audio or the Eleven Rack, there are still some of the "young guys" like Plain White T's rocking amps - but through a Palmer PDI-03 load box/speaker simulator. Depends on what kind of a sound you're looking for. Cookie Monster Metal? Great, get a modeler. Rock? Amp.

Tim - it wasn't until I got the free Blue Cat Frequency Analyzer plug in that I started finding horrible amounts of LF and HF in modeled guitar amps, some of my older synths, etc. Not so much from an e906 in front of a guitar cab.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 22, 2016, 10:43:55 pm
David - while some of the pop bands (Katie Perry, etc.) guitar players are using Kempers or Fractal Audio or the Eleven Rack, there are still some of the "young guys" like Plain White T's rocking amps - but through a Palmer PDI-03 load box/speaker simulator. Depends on what kind of a sound you're looking for. Cookie Monster Metal? Great, get a modeler. Rock? Amp.

Tim - it wasn't until I got the free Blue Cat Frequency Analyzer plug in that I started finding horrible amounts of LF and HF in modeled guitar amps, some of my older synths, etc. Not so much from an e906 in front of a guitar cab.

Some of the HF is plainly audible with a mic in front of whatever gtr amp they're using for on-stage presence.  They can't hear the >2kHz stuff coming off the cone because it's beaming right past their knees.  The amount of buzzing bees harmonics is astounding.  Some of the players have mic'd the amp or listened to the line out with headphones and tweaked stuff and those are the most natural sounding of the models.  The stock settings seem to be the primary issue, esp when used with "typical" (unmodeled) guitar tone settings on their stage amp.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: John Penkala on April 23, 2016, 12:37:47 am
Some of the HF is plainly audible with a mic in front of whatever gtr amp they're using for on-stage presence.  They can't hear the >2kHz stuff coming off the cone because it's beaming right past their knees.  The amount of buzzing bees harmonics is astounding.  Some of the players have mic'd the amp or listened to the line out with headphones and tweaked stuff and those are the most natural sounding of the models.  The stock settings seem to be the primary issue, esp when used with "typical" (unmodeled) guitar tone settings on their stage amp.

+1

I often high pass and low pass guitars for this exact reason.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Scott Olewiler on April 23, 2016, 02:29:53 am
One other issue I had at this gig was that none of these guys could control the guitar feeding back thru their amps. I recorded the entire event and hardly any of the tracks are usable for this single reason. Even if I remove the squealing from the guitar tracks digitally it still appears as background on other tracks.  As a guitarist, I enjoy a little controlled feedback as much as the next guy but I would think that if my guitar squealed every time i turned the wrong way I would just turn the F**k down!

I did manage to savage this song so far. I need to remix this a bit more but you can hear I did have some talent in the headliner:

http://4thstreetsoundrental.com/Kasper_FeelYourLove.wav

Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Ned Ward on April 23, 2016, 12:48:19 pm
Scott - listened to some of your other sound samples on your site - nice.

From what I'm hearing on this VH cover (besides timing issues) is pinch harmonics and not runaway feedback. With the gain settings dimed on their amps (what it sounds like - gain all the way up, no mids, no master) it's setting the amp up for feedback. If you could, it would be interesting to hear some before and after snippets of the guitars alone panned L-R to see what you had to deal with.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Dave Dermont on April 23, 2016, 07:54:56 pm
We need to separate the fact from the fiction here.

First of all, if you are Stevie Ray, or Angus, or Eric, you can play as loud as you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. Those not on the "10 Best Of all Time" list need to get a clue.

There is a difference between "I need my tone" and "I love to swim in audio".

...and another thing

The same drum hit with the same force with the same stick will produce the same energy, no matter what room you are in. A difference in room size and how live/dead that room is will change how that energy is perceived by your ear.

Once upon a time, I did a gig in a brick and glass room where the largest dimension was the 60 foot ceiling. After sound check, I told the drummer, "The drums sound good, but everything sounds like -When The Levee Breaks-".

Listen, if you have been playing a musical instrument since the 60s and still have no understanding of dynamics, that's your damn problem, not mine.

Getting back to the original post...

You say it was a packed house, so that's good. You want to make it better. That's good too.

Just moving the mix position and not adding delay stacks will not keep the front of the room from being crushed with guitar. It will also likely put you past the critical distance where you are hearing more reflected than direct PA sound.

Are delay stacks for a bar gig worth the effort?
Will they really help, or will they just make it so everyone is equally crushed with guitar?
Is the house packed because these people love being crushed with guitar?

Only you can answer these questions.

Players who bring people through the door deserve special dispensation. Even local guitar gods.

We are not hired to be critics. We are hired to do gigs to the best of our ability.

Have fun. Thanks for caring.



Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: David Buckley on April 23, 2016, 09:00:46 pm
Tim - it wasn't until I got the free Blue Cat Frequency Analyzer plug in that I started finding horrible amounts of LF and HF in modeled guitar amps, some of my older synths, etc. Not so much from an e906 in front of a guitar cab.

There certainly is, but the same is true if one has a DI off a guitar amp speaker, the sound is all sizzle.  And its sizzle that cant be fixed with normal EQ, it needs LPF or a crossover band applying to tame the mess.  A guitar amp speaker is not a full range device.

And I'm a big fan of power droppers, like the Palmer, or just home made out of a bunch of resistors; its not perfect, but its good enough.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Guy Luckert on April 24, 2016, 06:37:38 am
I am a fan of a miked tweed Deluxe-lack of headroom is a beautiful thing.

sound good-not loud

mike it
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 25, 2016, 02:45:14 am
I am a fan of a miked tweed Deluxe-lack of headroom is a beautiful thing.

sound good-not loud

mike it

That would work for me.  I play rockabilly rather than rock, but I like just enough volume for a hollow body guitar to be just on the edge of feedback for a bit of amp to guitar interaction.  I can do this with a 17w amp using two EL84s.  No more is required.


Steve.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: john lutz on April 25, 2016, 10:58:23 am
A sub category of too loud guitars seems to be the clean vs. overdrive sounds.  Why do so many players who suffer from too loud for the stage, also have their clean or rhythm sound so much louder than the lead or drive sound?
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Tim McCulloch on April 25, 2016, 11:01:42 am
A sub category of too loud guitars seems to be the clean vs. overdrive sounds.  Why do so many players who suffer from too loud for the stage, also have their clean or rhythm sound so much louder than the lead or drive sound?

More to the point - how can they not tell the levels are radically different?  Why are they not offended?  Because they stop when they find the majik voodoo tone.  Growth of technique and musicianship then congeals like yesterday's gravy.
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Bob Leonard on April 25, 2016, 11:20:59 am
Today I found a video that illustrates this discussion very well. More than just guitar, but also a good view of shielding, monitor placement and technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObJCtCmmi7w&nohtml5=False
Title: Re: Loud Guitar Amps
Post by: Stephen Kirby on April 25, 2016, 01:48:09 pm
A sub category of too loud guitars seems to be the clean vs. overdrive sounds.  Why do so many players who suffer from too loud for the stage, also have their clean or rhythm sound so much louder than the lead or drive sound?
That's because the overdrive compresses and the clean doesn't.  So what might initially sound like similar levels played gently turns into the clean being much louder once they start playing.  Especially folks who play with tons of gain which makes anything they do sound pretty much the same.

I remember having a conversation with the CTO of a company that made a specialized computer for running music plug-ins and models.  His opinion was that most modelers had nowhere near enough resolution to deal with the artifacts of digital distortion models and that much of the buzz was aliasing that even rolling everything above 5k off with a speaker emulator plug-in wouldn't cut out.