Single Guitar Band Live Sound

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by cip 123, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Hey there,

    I'm in a prog metal band which consists of drums, bass, guitar, keys, and vocals. We've done a couple of gigs and the feedback has been pretty good but we're recording our EP just now and I'm just looking at my tone. Since things will be double tracked and with a more solid bass tone, I was trying to go for a more aggressive mid focussed sound. But it made me think about my live sound more.

    Should I use the same tone live, the more aggressive low-mid focussed sound. Or should I have a little more bass since theres only me on guitar, just to fill out more sound?

    Do I make two patches and let the engineer see which works best for the venue?

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Keep it simple. Use whatever is going to work best for your live show. Set it and forget it.

    If you're worried the guitar sounds thin, find a second guitarist.
     
    lewis likes this.
  3. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    depends on tone preference with bass and also what other stuff you have going on live like backing tracks or not.
    I love bass being super snarly and almost more prominent than the guitar so I let the bass do alot of the tone work when playing live.
    where im at currently with my band.
     
  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Seems to me like this should work the other way around- live should just be "your sound", and let the sound guy tweak things for the room/etc., and use the recording session as your opportunity to deep dive into patches. Finding something that fits your mix is not likely to translate to a show environment unless you've fundamentally changed the character of your sound.
     
  5. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    It's been working so far, we've been trying to avoid a second guitarist as it would make things harder for us currently with organisation and band size. It's hard to get stages (in my area) that can easily fit drums, bass, keys, vocalist, and 2 guitars. Cheers always appreciate your input helped me out with my amp thread last time ;)


    We don't use backings we'll have a couple bass drops etc. through the PA. I would love a gnarly bass tone but my bassist is always tight for cash so trying to get them a good rig is a struggle. But it should get a little better as time goes on.

    I'm using the same amp (or profile) for live and recording the recording one is just a bit more mid focussed though it is low mids really growly and aggressive. I was just unsure if I should be using the bass-ier one for live help fill it out with bass.


    I've never really gotten a complaint about our sound being thin, and listening back to videos its sounded pretty thick due to the amount of textures going on. Just looking for input from other live guys of course :)
     
  6. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I know those feels!. Thankfully my newest Bassist already had a Darkglass pedal so we get nasty bass :D
    This is the kind of thing I love, listen to how present that twangy/snarl from the bass is -

     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Wow! Different approaches, I guess, but I would have never thought to have given that advice, not that my opinion counts for any more than yours, obviously...

    As a huge disclaimer, I use a tube amp, and it sounds like the OP is using a modeller, so it's apples and oranges. But, my approach in the home studio is to make everything sound as big as possible, and my approach in someone else's studio is to start with my usual live tone and let the engineer do his thing.

    I've almost always been in one-guitar bands, with a couple exceptions. I enjoy the tightness and roominess of a three-piece. In my first real band, we had a dual lead guitar setup, but were all rather young, and our approach was a bit odd, where sometimes one of us wouldn't play anything, and, eventually, the other guitarist started playing bass, after our first bassist was fired and the second one quit, then we were a three-piece for quite a while. Moving on from there, I only played in one active band after that with another guitarist- that band eventually added a keyboard player and a sax player and then a flute player, and then it was really bloated and a bunch of people quit, and I decided to follow suit. Ox just had guitar/keyboard/drums, and was some of the most fun I've had in a band with the entire melodic soundscape to be explored by only two instruments. It was also nice having three vocalists in the band.

    Anyway, there are tons of advantages in the power trio setup, or power trio + dedicated singer. If things sound thin live, then you need to simply get organized as far as who does what when in order to make sure that the only bald spots in the arrangement are intentional.

    As far as tones go, if you are happy with your live tone, I'd say you are pretty much good to go. If the soundman or the audience complains about your tone, then maybe you are out of touch, but these things can be dialed in with a little time and effort, and it's important. I don't see how adding a second guitarist is ever the answer to a thin mix problem, especially with a keyboardist, but two guitars or three guitars can work.
     
  8. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    One thing I didn't mention in my previous post is this:

    You should be happy with your live tone, but it should also enhance your live sound.

    If there is a tweak to someone's tone that will make the band sound better but you feel that it's not "as good" as your personal choice, IMO suck it up and change those settings. The band should sound like a band, not like 3+ people on a stage. It may be the bass, it may be the keys, it may be the guitars - but you want to sound like a unit.

    It sounds to me like you've checked out your past live shows and from the audience perspective things are pretty good. My next suggestion would be to find a trusted set of ears, bring them to your next show and have them take notes on what changes would help things.

    Best of luck!
     
  9. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I love when a live/band mix come together.
    Jam the guitar alone at gig volume at rehearsal and worry its thin etc but dont touch anything until the drummer sits down and we are all doing a thing and then suddenly.....ah there it is. An awesome sounding mix.
    By themselves, aspects of a mix can sound thin or bad. Everything together and you realise you have setup and eq;d correctly.
     
  10. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Blames it on "the rain"

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    Make the low mid boost patch and play it during sound check, the only thing that would really happen with an increase in bass and low mids will be guitar getting lost in the mix, if that happens, just switch back to your typical live patch.
    The studio sound and the live sound are different animals even with the same patch. The only way to know if it's going to work is to give it a shot. Typically less bass and more mids will cut the best, but there is never a one size fits all solution.
     

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