Your room makes my awesome amp sound like shit

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Jacksonluvr636, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    :hbang:


    So yeah, I have a drummer who thinks he knows tone :lol:

    I have a VHT UL and it pretty much slays most amps in it's path. At my house it sounds killer. At my friends house it sounds even better.

    I have yet to use this particular amp on stage yet but at practice, in my drummers concrete basement it sounds like complete shit and I can see where he is coming from when he says my amp sucks.

    But he doesn't believe that it is his basement that sucks :wallbash:

    So my question is, how can I get it to sound better? Foam panels on the wall is the only thing I can think of. It is an all concrete basement.
     
  2. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk SS.org Regular

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    Yup, you need some room treatments. And it's probably not just the hard reflective surfaces, it's probably also the shape -- let me guess, is it basically a cube?

    Doesn't even need to be foam -- some absorbent material -- I've got some great carpety wall-hangings on top of fiberglass bass traps...that sort of thing. Even record and book collections work surprisingly well.
     
  3. desmondtencents

    desmondtencents Plays With Wood!

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    And if the room is a "cube" or rectangular with all walls being parallel to their opposite, make sure you don't have the amp backed up flat against a wall. Angle it out one way or the other so the sound isn't bouncing directly back off the opposite wall. You can do your own makeshift bass traps by stacking shit up in the corners too.
    +1 to heavy fabrics or carpets/throw rugs hanging loose in front of walls too. It will help a ton!
     
  4. rick_fears

    rick_fears SS.org Regular

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    When we jam in my basement I move the motorbikes into the corner, roll out a bit of carpet on the floor, and on the wall I put some packing blankets I snagged from a uhual a few years ago. They stick like Velcro to non-painted cinderblocks. Does wonders for the sound. There is only so much you can do though. If its really that bad and nothing is helping much its probably time to start looking for other locations.
     
  5. goldsteinat0r

    goldsteinat0r Zib Zob Zabbity

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    Have you tried like....adjusting your settings?

    I know this is unusual to suggest.

    I can get my rig to sound decent in almost any room but it almost always takes tweaking.
     
  6. Senior

    Senior SS.org Regular

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    This is true, but come on. We are talking about a concrete room. is like telling someone to climb a cactus naked rather than using a ladder because they both get you up there.
     
  7. 7stg

    7stg SS.org Regular

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    Room treatment, it's more common with recording studios but applies for musicians as well. Room treatment will even make a good room better, and that concrete room is really bad acoustically.

    Look up DIY bass traps from Owens Corning 703 4 inch panels. You may need to build some diffusers as well.
     
  8. Lokasenna

    Lokasenna SS.org Regular

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    He's a drummer. Who gives a ....?

    Seriously, start telling him that his snare doesn't have enough ping, his toms are all tuned a semitone high, his china isn't a good match for his crash cymbals, and his kick pedal needs oil because the beater isn't hitting the drum in time. See how long it takes for him to shut up about your tone in his crappy basement.

    Or, you know, invite him over to your place to hear a decent room.
     
  9. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Infidel

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    He's a drummer, what's he know about tone?:lol:

    Look into some room treatment options. Had to do that for the jam room at my drummers house. My amp sounded awful.

    It's a square room with really hard stucco walls and hardwood floors. Every sound reverberated so bad it was unbearable to even play in there for more than 20 minutes until we put up some foam panels.

    Greatly improved the sound, but we're still going to put up some more on the walls and bass traps in the corners. Like others have said eq your amp a bit to fit the room and don't put it flat up against a wall where it's directly facing the opposite wall.

    Good luck.
     
  10. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    Has he heard your amp anywhere else besides rehearsal space?

    It seems silly, to me anyways, just to go acoustically treating a room just because the guitarist's expensive amplifier doesn't sound good in that ONE room. Does he like it at gigs? In your bedroom? Has he heard it at either?

    Amps sound different no matter what room they're in. They're gonna sound different from venue to venue. From gig to gig at the same venue, even. It's the nature of the beast. I say deal with it and make sure it doesn't sound bad where it really counts (recordings/gigs).

    EDIT: "Dealing with it" could mean anything from changing your settings, if you have another head handy maybe give that a try, try a different distortion/od/boost pedal if you use one, really anything that could change your tone and finding some sort of compromise, while using your VHT at gigs and for recordings.
     
  11. Curt

    Curt Djackass

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    an all concrete room is going to be awful acoustically speaking. Definitely take the advice previously stated in this thread. Even if it's just the option of telling your drummer to can it, as obviously it sounds great everywhere else you've used it.
     
  12. Quitty

    Quitty Hates 'mojo'

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    Let me be the devil's advocate here;
    The 'you think you know about tone' approach is not productive - to a band in particular.
    While it's true that a concrete basement is far from ideal, you've got a lot of responsibility in there yourself - to place your amp accordingly, to get your settings right for the room and to aim for a tone that's right for the gig at hand.

    I imagine some of this might seem obvious, but the dude knows what his drumset sounds like down there and that is what your tone gets compared to. Chances are, your amp isn't jiving with the drums the way he imagines them - and that will probably still happen if you put the drumset and your amp in another room.
     
  13. Lokasenna

    Lokasenna SS.org Regular

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    Playing a 412 in a small concrete box is probably going to sound bad regardless of his placement and settings. If the drummer can't get past that, it's his problem.
     
  14. Quitty

    Quitty Hates 'mojo'

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    I beg to differ. Nothing is 'his problem' in a band - if you sound like shit, it's everybody's problem.

    I think the difference between a 4x12 and a drumset in terms of how much they excite a room - for better or worse - aren't in the guitarist's favor here.
    If the drums can be made to sound good, possibly the guitars can as well - and it is worth considering, at the very least.
     
  15. sage

    sage twerk twerk thall

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    There is a $100 solution to this problem: Build some sound panels. Bag of 24" centres R-14 rock wool will run you about $40. You should get 8 in a bag, or 64 square feet. Buy twelve 8' lengths of 1x4 lumber. Cut 16 lengths at 47" and 16 at 24". The rock wool will be 23"x47"x3.5" and will fit right into the frame nicely. Get some fabric that you can breathe through. Staple it around the frame. Leave the backs open or staple some cardboard on them. I put some hinges on 4 pairs to make free standing GoBos, they work really well. But for your purposes, just experiment with placement in the room.

    I can't find any of my pics from building the last set that I put together, but I can take some photos of the ones we have in our space now. They make a huge difference. But so the the carpets we use in the room. Our room is about 12'x15'x9', has concrete floors, drywalled walls and ceiling and one giant walk-in freezer door on one of the short walls. We have a carpet over that and a few bits of eggcrate foam here and there. Amp placement helps. EQing your amp to the room helps. But both of those are far easier to dial in when you address the reflections in the room.
     
  16. Lokasenna

    Lokasenna SS.org Regular

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    This room is their jam space, not a gig. It would be nice to have great sound, but it's hardly a requirement.

    Also, the drummer is hearing his kit from right in the middle, so the concrete is having less of an effect on it (to his ears) than on the half stack across the room, so obviously his kit is going to sound decent to him. We also haven't heard from the OP if anyone else sounds good in the same space from where HE'S standing.
     
  17. JureGolobic

    JureGolobic SS.org Regular

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    amp will usually sound very different form venue to venue also. so u have to get use to it. take you amp to some studio and experiment with mics and mic placements. once u get a good sound mark the spot on a cabinet and i you can, get a box grabbing mic stand. this will insure that (if you have your own mic) you'll get a good sound. nothing is more frustrating than having a cool amp and still sound like shit when you go out to play live. I wont go into the details of how you play is how you sound. i agree whit this 100%, but still pro guys have their cabinets marked.
     

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