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  • soundcheck tip

    Sometime after my 2000th soundcheck, I came to a realization about electric guitars.

    When asked to "give me your loudest patch" (to set the input gain), guitarists usually give me their overdriven lead patch. Even though this may SOUND like the loudest patch, It isn't always the case. Anytime an instrument overdrives the amp (or simulation thereof), it's also compressing the signal (a natural occurrence of going past the top peak value of the input stage). A clean tone will almost always be more dynamic. The Overdriven signal may have more AVERAGE volume but to sound as loud, the clean patch will have higher peaks. I now ask them to give me both and with a fast meter (most digital boards), the clean tone will usually require more padding before the board input pre than the louder sounding "lead" patch.

    Just an interesting observation.
    J.R. Previously jrble

    See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

    Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
    If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

  • #2
    That IS an interesting observation. I just assume they're lying and give myself at least 6dB of headroom.
    Last edited by wesg; 12-09-2016, 02:07 PM.
    Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by wesg View Post
      I just assume they're lying and give myself at least 6dB of headroom.

      This!
      .com/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by wesg View Post
        That IS an interesting observation. I just assume they're lying and give myself at least 6dB of headroom.
        Good point. I usually give just a bit of extra headroom as well for when performance adrenaline kicks in. I do however also warn them "If you sand bag me, I will have to trim back the console and it will change your monitor mix". Sometimes it works and sometimes............
        Last edited by Dogoth; 12-09-2016, 09:50 PM.
        J.R. Previously jrble

        See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

        Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
        If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

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        • #5
          As a guitarist I can say the overdrive "no drive" scenario is quite common. Decades ago, when I switched from a mainly clean sound to playing in rock bands, a sound etch kept telling me my dirty sound was quieter than my clean. It took me a while to figure out that a patch that sounds like a herd of elephants can sometimes come through as a lone bunny rabbit. Mid scoops, compression, wrong impressions, can all contribute.

          I usually just ask for a rhythm sound and a solo sound. If they've got it right it's all good. If their lead is quieter than their clean (way too common) I make a note to turn the solos up more than normal.

          These days however, I'm mainly mixing my own band, so I better have it right - otherwise I have a stern talk with myself

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          • #6
            "otherwise I have a stern talk with myself" LOL I was doing sound with a band that I'd worked a lot. They start playing a song and something isn't right. They all started looking at each other when I realized that I had a compressor o the main mix (DJ between sets) that I'd forgotten to turn off. I turned it off and brought my heal up to kick myself in my ass. The band saw it and stopped playing, laughing their butts off. I just raised my hand and shook my head yes. I just look at the lead guitarists rig and adjust accordingly. Gets me about 80% of the way there.
            Last edited by Bugzie; 12-26-2016, 09:49 AM.

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