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Guys who play live: How loud do you play?


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a live venue and the studio are two completely different experiences.

the times I've recorded with a band as a player, we did leave it in the hands of the producer/engineer, that's their job. they know more about recording and mixing an album than I ever will.

in the studio you can get away with making suggestions on a mix because, there's time, you're paying for it, and it's "you're art". ultimately though, I trust the producer/engineer to make the right call if we're suggesting something foolish.

telling a soundman at a gig you want the keys the same volume as the guitars and vocals low in the mix is bordering on ridiculous.

when I do a show, I'm constantly mixing, if it's a keyboard pad that should be in the background, that's where it's going to be, if it's a synth bass line that's should move the earth, it will. keys are dynamic and should be mixed accordingly.

a mix isn't static, you don't set and forget the board, that's not mixing.

when I gig as a bass player, I don't say anything to the soundman, I'm there to play bass.



dude, i completely agree that a good engineer doing their job will dynamically mix a band and of course it's an oversimplification when i say to the soundperson "mix the keys as loud as the guitars". my main point is that regardless of anything else, i don't expect an engineer to know what my band sounds like when we walk in the room. we, as a band know what type of "sound" we are going for and it's up to us to let someone know what we want rather than just blindly trust them.


to me the only thing ridiculous would be if someone running sound was that offended by some very basic direction.

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i play pretty loud most of the time. i try to turn down a little under what i think is perfect, just because i know im gonna always want to turn up. im also the only guitarist in the band at the moment so, i can be a little louder and its ok.


i do, however, play a 50 watt 4x10 amp so its a bummer that i cant turn it up more often. i want to get a smaller amp for smaller venues so i can at least sort of turn up loud.

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