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Please Help: Guitarist Plays Too Loudly


ImADumbAss Mozart

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I'm in a band with a guitarist that refuses to control his stage volume. We're all older folks (30+) that play out in bars. Last night (like on many occasions before), he was so loud that the sound guy pulled him out of the PA.

 

We've talked with him in the past about this. He plays an old Fender 410 tube amp. He says he has to crank it to get "his" sound. It's deafening at times. Last night's gig was really bad because he just wouldn't keep it in check.

 

We've suggested a smaller amp. We've suggested a power brake. We've suggested tilting his amp to shoot at his head. He can keep it in check as our second set was okay. He has a tendency to crank it during the solo and never turn it back down.

 

I would appreciate any suggestions that you folks can offer. After talking with my bandmates last night, the consensus is that he will have to control his volume or find another band. This saddens us all because we really like the guy and are starting to book alot of gigs. I'm just hoping that we can figure out how to help him gain control of his volume.

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THD Hot Plate. If he wants his "sound"
and
control over the volume, this is a great alternative to being reasonable and just using the volume control.
:D
C7

 

+1. That is pretty much exactly what an annetnuator is designed to do. If he doesn't want to shell out the cash right now, at least try to get him to save up for one or something. They aren't that expensive!!!

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THD Hot Plate. If he wants his "sound"
and
control over the volume, this is a great alternative to being reasonable and just using the volume control.
:D
C7

 

We've suggest an attenuator before. We'll do so again.

 

I think part of the problem is that he just can't hear his amp. He's been gigging for 30 years.

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+1. That is pretty much exactly what an annetnuator is designed to do. If he doesn't want to shell out the cash right now, at least try to get him to save up for one or something. They aren't that expensive!!!

 

 

The band will buy him an attenuator. Cash isn't an issue with this guy though.

 

He's an integral part of the band, so just cutting ties after 18 months or so isn't something we want to do though we may have to.

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The band will buy him an attenuator. Cash isn't an issue with this guy though.


He's an integral part of the band, so just cutting ties after 18 months or so isn't something we want to do though we may have to.

 

The attenuator wont flatten him out, so he'll still be able to hear himself. He'll be able to dime his amp, and then turn the overall volume down. If he just plain can't hear himself:

whisper-two-thousandsml.jpg

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We've suggest an attenuator before. We'll do so again.


I think part of the problem is that he just can't hear his amp. He's been gigging for 30 years.

 

 

Ok, he's half deaf. Get him an in ear monitor - any chance any of the attenuators have suitable line level outputs?

 

Edit: yup, the THD has a line out - use it to drive the IEM, and make him use it.

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We've talked with him in the past about this. He plays an old Fender 410 tube amp. He says he has to crank it to get "his" sound. It's deafening at times. Last night's gig was really bad because he just wouldn't keep it in check.


I would appreciate any suggestions that you folks can offer. After talking with my bandmates last night, the consensus is that he will have to control his volume or find another band.

 

 

Look for a new guitarist now, this guy will not ever change his ways. If he was open to your suggestions in the least, he'd have already made an effort long ago, but didn't. You cannot change guys like this, you can only find better musicians, who actually understand the concept of a live mix full band sound. Don't spend money on in ear monitor's for him, just find a better musician and make the band a much better live band.

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I use an old Boss two stage OD/Distortion pedal, but I don't use it BECAUSE of the OD or Distortion. I use it to preset levels.

 

Before that I ran a Chandler Tube Driver for the same reason.

 

Punch it up, punch it down. The on/off function is easier than dialing knobs, and the levels can be set in such a way that that the overall TONE doesn't really change.

 

Hell, I've even used a compressor to do the same thing, when that was all I had.

 

Bottom line is they guy has to WANT to do something about it. There are simply too many solutions.

 

Having soundmen bitch them out is never a bad idea though... At some point a band can't get a 'reputation' and still get soundmen.

 

There's a story about Hendrix when Chas Chandler brought him to England to record Are You Experienced. Jimi refused to turn down and was overdriving all the mics. So the next morning Chas gave Jimi his ticket back to the States.

 

As we all know, Jimi turned down both the tickets and the amp shortly thereafter. He even stayed up all night with the engineer doing the mixdown. This eventually led him to want his own studio (which he did finally create).

 

"When life hands you lemons..."

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Dont listen to this crap about getting rid of him


he is probably half deaf due to playing for so long

buy him an annetunator I have to use one otherwise I would drown everyone out

he needs his own floor monitor dedicated to his guitar both will be a big help.

 

+1. As a guitard myself, I can tell you it's hard for us to hear unless a.) we're standing right in front of the rig (remember kids - in general, bass frequencies are omnidirectional and higher stuff is more unidirectional in nature) or b.) we have a floor monitor to listen to.

 

A Hot Plate's a good idea - in lieu of that, a better quality dirt box may do the job just fine - I used to cheat and do that with a Boogie combo I had because it was so friggin' loud. Did it sound EXACTLY like my amp when it was turned up? Heck no. Was it close enough for government work? You bet. :) My psychobilly buddies that play through Bassman combos go through this all the time; it's hard to get a Bassman to be anything BUT loud and a dirtbox is about the only way to get the tone without turning the thing up to the point where you render all the girls within 20 feet of the stage sterile. Hope this helps.

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A pedal to boost the solo , then back to the norm when the solo is over , a solo should be over the top anyway IMO , or a volume pedal to serve as the same function , or the Jimi trick is to crank the amp but roll the guitar volume back to say 8 til it cleans up then roll it back up for solo's , though this takes practice . Or a low wattage amp that's all the rage these days , helps get the feedback and gain but under 103 db :D Lastly if you have PA guys yelling then next it's the club owner , so if he won't listen to the entire band then kick'em to the curb or he'll be loosing you gigs which case then just kill him , yes that's right one less gitdummy in the world . :thu::p:D:evil:

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a simple and effective attenuator can be built for under 20 bucks (that is for high end expensive components plus shipping from web dealers by the way.)

 

the switch and cap may be omitted if you don't care to have it mix highs back in as you reduce the volume.

 

It's extremely important to make sure the L-PAD exceeds the wattage rating in RMS of the amp. I'd suggest by at least 2x to be on the safe side. Also it's very important to make sure that the ohms rating is correct, just like with a cab make sure it's the same as what the amp it putting out and you're set.

 

L-PAD_atten.jpg

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I think there are two problems here - He wants 'his' tone, which involves the amp being run at volume, but separate to that, he seems to want to be heard properly (or stand out) so he turns up

 

To get his tone, get an attenuator, you can drive the amp as hard as you like and keep a managable volume level.

 

He also should be tilting the amp back or lifting it up off the ground so that the speakers point at his ears. otherwise he blasts his knees when he is next to the amp, and the people further away get the full volume which overpowers everything (which it won't from where he is...) get the speakers pointing at his head, and he hears himself loud and clear where he is, at a managable level elsewhere

 

You just need to explain to him that playing as he is is just unprofessional, if he wants to keep playing gigs and not piss off bandmembers/soundmen/club owners, he needs to sort out the volume issue. Then he either takes steps to fix it, or he leaves, there is no other way about it.

 

David

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In my last band, the lead player used an angled cabinet, like a monitor, but with a guitar speaker in it, pointed directly at him. He could hear himself, didn't have to turn it up to deafening levels, everyone was happy.

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In my last band, the lead player used an angled cabinet, like a monitor, but with a guitar speaker in it, pointed directly at him. He could hear himself, didn't have to turn it up to deafening levels, everyone was happy.

 

that would be a good alternative to a monitor.

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