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Guiterrorizer
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15,696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Teddy's MV25 thread got me thinking, since Cassidy brought up rehearsal versus gig volume:

do you find you have to turn down for gigs?

I don't know the exact science behind why rehearsals (usually in a much smaller sized room ;)) are louder than the shows bands play, but in my (somewhat limited) experience this seems to be the case.

I'm curious to hear everyone's experiences, given that some of you have been gigging for as long as I've been playing, and potential differences due to region (Lee vs. Sean etc.).

And go!
 

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Retarded P.A Overlord.
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14,248 Posts
Nope. I tend to use the same volume regardless. It means I can still hear my amp over the drummer and I'm not relying on monitoring for myself. I never get my master volume above 9:30 anyways :lol:
 

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Premium Member
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3,391 Posts
All depends on the venue for me. I've played a few where the PA isn't up to much so we have to rely mostly on the amps volume at that point. That's where the amp starts to pushed to volume levels that it almost never sits at.

However more often than not, we tend to be at either similar, or slightly less at gigs than at rehearsals. The reason is we never mike up in rehearsals, and the drums are usually facing towards us. Compare that to a gig where either the amp is often closer than the drummer, monitors in front, etc.

Also, I tend to work on the basis that I need to be able to hear what I'm doing in rehearsals as its to practice and get parts right. When we gig, if I haven't got the levels quite right, so be it. As long as I can keep in time, that's what matters. I still play better when I can hear and feel the amp, but its nowhere near as necessary for me to hear it clear as day compared to a rehearsal.

While I'm not sure I could ever get away with going direct and running a "silent stage" (too much in the hand of venues and sound guys, I won't take chances on that), I think I could easily get away with a Mark V:25 and not have any issues.
 

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...
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Mostly keep it the same, maybe turn down a bit if the PA is solid so we can get a better FOH and monitor mix. I think the biggest reason is that live you can get farther from your amp and hear it better, while in most jam spaces it's just firing at your knees.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We just played in Montreal, and we were asked to turn down. I went down about a notch and change (non MV), and struggled to hear my clean parts - the driven sections were fine. I could hear everything else quite clearly. After our set, our vocalist/other guitarist said he couldn't really hear much of anything. I was stage right and he was center, in front of the drums. I did end up turning up a bit by the end as I couldn't hear myself and needed to be 100% sure I was in tune for the upcoming part. The soundman didn't mic the guitars, but we had the bass, kick and vocals in the PA.
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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I've been asked to turn down. I just walk over to the amp and either pretend to, or turn it up.
There's almost never enough guitar in live mixes as far as I'm concerned.
But those were the days....
When I gave a fuck about playing out or being in a band.
 

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Singlecoil fetishist
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68 Posts
Always, although being a direct guy I get all my monitoring from wedges so as little volume as possible makes everybody else happier, but me :) Nowadays I usually get very little at all because the rest of the band have moulded ear plugs whereas mine are the cheaper industrial ones that are way quieter, so I can't turn up very loud before the other guys start complaining. Between all this I've just accepted the fact that I don't get to hear shit when we play so I just put on giant fret markers and roll with it like a deaf guy.
 

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Premium Member
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8,188 Posts
I usually run at about 2/3 of my rehearsal volume. Sometimes less. When we soundcheck, I usually start lower that what I think I'll need and turn up as the sound guy directs. Sound guys generally tend to be pretty cranky and I try my best not to piss them off anymore than the other bands on the bill do. :lol: The main rule that I follow is to just make sure my rig is not pointed directly at FOH. And also, if the sound guy does a great job for you, tip them! They remember that shit.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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15,696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't budget for tipping sound guys in my tour savings :lol: :ugh:

I'll have to remember the don't-point-at-FOH though, that's smart. I think I was aimed at him at our last gig :lol:.

There's a venue in Toronto (Sneaky Dee's) that we've played a few times, and I always get to run band practice volume. Oddly enough, we get compliments on how big we sound, and we always have a ton of fun.

Just going from responses, it does seem like for the most part we have to turn down for gigs.
 

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Yeah, at the very least, be sure to thank the soundguy. :D

Depending on the stage/and any pre-backline set-up, I've even gone as far as to side-fire my amp across the stage but again, make sure you're not pointing right at monitor world either. :lol:
 

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Forum MVP
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Back when I was in the band we used to practice in a very small room compared to playing outside behind a bar or in a larger room so the smaller room seemed very loud compared to when we played outside, if anything the volume went up.
 

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My biggest fear is not being able to hear myself live. That's why I want in ear monitoring so badly. I've also never played a show so... Could just be that once I test the waters I'll sleep tight.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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15,696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Donnie, I think volume-wise we are a soundman's worst nightmare :lol:

We've met some very cool people who helped us sound great though, and that's always a pleasure.

Teddy, play a bunch of shows and then see how you feel. Also keep in mind that it's the headliner that gets the best mix, and you kinda deal with what you get to an extent.
 

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Premium Member
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I've been asked to turn down. I just walk over to the amp and either pretend to, or turn it up.
There's almost never enough guitar in live mixes as far as I'm concerned.
But those were the days....
When I gave a fuck about playing out or being in a band.
If you gave a fuck about having guitar in the mix, then you'd turn it down. Being too loud on stage isn't about being heard in the mix, it's about not fucking up all the other mics on the stage :lol:. If you're too loud, you're fucking up the sound of the entire band, because they'll need to adjust other mics accordingly so they don't feedback everytime song dynamics change.

IE, you're doing the exact wrong thing and you're pissed off at the result that is directly caused by you doing said wrong thing.

:lol:

:wub:
 

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Retarded P.A Overlord.
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14,248 Posts
fucking never.

we all bring enough amp to kill a pa so we tend to mic vocals and the drums, the rest of us just know our place.
This is possibly the most retarded thing I'll read today, it's only just tipped 8am, and I deal with retards who don't know power switches from mice all day.
 

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Premium Member
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My biggest fear is not being able to hear myself live. That's why I want in ear monitoring so badly. I've also never played a show so... Could just be that once I test the waters I'll sleep tight.
Yeah, actually play live before you do that. Having to rely on IEMs as a crutch (what happens if they break and you can't afford to replace them, do you cancel all future shows until you save up?) is a daft idea. Use them when you know what you want.
 

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I didnt really think about it to be honest. I set my levels depending on the venue/PA etc. Id probably say that I was quieter for gigs more often than not but I dont think it was a choice it just ended up that way.
 

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I am Groot
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32,450 Posts
I've been asked to turn down. I just walk over to the amp and either pretend to, or turn it up.
There's almost never enough guitar in live mixes as far as I'm concerned.
This. In the last three or four years, I've noticed a whole bunch of hipster bass/drum soundmen who seem to hate guitar. I remember playing some shithole in Richmond where the guy was burying the guitars all day. When we were setting up, he kept whining about the volume of the guitar amps, and finally told us, "If you don't turn down your amp, I'm taking it out of the PA!" Fine, my amp says Mesa on it, up she goes. :lol:
 

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I am Groot
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32,450 Posts
This is possibly the most retarded thing I'll read today, it's only just tipped 8am, and I deal with retards who don't know power switches from mice all day.
He's not retarded if he's used to dealing with soundmen who don't understand what a metal band is supposed to sound like. There's no point trying to work with one of those morons, you just bury them and let them ride the vocal fader all night.

There is a very clear difference between assholes cranking amp to feel their hair move, and walking out front with your wireless and making sure your amp levels balance because the soundman is too stupid to do it.
 
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