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Myrthkhzalm
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:25 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:27 am 
 

I play guitar in a death metal band and I've been thinking lately about our the sound in our band practises.

Every time none of us can quite hear everything correctly, be it one member can't be heard or everything sounds like a big mush. We have a ton of solos and some big jazzy chords so it's definitely important to get a good sound to hear all these intricacies. Most of us wear earplugs too (I personally use the Isolate Flare titanium ones which are apparently the best around), which will alter the sound slightly for each member.

What is everyones procedure when it comes to positioning amps (far away, close together, pointing inwards or simulating a live setting), volume, EQ etc? I'm using an EVH 5150 and my other shredder uses a Laney Ironheart. Vocals don't really matter too much as we're mainly going through the music side of new material at the moment, which is also a big reason we all need to hear precisely what's going on with riffs being new to everyone.

Anything is appreciated! I've been big into Blood Incantation recently and after reading that they record live it's got me thinking how they find that sound with the high volume etc.
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Morn Of Solace
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 2214
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:37 pm 
 

Giving specific sound engineering tips at distance it's borderline impossible, other than the usual "don't use too much gain, don't turn the bass knob on 11..." but i can tell you how we did with my old band:

We called a sound technician friend and spent an entire reharsal to find out the correct settings and writing them down.
It was pretty long and frustrating but we never had any problems during reharsals after that, and we became much quicker to set everything up :)

Also: the room is a big factor. Some reharsal rooms are poorly designed and will never sound good :( we changed three before finding a good one

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Element_man
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:37 am
Posts: 991
Location: Vancouver, Canada
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:48 pm 
 

I come from the "set up your space the same way you play live and practice for the performance" school, but my band is probably a lot less technical and a little more barbaric than yours from the sounds of things. I prefer when my PA speakers are placed on the ground like stage monitors, for example.

Tip for guitars: Try setting up your amp on the opposite corner of the room that you stand in. It might sound counter-intuitive, but you will have a much easier time hearing a speaker aimed at you from across the room rather than a speaker that's aimed right behind your knees.
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Cynical
Asshole

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:16 am
Posts: 244
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:13 am 
 

Are you rehearsing for the studio or live shows?

If it's the studio, have your drummer get some practice pads, take out the earplugs, and play at "conversation" level (I know that Ironheart does good enough at that volume for practice purposes -- I have one -- and I've heard the 5150 IIIs are also good low volume amps, so you should be covered there).

If you're practicing for live shows, you need to be used to not being able to hear shit anyways. You're not going to have a good stage sound (or, frankly, a good PA sound either) at most clubs you're going to be playing at if you play metal.
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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 8459
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:57 pm 
 

I've had much easier time hearing my own guitar after doing two things:

1. I use a 2x12'' cabinet, which is very directional. In normal position it's too low on the floor compared to everyone's ear level to be very audible. Turn it on its side, and you'll hear it better higher up where your ears are, but in a narrower space. So we went and got some small pallets, piled them up, and put the cab on top of those.
2. Learned to EQ my amp in a way that really cuts. Incidentally, my tone has improved a million times. How? I think you probably know how.

Raise the speakers from the ground. Experiment. Invest in 4x12'' guitar cabs if you have to, but make sure you get ones with the top row slanted a bit. They're not handy for gigs, but they do have better sound in a room.
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Myrthkhzalm
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:25 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:40 am 
 

Cheers for the reccomendations! We tried everyone super close recently which made it insane for our drummer to follow everything, we'll have a go at pushing the amps way back next time like @Element_man suggested and some more EQ tweaking between me and the other guitarrist. And @Morn Of Solace, since we're doing some demoing soon with our producer I'm going to bring him in to help too probably. I'll report back my findings!
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MawBTS
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:16 am
Posts: 908
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:25 am 
 

These problems are usually more about people than gear. Usually there's someone who has his shit turned too loud and resents being asked to turn down. Hopefully you're good at negotiating.

The trouble with cabs is they're very "beamy". Meaning that high frequencies are more pronounced directly in front of them vs standing to one side. If an amp is dialled so that it sounds great to the guitarist (standing alongside it), it might well be blasting people with ear-piercing treble. There's no cure except to walk around, see how you sound from various positions, etc.

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aloof
avant-gardener

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:18 pm
Posts: 2693
Location: never neverland, palm trees by the sea
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:02 am 
 

dude, if you're trying to hear "everything", you must realize you're sabotaging yourselves by wearing earplugs.

it's not a case of amps and positioning. turn seriously down. work out your "ton of solos and big jazzy chords" sans drums, or even with clean guitars.

if you can afford it, use headphones connected to a mixing desk and adjust the levels from there.

and, I'm not sure how studio wise you are, but when Blood Incantation say they "record live", they don't mean with mics :)

I've had a listen and I like your music, btw.
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Myrthkhzalm
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:25 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:54 pm 
 

One of my other projects we use headphones and remote mixing stations which is brilliant, but that's based in a different location and would be expensive to set up for this band, maybe in the future! I'm goign to also try out low gain and volume in the next practise too, but I will bet it will be a case of the drummer still not beign able to hear anything again! @aloof sound! glad you dig it :)
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