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hey guys, a very naive question that I should've answered a long long time ago. Mostly a guitar question but it does involve the others too. I play in a cover band sometimes for money... Live Karaoke to be exact. it is a standard drums, bass, two electrics and keys set up. I'm one of the guitarists. We have a terrible time getting a good mix from song to song. Part of the problem is we are playing a variety of styles but also we trade off who is rhythm and who is lead guitar. One song sounds good, one, not so much. Any tips or suggestions for getting a really good overall sound w/o having to remix every song? We don't use presets and can't afford set ups like the Edge, this is a fun, once in a while thing that would be way more fun if we could solve this issue.

My heart tells me that I personally should have three options for levels (NOOOO MORE) , and maybe only two. One: nice rhythm sound, with mids, not overly bright or dark, flush in the middle. Two, same level but slightly brighter for lead parts and Three, a sound similar to two but with a bit more overall volume for solos or big hooks. Is a boost part of my answer? I have one but have yet to use it effectively.

I use a Fender Deluxe Reverb 65 ressue, usually around 5 on the volume, treble at 5-6 and bass anywhere from 1-3 or 4 depending, my guitar is a Sheraton ii which tends to sound muddy and too dark on the neck pickup but good on the other two... for example ... Rebel Rebel and Bang a Gong I go on the bridge pick up with a bit of delay and crunch, Sweet Child of Mine and I wanna be your dog, I go on the neck pickup with some distortion... the middle p/u I usually use sparingly for more modern rhythmic parts.

PEDALS: boss tuner - rothwell love squeeze compressor - TS808 overdrive - Boss DD3 - MXR stereo chorus (daisy chained)

Any tips would be greatly appreciated

Thanks guys.
 

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What's the difference between 'lead parts' and 'solos'? Same thing to me.

I have three basic sounds. Clean rhythm and crunchy rhythm, which are the same level, and lead/solo, which is a bit louder. Obviously, the tone of the three sounds vary, and I have different ways of getting there - 3 channel amp, 2 channel amp with a couple pedals, one channel amp with more pedals. I often have a clean lead tone and a distorted lead tone (Mesa's solo footswitch is great for this).

Both guitars should be the same level. You should sound slightly loud to yourself but not to everyone else - so should the other guitarist and keyboard player. That is a delicate balance and sometimes not easy to achieve. Mixing on stage takes some practice. Hint: the laws of physics are your friend and can not be overruled. Point your amp at you (specifically, your ears) and be closer to it than anyone else is.
 

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I play essentially the same rig for the same gig.

I use either a Tele or a 335 into my 1x15 Super reverb, with 2 or 3 drive/boost pedals and a compressor and delay. Sometimes a wah too. That allows me to blend into a variety of styles.

I've found the best way to keep a good mix is to keep my pedals close to unity gain, with the exception of my boost and my compressor. I roll my volume off for rhythm guitar, and roll on for leads and solos. If I'm not cutting through I have the boost to bring me up. The compressor is used for country solo boost.
 

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In sound check make sure each player hits the strings with the same strength that they will use when actually playing the song. Otherwise it's very misleading.
 

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Good point, Kerry. Recording from where the audience would be (getting their perspective). It's also useful to hear what you are really playing like, as 'in the moment' that is harder to evaluate.

I play essentially the same rig for the same gig.

I use either a Tele or a 335 into my 1x15 Super reverb, with 2 or 3 drive/boost pedals and a compressor and delay. Sometimes a wah too. That allows me to blend into a variety of styles.

I've found the best way to keep a good mix is to keep my pedals close to unity gain, with the exception of my boost and my compressor. I roll my volume off for rhythm guitar, and roll on for leads and solos. If I'm not cutting through I have the boost to bring me up. The compressor is used for country solo boost.
That's interesting. I use my boost only to boost and my compressor only to compress. I want compression in some things (some country and rockabilly mostly) for rhythm and the solo parts, so I can't have it boost. I can still boost that compressed signal and make it louder for the solo, if I want.

I also roll the guitar volume up and down but it has a different effect with the clean channel (more volume) and distorted channel (more gain or drive). So it is a delicate balance. I hate getting my crunchy rhythm from a pedal, I prefer using power tubes over transistors when possible. That's why amps with the ability to put out 30 watts on the clean channel but 5 on the crunch channel work well for me.
 

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Good point, Kerry. Recording from where the audience would be (getting their perspective). It's also useful to hear what you a really playing like, as 'in the moment' that is harder to evaluate.



That's interesting. I use my boost only to boost and my compressor only to compress. I want compression in some things (some country and rockabilly mostly) for rhythm and the solo parts, so I can't have it boost. I can still boost that compressed signal and make it louder for the solo, if I want.

I also roll the guitar volume up and down but it has a different effect with the clean channel (more volume) and distorted channel (more gain or drive). So it is a delicate balance. I hate getting my crunchy rhythm from a pedal, I prefer using power tubes over transistors when possible. That's why amps with the ability to put out 30 watts on the clean channel but 5 on the crunch channel work well for me.
If I'm playing any amount of country I'll use my compressor all the time and then use a boost, light OD, or volume knob for the solo.
 
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