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Hearing yourself on stage

 
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timmirth



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 11
Location: us

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:21 pm    Post subject: Hearing yourself on stage Reply with quote

Hello Scott,

Thanks for always being awesome on this forum. It is really amazing the time you have put into answering people's questions. Thank you!

To the question

I know I've heard you talk about it before, but searching I'm not finding the answer easily, however, I'm also wondering if you have had any advances in this area. Basically...

How do you hear yourself better on stage?


It seems every gig I play, I'm constantly fighting the ability to hear myself. When I turn up, it just makes the stage too loud. When I ask for more in the monitors, it always sounds like crap. Then if I put the amp on a stand, it loses bass. I've tried in-ear monitors, but it sounds awful.

It stinks, cause, when I can't hear myself very well, all intricacy and subtly just flies out the window. Then it becomes a note fest, just so I can try to hear something. I don't have any angled cabs, but I also generally play smaller venues, (often without PAs), so dragging around a 4x12 is extreme overkill, but maybe necessary.

Any help or input would be greatly appreciated. I hear players like you and Landau really milking little nuances, and I don't see how that is possible without actually being able to hear yourself well. (at least it hasn't for me).

Thanks for the help! Can't wait to hear the new record.

Cheers!

Tim
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Scott Henderson
The Man


Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1682

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I haven't made any advances in that area - in fact things have gotten worse. For a long time I was playing an open back slant 4x12, and the slant allowed me to hear myself better. However, it wasn't the best cab for big rooms or outdoors so I've gone back to using a 4x12 closed back straight cab, as I do when recording. I prefer this tone, but the downside is that most of the sound goes out between my legs. You're right, tilting the cab makes it sound awful, and putting it up on something is even worse. The cab has a very slight slant, so I try to stand further away from it, and I try to distance myself from the drums.

Monitors are usually the best solution, especially when the sound guy hears too much guitar off the stage and is yelling at me to turn down. Unfortunately we're at the mercy of the condition and quality of the monitors. On a good night I can hear myself great and I'm inspired by the tone. On a bad night I just deal with it and play the best I can. Most decent rooms have monitors which can be EQ'd, and I usually shelf around 7k - as much as I need to make the monitor sound as close as possible to my cab. All that being said, I've had more good luck with monitors than bad. The key is spending the time to EQ them right. Also, try to insist on monitors with a 12" woofer instead of 15". In my opinion 12" monitors will get closer to the sound of your cab.
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timmirth



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 11
Location: us

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Scott. I appreciate the comments. I haven't been using an angled cabinet, but I'm starting to think I should, despite the size of it.

I seem to always have bad luck with soundpeople. The last gig I played, the soundguy set the volumes 5 seconds into playing and walked away... I couldn't hear anything. Ugh... and the monitor was cracking once I got a hold of him.

I like the idea of shelfing above 7k, never thought about that. I'm considering, just bringing an extra small guitar combo and using it as a monitor in front of me and tilt it back.

Thanks again.
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Scott Henderson
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other night I had a monitor which buzzed loudly every time I hit a C or a D - they replaced it, but a few tunes were really an experience...

Your idea of using a combo as a monitor might work - I've heard that Jeff Beck uses 4x12's placed around the stage pointing up at him for monitors. That's a bit pricey for me but I bet it sounds better than traditional monitors.
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timmirth



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 11
Location: us

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to mention heavy to carry around. Ha.

I am thinking a small combo, probably just use its power amp, has to sound better than a monitor, though certainly not as good as a larger cab, but at least the audience tone won't suffer.
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daschwarjazz



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just out of curiosity, how do you set your mids when playing live? Do you scoop them? A lot of times not being able to hear yourself is not so much an issue with volume, but a lack of mids.
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todonne3



Joined: 08 Mar 2018
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few suggestions I've tried that help me...

Sound check with your guitar's volume knob on 7 or 8. You'll always have a little extra headroom in case you need it during the set.

Experiment with where you place your cabinet. Putting the cabinet as far back as you can onstage decreases the angle between the speaker and your ears. Stand with the cab at your feet and the sound blows right by your ankles. But push it back and without changing the volume you hear more of whats coming out of the speakers.

Angle the cab so its not pointing directly at the audience. The overall stage volume won't change too much but what the audience/sound engineer is hearing might be attenuated a bit allowing you to turn up a little more onstage.

I've never tried this but maybe you can try using a plexiglass shield? Anything that decreases volume from the audience's perspective while retaining stage volume is probably worth a try.
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Scott Henderson
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Joined: 20 May 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I set the mid around 5 - I don't know if that means it's scooped, but it doesn't sound that way to me. I'm not into honky midrange even if it cuts through better.

For sure if your cab is pointed directly at the sound man, you'll have a bad situation - I always try to angle it away from him. Closed back cabs are very directional, so a small angle away from him can help a lot.
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peter_heijnen



Joined: 11 Jan 2016
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

todonne3 wrote:
I've never tried this but maybe you can try using a plexiglass shield? Anything that decreases volume from the audience's perspective while retaining stage volume is probably worth a try.

I have one of these:

https://www.hoovi.at/deeflexx-2/what-is-deeflexx/?lang=en



It blocks the beam towards the soundguy/audience and disperses the sound across the stage. Quite expensive though. It's designed to work with 112's but it works great too when placed in front of the bottom of my vertical 212.
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timmirth



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 11
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting tips and products listed here. My mids are generally on the high side. Definitely not scooped. I'll be trying the combo amp as a monitor next week so I'll let you know how it goes.
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