guitars too loud, why?!!

davor

Senior Member
Hi folks, started jamming with a new band last night and these guys had their guitars cranked soooo loud. I don’t have a huge amount of experience of jamming with different bands (and I use a tea towel to damp my snare in my other band!).

So is the cranked guitar noise essential for rehearsal? I’m thinking not! Ears were ringing a bit afterwards!

Anyone have similar experience? I may suggest they tone it down a bit.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
‘Twas ever thus, even some of the experienced guitarists I play with sometimes fall for this, admittedly at gigs as opposed to rehearsal rooms. I don’t know whether it’s ignorance, ego, frustration, compensating for a poor sound by piling on volume etc but whatever it is you’re not alone.
Buy some ear protection and tell them you’re struggling with the mix they’re creating. Perhaps turning down might be a revelation to them. TBH with the gear you can but nowadays there’s absolutely no need to crank amplifiers up to 11, there are plenty of pedals that will give that overdriven sound at lower volumes.
 

davor

Senior Member
Yeah, I also noticed the marshall amps in the rehearsal room were huge, just seemed massive for the size of room. Think the guys just thought ...oh these are big and loud, lets crank to 11 hahaha
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I my own experience I've found the easiest way to make up for a lack of talent is volume. Their ego won't let them be told to turn it down. Bad combination. Sounds terrible live as well. If there's two guitars it turns into a competition in volume too.

A band should in theory only be as loud as the drummer if you're unmiced.

I've had this problem with bassists for years. There's a guy I dep for occasionally who has the shittiest, loudest bass tone. Impossible to lock in with this guy as well.

A lot of these guys must have gone deaf in certain frequencies, none of them ever wear earplugs.

I must be lucky, I've never been in a band with 2 guitarists. The guitarists I've played with have always understood volume control. (I know this is the exception rather than the norm).

As Woolwich has already said, get earplug ASAP, your hearing is too important to lose at the expense of the Nigel Tufnells of this world. Better yet get earplugs and find a better band to jam with.
 

davor

Senior Member
update.....I've dropped a couple of hints in the band whatsapp group :)

One of the guys mentioned he couldn't hear the bass drum. We'll see what happens next rehearsal haha
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Sounds like a lot of inexperienced band members that are using practice in lieu of gigs. Have they gigged before?
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Depends on the gear man. I have a Fender Twin reverb that doesnt start to break-up until its at a deafening roar. My JCM sounds thin and weak at low volumes, but when pushed by a clean boost the sweet spot is really loud. I also have a 6505 that really compresses at high volume, so I tend to keep it lower and mic it if necessary. But those types of amps have a specific tone that I presonally dont like in live settings, they are almost made for recording.

Beyond that, guitars sound better loud. They just do. Its not to compensate for anything, its not a contest to see who is louder, guitars just sound better loud. Hendrix, Page, Townsend, May, Clapton, Beck all played 100 watt full stacks (or multiple) at deafening volumes and nobody said a word. It was the expectaion that electric guitars are loud. Now with Master Volume amps there is an idea that we can just turn them down. But the apparently not so well known secret is that most master volume amps sound like crap at low volumes. And dont get me started on modeling and profiling amps.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Beyond that, guitars sound better loud. They just do. Its not to compensate for anything, its not a contest to see who is louder, guitars just sound better loud. Hendrix, Page, Townsend, May, Clapton, Beck all played 100 watt full stacks (or multiple) at deafening volumes and nobody said a word. It was the expectaion that electric guitars are loud. Now with Master Volume amps there is an idea that we can just turn them down. But the apparently not so well known secret is that most master volume amps sound like crap at low volumes. And dont get me started on modeling and profiling amps.
Guitars sound better in tune and with a great tone and it's amazing how many guitarists haven't grasped this!

Brian May has always used Vox AC30s, Clapton recorded the Layla Album with a Fender Champ. Jimmy Page used Supro amps in the studio.

The only guys I can think of that use that kind of power live is Malmsteen and Tony Iommi and granted it's pretty cool how they get the sound but you can't mention Malmsteen and not mention the fact he's so far up his own arse he can see through his teeth!

Most of the amp stacks you see on stage are for show and are hollow not even the roadies want to lug those around, back stage there's a little 30 watt in an isolation booth that's overdriven within an inch of its life and miced through the PA. Or D.I'd
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Anyone have similar experience? .

lol. How about everyone.

Some inexperienced players turn up to compensate for their lack of skills. Some turn up to cover the lack of vocal skills. Others simply may not know how a mix should sound. Some may actually be deaf.

To be fair to guitarists, I have seen and heard a LOT of guitars being too loud trying to keep up with the (snare)drums. You said yours were muted so that's not likely the case here.

Ringing ears means turn it down or use earplugs. Have the discussion ASAP.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Depends on the gear man. I have a Fender Twin reverb that doesnt start to break-up until its at a deafening roar. My JCM sounds thin and weak at low volumes, but when pushed by a clean boost the sweet spot is really loud. I also have a 6505 that really compresses at high volume, so I tend to keep it lower and mic it if necessary.
Indeed.

Ultimately, it comes down to.....

1: You need to raise the volume to the point of breakup.
2: You need to increase the volume til the amplifier and guitar begin to interact with each other.

Unfortunately, the result is often too loud for rehearsal, so you end up mitigating. You can cold-bias the amp at 60% power dissipation so that the breakup happens earlier. You can use a 2x12 instead of a 4x12. You can use a slant stand. You can side wash the orientation of the cab. Many use an attenuator, but they tend to adversely affect tone.

@davor If you need someone to chat the technical bits with your guitarists, ping me.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
Guitars are too loud because guitarists are rarely able to perceive the difference between a good sound as an individual as compared too what’s needed sound and volume wise within a whole band.

All too often they place their sound and volume level at the top of the tree. Conversely the very best guitarists can adapt on the spot and still achieve an excellent sound - it’s about attaining real control of your instrument.

Vocals suffer, drums suffers everything suffers at the hands of a guitarist who cannot dial in a clear sound profile at sensible volume. I recommend recording the band and then comparing against some agreed (known act) and requesting adjustments accordingly. The aim is to achieve a great sound that can be consistently played night after night, irrespective of venue. Be polite but firm.


The same actually applies to drummers a really loud drummer who is unable to dial up and down the volume levels causes others problems.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
1: You need to raise the volume to the point of breakup.
2: You need to increase the volume til the amplifier and guitar begin to interact with each other.

Unfortunately, the result is often too loud for rehearsal, so you end up mitigating. You can cold-bias the amp at 60% power dissipation so that the breakup happens earlier. You can use a 2x12 instead of a 4x12. You can use a slant stand. You can side wash the orientation of the cab. Many use an attenuator, but they tend to adversely affect tone.

@davor If you need someone to chat the technical bits with your guitarists, ping me.
Gee, I'm glad I only play an acoustic guitar. Electric guitars are too complicated!
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Guitars sound better in tune and with a great tone and it's amazing how many guitarists haven't grasped this!

Brian May has always used Vox AC30s, Clapton recorded the Layla Album with a Fender Champ. Jimmy Page used Supro amps in the studio.

The only guys I can think of that use that kind of power live is Malmsteen and Tony Iommi and granted it's pretty cool how they get the sound but you can't mention Malmsteen and not mention the fact he's so far up his own arse he can see through his teeth!

Most of the amp stacks you see on stage are for show and are hollow not even the roadies want to lug those around, back stage there's a little 30 watt in an isolation booth that's overdriven within an inch of its life and miced through the PA. Or D.I'd
Im not talking about recording. Im talking about playing live, and practicing to play live. If you are rehearsing with your band at a different volume than you are playing live, you really arnt rehearsing. As a guitarist you have to know how to keep feedback under control at gig volume and you cant learn that playing at bedroom levels. But I have learned one thing playing multiple instruments in multiple bands. Drummers think they know everything about guitars, and guitarists think they know everything about drums.

As for your second statement. That is a myth in all but the most extreme cases. Sure Slayer isnt using 20 masrshall cabs, but most bands are using what is on stage. Or in the case of most modern bands, they dont have any cabs on stage. I booked a club for almost a decade and I assure you from personal experience that Queens of the Stone Age, Chevelle, Clutch, Hatebreed, Sum41, Converge, just to name a few, are running 100 watt heads into multiple cablinets at incredible loud stage volumes. And its awesome!

Not enough for ya? I have loaded bands into the Mohegan Sun arena for the last 5 years. I have loaded full cabinets in for Godsmack, Alice in Chains, Ozzy (with Gus G), Green Day, Alice Cooper to name a few, and they had them plugged in and cranked. I even think Jason Aldean's guitarist had a half stack with a Mesa that sounded killer. And believe me it was definitely turned up. I actually dont think I have ever loaded empty cabs onto stage. Sure some bands like Slipknot, Korn, 5FDP are using modeling amps, but those bands all sounded like crap. I was in the front row at AC/DC about 5 years ago and Angus Youngs stage volume was ridiculous. So you go tell Angus that it doesnt need be that loud. I will be over here turning my amp up.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
As a guitarist you have to know how to keep feedback under control at gig volume and you cant learn that playing at bedroom levels. But I have learned one thing playing multiple instruments in multiple bands. Drummers think they know everything about guitars, and guitarists think they know everything about drums.

I was in the front row at AC/DC about 5 years ago and Angus Youngs stage volume was ridiculous. So you go tell Angus that it doesnt need be that loud. I will be over here turning my amp up.
Indeed.

Many non-guitarists, and for that matter many guitarists, don't realize that there's a philosophic shift that happens when working with a loud amp. With an acoustic or quiet electric... You strike the strings and make a sound. With a loud amplifier, the sound is already there, and your role is to govern/control it.

Unfortunately, the only way to learn to deal with it is through experience. Some guitarists get it ( EXAMPLE ) . Some don't ( EXAMPLE ). When they don't, it's like watching a VFD teenager trying to hold a 3" hose for the first time.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..I was in the front row at AC/DC about 5 years ago and Angus Youngs stage volume was ridiculous. So you go tell Angus that it doesnt need be that loud. I will be over here turning my amp up..

Problem is that he most likely will not hear you when you just tell him this instead of shouting this to him..
 
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