How can I Hear the guitars while playing in a band?

xsarith

Senior Member
Hey everyone, I recently just joined a new band, we've had about 3 practices/jams so far, but I'm having trouble hearing the guitars, Usually I would put the amps behind me but there isn't much space to do this in our current practice room. We mic'd up the amp last time through the PA, and I could just hear it if I concentrated on hearing it, but it was hard to concentrate on that and on playing drums too.

So do any of you guys know a good, cheep way of being able to hear the guitars? I was thinking of getting a In ear monitor, but they seem expensive and I have know idea what I need for one since I know nothing about being a sound guy and stuff.

Cheers guys.
 

Netz Ausg

Silver Member
Get these:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000KUCQXY/ref=asc_df_B000KUCQXY8419018?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=hydra0b-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=B000KUCQXY&hvpos=1o3&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3825699071734415755&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

and these:

http://www.shure.co.uk/products/earphones/se115-cl

and it'll do. I use this set up to monitor for venues where we're playing louder or where there is no sound coming back at me from nice reflective surfaces.

It's a cheap option, and hardly pro, but it gives you exactly what you need - the ability to hear the whole band back through to your ears. I also fly one mic overhead that goes straight into the Behringer MA400 that only I hear (no one else needs more drums :p) so I can hear myself along with them, but if you keep the total volume down then you don't need to feed back to yourself, as some sound does come through the phones (though they take the brunt of the volume away to protect your hearing).

My 0.02 currency.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I simply don't understand.

There were 2 guitarists in a small practice room and you couldn't hear them?

No way dude. That is a first.

My advice is think yourself lucky and just make sure you can hear the bass.

Cheers
Davo
 

Netz Ausg

Silver Member
I simply don't understand.

There were 2 guitarists in a small practice room and you couldn't hear them?
No way dude. That is a first.
My advice is think yourself lucky and just make sure you can hear the bass.
Hah! I genuinely laughed at that.

The alternative here to in-ear monitoring is to turn everyone down and get a balanced level. If you can't hear the guitars over your drums look at playing with rods/multi-sticks or just playing quieter. Rehearsal doesn't need to be gig volume. The rest of the band will appreciate being able to hear for the rest of the day, too. If it's that the guitars aren't loud enough in the first place, then maybe they need to turn up to counter everyone else's noise,

Question - do you all face in with amps pointing in at the drums, or are you doing it stage style?
 

Xero Talent

Silver Member
I wear simple ear plugs. That helps cut out a lot of the higher frequencies (hats, cymbals), and I can hear guitars and bass pretty clearly.

Give it a try.
 

xsarith

Senior Member
If I bought these two how would I wire it all up, keep in mind the PA is all way across the room from me, quite a few meters.

Also Davo-London, there's one guitar and one bass in a long room, I should of been more specific with the guitars, also the bassist has only been to two practices. I can understand why you thought we was in a small room when I said there is not any room for amp behind my kit, the room we play in belongs to the council as well as the kit, we cant change the room around either, its a youth centre that was converted from a school, the rooms is just wide enough for drum kit and to just get in and out because the kit is next to the door so the amps would block it, but is really long so the amps and pa are a far bit away from me. The guitarist has a 75W amp which he cant turn up fully because it just creates more noise then guitar, so we only get to about 45-50W, He's getting it sorted just when he can afford a better noise gate, were all 17 with no income apart from our parents and odd jobs we may get.

We have everything set to to face the us, Every one else hears the mix well, but I'm sat behind some loud drums and cymbals with all the amps at the other side of the room.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
Can you play quieter?

Must be an option. At our last practice we got the drummer to use rods rather than sticks. The whole volume came down and we could all hear.

Bliss

Davo
 
P

plangentmusic

Guest
Can you play quieter?

Must be an option. At our last practice we got the drummer to use rods rather than sticks. The whole volume came down and we could all hear.

Bliss

Davo
This^^^^^


..........
 

Netz Ausg

Silver Member
I practice in 2 rooms - one is a large business lock up with very high ceiling. In this room I use sticks and to hell with the noise. No issue. The other is a small room, 4 x 5 metres. In this room I could melt your face off by riding the crash heavily, so I use rods.

My first though now is that you need to find somewhere more appropriate to rehearse. Doesn't sound ideal! Is there a town hall nearby that you can rent for a few hours every week? In my first band we used the nearby village hall for £5 an hour. Between 4 of us it was pretty reasonable.

Second thought is - get closer together man. Bring the amps closer in and play your drums softer. Just because the room is long it doesn't mean you need to spread out. If powerpoints are a problem then a few cable reels will sort it - you can get those very cheaply.

As for wiring up my monitor set up - I have one AC connection straight into the power outlet (keep a cable reel handy!), one mic input for my personal overhead, the headphones straight out of the box (keep it near to me) and a simple jack to jack cable from the desk to the mini-mixer. If it's a distance away then get a suitably long cable. These don't cost the earth either. The most costly part of my setup is the in-ear phones - and to be honest these are practically a must have these days since we know the damage we can do to our hearing. I secured my mini-mixer for about £20 from JohnnySomerset on these boards - I borrow the jack to jack - I already have the phones but they cost about £40 on special offer - cable reel is a couple of £.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
not sure how you don't hear them

but ear plug should cut some frequencies

and a little monitor never hurt anyone
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
the room we play in belongs to the council as well as the kit, we cant change the room around either, its a youth centre that was converted from a school, the rooms is just wide enough for drum kit and to just get in and out because the kit is next to the door so the amps would block it, but is really long so the amps and pa are a far bit away from me.
If I understand you right, try doing the following:
  1. Get some extension [power] leads for the amps and/or PA so you can move them as close to the kit as possible.
  2. Try to raise the amps higher off the ground - especially the guitar amp - by standing them on boxes/crates/tables etc.
  3. If this room has a hard/uncarpeted floor and bare walls then try to dampen the overall sound by hanging up some curtains on the walls and putting rugs under the drums and amps.
  4. Try muffling the drum kit by filling the bass drum with blankets/pillows etc and using a dampening agent like Moongel (dirt cheap and easy to find) on the other drums.
  5. When using amps, especially guitar amps, the cleaner the sound - the louder. If you want a bit of crunch for rock/punk/metal - use it sparingly: get a good loud sound that cuts through nicely and then only use as much gain as necessary to dirty it up a bit.

Good luck and have fun.
 

xsarith

Senior Member
Right so, I've obviously tried playing softer, it helps but not a great deal, I'll look in to getting rods but I've never used them so here's were I'm going to sound stupid and say the ends of the rods look flat and like when I would hit the drum I would hit it with the edge of the stick would be and then I would dent the head since it looks sharp.

I think Firstly I'll try and make the guitar louder where it is, maybe increase the PA volume if i can, I don't know how loud it was set to at the practice. If not then moving the amps more closer, maybe even telling the people who run it I'm going to move the kit and then put the amp behind me, Unfortunately the guitarist seems reluctant to do this for some reason. That should work I think, if not then its rod and even if that doesn't work then do Netz Ausg's set-up, but moving the amp should work, hopefully I'll get permission to move the kit.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
What size are the guitar amps? I have been playing with guitarsts since about 1974, and I have never had to ask a guitarist to turn it up, usually just the opposite. Peace and goodwill.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
Guitar speakers shoot out a long beam of sound. If you have them point their guitar amps right at you, you may be surprised at how well you can hear. It may be real "trebly", though.
 

xsarith

Senior Member
The amps and speakers are pointed more or less towards me already anyway, and I dont know the bass amp size or power but the guitarist uses a Randall RG75 75W 1X12" amp, I am starting to wonder though, if for some reason the guitarist might just not be turn his amp up.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
The amps and speakers are pointed more or less towards me already anyway, and I dont know the bass amp size or power but the guitarist uses a Randall RG75 75W 1X12" amp, I am starting to wonder though, if for some reason the guitarist might just not be turn his amp up.
Not "more or less" towards you, but right at your face. Even if it's 10 or 20 feet away, position the guitar amp so the speaker points at you. It can make a huge difference, but again, the tone could be a little harsh and trebly.
 

HMNY

Silver Member
If you are going to try rods, can I recommend these:

http://www.flixproducts.com/

Try the orange Flix Sticks, the plastic is more resilient than wood, less likely to break, but still gives a decent stick feel and sound.

I could break a wooden cored pair of rods with just one mis-placed rim shot, good for making toothpicks, not so good for rehearsals! I am still on my first pair of these.

Also, although theses guys are based in Scotland, their customer services (I lost a tone ring) is second to none.
 
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