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Calling all sound guys - 2 guitars stereo mix down to FOH?

SoO... I know most venue house sound guys prefer taking a single DI (or single mic'd cab) from guitarists...I've been running stereo for a while now being the only guitarist so my theory was two channels DI to FOH and have sound guy treat them like TWO guitarists each channel panned hard or on stereo pair...right? right.

We just added a 2nd guitarist so my thought was to go back to MONO (Copy L to R mode) and we would both just give the house 1channel K.I.S.S...problem is i am having a very hard time letting go of my stereo sound, mostly for cleans and effects. So here is my idea and im looking to you sound gurus out there for advice.

What if I did stereo from each guitarist (2guitars) into our Interface (Scarlett 18i20) and then provide the house with a SINGLE stereo mixdown of the two of us? FOH would recieve two channels and plug into individual MONO channels like normal and could literally treat the L as Guitar 1 and R as Guitar 2 panning each to one side of course at the board. Now here is the magic, I would implement an expression pedal on the floor for each guitarist to control a vol/pan block so WE can control the panning ourselves. example: All rhythms would be kept panned hard to each side and all leads, solos, cleans would be panned Center, using the pedal.

The only reason I feel like this could work is bc myself and our other guitarist use VERY similar amps, cabs and settings in the axe-fx. The major differences come in our guitars and playing styles. The idea would be to test and match all of our levels/tones accordingly using our mixing board at home so the mixdown doesn't have any SPIKES or MAJOR tonal/level differences. Our rythym and most lead patches are MONO anyways, its the cleans and some leads that need the stereo. The sound guy would STILL have independent control over each channel (accept when we pan to center, obviously), so it's a like 50/50 compromise and IMO making the sound guys life a little easier...if the sound guy was INSISTENT on having independent control then we could just leave the expression pedals panned hard OR give him an ipad linked to the Scarlett so he can control levels there...

What do yall think? Would this work?

AXE-FX MKII>SCARLETT 18i20/XLR CHANNEL STRIP>FOH
 
Pretty much every venue we play at is setup for stereo...but even so I have had sound guys still screw it up, running me in mono. I can't imagine giving them FOUR DI signals to deal with, just for guitars...hence my idea to give sound guy a mixdown in two channels, up to them if they wanna pair as stereo or pan two mono channels (traditional mic'd cab technique)...then leave it alone.
 
I’d never do that as house sound operator. Im not going to rely on your gear for my job.

Do your gigs even have a stereo PA system? If yes, then the operator would probably have no issue getting stereo from both guitars. If no, then none of this matters.
In your experience, does MONO or STEREO work better for live when dealing with two guitarists?
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
+1 for the mono y' mono. Sound techs have a lot more to do than just focus on the guitar players. IMHO, they would be able to mix 2 mono guitars much easier than having 4 channels to deal with. Only people in the middle seats will be getting stereo. Save your stereo stuff for recording and just focus on playing in a live situation. Just my $0.02.
 
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im always trying to push the limits of what can be done live, but you guys are right, until we have our own sound guy mono it will be. many thanks
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
G'day Action,

Personally I'd give the desk 4 channels (2 stereo guitar feeds) and let the guy on the mixer apply what he thinks is appropriate. In his position (after a chat with you), I'd probably look at panning guitar 1 L Hard left, Guitar 1 R 30% left, Guitar 2 L 30% right, Guitar 2 R hard right. Well... That's going to vary from system to system and venue to venue. It'll still give you your lush stereo tones (I wouldn't sacrifice them either). The only disadvantage I foresee would be an imbalance for the guys with their heads in the speakers each side of the dance floor (they still exist don't they? - It's been a while :))

Thanks
Pauly

SoO... I know most venue house sound guys prefer taking a single DI (or single mic'd cab) from guitarists...I've been running stereo for a while now being the only guitarist so my theory was two channels DI to FOH and have sound guy treat them like TWO guitarists each channel panned hard or on stereo pair...right? right.

We just added a 2nd guitarist so my thought was to go back to MONO (Copy L to R mode) and we would both just give the house 1channel K.I.S.S...problem is i am having a very hard time letting go of my stereo sound, mostly for cleans and effects. So here is my idea and im looking to you sound gurus out there for advice.

What if I did stereo from each guitarist (2guitars) into our Interface (Scarlett 18i20) and then provide the house with a SINGLE stereo mixdown of the two of us? FOH would recieve two channels and plug into individual MONO channels like normal and could literally treat the L as Guitar 1 and R as Guitar 2 panning each to one side of course at the board. Now here is the magic, I would implement an expression pedal on the floor for each guitarist to control a vol/pan block so WE can control the panning ourselves. example: All rhythms would be kept panned hard to each side and all leads, solos, cleans would be panned Center, using the pedal.

The only reason I feel like this could work is bc myself and our other guitarist use VERY similar amps, cabs and settings in the axe-fx. The major differences come in our guitars and playing styles. The idea would be to test and match all of our levels/tones accordingly using our mixing board at home so the mixdown doesn't have any SPIKES or MAJOR tonal/level differences. Our rythym and most lead patches are MONO anyways, its the cleans and some leads that need the stereo. The sound guy would STILL have independent control over each channel (accept when we pan to center, obviously), so it's a like 50/50 compromise and IMO making the sound guys life a little easier...if the sound guy was INSISTENT on having independent control then we could just leave the expression pedals panned hard OR give him an ipad linked to the Scarlett so he can control levels there...

What do yall think? Would this work?

AXE-FX MKII>SCARLETT 18i20/XLR CHANNEL STRIP>FOH
 

Clockwork Creep

Power User
Stereo for live is barely worth it. I managed to do vocal effects, guitar and bass and still connect to a real cab, all on one axe fx.
Use output 2 for second guitar... or buy axe 3.
 

Techboy57

Inspired
As a sound tech/guitarist. I use two stereo channels, stage right guitar panned 7 o'clock and 2 o'clock and stage left guitar panned 10 o'clock and 5 o'clock. This is how I do it with our band. The acoustic guitar is panned at 12 O'clock.
 

BillyZeppa

Power User
im always trying to push the limits of what can be done live, but you guys are right, until we have our own sound guy mono it will be. many thanks
You could always have both dual-mono and dual-stereo solutions ready to go, and bounce it off the sound guy. Set the L+R accordingly at the time.
 
As a sound tech/guitarist. I use two stereo channels, stage right guitar panned 7 o'clock and 2 o'clock and stage left guitar panned 10 o'clock and 5 o'clock. This is how I do it with our band. The acoustic guitar is panned at 12 O'clock.
wow, so you are filling up a lot more space with this panning technique vs. going hard left and right. Interesting.
 
as an added perspective a lot of the shows we play have very quick change overs 10-15 min INCLUDING soundchecks (pretty normal i'd say)...so wanting the BEST sound but also the EASIEST setup is like a catch 22...
 

jakel

Experienced
Years ago we had two electrics in my band, and the sound guys panned us pretty hard L/R, so it sounded huge when it was mixed right and you were setting in the center. The problem was, they would often favor one guitar over the other (who knows why), and since the board was in the center, they adjusted the guitar volume to sound good to them. Problem: people on one side were getting hammered with guitar, and people on the other side couldn't hear guitar.
 

s0c9

Moderator
Moderator
Mono, always mono (with two players).
Yep.. for the average club/bar/festival PA system, stereo is lost on the audience.
It sounds great to those in the "zone" between the two PA stacks who can hear the stereo effects, but outside that, they lose the experience.
When I run FOH, I have no issues with getting stereo feeds from guitars (assuming enough channels).
But, I will NOT pan each hard left/right and keep them centered so both sides of the PA get the same signal.
Any ping-pong effects will not affect the listeners experience.
Many will disagree with that approach, but IME the FOH job is to make the band sound as good as they can for the audience. From that perspective, it's NOT about the band.. it's about WHO the BAND is PLAYING for.
 
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