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FRFR Frustration

Tubehead

Inspired
OK - Have another show last night where I plugged into my AFX and sent a direct line out to FOH. A continuing frustration is that when I hear my guitar in the monitors (and probably FOH) it is NOT the tone I dialed in!

I spend a lot of time dialing in my presets. I use these presets to record directly into my DAW and they sound the same as when the are going straight into a FRFR monitor but at many venues this is not the case.

I asked the sound man if all tone controls ere set to 12 o'clock and he said yes, but there must have been some inline eq's or something somewhere to alter the tone. I quickly used the Global EQ to fill in the gaps and get a usable tone but I find that continuing to do this at various venues is frustrating.


Any suggestions? How do you guys tackle this issue?
 

romanianreaper

Power User
I know a lot of folks discuss dialing in presets at home at the same volume as the gig. Are you doing that? They say there is a huge gap with treble and bass at low and high volume. I can tell you that I like the tones out of my computer speakers when recording way better than FRFR.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Vocal monitors are NOT FRFR. Any "proper" sound system will have the monitors EQ'd for gain-before-feedback. The results in a response that is anything but flat. Even if the monitors aren't EQ'd they likely aren't flat. Vocal monitors are not designed for that.

The good news is the FOH probably sounds great. You simply can't rely on the monitors to reflect what your tone sounds like. That's why most people bring their own dedicated monitor.
 

spv

Inspired
I have had same issue a number of times. Axe FX tone can sound a bit "brittle" thru vocal wedges. Usually more noticeable during rehearsal/sound check and on more overdriven tones. When FOH gets to gig volume you hear that which always sounds great.

I typically try to get the sound engineer to tweak the monitor signal eq if he is able to, but curious whether there is a standard set of settings for that?
 

Tubehead

Inspired
Thanks for the feedback.



Vocal monitors are NOT FRFR. Any "proper" sound system will have the monitors EQ'd for gain-before-feedback. The results in a response that is anything but flat. Even if the monitors aren't EQ'd they likely aren't flat. Vocal monitors are not designed for that.
The good news is the FOH probably sounds great. You simply can't rely on the monitors to reflect what your tone sounds like. That's why most people bring their own dedicated monitor.

The sound guy made a comment that he thought my tone was great. I was puzzled since I thought it was "brittle". Obviously, we were comparing 2 different sound sources. I will start bringing my personal monitor.


I know a lot of folks discuss dialing in presets at home at the same volume as the gig. Are you doing that? They say there is a huge gap with treble and bass at low and high volume. I can tell you that I like the tones out of my computer speakers when recording way better than FRFR.


Yes, I rehearse with my patches at performance volume.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
It's tough to rely on vocal wedges for your guitar sound.

The problem is its really best to have separate eq for the guitar in FOH and the wedges.

If you can't swing that setup, then I would just bear it and know the FOH is going to be better than the wedges.

If you can get separate eq for the wedge guitar send, try: rolling of the lows at 100, rolling off the highs at 7K (or even down to 5K). The put a dip around 1K to get rid of the ice pick. Add a small dip at 3-4K to get leave room for the vocals and add a very small bit of top above 4K. Just enough to add some brightness back.

The Guitar Frequency Guide – Know How To Sculpt Your Guitar Sound

If sharing wedges like that, I dial in my guitar dark. It doesn't sound proper. But the harshness of having the wedge horns pounding all night is too much. I would rather work with dark tones in those cases.
 

simeon

Axe-Master
just for peace of mind, take a really long cable with you and walk out front during soundcheck, so you can actually hear what's coming out of the FOH speakers. you can then direct the soundman to make any little tweaks if he needs to and you can be happy that the audience is hearing something good. don't rely on the in house wedges...they always sound crap for the reasons that cliff has stated. take your own monitor.
a lot of big pa systems will also have a lot more top and bottom end than your personal monitor, because of the enormous subs they use and they will also be tuned for vocals to some extent, so it's a good idea to reduce those frequencies in your global eq for the outs that you send to FOH. i reduce 31, 63, 8 and 16 by 6db and reduce 125 and 4 by 2db. use the other set of outs for your monitor and have out 2 echo out 1 if you're not using the fxl block.
 

deftim13

Inspired
Most monitors have a boosted upper midrange and lower treble. This is done to enhance vocal intelligibility (so the singers stay on pitch). This will make your tones sound "brittle".

Is an RCF NX12 considered a vocal monitor? I am using an RCF NX12. Is that considered to be flat or does it have a boost like you mention?
 

simeon

Axe-Master
the RCF 12 and 10 are generally considered to be very flat. almost on a par with the CLR's, in fact. i use two 10's and think they sound excellent
 

hgwy407

Inspired
I played a casino venue this weekend. I brought along my Atomic wedge and used the tap out on the back of the wedge for the house feed. I had a chance to sit in the audience and listen when our singer did a couple of acoustic songs using patches I set up in my Axe FX. It sounded killer. The audience and sound man all said my tone was killer out front. I did have to laugh however as I may have screwed up by not setting the tap out in the "X" position as I am sending the axe stereo to my Atomic. Oh well, it still sounded wonderful. That said, I sold my first Axe FX shortly after getting it because of the challenges I was having with house monitors. Problem solved with the Atomic! Do some research on the Atomic, Matrix and new Mission Engineering and find one that suits your tastes and needs. Trust me, it's worth it.
 

Rain

Fractal Fanatic
the RCF 12 and 10 are generally considered to be very flat. almost on a par with the CLR's, in fact. i use two 10's and think they sound excellent

Hi Simeon, do you use any special Global EQ's on your Axe FX for the RCF?
 

simeon

Axe-Master
no, i leave the global flat for the rcf, although because i'm using the 10's, i do bump 64 up just a tiny bit to compensate for the roll-off below 100hz. nothing i did with the global eq made them sound any better than they already do. they're awesome. i use the xlr's from out 1 with global eq flat for the rcf' and out 2 with adjusted global eq goes to a stereo in on the desk with the strip eq flat.
 

Rain

Fractal Fanatic
Cool thanks!! I have the RCF 12 for about 2 years and love it ...
 
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sam

Experienced
Another issue is that monitors are right in your face. If you went and put your head right in front of the HF element in the mains your tone might be unbearably brittle and harsh. That's just a problem with cranking up near field monitors. That's why I prefer to put a CLR behind me. I can crank it up and don't get that harsh in-your-face sound at volume.
 

Reade

Inspired
As in another thread, the FM curve could be a part in this as well. FRFR has to be set flat at a certain db. I can't see how it can be flat over the entire volume range.
 

Larry Mitchell

Power User
I have many friends who tour with and have used traditional guitars live and they don't like the sound of guitar amps mic'd and coming through the vocal monitors either. if you watch rig run throughs with steve Stevens and Steve Vai, you'll notice that they have custom made guitar 1x12 or 2 x 12 cabinets next to the vocal monitors in front of them and that's where they hear they guitar. The monitors in front of them are for vocals and other stuff.

On most big stages There's usually an eq inline with each monitor for feed back control and mid craziness. I just go with the faith that it's sounds better front. That and I walk out with my wireless to listen. But sometimes you just deal with the monitor sound or bring your own. :0)
 

spv

Inspired
Thanks for all the thoughts here. Very constructive and a great example of how helpful this forum can be!
 
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