What guitar amplification would you use live? (Metal music)

What monitoring would you use live?

  • Axe FX > Guitar Amp (Ins in) > Guitar Cab (Axe FX used only for pre FX)

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Clockwork Creep

Power User
Hey there.
Let's say you are a guitarist in a metal band. You play in relatively small pubs and clubs and you need guitar amplification.
The front line of the audience are listening mostly to the stage audio, not the PA. You want the front row of the audience to experience your show at it's best.
Some of these stages may not even be large enough to have a PA (just something for vocals) and the concert relies on your setup.

Money isn't an issue at all and you can set this up any way you want (Just involve the Axe FX into it somehow). However, you won't be able to change your setup any time soon. What would you go for ideally? Why?

I know this was discussed often, but I am curious on Poll results too. :)
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I always use my on stage FRFR setup, however, the particular venue environment would determine whether or not to use IE monitoring so I can better hear what the PA is doing.
I chose the active FRFR - currently I'm using a transparent power amp going into a passive FRFR but I want to downsize to just have a 2U rack, so I'll be going the active route soon.

I have my IEM system (Sennheiser G3) with a mixer on a board in a small padded bag that I can take with me and set on top of my rack if I can use it. If I can't then I just don't take it :)

I used to use a 2x12 cab, but I wanted something that gave me a better idea of what was happening out front, and also didn't want to lug it around anymore!

So now its 2U rack, 1x10 (or 1x12, I haven't decided yet) active cab, MFC and a guitar or two! Plus an extra gig bag for IEMs. SO portable!!
Some of these stages may not even be large enough to have a PA (just something for vocals) and the concert relies on your setup.
Had this a few months ago. I simply put my CLR on a pole behind me on the stage (so that it was also aimed at the crowd) and had zero issues throughout. Well, the main vocal mic died near the end but that wasn't our fault. :D
I didn't really get your remark, Zenaxe.
I play Rock/Metal, sure... I use in ears too... For a metronome...
What matters the most is what the audience hears...
I currently use a pair of QSC K12 speakers for monitoring live. They translate very well to the real world when creating patches for live use. If you're going the FRFR route, the key is headroom and clarity. I've found these speakers to be garbage in/garbage out. They aren't clinical, so to speak, but they will tell you whether your patches will fit in the mix. They're 1000 clean watts a piece, so they are more than loud enough. I also use in ear monitors in tandem because I still want to feel the amp as well as get feedback on command.
If you are playing much of a crowd playing metal, I don't think the crowd will hear much of any kinda amp or speaker you have as a monitor(unless it is massive). so I guess you need to ask what kinda pa system is everyone plugging into. I myself go with what ever the floor wedges are.

I'd use an amp and a 4x12 - probably a 5153 50watt head.

No PA. Small stage. Small crowd in a small room. Nothing beats an old school rock/metal band properly blowing the fuck out of the place with traditional gear, in my opinion! Most of our gigs are those kind of places!
I go with out 1 direct to the FOH. For smaller venue I use 2 Matrix Q12a (even if I always use IEM)
Out 1 > FOH with Cab sims on. (I'd suggest using ML Sound Lab's Cab Irs done with Misha Mansoor)
Out 2 > Power amp to Traditional Cab.

Use an FX Loop Block before the Cab block. Chris From axeFxTutorials has a great tutorial. I use a Port City cab and get plenty of thump on stage and still have "my sound" sent to Foh.
I would go power amp into guitar cab with the FOH direct out of the axe fx. But I may try using my k12 onstage one day.
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