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When did the guitar became a pariah instrument?

chris

Legend!
all i know is that Volume is a part of music and audio. air physically moves.

i get asked ALL the time to play music and "sound full" but do it at lower than conversation volume. that just can't happen. "full" means it "fills" the room... with - you guessed it - sound.

now there is definitely "too loud" for every room. but to me that means more than "full." and i don't always need to play loudly or fully. but you can't "make people feel it" when you're whispering.

volume matters. if you want me to be background music, then i can do that, no problem. but it can't be that AND fill the room and/or make people feel it at the same time. volume is what makes music. guitar feeds off of volume as well, literally.
 

Muad'zin

Fractal Fanatic
Where did I say I was being a dick to a sound engineer? Where did I say we are rude to the staff at any venue? Also you nailed it - all you'll get is stage volume. Which at that point is loud enough ;).

Epic fail! Stage volume is the worst form of amplification if you want your show to sound good. That's why they invented PA systems in the first place. Because it sounds better when everything in the mix is in balance. Not when one instrument is insanely loud and out of whack with the rest of the band.

Again, the days of loud guitars are not over. I implore you to look up the band Sleep.

I've never heard of the band Sleep. Because nobody gives a f*** about bands anymore. That ship has sailed, arrived in port on the other side and its crew is busy hitting the red light district. The war is over, rap and dance won. The days of large venues are over. Small venues its going to be for most rock bands from now on. And that means volume limits. Learn to live with it, or learn to never play again in any decent venue. Also realize that venues and sound engineers talk to each other. You don't want to be that asshole band.

I do hear issues. The issues is sound techs who aren't used to modeling tech, and bands who don't have their own sound tech. The mix can sound great sure, but running any current modeling rig isn't a guarantee of that. That's why everyone has the choice of a 100W head pushing 412's or a modeler into a powered 112 or a modeller into a 100W power amp into two 412's. Get the setup that works for you.

I never had any issues with my modeling rig. Cause I know how to talk with sound engineers. And I don't want 412's blasting at my ears. Because tinnitus is not a badge of honor.

Artist > Soundguy

It's the engineers and tradesmen who keep the world going and make sure that the artists and socalled smart people can do their thing. Without these people the world would come to a screeching halt. You, as an artist, are nothing without these people. Respect the sound engineer, just like the people who prepare and serve your food. Because you really don't want to piss them off.

So do I. Even with an Axe Fx I widely prefer a (well balanced) backline using a CLR. All this in-ear stuff is quite fake IMHO, a kind of "hey did you see me with my pro in ear thing" and a vaste emotion killer. Maybe useful if you play Wembley on a multiple acre stage size but that's not the case for the majority of us and it probably never will be. Many professional cover bands here play with this in-ear garbage now and their concerts become stone cold performances for most of them. When you stand on the stage side it's like you're visioning a tap dance act with a drum set behind...absolutely lifeless and boring. Same for the first row of the audience who generally are behind the FOH hanging above. Seems more a freaky hype than a real need. Played in a band rehearsing in-ear, replacement job for one concert and for me It's missing a part of instrumental communication. Will not repeat the experience....oops, sorry for those who swear with iem, I just don't see it as future but more as a fashion. Regarding sound engineers..imho nowadays most are quite happy when you come up with an axe fx.

Nothing bores me more as a concert goer then seeing a band perform and have all the musicians stand in their sweet spot all the time. I wanna see people move about. Interact with each other, with the audience. Using in-ears frees me from the shackles of being bound to the sweetspot of my amp or my monitor wedge. I can go anywhere on stage and still have my perfect monitor mix. Go into the audience if I want too and still have my perfect monitor mix. Don't have to worry about the stage volume being so loud as to hardly be able to hear anything and still have my perfect monitor mix. I don't have to worry about getting unwanted feedback from loud amps or wedges. In-ears represent freedom to me, freedom to create an epic show, rather then just a performance.

I find it interesting that people here are bashing Joe for what he said. I'm guessing that Joe is a more accomplished player and has more stage experience than anyone that has responded. He can say what he wants - if that's his experience and what works for him, then who cares ? The guy has worked his ass off to get where hes at and obviously its working for him. He also has some of the best recorded and live tones out there - he obviously knows a thing or two about guitar tone. Axe works for me, maybe not for others - who cares ? Whose to say who is right and wrong? He wants control over his tone - whether good or bad its his choice. That's what HE wants - if you want something different - fine. But don't bash the guy because he may do something differently.

Joe had the good fortune to become a major act, which allowed him to act out his tone OCD by playing venues that were big enough. Now that the music scene has changed it would appear that either even these big venues are no longer allowing him to act out his tone OCD, or he's forced to play smaller venues. And rather then adapt and come up with a with a solution he prefers to whine.

At least that's how he's coming across.

Why is ROCK guitar music dead?
men-yesterday-men-today-its-no-wonder-why-we-lack-27288634.png

Isn't there that saying? Hard times create hard men. Hard men create good times. Good times create soft men. Soft men create hard times.


The sound engineer is the first guy on the job and the last to leave. When I worked as a sound engineer we had working days of 14 hours. We had to set up the PA system, and break it down again every time. I still work at festivals and again we are the first to arrive and set things up and the last ones to be still working when everyone else is hitting the beers. We have to deal with shitty bands that are clueless as to how to do a soundcheck, who always seem to have forgotten a critical piece of equipment. Like an extra set of strings, or just a simple guitar cable. The bass player is always out having a smoke when he's supposed to do his soundcheck. Guitarists always want to run their amps at 11 and constantly turn their amps up when they shouldn't. If they arrive on time that is. The last band always leaves their gear on stage for way too long while we have to break down the PA. And all those cables we have to fold up that that meme maker thinks is all we do are dirty as fuck from all the beer that the band and the audience spilled over them. And what do we get as a thank you? We get flipped off and dumb ass memes.

We should just let bands handle their own sound. They seem to think they know better anyway.

all i know is that Volume is a part of music and audio. air physically moves.

i get asked ALL the time to play music and "sound full" but do it at lower than conversation volume. that just can't happen. "full" means it "fills" the room... with - you guessed it - sound.

now there is definitely "too loud" for every room. but to me that means more than "full." and i don't always need to play loudly or fully. but you can't "make people feel it" when you're whispering.

volume matters. if you want me to be background music, then i can do that, no problem. but it can't be that AND fill the room and/or make people feel it at the same time. volume is what makes music. guitar feeds off of volume as well, literally.

Yeah, but the point remains, the sound engineer has to create an overall mix that has all the instruments sound good, not just the guitar. And do so within the constraints of the venue and the health and safety codes. Or not have the cops shut the venue down. I get that as a guitarist you want your sound to sound good. I'm a guitarist as well, I get that. I also get however that you can't always get what you want. And that in the grand scheme of things 99% of the audience isn't paying attention to your guitar tone anyway, they're all focused on the singer. Probably not in the case of JB, but most bands focus on making music together, they don't exist to support a single artist.
 

ksandvik

Experienced
Horror story no 2, a venue around here has a PA and monitors. Told the sound guy to put my guitar amp DI (cab emulation) straight to PA/monitors and I keep my stage volume very low. Two of the three stage monitors, left and middle, are wired to the same bus, plus they sound really crappy. Singers complain about too much guitar in the middle monitor so they go to the sound guy and he then removes all monitor output of my guitar. Spend the next 40 minutes guessing what I'm playing on an otherwise loud stage.... (but I didn't crank up my amp!)
 

MisterE

Fractal Fanatic
I feel that, as long as we have acoustic drums on stage, you can set the level of the other instruments such as guitars to match the level of the drums.
And that's plenty loud enough IMHO.
We all know the guitar sounds different when playing it near a loud amp.
It's one of the first things I found out on this forum when people were complaining about the thinness of the sound when compared to playing a real amp.
But that doesn't mean you have to play insanely loud.
As I wrote, matching the sound level of the drums is loud enough.
Ans I never had any sound engineer complaining to me when I set my CLR's at that level.
 

Jimmytwotimes

Experienced
This is just isn't healthy reasoning. His experience only makes his poor understanding of modern sound that much more inexcusable

You can have your opinion and say he doesn't have an understanding of modern sound. However, I don't know what your qualifications are to say that. I don't see that there are multiple " Rane" solo albums, world tours, and grammy nominations. But somehow you know more than him. This is an opinion - he has one and you have one.


Joe had the good fortune to become a major act, which allowed him to act out his tone OCD by playing venues that were big enough. Now that the music scene has changed it would appear that either even these big venues are no longer allowing him to act out his tone OCD, or he's forced to play smaller venues. And rather then adapt and come up with a with a solution he prefers to whine.

At least that's how he's coming across.

I have seen him five times - not once did I ever think he was any louder than anyone else I have ever seen. In fact it was probably a bit lower than "normal". I wear earplugs at shows anyway and so should everyone.
I don't think he came across as whining - but even if he was, at this point in his career, he has the right to whine a little and make some demands regarding his sound being the way he wants it. Perks of being successful and working hard.
 

Rane

Inspired
You can have your opinion and say he doesn't have an understanding of modern sound. However, I don't know what your qualifications are to say that. I don't see that there are multiple " Rane" solo albums, world tours, and grammy nominations. But somehow you know more than him. This is an opinion - he has one and you have one.




I have seen him five times - not once did I ever think he was any louder than anyone else I have ever seen. In fact it was probably a bit lower than "normal". I wear earplugs at shows anyway and so should everyone.
I don't think he came across as whining - but even if he was, at this point in his career, he has the right to whine a little and make some demands regarding his sound being the way he wants it. Perks of being successful and working hard.

I wouldn't expect at all that his performances would have anything less than stellar sound - I did not mean to imply otherwise.

That doesn't excuse him from being technically incorrect and spreading unhelpful, and even damaging information to less informed musicians. Using his qualifications as a guitarist to justify his opinions of live sound engineering is flawed logic.

The science of sound strongly favors modern approaches in most venues, and especially in venues with less than ideal acoustics. Rules of thumb can be broken without ill effect if done correctly (as I'm sure it's done at Bonamassa's shows). If you, however, don't know the rules, or don't understand why they exist, you shouldn't be breaking them.

Joe's advice may work for him, but it was given with provably false facts and without proper context. Frankly, most guitarists and upcoming bands need exactly the opposite advice. Anyone can blow the roof off of a bar. A balanced, clear, and even mix is considerably harder to come by.
 

chris

Legend!
But somehow you know more than him.
not sure why different people can just know things without someone knowing "more."

jon plays in huge venues and that article seemed to support that situation mostly. play in a typical weekend bar with a small stage, do what he just said, and you'll probably never play there again.

different situations require different knowledge. people can know enough about one situation that doesn't affect someone else's knowledge or reputation.
 

JoKeR III

Power User
Epic fail! Stage volume is the worst form of amplification if you want your show to sound good. That's why they invented PA systems in the first place. Because it sounds better when everything in the mix is in balance. Not when one instrument is insanely loud and out of whack with the rest of the band.



I've never heard of the band Sleep. Because nobody gives a f*** about bands anymore. That ship has sailed, arrived in port on the other side and its crew is busy hitting the red light district. The war is over, rap and dance won. The days of large venues are over. Small venues its going to be for most rock bands from now on. And that means volume limits. Learn to live with it, or learn to never play again in any decent venue. Also realize that venues and sound engineers talk to each other. You don't want to be that asshole band.



I never had any issues with my modeling rig. Cause I know how to talk with sound engineers. And I don't want 412's blasting at my ears. Because tinnitus is not a badge of honor.



It's the engineers and tradesmen who keep the world going and make sure that the artists and socalled smart people can do their thing. Without these people the world would come to a screeching halt. You, as an artist, are nothing without these people. Respect the sound engineer, just like the people who prepare and serve your food. Because you really don't want to piss them off.



Nothing bores me more as a concert goer then seeing a band perform and have all the musicians stand in their sweet spot all the time. I wanna see people move about. Interact with each other, with the audience. Using in-ears frees me from the shackles of being bound to the sweetspot of my amp or my monitor wedge. I can go anywhere on stage and still have my perfect monitor mix. Go into the audience if I want too and still have my perfect monitor mix. Don't have to worry about the stage volume being so loud as to hardly be able to hear anything and still have my perfect monitor mix. I don't have to worry about getting unwanted feedback from loud amps or wedges. In-ears represent freedom to me, freedom to create an epic show, rather then just a performance.



Joe had the good fortune to become a major act, which allowed him to act out his tone OCD by playing venues that were big enough. Now that the music scene has changed it would appear that either even these big venues are no longer allowing him to act out his tone OCD, or he's forced to play smaller venues. And rather then adapt and come up with a with a solution he prefers to whine.

At least that's how he's coming across.

men-yesterday-men-today-its-no-wonder-why-we-lack-27288634.png

Isn't there that saying? Hard times create hard men. Hard men create good times. Good times create soft men. Soft men create hard times.



The sound engineer is the first guy on the job and the last to leave. When I worked as a sound engineer we had working days of 14 hours. We had to set up the PA system, and break it down again every time. I still work at festivals and again we are the first to arrive and set things up and the last ones to be still working when everyone else is hitting the beers. We have to deal with shitty bands that are clueless as to how to do a soundcheck, who always seem to have forgotten a critical piece of equipment. Like an extra set of strings, or just a simple guitar cable. The bass player is always out having a smoke when he's supposed to do his soundcheck. Guitarists always want to run their amps at 11 and constantly turn their amps up when they shouldn't. If they arrive on time that is. The last band always leaves their gear on stage for way too long while we have to break down the PA. And all those cables we have to fold up that that meme maker thinks is all we do are dirty as fuck from all the beer that the band and the audience spilled over them. And what do we get as a thank you? We get flipped off and dumb ass memes.

We should just let bands handle their own sound. They seem to think they know better anyway.



Yeah, but the point remains, the sound engineer has to create an overall mix that has all the instruments sound good, not just the guitar. And do so within the constraints of the venue and the health and safety codes. Or not have the cops shut the venue down. I get that as a guitarist you want your sound to sound good. I'm a guitarist as well, I get that. I also get however that you can't always get what you want. And that in the grand scheme of things 99% of the audience isn't paying attention to your guitar tone anyway, they're all focused on the singer. Probably not in the case of JB, but most bands focus on making music together, they don't exist to support a single artist.
Someone needs a hug.
 

200man

Power User
...I have seen him five times - not once did I ever think he was any louder than anyone else I have ever seen. In fact it was probably a bit lower than "normal". I wear earplugs at shows anyway and so should everyone.

So are you saying that people who go to a Joey Bonnamuss concert should wear earplugs? :)
(said light-heartedly)
 

fractalz

Power User
I saw Dinosaur Jr. recently... for about 2 minutes. His 3 full stacks at his back were so loud the FOH engineer (rightly) had to turn his vocal mic off to prevent massive feedback. I expected to hear his typical "alternate intonation" but instead heard only the sound of a guitar through an SM58 vocal mic. Blech. Hats off to the new wave of good sound at every seat. Buckle up for the ride!
 

Solarfire

Experienced
Yeah.. there was a point in my life when I shit and pissed in my pants, I don't do that anymore either.
 
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Muad'zin

Fractal Fanatic
You can have your opinion and say he doesn't have an understanding of modern sound. However, I don't know what your qualifications are to say that. I don't see that there are multiple " Rane" solo albums, world tours, and grammy nominations. But somehow you know more than him. This is an opinion - he has one and you have one.

I have seen him five times - not once did I ever think he was any louder than anyone else I have ever seen. In fact it was probably a bit lower than "normal". I wear earplugs at shows anyway and so should everyone.
I don't think he came across as whining - but even if he was, at this point in his career, he has the right to whine a little and make some demands regarding his sound being the way he wants it. Perks of being successful and working hard.

You can make demands, but if the venues can't meet them, for legal reasons possibly, then maybe he should try and find a way so everybody can win. Being a whiner helps no one. Like it or not, the music business is always changing, you cannot expect things to remain the same forever. If he doesn't like the sound of a small amp, fair enough, why not invest in some attenuators? Or iso cabs? Or is he one of those sensitive princesses who can feel a pea underneath a stack of mattresses and those are just not like the real thing either?

Someone needs a hug.

You'd do too if you had the pleasure of doing sound for other bands. Don't get me wrong, overall its fun work and there are lots of bands who are respectful and have their shit in order. And there are lots of band who don't. And who always blame the sound guy for their incompetence.
 

Budda

Fractal Fanatic
Epic fail! Stage volume is the worst form of amplification if you want your show to sound good. That's why they invented PA systems in the first place. Because it sounds better when everything in the mix is in balance. Not when one instrument is insanely loud and out of whack with the rest of the band.



I've never heard of the band Sleep. Because nobody gives a f*** about bands anymore. That ship has sailed, arrived in port on the other side and its crew is busy hitting the red light district. The war is over, rap and dance won. The days of large venues are over. Small venues its going to be for most rock bands from now on. And that means volume limits. Learn to live with it, or learn to never play again in any decent venue. Also realize that venues and sound engineers talk to each other. You don't want to be that asshole band.

Ah yes, aging rocker with head in the sand. Glad to have met.

You do realize that bands themselves can also balance a mix right? By putting time and effort into getting that mix before they even load up the van (and trailer). You seem to discount that as a possibility entirely, and it makes you look foolish.

You've never heard of the band Sleep because you're fully immersed in being quiet on stage. Does your drummer use an electronic kit? Honest question.

Music was never a war. Hiphop and EDM are indeed popular - and everything old is new again. Don't know if you've noticed, but there's still a lot of bands touring, playing festivals, being put on late-night TV... but you didn't notice. You're too busy believing guitar based music is dead (it isn't).

I already said we're a polite professional band with a loud setup. You keep ignoring that though.

Heaven forbid guitars and bass match the volume of a snare and cymbals.
 

s0c9

Moderator
Moderator
You'd do too if you had the pleasure of doing sound for other bands. Don't get me wrong, overall its fun work and there are lots of bands who are respectful and have their shit in order. And there are lots of band who don't. And who always blame the sound guy for their incompetence.
I'd say close to a third (1/3) of the bands I run FOH for at Festivals in my area are local bands and totally clueless about live sound, never mind OUTDOOR live sound. This includes the tribute bands I've done too.. One - a GNR trib - had TWO 4x10 cabs w/ 100w Marshall heads and totally destroyed the rest of the band with their stage volumes. I asked them to turn down but got the usual "it's rock n roll man, we gotta turn it to 11" response! Nothing I can do out front (even with 40,000w of PA) to tame two cranked Marshall full-stacks and fit them nicely into the mix. Everything else has to come up to match.. :(
That said - most bands (thankfully) are professional and experienced enough to know that if the FOH guy asks you to turn something down, there's a reason and there are other options available for monitoring.
And that's just the guitar players.. then there's the bassists who insist on the 8x10 cab in a club. I had one lady come up to me at a gig (I had tablet in hand) and complain that the bass is too loud. I lowered the tablet, pointed to the fader level on the bass channel, then pulled it all the way down. "Do you hear any difference?". "No", she said.. "Exactly.. ALL the bass is coming off the stage. I have ZERO control".
BTW - her husband was one of the 2 guitar players in that band! :)
 

TG3K

Power User
...I already said we're a polite professional band with a loud setup. You keep ignoring that though...

Honest question: How do you deal with the inevitable hot spots where the guitar cabs are pointed? Every band I've ever seen that had a loud stage volume also had guitar "Death Zone" areas where the directional nature of the guitar cabs overpowered the other instruments on stage. It may sound great on stage, and some areas in the room may have a great mix, but in other areas of the room the guitar was too loud in comparison. (Bass isn't as bad since the lower frequencies are more omnidirectional.)
 

6L6C

Power User
I have seen him five times - not once did I ever think he was any louder than anyone else I have ever seen. In fact it was probably a bit lower than "normal". I wear earplugs at shows anyway and so should everyone.
I don't think he came across as whining - but even if he was, at this point in his career, he has the right to whine a little and make some demands regarding his sound being the way he wants it. Perks of being successful and working hard.

Yeah agree !
Just seen him about six weeks ago, everything was balenced, clear. There was no feedback from his vocal mic which is pointing in the near direction of the amps. I believe those plexi baffles are the key (in his case). Even before the show, during sound check was it loud yeah but not crazy loud, more of a very full sound.
And putting aside the IEM argument. Joe's shows are some of the best sounding shows I have ever seen in my life. The end results speaks for itself.

As for the IEM I'm for it personally, and if Joe's against it well that's his view. Allot of people didn't approve of Amp modeling (and still dont) back in 2009 when I got my first Axe FX.
 
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MGW

Inspired
I've been the guy at the FOH, and nothing sucks more then having a loud asshole guitar player with his giant stack that needs to be at 11 in order to sound good. Because then you can't do jack shit with that sound in the mix. Basically you turn off their mics and the only guitar the audience will hear is stage volume.

So go ahead, be a dick to the FOH engineer. And then wonder why your band sounds like shit. Being a dick to the FOH engineer is like being a rude asshole to the people who prepare and serve your food. The days of the loud obnoxious asshole guitar player are over. Hell, if we're not careful the days of the guitar player are over period.

Not hard to be a dick to the FOH engineer when he's being a dick though. Let's be real, how may FOH guys are actually musicians and now how the guitar signal chain works? Sure there are some, but the only thing the rest of them know how to play is the radio. Don't get me wrong, louder isn't always better or appropriate, but there's assholes on both sides of that fence. They both have a tendency to do that "It's gotta be my way" thing. The lack of ability to compromise gets you no where.

By the way...I AM the guy at the FOH...been doing this for 30+ years. Things change...but there is one constant...the guitarist and FOH engineer battle. The best way I've found to deal with it is to be reasonable and make sure the guitarist knows you're on his side. If it sounds like crap...nobody wins. And depending on who you ask, you both come off looking like assholes.
 

TG3K

Power User
...Let's be real, how may FOH guys are actually musicians and now how the guitar signal chain works?...

Our FOH guy is a hack guitarist with only a rudimentary grasp of my signal chain.

I run our FOH from stage. :D

Our drummer is a pretty decent sound engineer (he has a sound company) and I've learned a lot from him. And the best FOH engineer to mix our band is a good bass player in his own right. He mixes various local bands when he's not at his regular job running FOH for Alice Cooper.
 
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