July 1st, 2008, 12:33 AM
I need some advice/thoughts/guidance/help with a new rig. I've run a Line 6 POD XT Live for the last couple of years into the PA.
I like it as far as tone, versatility and switching, but it leaves me at the mercy of the soundman who absolutely refuses to turn the trim on the board down below half way. All inputs are set this way, and everything runs into compressors. That means that, although I can feed him a line level signal, I have to turn down the XTL's level really, really lowto give him a signal that won't blow stuff up.
This means that, although I have a monitor onstage, I still often can't get enough volume out of it to hear myself. This is if I'm even turned on. I've played (well stood around) several services where I wasn't turned on until a song or two into it. Once not at all (that was a short three song service though).
We have a worship leader playing acoustic and singing, drums, bass, keys, and 3-5 other singers. It's not hand out earplug loud, but I'm getting drowned out because I'm having to cut my volume so much to agree with the preset trim levels on the mixing board.
I also would like to cut my load in/out from guitar, heavy amp, pedal bag (also heavy), my 4 month old's car seat carrier, and 2 other little hands to; guitar, lighter amp, 3 or 4 pedals in guitar bag, car seat carrier, and the other 2 little people.
In the past, I've just miked up a Roland JC-77 and run with it. That works fine, except for the weight and the fact that it's starting to give up the ghost. It's pretty much unusable now. It's got some bad crackle and it's farting out at really low volumes when you play like, medium hard. Not spanking it, just digging in a little is enough to make it sound awful. That leaves me with a Marshall Lead 12 to mike up. I've also done this before and really like how it sounds. As an added bonus, I can mike one cabinet up under the stage and have the head and slant cab on stage, again as a monitor. The POD doesn't sound good with it however, I'm not really liking this option either, because it increases load in/out greatly. Two 1x10 cabs and a small head. Small, but still not small enough for my 4 year old to help me carry.
I'm thinking of just selling the POD XT Live and putting it's proceeds (and a couple of other things) proceeds towards another setup.
My projected rig is shaping up like this:
Amp -Blackheart Engineering Little Giant BH5 Combo
MXR - Carbon Copy Delay
Chorus - Danelectro Milkshake Chorus (Already Own)
OD - Barber Electronics LTD SR
Guitar - Fender Standard Telecaster (Already Own Wouldn't be a TDPRIer without one, but thought I'd still throw it out there)
It gets miked, I can hear, I can play a bit better, and I can quit worrying about stuff and focus on praising the Lord.
Does this sound reasonable, or am I trying to justify a case of GAS?
July 1st, 2008, 09:57 AM
Why not just a modelling amp with the effects already built in? When I play in church, all I use is my tele into a Peavey transtube 110 efx... not the best amp in the world, I know... but it gets the job done, actually sounds pretty darn good with the mix, and it's not really about me anyway.
July 1st, 2008, 10:24 AM
The only small amps (15W or less) that I've had any experience with are the Blues Jr. and a Vox that had built in FX that actually sounded pretty good at low volumes. I love tubes, but for church, there usually useless unless you have a congregation that loves volume.
As far as gas goes, if you can't hear yourself, how can you play decent enough to add anything? Yeah it isn't about the players or whatever, but why are you up there if they aren't going to use you. Nothing wrong with wanting to be able to play with a level of professionalism, in fact in Texas, we don't pay sales tax at the guitar store if it's for church/NPO use.
Get a decent amp that sounds good at low levels, and if the sound guy turns you down in the mix, at least you'll still be able to hear yourself.
July 1st, 2008, 10:55 AM
As far as gas goes, if you can't hear yourself, how can you play decent enough to add anything?
That's my biggest issue. I played through our worship leaders small tube amp last Sunday, and it made a Big difference. I could actually hear it, and I played way better. It was miked and in the monitor mix also.
Why not just a modelling amp with the effects already built in?
That's always an option I'll have to check out. Thanks!
I'm thinking it's a combination of GAS and frustration. I haven't bought anything except for picks and strings in over two years so I'll admit tha GAS is probably a good part of it.
Thanks for your replies!
July 1st, 2008, 03:04 PM
Sounds like you don't need anything other than a new/re-educated soundman. Why can't the trim pots be touched? Do you have multiple teams that they're trying to satisfy with a single board? That's the only thing that makes even minor sense, and then you've just got lazy soundpeople.
Where's your monitor feed coming from, the same board or from a splitter snake? Can you split your signal and pad what's going to the main board and send an unpadded signal to the monitor board? You can get a DOD 265 Direct Box for under $40 and it's got -12 adn -40 dB padding built in. Run into it, pad the output to the main board and then use the jumper to run to the monitor board. Or can't you just get yourself turned up in the monitors?
My church has been through some amazingly quirky sound situations, and I've had to live with some bad sound at times, but the limitations your soundman is putting on you are more the like of a bad club than a church.
July 2nd, 2008, 10:01 AM
Consistency is the thing. One week I might be able to hear myself adequately, and the next not so much. I'm not sure why he likes them all set at the same point, but we have been round and round about it.
I work a rotating schedule, so I'm there two weekends in a row, and then I work two weekends in a row, so when I work and come back, it seems like I have to start all over again.
Back to the POD XTL, I'm not attached enough to it that I absolutely HAVE to have it. I really only use one patch on it, the Marshall 1974X, 18W Hand Wired Combo, and I just use the switching to add and subtract effects. It's honestly a bit much for my application (probably skill level too).:wink:
July 2nd, 2008, 11:16 AM
I have a blackheart LG combo up for sale actually...but that is not why i'm writing.
First off, if your sound man is bad, it doesn't matter what you do, it's not going to solve the problem. Maybe you'll get on stage sound, but the final product...what's coming through the house...will not change.
Secondy, I've found that digital modeling especially at church services has multiple benefits. Low on stage volume when necessary, great control by sound man to make it sound good (which in your case isn't happening), and the ability to create multiple diff. sounds without multiple amps and a pedalboard the size of texas.
Now I have a big pedal board an AC30 TBX and use it for playing out with the worship band I'm giggin with. But for church, it's my pod 2.0. I too share your frustrations, our soundmen put the music at about talking level. People can talk over it, and the voices is all that shines through.
It's an issue I would take to the leader and see what he can do, if he won't do anything maybe the BH LG Combo w/pedals is a good way to go, and what you suggested would work I'm sure quite well.
It's switchable from 5/3 watts so you can dial in a tone that is not obnoxious or loud by any standards especially if playing with acoustic drums. You should switch the preamp tube to a lower gain tube, I use a 12AT7 (ecc81) from eurotubes and a lower grade power tube to increase the headroom on the 5w setting. It takes pedals semi-well, not as well as the AC30 but that's to be expected. It is however a great "bang for the buck" tube amp that sounds pretty awesome and is easily mod-able.
July 2nd, 2008, 11:43 AM
If monitoring is you primary concern, I'd just knock down the XTs output (as you already have) but send a second signal (stereo out) to Tech 21 power engine angled back at you ie no preamp colouration in addition to what XT is putting out. From recollection they're not to heavy. Or even smaller, a tech 21 trademark 10 or 30, with the XT second output running into the fx return.
But I agree, having a soundman that won't budge is the central issue. If that isn't going to change, however then personal monitoring the best solution, saving yourself the headache and allowing you to do what you're there to do.
Sidenote: A Pro Jr is still loud for church use - I've used one, had to keep it on 3. 5watters on a bandstand generally sound small and choked to me, especially if their speaker is a 10" or less.
I've recently moved to a direct-to-desk setup, but staying purely analog by running my pedalboard into one of these (http://www.tech21nyc.com/character_series.html) (Blonde model), set clean and always on...very happy with it. Moreso than running my boutique tube amps on 1.5 and relying on monitors. If you're only using the Marshall preset on the XT, the Tech 21s have a British version of the pedal.
No affiliation with Tech 21 by the way! Just happy with their gear for going non-tube and/or direct where needed.
July 2nd, 2008, 02:33 PM
I usually use a fairly big rig at church...
but at times I have gone with just a guitar and a cube 30...
the cube 30 is small, light, and actually sounds pretty decent... has built in effects, and like they said previously, in the mix you can't always hear the tubes anyways...
I've bought about 5 or 6 different cube 30's off of ebay to sell to my students, I'm always surprised how nice they sound...
I usually pay about 140 - 180 for them shipped...
July 2nd, 2008, 05:05 PM
Here is your answer :)
I bought the Cube 60 recently over the Cube 30x due to the additional line out with speaker simulation.
One hand amp, guitar in gig bag on back, bag with stuff in the other hand.
July 2nd, 2008, 10:30 PM
Here is your answer :)
That's a very good answer, Thanks!
July 3rd, 2008, 12:33 AM
My 1x12 Allen Old Flame and small pedal board works everywhere; big church, small church, mic'd or not, and even outside. Quiet stage or not. Pointed right at me on a stand.
July 3rd, 2008, 03:00 AM
I, too, am a PODxt player. I've worked around this very situation, and I have two ideas for you, neither of which are expensive in any way, and both will resolve your issue.
1. Opt for a powered monitor. I've often run to the board mono and slung my right channel to something that will allow me to hear something. It works, and it won't cramp the sound quality, since you can run the PODxt in "Studio Direct" mode. This should resolve the issue unless there's stage volume complaints, in which case...
2. ...you should opt for an in-ear solution. I suggest the Rolls PM351. Run your left channel into it, and then run it out to the snake. It acts as a direct box, but gives you in-ear functionality and independent control over how much of yourself you hear without messing with the mix at all. I use this every weekend, and I've not even thought twice about monitors since I started working with it. You can replace your stage monitor with it(it does need a 1/4" monitor line in), and you can buy 25' headphone extender cables from Hosa, which make it very easy to move around with.
Either of those selections should make both you and your sound guy happy. Take it from someone who has been there, you don't want to give up being able to dial in a nice patch and turn on the PODxt noise gate to make the Tele quit buzzing. Keep going with the XT.
July 3rd, 2008, 04:01 PM
This Sunday will be the 3rd rig I've tried at Church. I had been using a Peavey Windsor that had a direct XLR out and going in direct to the PA. It was easier than mic'ing but sounded awful out in the congregation. When using the XLR on the Windsor, it disconnects the internal speaker. Our P&W leader plays the keys and is LOUD and he doesn't like to hear anything in his monitor but the keys and voices. Well which monitor am I positioned next to? I couldn't hear myself.
Last Sunday I mic'd an EVJr and my 112 cab acted like a monitor for me. Much better. I let the EVJr go to my brother since I fell in love with a VOX Ad, but I will always mic from now on. If nothing else I can use my amp as a monitor. I always leave myself some room too just in case the soundman isn't doing his job. My brother is the Youth Pastor and a guitar player. As a matter of fact he does P&W once a month. We have a system and if he can't hear me out in the congregation, he gives me a signal. Push comes to shove I can always just crank the amp and be heard the old fashioned way.
July 3rd, 2008, 08:42 PM
I'm really leaning toward miking an amp. If nothing else, I can use my PODXTL as a pedal board. Thanks again!
July 7th, 2008, 08:42 PM
Get instrument mic and simply mic your amp...simplest solution.
July 8th, 2008, 12:47 AM
Your Church soundman is a Tool. Print off a manual that explains how boards work for him.
Yes! micing a GOOD amp is always the way to go.
My rule is: if what Im playing can't be heard. I don't come back. As much as I love playing music...I don't believe in wasting my time & effort. MANY churches really don't want electric guitar players. I'm okay with that. There's some churches that have NO musicians and would love to have someone to help them with Worship music. Go where you're needed. :idea:
July 16th, 2008, 05:34 PM
my rule is : its allways the other guy who is to loud.
July 21st, 2008, 10:52 PM
Wow....when I read your thread title I was going to suggest an XT Live.
I've used that for a couple of years and I'm not sure I could do without it. We're in-ear through an Aviom system. We have one sound guy who seems to prefer doing the exact opposite of the others and I just simply adjust the Aviom for his week.
Right now I'm using four banks of patches and I fly effects in and out of those - usually delay, chorus or tremolo. I'd have to carry half of a Guitar Center to be able to do that on any given week.
So far I've been able to nail any tone on any worship song I've heard. Outside of Church in a live situation with an amp the XT Live doesn't cut it, I go back to amp and pedals. I play weekly at my church so I just leave the XT Live set up there all the time.
Billy G. McCoy
September 9th, 2008, 11:49 PM
Everybody you ask will have a different opinion.
Your POD XT LIVE is a GREAT unit to use....your
problem is not your gear...it is the sound guy.
I have read some of the thread replies....very good
advice for alternative solutions.
I am a freelance player (Professional) and I use the
POD XT LIVE for church, studio sessions and for other
I use the POD XT LIVE for my fly dates with a national
artist when we have to go DIRECT to the snake/board.
I also use my POD XT LIVE in front of my Fender blackface
twin...sometimes in church and other times in secular
One thing that is consistant, is my tone!!!
The thing that is inconsistant is the sound guy and his knowledge.
The rolls unit was a great alternative...talking with the soundguy and
having your POD XT LIVE in front of an amp maybe your best solution.
Keep rockin' my friend. There are a lot of other alternatives if the soundguy
is unwilling to work with you.
REMEMBER, the sound tech is supposed to support you....not the other way around.
I am a sound tech as well. :cool:
September 10th, 2008, 12:24 AM
what i do is first make sure i have optimal sound aswell as optimal stage volume that doesnt get out of hand. what works for me is:
Amp on a tilted stand(reduces some stage volume sense its projected slightly up instead of out to the front row).
depending where i am on the stage my amp is behind me slightly to the right or left facing at a 45 towards me. if im on the right side of the stage my amp is facing me, but also facing right away from center stage and vice versa if i was on the left.
miced with a sm57 about 5 inches from the grill.
with the stand and the 45 angle away from center stage, i accually get everyone else saying "um we cant hear the electric guitar" and the soundman accually has room to turn me up more than normal this way.
im also only using either a twin reverb, or a vox ac30