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Old January 31st, 2011, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How do I cut through 5 guitars?

For reasons that I will not explain, I'm playing a short set with 5 other guitarists in a few weeks. Yes, 5 guitarists all playing the same chords. I have two solos, and am wondering how to cut through the mix.

I'm playing a Tele into a Blues Jr. and running a Fulltone FD2 as my main overdrive, and as you can imagine, the boost function on that pedal probably won't cut it. So my current plan is to run my Fultone OCD after the FD2, and hit that when it comes to the solo. I'll run my OCD a both a higher volume and set with a higher treble/mid.

Think that'll work? Both pedals turned on at the same time can be pretty gain-y, but I don't know how else to "break on through to the other side".


Last edited by vedt; January 31st, 2011 at 04:09 PM.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Take a Tele.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tele bridge pickup + BBE Boosta grande... clean cuts through.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Put tablature-less sheet music in front of the other guitar players.

OK, seriously though, one solution might be to connect a volume pedal after the FD2. Set your amp louder than normal, and use the volume pedal to get a good level when you're playing with the other five 6-string slingers. When it comes time for you to solo, rock forward on the volume pedal to get the same tone only louder. Just remember to rock it back when you're done.

If you don't have a volume pedal, you should be reasonably OK with the OCD at minimum gain and maximum level, or at least a level setting that makes you louder than the other five guys. The only danger here is that the OCD at minimum gain might add some of its own character to the solo tone. Your ears may not like what they're hearing.

Or they might. Your mileage might vary.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fezz parka View Post
Take a Tele.
...and use the bridge pickup on solos!

As far as the pedals you mentioned, those are both very good choices but you DON'T have to run the drive knobs very high when stacking them. If you're stacking the OCD after the fulltone, cut the drive on the OCD back to taste. The inherent EQ of the OCD will help you cut through the mix very well IMHO, and it will give you a bit of a volume boost if you dial it in right. You don't need tons of gain to be heard...quite the contrary...the more gain you have the more chance there is of getting "squashed" in the mix because it will overly compress your signal and you'll lose some attack, which I feel is needed when soloing for note separation and articulation.

JMHO. YMMV.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Assuming the others will be chording in the lower octaves while you're soloing, get up above them in the mix, ie an octave higher. Also, suggest that they apply some dynamics, ie more quietly while you solo. Also, someone(s) could create/double the bass line to reduce the midrange din.

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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Tone cuts through, if you have a valve amp try using a Treble Booster instead of a distortion pedal, crank the amp up and use the volume pot to clean or distort the guitar sound. Distortion pedals make the drive fizzy and generic.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd go with carbide, those pickup magnets and trussrods are apt to pretty quickly dull high speed steel saw teeth.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is all just my opinion based on my own experience playing onstage... Boosting the treble will not help you be heard above the other instruments. To cut through, use as little distortion as you feel you can get away with... the cleaner the sound, the better. And use as much midrange as possible. Low and highs will just get lost in the mix. What sounds best at home, at rehearsal, or on a recording is not necessarily what works best onstage.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just remember that you don't want a lot of distortion, the cleaner the tone, the less mud, the more cut (obviously CLEAN clean might be too clean, unless you're playing surf tunes!).

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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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BBE sonic maximizer helps, also, but most importantly listen to where others are at and be some where else. I play in a 3 guitar band, i spend most of time in either the middle or Neck position. and play something different as far as chord voices.

Another tip is take a baritone if you have one...
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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occupy the frequencies they aren't. So, if they're like a lot of guitar players I know, go for the midrange.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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When you do the sound check, set your guitar on "5".
You should be playing rhythm w/ these guys at equal volume. Then for the solo, turn up to "10"(4th gear) & hit a pedal if necessary.
Hopefully everyone else will not be turning up too & creating a never-ending attempt to be heard!
Different chord voicing helps too - Try to avoid 1st position bar chords.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Do what guitar players have done for years...just keep turning your amp up until YOU ARE HEARD.

Seriously though, I agree with Tim. Sometimes clean tones stand out from the crowd.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Unless they're all clean, I'm in the 'less gain' camp.
If you know what guitars and amps they're all using and you have the option(?) pick something very different. Like if they're all strats and LP's bring your tele or a Teisco, etc. If they're all teles - an LP. As Jazztele said - occupy a different freg range.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Old January 31st, 2011, 12:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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What you do is take a Tele with well potted pickups and play through one of these amps.

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Old January 31st, 2011, 01:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The Treble booster doesn't have to make your sound too treble, on a class A valve amp especially like a Vox AC30 is gives you natural smooth gain. = Rory Gallaghar, Brian May, Richie Blackmore etc....
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Old January 31st, 2011, 02:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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if you need a volume boost try running the FD2 on CompCut so that the boost actually does boost volume...just a thought.

what song/s are you doing?
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Old January 31st, 2011, 02:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I had a similar situation once but it was only three other guitars and the volume was kept down for a small club..still pretty dang loud. I was playing a Tele..I used a treble booster and could be heard even though my volume was lower than the others..Suck tone but at least I was heard..
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