Amps cancelling each other out

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Gigante_Miguel, May 5, 2019.

  1. Gigante_Miguel

    Gigante_Miguel Tele-Meister

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    Well, not exactly, but It seems that way.

    I recently picked up a Vibrolux Reverb, and it's an amazing amp with reverb and tremolo to die for, but at my last band practice, our lead guitarist, who plays through a Deluxe Reverb, and I noticed that our guitars were harder to hear when we were both playing through similar amps, than when I play through the Vox AC15, I'd been using.

    We use very different guitars too, him usually a Les Paul and me usually a tele or a Ric. I did cut through a little better when I used the Ace Thirty pedal on my board, but that seemed to defeat the purpose.
     
  2. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Two guitars playing together each need their own space ...
     
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  3. SlightReturn

    SlightReturn TDPRI Member

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    Frequencies are only so-wide. If you’re both taking up a lot of bass and treble (as those amps do), and you’re playing with bass and drums (cymbals), you’re all gonna be eating into each other’s space.
    Either your other guitarist or you need to add some midrange, and maybe just change up the tone a bit - clean tones can often sound “louder” than a similar volumed dirty tone as there’s less compression.

    I am always highly suspicious of bands that have the same backline. Unless you’re really trying to create a wall of sound and you have a *great* FOH person, most of the time you’re gonna lose a lot in the stage mix. This applies even more so to recording.
     
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  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    It may also be a phasing issue. If you hit the same note and one amps' speaker cone(s) initially move "out" and the other "in" they will cancel each other out nearly as much as one guitar player using two amps having the same problem. It's a bit harder to track down between two players, but it can be done.
     
  5. Syrinx

    Syrinx Tele-Meister

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    Silverface has a good point, as do the previous posts. I usually play a 5f1 and 5e3 together with an aby. The other guitar player often brings a super champ- no issues. But last night he played my princeton reverb and it was difficult to hear the 5e3 apart from it as they were sharing the same bandwidth.
     
  6. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    that vox prob sat right on top your going to have to shift mid EQ a lil & bump out at a dif freq. When i run 2 M circuits..the cabs will always be dif. The lead guy might want to think of a better mid punch amp if you got the goods cover on Rhythm. Right lead amp & there is nothing to have move anywhere EQ wise
     
  7. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's

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    I vote for the phasing issue also..Try setting the amps so they don't face each other and are not both aimed to the same point..
     
  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Phase issue. As in, they are quite literally cancelling each other out.

    Also, are you guys Playing basically the same parts?

    I used to have all kinds of trouble hearing myself on stage. Then I realized I should play different parts. And only double things sparingly and for effect. D’oh!

    Now I can pretty much always hear myself, regardless of gear. Wish I had figured that out sooner.
     
  9. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    This is not a phasing issue! C'mon guys - the odds that they are playing anything at the required frequency synchronization are zip, zilch, nada. This would only happen significantly when a single source feeds two amps/speakers, and even then, only at specific locations in the sound field. They are just as likely to reinforce and make it louder.

    It is just an issue of two competing sounds in the same frequency band, and relative sense of loudness.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  10. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    Exactly. How can it be a phasing issue between two amps played by two different players using two different guitars? To have a phasing issue between two amps, it has to come from the same source with speakers having a phase mismatch from one another. The guitars might need to play some different parts from the other player to avoid cancelling each other player out, but I hardly see how this could be a phasing problem. More likely an arrangement problem combined with using similar amps. Being monochromatic in your sonic palette can cancel each other's sound for sure. Sometimes that might be the effect that a group wants to create, but I prefer different equipment from another guitarist.
     
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  11. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    think of skynrd..a les paul-strat- sg all going off at same time..like em or not..its very roomy for that much chaos..i been using greenbacks g12m & a g12c right smack on top of it for lead ..same texture but 1 sits just a lil up front ..no need to move amps,,,hire a person with a scope of some sort to graph it out...stack left..stack right..Ampeg SVT & a double kick. drum.been going on since the 60's..always works...
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  12. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

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    It's a sound thing. Guitar, pedals or amp, if your guitars sound similar, they will mask each other.

    I play in a blues band where the other guitarist had a gazillion of gear, he always asks what I'm bringing to the gig, and then if I show up with the wrong guitar hehe.....
     
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  13. dogmeat

    dogmeat Tele-Afflicted

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    nah.... turn it up
     
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  14. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    20 some years ago I was the harp player in a band with two guitarists. Sometimes they really complemented (complimented?) each other.

    Sometimes they were in each other's way or created a wall of sound where you couldn't hear either guitar distinctly; it was just loud.

    When they played similar parts we got the wall of sound. When they played different voicings, rhythms, etc., or one of them was playing fills or what I call "second guitar" parts while the other held down the main rhythm part, they sounded great.

    If either one of them hit a pedal or setting that gave him too much dirt, his guitar disappeared.

    One of them changed guitars like some of us change our underwear, always searching for that perfect sound. The more different their guitars were (Gibson v. Fender, single v. double coil, etc.), the better we sounded.

    They both used amps that supposedly had a "Fender" sound, although one supposedly was Tweed and one supposedly was BF/SF. I'm not sure this made any difference in terms of distinguishing the guitars in the mix. Maybe the key word was "supposedly."

    These days I play guitar, bass, mandolin or harmonica in church, depending on what the worship team needs any given Sunday.

    We have two other multi-instrumentalists on the team. And another bass player and a couple acoustic guitarists who float in and out.

    Usually we only have one electric guitar. But a few weeks ago we had two. Myself and one of the other multi-instrumentalists were both playing electric, which seemed like a good idea until we did it. He uses a processor that has a clean Vox sound with chorus. I was using a Tech 21 Blonde, set to sound like a clean 63 Fender Deluxe. Both of us plugged into the board, I couldn't tell by my ears who was playing what. I suspect that the soundman made it all sound good. But you couldn't tell by what we could hear.

    Lots of potential issues. Maybe just having less similar amps would do it for you. Maybe there's something more central to the sound going on. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  15. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Holic

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    Hiya!

    Yikes, here I am yet again posting these guys. But, some serious answers (plural) to your serious problem in here.



    Pax/
    Dean
     
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  16. Gigante_Miguel

    Gigante_Miguel Tele-Meister

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    I think mostly it was just that the amps were kind of occupying the same sonic space, as they are similar in voice. We just thought it was an interesting thing, especially as we play very different parts, me almost always on a tele or Ric playing jangly rhythm, and him usually on a Les Paul, playing a fluid lead style, usually with a bit of fuzz.

    I’m gonna keep messing with it, but I’m still sticking with the Vox
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
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  17. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    I say phasing issue as well.
    Those who say it can't be, might not understand how sound waves propagate from a speaker cone.
    Also, with two different amps, one could easily have it's sound waves out of phase from the other.

    If both guitarists are playing in the same key, and lets hope that they are, they will have overlapping notes.
    If one amp is out of phase, there will be some cancellation.
    An easy thing to try is to reverse the polarity of the speakers in one of the amps.
    Try this if you think I'm crazy...
    Take a 2X10 or 2X 12 cabinet. Swap the +/- on one speaker. The overall impedance will not change, but the phasing will.
    You will immediately hear the difference.

    Another possibility is standing waves. They can cause strange resonance peaks and dips. Repositioning the amps will usually fix this.
     
  18. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    2 amps that sound very close to each other are going to be a problem, especially if each guitar is similar in makeup(pickup types and tonewise).
     
  19. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    Sorry, but I'm afraid that would be you. Before berating others who may have a deep background in physics, please spend a bit more time yourself to understand about how the stability of an interference pattern out in a sound field depends on both the phase stability of the two sources (not just the same note from another guitar, but one that is inherently produced with identical phase) as well as the spatial separation between the speakers.

    This is a widely known and simple phenomenon. Both speakers in this case are projecting the exact same source and therefore maintain a constant phase relationship. As you correctly point out, the tones will be purely in phase or purely out of phase depending on connections. And it is equally important that both speakers that reside in a single cabinet in this example are within a half acoustic wavelength of each other up to nearly 1 kHz, and as a result the spatial span of the interference lobes out in the sound field will cover a good portion of the audience.

    I'm concerned that you're suggesting an absolute waste of the OP's time.

    Even if two guitarists are exactly, exactly in tune, do you really think that when two guitarists play a similar note that they will always have the same phase relationship with each other - i.e., that the guitarists pick the string within a millisecond or less of each other exactly the same way each time they play a note? (This is what would be required to repeatably have the same phase.) And that you should therefore switch leads on speakers for one of the amps???

    The two amps are projecting notes from different sources that are not only not phase-locked, but are from different locations probably separated by a few wavelengths. The interference is both positive and negative in the field, and rapidly changing in both space and time. It will not make the two amps sound like they cancel each other.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  20. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    Think of live sound in a similar context as recording. As mentioned before, both mentioned amps have lots of bass and treble, as less mids are quite distinctive of both of those 6l6 driven fenders. Literally occupying the midrange that those are defined by lack of would be the el84 powered Voxs. Now, I've noticed some el84 fender stuff deliberately has less mids, but that's not helping you with the issue.
    Other midrange type sounds in many genres sonically occupy different real estate than the guitar, but some middly Marshall sounds and an aggressive snare can be definitive for (or I guess just indicative of) alot of "harder" rock genres.
    I knew a bass player who cut through great with his Sansamp engaged, but seemed to randomly tread mud depending on what his guitar player was running any given week (he liked Twins, of the SF reverb and "Evil" varieties for a spell) .

    But even having someone running through a 15" speaker using such similar amps may help. But, Then the problem sometimes happens that you creep Into the bass players part of the total.

    But hey, that's what sound guys show up to worry about, right?
    ;)
     
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