Practical question: use of delay in live mix?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by dswo, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    Recent discussions of the Strymon Volante prompt a general question. How do you keep delay from getting lost in the live mix? A couple years ago my mate bought a Belle Epoch to use in our first performance. It sounded great in rehearsal with just the two of us on guitar, but on show day the delay just disappeared as soon as the drummer started. Suggestions? I'm not blaming the drummer, by the way, who was playing for all the performers, not just our duo.
     
  2. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It’ll be the eq, I think. Little bit more oomph. Also turn the repeat volume up a bit.


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  3. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Holic

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    In a mix it's often good to reduce the number of repeats / feedback. Too many echoes just muddy up and smear together.
     
  4. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep..eq, mix and playing style. Lighten any reverb to reduce the mush.

    You have to be really tight on the attack, muting and rhythm to hear the repeats. iME. Tap tempo keeps it on time. Try a dotted pattern rather than lose the repeats with the drums.
     
  5. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    Delay isn't easy with a full band and two guitars. It helps if the guitars can occupy different places in the mix.
     
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  6. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Check with the Edge, he seems to make it work. LOL
     
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  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I always scratch my had at things like this.

    Delay in a live mix works largely the same as not in my experience.

    I've played with a lot of folks. All running pedals into the front of their amps.

    And none has had problem with delay being audible on stage or in the house.

    Including in a band with three guitars.

    My guess is it says something not about the delay, but about your fundamental sound and band mix.
     
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  8. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    All about where your guitar sits in the mix. Delay and reverb are sometimes at the mercy of the room your in and its natural sound bouncing properties too.

    Too much competing for the midrange made my reverb not very noticeable in a 4 person band, but in a 3 piece band it was more prominent. I haven't played with a drummer since I got my AD999, so I can't say for sure, but I feel like it would work similar in a mix.
     
  9. dombar335

    dombar335 Tele-Meister

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    I play in a worship band so needless to say the sound is very reliant on delay. I've found that brightening up the eq of the repeats works better than increasing the mix. Also, for that particular ambient style more repeats than I think are needed actually work better. Depending on what style you are playing YMMV.
     
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  10. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with dlew919 and Guitarteach.....I'd start with addressing the eq'ing of all other instruments.
    It's easy to get too much of the mid's present so carving out appropriate frequencies of one instrument or another is where I would start.

    Plus, if other instruments are using (unnecessary ?) reverb for the venue the band mix could sound unclear and washed out.

    Hope that helps....
     
  11. RoyalBaby

    RoyalBaby Tele-Afflicted

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    My non pro take on this based on a couple of things that were ‘lightbulb ‘ moments for me:

    There was an interview with Jim Campilongo asking him why he was using tone rather than volume swells. His answer was to the effect that in any kind of band context you don’t hear the full volume range of the guitar. From 0 to, let’s say, 50% the audience won’t hear that so when you do a volume swell within a song they don’t hear it, they just hear the top of the curve.

    I saw Bumblefoot at the Birmingham guitar show doing a clinic style presentation so you could hear his guitar in isolation and within a band ( well, backing tape). I thought wow that’s quite a bright sound with a lot of delay ( I’d say digital style delays, certainly not dark/ character / analogue style) but in a song context you couldn’t really hear the delay as delay. I’m assuming that this top pro and very analytical guitarist knows what he’s doing so the delays were ambience, I’m sure ‘thickening’ the sound but we weren’t really hearing them as distinct delays.

    So, I think, if you want to hear delays clearly they need to be loud - at unity or close to unity with the original note. Otherwise accept that they are ambience that you’ll miss if they aren’t there but won’t hear distinctly. And if you can hear them distinctly that then becomes like another instrument in the mix which is fine if you are The Edge or Albert Lee but can be truly awful waddling up and down a blues scale.
     
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  12. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    Turn off the delay.
     
  13. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    Thanks to all who contributed advice.
     
  14. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    try an eq pedal.
     
  15. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    Which way would you EQ?
     
  16. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Play louder.
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    It is a problem. Especially on stage, further out it seems to sound better.
     
  18. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    This. It's not the delay that's the problem, it's how the mix is shifting when you bring it into another room. Try moving to another spot in your rehearsal room while you're playing and see how your perception changes. Then make sure that when you're in your live setting, you step out in front of the band to hear what's happening. Obviously that's easier said than done for a number of reasons, but do your best, and have a sound person you either trust, or who will leave things alone when you've gotten them good enough.

    EDIT: This is why I'm not upset about my rehearsal room being really live and reverberant. If I can get things to work in there, they will translate to the stage.
     
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  19. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    well, it depends on what the problem is, and you need to troubleshoot. however, delay gets murkier real fast when there's a lot of low end. it increases the boomy room problem. so shaving down the bass is a good place to start. if the pedal has a send/return loop you could try putting eq there too.
     
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  20. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hearing a recording of the event would certainly help. Too many variables to speculate. Got a recording?:)
     
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