Practice space gear - a different amp every time?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Chart72, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. Chart72

    Chart72 TDPRI Member

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    Hi all,
    There is an awesome practice space in town that I have been going to with a new group of musicians (3 or 4 pc depending on the day). Just getting back into playing with people after years away from it and having a great time. The space has all the gear there-drums, PAs, amps, mics, etc… I love it. Something I have been having difficulty with, though, is that each room has different gear and the gear moves between rooms sometimes as well. So I might be playing through an AC30, a DRRI, a Deville, a twin reverb, or a Supro (unsure of model) given the session. It’s fun and interesting to play all these great amps but I’m finding it tricky to have my levels & tone right. Seems like by the end of the practice I usually have the amp figured out, but there’s gotta be a better way! Any advice? I play an ac15 at home. Should I just bring that?

    tldr; how do I quickly get familiar playing a new amp in a group setting?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
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  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    Actually, that sounds like a fun problem to have.
    I know that doesn't answer your question.
     
  3. Chart72

    Chart72 TDPRI Member

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    Yes, a fun problem! And space for a 4pc is only $16/hr! Maybe I just have to get used to em over time..
     
  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Yes, nice problem. I am so jealous. Enjoy the learning curve.
     
  5. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    Have this all the time. We use different rehearsal spaces, and I might get an AC30, Twin Reverb, Line 6 Spider, or an Orange Micro Terror.

    I don't care. It means I don't have to bring my amps to rehearsal.

    I do bring my pedalboard, and I have 3 overdrives set to different gain levels, a boost, fuzz, etc. so that I can set any rehearsal amp to the cleanest sound possible and then use my pedalboard to get my tones - similar to what I do at home.

    Try the middle of the road - set all tone controls to the middle value, reverb at barely on, and see how it goes. There is some trial and error, but if you start with a clean sound, you have a foundation to build on.

    FYI - on the Line 6 Spider, while it has "Insane" mode, it also has a "Clean" mode that without effects sounds fine.

    Other thing to remember? This is practice and isn't about nailing your live tone - it's about learning how to play together well...

    Good luck!
     
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  6. Chart72

    Chart72 TDPRI Member

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    Interesting - I think that’s the perspective shift I needed. Thanks for the tips
     
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  7. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I used to have this problem, I was taking guitar lessons at a school with pretty well outfitted rehearsal rooms and they had the same thing going on. If you were a student you were allowed to bring in your friends and use the rooms which I took advantage of.

    After a while you will get used to this and it will help you dial in your tone quick with whatever amp you're presented with and it will help with some of the "tone anxiety".

    It's really pretty easy after a little while with the exception of stuff like pedals. Occasionally we'd bring an odd pedal or two and almost inevitably we'd try it and give up on it. A lot of pedals disappear at high volumes so it can be pretty tricky and waste valuable practice time. It's just too hard to know if they're going to work with a random amp and not waste precious time.

    The flip side of all that in those rooms was there was basically no volume limit.. so it's not like there was any real need to use a pedal or something. They mostly had solid state amps that had dirt channels and with no restriction on volume you just cranked stuff if you needed dirt. My friend who would come that played drums was a hard hitter so the guitar amps ended up real loud just to be heard over the drums.
     
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  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I agree that this is a "fun" problem to have, but I also understand that some consistency of sound is important, if your guys are practicing to gig, and not just getting together for grins. Not only do YOU need to work out your optimum sound, but your bandmates need to know what they're going to hear and listen for "cues". But if this is how it's gonna be, just enjoy the different amps. It will help make you an authority on the merits of each one. ;)
     
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  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    What I would do is bring some kind of eq pedal because some of those amps don't have a mids control. And mess with the knobs before playing any songs.
     
  10. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

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    I always practice with the gear I'm going to perform with. That's the gear I need to know how to use.
     
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  11. Chart72

    Chart72 TDPRI Member

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    Yes. exactly this-it’s not about “does my tone sound amazing” it’s-am I the right level, are the notes I’m playing coming through clearly, or am I distracted by that not being the case? Which is why more pedals probably won’t help. I play an esquire type partscaster with a fuzz, a boost, and a phaser. Pretty bare bones. Maybe I’ll bring the ac15 along next time and see what happens. And I’ll start taking pics of settings when they work out.. cool to hear how other people have dealt with this
     
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  12. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    Very nice amps. They all sound great and it should be easy to dial in a nice sound
     
  13. Jeremy_Green

    Jeremy_Green Tele-Meister

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    This is exactly why I use a pedalboard to get most of my tones. If the gain is mostly coming from a pedal then all you really need is a decent relatively clean tone out of the actual amp itself. I usually zero out each EQ knob, then bring it up until I feel it come on really strong (there is always a 'hotspot' in each pot, or a point where it comes on). I do that with each dial and start there. Gain up just until it starts breaking up a bit and gets that spongy thing going. Then the pedals take it the rest of the way. It's never quite right, but I can usually get close to what i want - unless the amp it total dogcrap.
     
  14. basher

    basher Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Same. The studio where we practice has a lot of nice stuff, but I always bring what I know I'll be gigging with.
     
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  15. ricknbaker

    ricknbaker Tele-Afflicted

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    Me too.
     
  16. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Take a small pedalboard and get your sounds from that.

    All those amps can be set to play loud and clean, so start there, and then refer to your pedals for "your" tone.
     
  17. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    i find any type of TMB/TB, or single tone control is not really too hard to dial in something in minutes. re: tone and level, you always have to mess with it for the room anyway even if you only ever use that one amp.

    it's just wonky stuff like the cut control on the vox or the FAC on the orange or some kind of mid-shift that is frustrating and rabbit-holey for me, since i normally don't use those types of amps. that might throw me for a loop for a little while futzing around. or in worst case would set them to as out of the circuit as possible and not get the full glory/potential of the amp.

    but you seem to be partially ahead of that last curve if you have an AC15. do you have a traditional fender or marshall TMB or TB amp at home?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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