Mix cutting advice

  • Hi,

    Been a kemper user for a couple of years. Recently, as we're starting to play small venues through 4x12 cabs (miced) I've started to plug my powerhead into a Marshall 4x12 for rehearsals.

    Other guitarist plugs a Boss Katana into 4x12 & no matter what profile I play (mix of direct Marshall & Mesa mk2) I just can't cut as well. Volume no issue... I could probably kill the band if I wanted to but without cranking it I can't seem to compete.

    And solos are even worse.

    I use...

    1. Low cut at 100hz, high at 8-10000 or whatever stops unpleasant high end.

    2. Studio EQ with usually rhythm mix selected.

    3. Clarity at 1

    4. Gain usually dialled down a touch.

    With direct profiles above that sounds EPIC alone, then when other guy kicks in it's a case of where TF did my guitar go...?

  • What kind of music are you playing? And just to be clear, what do you mean by cut?

    To be honest, it sounds like the problem isn't you, but rather the other guitarist. I know from experience I can create a guitar sound, by hogging the frequency spectrum, that will make every other musician unhappy. It all comes down to having sensitivity to how all the instruments fit together and taking action to resolve the issues.

    Every instrumentalist should 'get out of the way" for the soloist. I'm not aware of any accomplished, sensitive musicians that don't do this.

    In my experience a low cut at 100Hz will not make the bass player happy and will likely sit on top of the kick as well. 175Hz is the minimum for me and sometimes I go as high as 250Hz. It depends on the other instruments and YMMV. Heck, my mileage may vary.

  • Likewise I agree that if everything sounds okay until the other guy comes in then that is likely to be where the problem is. Hence suggesting getting the room to EQ things out as a band.

    Some the best advice I was given for EQ'ing a two guitar band was that someone has to be happy being Robin so the other can be Batman.

  • Thanks all.

    Yeah I did suspect that his half of the equation might be a focus. Might be a tricky conversation to have then but needed.

    What I really meant by 'cut' was to be equally heard in the live mix.

    Interested about the low cut comment. I took 100hz from what seemed like Internet consensus. Most sites with articles on how to best mix live say 80-100hz filter so I normally go with 100. Will try & go a bit higher.

  • The low cut frequency isn't absolute. Mine changes from night to night depending on the other instruments and how the mix is sounding. I find 100Hz is where either the kick or bass should live. I don't want to be down there creating mud. I am still surprised at how high I can set the low cut and still be happy with the tone in context with the band. And the tone that I dial in for a gig will sound pathetic when auditioned at home by itself.

    I should mention that none of this will actually be very effective if the other guitarist is hogging the low-end.

  • Try EQing by ear. Have the other guitarist play a chord, then you play the chord, and try to EQ it to sound more like the other guitarist. Rinse and repeat.

    If that doesn't work, a cut around 250 Hz and a boost around 2-3 kHz may help. But you really have to train yourself to hear it rather than using other people's suggested frequencies...there are just too many other factors for that to be really effective. Good luck!

  • Your mid EQ is what is going to make you compete and surpass. Boost the mids to put your guitar out front in a mix even if it starts to sound unpleasant to you with the guitar alone, because the drums and bass help to round out the guitar tone in a mix.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • Cheers everyone. We're playing metal along the lines of slayer. I think the low cut will be something to look at as I'm all "chunk" (which is gorgeous on own) and he's all top end. So when all band plays I'm providing meaty grind but I might as well pick a bass up.

    I've booked an extra hour in studio tonight & hopefully other guitarist can make it so we can dial in tones.

  • 3 comments from me:

    1) The 4 x12 won't help as they tend smooth the sound out - in my mind mushing it out. Guitar cabs have a massive effect on the end sound and won't reflect well on the FOH sound, so be careful with you eq-ing.

    2) As you probably know, in most cases we work our sounds out on our own and go for the biggest fullest sound. This is counter productive for a band. Slayer and bands of that ilk often used scooped mids, in this case mids are your friend.

    3) I have used the preset on studio eq " cut the mix" which I find works really well.

  • You are getting good advice here. The key is in the mids. One guy needs to be stronger in the upper mids and the other in the lower mids. Then you will both be heard. Neither will sound stellar on their own but together, they will sound huge.