gig, it’s pure torture tearing it all down at
2 AM after playing for four hours.
As guitarists, we’ve been told on occasion
by sound techs (and frequently by club
owners) to turn down. These folks just
don’t understand that we have to turn up
to 11 to get “our sound”—and they don’t
care either. The modeling amp offers some
help in this area, too. Since the sound
coming from the modeling product already
sounds like it’s coming from an amp, that
sound can be taken directly from a line out
and sent to the PA. This makes it unnecessary to mic a loud amp onstage, and
makes it much easier for your sound tech
to get a good mix out front.
The next thing to consider is monitoring
your live sound. Since the modeling product is already creating the complete sound
of a typical rig, including amp, speaker
cabs, microphone and effects, it might
be wise to listen to that signal through
a full range system such as a keyboard
amp. Guitar—through a keyboard amp?
No, I am not crazy. If you’re like me, you
are constantly adjusting your volume and
tone when playing live. You need to know
exactly what effect your tone tweaks are
having as they go direct to the PA system.
Consider that if you play your modeling
product through a regular guitar amp and
speakers, that amp, and especially the
speakers, are coloring the sound a lot.
A typical situation where this becomes an
issue is with chunky muted rhythm sounds.
You probably spent some time at home
dialing in a great preset on your modeling product that sounded awesome. Then
you get in a live setting and play that
sound through a guitar amp. The speakers in a guitar amp typically don’t have a
lot of bass or high frequency response, so
in order to rock it all the way to the back
row, you crank the low end on your amp
to get your sound. The problem is that you
were already getting your sound and sending it to the sound tech, and now your
onstage amp sound is nothing like what
you are sending to the PA. It would be
much better to monitor your rig through
an amp that sounds more like the PA system, such as a keyboard amp.
In big-time situations, you could even just
monitor your guitar sound through your
PA system floor monitors or in-ear monitors. Many touring pros are doing that
these days. The point is that it’s critical to
have your onstage sound and the sound
through the PA system match.