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Thread: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

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    Aceman is MR SPEED JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Tubes vs Modelers is always a hot topic. However, I'd like to suggest that it's perhaps the *wrong* topic.

    In the last few weeks, I've been to three pretty big shows, and another a few years ago:

    Purson/Ghost (indoor club/theater)
    Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie (huge ampitheater)
    Shovels & Rope/Blackberry Smoke/Tedeschi Trucks Band (smaller ampitheater)
    Dhani Harrison/ELO (hockey arena)

    Of those 9 bands, three of them were pleasant experiences. Purson (tubes), Ghost (Fractal), and Dhani Harrison (Twin). The commonality was they all played at volumes that complemented the venue.

    The other 6 were all tube amp users, and were all a total mess because they were way, way too loud. ELO had like 6 people in their lighting/sound control area, and it was the most echoey mess of nonsense.

    So, whatever the hell amp you're using, it should be loud, but if the sound is an incoherent mess of sludge, it really doesn't matter it's tubes or ones and zeroes.

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    Imperator of Indignation idsnowdog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Tube, solid-state and digital are just different types of hammers. While there are no doubt poor quality tools I think it's more a case of the wrong tool for the job. If I was a touring musician I would rather have something light, simple, easy to replace and inexpensive especially if playing large venues where the acoustics aren't the greatest to begin with.
    Last edited by idsnowdog; 07-31-2019 at 10:29 AM.

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    Aceman is MR SPEED JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    If I were touring with ELO, I'd use cardboard cutouts of amps and just pipe the local AOR station through the PA.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Archer250's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Some modeling users are prone to a serious case of bad tone because they use profiles or patches made in a controlled environment.

    They (idiots) never adjusted the EQ and gain for the venue and/or venue-appropriate volume and end up either too muddy or too shrill

    With an amp (SS, tube, even modeling amp heads), you tend to have greater accessibility and freedom to adjust to taste.

    Which is why I don't get the "plug in and play" types too much. Adjusting a tube amp to fit certain situations even in the middle of a set is an art in and of itself,especially when you do it seamlessly.

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    Last edited by Archer250; 07-31-2019 at 11:21 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Myaccount876 View Post
    Attenuators are for pussies. Neighbors calling the cops isn't a problem - if the cops can actually still decipher the neighbor's complaint on the phone with the Marshall in the background, you're doing it wrong and it needs to be louder.

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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer250 View Post
    Some modeling users are prone to a serious case of bad tone because they use profiles or patches made in a controlled environment.

    They (idiots) never adjusted the EQ and gain for the venue and/or venue-appropriate volume and end up either too muddy or too shrill

    With an amp (SS, tube, even modeling amp heads), you tend to have greater accessibility and freedom to adjust to taste.

    Which is why I don't get the "plug in and play" types too much. Adjusting a tube amp to fit certain situations even in the middle of a set is an art in and of itself,especially when you do it seamlessly.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
    This is actually one of the places where the SD PowerStage can be brilliant, with its EQ controls. True, it is pretty limited, but might be enough to give you some flexibility without having to start messing with your patches.

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    was the stage volume too loud or was the house volume too loud? or both? ive seen ttb a bunch of times and theyve always sounded pretty good and most of the time, really good. some venues just werent setup for loud bands and it shows. even some smaller clubs are better laid out and have better sound controls so a loud band will sound better in that venue than a much bigger venue at the same stage volume

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    Aceman is MR SPEED JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    House volume.

    Last night, Dhani Harrison's band sounded really good. Yeah, still an arena so it wasn't pristine, but it was a 5 piece band, and the drummer was a fairly sparse player, so it worked well. The volume seemed twice as loud for ELO, which was 12 or 13 people, with up to 4 guitar players going, two keyboard/pianos, at least two backup singers, two cellos and a violin, so every square inch of sonic space was packed.

    Their light show was pretty sweet at times, though.

    Edit- Oops, you were referring to Derek & Susan.

    It was entirely the fault of the venue. The day after the show, I was talking to my contractor, who's a former acoustical engineer. He's also an old hippie, so I mentioned TTB to him, and how I'll never go back to that venue. He said he'd also been to one show there, and knew from when he walked in that it was going to be garbage.
    Last edited by JB_From_Hell; 07-31-2019 at 06:15 PM.

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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Once upon a time a band opened up for us in a medium sized theater, carrying two FULL stacks, a 5150 and a TSL100 or some other crazy Marshall, so 16 speakers for two guitars. Insane stage volume, tons of feedback, a singer that couldn't hear himself and overall not a great sound from the band.

    I played afterwards with a Roland Cube 60, using the line out with cab sim straight to the PA and kept the speaker on as a stage monitor of sorts, master volume up to half, maybe a bit less. Never had a better live tone than that night, or an easier time setting up my rig. It was great and taking my rig offstage in one walk was great, too.
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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    sound guys matter. a good one can make a decent band sound great, a bad one can make a great band sound like crap

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Yeah, the sound people can make or break a show for the performers, too. It can go from 'wow, I am getting paid to play music' to 'wow, this is wretched, I might want to try my hand at roofing' no matter what rig you are using.
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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    This thread reminds me of when I saw Foghat, in the eighties. It's the first time that a concert was so loud that I was actually concerned about hearing loss. It was in a small theatre and totally destroyed the experience. And the music. It was just noise.

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    Aceman is MR SPEED JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    ^ They were probably using a Kemper

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Generally anything that is that loud doesn't sound good. The 2 loudest shows I've seen were Yngwie and Deep Purple. The volume made the sound bad, even though they were both using Marshalls.
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    One of Jerry's Kids Securb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    The biggest mistake I have seen working shows is the band/soundman does not adjust their sound to compensate for the crowd. During soundcheck, they sound awesome in an empty theatre then do not adjust the tone when the room is full of bodies. Rule of thumb is the sound man doesn't clean up and adjust the mix by the 2nd or 3rd song you are going hear a bad mix all night.

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    ^ They were probably using a Kemper
    Not in 1985.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Yeah, the sound people can make or break a show for the performers, too.
    I remember this little place on the bar strip on the OSU campus called "Mean Mr. Mustard's." They purposely hired small bands and made them sound terrible on purpose. It was a freak show for the freak show patrons.
    Last edited by ArtieToo; 08-04-2019 at 06:53 AM.

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    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    We always regarded the sound man as a member of he band. He had to attend rehearsals, know our music and desired sound and mix, so that no matter where we played he had a sonic target in his head to hit and he knew right away which knobs to turn to get there.
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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    one of my bands always brings our own sound guy for those reasons, even if the club has their own and they are great, its always good to have someone that knows your stuff

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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Good sound guy is more important than ANY type of piece of gear on stage.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeEase View Post
    Good sound guy is more important than ANY type of piece of gear on stage.
    I missed my calling.

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  20. #20
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tubes vs Digital vs Bad Sound

    Yeah...the sound guy is the key. My band has an extra member ..our sound guy
    "Less is less, more is more...how can less be more?" ~Yngwie J Malmsteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
    If you let your tone speak for itself you'll find alot less people join the conversation.


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