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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #95652  by JonnyBoy
 Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:43 pm
Hey guys,

Last weekend when I was playing I was told that my signal had too much treble and/or was too bright. This is not the first time I've been told this. I use Fender pre->Mac->JBL with the settings gain 4 bass 2 mid 6 treb 9 is my standard placement. Bright switch off. Are people finding depending on the room they may add some substantial bass to the mix? To fix the issue I mixed in bass to 5 mids to 7 and treble to 7. Those are more like standard amp settings. I have found that when there is a wall behind us close on stage, I am significantly brighter and it takes less to make more across the board. Just wondering if anyone has moments of just being too bright?
 #95653  by TI4-1009
 Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:56 pm
"I always laugh when I think about what Jerry once said about Bear: There’s nothing wrong with Bear that several billion fewer brain cells wouldn't fix."
 #95654  by tapestry
 Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:53 pm
I just recently had someone tell me the same thing..about being too trebly. I thought i was a bit "thin" but I think it was that I didnt have enough power. I'm running a 67 twin with no Mac (yet).

Adding in low seemed to just muddy up the tone. So I left it where it was most comfortable.
 #95655  by Grant
 Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:55 pm
i get this too, keep in mind the jerry tone is quite trebbly compared to most

when it's at high volumes, can be quite piercing - i find a lot of people who aren't into the dead just dont 'get' the sound
 #95662  by jdsmodulus
 Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:55 pm
I have been told this as well, I play with alot of folks around that are into lots of music and gear so I find its best to just add some mids and have a good jam. Its probably not you in the end.
 #95663  by JonnyBoy
 Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:04 pm
I was figuring with my Mac, it being as warm sounding as it is, the sound would not be too piercing. One issue I believe was that we were in a corner and I did not have my cab tilted. Second, we were playing with another band, Family dog style, he would play, then we would play, then we would both play together. the other guy was doing an acoustic / sax performance that was quaint and warm sounding. Then our band, even though a 3 piece, we start pumping a whole other world of powerful frequencies.

Am I wrong to say some fixes would be:

1. Tilt the cab or aim it away from close sitting patrons,

2. get a JK closed back cab- cardboard baffle to deflect the resonant frequencies - I notice tight sealed off corner stages are worse

3. Tell them I know its that way, I am playing in the style of Jerry Garcia for gods sake!

Glad to know I am not crazy or doing it wrong. I dunno what the Bear quote had to do with it, but I can use as many brain cells I have left. :smile:
 #95672  by TI4-1009
 Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:53 am
JonnyBoy wrote: I dunno what the Bear quote had to do with it, but I can use as many brain cells I have left. :smile:
Aw comeon, it was a poor attempt at a joke- "Too bright"="too many brain cells". :-)
 #95674  by Tennessee Jedi
 Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:07 am
Tone knob ?
If you think its too bright - the tone knob ....
Peps in the crowd .... maybe they get the your rig in their face and its too loud .....yet the guy on other side of the room cant hear the solo ....
:smile:
I have a 2 x 12 w/ Weber Neo Mags - kinda on the bright side - but I like it !
:D
 #95675  by tcsned
 Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:11 am
It might be a volume issue that they are expressing as a tone issue since the frequencies that hurt tend to be the higher ones. It may be that Jerry's tone was designed for large cavernous venues without a reflecty wall right behind the stage and for us mere mortals relegated to bars and smaller rooms getting that sound might mean adding some low end or taking out some treble or using a closed back cab or something like that.
 #95676  by hogan
 Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:16 am
Leave it alone at the amp and do what 10-a-c Jedi said, roll your guitar tone knob back in small increments until it takes the sting out of the highs. I recall reading an article where the writers talks about seeing the GD in the mid 70's and could not believe the amount of treble Garcia was throwing. It's at the heart of his sound, along w/ reverb. The trick is to have really present highs but not kill anybody.
Try the tone knob, in the slightest of increments.
 #95677  by tcsned
 Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:29 am
hogan wrote:Leave it alone at the amp and do what 10-a-c Jedi said, roll your guitar tone knob back in small increments until it takes the sting out of the highs. I recall reading an article where the writers talks about seeing the GD in the mid 70's and could not believe the amount of treble Garcia was throwing. It's at the heart of his sound, along w/ reverb. The trick is to have really present highs but not kill anybody.
Try the tone knob, in the slightest of increments.
Good point Hogan, I forget that my guitar has a tone knob :lol:

It's not a typical guitar sound, Garcia had an incredibly trebly (sp?) tone - maybe only he and Steve Howe from Yes played with that much treble. It's really effective at providing some separation from the bass (both Phil and Chris Squire played fairly trebly and melodic bass lines too). Plus, take what a couple people in crowd say with a grain of salt - if it's hurting them that's one thing if they are guitar players they may be projecting what they do onto you.

You know the old joke, "how many lead guitar players does it take to change a lightbulb? 10, 1 to screw it in and 9 to stand around and say, 'he did it pretty well but I could've done it better . . . and with more feeling."

If there's someone else who can play your guitar at a soundcheck sometime, go out into the club and listen - you may find that you do need to adjust the tone of the guitar or amp - it's sometimes hard to tell when you're 3 feet from your amp.
 #95687  by KCJones
 Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:24 am
I think one pitfall contributing to too much treble is the fact that we all want to hear ourselves better on stage, hence we tend to turn our treble up so it cuts thru the stage mix better. But we forget that this is also what the audience is hearing .... way too trebly. I also find that as my ears get fatigued, I lose recognition of the trebles first, and instinctively reach for the EQ. Again, this may be better for yoursef, but not for the overall house mic and what the audience hears. If you want a happy mix and a happy audience, you're going to have to compromise. If I was in the audience with screaming ears from your tone, and you told me sorry thats just the way it is, you wouldn't see me at any of your shows anymore.
Last edited by KCJones on Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #95688  by tapestry
 Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:28 am
Oh yeah....my guitar DOES have tone knobs!!! :? :? :?

Seriously, I have been so used to playing with my tone knobs cranked 100% of the time. Such a simple solution to bring them done a bit! THANKS! :cool:

Thats my theory with getting more power using the mac amp as well...that way I can turn down my volume knob on my guitar (which is always cranked as well :? ) and still have some umph.
 #95690  by strumminsix
 Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:31 am
Think of it like this: If you were setting up a band PA would you put the horns at head level? No. Same with loud guitar amps!
 #95693  by mijknahs
 Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:27 am
If I think my sound has too much treble, I turn the treble knob down and add a bit more mids. Never add bass. It's too low and boomy. I also turn the tone knob down sometimes halfway.

Actually I haven't been turning the treble all the way up for a while now. Usually down to about 7. I think it sounds better. Sometimes I have the mid all the way up to 8 or 8.5.

I think the bass control is awful. Might as well not even exist.