≡ Menu

How To Use Digital Modeling Guitar Gear in Live Gigs

Yesterday, I posted a video for the new Line 6/Bogner DT50 tube amplifier and the new POD HD400 unit. And the feedback from that video has been very nice. I think that to some people, digital modeling amps are just toys or practice tools for quiet at-home practicing. For others, they are a viable and creative tool for the working musician. One thing you may see more often than not is that the guitar players who use digital modeling gear in a live situation keep the tones relatively similar to one another.

I have a theory about modeling gear that I apply to every live gig I use it on… You sometimes do the band and the FOH (Front Of House) mixing person a disservice by sending dramatically different guitar sounds to the house. FOH mixers will often EQ the band so that they sound good TOGETHER, not individually. And if you send a Blackface Fender guitar tone (scooped-midrange) during one section, that mixing engineer might fill the midrange with more keyboards and/or background vocals. Then if you switch to a Tweed sound or Marshall sound (which are characterized by an abundance of midrange), you might be stacking up midrange tones against what the mixer has already put in that place, creating muddiness or a lack of sonic distinction- or making your guitar disappear completely from what the audience hears. I try to use a similar amp tone for an entire gig and vary the EQ nuances with different guitars and stompboxes.

Of course, if you are the artist and your name is on the marquee, then the band is there to support your creative choices anyway so this rule doesn’t necessarily apply.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Greg Miller March 11, 2011, 3:41 pm

    Excellent points! Few of us have the star power to make sure the sound guy mixes us guitar guys optimally. I play on a worship team with lots of midrange competition – acoustic guitar, three keyboards, four miked singers, plus an entire congregation – and can’t presume I’ll get the star treatment.

    I already follow this to an extent, but you’ve given me much food for thought.

    Note: long-time modeler user (we went silent way before it was cool), currently (and very happily) running an HD500.

  • el jefe de la cucina March 11, 2011, 5:01 pm

    I love this:
    “we went silent way before it was cool”.
    haha Right on, Greg.
    Happy Playing!