Suggestions for Strat cutting through the mix

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by catsandstrats, Aug 23, 2021.

  1. jwag

    jwag Strat-O-Master

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    An EQ pedal it’s a must IMO, but you also to need to dial in the EQ on your amp and and pedals as well.

    Start with the amp, then each pedal one by one.
     
  2. Catapaw

    Catapaw Former Member

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    Slow hand uses middle pickup mostly, then mid boost for solo. Nice and meaty. And that's with another guitarist, two keyboards drummer, two background singers and bass player in band. I have mostly been happy with middle pickup when playing strat in a band situation. In the 70's I just turned up for the solo (my version of mid boost).
     
  3. PalirBlondie13181

    PalirBlondie13181 New Member!

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    I had a tele for years but when I went to a strat I missed that cut through that it has. I added an Emerson blender to my strat. It allows you to blend the bridge pickup in with your neck pickup and vice versa. This is fun because it gives you an almost tele like tone and cuts through. Check it out. Might work for you. https://emersoncustom.com/products/s5b-blender-5-way-strat-prewired-kit?variant=42738726666
     
  4. Richard McKay

    Richard McKay Strat-Talker

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    I think we've killed this one.
     
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  5. jackietreehorn

    jackietreehorn Strat-Talk Member

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    Get a high pass filter. Bass players and sound guys have been using them for years and I have no clue why guitar players don’t. You set to a certain frequency and it attenuates out your sound below that so you won’t compete with the bass and drums and everything above will pop. I read an article written on Dan Healy the sound guy on the Grateful Dead. Two guitars, Two drums, bass, keys, and he made it work with by using these filters.

    That and play on the bridge pickup. Sounds like crap in the bedroom but usually cuts through in a mix.
     
  6. pkailas

    pkailas Strat-Talk Member

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    Yup, you got it. A little overdrive goes a long way. To much and you're lost in the mix. Try for just a crunchy sound, avoid the "sizzle."
     
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  7. Gjguitarmn

    Gjguitarmn Strat-Talk Member

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    From my experience, this is very difficult solution I am proposing…get the keyboard player to turn down! LOL
     
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  8. Gjguitarmn

    Gjguitarmn Strat-Talk Member

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    Get the keyboard player to turn down?
     
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    If no one's mentioned them... Bill Lawrence Micro Coils... they cut through like a Samurai with a razor sharp Katana... and sound like a Strat should...
     
  10. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Is sounds like you need post processing of your guitar track. Is it in phase? Have you added an 1176 plugin? What about EQ? Are you filtering the tracks with high pass and low pass filters? Are you getting midrange buildup in your mix? Etc,…. These are some of the questions and solutions that will get your track sounding better in a mix.
     
  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    He's talking live, bud.
     
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  12. Slartybartfast

    Slartybartfast Strat-Talker

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    That is not a typical story for Strats, in fact quite the opposite. If Strats have anything over Les Pauls it's the way they cut through. Those pickups are pretty normal, probably nothing wrong there. Strats are almost all high mids and highs. They even cut through ear plugs. Maybe you just aren't playing loud enough or - God forbid - you're doing the pedal platform thing (ugh!) and not using the natural sound of that amp, which, unless there's something really wrong with it, is capable of plenty of cut itself if you want it. Or maybe your bass player is just too loud. Trust me it's not because you play a Stratocaster.
     
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  13. Vermoulian

    Vermoulian Strat-Talker Platinum Supporting Member

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    If the question is "cut through," the answer is usually "mids," as many people have said one way or another. What people seem to like playing by themselves tends to be too scooped to cut through a bunch of other instruments. Conversely, a tone that cuts through great may not sound so good without the rest of the band in the mix.

    Mids is, of course, a pretty broad frequency range. As noted above, lower mids can contribute to mud, but in my experience adding some "middle" mids is great for cutting through. (Too much high mids can be honky or clattery.)
     
  14. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I guess some of the same things could apply here? I assumed he was referring to a “mix” of a recording.
     
  15. meat cheese meat

    meat cheese meat Strat-Talk Member

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    For recording, boost the Strat's mids. Not too much - you'll have to experiment. The guitar will sound less lost in the mix.

    Lots of ways to do this: EQ the guitar, EQ the track, EQ the amp, change amps and/or pickups. Changing speakers can do the trick. A mic change might help or change string gauge/alloy. If you move to a mahogany neck that would help the mids (but don't - you'll lose some of the strattiness permanently).
     
  16. Strat it up

    Strat it up Strat-Talk Member

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    Some mids and treble always help. Generally fender amps are more bassy/trebly.
    I used fat50s in my strats and didn’t work. Swapped for 57/62 and did the trick.
    New tubes, good cables, new strings… there are hundreds of options. Cheers
     
  17. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    See last sentence.:)

    If a Strat doesn't cut live, then you're using too much dirt or your EQ at the amp is way off. Or...someone else is occupying that sonic space.

    The traditional vintage style bridge pickup on a Strat cuts like a knife. A Tele cuts like a machete. :D
     
  18. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    What I would do is remove all your possible tone robbing pedals and just us the amp and guitar. Not add more pedals in the chain. That amp and Strat should scream no matter what. Use the amps eg. Simple could be the key and if it’s better add the pedals back one at a time. Strats are what I use exclusively with a 63 bandmaster and a reverb tank. No issues whatsoever cutting through.
     
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  19. ariffza

    ariffza New Member!

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    1 word.. tubescreamer
     
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  20. Groundwire

    Groundwire Strat-Talker

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    One thing I find with a Strat is that they have deep lows which can get mushy. You are also using a Nobels, which has a ton of low end. Try turning down the bass on the amp, or using an OD pedal that is more mid focused. A lot of times, turning down the bass will make the guitar seem louder because it is not overlapping the frequencies of the bass and other instruments.
    Also, if you’re using the neck pickup on the Strat, switch to the middle pickup. Much more glass and cut.
     
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