Suggestions for Strat cutting through the mix

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

  1. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Strat-Talker

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    It’s hard to tell from the op what the exact situation is but here is my experience on the subject. We came off the road in the mid 90s after playing lots of larger venues and outdoor events. It was a situation where I could crank two BF Super Reverbs to their sweet spot, which was/is loud! We went from that to playing much smaller venues in town. My rig was stereo and I still had the monsters, turned way down into what I call the ‘plinky zone’. All transients no note with no air behind it. One night our sound guy walked up mid song and held up a blue pedal and motioned to my pedal board. I nodded yes and few seconds later the guitar felt normal again.
    It was the first time I had ever played through a compressor pedal. I had been digging in trying to be heard and now I could suddenly relax and just play again. It had replaced the lovely compression now missing from the loud amps. It went from wimpy, plinky, scooped single coils to being heard again. I quickly traded my Supers for a pair of BF Princetons which help immensely as well. Loved those amps because the sweet spot was not ear shattering and they sounded fantastic!
     
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  2. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    Just curious as to what compressor and settings you run, per a couple other threads on the same issue.
     
  3. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    He also has a guru of a sound man.

    I have heard that these are a little noisy, but I don't actually own one. But that was my thought too: you need an EQ pedal at the end of the chain and some experimentation.
     
  4. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    That worked for me in the soundcheck until we actually started to play the show. No sound man, just adjusting everything before the show. Then we started the show and the drummer got louder and louder. So the bass player and other guitar player turned up and up. Couldn't even hear myself while standing in front of my amp.

    It's also why I have tinnitus now.
     
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  5. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Strat-Talker

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    It was a Boss CS-2 I believe. Like I said the op wasn’t clear on the situation so I just focused the problem I had with a clean sound at low volumes. To further complicate my situation, I use guitars with 4 single coils in them (‘mordified’ strats and teles). The positions that use multiple single coils in parallel, sound beautiful, but get VERY scoopy indeed at low volume. Live, they can be all transient and no note, hyper plinky. The 2 & 4 on a strat and middle position on a tele can do the same.
    Here is an example of 4 parallel at once. A sound that can really disappear live:

    Again I don’t know what situation is causing the problem for the op but this is my experience with not cutting through a mix. Others have covered eq, band dynamics etc. these days turning up can be hard to get away with so sometimes a comp can help.
    These days I use a Cali’76 compact deluxe (after my drives, like a weirdo). Love it!! As far as settings, it’s setup for parallel compression and slightly above unity gain. I discovered running it after my drives allows me to have less gain while maintaining sustain and allows me to throttle back to a clean sound without disappearing. 3D05420B-EA94-439A-B627-0B8054D05CFB.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
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  6. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    Two words...bridge pickup.
     
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  7. drp146

    drp146 Strat-Talker

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    I could not agree more. It was many years before I was finally in a band where everyone was experienced enough to play as a band and not just want to be loud enough to hear themselves better than everyone else. I think this is the best thing about experience. Also learning dynamics.
     
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  8. ReedRainey

    ReedRainey Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi,
    Have you tried a BOOST pedal? They're inexpensive and when you have a certain part you want to be really heard on, tap the boost on, in addition to the volume and tone controls mentioned. Of course, BOOST is a boost in volume, and it's great for a sudden change-in-volume need, whereas the volume controls on your amp have to be balanced along with gain. When you start needing more than what your pickups and amplifier can give you, it starts to get expensive. Changing out pickups, buying a more powerful amp and the like require a lot of research, but ultimately worth it. Just know, starting out, that buying another guitar, pickups and a new amp are behind door #1, just waiting for you to get greedy! Then the GAS hits you and you're off and running. Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha! I know it's no funny, but I'm just telling you like it is. Just don't sacrifice your tone for a volume greed; you won't like where it leads you.
     
  9. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    Learning to keep out the excess dirt is the hardest lesson, then shelving the low end to leave room for the bassist.

    The magic bullet comes from everyone listening and learning to tame their own excess. Not the easiest thing in a typical band situation.
    Just ask the keyboard player.
     
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  10. Leofender

    Leofender Strat-Talker

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    Indeed, Fat 50s are exceptional pups and presence, read crisp highs and strong mid range boost, is their forte.

    I wonder if you have an EQ mid cut happening inside the guitar? Has the tone controls been checked and any modifications done on the pots at all. After all the guitar is pushing 60 years of age... Just a thought!
     
  11. Leofender

    Leofender Strat-Talker

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    That's awesome advice, you clearly have the experience and knowledge to cut thru... Hope it helps!
     
  12. Leofender

    Leofender Strat-Talker

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    Have you looked at swapping out the power supply unit at all? You might be surprised if you put in a stonkin Strymon Zuma... Lots of people say the results are transformative on the sound.
    I only put this forward as all the other great advice did not elicit an affirmative response to cut thru.
    That's my 2nd thought that's not mentioned above.
     
  13. LilybugPapa

    LilybugPapa Strat-Talk Member

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    Cut the Bass frequencies in your amp, boost the treble and mids (eq pedal), and use less gain. Guitar is a mids instrument and it needs to live there. Treble boosts can also work wonders but it is always a balancing act. Using a boost pedal after your gain pedals is also a good way to give your tone a lift for cutting through on a solo. It is difficult to know what you sound like in the audience when you aren’t in the audience. FOH has the reins. Give them a clear, non muddy signal and hope they are competent. Good Luck
     
  14. LilybugPapa

    LilybugPapa Strat-Talk Member

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    THIS
     
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  15. Fuzzaholic

    Fuzzaholic Strat-Talk Member

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    Unless it's just a matter of more mids or more volume...Find out what frequencies are fighting with the other instrument(s) in your band. Room accoustics can play a part to a smaller extend, but something like heavy cymbal action can interfere with your guitar's perceived volume, if there happens to be too much overlap in the frequency spectrum.

    I'm no sound engineer either, I'm just going by what I've read and learned while playing in bands the past 20 years or so.
     
  16. StratorTrle

    StratorTrle Strat-Talk Member

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    Boost pedal and position 4 or 5. I always cut through better on the neck.
     
  17. Dibbs

    Dibbs Senior Stratmaster

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    Play it like you like it, not like you barely remember it. Remember the pickup coils are transmitting what you do, with your fingers, on the strings.
     
  18. metrokosmiko

    metrokosmiko Strat-Talker

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    The Nobels is known for NOT being mid heavy. Fender amps are known for being somewhat scooped.
    You're kind of digging yourself into a hole, but just pushing mids and cutting bass should do the trick.
    Another overdrive pedal could cut better.
     
  19. libertarian

    libertarian Strat-O-Master

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    Hm. I struggle with the “typical Strat” statement. Strats tend to sit very well in a mix. Pay attention to the midrange. Your amp is pretty scooped to begin with and I would not necessarily use a tube screamer style pedal there.
    When messing around with a Helix or other modeler/profiler see how things feel with a Marshall style amp (more mids) or a non-scooped Boogie etc.
     
  20. Tanneman

    Tanneman Strat-Talk Member

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    Universal problem, yeah
     
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