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Posted: 9/30/2009 9:51:27 AM EST
I have been playing guitar at my church for a few years. We recently hired a new worship pastor and he has been trying to get our stage volume down. I have always used a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (40 watts, single 12) but the new guy wants me to look at a Line 6 POD unit that doesn't even have a speaker. Not sure I want to give up my simple little tube amp for a computer based floor pedal.
Link Posted: 9/30/2009 11:26:28 AM EST
I'm assuming you are looking for the typical distorted guitar tone. What instuments do you have on stage? Are you competing w/ drums?

I've played at my small church both through the PA (Yuck) and using my amp. I much prefer the tone my amp over the PA with some kind of simulator. That said, I think there are some simulators that are doing a fairly good job these days. I don't know what they are since I have zero interest in simulation of good tone. Instead I use my homebuilt amp which is a variation on the Marsall JCM800 with a 5 watt power section. This allows me to get good distortion at bedroom practice levels. Unfortunately... My bedroom practice levels are still a little loud for my church, but I'm still able to turn it down to an acceptable volume with good tone. But I'm stuck using only preamp distortion at those levels instead of being able to add in the glorious effects of power amp distortion.

I've never played a Hot Rod Deluxe. Can you dial in some pre-amp distortion and then turn down a master volume and get an acceptable tone? If not, how about a distortion pedal that will drive the input of your HRD into distortion and give you what you are looking for?
Link Posted: 9/30/2009 11:37:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2009 11:38:38 AM EST by vaughn4380]
Originally Posted By Green_Canoe:
I'm assuming you are looking for the typical distorted guitar tone.


Actually, 50% of the itme I use the clean channel, the other 50% I use a mild overdrive on the second channel.

What instuments do you have on stage? Are you competing w/ drums?


A lot, we have a full set of drums, an accoustic going through the house system, violin, flute, two pianos, bass guitar, full choir, and four lead singers.


I've played at my small church both through the PA (Yuck) and using my amp. I much prefer the tone my amp over the PA with some kind of simulator. That said, I think there are some simulators that are doing a fairly good job these days. I don't know what they are since I have zero interest in simulation of good tone. Instead I use my homebuilt amp which is a variation on the Marsall JCM800 with a 5 watt power section. This allows me to get good distortion at bedroom practice levels. Unfortunately... My bedroom practice levels are still a little loud for my church, but I'm still able to turn it down to an acceptable volume with good tone. But I'm stuck using only preamp distortion at those levels instead of being able to add in the glorious effects of power amp distortion.

I've never played a Hot Rod Deluxe. Can you dial in some pre-amp distortion and then turn down a master volume and get an acceptable tone? If not, how about a distortion pedal that will drive the input of your HRD into distortion and give you what you are looking for?


Right now the only overdrive I am using is from the preamp on the second channel, the levels are usually pretty low. We are to the point where the next lowest setting on the amp is "off" and our new leader is still saying we are too loud.

Thanks for the input so far!
Link Posted: 9/30/2009 11:49:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By vaughn4380:

Right now the only overdrive I am using is from the preamp on the second channel, the levels are usually pretty low. We are to the point where the next lowest setting on the amp is "off" and our new leader is still saying we are too loud.

Thanks for the input so far!



Oooo... Ah... I'm not sure then. I have a 40 watt amp as well and I know what point you are talking about. I don't think my 5 watt amp gets much quieter before it reaches that on / off / sucky tone point.

Electronic drums? Or an accoustic drummer with an exceptionally light touch?

Fortunately, the music director director in my church likes the electric guitar. She thinks it wakes up the older generation. (And the older generation seems to like the more rockin' tunes we play. At least they say they do...)
Link Posted: 10/1/2009 3:41:15 AM EST
I ran a Fender Hotrod Deville 4/10. I had the same problem, same situation. You can mic one speaker and give the house control of you somewhat, you might be able to placate them that way. You also might try getting a lean back stand for your amp so you can hear it better, and it throws the sound up and out. Good luck, it is like rolling a rock up a hill most of the time.

Also, you will have old folks in the church look at your guitar, and complain that it's too loud just because it looks like it was made for the Devil's music. Even if you aren't even plugged in. Best of luck.
Link Posted: 10/1/2009 7:30:18 AM EST
Originally Posted By chicobrownbear:
I ran a Fender Hotrod Deville 4/10. I had the same problem, same situation. You can mic one speaker and give the house control of you somewhat, you might be able to placate them that way. You also might try getting a lean back stand for your amp so you can hear it better, and it throws the sound up and out. Good luck, it is like rolling a rock up a hill most of the time.


Supposedly it is mic'd and going through the house, but everyone tells me they can't hear me at all.


Also, you will have old folks in the church look at your guitar, and complain that it's too loud just because it looks like it was made for the Devil's music. Even if you aren't even plugged in. Best of luck.


Heh, one Sunday a few years ago, our old sound girl kept yelling at me to "turn it down". I gave her a very weird look, looked over at our bass player and asked why she was so angry? My amp wasn't even on yet. The Bass player yelled back, "He needs to turn his amp on before you can yell at him". It was classic.

I was curious about this Line 6 POD thing, the more I research it the more I hate it. I used a Line 6 Flextone for a few months, that thing always required tweaking and adjusting and I still never got a decent sound out of it. If the music pastor is going to insist I use one, I will probably just start playing acoustic.
Link Posted: 10/1/2009 5:45:28 PM EST
I don't konw what your sound tech situation is, but I have only ever dealt with volunteers who have no clue. Take that back, the guy who was a sound genious ended up taking a music ministry position elsewhere and then there was the volunteer soundman power struggle leaving us with the "no clue" situation. This combined with the afformentioned old people got pretty old, which led me to not play any more. My situation was such that we had well over 80% of the church who wanted a contemporary worship service, and you have the 20% or so who don't like change. Leadership always caves to that 20%. When you suggest that maybe they should go to a two service split traditional/contemporary they say it splits the congregation. Your congregation is already split, dudes. What ended up happening is that most of the 80% found someplace else to worship, and the church I grew up in is now left with a majority of old people who complain about everything no matter what. Sad to see, but that's what they asked for whether they realized it at the time or not.
Link Posted: 10/1/2009 7:12:45 PM EST
You might try four 100 watt Marshall full stacks cranked to the max.
Link Posted: 10/1/2009 8:59:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By triburst1:
You might try four 100 watt Marshall full stacks cranked to the max.


LOL. Show up right before service in full KISS makeup. Change all the "Beths" to "Jesus" and sing that.

Link Posted: 10/2/2009 2:47:40 AM EST
Originally Posted By triburst1:
You might try four 100 watt Marshall full stacks cranked to the max.


Our old music minister was so laid back, when I asked him what he would do if I brought in a Mesa half stack he responded: "fire it up of course".

I miss him,
Link Posted: 10/2/2009 2:57:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By chicobrownbear:
I don't konw what your sound tech situation is, but I have only ever dealt with volunteers who have no clue. Take that back, the guy who was a sound genious ended up taking a music ministry position elsewhere and then there was the volunteer soundman power struggle leaving us with the "no clue" situation. This combined with the afformentioned old people got pretty old, which led me to not play any more. My situation was such that we had well over 80% of the church who wanted a contemporary worship service, and you have the 20% or so who don't like change. Leadership always caves to that 20%. When you suggest that maybe they should go to a two service split traditional/contemporary they say it splits the congregation. Your congregation is already split, dudes. What ended up happening is that most of the 80% found someplace else to worship, and the church I grew up in is now left with a majority of old people who complain about everything no matter what. Sad to see, but that's what they asked for whether they realized it at the time or not.


Our sound guys are also volunteers, all nice guys and thankfully they don't argue amongst each other. But they have no clue how to run a board. Our congregation is blessed in the fact that our 20% "Old Timers" have not complained about the contemporary music. When the previous head pastor left for another job there was a power struggle within the church, things got so petty I quit playing. Thankfully, the district office stepped in and "assisted" our leadership in selecting a replacement head pastor, who then hired our new music pastor. He asked me to start playing again, which I am glad to do, but the volume wars are getting annoying.

Too bad your church couldn't split the services, in my opinion, the generation that appreciates the contemporary Christian music is the generation that needs the most encouragement to attend church.
Link Posted: 10/2/2009 10:31:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2009 10:36:04 AM EST by divkat9]
Perhaps you could use an attenuator with your current amp. It would allow you to keep the tubes working hard but reduce the "loudness". Some brands like Vox, Blackstar, etc. are selling amps with built in attenuators.
Let's you get good tone without blowing your ears out.

Weber Attenuators

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/minimass.htm
Link Posted: 10/2/2009 10:38:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2009 10:39:02 AM EST by MotorcycleManiac]
My buddy, Rusty Burns, plays through a Line 6 spider III.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIp6X3_KNik
Link Posted: 10/5/2009 8:00:04 AM EST
I don't use an amp at church. We've moved on to using Aviom personal monitors for all of the musicians and in the trade we removed our amps from the stage. Everything runs to FOH for mixing, then we get 16 channels back to our Aviom mixers so we can create our own mix. FOH engineers are free to mix levels for the congregation, but not to EQ once the soundcheck has been done.

FWIW, I like the transition. I was concerned we were going to lose 'energy' or 'vibe' by taking the amps off the stage. Instead what we have is much much tighter sound in the sanctuary overall. Allowing each musician to create their own mix has completely solved any 'competing amps on stage' issues.

Here is my setup for church. Very clean and my GT-10 gives me all I need for guitar sounds from clean to crunchy to sustained lead lines:

Link Posted: 10/5/2009 7:48:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2009 7:58:28 PM EST by Tekka]

Originally Posted By vaughn4380:
Originally Posted By chicobrownbear:
I ran a Fender Hotrod Deville 4/10. I had the same problem, same situation. You can mic one speaker and give the house control of you somewhat, you might be able to placate them that way. You also might try getting a lean back stand for your amp so you can hear it better, and it throws the sound up and out. Good luck, it is like rolling a rock up a hill most of the time.


Supposedly it is mic'd and going through the house, but everyone tells me they can't hear me at all.


Also, you will have old folks in the church look at your guitar, and complain that it's too loud just because it looks like it was made for the Devil's music. Even if you aren't even plugged in. Best of luck.


Heh, one Sunday a few years ago, our old sound girl kept yelling at me to "turn it down". I gave her a very weird look, looked over at our bass player and asked why she was so angry? My amp wasn't even on yet. The Bass player yelled back, "He needs to turn his amp on before you can yell at him". It was classic.

I was curious about this Line 6 POD thing, the more I research it the more I hate it. I used a Line 6 Flextone for a few months, that thing always required tweaking and adjusting and I still never got a decent sound out of it. If the music pastor is going to insist I use one, I will probably just start playing acoustic.


I don't think the people you have doing sound know what they are doing. The most common thing I see people do is cut out the mids and crank up the gain on a mixing board and have the volume levels all out of whack. Someone needs to sit down with the guys or gals doing the board work and explain how frequincies travel within a room. Teach them where most human hearing is. This is the most important one. How to properly set up the monitors and PA system for musicians and speakers and the congregation. :/

Line 6 anything sounds horrible.

How quiet does the music pastor want things to get and why? Does he just want it quieter on stage or in the pews? Does he have a preference for only certain kinds of music?

Link Posted: 10/7/2009 4:03:00 AM EST
Originally Posted By MotorcycleManiac:
My buddy, Rusty Burns, plays through a Line 6 spider III.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIp6X3_KNik


He is pretty good, thanks for posting that!
Link Posted: 10/7/2009 4:07:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By HBAR16:
I don't use an amp at church. We've moved on to using Aviom personal monitors for all of the musicians and in the trade we removed our amps from the stage. Everything runs to FOH for mixing, then we get 16 channels back to our Aviom mixers so we can create our own mix. FOH engineers are free to mix levels for the congregation, but not to EQ once the soundcheck has been done.

FWIW, I like the transition. I was concerned we were going to lose 'energy' or 'vibe' by taking the amps off the stage. Instead what we have is much much tighter sound in the sanctuary overall. Allowing each musician to create their own mix has completely solved any 'competing amps on stage' issues.

Here is my setup for church. Very clean and my GT-10 gives me all I need for guitar sounds from clean to crunchy to sustained lead lines:

http://knology.net/~decker/hobbies/Music/GT-10%20Integration%20Church.png


Interesting, did you try out the Line 6 stuff and compare it to the Boss? if I have to go without an amp, I want the best sounding option.

We are also looking at the monitor setup you mention. I am on board with that, I just wasn't sure about giving up my amp.
Link Posted: 10/8/2009 8:59:37 AM EST
Hi vaughn4380:

Just a couple thoughts for you...

It had been a number of years since my playing guitar actively and when I got back into it big-time, the Boss GT-10 was the newest unit out there. I had always used Boss pedals 'back in the day' and felt confident about Boss quality and utility. So no I have not used any Line 6 equipment myself, but I know others locally who do and are content with their tones. Plus I was trying to stay within a reasonable budget - an Axe-FX is a great processor, but wasn't in my plans (and still is not).

I'll be honest with you. You can definitely get the tones you need from a multi-effects processor (MFX). It takes some time to understand whichever box it is you decide to use, but the tones are in there. Lincoln Brewster, who is a very modern Christian Rock artist has used Line 6 equipment for years very successfully for both recording and live usage. Check out any of his videos on Youtube - Line 6 all the way with some highly tweaked patches.

Like anything in the world, getting good results from an MFX takes time, but the results will be worth it. I found that this process works for me in reducing the complexity found in an MFX:
- clear all the other effects until I find a preamp model that meets the basic tone I'm trying to get (light, heavy, twangy, chimy all come from different preamp models)
- work with that single preamp model family until I get a set of settings for each of clean, crunchy, distorted, and lead
- while doing this work with the microphone and cabinet models in the device to augment the preamp model settings for my desired sound
- now start building my effects chain in the patch around the preamp model I've selected (e.g. OD/DS, Chorus, Delay, Phaser, Wah, etc, etc depending on the unit)
- work with effects settings so I can turn them on or off without a noticeable change in volume, but while putting in the effect I want

Basically someone summarized it for me as "Imagine you are in a room full of amps, cabs, mics, and effects. How would you start building your sound in that situation ? Do the same process with an MFX!!!"

Now take your setup to church and play though everything at live volumes with your sound people present to get their inputs and thoughts. For example I found that models I create at home levels tend to be a bit overbearing on the bass and treble sides, so now I put a low and high cut into my EQs when playing live. Result is much clearer sound that is more useable in the mix. And I know when playing at home to boost the bass and treble a bit. GT-10 makes this easy since they have 'global EQ' settings that are applied at the end of the effects chain supporting tweaking bass, mids, and treble.

Using an MFX combines really well with individual monitoring systems since you remove the amplifier sound and presence on the platform from the overall equation. You get more control of the mix you want to hear, which means you aren't constantly battlling the drummer and other players for stage volume because you can't hear yourself. If your team goes the personal monitor direction, invest in a GOOD set of earphones or earbuds. This will ensure the bass and treble responses are usable and you can trust the sound in your ears.

Link Posted: 10/8/2009 10:08:35 AM EST
If you'll just purchase an attenuator as I suggested in an earlier post, you can keep the exact same setup you have now. You'll have the same tone but at lower volume.
Link Posted: 10/8/2009 10:43:34 AM EST
i play at church a lot. i also run sound a lot.

i don't use an amp anymore when i play out- anywhere, because i found something lighter that i actually have grown to love. i played hot rod deville, jcm2000, vox ac30, epiphone valve junior, orange rocker 30, and an 18watt clone stack. i was contantly feeling like i was fighting everyone else.

i have switched over to a Tech21 Liverpool pedal. I use my other effects with it and go straight into the board. If in-ears are available i'll use those, if not i have an acoustic combo that i tilt back and point at my head to hear myself.

playing amps cranked live is fun- but in my experience it seldom sounds good out front. sounds great on stage- but out front is usually a different thing- especially in a church environment where SPL levels rarely go above 90 dBa.

you'll be amazed at how much more positive the churhc experience gets for you when you don't feel like you're at war with everyone else.

also- in my experience any band that can play at lower stage volumes will make the venue owner MUCH happier and willing to hire back.

I used to be a "loud tube amps" guy, but i'm now a low stage volume- get the mix right out front guy. it can be done.
look to tech21- it's cheap and sounds way better than the pods do- imo.
Link Posted: 10/12/2009 5:07:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2009 5:31:06 AM EST by vaughn4380]
Well looky here: http://www.ccisolutions.com/StoreFront/product/CLE-GTRAMP1.prod?Origin=Category

I just found this online, I used a similar setup in a studio once. It worked well as long as the sound guys kept the monitors in my ear fed with the guitar signal. I wonder if I could convince the worship pastor to buy one of these instead.

ETA: The sound guys would still need to run me through the monitors so I could hear myself
Link Posted: 10/12/2009 5:20:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2009 5:20:52 AM EST by TWIRE]
Link Posted: 10/12/2009 5:21:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2009 5:25:09 AM EST by vaughn4380]
Originally Posted By divkat9:
If you'll just purchase an attenuator as I suggested in an earlier post, you can keep the exact same setup you have now. You'll have the same tone but at lower volume.


Just to let you know, I do appreciate your input, my concerns with using an attenuator is due to the fact that I have trouble hearing my own amp right now (without an attenuator). The rest of the stage instruments (drums, bass, keyboard) already overpower my amp when it is on the lowest volume setting (which actually is pretty loud). If I could get the sound guys to run me through our monitors (I am already in the house speakers), than my lowest volume setting would be sufficient and no attenuator would be needed.

The problem right now is that the music pastor wants to eliminate my amp all together and run me direct with some sort of hi-tech pedal gizmo. We would still need to run me through the monitors loud enough so that I could hear myself and I believe it would NOT lower stage volume at all. I have seen those attenuators on a Dr. Z amp, and it lowered the volume to a very reasonable bedroom level and preserved tone. It was cool, but no way could I hear it with what we have on stage right now. But thanks for tossing ideas out, because when I posted, I had no idea what direction to go.

ETA: I also think I need "some" volume for the mic to pick up. If I cut it much more I would think the mic would be turned up so high that it would pick up ambient sounds more than the actual amp.
Link Posted: 10/12/2009 5:30:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By Thepilot:
i play at church a lot. i also run sound a lot.

[snip]

i have switched over to a Tech21 Liverpool pedal.

[snip]



The tech 21 Trademark 30 caught my eye the other day, it looks to be a lot easier to use than anything from Line 6, and it has the emulated direct out to run to the board. Since I only use two sounds as it is (clean and slightly OD), the line 6 would probably be a waste of cash. I need to get out to Guitar Center and check some of this Tech 21 stuff out.
Link Posted: 10/12/2009 5:35:20 AM EST




Not sure why you posted that. Care to explain?
Link Posted: 10/12/2009 5:56:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By vaughn4380:




Not sure why you posted that. Care to explain?


I play at church, but we have opted not to delve into what most would consider 'contemporary christian.' That decision was made long before this book, but I picked it up and read it recently and there are a lot of good points.

Just make sure the motives are correct. We go to church to worship. If we go there to get stroked, or crank up the Marshalls or perform, IMO, we have lost our direction. YMMV.
Link Posted: 10/12/2009 7:34:18 AM EST
Originally Posted By vaughn4380:
Originally Posted By divkat9:
If you'll just purchase an attenuator as I suggested in an earlier post, you can keep the exact same setup you have now. You'll have the same tone but at lower volume.


Just to let you know, I do appreciate your input, my concerns with using an attenuator is due to the fact that I have trouble hearing my own amp right now (without an attenuator). The rest of the stage instruments (drums, bass, keyboard) already overpower my amp when it is on the lowest volume setting (which actually is pretty loud). If I could get the sound guys to run me through our monitors (I am already in the house speakers), than my lowest volume setting would be sufficient and no attenuator would be needed.

The problem right now is that the music pastor wants to eliminate my amp all together and run me direct with some sort of hi-tech pedal gizmo. We would still need to run me through the monitors loud enough so that I could hear myself and I believe it would NOT lower stage volume at all. I have seen those attenuators on a Dr. Z amp, and it lowered the volume to a very reasonable bedroom level and preserved tone. It was cool, but no way could I hear it with what we have on stage right now. But thanks for tossing ideas out, because when I posted, I had no idea what direction to go.

ETA: I also think I need "some" volume for the mic to pick up. If I cut it much more I would think the mic would be turned up so high that it would pick up ambient sounds more than the actual amp.


No worries, I think I misunderstood your situation.
Link Posted: 10/12/2009 8:34:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By TWIRE:
Originally Posted By vaughn4380:




Not sure why you posted that. Care to explain?


I play at church, but we have opted not to delve into what most would consider 'contemporary christian.' That decision was made long before this book, but I picked it up and read it recently and there are a lot of good points.

Just make sure the motives are correct. We go to church to worship. If we go there to get stroked, or crank up the Marshalls or perform, IMO, we have lost our direction. YMMV.


Agreed, this is a subject that I always feel conflicted about. I really enjoy playing guitar, the fact I can play guitar and help out my church at the same time is awesome. I like the fact that the congregation enjoys what we play, I hope it brightens their day and I hope that it puts them in the mood to "soak up" what the pastor has to say in the sermon. I completely understand that I am not there to perform for my own interests.

We also have members on the worship team that disagree with me, they feel they are playing before God and no one else, and any dissention from this theory is blasphemous. Some of these individuals are so serious they do not even enjoy themselves during the worship process. These individual often arrive at the end of the service in tears and crying about how “unworthy” they are (No, I am not trying to be mean, just state facts).

At times, they make me feel guilty for enjoying what I do.

Who is right, the guy who enjoys helping? Or the one so dedicated they end up in tears? I don’t know, I can honestly say I give my time with a joyous heart and expect nothing in return (although if God wants to give me a few Marshall Stacks when I get to heaven I won’t complain).

So please don’t take my concern over the amp situation stated in the OP as a selfish approach to helping the church. I just want to be able to give 110% and I am not sure that will happen with the Line 6 product, given the current lack of sound tech abilities, lack of monitor equipment, and current stage volume with the drums and other instruments.

Thanks for posting your thoughts.


Link Posted: 10/14/2009 5:33:00 AM EST
I've played solo acoustic a few times...more this Christmas.

Our church is probably in the top five places to play in the Portland area for its acoutical qualities. No reverb needed....
Pics...

I'm playing a Larrivee L03R into a Marshall AS50D...

Works just fine at about 5-6. The AS100 would be really nice...wanna buy me one
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:07:31 PM EST
Go to Guitar Center and play the Egnater Rebel. I lead praise and worship at my church and it is perfect. Great tone, You can dial in 1 watt to 20 watts and it has a Master Volume. Plenty of volume or nice and quiet with no loss of tone. I am running it through two 1x12 egnater cabs. Unbelieveable amp for the price. ($500). The only one I have heard better is the Divided by 13 ($3000). Good luck!
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