Difficulties to play virus in a band: some tips to make sound more loudness?

  • Hi all :)


    as topic, i have some difficulties to listen the virus in a mix while i am playing with other instruments...guitar bass etc. The virus sound often seems to be too much "soffocated". Maybe someone could give me some suggestions about this? i don't know, a tip to make a sort of compressor with the effects, or some suggestions about the equalization..


    thanks in advance ! :D

  • i don't think those problems have much to do with loudness. mostly, in my opinion, it is finding/tweaking the right sound unless there is no room for an additional sound at all. start with the filter - if you basically like a sound and it doesn't cut through the bass, open the filter and add more high end frequencies. if it clashes with the guitar, give the guitar space by removing mids from the synth sound and push the bass and/or treble frequencies. often it is also a question of how you arrange things - good arrangements often hardly need EQing.
    always remember: you have a real synthesizer, in difference to a sample you can tweak all aspects of the sound. instead of using a compressor, shape the envelopes. instead of using an EQ, use the filter of the virus - just to give you a basic idea. if you cannot hear a bass sound, add distortion to add overtones etc. etc.


    hth, marc

  • hi, thank you very much for your precious comments, i really appreciated :)


    yes i think your is the right way to work, i will try to follow it.

  • it would have nothing to do with ur eq ... its about how u mix it in front of house.. if u have a live band and u want to -play live with the virus it depends on ur pa. are u playing in a garage or at a coffee shop or a venue? if just practicing with ur band in ur garage maby just buy a really big pa with a high ohm amp . the virus its self has nothing to do wiht live sound... there two different things. maybe buy a mixer and a nice pa. and a extra gain external preamp ect... thats my 2 cents. but ur live mixes i would mix to the virus. pretend ur vius is ur kick drum in a sense. accommodate the rest ur live mix to the virus .

  • I've just started rehearsing with a metal band - big drums, massive overdriven guitar, pulsing bass guitar, powerful female voice and flute on the top. it's the first time I have tried to use my keyboard in a live band situation. Many of my parts are kind of determined by what the previous keys player did in terms of both the part itself and the sound/patches they used, but from now on its down to me to devise my own parts. We rehearse in a somewhat cramped old barn, where none of us is ideally placed with respect to the PA speakers. Monitoring the keyboard is a challenge all right. If my sound disappears in the mix I've figured out that it's usually going to be an arrangement issue, and maybe less frequently a timbre issue. perhaps not so much a problem as an indicator or where to go with the part.


    Guitar is playing much of the time, and it can be either rhythmic staccato chords or long sustained chords, and occasional solo lines. I've found that, even when my virus patch occupies a similar frequency zone to the guitar (for example, a mid rangey organ timbre), I find an effective part by complementing the guitar rhythmically - so if he plays choppy, I can play sustained pad style ; if he is sustaining a chord, I can play staccato; if he plays solo lines, I can drop out for a couple of bars to give the guitar its due prominence, then come in and match it with a harmony.


    How I fit in with the vocalist is another challenge. It's early days for me and I'm trying to get a handle on what happens in the genre with voice and keys. Given the versatility of the virus, it is tempting to emulate voice (and flute) and produce some duet effects, but I have a feeling this will be occasional rather than routine - whatever my role is in th eband, it is not to steal a vocal soloist's thunder! One part of my role with the vocalist is clear: after manic instrumental passages with huge overdriven guitar (sweet!), she is looking to me to find a chord to come back in with, so at certain points I need the virus sound to start cutting through clearly with some broken chord or arpeggio to re-establish the key for the voice to return - and there, timbre is important.


    I found it helpful to figure out the overall 'role' the band wanted from keys. As much as anything it's 'orchestral', so string and brass accompaniment to guitar and vocal soloists rather than solo or rhythm role. However, the guitar player said himself he is not much of a soloist, so it could be that my role could need to develop some occasional solo role too, within the genre ('melodic goth metal').


    So my message would be: thinking about 'getting the synth heard' - alongside timbre (including local eq/filtering and front of house manipulations), think about the instrument's function within the band overall, and within each song in arrangement terms so that it complements the sound without competing.


    Cheers,
    Suzzy :)

  • Hmm, I have big problems with volume, too - but this comes from having radically different synths from track to track - I'd probably be ok making them all as quiet as the quietest - but the quietest is definitely as loud as it will go without destroying the tonality...


    Actually, that particular preset would benefit from the ability to keytrack the patch volume - which you can no longer do as they made it a per patch parameter and not a per note - there is no per note volume control, apart form OSC volume which I want to stay put as I'm using a carefully tuned distortion as the main feature of the patch.

  • To be honest I would just like something that didnt kill dynamics - like a per patch/multi level scalar.


    Im sure the solution is just bringing down the levels of all my patches to the lowest common denominator - unfortunately that level is actually quite low...

  • You should consider buying 1 (or 2) Roland KC-550's.


    It's probably your amp sucks.


    The KC-550 is 180 watts and has 15" bass speaker.


    You need to have bottom end and balls to come out on top with keyboards.


    I saw Chris Cornell one time in concert. There was this girl playing keyboards.
    Could NOT hear her at all. She may as well have been unplugged .. lol

  • To be honest I would just like something that didnt kill dynamics - like a per patch/multi level scalar.


    Im sure the solution is just bringing down the levels of all my patches to the lowest common denominator - unfortunately that level is actually quite low...



    if you don't want to lose your dynamic you have to use good pre-amp or a good mixer
    so if your mixer does have insert i/o it's better to connect a expander/limiter/compressor into your insert i/o and control your main buss mix l level below the -3db or -6db then put an limiter/maximizer into your main buss and push your volume up.....


  • No keyboard amp...


    Straight into main desk (Allen & Heath, dont recall the model no.) - then to 3K PA


    Besides - it doesnt even matter what out put i use/listen with; S/PDIF, headphones, balanced/unbalanced analogue - the presets are drastically different in volume in ways that cannot be corrected for within the virus. That is, as I said, apart from bringing every preset down to the quietest level...

  • No keyboard amp...


    Straight into main desk (Allen & Heath, dont recall the model no.) - then to 3K PA


    Besides - it doesnt even matter what out put i use/listen with; S/PDIF, headphones, balanced/unbalanced analogue - the presets are drastically different in volume in ways that cannot be corrected for within the virus. That is, as I said, apart from bringing every preset down to the quietest level...





    have you tried a parrallel compressor on the outs of the virus

  • I have tried compression and it kills the dynamics - I use a wide array of tones with differing punchiness and Im not in a position to be changing compressor presets/configurations every track, or even several times during a track... You would have to hear what I'm doing to know what I mean.


    Amongst other things, I'm emulating a large set of classic late 70s/early 80s sounds from things like miniMoogs and ARP Odysseys. These synths have very different characteristics, and with the flexibility of the Virus I can navigate between these tonalities quite nicely, but the volume at the end result suffers e.g. using low cutoff, high resonance analogue 4 pole with lots of saturation and a distortion model can actually vary in volume profoundly based on how it is set up, and if you try to use the EQ to compensate you just end up wrecking the sound. Like I said - I think I have my answer, but also I think that I will need to set up my multis to use all the outputs so I can group sounds by their tonality so at least they can get a bit of bespoke mixing to really cut through.

  • I know I need my own amp so that I can hear myself play. I've played keys using only the mains before, I didn't like it. Do the other players in you're combo not have their own amps either?

  • I'm pretty much sold on headphones now, especially as it lets me hear click tracks and protects my ears from the volume. Nothing is quite as clear as using my headphones anyway...