I'm a newbie to live sound and only by default, since our guitarist who ran the board left the band.
We're having a problem with the guitar getting lost in the mix (drums, bass, keys, vocals). We don't use a guitar amp but feed the guitarist's floor multi-effects unit right into the mixer/PA. The guitar sounds okay in the monitor (even fairly loud) until the rest of the band starts playing, then it's almost totally lost. Is it an EQ issue? A simple volume problem? Some weird phase thing?
It makes me wonder if we just have too much sound crowding the same frequencies, but again I'm new at this so I have basically no idea. Any help or thoughts appreciated.
Everyone on stage is too loud and trying to get a balance out front means getting louder. This contributes to everything beginning to merge into an indistinguishable roar.
The cure: everyone should be focusing on playing just loud enough to hear themselves, and hopefully everyone else. I've often recommended guitars moving to smaller amps with the cabinets pointed toward themselves or cross stage as opposed to on the floor pointed outward.
Unfortunately drums are often the start of the problem because they are by their nature loud, but guitarists and bassists (electric) can also be at fault.
Too often the solution to "I can't hear myself" is to turn up instead of getting the source of the problem turned down.
Mid-range in the guitar tone is a great guess for sure. It's also important when monitoring that you're not putting EVERYTHING into the monitor. The idea is that the monitor supplements what the performers already hear on stage. So instead of putting everything in the main mix into the monitor, you might only put guitar, vocals and keys, at levels corresponding to how much of them you already hear in your stage environment. Just emptying out the monitors a bit can make a big difference.