I've been reading a lot of amp/cab/guitar etc comparison talking about how bad one is at cutting through live vs. another. The generic answer of course crank the mids, but that does not work equally. Some seem to cut without mids cranked, others barely cut with the mids cranked. I'm look for a more signal processing perspective of what really makes a guitar cut through live. The first is where the "mids" in question are boosted. Is it before the gain, between gain stages, or after the gain? Post-EQ is the easiest, most bands probably have a post EQ, and the mixer board can help there as well. But it seems that that isn't the answer or anyone would be able to cut with just some post EQ adjustment. Between gain stages is the most difficult, that's controlled by the amp itself. But maybe that's really what makes one amp cut better than another, is how it's internally voices between gain stages. Maybe you boost the lows first to generate more mid harmonics, and then boost the mid harmonics more in the second stage to generate the higher end distortion. Before the amp seems like a more likely place to start. The gold standard of a tubescreamer into a tube amp is really just a pre-EQ, the tubescreamer tone knob is boosting some mids and cutting some highs prior to the gain stages, which is boosting the cutting mid distortion while preventing the highs from fizzing everything out. If you've got an amp and it isn't cutting through live, is it best to boost mids pre-amp, boost the mid knob on the amp, or bost mids in post EQ? Boosting the mids is also somewhat equivalent to cutting the highs and lows. I've read a lot that just turning down the lows will help cut, as the lows make you appear louder, and you can then turn the volume up for more mids after cutting. Reducing presence also will help accentuate the mids. And boosting the mids also is somewhat of a misnomer, as the mids cover a huge range, and even a non-scooped mid-boosted sound probably has a mid cut somewhere between 500 and 1.7k to remove the nasal and boxiness. The lower mids at 250-500 and the upper mids at 2k to 4k are really the mids to boost. Are there some amps or cabs or pickups etc that just aren't going to cut well live no matter what you do? Is everything I've just said completely wrong and off the mark? I don't get much opportunity to play live, so I'm mostly used to hearing the mix in non-live scenarios, so I'm hoping to learn how to identify if I'm not cutting as well as I should be and what should be done to fix it. I usually do fake live mix practicing by just playing against recorded bass/drum/vocal tracks and trying to determine how well I cut through those. But I've been reading that proximity to the amp can affect that dramatically. But at the same time, most live gigs mic the amp though the PA, so if i run my mic'd amp against a pre-recorded backing mix, shouldn't that give me a good idea of how the live mix will sound?