The lineup of a band I used to play with included brass (trumpet, trombone and occasionally sousaphone), a couple of saxes, a drum kit, as well as guitar(often electric) and electric bass or cello. I was playing melodeon and concertina alongside a fiddle player. So I know about loud
You've been looking for a solution to your own individual problem, but you are part of a band and should perhaps be considering this as part of a wider problem. You say "we rarely have control over sound, and often we're in halls with inadequate equipment". I would suggest that these are both areas you should also try to address. It doesn't matter how well you play on stage if the sound the audience hears is poor. One of the golden rules is "never use the house PA", and whilst there are exceptions it's a good one to follow. House PAs are often inadequate, as you've found, and are often set up with rock bands in mind rather than acoustic folk bands. If there's a house sound engineer the same may apply and he may have little experience of mixing accordions and concertinas. If you're band is playing regularly it might be worth considering biting the bullet and investing in your own PA. Yes, it's expensive and it involves a learning curve if you've never had to deal with PA before, but control over your own sound is essential for any band.
The other point is that responsibility for balancing the sound is first and foremost with the musicians, it shouldn't be left to the PA or monitors to sort out, although that can assist.. If you can't hear even in rehearsals it suggests that everyone is playing too loudly. As Rod suggests, you should be asking your fellow musicians to play more quietly - it is possible even with accordions!
Edited by hjcjones, 28 April 2012 - 04:04 AM.