you guys have some fantastic knowledge. I'm going to try to do the EQ pedal trick for just a little touch of boost, I don't need much, just a tad... the volume is aaaaalmost there on solos, but with the other instruments it can sometimes get lost in the mix, especially if the drummer is excited and hitting the cymbals like a red-headed stepchild.
Now, if I'm mic'd and running through the PA, I have almost no worries. If Pat is paying attention (which he almost always is) he knows when to boost and sits far enough back in the house to get a good balance where he is. It's more for the small shows where I just crank the amp and hope it's good based on thumbs-up and thumbs-down signs from the back of the house. If I put my overall volume where it would be for a solo to be the "main thing" that you hear, then I'm overdoing the rhythm volumes and drowning out lyrics. If I have my rhythm volume set for a good balance, solos don't do the "step out" to take center attention for those 30 seconds or so. I am hoping that the suggestion of an EQ in the effects loop would give me just that little bit of extra headroom to be clear, and I might try punching the mids just a little bit to make it stand out.
I appreciate all the input very much, and am overwhelmed with the "I think he means he does this..." type comments. Love it. The basics of what I do in my setup is use the clean channel for clean parts, sometimes through a chorus pedal depending on the style of the song. For the more distorted songs I use the amp's distortion (Legacy amp) - I really like the overall sound that it delivers, so I'm hesitant to just use the clean side and rely on pedals for the distorted parts. I do roll off the volume when I don't want full saturation sometimes, and sometimes I turn the gain down just a touch if I want clarity to the notes across a larger chord voicing (i.e. not just power chords) - I sometimes use a wah pedal, though I have replaced my Morley with a Dunlop because the Texas heat and humidity can cause the Morley to not work at all, which is a little disconcerting if it's a surprise, and it seemed to surprise me every time. Is winter ever coming back? I have to hope so...
If any of you extra friendly people live in the Houston area, feel free to stop by and show me what to do, I love to learn from the experts.
Thanks again for all the good advice here - can't wait to try some of this out this evening at rehearsal.