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Author Topic: The Quest For Professional Tone  (Read 9329 times)

Offline 908ssp

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« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2007, 02:13:42 PM »
quote:
But, I'll repeat, even virtuosos want the best gear.


No they don't. They don't care if the gear was five dollars or 5000 what they want is a sound that says what they want it to say. And they will take that anyway they can. It might cost $30k to buy a Dumble or it might take $500 for HRD. My friend hates talking about gear hates it. He'll get up on stage and play with anyone with his HRD and won't think twice if his gear measures up because you know what he knows he does and he has something to say. Your search for "Professional Sound" is a phantom a myth. Professional sound is what you make of it. Not what makes it. Tell Jack White his old Sears or Wards amps suck and he will thank you because that is what he wants them to sound like. Figure out what you want for a sound then we can help steer you in that direction. Or you might just have to try a bunch of stuff and find out for yourself.

Alex

Alex

[IMG]http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r245/908ssp/ThumbNails/_1010802.jpg[/IMG

The Quest For Professional Tone

jwrooker

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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2007, 02:16:29 PM »
I like how you put that, Alex.  Thanks.



John
Rochester, NY
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* 98 Fly Classic w/Gen 2's * 01 Fly Single 2
* 02 NiteFly M w/Virtual PAF's * 03 Fly Mojo W/Pearly Gates
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Offline bno

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« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2007, 02:32:50 PM »
One more anecdote.  I'm playing in a band a CBGB's in the early-80's the band following us was a young Living Colour band with Vernon Reid (to think I was young once, too).  We didn't know who he was or who the band was.  Vernon didn't have an amp so he borrowed our guitar player's amp and played a plain vanilla Strat, they put a mic to it and he completely fried our brains and eyes.  Our guitar player was not very good at all and always sounded like crap.  Vernon on the same amp, with same guitar - magic.  

Don't dismiss your ability to improve.  If people didn't improve what's the point in practicing?  I'm still getting better and I've been playing for 40 years.  Where you get better is not your speed, but in your articulation, your selection of notes, your expression of musical ideas.  That's all that matters anyway.

But to get back on topic.  How to get that sound at home.  Assuming you are getting a good clean sound out of your strings with good technique.  Low wattage tube amp with a good speaker cabinet, a boost pedal that slams the front end of that amp and overdrives the preamp section, a distortion or overdrive pedal that puts the teeth on the tone and a compressor to even the sound out.

Guitar > compressor > dist/O.D. > boost > 5watt tube amp on 11 > 4x12 1/2 stack.  Want to add ambience to that on tape - do it to the recorded signal, i.e. after the microphone, preferrably after recording.  Put the amp in a tile shower and mic it there so there are a ton of early reflections.  Maybe put an ambient mic literally facing down into the toilet.  Get creative.  

You really want to know how to do it?  Learn how to build 'em.  

If spending buckets of money trying to buy tone doesn't get it for you then you need to go back to step one - learn how to get a good clean tone first.

By the way - your very first statement about "clean" players not having tone concerns is so far off the mark it made me laugh.  Tone knows no style.  The problem so many young inexperienced modern rock style players have is they think they can buy tone.  Sorry, you have to learn it.
'94 Fly Deluxe
Listen first, then play.

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Offline Diad

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« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2007, 03:11:50 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by uburoibob

Diad,
God bless you. YOU are the demographic we in the marketing business love. Steve Vai plays a $50K rig cuz he can and because he's paid to. He wouldn't if he had the time to sit around and converse in this forum and was forced to play $150 gigs like most of the people on this board.

Please, continue to believe what you want to believe. Drop great goo gobs of money on this stuff, sell it for half price when you don't sound like a god, and then spend goo gobs more. You are who keeps me in business. And I love you for it. I am willing to bet that you can even be influential in other forums. For this, I thank you!

But as to the truth, Steve Vai would be the first to tell you to pay attention to your guitar, and less to the shelves at the local music store, the catalogs that show up, and the internet.

One day, you'll understand what's happening here, and you can come and be the curmudgeon.

In the meantime, can I help you qualify for another Master Card?

Bob



Gee, thanks for enlightening me with your clearly superior wisdom, guitar great Bob.  At nearly 2,000 comments, you definitely know about conversing here all day so I should defer to you.  But I won't because I've been around the block with guitar a few times.

I'm sure you're qualified to speak for Steve Vai.  You're probably right, Vai plays a $50k rig just because he's paid to.  Otherwise, he'd certainly play a Squier through a Spider II because of its superior tone and playability.  Interesting how the guys who challenge the value of good gear seem to be the ones showing off what, and how much of it, they have.  From what I see, I've probably spent far less than you have on my hobby so I'm fine with the MC I have, and I throw away all credit card offers anyway.  But I'll keep you in the mind the next time I'm looking for someone to buy my mistakes.

I'll repeat it for the third (or fourth?) time, I never said not knowing how to play but just using good gear is going to make anyone sound like a guitar hero -- but it sure sounds a lot better than playing through junk (even overpriced junk).  Are you sure you don't think you're on the Daisy Rock guitar forum?
"D minor is the saddest of all keys." Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

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Offline Diad

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« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2007, 03:38:25 PM »
Hmmm.  As to some of the recent messages.  Check out my first message.  I clearly stated that I want to get the best rock sounds without unloading loads of cash.  There are guys out there doing that, I've seen them and heard them, some are even on YouTube.  I'm NOT here advocating spending more money in the chase for tone.  That's what I'm trying to avoid.  I just want to get the best quality and tone I can at the most reasonable price as a hobbyist.  The first part of the equation is my Parker.  Now, I need the right stuff to play it through at low volumes and still get a rockin' sustain at home volumes.  I feel it can be achieved without mortaging the house through a variety of inexpensive and convenient methods.  But I want to hear how others are doing it.  But maybe it's not possible.  Maybe it's as the guy from amptone.com describes and you have to have a good tube amp with multiple processors and EQs before and after the amp.  Yes, a good example is Jack Whites Ward guitar sounds.  Maybe some guy is getting incredible sounds off of a GDEC, etc.?  OF COURSE, you've got to know how to play.  But I trust that most who own a Parker probably know how to play to it, at least to a degree that they find satisfying.  Some of the guitar parts that sound the best to me are the easiest to play but difficult to reproduce at home because of studio processing, gear, set up subtleties and such.  For example, Eddie's palm scratching at the beginning of Atomic Punk.  Or the hypnotic repetition of a well sustained rhythm by Tool or Deftones ... with a hint of echo or delay.  If you don't listen to that stuff you have no clue what I'm talking about.  If you're a guitarist who's happy playing clean and just repeating scales all night long, you're probably not the right guy to comment on this thread.  You gotta be a guy who loves the gear making the sound while you mainly just chug out overdriven power chords.  But there's a big difference between the sound of a Malcolm Young power chord vs the hack at the local beer bar.  Anyone can play a power chord, but it'll sound best on specific gear.  That's what I get off on.  Otherwise, I'd listen to jazz and classical.  I'm not into quantity of notes, but into quality of notes.  I also like the sparse, spatial playing of guys like David Gilmour (who's sound is heavily processed).  So while I think it's impressive when you know lots of scales and play them superfast ... it ain't making my arm hairs stand on end.  That comes from multiple factors.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 03:45:58 PM by Diad »
"D minor is the saddest of all keys." Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

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Offline bno

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« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2007, 04:07:58 PM »
You already have your answer.  Give it a rest. You want the gear to make the sound for you.  Ain't gonna happen.  Its not magic.  Garbage in garbage out.
'94 Fly Deluxe
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Offline Diad

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« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2007, 05:05:05 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by bno

Garbage in garbage out.



I have a feeling you're an expert at that.

I'm asking rock guitarists for their input on rock tone at low volume for home practice and recording: amps, pedals, software, setup, etc.  For you clowns that just want to show off and pontificate about the clearly obvious need to pratice and develop technique ... why don't you just create a "I'm an arrogant purist who only plays clean because I think I'm so f'ing great and I know lots of scales that I blend together as fast as I can in a chromatic mess just to show off but without making music" thread where you can stroke yourselves and each other -- K?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 05:14:42 PM by Diad »
"D minor is the saddest of all keys." Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

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Offline jamrcat

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« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2007, 06:06:36 PM »
quote:
I'm sure you're qualified to speak for Steve Vai. You're probably right,
If anybody is, it would be Bob! Diad, I have a feeling you think everyone on this forum is some kind of amateur or guitar clutz. Just for the record, some of the finest guitarists in the world and people frequent this forum. I'm not enjoying your sarcasm and arrogance especially on a subject that is purely subjective. A wise man once said "be quick to hear slow to speak and slow to anger" I know, I should listen to my own advice. Well actually I have, I've just gotten tired of listening! [xx(]

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Offline Eruption

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« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2007, 06:30:34 PM »
Diad,If I want to talk about how f***in good I am then I'll frequent the f***in I'm Awesome guitar so I can put down other people forum![}:)]

2007 Parker Fly Deluxe
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...and some strange beautful secrets...
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 06:32:29 PM by Eruption »
'07 Fly Deluxe- Dusty Black
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'11 Suhr Modern Custom (ON ORDER)
'10 Mesa/Boogie Mark V head
'00s Randall MTS 2x12
TC Electronic Flashback Delay/ISP Decimator
...and some strange beautiful secrets...

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Offline bno

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« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2007, 06:31:01 PM »
Everybody stand back.

Diad, you don't get it.  You have received qualified advice from some annonymous world class musicians with about 200 years of experience playing music in the "industry".  Just because they aren't on the cover of this month's Guitar Player magazine doesn't mean they're idiots.  Your unctuous disbelief that you have been told the truth is most disheartening.

1)  It's not the gear.  It's the understanding of how the sound is made.

2)  I can walk into your house, pick up the sh1ttiest guitar you have, plug it into the sh1ttiest amp you have and get "Professional Tone".  Why?  Because I know how it's done.  And I told you how it's done.

3)  YOU can pickup $50K equipment and sound like sh1t because you don't believe you have been given the keys to the castle or are unwilling to apply and explore what you have been taught.

4)  How "tone" is made.
    a)  Good clean playing with lots of force.  Are you a wuss?
    b)  Understanding signal chain and how each component affects the previous element in the signal chain.  Do you know what you want to hear and what are hearing?
    c)  A willingness to experiment with what you already have.  Guitar, pick, fingers, amp.
    d)  Dues.  That means doing it repeatedly over time.  Over and over and over and over and over.

Garbage in garbage out refers to the reality that if your clean tone doens't have any testicles, you won't get them out of all of the gadgets and processing.  Ain't gonna happen.  

So.  I told you how its done.  In detail.  If you still can't do it, that's your problem.
'94 Fly Deluxe
Listen first, then play.

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Offline Paul Marossy

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« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2007, 06:48:30 PM »
quote:
Just for the record, some of the finest guitarists in the world and people frequent this forum. I'm not enjoying your sarcasm and arrogance especially on a subject that is purely subjective.


It is a very subjective, indeed! [:0]

 
quote:
1) It's not the gear. It's the understanding of how the sound is made.

2) I can walk into your house, pick up the sh1ttiest guitar you have, plug it into the sh1ttiest amp you have and get "Professional Tone". Why? Because I know how it's done. And I told you how it's done.

3) YOU can pickup $50K equipment and sound like sh1t because you don't believe you have been given the keys to the castle or are unwilling to apply and explore what you have been taught.

4) How "tone" is made.
a) Good clean playing with lots of force. Are you a wuss?
b) Understanding signal chain and how each component affects the previous element in the signal chain. Do you know what you want to hear and what are hearing?
c) A willingness to experiment with what you already have. Guitar, pick, fingers, amp.
d) Dues. That means doing it repeatedly over time. Over and over and over and over and over.

Garbage in garbage out refers to the reality that if your clean tone doens't have any testicles, you won't get them out of all of the gadgets and processing. Ain't gonna happen.


+1. Not following these guidelines will result testicular homicide! Translation: you will kill your potential tone because you don't know how to eke it out of your equipment. [;)]

Half the battle is figuring out what you really want to hear, and then figuring out how to get it. It gets harder when you play all sorts of stuff, like me. I like everything from flowery beautiful reverby delay to pukey, gnarly, filthy sounding heavily distorted guitar using a wah pedal. It takes some thought and a lot of experimentation to get what I want in terms of the sound. Someone can't figure it out for you. You can't just get exactly whatever so and so has and sound like them. It's much more complex than that! [8D]

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Offline Eruption

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« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2007, 06:52:27 PM »
Clap Clap,Well said, +1

2007 Parker Fly Deluxe
2001 Yamaha DG60
...and some strange beautful secrets...
'07 Fly Deluxe- Dusty Black
'10 Gibson Les Paul Traditional Plus
'11 Suhr Modern Custom (ON ORDER)
'10 Mesa/Boogie Mark V head
'00s Randall MTS 2x12
TC Electronic Flashback Delay/ISP Decimator
...and some strange beautiful secrets...

The Quest For Professional Tone

Offline Diad

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« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2007, 11:58:10 PM »
LOL!  What a bunch of self-congratulating hosers.  Show me 1) your record deals, 2) your record profits, 3) your YouTube performance and maybe I'll give you the applause you think you deserve.  I don't care what you've done if you're not willing to contribute to this thread about how to achieve the finest rock tones at home volumes.  That's obviously what this thread was intended for.  Yeah, excellent advise, "Hit the strings hard, man.  It ain't the gear.  Find the force.  Be one with the guitar."  Shut up already!  Otherwise, my opinion that an important part of achieving pro tone is via the gear is just as valid as your belief that you were trained by the Jedi guitar warriors in the secret art of technique.

Eruption said, "Diad,If I want to talk about how f***in good I am then I'll frequent the f***in I'm Awesome guitar so I can put down other people forum!"  That's pretty much what a few of you have attempted to turn this thread in to.  I don't assume that everyone on this forum is an amateur like Jamcrat falsely accuses -- but I've been around guitars for a while, too, and I know how to play.  I can confidently say that gear plays a very big role in pleasing tones.  Either some of you know it and don't want to admit it, or you're guitar poseurs who think you're a lot better than you really are.  Now, as said, go join another sandbox andw**k yourselves so that some good tech and gear discussion can be had by those who appreciate it.
"D minor is the saddest of all keys." Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

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Offline Diad

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« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2007, 12:06:20 AM »
BTW, Eruption, aren't you the oddball who claims to be 12 years old after you throw a hissy fit because people don't like your $1K El Diablo and then further justify your acting out by claiming to be teenager who doesn't fit in because you "play guitar?"  What are you doing here, looking for a Big Brother companion?
"D minor is the saddest of all keys." Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

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Offline Diad

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« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2007, 12:07:45 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by bno

Everybody stand back.



Good grief, you really do take yourself seriously, huh?
"D minor is the saddest of all keys." Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap