Finding your Tone

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Wakester, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. gush

    gush New Member

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    This is an interesting topic.

    I've owned my current amp for 24 years. I liked it when I bought it and still do. I like a marshall tone but with owning one amp I didn't want stuck with that tone 100% of the time. That is why I bought the amp back then.

    I've played the crap out of it over the years and my tone choice has changed a lot over the years. I am using less OD as time goes on, trying to live in the realm of enough OD, enough clean and enough note separation.

    I ditched my digital processor and use of effects loop in favor of light compressor minimal effecrs. Been reluctant to crow about it as to avoid honeymoon phase then, oh this isn't what I want.

    Always disliked compressor on my guitar but I am learning to like what it does for my playing. Had an MXR super comp laying around and that's what I am using now. Output 3:00 sense 9:00 attack 12:00. It does add a tiny bit of noise so I may ask what everybody else uses.

    I rely on delay a lot and I use 3 different settings quite frequently. I will want a good delay that can pull this off. Basically I want comp, delay and maybe wah.

    I haven't had the opportunity to balls this thing out to see what it sounds like at stage volume but now I am using the high gain input with gain set on 2 bass 6 mid 2.5 high3.5 resonance 10 presence 3.5. Totally digging it.

    I did try two prs amps but just can't bond with them. I thought I really wanted to change things up but I too find myself trying to make them sound like my old 5150. This last tube swap has helped get rid of some of the fizziness these amps tend to have and getting digital processor out of the signal chain has gotten me back to the original tone of the amp. Les thinks I may have found my tone nirvana and he may be right. I am done amp shopping for now.

    I would also like to add that since switching to prs guitars I find myself utilizing volume pot more for tone and dynamics than ever before. I still tend to leave tone wide open but 20 years ago was volume ALWAYS wide open.

    With my new settings, I find myself wanting to play more than ever and it is inspiring. Makes me a better player
     
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  2. Steve's addiction

    Steve's addiction New Member

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    I have several times developed a tone I really liked but for some reason a few days later it seemed kinda dull or flat. I will mess around trying to find "that" tone and after some adjustments, guess what, I'm right back a the original tone and it sounds good again.
     
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  3. Wakester

    Wakester Class Clown

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    I am liking the idea of a good compressor pedal to clean things up a bit. That and a looper so that I can put a lead over my rhythms would sate me for awhile I think.
     
  4. Wakester

    Wakester Class Clown

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    Sounds like we are all finding that to be true.
     
  5. Jmartin

    Jmartin New Member

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    I have a tone that I like, it's guitar straight into a Marshall amp. If the amp has reverb, I’m good to go, if not, I have an old Holy Grail reverb that fills the bill. I’ve given up on stomp boxes and digital processors. I’m finding that the older I get, the more I find my tone in the guitar and my hands.

    But I have an issue that I’m trying to resolve. I play in my church group, and I have to run direct. No stage volume = no amps. So, I’m struggling to find my tone in this situation. I’ve just ordered an AMT ss-11 classic tube preamp, I’m really hoping this helps me. If anyone is in a similar situation and is willing to offer advice, that would be great.
     
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  6. Wakester

    Wakester Class Clown

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    As the church "sound guy" I would recommend working with your sound tech to dial in your guitar into the monitors first, then into the house. this should give you a better sense of your tone against the rest of the team. You may have to come in early, stay late, or come in on a free day to do this. If they are unwilling or unable, perhaps a personal mini monitor that you can split your signal with the direct box.
     
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  7. Jmartin

    Jmartin New Member

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    I appreciate the advice, but we all use in-ear monitors with iPads to control our own monitor mix. I'm just thinking that I need some kind of preamp that gives me amp-like sound and controls. I'm hoping the AMT ss-11 will give me that guitar direct to amp sound that I'm looking for. But anyway, I don't want to hijack this thread with my issues. :)
     
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  8. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    So are the tubes/circuit warming up, or are our ears acclimating?

    You try saying that three times real fast, "or are our ears or are our ears or are our ears..."
     
    #28 Dusty Chalk, Feb 11, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  9. Wakester

    Wakester Class Clown

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    The pre amp may then be the key you need. No worries about hijacking, we are all here to help each other, I cant help if I don't know.
     
  10. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    My tone revolved around delay and reverb ( add gain to taste ) for years it was a Boss DD3 and the amp reverb ( Mesa MK2 ) for gain I have mainly used pedals even starting a pedal company so I could get the gain I wanted.
    a few years ago I tried out a friends TC Electronics ( a G Major I think ) really liked the quality, later tried a Nova System and have been using them ever since, I don't use 1% of what it can do but I really like the sound.
    My switch to all PRS has also improved my tone, or ability to get my tone more often- less fighting with setup and such more playing equals better sound !!!
    and last but not least amps - I have had a Mesa MK II most of my adult life ( since 82 ) it has been my tried and true friend but always a pedal platform.
    Lately I have been experimenting a-bit ( Eqnater , Marshall , PRS ) and tried others ( Kemper, Bogner ) but then as fate would have it I played Sergios MKV and well I knew that was it , tho the PRS H is still killer the 3 channels on the MKV just make it easier with all the guitars and other than the Nova no pedals.
     
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  11. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    We use a similar setup, a Behringer Powerplay system that allows everyone to have their own console and monitor mix. Works really well despite the name on the box. We started putting amps in a separate room near the stage and micing them like an iso room, which lets you open the amp up but keep stage volume down. Works very well, but you have to have a room to do it in.
     
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  12. Steve's addiction

    Steve's addiction New Member

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    Dusty I think our ears acclimate. We hear the tone so much we think it's dull. Maybe the real answer is when we hear a THE tone we never want to change it
     
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  13. Steve's addiction

    Steve's addiction New Member

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    Here's another thought, do you use your pedal to enhance your tone or just as an effect.
     
  14. Wakester

    Wakester Class Clown

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    my pedal is a part of the tone. I use it with both my electric and my acoustic. the only difference being I don't use the distortion on the acoustic. The delay and chorus stay the same on both guitars. The only real change I make to the sound would be switching between bridge and neck pickups or switching between humbucker and single coil pickups.
     
  15. ScottR

    ScottR If nobody saw it, it didn't happen.

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    At this point (6 months in) I'm still trying to find a tone that doesn't make people/animals/anything that hears, not want to kill me...man, If headphones didn't exist...well, I love headphones...headphones good...

    In all seriousness, very interesting topic, thanks to everyone for posting very cool to read everybody's post. Now, if you guys will excuse me, I need to go to my happy place and cry myself to sleep...
     
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  16. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    Lots of stuff happens here, especially with loud tube amps. Your ears get fatigued and you hear less (or different) top end, the amps sound a little different based on voltage, volume, your mood, etc. Sometimes you get a particular sound in your head and it's either awful or wonderful, depending... I play an Axe-FX II nearly all the time, and while I believe the sound is very consistent between playing sessions (more so than tube amps), some days a particular sound will be the Voice of God and the next it'll be like hearing nails on a chalkboard, and some completely different preset will spin my nipple nuts..
     
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  17. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Tone can be funny like that, it's almost like when you smell or taste something, you need a palate cleanser to reset before you move on to something else, not only between playing sessions but even during the same playing session. For example, I can play an OD pedal I really like, then go to something say, much brighter, come back to the first pedal and it sounds dull. Which, I know it isn't really that dull, it just sounds that way in comparison to the sound I just heard. Maybe that's part of why we feel we have good and bad tone days.
     
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  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Depends on the pedal. Some are tone/dynamics shapers, and some are effects.

    I use two Pettyjohn pedals to shape tone and dynamics. These pedals are “always on” pedals.

    The first is the Pettydrive 2; I use its first channel to ever-so-slightly lift the tone hitting the front end of the amp. Not to make the amp clip, just to make the picking more dynamic, add some additional harmonic content. With it, I’m able to turn the guitar volume down but not lose definition.

    The second channel on the pedal is set to be a more traditional overdrive, and it’s both a tone shaper set for very low gain, and an effect when set higher. In addition, it has a tilt EQ and a cut control.

    I also use a Pettyjohn Filter, an EQ pedal that’s got a parametric mid EQ, a high frequency boost/cut at guitar-friendly frequencies (switchable), and a low frequency boost/cut that’s also got selectable frequencies tailored to guitar. Its circuitry is based on recording console EQs from the 60s. This one I set up for subtle changes to accommodate different pickups, amps and cabs, and of course, to shape tone to fit in certain types of tracks.

    Both of these pedals give the sound a nice overall polish (probably the best way to describe it) the way a characterful mic preamp makes a mic sound better.

    My other pedals are Suhr’s Kokoboost that I’ll use for a mid-boost, their Koji Compressor, their Tremolo, and their Alexa chorus. Good pedals, and I use these more as effects. Also an Eventide H9 gets used for effects.

    I also run a dedicated Suhr buffer to maintain signal integrity at the pedalboard input and to drive the cable runs to the amps in my studio room without signal loss. A nice feature of this buffer is that it has two isolated outputs, so I send one output to the pedalboard in the usual way, but the other output is set up to bypass the effects on the pedalboard, and run into a dry amp when I want to go wet/dry.

    This setup works well, though I do tend to shake things up with a different pedal every so often! :)
     
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  19. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Do you feel that the Pettyjohn EQ has reduced your need to EQ your recorded tones? Or does it just make them different in a way that you like?
     
  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    It’s just a way to make what comes out of the amp into the room more to my liking. It’s more of a “nicerizer“ the way I use it. Just a touch here and there. The box sounds so good, it’s impossible to resist.

    I generally wedge guitar tracks into a dense mix by screwing up the basic tone I record with liberal amounts of EQ and compression. Mostly, I’m cutting frequencies to get out of the way of other instruments or a vocal.

    If I have the tool, gosh darn it, I’m gonna use it. Oh sure, if I was a better player and arranger, it wouldn’t be necessary, but where’s the fun in that? o_O
     
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