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  • What Do You Do To Get Your "Sound"?

    Whenever I sit down to test out an amp, I put the EQ knobs at 12 o'clock and go. I might put the bass at 1 and the treble at 11 depending on the amp. I generally keep the amp. EQ constant, rather than using different EQs for different guitars. I switch guitars to sound different rather than try to adjust the amp to get a similar sound to the last guitar.

    I like overdrive (and fuzz sometimes), but I don't like the tain up too much. I like chords to ring and to jangle, and I like hearing note definition. Too much gain takes away that beauty! But fuzz makes some nice, thick, sustaining single-note lines.

    I use tremolo and chorus sparingly, but they are both on my pedalboard. I like analog (or analog-ish) echo for lead parts. The BBE Two-Timer sounds great, but I can get a very similar sound with my Boss DD-20 in "analog" mode, and that has tap tempo.

    Like I said before, different guitars bring the variety. The only thing I ever adjust is the output level on my overdrive pedals, since humbuckers and single coils have different unity gains with my overdrives.

    I like a bright-ish midrange crunch sound, kinda like some AC/DC, although I never tried to match their sound exactly.

    How do you get your sound? Did you model it after another player?
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Guitars:</b> 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)<br><br><br><br><b>Pedal Chain:</b> BBE Green Screamer -&gt; MXR Distortion III -&gt; Boss CE-5 -&gt; EH Stereo Pulsar -&gt; Boss DD-20 -&gt; BBE Boosta Grande<br><br><br><br><b>Amps:</b> Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5<br><br><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://soundcloud.com/andrewalderman">SoundCloud</a></div>

  • #2

    The guitar I use, amp, eq settings, pedals, all depends on the music I'm playing.

    Regardless tho, I still sound like me no matter what.

     

    Comment


    • bluesmann
      bluesmann commented
      Editing a comment

      Pine Apple Slim wrote:

      The guitar I use, amp, eq settings, pedals, all depends on the music I'm playing.

      Regardless tho, I still sound like me no matter what.

       


      That is the truth plain and simple. No matter what you're playing through you do sound like you. I've handed my guitar off to another player with the same exact settings and they'll sound totally different. Tone is in the fingers as its been said. You can copy someone elses technic and sound pretty close like the artist. but in general whats been said is true.


    • Danhedonia
      Danhedonia commented
      Editing a comment

      I'm all over the place.  At the moment, I'm in "Prince mode" (writing and recording mostly alone, late at night, in a home studio with occasional contributions from indulgent co-conspirators) and so I start with the sound in my head of what I hope the finished song will sound like. 

      So, I'll be writing and arranging the song in my head thinking things like "I want a chime-y guitar with a really long reverb and some trem here" and then go after it.  I'm such a dreadful guitarist that the notion of having a sound as "mine" other than clam notes provokes intense, dark laughter.

      And of course songs arrive by different stork, so sometimes I'm just messing around with effects, or different guitars, or etc. etc. etc. and I'll hear something and build around that.

      Then there's the phases - occasionally I'll go through a phase where I just play a lot of sub-Exile Stones riffs, or get into deep Spacemen 3 pentatonic space-blues ....

      Which is to say: I have no style whatsoever, and when I can actually get close to what I hear in my mind (my mind is SO staffed with amazing session musicians), I thank God and hurry along to mixing.

      That said, I do find huge enjoyment in screwing around with the palette, and not being in a democratic environment when it comes to creativity means I don't have to sound 'like' anything, and I love that.*

      * - sometimes when I record others' songs, I will add some of the music, and in that case I am Burger King, they have it their way and I do my utmost to sound the way they'd like for me to.

      Inevitably there are settings/combinations of things I strongly prefer.  Jazzmasters into vintage Fender amps ... Strats into my Blues Deluxe.  A CE-3 > nifty custom fuzz/boost/repeater I have from Acid Fuzz (the Sonic Boom) > preamp > Maxon Phaser > Red Witch TItan > Dano trem > Hall of Fame Reverb > amp.  Sloppy blues played above a 7th fret capo. 

       


    • mrbrown49
      mrbrown49 commented
      Editing a comment

      Pine Apple Slim wrote:

      Regardless tho, I still sound like me no matter what.

       


      Amen.

      On the flip side, I always get a kick out of it when someone else plays my rig and makes it sound totally different than when I play. 


  • #3
    Amputate the tip of your left index finger. Tune bottom E sharp - D string a tad flat. Fret everything midway between frets. Pick near the bridge for maximum brittleness.
    You will sound exactly like me.
    Don't pick a fight with an old man,
    If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


    '' Who, me Officer?''

    Comment


    • ugameus
      ugameus commented
      Editing a comment

      I plug in and tune up.  I am usually not looking for a particular sound, just one I like from the gear I am playing.  I always sound like me.


  • #4

    Personally I like to grab another beer until what I'm playing sounds right:smiley-eatdrink055:

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Gear:<br />
    <br />
    Deluxe Voodoo modded dual recto<br />
    mesa standard straight 4x12<br />
    Marshall 1960 classic<br />
    gibson les paul custom(surreal td's)<br />
    57 av ri strat (SD lil59, suhr v60's)<br />
    Robertson acoustic<br />
    </font></div>

    Comment


    • J-E-M
      J-E-M commented
      Editing a comment

      Overwound single coils, 10-46 gauge strings tuned down to D standard, "James Hetfield" pick grip, play through the gain channel with a slight hint of breakup and dump the drive pedals on top of that - amp settings are fixed with an emphasis on the mids, ISF control set for a british sound... And a flux capacitor.


  • #5

    For me it starts with humbucker pups that are crunchy rather then smooth voiced. Thats a requirement to get my sound. Then I adjust action followed by adjusting the pups for best to me sound. On average that means adjsuting pole peices of neck pup up a little and bridge pup pole peices so they are down a little or flush with top of the pup housing. Neck pup pole peices being adjsuted upward a little so theyre little bit aboive housing top generally adds a little bit better difinition. And downward or flush with pup housing top helps cut a little bit of the treble no wquite quite as bright. I also find that tone variation via small adjustment of volumes to favor the neck or bridge pup a little  works better then my compared to just trying to adjust tone control. With new strings I roll down the tone control a little especially when favoring bridge pup. I like heavy overdrive and a little bit of reverb, ussually room, for a boit of ambience. I also use comporessor as first effect. Little adjutments to the attack on comp help fine tume sound char to me for taste pref. 

     

    ;''m not much concerned with the amp and speaker except as a good monitor. Since my out of the procesor is the ready for recording tone. Instead of using amp and speaker for tone char. 

     

    Last but also very important is little tweaks to the sound in the mix so it sounds best in the mix. Solo voice seldom works as well in the mix. I usually use layered percussion backdrop to initially get in the mix sound tweaks started. 

    Life for its own carnal pleasure.<br><br>Synths: Novation KS4 &amp; Maudio Venom. Guitar: BC Rich It Warlock.. Bass: BC Rich Warlock. Sight: Aerial lasers by Omnisistem &amp; Chauvet,. Geometric lasers by Extreme.

    Comment


    • #6

      I've had mostly the same, core tone for the past decade or so.


      I prefer JC120s for Jazz, Bartolini pups, Yamaha CO-10MII (best effing compressor, ever) and a decent EQ, so far its been a MXR M108 ten bander but there's a true bypass EQ being imported now by Biyang called the 'Tonefancier' thats seriously considering making me make a change.

      Everything else, modelling software.

      Comment


      • onelife
        onelife commented
        Editing a comment
        I listen to a lot of Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery

    • #7

      usually i like guitar straight into the amp, i dont care for many effects. always a little reverb though. and lot of mids. i like all my notes to come through, treble is usually 1 or 2 0clock, and bass is around 1130

       

      formerly stewiesguitar<br><br>Gear<br><br>Agile AL-3000M HSB<br>Fender Stratocater w/ custom BG V60 pickups<br>SX PEG!<br>Squire Classic Vibe 50's Strat<br>Takamine GS430S<br>Washburn ECG18CE (newest, awaiting arrival)<br>Fender Mustang III<br>Bugera V22<br>Fender SCXD<br><br><br>

      Comment


      • #8

        Magic and Satan.

        Comment


        • billybilly
          billybilly commented
          Editing a comment

          My EQ is flat and I usually play clean, for slow passage playing I use a touch of delay.  When I play with overdrive or distortion it varies, a lot.  Lately I've been chasing my own version of a Gilmour tone for lead.  I guess I don't really have my own sound as such but that's okay.


      • #9

        I twiddle the inc dec until the right number is on the number thing.

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        Comment


        • Special J
          Special J commented
          Editing a comment

          I've been recording a lot lately, so I've been experimenting with different sounds/rigs. I've been playing long enough that I guess I have my own sound distiguishable by my musical friends anyway. I do draw upon my influences, shamelessly and often subconsiously. If I'm rehearsing or playing live, I'll just use a guitar and amp combo I know I can rely on, and use pedals to get various levels of gain and effect insanity. Recording, I'll usually experiment more and start with a guitar/amp/effect combo that really compliments the song. That might be a Tele straight into a Deluxe, an LP through a Big Muff into an AC30, or a Dano Baritone through a Leslie.


      • #10

        My main tone is a mix between Metallica Black Album and Van Halen.  Some sort of hybrid between Marshall JCM800 and the modern Metal sound.

        The main part is the EQ, and you can get that with most amps regardless if it's a British amp, or a modern hi gain amp or whatever else.

        Hard to put into words.  Enough bass to be chunky and modern but not enough so that it sounds flubby or fat.  I don't often use much bass, and I think my technique makes it sound bassy by default as opposed to those players who play really softly and lightly.

        A scooped mid so that it has the rock sound.. but not actually scooped.  Sometimes the mids are even boosted (via the knobs).. but the main thing is for it to have body.. and a thickness to it, without sounding farty.  Sort of scooping without actually scooping.  The more EQ options, the better in order to achieve this.  Also depends on the bass setting.

        For treble.. I like it bright.  I like it to be on the verge of being stinging or painful.  I like the bridge pickup bends to scream.  However.. always backing off before it gets to that stage.  I don't like a 'dark' sound though.  I guess you could say my tone is more mids and treble with little bass.  As opposed to the sound so many people use.. where it's all bass and mids and no treble (that's what bass player is for).

        Gain.. lots of gain.  so that when you back it off to 7/10 on the guitar it cleans up nicely, so that it's a decent rhythm sound.  So that the palm mutes aren't too fizzy or fuzzy.  But that extra 3/10 for headroom on the guitar, if you want it to scream more.

        Same with the treble/tone knob.  Tweaking it so that it sounds good at 7/10.  So that you have extra treble if you need it.

        For clean sound, I like neck pickup.. bright (treble setting) and to make sure that the thicker strings aren't too fat.  Which they usually are.. but you can always pick a little closer to the bridge.

        Don't know if that makes any sense or not.  But once I get this sound, most riffs I like to play automatically sound good.  It's sort of a lead sound, but it's sort of not.  It's sort of modern metal hi gain.. but sort of 80's rockish at the same time.  It's very versatile.. just a good stock modern sound.  For lead playing, or chunkier metal riffs.  While not being out of control and extreme.  Sort of like Dream Theater.

        I never set out for it to be this way, it just sort of evolved.  Obviously if I'm playing an AC/DC riff, it's different.. but the funny thing is that this tone even works for that.  But obviously.. for AC/DC.. very different.  Or some SRV blues riff.. same thing.

        You guys are all experienced players.. so this would probably mean nothing.. but it's just nice to go off of your ears instead of what the tone knobs say.  For one amp 4.5/10 gain might be enough.. and for another 7/10 might not be enough.

        Comment


        • J-E-M
          J-E-M commented
          Editing a comment

          IbanezJon wrote:

          My main tone is a mix between Metallica Black Album and Van Halen.  Some sort of hybrid between Marshall JCM800 and the modern Metal sound.

          The main part is the EQ, and you can get that with most amps regardless if it's a British amp, or a modern hi gain amp or whatever else.

          Hard to put into words.  Enough bass to be chunky and modern but not enough so that it sounds flubby or fat.

          A scooped mid so that it has the rock sound.. but not actually scooped.  Sometimes the mids are even boosted (via the knobs).. but the main thing is for it to have body.. and a thickness to it, without sounding farty.  Sort of scooping without actually scooping.  The more EQ options, the better in order to achieve this.  Also depends on the bass setting.

          For treble.. I like it bright.  I like it to be on the verge of being stinging or painful.  I like the bridge pickup bends to scream.  However.. always backing off before it gets to that stage.  I don't like a 'dark' sound though.  I guess you could say my tone is more mids and treble with little bass.  As opposed to the sound so many people use.. where it's all bass and mids and no treble (that's what bass player is for).

          Gain.. lots of gain.  so that when you back it off to 7/10 on the guitar it cleans up nicely, so that it's a decent rhythm sound.  So that the palm mutes aren't too fizzy or fuzzy.  But that extra 3/10 for headroom on the guitar, if you want it to scream more.

          Same with the treble/tone knob.  Tweaking it so that it sounds good at 7/10.  So that you have extra treble if you need it.

          For clean sound, I like neck pickup.. bright (treble setting) and to make sure that the thicker strings aren't too fat.  Which they usually are.. but you can always pick a little closer to the bridge.

          Don't know if that makes any sense or not.  But once I get this sound, most riffs I like to play automatically sound good.  It's sort of a lead sound, but it's sort of not.  It's sort of modern metal hi gain.. but sort of 80's rockish at the same time.  It's very versatile.. just a good stock modern sound.  For lead playing, or chunkier metal riffs.  While not being out of control and extreme.  Sort of like Dream Theater.

          I never set out for it to be this way, it just sort of evolved.  Obviously if I'm playing an AC/DC riff, it's different.. but the funny thing is that this tone even works for that.  But obviously.. for AC/DC.. very different.  Or some SRV blues riff.. same thing.

          You guys are all experienced players.. so this would probably mean nothing.. but it's just nice to go off of your ears instead of what the tone knobs say.  For one amp 4.5/10 gain might be enough.. and for another 7/10 might not be enough.


          I like your approach, esp with the mids. Mine are scooped yet not scooped,too - my drive peds have low mid settings, but right at the end of the chain - the amp - the mid knob is turned up higher than the other knobs.

          And I do the same with the guitar - backing off the volume to get the sound more articulate, yet still with plenty of chunk, balls and saturation for rhythm playing. It's a balancing act when using high gain sounds - you want articulation, but you want to maintain that big monstrous sound texture you're getting with the distortion. And yes, it's good to have that remaining sweep on the vol knob if you want to go loco...

          And what you said here makes total sense to me and I dig it, though my sound's got more of a 70s kinda flavor - 

          "It's sort of a lead sound, but it's sort of not.  It's sort of modern metal hi gain.. but sort of 80's rockish at the same time.  It's very versatile.. just a good stock modern sound.  For lead playing, or chunkier metal riffs.  While not being out of control and extreme."

          :smileystatic:

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