Recently, a question came up on the Harmony Central Effects forum from a member who was having issues with the reverb on his newly acquired vintage Fender Quad Reverb. The reverb was "too much", and he wanted to back it down, and was asking about ways to do so. Do you just remove one of the springs? Will a shorter tank give you shorter reverb? Actually, there's a bit more to it than that…
I have two tricks to thicken my guitar sound that are a little outside of the norm. When it's time to add a little dimension to a guitar part, I always consider these two because in the first case, the resulting sound comes from one guitar that can be played live. The second trick involves an overdub, but there's still only one guitar that the listener hears. So how do you overdub a guitar and still have just one, you ask? Read on to find out!
You love the sound of tubes, but you don’t like being limited to specific cabinets. Or you really like amp sims, but you’re not totally sold on the preamp sounds. Or you love your guitar amp, but you wish it could do more...like split off into other cabinets, or do stereo imaging. The solution is to combine the physical and virtual worlds to get more than either option can do by itself...find out how.
Having the right guitar accessories can do everything from help you play better, to sound more interesting, to survive a live performance meltdown. But what exactly constitutes the "right" set of accessories? Well, you've come to the right place to ask that question.
This article presents a list of essential pieces of gear no guitar player should be without, otherwise known as Stuff Guitarists Need Besides a Guitar.
Most outboard effects behave in predictable ways as you move from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, you can pick up any brand of digital delay, set at the delay time to 125 ms, the feedback to one repeat and the level to 50%, and get essentially the same, expected sound. But distortion? What's a "Void" control, anyway?!? Let's decipher the language of distortion.
One of the great things about doing research on the Web is that you often find out stuff you weren’t necessarily looking for in the first place, but is valuable in another application. Case in point: I was researching the best way to hook up some lithium-polymer batteries to drive a high-powered motor for my radio-controlled airplane (a 60" P-51 Mustang), and I happened to stumble across a familiar, but out-of-context website: www.duncanamps.com. This was linked from one of the aeromodeling forums I frequent, and touted as “one of the best sources for software-based electrical-circuit calculators”— little apps that people make on Excel that provide easy answers to life’s little calculation problems.
P.A. systems and guitar heads and cabs are often modular affairs, with the speaker cabinet being separate from the power amplifier (unless your P.A. have powered speakers). Having separate speakers provides more versatility, as you can often mix and match speaker systems to suit the job.
Natural harmonics on the guitar—the ones found on open strings by laying a left-hand finger lightly over a fret—are a great weapon in the arsenal of a performing and recording guitarist. Often a well-placed harmonic is just the thing a sustained note needs at the climax of a solo. On overdubs, they make nice punctuation points when applied judiciously, and can add a nice splash of color.
Last month we talked about getting a clean country sound: bright, tight, and spanky. This time, I’ll detail just what can happen to your sound—or any sound—when it’s set up in isolation and brought out into the real world and offer caveats about using gear in your own studio vs. someone else’s.
When I interviewed Eric Johnson in his Austin-based studio a few years ago, I was struck by something that at the time seemed rather mundane. With his guitar in hand, Eric talked and played, demonstrating some of his approaches to soloing. But as brilliant as that was, what caught my eye was the periodic modifications he made to the his guitar while he played.
Ry Cooder. Daniel Lanois. Bruce Kaphan. These guitarists have all used slide guitar to create ethereal, ambient textures that have been found in film music and their own musical contemplations. Slide is a great way to expand your sonic palette and approach the guitar in new and challenging ways—and produce new and challenging music in the process.
Programs like Line 6 POD Farm, IK Multimedia's AmpliTube, Native Instruments Guitar Rig, and Waves G|T|R model a complete, computer-based guitar effects rack. As long as you're able to get audio in and out of your computer, you can create and edit your “rack” onscreen, with a degree of flexibility that's hard to do with conventional setups – but there are both pros and cons to taking the software path.
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