The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,814 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This thread is intended to be an opportunity for us to lighten up and laugh at ourselves for the amount of time, energy and finances we put into chasing (often very elusive) guitar tone(s).

The following is a copy and paste from another forum...

"Us tone chasers tend to do so in the vacuum of the practice room. When we take that tone to the stage, what sounded warm and full at home sounds dull and flabby once the drums, bass, horns, etc. are playing with us. I hear a lot of jazz guitarists whose on-stage tone sounds like farts in a bathtub because they didn't compensate for the difference of having to cut through a band- they are using the same settings as at home."

I will admit that I have gone to silly lengths in my quest for tone....and I still hang on to the hope that achieving the "tone in my head" is only a new, different pick or changing out a strap pin away.

I know I'm not alone here....

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,251 Posts
A few days ago, I was playing with my Google Mini setting it up to play my jam tracks with a simple voice command. I've got it working pretty well so flipped on my powered mixer which is set up with mics, my acoustic guitar and my jam tracks. I've been avoiding using a pick lately because it seem too loud when playing along to my jam tracks. That day when I flipped on the powered mixer, something was different. It had the sound and volume that I've been searching for. I'm almost afraid to turn it back on in case that sound has been lost so yes, I can laugh at myself. Somedays, I can't stop laughing.:)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,814 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm almost afraid to turn it back on in case that sound has been lost....
Good one! Thanks

How terrible...you finally find your tone and then you worry that it might vanish to an unknown place inside your gear (i.e., powered mixer).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
785 Posts
If I had $10 for every time at a gig that I've forgotten to engage/disengage a pedal, or bring a drop D tuning back to E... I'd have enough to buy a new guitar!
(actually I only play out half a dozen times a year, so maybe it should not be a surprise)

I can laugh at myself. I don't mind others laughing too, it's the pointing that upsets me ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
Not me. I barely spend any time thinking about boss pedals.

Why just the other day at Sunday dinner I was telling WF-2 that MIL-2w should maybe plan a side trip during her next visit rather than staying with us the WHOLE time. Maybe think about a room at HTL-1. SN-1 thought it was pretty funny, but DGHT-1 and DGHT-2 disagreed, although they did try to help settle down WF-2. Anyway, BIL-2 tends to see these things my way as regards MIL-2w, so I knew that he & SIL-2 would be no help.

The point is, I wasn't thinking about pedals instead of listening to the family the entire time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
I don't know about laughing, but I shake my head sometimes.... "What am I doing??" I'm pretty sure a lot of the tones I'm chasing, weren't that complicated when the original player used them for a recording. What makes SRV's tone so tasty?? I don't know... (and yes, I've seen the Valkyrie spoof) Pretty sure Angus goes guitar, straight into an amp...

A buddy was over once, just after I had completed my "Masterpiece Pedal-board". I think it took me 1/2 an hour to run through it all... and I didn't even have a guitar in hand. I know I lost him!

I can honestly say, I am very happy with my set up, but I'm not currently in a band, so what might happen if a full band compliment, does not actually compliment my stuff?? Cry I suppose.... no, wait... "Laugh".

No, I'd cry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,602 Posts
I don't gig (and likely never will...your welcome, world! lol) but do long for a more "robust" or full sound than my Mustang I can seemingly provide. I've managed to dial in a few patches that do sound pretty good, to my ear at least. While I typically play in the living room, which is somewhat open and airy, I don't often turn up the master volume past 2 simply because the family is usually around and doing their thing and I'm not interested in blasting out their ears. I've also recently tried moving my gear to the basement (finished with carpeted floors and pretty thick ceiling tiles) and found I could turn up the volume to about 4 or so and nobody upstairs made a peep...anything above that and it got to be distracting for the family and actually quite loud for me. But, when I turned it up that loud, what I thought sounded pretty good upstairs, did not sound very good at all in a similarly sized area although it's a little more closed in down stairs than it is upstairs. Frustrating.

While I understand the acoustics of both spaces are a factor I also know that the amp is what it is, a cheap practice amp. I was hoping that being able to "turn it up" in the basement would make me not want to put my guitar down but that just wasn't the case. It's cold down there, my amp (and playing) sounded awful and I felt like I was ignoring the family. Ugh. I've since moved my gear back up to the living room.

So, here's the dilemma, when I head out for my guitar lesson and plug into my instructor's VoxAC4, more often than not, my tone sounds KILLER! Come to think of it, I need to take a pic of the knobs on his amp when I like the tone because there have been lessons when it's sounded really bad but I don't want to spend precious, expensive minutes fiddling with knobs versus learning something. His "music room" is much different than my space (and he's always telling me to TURN IT UP!) so there is no guarantee that if I were to take his amp home and plug it in where I usually play that it will sound as good at is does at his place but some days I feel like it's worth a try! :cool:

I was pretty close to "upgrading" my amp (and hopefully my tone) a few weeks ago but several unexpected expenses made it very clear that a new amp wasn't in the cards for the next little while and that perhaps better playing would make even my crappy amp sound better...or at least that's what I'm telling myself until the gear fund gets replenished.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,027 Posts
What I've found is that if you're chasing a tone be sure to test it out in the environment you intend to play. Like mentioned above, I've found tones in my living room that I loved only to be disappointed in a band setting. Since I play with a band and that's where my tonal aspirations lie. Whether I keep or move a piece of gear has been greatly informed by how it holds up in a band. Before that I could be happy just living room jamming with myself. I kept a lot of gear that once I started playing in a band decided to sell as it just didn't hold up as I expected based on how it sounded alone. Having a specific use for your gear really narrows things down effectively. At least for me!
 
  • Like
Reactions: greco

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,158 Posts
Tone? Tone?? I am not worthy of Tone. In my apartment I set Volume on my electric around the same as the natural volume of my acoustic. I am as capable of chasing tone as I am of chasing and catching my almost five year old grand daughter with that damned arthritis in my knees. Thank gawd that Vox Pathfinder 15r Tone sounds just decent enough to keep on noodling.
 
  • Like
Reactions: greco

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,240 Posts
I use an acoustic plugged into the PA when I play out. That way I don't have to worry about tone. At home I'm constantly trying different guitars, pickups, and amps to chase the tone. I experienced the same thing as the original post, playing out the great tone from home sounded like crap and I spent half the evening adjusting things. With the acoustic I plug it in, do a sound check for volume and I'm good. Every once in a while I have to ask the sound guy for a bit more bass or treble but that's it. I almost made the mistake of buying a fancy DI box but then I realized I'd be back to spending my time being pissed off with my tone and adjusting it. There is much to be said for the KISS principle.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,701 Posts
Don't leave us in suspense like this....

Get wordy. Let your inner thoughts and ideas flow.
Go for the Pulitzer and/or Nobel.
I'll never be Mark :)

But if it helps I laugh at myself multiple times every day :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,499 Posts
I guess 'tone' is subjective. Some halls that i play in are just incredible as far as overall sound. Some halls, not so much. I am guilty of looking for the 'mother' of all tones with different guitars amps pedals etc... Once in a while, it happens and i am a very happy camper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,644 Posts
I've found my tone. The problem is that I change it every time I sit down to play. Depending on which combo of equipment I use. But it can get ridiculous at times too. My ears will change with the difference in weather, how I'm feeling (especially if I have a cold), the season, Atmospheric pressure is a big one in the Spring, wet to dry room conditions. Sometimes it's on a daily basis. I'm very sensitive to the environment I'm in, but I've come to understand it and in the end I do laugh at myself for being so anal about sound. It's kind of pathetic actually haha
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top