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Thread: Seeking tone, Tone, TONE!!!

  1. #1
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    Seeking tone, Tone, TONE!!!

    I'm looking for the best effects settings for tone. My guitar has some great tone capibilities but I just don't have the effects figured out yet (I'm currently using BOSS COSM effects). I end up with too much distortion or chorus and when compared to Satriani's sound for example, it just sounds to processed. Please let me know if you've discovered a good set of effects settings that I could try to really capture a great tone.

  2. #2
    tone is in your fingers. you are talking about sound.
    "Every day you neglect your training it neglects you for two." -Bruce Lee

  3. #3
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    Your sound, or tone, or whatever you want to call it, will only come with years of experimentation, trial and error.

    Most of the unique sound you produce from your guitar comes from your fingers. Then the next biggest contributor is most likely your pick. Ever wonder why if you plug into an amp you've never played it kinda sounds weird at first?...but then after a while without much fiddling with the controls you end up sounding like you. This is because your fingers will actually naturally adjust to produce the closest thing to the sound you want to hear.

    As for effects, it's like everything else, no two people are the same. One of my favourite guitarists, Kurt Rosenwinkel, who probably has the most unique sound on the guitar out there today, I just found out one of his main effects is a Pro Co Rat distortion. That was the first pedal I ever bought and I can honestly say it has sat unused for many years now. I can't get that sound out of that pedal just like my fingers can't produce the same sound out of the guitar. So, who cares? I don't want to sound like that, I want to sound like me and no one else.

    This is why gear threads are rather pointless...the only way you will end up sounding the way you want to sound is through experimentation. I could name a specific pedal and the exact dial settings and mine wont sound the same as yours because there are so many contributing factors to your overall sound that specifics don't really matter.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. #4
    Experimentalist Koala's Avatar
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    We´ll keep this thread open for now, if it is strictly directed towards tone generated by technique. Please refrain from turning it into a gear thread.

    Thanks

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    I love kurt rosenwinkel too. That guy is awesome.

  6. #6
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    I am a huge fan of Dynamics, I have mentioned this before but in class I have a practice with my students where I crank and amp and they have to control the volume with either their fingers or the pick. There's also an added benefit to that; yes dynamics do control your volume up to a certain point but they also alter your tone. If you simply wack the string, or hit it hard and precisely, or dig in a lot with the pick you'll get loud sounds but they will all have a diferent character and tone. Jon Damian had an exercise where you're suposed to make the guitar "talk", using the different nuances of your own personal picking style to create the different vocals and consonants. Then you "say" something using a musical phrase. "Sing" the same notes using different "words" (or picking techniques). The key word here is experimentation. How far do you wanna go with it is up to you.

    I hope you find this useful.
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  7. #7
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    It is quite common for guitarists to over-process their sound with effects, with distortion being the the most common "offender". Backing the distortion down a bit allows the picking attack to have a significant impact on the overall tone. A light pick attack produces a cleaner, thinner tone, while a hard attack thickens the tone. Pay attention to where you pick; picking close to the bridge will produce a bright, twangy sound, picking toward the neck gives a fuller tone. Also, on notes that are meant to sustain, once the note is picked, get your picking hand away from the vibrating string; resting your hand on the bridge can kill sustain.

  8. #8
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    i look at the tone issue in terms of phases ...

    well at least thats how it worked out for me.

    I basically started playing without caring for any kind of tone, guitar sound, the finger tone etc...

    Then the more i played the more my playing started taking shape and kinda you can tell that "that guy is the same guitarist". Of course i'm still pretty limited and one thing is my "licks" but some tone is there. It needs development and that can only be achieved by more experience maturity and practice.

    Now i'm slowly getting into a phase where the sound/effect is not exactly what i want. Its like i feel that some note i am playing is too mean, or some note is not sounding like a note at all but just a bunch of distortion. Thats when i start tweaking around but i have no patience for that. Its a questions of patience and experimentation. I am taking in consideration what i'm playing over what i am playing when i think of the effects to put on.

    They are all separate issues which need to be handled one by one and most probably when the time is ripe...

    i'm dangerously running on the "Gear Edge" lol
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  9. #9
    Jazz Apprentice Factor's Avatar
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    For the time being I exclusively play my acoustic steelstring (flatwounds though ). Partly because I haven't got an electric, but also because it is quite the challenge. It's damn hard bending those .011's up any far, so you have to rely on other methods to evoke emotions.

    There's really something about that clean and untouched sound from an acoustic. It really makes me aware of the difference in attack, where I strike the string, thickness of plectrums and so on. If you pick hard, you get more of a "twang", i.e. the string "slapping" against the frets and if you pick more softly you get the sweetest of sounds.

    By the way, have you ever considered the difference in tone with regards to what string you play the note on? Experiment and find out which string you want to play the note (you've most likely got 3-4 to choose from).

    All these things becomes clear if you mess around with an acoustic or otherwise unamped guitar. Factor's reccomendation!

  10. #10
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    I just wanted to add to the importance of string selection.

    If you listen to guitarists that use a completely clean tone you can usually tell when they play a note on the first string because the tone will be not as full and a little more twangy then the rest, especially above the 12th fret. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing, it's just different then the rest of the strings. This can even happen if you use 12's and your name is Wes Montgomery or Jim Hall.

  11. #11
    allrounder live's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Factor
    By the way, have you ever considered the difference in tone with regards to what string you play the note on? Experiment and find out which string you want to play the note (you've most likely got 3-4 to choose from).
    You're right, Factor! But a second point is when you write a solo or something and you're in a chop- or arpeggio part or whatever you must look where you want to end with this part and in which position you can play the note...the sound difference plays a big role but sometimes you have to use the other string because it's easier to play.(If you practise it a lot you'll see that you can get that note sounding like you want it or at any rate near to your Sound-Imagination.

    Beside this problem it's good to check out the same note on different strings to get a feeling for it and find out your own preferences.

    Cheerz,
    live
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    Last edited by live; 03-28-2011 at 01:32 AM.

  12. #12
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    Tone does seem to improve when the distortion is lowered but sustain is sacrficed. I've never thought about the suggestion above about my hand on the bridge killing the sustain. Interesting, I'll have to experiment with that.

  13. #13
    Chicks dig me Danster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Factor
    ...have you ever considered the difference in tone with regards to what string you play the note on? Experiment and find out which string you want to play the note (you've most likely got 3-4 to choose from).
    Yep, I just replaced the plain G-string on one of my electric guitars with a wound string cuz I couldn't stand the difference in tone when going from the D-string to the G-string. Much better now.
    Peace

  14. #14
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by live
    You're right, Factor! But a second point is when you write a solo or something and you're in a chop- or arpeggio part or whatever you must look where you want to end with this part and in which position you can play the note...the sound difference plays a big role but sometimes you have to use the other string because it's easier to play
    Agreed. And some players pay way more attention to the "what string does that and that note sound better on" thing than others.
    Eric Johnson seems to care about this a lot ( which does nto surprise, considering how much attention he pays to EVERYTHING else, incl. batteries, physical placement of effects and amp etc. )
    He is one of the players who doesn´t worry that much whether it makes the lines harder if he puts that note on that and that string. I have seen him play lines that could have been played quite a bit easier if he distributed the notes of it onto different strings, yet he preferred to i.e. play them all on one string because he liked the sound of that more.

    It´s a choice everyone has to make, and Johnson seems to be one of the guys who prefers to listen to the tone and create his lines according to that, even if it might make them way harder to play...
    Eric

  15. #15
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    yeah like I noticed that notes on the high e-string create a twangy rough tone, where as the same note on the b or g even makes the note sound way softer and kinda blusish.

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