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What is good guitar tone????

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

KVRAF
 
38396 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:27 pm

After all these years I no longer feel I can tell what is/isn't good guitar tone anymore.

My hope in this thread is to hear some examples and maybe some explanation of how you got there. I would like to hope that this can be a "reality" check but not some crazy flame fest where people are so overly attached to "what they like" that things can't be discussed......constructive criticism should be WELCOMED, not taken personally ;) Impossible? we'll see.

Here are a couple of examples from the past that I at least thought were decent.

http://www.box.net/shared/kfnzt4e7aq

http://www.box.net/shared/mmnk3f8m91

http://www.box.net/shared/e0yys0jmpp
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Rad Grandad
 
23965 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.
   

Postby Hink; Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:39 pm

there is no way to give examples of 'a' good guitar tone, only 'your' good guitar tone not too mention for me the first question would be 'for what?' as it varies quite a bit. Form me a good guitar tone is the sits well, whether in a mix or alone and one that I can 'get into' :shrug:
Two fish are in a tank. One turns to the other and says, "how do you drive this thing"

The Moon Sleeps in the Middle of the Day
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something special
 
7714 posts since 15 Mar, 2002, from gone riding

Postby bluedad; Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:40 pm

Is there 'bad' guitar tone? :shrug:
KVRAF
 
3925 posts since 29 Feb, 2004

Postby susiwong; Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:45 pm

Good question, many answers.

A few of my criteria :
- the more nuances of your playing (both hands) are preserved the better, it is complex, direct expression that sets us apart from lesser instruments
Granted, it'll bring out your deficiencies too, but it's so much worth the pain ...
In doubt you can always work on getting better. :shock:
- it should still allow you to play full chords including 3rds and 6ths without "arrrrrgh :-o " , don't lock you out from the power of harmony
- it should be balanced in volume and tone all over the neck
- it has to work in the current context, meaning :
--- it should not be masked, aka it should cut through the mix
--- it should not get in the way of the vocals or other instruments more than inevitable, ideally it should enhance them
- basically a studio tone can only be judged in context, a live tone (as a compromise) by how many situations it covers gracefully
- and then there are the one trick ponies, i.e. special FX, take Rabin's "Owner of a Lonely Heart" tone - anything goes here, really :shrug:

Ymmv,
susiwong
KVRAF
 
38396 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:51 pm

bluedad wrote:Is there 'bad' guitar tone? :shrug:


Yes. With minimal effort, people can get horrendous guitar tone :shrug: Maybe even some of my examples are bad.
KVRAF
 
38396 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:55 pm

susiwong wrote:Good question, many answers.

A few of my criteria :
- the more nuances of your playing (both hands) are preserved the better, it is complex, direct expression that sets us apart from lesser instruments
Granted, it'll bring out your deficiencies too, but it's so much worth the pain ...
In doubt you can always work on getting better. :shock:
- it should still allow you to play full chords including 3rds and 6ths without "arrrrrgh :-o " , don't lock you out from the power of harmony
- it should be balanced in volume and tone all over the neck
- it has to work in the current context, meaning :
--- it should not be masked, aka it should cut through the mix
--- it should not get in the way of the vocals or other instruments more than inevitable, ideally it should enhance them
- basically a studio tone can only be judged in context, a live tone (as a compromise) by how many situations it covers gracefully
- and then there are the one trick ponies, i.e. special FX, take Rabin's "Owner of a Lonely Heart" tone - anything goes here, really :shrug:

Ymmv,
susiwong


Good tips.

I think though when I say guitar tone I'm referring to the entire package (in case I missed something)

My guitars get good tone (well, 3 out of 4 :hihi: ) but I'm increasingly wondering about the finished result. Seems to me that not too long ago I was in love with the "tone" that I got from guitar to amp sim. I'm questioning that big time now.
KVRAF
 
3925 posts since 29 Feb, 2004

Postby susiwong; Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:59 pm

Re your examples, judged as allround tone , imho :
(3) much too limiting, see previous post
(2) basically ok, although it has some unpleasant artifacts around the notes, a dead giveaway it's not a real tube amp
(1) is by far the best of the bunch, seems to be touch sensitive, artifacts almost not noticeable, relatively balanced, this qualifies as a good one. :tu:

These are opinions, nothing more. :shrug:
Ymmv,
susiwong
KVRAF
 
38396 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:08 pm

I cannot hear these "artifacts" everyone else can :cry:

3 was not limited at all by me, but I can tell you it is "headcase" and was a quick and dirty experiment. Any limiting is something inherently inside the amp sim as I don't use limiting.
KVRAF
 
3925 posts since 29 Feb, 2004

Postby susiwong; Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:25 pm

hibidy wrote:I cannot hear these "artifacts" everyone else can :cry:

3 was not limited at all by me, but I can tell you it is "headcase" and was a quick and dirty experiment. Any limiting is something inherently inside the amp sim as I don't use limiting.


No, no, "limiting" in terms of expressive options, not "limited" as in compressed. :!:
Compressed it certainly is :shock: , nature of the beast.

Re artifacts, listen for unpleasant, tiny little bursts of harsh clipping during the attack phase of notes, you hear them best with double stops
In fact, the very first bar of (2) is the most obvious example
The sustain phase can have artifacts, too, though these often get masked by other mix elements :phew:

(1) also has some artefacts, though they are much less disturbing to my ears.

Ymmv,
susiwong
Last edited by susiwong on Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KVRAF
 
2536 posts since 2 Feb, 2005, from Raincoast of Grayland

Postby mandolarian; Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:26 pm

Good guitar tone is what you had before you asked the question. Now it's gone. My tone! My Tone! My precious Tone! Time to buy a gazoo. :hihi:

Seems to me that not too long ago I was in love with the "tone" that I got from guitar to amp sim. I'm questioning that big time now.


Yeah...welcome to the fickle ear club. You'll like it here. For awhile. Then you'll get tired of us. Then you'll think we're all idiots. Then you'll believe we tricked you into joining in the first place.

Tone is just so personal, temporal and fickle. Only possible suggestion I could make is to go back to basics. No amp sims for a month. Just you and one guitar and one pedal. Get you mojo going. Then see where it leads. Maybe to the gazoo, maybe not. But, the journey is the thing. Take the trip down mojo road. It's worth it. Your tone is bigger than any amp sim. That or you could buy more amp sims and indulge the obsessive aural disorder until IK goes out of business. :D
perception: the stuff reality is made of.
KVRAF
 
3925 posts since 29 Feb, 2004

Postby susiwong; Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:33 pm

mandolarian wrote:the journey is the thing. Take the trip down mojo road. It's worth it. Your tone is bigger than any amp sim.
... or amp, fwiw, as it comes from your personality and imagination more than anything else.
Very true. 8)
But I think hibidy investigates the technical aspects atm.
Ymmv,
susiwong
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KVRAF
 
2536 posts since 2 Feb, 2005, from Raincoast of Grayland

Postby mandolarian; Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:43 pm

susiwong wrote:But I think hibidy investigates the technical aspects atm.
Ymmv,
susiwong

Exactly my point. Those technical aspects can only be solved by positive procrastination or other metaphysical slights of fancy. Investigating them by talking about them on KVR can only lead to one thing...

More talking. :lol:
perception: the stuff reality is made of.
User avatar
Rad Grandad
 
23965 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.
   

Postby Hink; Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:54 pm

susiwong wrote:Good question, many answers.

A few of my criteria :
- the more nuances of your playing (both hands) are preserved the better, it is complex, direct expression that sets us apart from lesser instruments
Granted, it'll bring out your deficiencies too, but it's so much worth the pain ...
In doubt you can always work on getting better. :shock:
- it should still allow you to play full chords including 3rds and 6ths without "arrrrrgh :-o " , don't lock you out from the power of harmony
- it should be balanced in volume and tone all over the neck
- it has to work in the current context, meaning :
--- it should not be masked, aka it should cut through the mix
--- it should not get in the way of the vocals or other instruments more than inevitable, ideally it should enhance them
- basically a studio tone can only be judged in context, a live tone (as a compromise) by how many situations it covers gracefully
- and then there are the one trick ponies, i.e. special FX, take Rabin's "Owner of a Lonely Heart" tone - anything goes here, really :shrug:

Ymmv,
susiwong


and here I am thinking that perhaps one can over think the issue and is better off going with what they feel...silly me :oops:
Two fish are in a tank. One turns to the other and says, "how do you drive this thing"

The Moon Sleeps in the Middle of the Day
KVRAF
 
3925 posts since 29 Feb, 2004

Postby susiwong; Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:54 pm

mandolarian wrote:
susiwong wrote:But I think hibidy investigates the technical aspects atm.
Ymmv,
susiwong

Exactly my point. Those technical aspects can only be solved by positive procrastination or other metaphysical slights of fancy. Investigating them by talking about them on KVR can only lead to one thing...

More talking. :lol:

"procrastination" has an artifact at the beginning of the 2nd syllable. :P
Btw, if you heard me talking it was meant for the cat.
I'm a silent poster. 8)
Lol,
susiwong
KVRAF
 
3925 posts since 29 Feb, 2004

Postby susiwong; Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:58 pm

Hink wrote:and here I am thinking that perhaps one can over think the issue and is better off going with what they feel...silly me :oops:

you're perfectly right, of course.
Different approaches, that's all. :shrug:
We had a little OD- and chorus shootout today, so I'm still in analytical mode I guess.
Ymmv,
susiwong
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