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Relying on effects

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(@billyboy)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 91
Topic starter  

A few weeks ago tried something totally different when I practice. Usually play with the same setup that has some chorus, reverb, delay. Always knew the extra junk was making it sound slightly better than it is, it masks a fumbled finger changing a chord, being slightly off beat at times, etc.

So the first half hour or so I play: turn everything off. Dry and ugly. But it really forces you to pay attention and clean up the small stuff. My playing is sounding tighter than it has in a long while. Then I reward myself later by throwing any junk on I want, kinda like dessert.

Anyone else find your effects gives you a sense of confidence you don't get when its gone, or playing a totally different rig..?

"In my dreams your blowin' me... some kisses" - Lets Duet - Dewford Randolph Cox


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(@jersey-jack)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 192
 

Well, I've always felt that a lot of what is considered "shredding" is not as nearly as impressive as it sounds because the distortion and other effects are so pumped up that it would be hard, frankly, to notice a bad note. Now, this is not to say that all shredders hit bad notes--I'm certain that most of them don't--just sayin' that the effects take some of the pressure off.

Now those country/folk guys....can't hide a sour note with an acoustic git or a clean-sounding tele!


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Try the opposite sometimes. Get yourself onto a hot tube amp. It'll pick up a SBD. The neighbor's cat could yawn and it'd come through. That was an early adjustment I had to make going from SS to tube. BUT, then, that just means more control to people more gifted than I am.

Derek, different effects are simply tools, just like a slide is a tool. Personal preference, music styles, etc. You know the game.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

FX are not inherently bad. They often add something to a song, often as sort of a mood enhancer or spice. However, as are spices, effects often are overused, and certainly usually don't help for developing a controlled playing style with good tone and timing. It's a good thing to practice clean -- even reverb hides a lot of fundamental playing issues. Nevertheless, it's also a good thing to practice with an effect you will use in order to learn to use it properly and sparingly. As basic as it sounds (to some), many never learn to use tap tempo functions properly on time-based effects, don't understand what a gain versus output level mean and how they interact on overdrive and distortion pedals or don't understand impedance issues, interfacing to the amp input and/or effects loop, or even how the order of effects changes the sound and why. So:

Practice playing with a relatively clean setup to improve dexterity, timing, timbral control and anything that comes from your hands and fingers.

But for the love of <insert your fave deity here>, practice using your effects before you subject the rest of the world to them. When you start trying those out, you can come back here (or more appropriately, the From Here to There forum) and ask well framed questions about learning to use your effects to best ... well, effect.

And as far as good/bad effects go: I can show you how to overuse or abuse almost anything, including a Tube Screamer, Acousticizer (these can REALLY suck, as they include some of the most abusable processing out there), and even EQ. Best "effect" investment for live playing: IMNSHO, get a volume pedal and learn to use it.

-=tension & release=-


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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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if you learn to play clean and have good tone your effects will sound better when you click em on.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@billyboy)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 91
Topic starter  

Try the opposite sometimes. Get yourself onto a hot tube amp. It'll pick up a SBD. The neighbor's cat could yawn and it'd come through. That was an early adjustment I had to make going from SS to tube. BUT, then, that just means more control to people more gifted than I am.

Sir Parker-

I've been playing through a SS Roland JC. Also had very little exposure to tube amps. I've a general idea how they sound but have actually never played through one. Your saying that playing through a tube is much more revealing (difficult) than solid state..? As in what your playing is that much clearer?

The more I've been educating myself the past few months, a quality tube amp is on my horizon.

"In my dreams your blowin' me... some kisses" - Lets Duet - Dewford Randolph Cox


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Hi,

Difficult isn't the word. Different, yes. I think the best word to define it is that it's more responsive. With any amp, you hop on the strings and it'll give you that in return. With a tube amp, it just seems that it's more. A little tighter, maybe? It's probably like the difference between driving a 40 year old Ford Mustang and today's Mustang. The older one being a little less responsive to turning and braking requests.

Just for the record so that you know what I've played and played on, my playing is mainly clean stuff and rhythm at that. My SS amp was a Fender FM 212R. I still have one SS left and it's a Fender Champion 30 DSP with a Boss GT-10 hooked into it. My tube amps are the Fender Blues Deluxe and the Fender Super Champ XD tube/hybrid thing. The Blues Deluxe is the amp I refer to most when I speak of the responsiveness.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@off-he-goes)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1274
 

As a mostly acoustic guitarist, I don't use effects much. But if I'm playing electric, theres always reverb on. It makes the tone sound more warm, not so harsh. If I'm playing with a fair bit of gain, I roll back on the distortion. I always use certain effects, if the song needs, them, wah, phaser, and so on. But I wouldn't rely on them.

It is amazing though, how much faster I can sound if I put a bit of digital delay on. That coupled with the reverb and gain, make it sound like I'm a shredder. However, I make a point to be able to play anything I learn, on an acoustic, to sharpen my skills at it. If you can play something on an an acoustic, with bigger strings, and higher action, its a walk in the park to play it on an electric, especially with effects added.

Paul

Vacate is the word...Vengance has no place on me or her...Cannot find a comfort in this world.


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(@jeffster1)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 231
 

It goes both ways, I think effects get a lot of bad fingerpointing when it comes to covering up mistakes. Again, it's very common to say shredding isn't as impressive as it sounds because of the distortion. Although some mistakes can be masked, some mistakes are GREATLY exaggerated. Ever heard someone try to shred with even a BIT of unwanted string noise? It sounds horrible. Same thing with fretting a note too soon before you plug it. These two mistakes are very exaggerated when you have the distortion on, and string noise is absolutely much more forgiving without distortion on.


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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

i try to use effects as a tool. i also like to use different effect setups to play different styles. i usually play acoustic or if i'm playing electric, most of the time i play clean or with a little overdrive. i like a nice tone, just because i don't want to play some ugly music, but i don't use it to disguise my playing.


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(@ksac32)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 366
 

if you learn to play clean and have good tone your effects will sound better when you click em on.

Thats what i was gonna say :D

http://www.soundclick.com/kensacco
http://www.soundclick.com/thetools


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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Effects are good, like Greg (Gnease) said, they are like spice. Put a little garlic salt on your pizza, awesome, put a lot and you ruin the pizza. It really is like that. I mean, plain old straight guitar can be very plain and boring, I need to add a little reverb at least just to make it sound full, but not too much. I love distortion as much as anybody and will usually turn the gain on my overdrive pedals up a little over half. Sounds awesome. But max them out and everything turns to mush and you get all sorts of noise. I like a little Chorus and Phase at times, but not too much. I've heard that you really shouldn't notice an effect unless you actually listen for it. If you have too much it is just distracting in my opinion.

Effects do make a tremendous difference in how you sound. I will practice at night with a little Zoom pedal into my EVJ amp. I can play sixteenth notes at around 120 BPM with a clean tone and a little slapback reverb. Sounds like a Country guitarist playing at slow or moderate speed. I can switch it over to a high gain distortion with chorus and delay and I sound like Yngwie.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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One of the knocks on multi-effects processers is that they tend to over-kill the sound they're after. It's true of my V-Amp, was true of my GT-6 and somewhat true of my GT-10, althought they did a bit better this time around. I guess that explains all the knobs and lights.....

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@97reb)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1223
 

I'd love to have a Roland JC. I usually play with distortion/gain at moderate to heavy levels, but I love playing thru a JC. I do have some clean moments and songs that a JC would just truly be great for.

It is a small world for metal fanatics. I welcome you fellow musicians, especially the metalheads!


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(@billyboy)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 91
Topic starter  

When I posted this was sorta coming from the angle of casual players or beginners who get dependant on one setupsound. Once you find something you really like, you tend to play it all the time (at least in my case.)

My Strat, through my Rockman X100, into my Roland JC sounds incredible. Even knowing it's a little one dimensional as far as tone, it's easy to forget about it and just play. Up till now it's suited me no matter what I'm playing - SRV, Rush, Green Day, BB KIng, AC DC..etc. Thick, smooth distortion. Need to quiet it down just pull the volume down on the Strat and the Rolands' chorusreverb comes to the front for a great clean sound.

But it is one dimensional and the Rockman is quite noisy. Which is why I want to move to individual pedals to have more control and options at my feet. And like Wes mention put just a dash of what I want so my tone is a little more pure and not as muddy.

And I've been playing with every permutation on my Roland for the first time since I bought it a couple years ago (hard to believe isn't it?). Distortion, EQ, Reverb, Chorus, the Rockman in and out. Past few days have been playing with just the Roland distortion and different EQ, nothing else. It's a real eye opener for someone who was stuck in a rut and didn't know it.:)

"In my dreams your blowin' me... some kisses" - Lets Duet - Dewford Randolph Cox


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