An expierence of sonic interactions

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by udoering, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. udoering

    udoering Friend of Leo's

    Mar 31, 2013
    near Cologne, Germany
    Well, the story goes like this: Since about two years I regularly record me playing guitar along a backing track (TDPRI jam over in the Twanger Central). My gear is a Mesa Express 50 + with a Palmer 112 open back cab with a Cannabis Rex. During that time I used different mics, since some weeks a Mesa Cab Clone. I like the sound of the Cannabis Rex, but after recording I often used the DAW´s eq to dial in some more high mids in order to let the guitar cut through the mix better.

    So I thought, let´s try another speaker that has more of those high mids I was often looking for. On the base of a speaker comparison video I came to the conclusion that an Eminence Legend might be what I wanted and ordered another Palmer 112 with that speaker.

    It was delivered, and I plugged it into the Mesa. The first thing I learned that the Legend was less loud than the CR, but that was to be expected. I then found that with the clean mode the new cab sounded the way I wanted, the sound was more piercing. That was ok with the bridge pu, but the neck pu sound was less desirable. When I switched to the blues mode, I was terrified. That mode, which is more mid-orientated and sounded great with the CR, was somewhat etching with the Legend. Furthermore, the tone stack of the amp now seemed to influence the wrong frequencies. In the end, I use the cab with the Legend to bring the CR cab higher above ground so I can hear it better.

    This brought me to think about the interaction of pickups, amp and cab. I remembered that my 2010 Tele with stock pus sounded good in bridge position when I used the Tweaker (which is a more dark sounding amp), but bland with no balls and too much treble when the Mesa came in. I am still thinking about the fact that a sound I like when I hear it directly needs a little eq adjusting when recorded, or that the sound after eq adjusting appears disgusting when it comes out of the cab, respectively.

    Furthermore I came to the conclusion that different pickups surely affect the overall sound one gets, but that amp and a cab have a much bigger amount of effect on the overall sonic outcome than (relative similar) pickups.

    I decided now, that the combination of Mesa Express and Cannabis Rex is the right one for me to sit beside it. I will not try to change that unless I hear a better alternative standing in front of the gear and playing my guitar. If I will ever stand on a stage, and my guitar needs a high mid boost, well then are equalizers.

    Finally, I will never ever buy a pickup again on the base of hearing a video no matter how well it is produced, as long as they don´t use a Mesa Express with a 112 CR open back cab on that video.

    I would like to hear your experiences, especially on the question of guitar sound you hear when playing yourself and guitar sound when you take the perspective of the audience. And: where do you start when building your sound: guitar (pu), amp, cab?
  2. ScatMan

    ScatMan Friend of Leo's

    Jul 7, 2008
    I often read and hear guitar players writing and saying that they want to 'cut through the mix.' It's not about 'cutting through the mix'; it's about finding a sound that works within the context of the music being played and what works with the other sounds being played/sung.

    For example, let's say we create a 'big full' sound that we like with our choice of guitar, mods, pickups, amp settings, etc. Cool sounding low-mids and boosted high-mids, etc. Sounds great to our ears.. a 'glorious full' sound. We dig it! We're happy!

    Then, we play with other folks with the same tunnel vision idea to make their sound 'big and full' too, but it may sound like a mess because everyone is stepping on each others 'sonic space.'

    Listen close to the individual instruments in recordings and live. The individual parts may not sound so good by themselves but the overall sound is good.

    Why? Because all the parts have their own 'sonic space' that works within the context of the entire sound with the other instruments/singers playing and singing at the same time.

    There's nothing wrong with doing whatever we want with our guitar choices .. mods, pickups, amps, amp settings, speakers, etc. if we play by ourselves. But, if we want to play with others, we have to look at the bigger picture, hear where we fit in, and adjust our sound accordingly.
  3. Blue

    Blue Tele-Holic

    Jun 15, 2008
    Not experienced that myself.
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