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Clean vs. Dirty tones in demos...is it just me?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, Oct 24, 2020.

What do you listen for in a demo vid?

  1. Keep it clean

    76.5%
  2. Throw in some dirt

    23.5%
  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I rarely pay attention to the dirty tones in demo videos. It's not that I refuse to listen to them; I'll generally watch the whole video, which means I'm hearing both. But I don't listen for the dirty tones of others. Is this a peculiar quirk unique to me, or does anyone else relate?

    I have a specific rationale for this, BTW. My thinking is, there are so many variables to dirty tones, it's almost useless making comparisons. When you factor in playing style/technique, different gear (guitar pickups, wiring, pedals, amps), different recording equipment, etc., I just don't think there's much chance of the demo's dirt sounding like my dirt.

    Plus, we listen for/hear different things, don't we? One player's "creamy crunch" is another player's "can of angry bees." And that's if we're even that predisposed to dirt tones. Personally, I'd say at least 90% of what I do is clean. And when I go for dirty tones, it's usually just a bit of grit...just a hint of hair...just over the edge of breakup. Often, I don't use a pedal for that, either.

    Now the clean I'm talking about involves playing through a Vox amp with AC tones, so it's not a pristine or glassy clean. Admittedly, then, even our tastes in clean tones vary.

    I'm ruminating on this just now because I'm preparing to do a demo vid of one of my teles into one of my Vox Pathfinder 15R amps, and I'm wondering if I should even try to include dirty tones in the video. So although I know my own tastes and tendencies regarding clean and dirty tones, I'm wondering what others would like to hear.

    I would therefore like your input. Should I include a dirty tones aspect as I run through each pickup selection option?
     
  2. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    What gets me is when they do a demo of an amp and they run an overdrive or distortion pedal in front of it. That's not an amp demo, that's a pedal demo. Oh, to answer your question, run the amp through its paces. If it can do dirty without a pedal, include that.
     
  3. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Good point.
     
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  4. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    No pedals. Just guitar and amp. Maybe single coils and humbuckers and if you have other guitars with other pickups like P90s or Filtertrons, demo them with the amp. How does that amp sound with other pickups is useful information.
     
  5. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    yes always clean. i can build most any dirt tone to my liking with a good fundamental sound and the right equipment.

    and i agree with the personal nature of dirt. i don't care about that soaring lead. most of my dirt tones sound like steve albini.

    clean, well, i can't polish a turd.
     
  6. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

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    I rarely watch these things because you have no way of knowing what the gtr/pickup/amp really sounds like with a 'modest' pedal array of an OCD, a 'clean' boost, and whatever other junk the guy is addicted to.
     
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  7. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I guess it depends on WHY you are doing a demo. Are you trying to sell it? Show what it can do? Show off your skills? Demonstrate the amp?
     
  8. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    I like a clean tone if I want to know what a guitar really sounds like, and an amp cranked to a reasonable volume to hear what it’s capable of.

    I don’t feel like I’m really hearing either of them if there are pedals involved.
     
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  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Both.

    More is better.
     
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  10. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Think, well know, I've mentioned this before but.... Always prefer a clean demo of an amp or, indeed, guitar.

    Don't mind a bit of amp gain or reverb being added as the demo goes on but to start with... Just want to hear what the amp itself can sound like played with a 'standard' guitar.
    I know that in itself creates issues - but would demoing amp X with guitar Z be a fair demo if in actual fact the guitar "Z" had been 'tricked' up, let alone having some crazy pedal added to the sound?
     
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  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    To me, distortion is a separate and distinct tonality.
    I very rarely use it, in my dotage.
    I like to hear guitars and amps clean.
    No reverb, delay, chorus, yada yada, and certainly no amp or pedal distortion.
    Most guitar demos seem to drip with reverb.
    I “get” that the vast majority of us gear nuts use that stuff, but it all tends to homogenize the way you sound.
    I like how Joe Gore @Tonefiend demos gear.
    His alter ego is Greg Hilden at Greg’s guitars.
    He can make anything he demos sound exactly like the last demo.
    Strats, Teles, Pauls, 335s, Firebirds anf Gretches all sound the same.
    So, color me Mr. Clean.
    I have the slick pate to prove it!
     
  12. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

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    I can join in ...

    ...get off my lawn!
     
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  13. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm not sure I get why the "Why" makes a difference, but I'll answer your questions.

    I am not making the video to try and sell the tele I will be using in the proposed demo vid. It was custom made for me by Bob Logan, from lumber salvaged from my house after a fire in 2010, so this guitar is truly unique, and isn't going anywhere. Somebody in my family will inherit it one day.

    I am not trying to show off my skills. There's nothing special about me as a player. I actually get nervous even thinking about all the really good guitar players in this forum watching me play.

    Demonstrating the amp (again, Vox Pathfinder 15R) is definitely a part of it, but...

    I'm really trying to show what my tele can do (the one on the right in my avatar pic, BTW). I like the look of this tele. I like the sounds of this tele. And I plan as of now to do such a video demo for each of my five Logan Custom teles.
     
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  14. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    If the demo is to sell the amp, by all means try to approximate the range of what it can do, but...if it’s to reach out to all your TDPRI compadres, show a range of what YOU like to do with that amp. It’s way more interesting to hear what other members sound and play like, I think, and how they shape what that can do with their particular touch and sensibility.
     
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  15. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Holic

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    If it is a guitar or amp, I want to hear the overdrive. But I never really use pure clean. I stay mostly in break up to good crunch so I want to hear that.
     
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  16. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    I rarely watch vids like that, but what I want to hear is how I set up my amp - crunchy. I don't care how an amp sounds clean. The only clean tones I use come from me backing down my guitar volume knob a bit.
     
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  17. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Depends. But lots of clean, yes.

    Then push things a bit, and more, and variously.

    But for a guitar demo, gimme 90% clean. Sure, what a particular guitar does to a particular amp when pushing that amp can be useful--but also not, if the amp is an unusual or super high-end one.

    So gimme 5 minutes of clean notes, chords, etc., through a very clean amp--a Deluxe Reverb set on 4 or 5, say--and then a minute or two of pushing the DR into edge-of-breakup, then moderate breakup, and a few moments of heavy breakup.

    That's called generalizable baseline, if I remember my Statistics right.

    And leave out the pedals, unless you're demoing pedals. Through, again, a very clean amp.
     
  18. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That explains WHY you want to do it. Since you aren't trying to sell it, or show what it would do for someone else, you are doing it to show why YOU enjoy the guitar/amp combination. So, if it were me, I would just play it the way you like with the tone set the way you like it. As others have mentioned, it can be helpful to crank the amp to see what its own overdrive sounds like, but other than that, I would play it the way you play it every day. Just my $0.02.
     
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  19. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Dirty tones with pedals are useless if you are trying to evaluate the amp.
    Low volume, light playing, is also useless, to eval any amp.... SS or Tube. They both sound the same like that.
    You have to push things a bit to hear anything useful.
     
  20. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not to pile on too much, but I also prefer a clean tone unless it's a video specifically about a dirt pedal. It seems like all too many just bury the very thing they're trying to show in dirt.
    Whenever I see one of those vids that starts off with "today I'm going to show you the new blah blah blah from (insert guitar maker here). In this demo I'll be running it through a wah, a fuzz, a tubescreamer, an EQ, a delay, and a compressor into an overdriven Marshall" I immediately hit the "back" button. Who has time for that and what are we even supposed to get out of it?
    I might be a bit overboard but much less of an exaggeration than it should be.
     
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