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Do you have a sound/tone "in your head" that you pursue?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Racer5, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Tele-Caster

    Tele-Caster Tele-Holic

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    I don't carry around a tone in my head, but several. I don't really chase them anymore, as I've figured out how to get them and not just with one combo of stuff, but several.

    They're all some variety of "clean" in the main.

    High-gain is where things fall apart for me. When I play with other people on their stuff, and they want a high-gain tone, I have difficulty coming up with something inspiring to my ears. I just mess with stuff until other people say, "Yeah, I like that, go with that one...". In my own head, though, the only high gain kind of tone I carry around (and even then, only once in a while) has my guitar sounding as much like a violin as I can make it sound, but it is never quite close enough to suit. I guess I'm still chasing that one. Or I would be, if I couldn't content myself with variations of cleans.
     
  2. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    I have a very clear perception of the kind of sound I want, it is clean, chimey, single coil (P90) with subtle reverb and some compressor squish. However, a very important part of it is bass-treble and string-to-string balance, and things related to how the notes develops, things which are much more evident to the player than to the audience.
     
  3. elKZacha

    elKZacha Tele-Meister

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    The tone Jimmy Page had in TSRTS movie pretty much became my benchmark, it's a perfect balance of oomph and clarity.
     
  4. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    I compare guitar tones to vocals: O is a round sound, A is round with some edges, E and I is edgy. I hunt for the O and A tones but sometimes you need that E from your tele bridge pickup.
     
  5. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, sort of.... I've often thought of Vince Gill & Roy Nichols as having ideal tones, however I'm a Blues musician at heart so I think of a mixture of those two with Louis Myers' classic tones and a little Eddie Taylor. Muddy Waters on the low strings

    Have I gotten close, yet? I don't know. A Telecaster with a Don Mare Donocaster bridge pickup seems to have me heading in the right direction. I need to get in a studio with a great amp and find out!
     
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  6. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have an idealized lead rock/blues tone that I know how to get, but if I want that AND my idealized clean guitar tone, I'd have to bring two rigs and several guitars to every gig. So I have a compromise that's close enough for my needs. Maybe the next amp will get me closer to everything in a single package?
     
  7. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't know that I've had a sound in my head that I chase. It's more like recognizing art - I know it when I hear it.
    I do look for a clear, full, clean tone to start with - something with good note definition and a nice clear sustain.

    One instance that clearly stands out in my mind was the first time I plugged my Thinskin Jazzmaster into my '68 Deluxe Reverb. I remember sitting there, as the chords were still ringing in the room, thinking to myself, "Wow! THAT's the what an electric guitar is supposed to sound like."

    More recently, playing my Cabronita through my Vox AC15-HW1.
    Oh yeah, and my #1 Tele through a Tweed Deluxe. :cool:
     
  8. texastengu

    texastengu Tele-Holic

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    More of a feeling that a tone or sound. I think David Lindley said it well "What I hear in my head is a long sustaining vocal kind of sound. Every once in a while, I'll hear it on certain instruments, and it's really scary when that happens. It causes a pressure in my chest-it makes it hard to breathe. In music that's the best part of all - when it gives you the creeps". What Ry Cooder call's "Chicken Skin" ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  9. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Like Soulgeezer said, the song is king and I need a variety of tones to get through a night. For me, it's become more a matter of recognizing something I can use when it comes along. I did my share of chasing when I was younger and think I've finally got the basics nailed down.

    Having said that, if anyone out there has found Derek Trucks in a box, I'll take two!
     
  10. Dan Bass46

    Dan Bass46 TDPRI Member

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    Lead guitar tone i would want Randy Rhoads sound from anything off Blizzard of Oz or Diary of a Madman albums, his sound was incredible IMO. Bass guitar I want the tone/sound that DD Verni of OverKill has off the W.F.O. album, lots of midrange that's clanky and crunchy sounding through an all tube Ampeg Bass head.:)
     
  11. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I am always chasing Tone.
    Always.

    Don't always get there.
    On the flip-side, there have been times when I have got what I was after, only to find out I needed something else to Fit the song.

    Just keep going.

    ~ST
     
  12. vintagelove

    vintagelove Tele-Meister

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    Absolutely, but not just one tone.

    What I want out of a Marshall if very different from a fender.
     
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  13. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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    You have to hang around the border. You're not really in Cleanland anymore, but you haven't fully crossed over into the Republic of Distortion. You're just sort of wandering around out in the DMZ. Then roll off of the trebles enough so that they're not bothering your ears. Once you're there, at baseline, tweak as necessary according to the song.
     
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  14. Marcelo R

    Marcelo R Tele-Afflicted

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  15. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    +1 Yup, a handful of tones that took me on quite an adventure to find. Two specific tones took me a few years to attain (a specific early Santana and a specific Larry Carlton), but I learned a lot from these quests ... from strings to power tubes. Fun stuff and hopefully I get another in my head to search for someday.

    BTW, my best friend had a sound in his head that finally took him to a mandolin size baritone guitar of some sort, so you never know where these adventures will take you.
     
  16. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've got a few amps and a few guitars...so I should have options, but just give me the SFDR cranked up and a Tele cranked up pretty good with the tone backed off through some carbon copy delay and a little Dyna Comp and I'm ok for a while...
     
  17. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Sometimes I can't hear the tone I'm chasing because of those voices in my head that keep carping about my playing. Sheesh, a guy can't get no respect, not even from that id guy.
     
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  18. mauer62

    mauer62 Tele-Holic

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    I have learned that the tones I like or hear will come out different in the recording process and thats what I mostly do nowadays instead of gigging so its a different mindset opposed to live sound. Sometimes I have to record different versions of tonal flavors to get the rhythm track to sound the way I want it to. I have recorded some rhythm tracks that sound awful coming in but somehow sat in the mix real nice. Most of the times less is better because when it comes time for the mastering process the rhythm guitar tracks will have more crunch and polish to them post master. My solo tones are pretty much dialed in on my Digitech GSP 1101 and a lot easier than the rhythm tracks in my experience.
     
  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I cycled playing most of my guitars just out of accident a month or so ago. While switching I realized that all these guitars that I had bought, cleaned up/repaired/modded, set up and adjusted at various times over the last few years all eerily had the same underlying tone, it's a tone I like, but many similarities. Made me think I could thin the herd a bit...
    I don't think I could have planned to nudge them all into the same area if I did them all at once but they were all very similar in tone. The single coils vs humbuckers do their play with the amp and distortion but the underlying tone of all were very close. I guess I found 'my tone'. Since then when listening to famous songs I've always liked I'm picking out that same tone. That tone has been rattling around in there for a while.

    So I can really understand how the pro musicians get to 'their sound'. It becomes as unique as a fingerprint. And is just as difficult for many other players to emulate.

    .
     
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  20. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No matter if I play a wash tub bass, with a broom handle and a string, or a custom shop tele, my tone is easily recognized. And more's the pity. This even extended to my five string banjo playing. Though little known, islanders in the pacific rim celebrated by roasting a pig, getting drunk, and having a party that lasted a week when I quit playing banjo. Twenty seven children were added to the population as a direct result of the shindig.
     
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