Pedal Games - Chasing Tone and Fell in the Rabbit Hole

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Ducerro, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Location:
    Yoakum, Texas
    New to the "pedal game" and need your take. I've been reading about chasing tone ever since I first signed on to TDPRI a couple of years ago - but to be honest I never really knew what that was all about. Last year I watched a YouTube video of Greg Hinder playing a MIM Strat and I was blown away by "the sound". I kept coming back to that video over and over again - just mesmerized by "the sound". I know full well it's Greg's playing that creates "the sound", but I'm also intrigued by what he uses to achieve it. Of course "the sound" is his tone - so here I go down the rabbit hole...

    It's easy enough (although expensive) to just duplicate the tools he used - namely a Fender 63' Viboverb, Boss RC2 Looper, Vahlbruch Space Time Delay, and a Okko Diablo Gain + Overdrive... Then again, maybe not! Only the latter two "tools" are still in production - the rest need to be found on the used market OR just buy the newer versions (Boss R3 Looper). That said - even if I were to find everything he used, the cost is outside of my comfort zone for someone as inexperienced as me. But, if that's what I want to sound like - then that's the tone I'm chasing. Now - how do I get there?

    The questions:

    When YOU chase tone, do you buy the same tools as the one you are attempting to emulate? Or do you buy clones OR equivalents to the same tools? Or for that matter, do you chase a tone in your head that's yours and yours only?

    I'd love to hear if anyone has a clone that emulates the Okko Diablo Gain + Overdrive. It's still available at $250ish, but this would be my FIRST pedal and I'm a bit hesitant to drop that much coin at the start!
     
  2. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Location:
    WV
    Once you find the tone in your head, if you actually can, that's it. Nowhere to go from there. Only a matter of time when you get bored, and the chase starts over.

    Seek for affordable options that get you in the range. Then just play. Your tastes are gonna change and evolve over time, anyway. That's a good thing.
     
  3. ShortintheSleeve

    ShortintheSleeve TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    84
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2018
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    For me, it's more the second and third thing. I'm never hell-bent on acquiring the specific gear a guitarist uses (though Equipboard.com is a handy resource if that's what you're after), but if there's something particular I'm trying to approximate, then I at least need the basic tools. For instance, I like The War on Drugs, and if I want a tone in the vein of their usual stuff, I need a delay, reverb, chorus, and OD at the very least.

    I'm the primary songwriter in my band, and the bulk of what we perform is original material. We have a few covers we do, and if we're trying to do a straight up rendition, then I try to nail the tone as best I can. But for originals, I'm more concerned with just finding sounds I like and drawing inspiration from them.
     
    Ducerro likes this.
  4. Tobias

    Tobias Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    256
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2015
    Location:
    Amersfoort
    I started the journey with a marshall guv’nor, cause I heard that it might get me closer to Pearl jam tones. Had a Roland Cube at the time. It worked! I got closer. Close enough to realise the next few steps would have to be on the playing side....
     
  5. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    472
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Location:
    England
    The Okko diablo is very versatile, If you have the guitar and the amp then I don't think it would be a terrible investment.
     
    brbadg and Ducerro like this.
  6. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    472
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Location:
    England
    That being said the 'tone' that was always in my head is just a marshall, so I bought a marshall, no chasing around with tons of pedals needed.
     
    mrmousey, bftfender, BB and 1 other person like this.
  7. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,103
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, California
    Is this the video?



    If so, this sound is very reminiscent of David Gilmour's tone, too. It's basically a lovely lead base tone with some gain, compression (for sustain), reverb, and delay.
    You can get this tone with any number of amps and effects. It's all about putting it together. Strats can be tricky-- often sound too thin, but if you get stronger pickups
    with more midrange tone then they don't "sparkle" as much playing clean. I actually got the EMG David Gilmour pickup set DG20 on my Strat and love it, but this is NOT
    necessary to get this kind of tone. I believe David Gilmour is back to playing passive pickups himself right now. But the right pickups can help. On the other hand, once
    you are using pedals then EQ adjustments on your pedals can go a long way towards compensating for whatever pickups you're using.

    I'm sure it would even be possible
    to get something very close to this tone using full humbuckers so it's really not all about the pickups by any means. (Although he is playing with the bridge and middle pickups together, which creates that classic scooped Strat "quack" sound, which is very hard to do with any other guitar. The Strat Quack is one of the things that makes Strats very unique, IMO. Think of the sounds that Mark Knopfler gets on Sultans of Swing, too-- very hard to get with anything other than a Strat or a guitar set up with pickups to emulate it. I actually have an Ibanez with two humbuckers, but one of its switch positions gives a very good quack-- I think by using the two closest coils and doing some other electronic wizardry possibly with an extra tone cap, so it is possible to simulate Strat quack in other pickup setups.)

    Therefore, I think you could achieve very similar tones with a very basic rig. For example-- just about any amp, plus a decent overdrive like a BluesDriver, TubeScreamer, Boss
    SD1 or OD3, Electro Harmonix Soul Food (if your amp doesn't have a good sounding gain channel), plus just about any delay and reverb pedal (or built in amp reverb)
    going into just about any decent amp. It truly is mostly in the fingers, as they say....

    You could probably even get a good working facsimile of this tone using a modeling amp that has built in effects and looking for presets designed to give you a David Gilmour
    lead tone.

    I definitely DO NOT buy the same tools....there's lots of variations on the bog standard effects and many if not most of them are perfectly good for achieving the sounds you want to copy
    or the sounds in your head. That said there are a very few effects that are pretty unique and you would have to use them or a very close clone in order to get that sound--
    for example, if you are trying to copy Rage Against the Machine solos you would be hard pressed without a DigiTech Whammy pedal or a close clone of it. But delay, reverb,
    compression, and overdrive are all very "bog standard", IMO.
     
    Ducerro, Steerforth and Obsessed like this.
  8. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    509
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    Just get it close with something basic like @chris m. mentioned , then perfect the tone with an equalizer (Boss GE-7). Done.
     
  9. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Location:
    Ohio (Nerk)
    Chase your own tone. Part if the fun is taking stuff that's cool alone and seeing what it does in YOUR rig. Its dangerous too, because the rabbit hole just gets deeper.
    Avoid new boutique stuff cracking $150 ish. With the exception of the Timmy, theres no real reason to.

    Analog delays, high end digital delays, and digital tape emulation are the one area where theres noticeable difference, but exceeding $200 means you're chasing something specific.

    Take time, play what you can. Have fun.
     
    mrmousey and Ducerro like this.
  10. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Location:
    Yoakum, Texas
    No - but he's using pretty much the same stuff in that one - hence the same tone I'm after...

    Here's the one I'm looking to imitate...



    Love this one!

    Thank you! This is the kind of info/experience I'm looking for. My amp is no slouch, but it's not a '63 Vibroverb. I have a Hot Rod Deluxe George Benson Edition, so it's got a fantastic clean tone that I hope to be able to keep once the overdrive is on. The Okko Diablo can obviously accomplish this, but at a price.
     
  11. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,618
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    Greater Atlanta
    I haven't met any instrument played by Greg that didn't sound good...

    As for chasing tone, go one piece at a time....

    1) A Strat can be done by nothing else, so there is that - find yourself a Strat that you think sounds great....

    2) Find an amp that you love the sound of that Strat through - you may go through several different amps over the course of years before you finally get there, but you should like each one along the way - tastes evolve and change - it happens. Marry the Strat to an amp, before you add anything else....

    3) Once you have an amp (the first amp) you like, then add pedals to flavor the gumbo.

    I am not familiar with the Oki Diablo, but based on that sound, I'd say you'd want a good dirt pedal with a fairly flat EQ, touch sensitive, and cleans up well (Dumble-esque, Timmy, Zendrive, maybe blues breaker style, but that sounds like it gets dirtier.)

    That delay/verb sounds nice - wouldn't be surprised if he had some amp verb on also.

    Great tone, happy hunting!!!
     
    Ducerro likes this.
  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,057
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    +2 Yup, this is a good way to approach it. Add an EQ pedal like what @Switchy suggested and you will have enough to satisfy your needs ... for now. Plus you will learn a lot from hands on experience. Good luck and enjoy your sonic adventure.
     
    Ducerro and Switchy like this.
  13. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,306
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I mean that basic sound is just Strat into a Fender amp. If that's the kind of overdrive you like, a Blues Driver will get you in the ball park. I don't know that there is anything magical about the Okko.
     
    Marc Morfei, brbadg and Ducerro like this.
  14. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Location:
    Yoakum, Texas
    My bad! Should have mentioned this before now. I have two strats - a MIM and a MIA - love both! Since Greg seems to get the same "tone" out of anything he plays I figure I've got the guitar base covered. Also have a Hot Rod Deluxe GB Edition that will not be going anywhere - love that as well... And I agree 100% - Greg's instrumentals are ALL fantastic. That MIM one I posted though - that one speaks to me like no other...
     
  15. Mr.Ike

    Mr.Ike Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    184
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Location:
    Albany,NY
    80% of tone is in the hands of the player. A strat which you can swap pickups if necessary, you already have the fender amp. Perhaps add a pedal or two, but don’t go crazy. As others have said, over time your sound will change and evolve. Also, practice instead of drooling over gear (I’ve found this the most useful, yet here I am).
     
    Teleka, beninma, The Angle and 2 others like this.
  16. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Location:
    Yoakum, Texas
    My question as well - is there something magical about the Okko, or can I get the same from something less expensive? Actually - the less expensive part isn't a major concern. I'm more worried about buying a boutique pedal from Germany and then needing service down the road. I've been looking at the Wampler Hot Wired v2 - which is basically the same price, but comes with a 5 year warranty. I don't mind spending the $250 once, but don't want to buy something and then find out the Okko WAS indeed magical...
     
  17. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,280
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I started with Boss pedals.

    knowing what I know now, I wouldve started with this;

    1. Find a clean tone you love. This will be your base tone. Start with whatever guitar and amp you have.

    2. Once you’ve settled with that base tone, then add pedals that can just take that tone to the next stage, which is overdrive tones. It can also can come from an amp thats breaking up or by cranking it, or by the use of overdrive/distortion pedals. Some color the sound which can be a good thing depending on what you like, or just take your clean tone and add some dirt on it, such as “transparent” overdrive pedals.

    3. Theres a lot of things out there and the only way to get there is play and experiment. Some of us took decades to find that tone but some lucky ones find it in one pedal and run with it for decades, while some just stuck with it and became their signature tone. Took me decades but once i figured out my tone, i seem to sound the same in any amp and guitar combination. Then the “tone is in the fingers” gets into the equation.

    enjoy and have fun in your journey
     
  18. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,280
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    While I dont like spending more than 100 on a dirt pedal, i have pedals that cost 400 and some 50.

    if you like it, settling for less isnt the wise thing to do as you’ll find yourself wanting the real thing even more. Poor men pay twice kind of thing.

    if you have the money, go for it, if not, maybe try a clone and then if you like it, but the real thing (which makes you buy twice), if not, you didnt lose out on the 250.

    however if you buy the 250 and not like it, you wont lose much because people will still buy it at a discounted price and thats better than spending twice
     
  19. Steerforth

    Steerforth Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,660
    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I like a touch of delay, a little reverb, and some overdrive. Maybe a compressor during months with an “R” in their name. And a sustainer can be fun to play with.

    But for pedals, I’m not terribly picky about which brands, other than I’m very fond of the Fulltone OCD.

    And I like Orange amps. Marshalls are nice, too. And I have a Peavey that I like. And I’ve had a bunch of Fenders down through the years, starting with a black face Twin Reverb years ago. I liked some of the Fenders, others not so much.

    Right now I have an Orange, two Marshalls, a Peavey, and a Tech 21.

    Of the lot, the Orange is my usual favorite, with the OCD pedal. But they’re all nice. Sometimes I favor the bigger of the two Marshalls.

    As for pedals, other than the Fulltone OCD, the rest is variable, depending on the phase of the moon when I plug in.

    I’ve got a lot of effects, but many of them don’t seem as necessary as they did when I bought them. The ones that I use most are the ones that are considered the basics by many guitarists.
     
  20. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    509
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona

    In my short journey of buying pedals, I've discovered that no pedal is magical. I want to just tell you to buy a Boss OD-3 for $50 and a Boss GE-7 for probably $60 and you might be happy that. Because all professional musicians, and even these YouTube stars are processing their music through Logic or whatever app, and you'll never get the same tone with pedals at home, because tone is mostly in the fingers.
     
    Twang Deluxe and Ducerro like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.