The importance of tone...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Axegrinder77, May 16, 2021.

  1. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Just watched a video of live John Scofield with some decent stand-up bass player duo.

    Presumably during a pandemic.

    John had a fender deluxe reverb (I think) and an ox box on top.

    It sounded not like the greatest bedroom tone I've ever heard. But it was John freaking Scofield, so it sounded awesome.

    Made me think... He doesn't seem to really care THAT much about his tone. Maybe he's more focused on his tasty playing?

    Tone was ok, but it definitely was not a priority for the guy.

    Interesting for me, thought I'd share.
     
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  2. Len058

    Len058 Tele-Meister

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    I think you mean this one? It's probably a lack of knowledge about miking a cab or not having a mic stand. I see an attenuator and a mic pointed at the floor....

     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
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  3. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are you inferring that a seasoned professional like John Schofield doesn’t know how to mic a cab?
     
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  4. PeteWaller

    PeteWaller Tele-Meister

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    Tone is everything!
     
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  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    Years ago I saw Ray Sharpe (“Linda Lu”) at a little dive bar in Fort Worth.

    Cool licks, entertaining show and fabulous backing band...

    ...and we had to leave because his tone was so sharpe (see what I did there?) and trebly that it felt like an ice pick through the scrotum. It put Albert Collins to shame!

    Yeah, tone matters.
     
  6. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

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    IMO a good player can make good music out a mediocre sounding instrument.

    But you can't deny that certain instruments and amplifiers...usually but not always 'better' ones...will produce a more pleasing voice and responsiveness.

    I think many players here remember the first time they plugged into a good tube amp after learning on a Marshall Valvestate or whatever....and having a slow grin creep across their face.
     
  7. Thin white duke

    Thin white duke Friend of Leo's

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    I'd say composition first and then tone...
     
  8. BUG80

    BUG80 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I know this topic has been beaten to death multiple times but I thought a lot about it lately. Everytime I am working on my tone instead of my skills I like to remind myself:

    - When a writer starts writing a good story, should he spend much time worrying about which pen, paper or word processor to use? Or should he just start writing?
    - Think about your favourite guitar parts from other guitar players. Will they really be much better or worse with a different sound?
    - does the audience care?

    What matters most is if a certain sound inspires you. That's what the audience hears.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
  9. Len058

    Len058 Tele-Meister

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    Yes, if you mic a cab like in the video you either want a lifeless recording or you don't know how to record. These people have tech people for that. Many people just don't want to learn techy stuff and if you can afford people for that, you don't have to. A part of the younger generation is really good at the home recording stuff but many musicians are struggling with the home recording stuff because of covid.

    Listen to this:
     
  10. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    far be it from me to try to delve into Johns inner beliefs and motivations , even Miles Davis said he dug his playing except his soloing in hole tone scales, but then Miles didn't make him stop either.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
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  11. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

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    Most of the tone comes from the player's fingers and emotions and not the equipment.
    About 20 years ago I saw the late Bugs Henderson at a guitar clinic demonstrate this first hand.
    He used the same amp and settings then played a PRS CE22 and a AM STD STRAT back to back and made both riffs and the tone sound the same.
    He stated no matter what equipment he uses he still sounds like Bugs Henderson.
     
  12. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I would infer from experience that an overwhelming number of professional musicians don't know squat of how techs make them sound good. Working with the ones that do are a pleasure. The rest, not so much. And...you would be surprised the percentage that don't give a rip what happens to the sound once it exits their amp. It has been the subject of many conversations in the truck on the way to the next gig.
     
  13. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    In studio recording, all the many variables of tone are carefully controlled, adjusted, manipulated, EQ'ed, enhanced, and/or boosted.
    All in order to satisfy the vision of the producer and the desires of the artist.

    In a live performance setting, ones ability to control all those variables is limited.
    And you get what you get after the sound-check is complete.
    The audience members get what they get depending upon the acoustics of the room, the nature of the amp & PA system geometry, and where they happen to be sitting.

    It is my belief, to the points made earlier about the OP's video, that John Schofield mic'ed his amp that way because that's the way he wanted to do it that day. It had to sound good to him, and he probably hoped that it would sound good to a listening audience.

    :)
     
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  14. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I do find it interesting that Larry Grenadier plays the lead melody in Old Man River, while John S softly strums the supporting chords.

    Nice, and unexpected.

     
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  15. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Fiddy Five said it just right: "Tone is good enough if you play good enough"

    I wouldn’t say that tone doesn’t matter, just that a good tone ain’t all that hard to come by; after that point it’s just a different hobby.
     
  16. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe. I've known seasoned pros, really good guitar players, who didn't really know how to properly string their guitar.
     
  17. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    I remember when I was 19 or 20 I had this record on repeat: "Between Nothingness and Eternity" that was a live Mahavishnu Orchestra cut. Damn that **** was hot.

    Then, I got tickets to see John McLaughlin and friends play in town hearing they were going to cover some of those Mahavishnu tracks.




    They played well, but what I heard didn't sound like some epic explore into the boundaries of live rock, it sounded like some 99 cent throw away elevator music CD you'd find in the world music section....yet it was the same tunes.


    I'm always amazed when folks think people sound the same no matter what they plug into. Sure, if the stuff is kinda similar/raw then yeah, but that's where it ends.
     
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  18. Len058

    Len058 Tele-Meister

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    When you put a mic on the grill of a cab, the room doesn't matter so much. Where you point the mic is more important than room acoustic. It's not hard to get decent tone with just 1 mic if you know to point the mic at the amp instead of the floor.

    If the person who set up the mic bothered to do some 10 minute research and brought a Sennheiser 906 or a mic stand he or she would have done a better job. Putting a mic like that in front of a cab in that manner is like holding a hammer at the head instead of the grip while hammering a nail with the claw side of the head.
     
  19. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Afflicted

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    All I know is that I've spent a heck of a lot of $$$ over the years, chasin' tone! Tone is a very expensive luxury I've come to find out... ;)
     
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  20. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    I once had a sound tech mic my amp with a Shure 57 that way. Loop the cable through the handle and hang it in front of the speaker. I thought that might be due to a lack of mic stands, or just short-cutting the process - until I heard a recording of the gig. I looked up the off-axis specs on the 57 and discovered that, when hung like that, the rolloff of high end will help to tame the "beam" effect of a combo speaker. It may also pick up some reflections from the floor, but in the Sco video, a rug was present.*
     
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