The sad part is, I still sound like me

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Justinvs, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a Soundclick account, mostly just to trade clips back and forth with a buddy in Iowa because it's easier than trying to email mp3 files. I think I have a dozen or so short clips up, amp tests and such. Last night, in a fit of boredom, I sat down and played part of all of them one after another just to compare the tone from my various amps. I have stuff up from a BFSR, a Tweed Vibrolux, Peavey Windsor and straight in from a Boss ME-25.

    Apart from the different effects and delay settings, no matter what amp I'm using I sound like me. Seriously, despite the differences in the amps, the tone is so similar from clip to clip that if I had to listen blindfolded I doubt I could tell them apart.

    Kind of sad, really.
     
  2. bdgregory

    bdgregory Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Just be grateful you don't sound like me!
     
  3. steve v

    steve v Tele-Holic

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    I used to work for a high end bicycle frame builder and on the weekends, a bunch of us would get together for rides. Most of us had $4k + bikes but invariably we would get schooled by one guy with a $500 bike from 1987. After much tone chasing and obsessing about gear, I've learned the same is true with guitars and amps.
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    As for the guitar playing Justin, taek the effects out of the signal path and listen to the amps. They are different. IF the result of the 'chain' with effects in-line sounds the same from amp to amp, then the effects are killing the sonics, ime.
    I have heard effects turn a $3500 Matchless into what sounded like a POD through a solid state P.A.....great player, too. That said, there are things concerning what the ear has been trained to hear and what the ear causes a player to do that become ingrained unless one takes on a new way of listening. IIRC, you played a SS Marshall amp for a long time, right? Maybe your ear takes you in a certain direction that is the result of that 'training'??



    As for the bicycles, STeve.....money doesn' turn the crank or shift the gears at the correct moment, does it? To paraphrase that lil old band from Texas.....as that fellow left ya'll behind ya'll could have sung....

    "He's got legs,
    And he knows how to use them!"
     
  5. bun malaey

    bun malaey Tele-Afflicted

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    Why is it sad you sound like you?
     
  6. DonB52

    DonB52 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Unless you play poorly, there is nothing wrong with being consistent, equipment not withstanding!
     
  7. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    I've been playing for approx 50 years, had top 20 singles in Canada a few times, made Billboard 100 USA with Polydor & Atlantic, have worked with a few known big-name producers and studio players & done arena gigs in major venues plus clubs.

    Strange how no matter what equipment I use it still sounds like me - sure beats trying to sound like someone else IMO. The biggest go-nowhere trap of all that almost everyone falls into.

    It's in the phrasing and feel rather than the gear used - ignoring synth and effects.
     
  8. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Marketing idea:

    Minor pentatonic on/off switch

    Swing/straight switch

    Vibrato: BB King, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix

    Chord switch: Power/Freddie Green/Ted Greene
     
  9. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have an idea that's exactly what's happening, that my ears and fingers play a certain way and no matter which amp I'm using I subconsciously alter my phrasing to get the sound I expect. I've noticed the same thing on band tapes, that no matter which guitar or amp I use I pretty much sound the same, at least playing lead. Power chords or crunch style chords there's a world of difference from one amp to the other, especially between my BFSR and the SS Marshall, but on the single note stuff the difference goes away.

    It's a fun experiment if you've never done it, to listen to yourself with various combinations of amps and guitars back to back. I did notice that while the Fenders sound pretty good straight in (these were mostly tests I did after I recapped my Super Reverb and the Vibroluxe so I wanted to hear straight guitar, no FX) the Windsor really benefitted from some delay.
     
  10. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    You obviously haven't heard me play! :lol:
     
  11. MN Punk

    MN Punk Tele-Holic

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    Fingers, effects, amp, guitar.

    Your tone is determined by those factors, in that order, and each matters about half as much as the one before.
     
  12. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think you're right.
     
  13. Sidney Vicious

    Sidney Vicious Friend of Leo's

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    :lol:
     
  14. roycaster

    roycaster Tele-Holic

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    If you always play the same, you’ll always sound like you. If you want to sound different, change your picking, your vibrato, bends, and phrasing. Those amps all sound different, but if you set them the same, and play the same they’re all going to start sounding the same. Of course the gear affects the tone, for example play through a Twin on 3, an AC-30 on 5, and then a Boogie MK I on 7 and your tone will be different. But if you play like you always do, you’re still going to sound like you.
     
  15. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    + 1. Who was it that said "don't believe the hype"? I have an expensive road bike, but it is a steel frame, as opposed to carbon. Most guys with the carbon bikes stop and look in awe at it beauty and timelessness of the steel frame and it's gorgeous paint job (something missing from carbon bikes). I can keep up with them just fine. And, I have some very nice guitars and 2 amps too, and ultimately, I sound the same on all of them. :eek:
     
  16. 3 Chord

    3 Chord Friend of Leo's

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    That is why I have found happiness in a $50 PV Envoy. I have been playing (and sounding like me) since 1976. I am done searching for the holy grail of tone, one can suck or rock on almost any reasonable gear. I fall into the suck catagory.

    Those who suffer from GAS are cursing me right now!
     
  17. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The phrase "sound like me" and its variants means what, exactly? If you believe that your personal musical expressiveness is projected through any and all amps, then why are we even talking about amps at all? Why is this in the Amp Central Station forum? Does any amp have the ability to make you sound like not you? This keeps coming up time and again, which confuses the musicality of a guitarist with the tonal characteristics and responsiveness of an amp. If we can't separate these two ideas, how can the reader make sense of what someone might say about one amp compared to another? Why do we have so many amps to choose from? Why not just make one generic amp for everyone and be done with it? Hold on, there are other variables: loudness, weight, and appearance. Why even bother with reverb if you sound the same with any amp?

    Can't we at least have another qualifier, so I can say, for example, that while I sound the same on a Brand x solid state amp with no reverb and no master volume as when I play on a Brand y tube amp with reverb and master volume, there is some sonic qualities that the Brand x amp has that the Brand y doesn't? Then we can streamline the discussion to say, "While I sound the same on both amps, Brand x gives my sound a certain je ne sais pas that Brand y lacks?" Maybe we can streamline it further, and say, "Given that any guitar player sounds the same on all amps, Brand x has a certain something that Brand y doesn't." Heck, since everyone sounds the same on all amps, why even bother to acknowledge that. If something is true in all instances, it becomes logically trivial. Then we can say, "Brand x has a certain something that Brand y doesn't." Then, finally, we can that Brand x gives a fatter sound without as much compression as most Marshall amps, or whatever.
     
  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    Because they aren't separate.

    Dig:

    We all have a "voice". It is as individual as our fingerprints. Give Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Chet Baker the same horn (if only we could) and it would sound different with each player.

    :twisted:
     
  19. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    Chances are, along with the fact that your playing helps to dictate your sound, you probably pick settings on each amp that are sonically similar because that is your comfort zone. I try get certain tones no matter what amp I am using, and there are tones I usually avoid.
     
  20. Stringbender11

    Stringbender11 Tele-Meister

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    I'm a big believer in the old 'tone is in the fingers' theory. I've noticed I sound equally crappy from amp to amp as well. And I can make even the most expensive guitar sound as bad the cheapest models out there, lol.

    Seriously though 'Bartholomew3' and 'steve v' both hit it right on the head, imo.
     
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