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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by GreatDaneRock, Oct 19, 2021.
You are wise
I think another potential interesting cognitive bias in the video is that the guy is a recording engineer. So it kind of makes sense that he is looking at the sound starting with it's audible source-- the speaker. As a recording engineer it is logical that he would start pretty far downstream in the signal chain-- speaker, microphone, microphone placement, track EQ and compression. As guitar players we may have the opposite cognitive bias-- since our hands are on the instrument we focus on the instrument and the pickups a lot. I also agree with his point that we often hear with our eyes, and speakers are hidden away in cabinets so many players don't think enough about them.
If you let go of your aversion to the metal sound, I think this is the take home lesson. Focus on the whole signal chain, including the part that actually emits the sound, and avoid the cognitive bias of overly focusing on the part that is in your hands.
Again from a recording perspective, nowadays a lot of engineers will record a totally dry guitar signal, zero effects, zero EQ, straight to the board. The player might be listening through headphones to an awesome sound complete with distortion, echo, etc., as he/she is playing, and that might even go to a recorded track in the DAW, but there is also a bone dry track. That frees up the engineer to subject that dry signal to whatever signal chain he wants, working with the musician, to produce the final sound. They can try different or even multiple amps, different cabinets, mics, (or IRs), effects, EQ, compression, etc., messing with the sound and how it fits in the mix to their heart's content. If you've ever done something like this you quickly realize that you can dramatically manipulate the tone to an extreme degree. I don't care how good your hands are, there's no way you're going to cause that much change to your sound just with your hands.
Once again ...
The general consensus is that TONE cometh from thy DIGITS (i.e., practice and talent).
It also cometh from thy PEDALS.
And thy AMP.
Thy guitar plays a part as well: PICKUPS, PICKUP HEIGHT, CAPACITORS, POTS, STRING GAGE, and STRING "FRESHNESS."
But yea verily, in the words of TELEBOB, it mostly emenates from the STICKERS upon thy case.
"I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well, good God almighty which way do I steer..."
One of the bigger problems is the use of the word tone. It means different things to different people.
Those of us with a sound engineering background, in my case a formal degree in professional audio production and acoustics, tone equates to the frequency spectrum or range used by a signal with all it's harmonic complexities, and this is the correct definition. Regardless of the examples presented in the video, the one takeaway is: where are your audio filters in your signal chain? Audio filters alter tone, where the understanding is tone is a representation of a spectrum of frequencies and associated harmonic information.
But for people who are not audio nerds tone encompasses everything: the effects they play, the amps they use, they experience and nuances with the fingers expressed in bends and vibrato, etc. Hence why it's impossible to agree when he comes to what tone, in my opinion.
FYI: modulation, delays, and reverbs are time altering devices, not audio filter devices. Time-based effects is how they're known to pro engineers. Now, many of these include audio filters, hi cut, lol cut, bass, mids, highs, etc.
Tone and feel should not be mixed, or said differently, feel is not part of tone but dynamics and attack, again for an audio savvy person.
Tone is attribulted to the Greeks who invented the major and the minor scale and were working on the minor 7th when they got conquered by Rome. Tolon, who was Solon, the great historians 1st cousin on his mothers side, was considered the father of Tone, the TO in tone, of course is a tribute to Tolon.
The Romans continued his quest where it was refered to as Toninium, or Deus Toninium, literally the tone of the Gods. Though they had no eletricity, they did invent the 1st wah-wah pedal, which was air powered. - THe wahinium or wahiniium Maximus (the improved model).
When Rome fell, much of the technology was destroyed or stolen. The Wahwahski, shows up in later europe being used by Prussian guitarists to much effect. When prussia was folded into the Germanic Empire, The Wah-Wah again becomes lost until it shows up in the 1950's when a fossilised Wah-Wah unit was discovered in a Germanium mine, the germanium enhanced the tonal qualites of the the wah-wah, and lead directly to the invention of the Fuzz pedal, by Adolf Von Fuz, in 1962. Thus allowing people to play guitar with their hands and feet, which totally destroyed bands with mad crazy foot moves.
What we often consider new and quirky tones, are just shadows of the great tones lost to history. remember when you are arquing or hashing out the qualities of tone and what provides them, you are not blazing a new path, but instead following a millenium old tradtion among musicians, who are just trying to avoid practicing or playing by discussing anything under the sun to keep them from using their instruments for their intended purposes.
That was covered by the word "number"...
That the guitar is in tune
Dude...you never say that part out loud!
Teacher's pets, man....
Picking hand approaches:
Near/far from fretted note to bridge. Good distinction between the two approaches.
Pick angle. Sharp vs mellow attacks.
Intensity vs smooth. Notes that are struck intensely vs. notes that are cleaner and warmer.
Interplay between straight picking and left hand hammer/pulloff.
There are even more ways to shape tone with the picking hand.
The items above are represented in my playing at any time. However, if I strike a string in some fashion, I also need to consider what notes come after. When I plug in to an amp, I am hoping that my picking techniques produce the kind of results that I'm looking for, then I am on my way to liking the amp. If I get unreliable results, then I'd be looking at other amps for my stable.
Dynamics. The attack and method (pick or fingers) on the strings.
How you FEEL, mannnn
Yes, personal choices, change which notes are accentuated and how they are accentuated, changing the dynamics and emphasis as the song flow. Picking doesn't and shouldn't just occur near the bridge. moving up the neck changes the sound and keeps things interesting. Plucking, picking and strumming should be intermingled to add nuance and emphasis.
the right hand is equally as important as the left and they must act together seamlesslly or not at all.
Hey, how about a shoutout for the brain? If I'm playing someone else's rig, my years and years and years of onstage experience and having a good working relationship with technical/acoustical/electronic considerations. This includes knowing the guitar->pedals->amp signal chain, and how to pinpoint things in your sound that are causing problems. (If my sound is too dry, experience and learning help me use the reverb knob(s)).
I've seen Robben Ford vary picking placement (bridge to neck, etc.) throughout a song or solo.
What matters most for guitar tone?
The frequencies of the healing vibrations of the universe.
Or some such nonsense.
I stopped after the guy had a crisis about "it's all in the hands" by having different people play with so much distortion it would be impossible for anybody to sound different.
If He couldn't figure that out, I'm not too interested in his opinions.
Strings. Strings have the greatest impact on sound, and at the lowest cost. Always start with strings. Strings are the answer, and the answer is stings. Strings. Strings. Strings. Strings.
I don't like to criticize a man's vices, but you may be strungout on strings.