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> The More I Use Multi Effects, The Worse I'm At Getting A Nice Tone From Them!
Fran
post Dec 2 2010, 04:17 PM
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I guess it sounds weird, but that's right!

When I got my POD X3 I was happy with the tones I built on it. Now I use it just to record from time to time, and it doesn't sound as good anymore.

The same thing happens with my BOSS ME-70, which I use only when I'm on a weekend travel away from my practice rig...

And I know both units are great, and I don't plan to renew them anytime soon. They do their job pretty well. It has to be me.

And I think I know what's happenning. I'm getting use to my tube amp and stomp boxes, and I notice the difference a LOT when I record with the X3 or practice on a weekend with the ME-70 through some 2.1 speakers or Hi-Fi here and there...

Maybe I should take a coupl days to exclusively fiddle with all those damned knobs on the X3 and the ME-70 to actually get something that gets close to my clean/distortion tones, but the more I get used to playing with stomps the more I loath having to fight against digital units.

Maybe I'm finally developing an "ear" for good tones? Who knows laugh.gif

But this whole "tone" thing is so complicated. Even when playing at home with the amp & stomps, changing from the Ibanez to the Strat makes it all wrong. Changing guitar means having to tweak the stomps/volume again, or else it won't sound 100% good.

I bet acoustic players don't have these "problems" laugh.gif


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Keep_Rocking
post Dec 2 2010, 04:43 PM
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The same happens to me. I own a boss gt10 for about 1,5 years. Recently I've been tweaking a lot, trying to get "that" tone and I'm not satisfied..

Last weekend I went to a jam session with friends of other bands and the guy on the guitar was getting nice tones of his gt10. I got his patches and he used basically overdrive and reverb (some delay for solos). He don't use any amp model. Sometimes less is better ;o)

By the way, have you already seen new POD HD500? http://line6.com/podhd/

The first reviews are optimistic!

Ps. I really believe you are developing an ear for good tones. Practice makes perfect.

Rock on!

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MonkeyDAthos
post Dec 3 2010, 12:43 AM
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this happen to me often with my Roland cube 80x ...but its more like this, for exemple i set a X' Settings and they sound great....next day the aight same settings... well they just sound crappy xD i rly hate when this happen.


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JamesT
post Dec 3 2010, 04:08 AM
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Not sure if you are using Gear Box or not, but it really helps reduce the pita factor for tweaking your presets.
Gear Box runs on your PC and controls all of the parameters of the X3. Every effect, every knob, and every possible X3 setting is available from Gear box and presented as a great user interface, with graphical representations of the effects boxes that are being modeled. Some of them even look like the real thing so if you've used a particular stomp box before and want to set your X3 to emulate it, it wll be very familar.



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kahall
post Dec 3 2010, 04:39 AM
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This is funny. I rarely play through an amp at all right now. I use pod farm and a couple of monitors all run through a pc. Some days I fire it all up and no matter what it sounds like crap. I can come back the next day and think it is all fine again.
It might be on purpose so you will buy more gear. ;-)


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jafomatic
post Dec 3 2010, 04:16 PM
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This goes around in a circle, don't worry. The more you become "slack" about good tone, the worse it gets, the more you notice; eventually you'll hit a breaking point and start spending more time getting your tone "right" again and it'll sound amazing and great for a while.

Then you'll become slack again and the cycle renews.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 3 2010, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE (jafomatic @ Dec 3 2010, 03:16 PM) *
This goes around in a circle, don't worry. The more you become "slack" about good tone, the worse it gets, the more you notice; eventually you'll hit a breaking point and start spending more time getting your tone "right" again and it'll sound amazing and great for a while.

Then you'll become slack again and the cycle renews.


+1

there's a honeymoon period when you buy new gear. You think it sounds great otherwise you wouldn't have bought it. After a while you start to realise it isn't perfect and grow more dissatisfied. You might then convince yourself again that it's really not that bad but you're in to a cycle.


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 3 2010, 05:18 PM
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QUOTE (Fran @ Dec 2 2010, 10:17 AM) *
I guess it sounds weird, but that's right!
The same thing happens with my BOSS ME-70, which I use only when I'm on a weekend travel away from my practice rig...
...
I bet acoustic players don't have these "problems" laugh.gif


This is ia GREAT point. You have your gear all set, you swap out instruments and BAM! Weak/Not Great Tone. Since every instrument sounds different, (even instruments of the same type by the same vendor like two different model Ibanez Guitars) you end up using your last setup and then having to change knobs around. There are some solutions but none are ideal.

1.)Use and Amp Modeling Processor for all of your effects including distortion and never change the knobs on your amp and only using for clean amplification. This way you can have your own presets for your guitars set up on your processor. For example, on a Pod XT or what not, you could have Strat Patch, Les Paul Patch, etc., each tweaked to your instrument per taste. That way, when you switch guitars, you just hit a button and bam your there.

*This of course falls apart if you use any analogue pedals that don't have preset recall and if your using the distortion on your amp also without preset recall. I use the Amp Modeling only approach through a clean amp myself as I have 8 different instruments and switching can be a pain.

2.)Do the same thing as in suggestion one, but use a computer and software. Eg. Launch your DAW (recording software) and pull up you modeling plugin, (Pod farm, Amplitude etc.) and run your guitar directly in to your computer bypassing your amp altogether. This provides maximum flexibility and removes your amp and outboard gear from the process.

*This also falls apart if you don't have a DAW/Interface/Modeling Plugins, not to mention your expensive amp/pedals are just skipped and acting as carpet weights. I do use this approach as well, any time I'm recording anything. It's great to be able to go back and completely change your sound in post which you cant do if you recorded it with the fx burned in from an amp.

Still, neither of these is perfect. For one thing, it pretty much rules out using any of your amps/pedals that don't have preset recall and most folks are pretty fond of their amp as it's the center of their tone. I've gotten to the point where I only use my amp/modeling processor (gnx3) for Lessons and Practice. I use the direct recording method for everything else such as recording, writing, etc.

Todd


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Fran
post Dec 4 2010, 06:04 PM
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Thanks for yout advice and comments guys.

At least I can see I'm not alone with this feeling, I thought I was going crazy or something laugh.gif.
I do use Gearbox, but even with gearbox I find there are too many parameters to tweak. Even the simple amp EQ is sometimes hard to set.

And after 15 minutes tweaking and tweaking you really don't know if what you hear is good or bad... sometimes I end up with a patch that I believe sounds ok and when I use it two hours later I find it obnoxious laugh.gif

Oh well smile.gif


--------------------
Guitars:
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster, Ibanez RG2570MZ, Epiphone SG G-400
Amp:
Vox AC4TVH head + V112TV cab
Effects:
Vox Satchurator, Vox Time Machine, Dunlop CryBaby, Boss MT-2, Boss CE-5, Boss TU-2, Boss ME-70
Recording:
Line-6 POD X3 + FBV-Express, Pandora PX5D

GMC wants YOU to take part in our Guitar-Wikipedia!
Have a good time reading great articles and writing your own with us in our GUITAR WIKI!
Share your playing and get Pro-advice from our Instructors: Join REC
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MonkeyDAthos
post Dec 4 2010, 06:19 PM
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QUOTE (Fran @ Dec 4 2010, 05:04 PM) *
Thanks for yout advice and comments guys.

At least I can see I'm not alone with this feeling, I thought I was going crazy or something laugh.gif.
I do use Gearbox, but even with gearbox I find there are too many parameters to tweak. Even the simple amp EQ is sometimes hard to set.

And after 15 minutes tweaking and tweaking you really don't know if what you hear is good or bad... sometimes I end up with a patch that I believe sounds ok and when I use it two hours later I find it obnoxious laugh.gif

Oh well smile.gif


xD some times i just put a complety random EQ and it trust me sometimes it rly blows my mind xD but well that's just me


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 11 2010, 12:40 PM
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It's completely normal thing mate. First, when you swap instruments on the same gear (wetter it's digital or analog), they have different sound frequency responses, so it's normal that you need to tweak. For example, plugin in Strat requires more bass, less mids and less treble, opposite to Les Paul, that needs less bass, medium mids and medium lows. It changes with guitars of different model, not just these extremes.

I suggest that you spend some time making new presets. It could be that the old ones don't do it. I had similar problems with software modelers. Old presets just didn't cut it. Now that you have developed ear on the "real" gear, you can try to emulate those sounds on digital devices. Since you are experienced, you will have a good results I'm sure.


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stratman79
post Dec 11 2010, 05:29 PM
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I never use digital FX.

I have a load of boutique pedals but rarely use them.

Now most of the time I just rock up with a 5w Class A valve amp which has 1 volume control on and thats it.

Turn it up to 7 a nice amount of natural break up and your good to go.

If it needs to be louder I'll mic it up, apart from that everything is in the fingers.

Roll the volume of and don't drive the amp so hard if you want it to be cleaner need a little more bit wind up the volume and dig in... it's so refreshing smile.gif

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Todd Simpson
post Dec 11 2010, 06:58 PM
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STRATMAN certainly does have a spartan approach, which sounds like it's great for him. It's a great example of how far apart folks can get on their gear/settings but it brings up a good point. Sometimes, we overcomplicate things. Stripping down ones sound can help from time to time. Good idea.


I do find myself resetting every patch on my modeling pedal board about once a month. It days almost 3 days straight. I honestly have found hardware better for practice and software better for recording. If I use software for practice/writing, I find I"m spending more time tweaking than playing. Which is kinda pointless when you are trying to practice.

Most of the time, I just roll through presets on my pedal board until once seems good enough and start practice. Then about once a month, I decide I don't like them all and redo them. I do lose several days of practice because of this. But I do learn more about building tones each time. Here are the fruits of my labor.

1.)THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EQ AND COMPRESSION -

As I tweak around I've been struck by the relationship between these two things. If you are not using a compressor in your signal chain. Try it. It will change how you understand the concept of tone. Did for me at least. Being able to compress the signal as a means of coloring the tone allows for new sonic textures and finding the right amount of compression to enhance your playing style is important as well. Some folks don't need any, some need WADS. Once you find the right compression settings you realize that tweaking your EQ now does something different than it used to before the compressor was in the chain. Another sonic texture adventure.

2.)THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GAIN AND EQ -

As I go nuts turning knobs I keep finding interesting synergies between gain and eq. Depending on where the eq is in your chain, you can either use it to drive the signal harder (more distortion) or bring out frequencies after it's been distorted (post processing) or both. EQ before compression allows you to pick which part of the signal you want your distortion focused on, doing EQ after distortion allows you to shape the overal signal without having it impact the distortion/breakup.

3.) THE IMPORTANCE OF MIC PLACEMENT

I know use three mics on my guitar amp. One condenser studio mic, one EV RAVEN cardiod, and a shotgun mic (also condenser). Each mic does something different. Each one has it's own "sweet spot" mixing them together and using the phase cancellation creates another chance for sonic tapestry. Also, having more than one mic allows for more convicing stereo spread even when the mics are close to the amp.
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Tone is a journey. Start walking smile.gif
Todd



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