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> Looking For A Better Tone
Quinn
post Jul 16 2011, 07:22 PM
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I've been playing guitar for around 2 years now, I'm not really that great mostly because I don't put the effort in to practice. I start feeling unmotivated because the music I like/listen to i try to learn and the tones are so off i quit.

Anyway my gear:
ESP LTD F-50 Floyd Rose Guitar - It's stock except i put a wooden block under the bridge, took the locking nuts out and tightened the springs up to get rid of the floating bridge.
Boss Metal Core ML-2 pedal - Completely stock, no changes.
Raven RG-20 Amp - Stock.

I listen to all sorts of things, Pink Floyd, Children of Bodom, Lamb of God, Disturbed, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Slayer, and many more. Is there a good way to achieve an overall tone? Or even just getting the Lamb of God type of tone would be awesome.

I guess what i'm asking is what would be the most necessary thing in my rig to upgrade first? I've learned all i can about the gear i own played with the settings many times but I can never get the tone i like.

Thanks for all of your guys help,

- Quinn
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Todd Simpson
post Jul 16 2011, 08:05 PM
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Well, investing in a good Guitar Amp would be a good idea. The 20 is a fine practice amp but if you hope to play in a band, gig, etc. You may want to get a bigger amp. You just need to figure out what you want to spend, then what you want out of the amp. Just amplification or fx, etc. There are tons of great choices available.

Also, I"d suggest looking in to some sort of recording interface. USB/Firewire, whatever. Just so you can plug your guitar in to your computer and start recording. Once you start recording your playing, you will see big improvements. You can track your progress and start learning about recording as you go.


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Quinn
post Jul 16 2011, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jul 16 2011, 07:05 PM) *
Well, investing in a good Guitar Amp would be a good idea. The 20 is a fine practice amp but if you hope to play in a band, gig, etc. You may want to get a bigger amp. You just need to figure out what you want to spend, then what you want out of the amp. Just amplification or fx, etc. There are tons of great choices available.

Also, I"d suggest looking in to some sort of recording interface. USB/Firewire, whatever. Just so you can plug your guitar in to your computer and start recording. Once you start recording your playing, you will see big improvements. You can track your progress and start learning about recording as you go.



I definitely like the idea of recording straight into my computer so i can track my progress, what software is good to use. I've tried this before and i believe i used Reaper or Fruity Loops or something like that but I can't remember. I have the tools required to plug my cables straight into the computer i just don't know what to do after that tongue.gif.

Also as far as amps go, i don't know what to look for in an amp? Larger speakers? More watts? Tubes/no tubes? Digital? I just have no idea, any recommendations?

Thank you very much for your answer, Its my first time on this site and i was half expecting a sarcastic answer about how i don't need to worry about it till i get better.

Thanks again,
-Quinn


EDIT---
Also i can go through my pedal and amp into the computer if that is the better option? Any reason to do this or not do this?

This post has been edited by Quinn: Jul 16 2011, 08:22 PM
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Ben Higgins
post Jul 17 2011, 10:11 AM
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Hi Quinn,

I used to have the same issue as you and it took me a long time until I found a tone I was happy with and met all my requirements. (not saying it will take a long time, but it just shows you that it's an issue that affects all guitarists, regardless of how long they've been playing)

I used to have a practice amp and distortion pedal and it was very limiting in terms of tone. It was quite fuzzy, cold and clinical. I then upgraded to a small Zoom 505 multi effects unit. It was a bit more sophisticated than before and had a range of different tones but again, it sounded very processed.

One thing I used to do which didn't help me at all was to scoop all the mid out of the tone in an effort to mimic Metallica.. it just made me sound thin and wiry. Beware of too much bass, no mid and high treble.. these extremes will make stuff sounds cheap as I know only too well wink.gif

But, if you're looking to upgrade to another amp which is the most logical solution then there's the choice of tube amp or solid state. You don't necessarily have to go for all valve as there are some fantastic sounding solid state amps out there.

The Marshall MG50 (50 Watts) is a great all rounder for practice purposes and is loud enough to be used in a band setting. I've played through one and known somebody who used one and they sound great.. the Marshall tone may not be for everybody is it's a very classic sounding distortion rather than sounding like Modern Metal.. but if you downtuned to play stuff like Lamb Of God anyway then it will sound killer. Even Morbid Angel use Marshall and they're not exactly wimps when it comes to distortion wink.gif This is just an example of a non tube amp that delivers different tones that don't sound cold and clinical.

I'm sure some of the other members and instructors could also suggest some other amps ? What do you say, guys ? smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 17 2011, 01:12 PM
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What audio interface do you have mate? You will need a specialized audio card that can handle instrument input and processing needed for audio production.

If you want to invest in any type of gear, it would be great if you could tell us your budget, at least in some limits, this will help us determine what you need, since there is a LOT of gear available out there.


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Quinn
post Jul 17 2011, 09:08 PM
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Thank you guys very much for the advice. You explained my problem perfectly Ben, and i will definitely look at the amp you suggested.

As far as audio cards go in my computer, its just the standard that comes with the computer, the very bare minimum. And software wise i can get any audio software necessary.

Budget wise i could probably spend about 300 dollars per a piece of equipment maybe more. I have a great job if i saved up i could blow some money for gear.

Thanks again guys.
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Azzaboi
post Jul 17 2011, 10:08 PM
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Tip for buying gear - manage it out...

Think of what type of music/style(s) you most want to play or generally play. Try match the gear together and balance it out! You might be able to buy an expensive guitar but with a cheapo amp it would sound worthless. The effect pedals can sometimes cloud over this, but only to a point.

If your got a great guitar that's the main thing - comfortable, easy access to frets, according to playing style. Something you enjoy the feel and touch to. Depending on quality and the wood type / shape, the pickup's are then the sound change (bright/dark/active/passive). If going active pickups, i suggest checking out the new Kirk Hammett Signature pickups, as they have the best of both worlds (don't lose out on the passive pickup qualities but have the power and high gain of actives).

The most necessary thing to upgrade after your got a decent axe is the amp! Where all the output ends up! Vintage speakers vs modern hi-gain, etc. Solid State vs Tube. Don't care too much about the number of Watts - most are crazy loud. Finding something which can be played at lower volumes without quality lost is the main thing if you want to practice on it. Amps can sound really crap/blurry if playing at lower volumes. Finding a quality amp inbetween bedroom to stage performance, is actually quite a mission.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 18 2011, 01:19 PM
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If you are not playing in a band or in studio, I would recommend that you focus the budget on the audio interface. For 300 bucks you can buy very good one.

I recommend a somewhat newer device, it has great options, and even an additional I/O pair for connecting some external effects.

Here's the device, it's around 250$:


Focusrite Scarlett 8i6

you have 2 combo mic/line/instrument inputs on the front side, and you can connect your guitar there. Then, you can use your DAW software (reaper is free) for audio production. This device is very good and the sound quality of Focusrite is excellent. It also features flexible routing software which is very important.

For software processing of guitar tone you can get guitar rig 4, amplitube 3 or some other software.


Let us know if you think of any other options, and we will comment! smile.gif


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