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> Hone Your Tone - Gmc Workshop!, Let's work together towards your dream sound!
Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 14 2015, 09:30 AM
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HONE YOUR TONE!

When you have found that 'perfect' tone, you will experience a dramatic improvement in the musicality of your lines. Therefore, working on your sound is just as important as practicing anything else.

Getting a good tone can be a little tricky, as there are many things to consider. In order of priority:

1 Does your tone fit the mix? A common mistake is for people to dial in a tone that sounds big/cool on its own. However “big” often means bass heavy - and impossible to fit in a mix.

2 Does your sound fit the backing track? A backing track with cutting rhythm guitars will often need a treble-rich lead sound, in order for the lead to be heard without raising its volume way above everything else. The opposite is also true: If you are playing over a backing track without any distorted rhythm guitars, the patch you used for metal probably won’t work. You need something smoother with less treble.

3 Does the sound fit your playing style? Perhaps you need compression and distortion for your legato lines to sound good? Or maybe the opposite is true: you need something dynamic to enable more expressive phrasing. Or maybe you need both?

NB - note the order of priority above. There is no point in starting with a bombastic sound that makes your playing sound larger than life, if it does not fit the track you are working with. Because what sounds amazing when soloed, will often sound wrong ‘in the mix’.


Let’s get rolling!

For this workshop I have chosen a backing track from Stephane Lucarelli, which I personally have had a lot of fun with:




Attached File  Soul___RnB_Blues_backing_track_in_B_minor.mp3 ( 1.76MB ) Number of downloads: 257


You can use B minor pentatonic (or B minor scale / D major scale / D major pentatonic)

When tweaking your sound I suggest you start without any time based effects (=reverb and delay). Make sure you can be heard without needing to raise your volume way above the backing track.

If this gives you problems, you either have a bass heavy tone - or - you need to add more treble/presence.

When you have dialed in a sound that allows you to be heard while still on the same level as the other instruments on the backing track, you can start experimenting.

For a liquid lead sound - many people like to have something in front of the amp, such as an overdrive or booster. This will affect the attack part of your sound and can also change the EQ.

Without adding any times based effects (reverb/delay) you will never get pro results. A common mistake here is to mix these effects too loud. Listen to my example video above, can you hear any reverb/delay? Yet there are three different stereo delays and two different reverbs.

I don’t recommend you to start with that many, but it goes to show how much is happening behind the scene. The good stuff is often the subtle effects which you don’t think about. Therefore I recommend you to tweak your tone on a daily basis, doing small adjustments here and there to get a feel for how they impact on your sound, in a mix. Maybe 10 minutes before starting your practice/playing session.

A good starting point when tweaking delay/reverb, is to find a setting you like - and then back it off to the point that you can’t really hear it anymore. Then try turning it off - can you hear the difference now? If so, you should start understanding what subtle tweaking means.


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Record yourself playing over the backing track and share the result with us, together we'll discuss how to optimise your sound!

* We’ll be running this workshop throughout April.
* When uploading a sample of your sound, let us know what equipment you are using and what effects you have added (if any)
* We should all record over the same backing track, this way the advice given will be useful for everybody.

Since everyone has different gear and experience I am hoping we’ll be able to help each other out. I know there are some very skilled tone tweakers among you guys - I have been blown away by the tones I have been hearing in the collabs.

P.S. Thanks Phil for suggesting this killer workshop idea!


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Sensible Jones
post Apr 15 2015, 12:42 PM
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Great idea Kris! I'm up for this, especially after some of the feedback I've had from past Collabs!!
smile.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 15 2015, 12:56 PM
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QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Apr 15 2015, 12:42 PM) *
Great idea Kris! I'm up for this, especially after some of the feedback I've had from past Collabs!!
smile.gif


Excellent Jones, will you be using a tube amp?


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Sensible Jones
post Apr 15 2015, 01:32 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Apr 15 2015, 12:56 PM) *
Excellent Jones, will you be using a tube amp?

Unfortunately not to start with as I'm not geared up to record that way. I need to get an SM57 or similar, I don't have any decent Mics here. Will get one as soon as I can though!


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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 15 2015, 02:09 PM
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Ok no problem software amps are just as handy and powerful - and probably even more flexible.


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Mertay
post Apr 15 2015, 02:39 PM
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Nice advice and a very useful topic, will follow smile.gif


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Sensible Jones
post Apr 15 2015, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Apr 15 2015, 02:09 PM) *
Ok no problem software amps are just as handy and powerful - and probably even more flexible.

I have quite a few S/ware ones to choose from too!


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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 15 2015, 04:06 PM
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QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Apr 15 2015, 03:20 PM) *
I have quite a few S/ware ones to choose from too!


Great - which ones?


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Sensible Jones
post Apr 15 2015, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Apr 15 2015, 04:06 PM) *
Great - which ones?

I have Guitar Rig 4, The early Amplion release, a lot of the Nick Crow and Le Poulin ones but the main one I use is the Waves GTR which has the Neal Citron and Paul Reed Smith Amps as well as their own!



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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 15 2015, 08:44 PM
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Cool, great tones in both videos.

The point with this workshop is to start thinking in terms of how the guitar tone works in the mix, and pretty much any software will work (including Poulin's awesome free plugins).

Once we have a first take we can start commenting and tweaking together!


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Tom51
post Apr 16 2015, 07:39 AM
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Hi Kris - that is really a great workshop idea as I always feel I unhappy about my sound. As a beginner I do not really know where to start first. So I will probably only follow this topic and learn from it. Thanks Tom.
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bleez
post Apr 16 2015, 08:23 AM
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hey Kris, would it be best to begin with a really basic tone or should we use one of our tones we think is best and then get advice on how to refine it?


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You say 'minor pentatonic ' like it's a bad thing
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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 16 2015, 08:43 AM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Apr 16 2015, 08:23 AM) *
hey Kris, would it be best to begin with a really basic tone or should we use one of our tones we think is best and then get advice on how to refine it?


Actually I think either will work, we just need a starting point so we can start discussing.

And we can always "restart" with a fresh sound/patch if we reach a dead end.


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mad
post Apr 16 2015, 09:08 AM
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Great idea! I'll give this one a try, too!
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Daeron
post Apr 16 2015, 09:13 AM
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That's a nice thread ! At the moment, I don't have a good equipment to record the sound of my amp and pedals but I should have a sound card and micro in the next weeks.

I'll read this thread with interest.
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Sensible Jones
post Apr 16 2015, 10:52 AM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Apr 15 2015, 08:44 PM) *
Cool, great tones in both videos.

The point with this workshop is to start thinking in terms of how the guitar tone works in the mix, and pretty much any software will work (including Poulin's awesome free plugins).

Once we have a first take we can start commenting and tweaking together!

I shall get something done and posted in the next couple of days!


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HiimAlex
post Apr 16 2015, 07:22 PM
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Hey! smile.gif
So I managed to record a take even if my guitar playing is far from perfect.
I used Fender MiM Strat -> Digitech Gnx2 -> Orange Micro Terror -> Orange 1x8 cab
On the Digitech Gnx2 I was modelling a 65' Fender Twin Reverb through a 2x12 and Matchless DC30 through a 4x12.
I warp these amps together.
The effects I used on this take was Reverb, Chorus and a Noise Gate.



All feedback is appreciated smile.gif
Alex

This post has been edited by HiimAlex: Apr 16 2015, 07:35 PM
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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 16 2015, 08:31 PM
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Very nice Alex - no problem at all hearing you "in the mix"!

However to take your sound to a new level, I must ask how you recorded the Orange 1x8 cab. What mic did you use and how close to the cab? I think I can hear your room's natural reverberations quite a bit.


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HiimAlex
post Apr 16 2015, 08:51 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Apr 16 2015, 07:31 PM) *
Very nice Alex - no problem at all hearing you "in the mix"!

However to take your sound to a new level, I must ask how you recorded the Orange 1x8 cab. What mic did you use and how close to the cab? I think I can hear your room's natural reverberations quite a bit.


I used my mobile phone to record it and the cab was about 3m from the phone. But I could definitely try to record a new take tomorrow with the cab closer to the phone.
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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 16 2015, 09:04 PM
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QUOTE (HiimAlex @ Apr 16 2015, 08:51 PM) *
I used my mobile phone to record it and the cab was about 3m from the phone. But I could definitely try to record a new take tomorrow with the cab closer to the phone.


Thanks for the reply - this is great, I think we will be able to up your sound quite a bit!

Recording 3 m away from the amp is a 'no no', especially in a untreated room. The sound you get is the same as if you applied a super low quality reverb mixed 100%.

I see the Orange Micro Terror has "phones" output, this kind of output almost always has some kind of speaker simulation / treble attenuator applied to it, and should be perfect to direct record with. Have you tried connecting the phones output directly to the computer? (in other words without using any mic)


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