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-   -   Guitar Playing and gear thread (http://forums.netphoria.org/showthread.php?t=181491)

redbreegull 03-27-2016 10:57 PM

his voice sounds super processed on SD to me, always has. no voice naturally has those sorts of harmonic, buzzy qualities. but it works very very well

teh b0lly!!1 03-27-2016 11:01 PM

it always sounded airy and boyish to me.
it obviously sounds very processed, but "airy" and "boyish" are the quintessentially perfect qualities for pumpkins vocals

he/she/it 03-27-2016 11:37 PM

To me, that voice pitch effect is one of the iconic things about SD, and gives it a dreamy, out of time sort of hue.

I think that a similar version is being done on BWBW: https://youtu.be/ASKk2bxqayI?t=125

JESUSNEEDSAHIT 03-27-2016 11:39 PM

it's weird how he went from such severe augmentation of his vocals to basically leaving them dry in the final mix on SP 2 stuff.

teh b0lly!!1 03-27-2016 11:59 PM

it's a shift many vocalists go through , i find.

many singers mask and disguise their voices early on, and go more and more to the front, dry end of the mix as they age. probably has to do with a 'this is me, i accept myself now' thing.

Elphenor 04-01-2016 07:02 PM

I've been playing with the capo wayyy up on the fret board so I can play open chords and get the high pitched ringing sound

But I keep going back and forth between wanting a pretty jangly sound or a darker spooky more dissonant sound

Then at the same time I want some funk in there and it's getting difficult to make that work smoothly

It's like idk if I want to be The Smiths, The Cure, and Happy Monday's
Or more no wave
Like The Pop Group, The Contortions, GoF and Teenage Jesus

slunken 04-02-2016 02:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4255796)
I've been playing with the capo wayyy up on the fret board so I can play open chords and get the high pitched ringing sound

But I keep going back and forth between wanting a pretty jangly sound or a darker spooky more dissonant sound

you could try downtuning + capo. downtuning could allow you to use thicker strings, thus darker sound.

Run To Me 04-02-2016 04:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4255796)
I've been playing with the capo wayyy up on the fret board so I can play open chords and get the high pitched ringing sound

But I keep going back and forth between wanting a pretty jangly sound or a darker spooky more dissonant sound

Then at the same time I want some funk in there and it's getting difficult to make that work smoothly

It's like idk if I want to be The Smiths, The Cure, and Happy Monday's
Or more no wave
Like The Pop Group, The Contortions, GoF and Teenage Jesus

You should be the darker spooky jangly funky one and only Silent Group. Sounds are played out

he/she/it 04-04-2016 12:43 AM

Alesis 3630 vs 3632 compressor, in a guitar rack.

I use these as compressor, boost, and dirt effects in my guitar rack, and I really like them in these roles. I've read it said that the 3632 delivers the 3630 sound, but with better quality components, and less noise, but I find there to be tonal differences between these devices, despite them also having similarities in their characteristics.


Out of all the the many signal-boosting devices that I have (pedals and rack devices), I find that these two Alesis compressors (and without using any of their compression features) are stand-out in giving played sounds distinct crisply-defined edges, when their output boosting feature is used. And this is a quality that I especially like.

If I play a note using any of my other boost pedals, I would describe the resulting sound as still having a relatively soft-sounding shape and experience, whereas the quality from either the 3630 or 3632 imbues played sounds with a quality that I would describe as firm, strong, solid, which increases as the output gain is increased. And between the two compressor devices, I think that the 3630 does this more greatly than does the 3632.

One big downside to the 3630, though, is its limited gain level headroom, which, when exceeded, completely garbles whatever sound is passing through the device. And to avoid this, either output levels on pedals ahead of the 3630, or the output gain on the 3630 will have to be turned down sufficiently to keep the overall signal level beneath the headroom threshold of the 3630's gain capacity. As I mentioned, I like the crisp quality given from cranking the output on the 3630, so I have to adjust the volumes of other things in my signal chain in order to still be able to push the output on the 3630 at the end of it all, while preserving the sound.

I also perceive the 3630 as imparting a darker quality and colouration upon output tone than the 3632, which is pretty transparent-sounding, meaning that it doesn't really add colouration to sound that is put into it. And this makes its output tone seems a little brighter, and perhaps a bit thinner, to me, when contrast with the 3630's output tone. The Smashing Pumpkins' album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness featured a base amp setup of an Alesis 3630 going into a Marshall JMP-1 preamp, which then went into a Strategy 500 power amp (and this is where my same base amp setup is inspired from). And being familiar with the 3630's sound colouration, I recognize it as a key piece of that album's darkish tone.

Both the 3630 and 3632 have interesting and very usable distortion characteristics, when their output gain is cranked enough on an already boosted signal, and both are again pretty distinct from the other signal boosting devices that I have, and both also convey their crispnessness. The 3630's distortion sounds to me like a bunch of very short but firm bristling hairs of light, whereas the 3632's is more granular and evenly-spread throughout the sound.


Both devices are great general compression, boost, and dirt effects for a guitar setup, though I find the 3630 to impart a darker and note-thickening tone quality, and to have a slightly-different dirt sound. For now, the 3630 is in my amp rack, though I'm sure I'll be swapping between them, now and again.

Elphenor 04-05-2016 10:52 AM

I wish I had the money to mess around with a bunch of gear

Elphenor 04-05-2016 10:58 AM

Apparently this thing called a MXR Blue Box is key to everything Roland Howard plays, guitarist of The Birthday Party

That glitch fuzz synth sound

Probably the next pedal I'll buy

he/she/it 04-06-2016 02:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Poots (Post 4256376)
Very interesting read, thank you.

I always figured that Billy put the compressor after the JMP-1 preamp. I don't know where I read that, but that's what I've thought for years.

JMP1 --> Alesis 3630 -->Mesa Strategy 500

Of course I could be completely wrong. I've never really used much rack gear.

It could be that way. I just applied my typical placement to it, and haven't tried it the other way for many years.

I think using compression after the preamp distortion would box in the high-gain sound, make the fizz less broad, and I'm not sure that's what I'm hearing on tracks like ToaSE and Bodies. But perhaps I'll check it out.


Found an interview with Billy saying what you said.

http://www.starla.org/articles/crsh4_96.htm

Quote:

BILLY CORGAN: On much of the album, I used my old 1984 Marshall JCM 800 100-watt top, which is my favorite amp; it's on every Pumpkins record. I bought the amp with a 4x12 bottom-I don't even know what kind of speakers are in it-and used the bottom for most of the guitar tracks. My other main rig is the Marshall JMP-1 rack preamp, which goes into an Alesis compressor and then into a mesa is its "half amp" thing, which allows you to cut the wattage in half. That helps the way the sound hits the power section of the amp and gives it a certain kind of compression, which sounds really good. I like the amp's "presence" control, too. Power amps don't give you much in the way of controls a lot of the time. But I don't use the Mesa in stereo because I think stereo guitar sounds like shit.

Disco King 04-06-2016 03:22 PM

I'm too afraid to learn too much about gear because the more I know about it, the less satisfied I'll be with what I have, and the more I'll want to buy new shit. Ignorance is blisser than poverty.

teh b0lly!!1 04-06-2016 08:02 PM

i have never owned an amp or pedals.
i just connect into guitar rig\revalver\multiple plugins on my computer.
pretty weird huh

like, i once played this really fine mesa boogie at someone's house, and i was like, MAN this sounds fucking great

slunken 04-06-2016 09:33 PM

:noway:

Disco King 04-07-2016 01:59 AM

I love pedals, can't get enough of them.

Still, I try to keep my sights low and only get inexpensive ones. Don't think I'd buy one for more than $200. There are some expensive ones that look cool as fuck (Hexe reVOLVER, Earthquaker Devices Rainbow Machine), but I can't justify spending the dough.

Disco King 04-07-2016 03:15 AM

But I try to not learn more about amps or else I'll learn that my cheap amp sucks because right now I think it's fine.

Also, I don't even want to know more about rackmounts or whatever, or else I'll want one.

he/she/it 04-08-2016 09:34 AM

I finished building an MXR Distortion II pedal clone just yesterday, and this really is the MCIS pedal.

It isn't a conventional distortion, and has an intense saturated grittiness to its main distortion sound, which I didn't previously recognize while listening to MCIS, and which I hadn't really noticed in listening to DII pedal demos online. Though, after playing with the pedal a short while, it clicked with my impressions of the recorded MCIS sound, and listening to MCIS now, my perception has re-calibrated to account for what I know of the DII sound more precisely.

Listening to the album, my perception of the distortion sound was that it is very smoothish - and while those qualities are there, there is actually a lot of micro-grit going on in the pedal that I previously hadn't entirely tuned in to. My impression of what the album's guitar sound was, beneath all the layers, was idealized, though the reality doesn't take away from my impression, but gives me a new way of hearing the album, if I want to think about it while listening.

The DII has two gain stages, with independent knobs for each of them. One is like the pedal's primary distortion, set by using the output level and gain level knobs, and then there's a knob called resonance, which adds a huge amount of muddy low end to whatever else the pedal is already set for. In many settings, the resonance knob is just way too much and not practical. In fact, to make the resonance stage practical, the output level and gain level need to be tapered, a lot, and having these two things simultaneously cranked while increasing the resonance even a tiny, tiny bit will douse the whole sound in unpleasant extreme low-end bloat. But the resonance can be very useful if the gain level is turned mostly down, and the output level is kept moderate, or if using some other conservative balance between the output and gain levels is used.

Judging from of my experience, it's a unique distortion pedal, and it's also a somewhat unbalanced distortion pedal that can easily produce awful sounds if the conditions that the resonance knob places upon the other knobs are not known before using it. It also doesn't play particularly nice with lots of gain-stacking from multiple pedals, which is something I'm used to doing. And, at least in my current setup, it somewhat-easily sends the treble part of the guitar sound into cacophonically-garbled spectrums, if too many gain stages are stacked in the signal chain.

But, it is also highly versatile pedal, once its rules are recognized. And, together with the JMP-1 preamp, it performs everything from BWBW, to the You're All I've Got Tonight cover, to Here is No Why, New Wave A to G, and most of the rest of the gritty and heavy stuff that's heard within the Gravity demos and on the MCIS album.

Using the right settings, it also really helps to bring out that sizzle that's head on BWBW, and a characteristic which is a part of the JMP-1 sound, but which gets brought more to the forefront to different degrees with different pedals. That sizzle is one of the things that I especially love about the JMP-1, and I've been using a combo of a boost, and a BOSS Metal Zone to emphasize it in my rig. The DII pedal can emphasize that sizzle in a different manner than how I've been doing it, and it's a great alternate take on the quality, to what I already have been getting.

A bit of an example of what I call that sizzle can be heard as the note is being held, in this live BWBW performance: https://youtu.be/Gd7CYfgSDk8?t=73

The DII has a strong hollowed-out bite to its sound, which is a strong form of that crispiness quality that I said I liked about the 3630 and 3632 output boost influence. That bite can be noticeably heard here: https://youtu.be/Gd7CYfgSDk8?t=4 ... and also in the BWBW intro on the album, and particularly in many places in the MCIS demos.


So, the Distortion II is pretty unique in the type of distortion it creates, in its crunchy bite, in it having dual gain stages that can be blended, and also in its capability to easily create many awful sounds due to bad dialling in or simply using it with particular other pedals and settings in a setup. Most pedals sound usable for most of their settings, whereas the DII has usable ranges and combinations, while other configurations are just avoidable zones. So the DII is unconventional that way, but it also creates a special variety of great sounds when its parameters are set right.

Run To Me 04-08-2016 09:04 PM

Thanks, he/she/it for these bitchin reviews and analyses

I'm curious what guitar/pickups you're using to demo all these? I'd imagine humbucks vs single coils would make a considerable difference especially for the gain/distortion effects

he/she/it 04-09-2016 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Run To Me (Post 4257150)
Thanks, he/she/it for these bitchin reviews and analyses

I'm curious what guitar/pickups you're using to demo all these? I'd imagine humbucks vs single coils would make a considerable difference especially for the gain/distortion effects

No prob.

I have no actual humbucker guitars to test, though my main electrics are a '57 strat reissue with Blue/Silver/Red Lace Sensors, and a strat I custom-designed that has Blue/Silver Lace Sensors in the neck and middle positions, and then one of the BC Dimarzio's in the bridge position.

Between the two, the custom strat, which has lots of things that don't come on Fender strats (stainless steel frets, graphtech nut, double-expanding truss rod, heavier wood), actually sounds more innately like the SP strats - the Dimarzio pickup aside. I'm also going to replace the neck on the '57 reissue when I'm able to afford it, with a custom one. I really don't like nickel frets anymore (they're tough to play and do string-bends on, compared to stainless steel or gold frets, and they wear down and eventually need work or replacing), and a complete fret replacement job costs almost as much as a completely new neck from Warmoth - which I can tailor to personal taste perfection.

he/she/it 04-12-2016 12:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Poots (Post 4257457)
Maybe I've missed it in the above he/she/it, but are running the JMP1 through a Mesa Strategy 500? If not, what is your power source?

I'm playing through a Strategy 500, and it has some great tone-shaping features, but I think that the familiar SP character can be had with other power sources.

This sounds markedly close to me, with just the JMP-1 and 3630, into the effects loop of a practice amp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KK6JqvY3oM

SlingeroGuitaro 04-12-2016 12:26 AM

regarding the jmp-1/alesis: it was reported for years that it was the comp into the pre, and later reported as the opposite. to me it sounds more correct with the comp into the pre as you can add another layer of clipping by overdriving the input of the pre by increasing the output of the comp.

i used to run the output of the pre through the second channel of the comp, limit it a bit, and crank that output going into the power amp. from guitar, to comp, to pre, to comp, to power amp, you would have 6 places to control volume/gain, and dialing those in complementary of one another is the key to the mcis tone. yes, the pre amp and power amp get you close, the pickups get you a little closer, but the balancing of the different areas is really where you can carve out that 'distinct' sound

teh b0lly!!1 04-12-2016 12:58 AM

what do you guys even get out of buying all that expensive gear in order to rip off some other guy's guitar tone? it's something i'll never understand

he/she/it 04-12-2016 01:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 (Post 4257491)
what do you guys even get out of buying all that expensive gear in order to rip off some other guy's guitar tone? it's something i'll never understand

My personal tone has included a platform of a JMP-1, the Strategy 500, and sometimes an Alesis 3630, for a decade - and I know precisely why each part of my rig is there, and every bit of what each part is contributing. At Netphoria, I can easily and contextually explain some of the gear that I have and know in terms of SP, but I don't see it as somebody else's tone, but as the kind tone which I love and play with. You really might as well go ask the millions of people who've played a Les Paul, into a Tube Screamer, into a JCM 800 what they get out of it. Or, you could be asking what someone playing the "Brown Sound" gets out of it.

Whatever gear you use, unless you're dropping thousands of dollars on new gear models, there are thousands of people who've used it first. And whatever combo of gear you use, there are many who've used it. Of all the possibilities out there, I think the gear we're discussing in this thread present some of the least-tread sounds.

I wonder what satisfaction a person would get from playing less than their desired sound, just to say that they didn't play gear combos that one particular person played for a 3-year period, 20 years ago. I'm guessing relatively little.

And what's more expensive is searching for your personal tone through budget and medium-tier gear purchases for a decade. In the end, you'll have budget-sounding tone, poor quality gear, and have burnt a lot of money, while having spent those years being non-satisfied, which likely will also have harmed your music productivity. I know, because I spent a lot of money on non-researched gear acquisitions before I became smart about how I approached things. And my tone now is definitively my tone, whereas the stuff before never produced a sense of being mine, because it didn't sound the ways that did what I wanted it to, or that I really felt great playing, or as big and powerful as I knew was out there. What makes it your tone is whether you feel right and natural expressing yourself through it, and not whether you hadn't heard someone else use that gear or similar before.

BTW, Billy self-admittedly "ripped off" his Siamese Dream rhythm tone from Catherine, and his nasal Micro-Synth SD-era lead tones from Michael Schenker (which inspired his nasal lead tones beyond SD). I think that Billy got something good out of playing that gear while he still did, and I'm guessing that you also probably got a lot out of him playing that gear, just as did tons of other people. It's just playing whatever sounds great to you.


Quote:

i have never owned an amp or pedals.
i just connect into guitar rig\revalver\multiple plugins on my computer.
That's like a million other people's tone right there. Though, I'll bet that whatever you get out of it isn't defined by that, and that when you're playing with it, you aren't thinking about how generic or unique it may or may not sound. Though I could be totally wrong, I think that, at face value, what you describe as your rig sounds like a much less-considered, and a less personal setup than that of people who go buy specific hardware, knowing exactly why they want that gear.

teh b0lly!!1 04-12-2016 02:11 AM

legitimate points.
to play devil's advocate though, it's fine to use jmp-alesis-strategy and claim it's not ripping off somebody else, but if you go strat w/ lace sensors too it kind of seems too much.

but either way i only commented because i saw you were posting about how to get MCIS tones, not because you use similar gear.

anyway why don't you post some playing clips? let's hear it!

teh b0lly!!1 04-12-2016 02:16 AM

oh i just read the last part of your post -
i won't go around saying that computer software is superior to actual amps, but the way i use my softwares provides me with nearly infinite tone shaping possibilities, far more than any 'real' basic setup could ever generate.

i combine different guitar amp sims, compressors, reverbs, delays (not necessarily guitar related plugins) and whatever else, and it gets me what i need. it would still be nice to own a VH4 and have people call the cops on me, but i don't see why i should spend so much money on it if i'm not a touring musician. i prefer buying guitars.


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