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Filters. Yup, multiple parametric/high cut-low cut/shelving stages. A cab based on filters doesn't have that "digital" sonic veneer, takes up a lot less CPU power than convolution cabs, and just shifting a few parameters around makes for an entirely different sound. The vibe also seems to be "bigger" and somehow thicker.

I've been putting noise through amp sim cabs, checking the spectral response, and then duplicating the curve as closely as possible with EQ. Although the sound isn't as "nuanced" as digital, in the sense of having thousands of stages instead of a half-dozen or so, you can still hear that a 4 x 10 cab sounds a lot different than a 2 x 12.

This also makes bi-amping and multiband much more practical, because you can pile on the amps without bringing your computer to its knees. Fun stuff!!!

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Ah... more than one way to skin a cat and more than one cat needs skinning! :- D

All of us have probably mic'ed a guitar amp and it's not a bad way to get things done but you are committing to a sound at the time of recording.
On the other hand, when a guitar is plugged in direct for tracking, we are still committing to the tone of that particular instrument combined with the unique signature tone of one's picking and fingering.
Having a "clean", dry tone does leave space for more options. Options are good.

I've certainly played through plugins in real time when I am learning about them. That is committing as well but allows the use of headphones so one could track at any time night or day without disturbing others. Big advantage around these parts!!!!

Somewhere in my experimental tracks I have a track that started with one DI'ed electric guitar. I copied it and pasted several copies into parallel tracks. 2 tracks panned hard left and right with left track de-tuned 13 cents higher and right track 17 cents lower. 2 tracks panned just off center with an Amplitube amp on one and a Guitar Rig amp on the other (I don't recall which ones, just that they had a good bit of overdrive).
2 tracks panned halfway between center and L/R with reverb added to the clean track and mixed full reverb - 2 different plugins. Last but not least were 2 tracks with modulation plugins, a Leslie and a chorus.

No, I don't know how I remember the exact settings for detuning but not the which plugins I used. Everybody will use their own anyway.

Then I put automation tracks on each track so I could create a variety of subtle and not so subtle shifting blends of the 9 guitar tracks into a single stereo guitar track. Fun!!!!
I will concede that many of the tones may not be everybody's favorites and that it really complicates the mixing process but the lessons were valuable.

I read the OP when you first posted it, and have thought (and not thought, which may be better sometimes) about it for a few days. I've had to pack up my studio for a few days, a contractor is coming tomorrow to inspect a black mold intrusion on an exterior wall in the room I had the studio and I want to make sure they have space to work in and I don't have to worry about any sort of dust getting all over my gear.

But, when I record again, I want to use an A-B-A+B box I have laying around and try mic'ing an amp and running a clean DI simultaneously. I only use EMG active pickups so the load of 2 outputs should be inconsequential in terms of tone-suck. That would give me both options and the feel we all love of that "playing through an amp tone" in real time. I wouldn't have to worry about the potential latency of using plugins in the box either, the clean track could be treated after the fact without losing the inspiration of "that tone."

It may be a side tunnel in your rabbit hole and certainly I should have thought of it sooner but I am still glad to have it come to me. I've never really thought about using filters (EQ) as a means to simulate a speaker cabinet.
This is not to say that I don't EQ stuff both before and after it's recorded. I've always tweaked the amp for tone and then mic placement makes a big difference as well. Many tracks get a bit of tweaking after the fact, I am nowhere good enough yet to pre-EQ all my own tracks so they are mix-ready from the get-go.

In the end, the whole thing is Crazy World, but it's fun!!!!! Cheers, Kuru


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
It may be a side tunnel in your rabbit hole and certainly I should have thought of it sooner but I am still glad to have it come to me. I've never really thought about using filters (EQ) as a means to simulate a speaker cabinet.

This is like a lost art...it's what I did back in the 80s with the Quadrafuzz. I tried several idealized filters, but they didn't sound very good. Then I got the pseudo-bright idea -what if I go for maximum phase shift, maximum passband ripple, etc.? That did the trick! After studying digital emulations of physical cabinets, now I know why: physical cabs are really weird-ass filters smile

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This is not to say that I don't EQ stuff both before and after it's recorded.

Yes, but this is a different kind of EQ. It's not designed for tone-shaping, as much as using "modeled analog filters to emulate physical cabs."

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
It may be a side tunnel in your rabbit hole and certainly I should have thought of it sooner but I am still glad to have it come to me. I've never really thought about using filters (EQ) as a means to simulate a speaker cabinet.

This is like a lost art...it's what I did back in the 80s with the Quadrafuzz. I tried several idealized filters, but they didn't sound very good. Then I got the pseudo-bright idea -what if I go for maximum phase shift, maximum passband ripple, etc.? That did the trick! After studying digital emulations of physical cabinets, now I know why: physical cabs are really weird-ass filters smile

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This is not to say that I don't EQ stuff both before and after it's recorded.

Yes, but this is a different kind of EQ. It's not designed for tone-shaping, as much as using "modeled analog filters to emulate physical cabs."

I get what you are saying in your last sentence. EQ alone can never simulate the transients that identify speaker cabinets. I just stumbled onto it from a different source and background and found something that works for me. It's not EQ either, at least not entirely. It can't be.

If you haven't read this you may find it interesting : https://peavey.com/PDFs/Chapter3.pdf
I recommend you save it and open it in Reader but you can easily read it on your screen as well. It's a 2 column layout, Acrobat provides more options for displaying it.

For you, I would say start with the last paragraph of page 3 and that reading at least through page 7 will give you the gist of it. Harley Peavey describes in fairly simple language ( I understand it and I am by no means an electronics tech) the complex interactions that happen in vacuum tubes and output transformers and how they evolved TransTube solid state tube emulation to account for all of these differences. It took them a while, I thought the first TransTube amps were pretty OK and the 2nd iteration Red Stripe amps were great "for solid state" but the latest iteration has gotten really good.

It is relevant to your project, at least as I understand what you are working towards. I do get that there is more than just EQ happening. Your comments on "maximum phase shift and passband ripple" make sense to me in that context. No question in my mind (or my ears) that speakers have very different transients than running direct AND that clean amplification be it tube or solid state is not as different compared to going DI as getting the distortion tones that us guitarists love when a good tube amp is cooking along.

FWIW, after owning and gigging dozens of classic, modern and "boutique" tube guitar amps, AND trying all sorts of modeling amps, I find I can get amazing tones and authentic "feel" out of a Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 with a new baffle and a Scorpion 10" speaker or a Vypyr VIP 3 bone stock. The presets are pretty horrible and the term "Post Gain" threw me off for a while but properly dialed in I can get convincing tube tones at very low volumes.

They are so frighteningly cheap on the used market and so annoying for the most part if you surf presets that most of us won't even consider them. I fell into both amps, have very little in them. Tweaking them from back to front is the key. Post Gain means "simulated output stage distortion" with all the inaccuracies we know and love about a great tube amp and none of the reliability problems of tubes themselves. The VIP 3 can be adjusted to simulate a 1 watt amp, then you can push the output section and just add enough preamp gain to make it sing and it's really lovely.


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Went down that rabbit hole a few years ago, including trying to overlap multiple curves with dynamic eq, and "signal chain-ing" the impedance curve, harmonic distortion ..... I could match a number of famous recordings, but it was an illusion in that part of the "solution" was specialized to the way the track was eq'ed/balanced/processed, it falls apart in a different context while an "o.k." miced sound manages to translate.

You still end up in the Uncanny Valley imo, as well as encountering Occam's Razor as you get closer to the approximation. The Melda cab plugin beckoned to me like a siren, made me realize I was lost in the Uncanny Valley. An invitation to wrestle with option anxiety; it wrecks your objectivity. Even now I'm trying to get out of it. It's like listening for the differences in dither, or oversampling in the first 60 ms of the speech band in a recording, discerning what's happening different between the snare attack and the crash decay and the guitar sound at 44.1 vs. 96k.

What is the "right" harmonic overtone balance, blend of atonal vs. tonal response? It's subjective, but the most important thing is that the Uncanny Valley effect is the most important to me. There is a complexity that translates as "THIS IS A REAL SOUND YOU'RE HEARING" vs. "THIS IS A SIMULATION", a mid range "wrongness" in linearity that happens with convolution math that drives me nuts. It's like a Gary Larson cartoon where the dog is trying to trick the cat, "I think I like this? I think it sounds like a 55hz 25 watt Greenback.... I think?".

A.I. plugins will solve this in a year or two, though.


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Part of what drives me is I've gone past wanting to sound like tubes or cabs, but instead just want my guitar to sound really good. Some of that is based on how devices like cabs work, but some of it isn't. For example, the nuances in cabs do make them sound different, but I don't always like those resonant nuances.

As to Peavey, they've never gotten the recognition they deserved for multiple technical advancements. People can't get out of their mindset that Peavey makes amps for country and western guitarists.

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While guitar is not my primary instrument, I did grow up with a guitar playing brother. That's was during the 1970s/1980s when he had the "good stuff". I didn't know it at the time but I have very discriminating ears and they were noting the intricacies of each of those amps/speakers.

So along comes modeling amps, and I could hear something missing. They didn't get good enough until they modeled the power tubes and feedback architecture where the real tone lies (not just the preamp). From there, many speaker simulators do not sound authentic. Want the sound of a Marshall amp? Use a Marshall 4x12 cabinet with the right speakers. Want the sound of a Fender amp? Use a Fender cabinet with the right speakers. Vox amp? Use a 2x12 Vox cabinet with the right speakers.

From there if you're shooting for the sound of a specific genre you need to use speakers authentic of the era. Sound of the 1960s? Use alnico G12s or Jensens. Sounds of the 1970s? Use greenbacks. Sounds of the 1980s? Use 65w or 75w.

I acquired multiple cabinets loaded with various speakers... Celestions (25w "pre-Rola" greenbacks, 65w, G12 alnicos, alnico "blues"), Jensens, etc.

It's not enough to simulate the tone of a speaker using filters. The missing link is the interaction between the power tubes/OT and the reactance of the speakers. Reactance of speaker(s) in a cabinet is much more than a simple RLC model. The speaker (and cabinet) reactance varies with dynamic playing and is not linear with frequency and does not conform to the textbook RLC curve. That's why non-reactive speaker emulators don't sound right.

To my ears the most authentic speaker emulator is the Groove Tubes Speaker Emulator from the early 1980s. It's a reactive emulator. Not only does it simulate the tone it also enables the interaction between speaker load and power amp. I had my guitar playing brother play the Marshall amp through Marshall cabinet, then the Marshall amp through GT Speaker Emulator plugged into a flat frequency keyboard amp - you're hard pressed to hear a difference. It only replicates one speaker (which does it very well) so it's not a compelling reason to replace my cabinets.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
As to Peavey, they've never gotten the recognition they deserved for multiple technical advancements. People can't get out of their mindset that Peavey makes amps for country and western guitarists.

I had sour experience with Peavey guitar amps. Even though I was never a loud player I had to replace the output transformers once a year. And they had a midrange honk that I could not dial out. After replacing one too many $300 output transformers I had written off Peavey.

It's not just their preconceived association with country western music. Most musicians I know consider them student gear. Peavey did very well at filling a market niche with gear aimed at struggling musicians - guitar/bass amps, mixers, PA gear. When you're starting out you gotta have something, and once you have progressed and have heard better gear you move on from Peavey. Yes Peavey made leaps and strides with their technological advances but musicians never shook the "student gear" mindset.

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Are you really exhausting your computer on amp sims? I would either upgrade computer or go the Axe-FX/Kemper/Avid Eleven route....

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Originally Posted by The Real MC
It's not enough to simulate the tone of a speaker using filters.

True, but I'm not trying to emulate the tone of specific speakers. Been there, done that, and I have several amps (tube and otherwise) when I want that sound. What I want to do is go beyond existing sounds, most of which I don't particularly like. I like the sound I get with a multiband Helix more than any of my "traditional" amps.

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Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
Are you really exhausting your computer on amp sims? I would either upgrade computer or go the Axe-FX/Kemper/Avid Eleven route....

Well, it's the multiband processing that sucks power, not to mention virtual instruments. I have a Kemper and Helix (didn't like the Eleven at all), but then I have to deal with the latency of tracks on a DAW going through the hardware and back in again. They're great for live, though, not that it really matters at the moment...

However, I am upgrading to a new PC Audio Labs computer :), so it will be interesting to see how much difference that makes. I suspect quite a bit!

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I should also probably mention that my quest for sound relates to having guitar fit in with a lot of electronic and synthetically-generated sound. If it's recognizable as a "rock guitar sound," then it's sort of like peanut butter and grapefuit - they're fine on their own, but not necessarily together.

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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Originally Posted by Anderton
As to Peavey, they've never gotten the recognition they deserved for multiple technical advancements. People can't get out of their mindset that Peavey makes amps for country and western guitarists.

I had sour experience with Peavey guitar amps. Even though I was never a loud player I had to replace the output transformers once a year. And they had a midrange honk that I could not dial out. After replacing one too many $300 output transformers I had written off Peavey.

It's not just their preconceived association with country western music. Most musicians I know consider them student gear. Peavey did very well at filling a market niche with gear aimed at struggling musicians - guitar/bass amps, mixers, PA gear. When you're starting out you gotta have something, and once you have progressed and have heard better gear you move on from Peavey. Yes Peavey made leaps and strides with their technological advances but musicians never shook the "student gear" mindset.

If you kept the stock speakers, I understand. Hartley was sort of working against himself, 2 of the finest guitar amp speakers I've ever used are the Peavey Scorpion 10" and the Peavey Scorpion Plus 12". I've had them in Mesa (I've owned 9 Mesa amps and the Black Shadow speakers are "barky" and "slow" sounding compared to the above Peavey speakers), Red Plate, Allen Accomplice, all sorts of things including - Peavey amps.
The Vypyr VIP 1 is a completely different sounding amp with a Scorpion 10" in it, so was a Mesa Express 5:25, Subway Blues and the Red Plate sounded better in a 1-10" Mesa cab with a Scorpion 10" than it did in the stock cab with the stock 12" by far.

And yes, I've played through a mess of Celestions, Jensens, this that and the other thing. I have a JBL G125-8 that JBL made specifically for guitar and that's a great sounding speaker but the highs can be a bit much. I used to love the tone of the EVM12L and 12S but I never loved moving them around. Certain models of the Peavey Black Widow speakers sound great on guitar, others not so much. To me, Celestions sound harsh and barky until they are broken in, then they are pretty OK until they start to fatigue and get a bit of a low end rattle. Then you can start over. Meh...

A friend and a good solid player came up to me a couple of years ago and asked me how I got more and better tones out of a Peavey Red Stripe Studio Pro, one channel switch and a TC Electronic Flashback X4 than he could get with a Fender Deluxe Reverb Re-Issue and a pedal board with $700 worth of fancy boutique pedals on it. I handed him my extra heavy pick (he pummels away with a medium instead of finessing an x-heavy) and told him to turn his amp up until it scares him and learn to control the pick. He scowled, handed the pick back and I said "By the way, your stock speaker doesn't sound very good." Well, he DID ask me! He still sounds the same, all really good gear but a better speaker and some technique would make a world of difference.

I find a perverse joy in using inexpensive and under-rated gear and finding a way to make it sound great. A better speaker is my favorite upgrade and my secret weapon.
I will agree that there are quite a few Peavey amps that don't sound bad but they don't really sound good either, I've had a few of them. But I never got a tone I liked out of my Rivera Era Fender Concert either and lots of players rave about them.

None of this matters to me in the slightest by the way. I rarely play electric plugged in at home, it's usually something impossible to zip around on like a 12 string or a nylon string and just fingers.

And I'm with Craig on not trying to get any particular sound except the one that I like. So far the only "modeling" amps I've really liked had all analog circuitry for the amp circuit - Peavey TransTube and Tech 21 Sansamp.
I don't mind digital for effects, some of that stuff sounds absolutely transcendent.

In the end, I only care about if I felt like I performed well and sounded good. Which this and that I used or anybody used is just stuff.


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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by The Real MC
It's not enough to simulate the tone of a speaker using filters.

True, but I'm not trying to emulate the tone of specific speakers. Been there, done that, and I have several amps (tube and otherwise) when I want that sound. What I want to do is go beyond existing sounds, most of which I don't particularly like. I like the sound I get with a multiband Helix more than any of my "traditional" amps.

Hooray! I was about to post a crusty reply along the line of "Why try to accurately emulate a particular amplifier?" Why not create your own? I understand that if you have a sound in hardware and you want to be able to record when the family is asleep, then you might aim for at least an approximate emulation. Why waste your time trying to emulate what you can play during the day or on stage?

There are so many tools out there (and probably at least as many bad tools or tools too difficult to understand and use effectively) - where else can you get dozens of amplifiers that nobody's made yet, for $29?

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I think there are three really good reasons to try and replicate an amp sound.

* The sheer challenge of it from an engineering standpoint, and what you'll learn from attempting to do so.
* Manufacturers who need to accommodate customers who think "If my amp sounds like the one Jimi Hendrix used, then I will be Jimi Hendrix."
* You have a signature sound in the studio based on an amp, play live, but don't want to carry an amp around with you.

None of those constraints apply to me, I just want a cool guitar sound smile

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Originally Posted by Anderton
I think there are three really good reasons to try and replicate an amp sound.

* The sheer challenge of it from an engineering standpoint, and what you'll learn from attempting to do so.

I'd go along with that if you were working on replicating an amp sound from parts - that is from plugins and hardware if you got it that go into making an amplifier sound like it does. But when you load a Famous Fenders plug-in and click on 1972 Twin, they've done all the work, leaving the controls for you to twiddle to get the sound, if they've done a good job, of some particular 1972 Twin that you like. But you're not going to get the sound of a Crate, an Orange, or even an orange crate with a Dynaco 60 tube amplifier and a greenback speaker.

I appreciate and applaud the tips Craig has developed for making a replicated amp sound more like a real amp in a real room. I think that's an important direction to pursue. But it goes beyond "replicating an amplifier," just as an engineer in the studio might do with the 1972 Twin that you brought in for your session.


Originally Posted by Anderton
* You have a signature sound in the studio based on an amp, play live, but don't want to carry an amp around with you.

I suppose there are some for whom that's the case, but most of the artists who have a signature sound based on an amp probably are successful or resourceful enough to have someone else to carry the amp. But this is a good job for a Kemper. It's what it does, or at least what it's supposed to do, and from what I read, does a pretty good job of it. It's not the same as a brand name plug-in, it's your sound with your controls and settings, speaker (?) and gain structure. I understand that it takes some fiddling to get out what you put in, but once you have it, it's your sound.

And, trying to beat Kuru to the punch here - "signature sound" is often more in the hands of the player than the equipment. A good replication would have similar dynamic response to a player's technique, but there's a lot involved in it, so it's not compression, expansion, or such. Is this one of the things that these gadgets use as an input?


Originally Posted by Anderton
* Manufacturers who need to accommodate customers who think "If my amp sounds like the one Jimi Hendrix used, then I will be Jimi Hendrix."

Best reason so far. Take their money and develop an amp that sounds like somebody else.


Originally Posted by Anderton
None of those constraints apply to me, I just want a cool guitar sound smile

That's probably going to take you more into creative use of effects rather than replicating a specific amp unless that amp has just the effect, tone controls, and control over distortion that's cool for the song you're using it on.

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
And, trying to beat Kuru to the punch here - "signature sound" is often more in the hands of the player than the equipment.

The reason I tried parallel processing and piled on 9 duplicated tracks with a variety of plugins is so I would sound just like Everybody all at once. It didn't quite work.

Long ago, when Frampton Live came out - a good customer brought me his Les Paul and asked me to put a middle pickup in it. He said he wanted that "Frampton Sound".

I felt that this was a fine thing for a Top 40 cover band guitarist in Fresno to spend money on, since he would be paying me.
I also thought that since it was a permanent modification and added another pickup there might be some pickup swapping work I could pick up down the road.
Last and least, I thought that since the hit off the album was Show Me The Way and the lead guitar was all talk box, nobody would know or care the difference anyway and more people would be glad when that bit of pop drivel stopped than when it started.

Then he switched to a Strat and sold the Les Paul. Fine with me, Strats are easier to work on.

I think to duplicate the tone of another guitarist you not only have to use all the exact same gear including the tubes in the amp, the pick, etc., and have the guitar set up by the exact same tech - you need to eat the same food, take the same drugs, live in the same house, think the same way and do all the same things. Otherwise, it will never work. And, it doesn't. I've never wanted it to either.


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And I also think that "style" transcends the instrument, for better or worse. When I play keyboards, it takes a conscious effort to think like a keyboard player. Otherwise I sound like I'm playing MIDI guitar smile

There's a laugh line I use at seminars a lot when people complain how difficult it is to use a DAW, and how [fill in the blank]'s interface is so user-hostile and non-intuitive. I say it's like going into Guitar Center, buying a Strat and a Marshall, and returning them a week later because "These suck! I don't sound at all like Jimi Hendrix!!"

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by Anderton
None of those constraints apply to me, I just want a cool guitar sound smile

That's probably going to take you more into creative use of effects rather than replicating a specific amp unless that amp has just the effect, tone controls, and control over distortion that's cool for the song you're using it on.

Very much so, effects are part of the sound. Still, I have to be happy with the "amp" and "cab" before I start putting on the makeup smile

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Ain't that the truth. I think copying the tone of a solo is a lot harder than the tone of rhythm.

Some rhythm tones are just deceptive. I've heard plenty of players trying to cover AC/DC but use too much overdrive for rhythm. The AC/DC rhythm sound does not use much overdrive. The Young brothers are hard strummers who used extra heavy picks. Pump that hot transient attack into an amp with moderate overdrive and you have AC/DC crunch. As for sounding like Angus during solos, good luck.

String alloys and gauges make a difference too. Especially with single coils. But as the overdrive gets heavier they sound the same.

Craig, don't dismiss replicating an amp so quickly just because it is associated with a certain genre. I cover a lot of styles and have found that with the right amp and speakers, changing the playing technique can get a world of sounds.

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Originally Posted by The Real MC
've heard plenty of players trying to cover AC/DC but use too much overdrive for rhythm. The AC/DC rhythm sound does not use much overdrive. The Young brothers are hard strummers who used extra heavy picks.

Agreed completely. I think a lot of people would complain about amp sims less if they reduced the input gain/overdrive.

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String alloys and gauges make a difference too.

Interesting you should mention that . I'm writing a book about recording guitar, and the first few chapters are about strings, intonation, pickup position, and truss rod adjustment. I think that those are just as important as what's in the signal chain.

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Craig, don't dismiss replicating an amp so quickly just because it is associated with a certain genre. I cover a lot of styles and have found that with the right amp and speakers, changing the playing technique can get a world of sounds.

I don't always dismiss using a "standard" amp sound, the issue is that I usually hear a sound in my head that I haven't gotten before out of amps, so I need to do "reverse engineering" to figure out how to get the sound. But tonight, I was working on a song and wanted that Kenyan twin guitar vibe, which sounds like Strats going through something like a Twin. So I dialed up the stock Variax Strat sound, tweaked the string volumes in Variax Workbench...and then it went through the Studio One Fender Twin emulation. This gave the liquid lead-line sound I wanted to emulate.

But then I added multiband power chords, a Arturia Farfisa organ, and bell-like synth stabs from Native Instruments' Hybrid Keys instrument. I'm an equal-opportunity abuser of waveforms smile

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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Some rhythm tones are just deceptive.

So true! AC/DC is s great example, so is Keith Richards. He doesn't get fair recognition in my opinion, yet how many times have we all heard somebody booger up Honky Tonk Women or Brown Sugar?
You want a slice of humble pie? Try to play Can't You Hear Me Knockin' just like Keef. Of course, there is that 5 string G tuning thing to contend with but the groove and lock with Charlie? Sounds simple...

I strongly agree with both you and Craig regarding gain. That is my primary objection to the amp presets that are so typical on modeling amps and soft amp sims. The preamp gain is cranked to an absurd level. All we need to do is add a flanger and we can all sound like a vacuum cleaner in a tunnel.

My Boss Katana 100 came with overblown presets, the previous owner had tamed a few of them since he played in a worship band. It's not my favorite solid state tube emulation amp for tone but the features are so gig friendly that it gets gigged often. Another one where I had to learn how it worked and create new sounds so I could stand to play it. It's nice now, sounds very good and in the context of a band gigging bars it's all I'll ever need.

Recording is what seems to bring the "persnickety" out in all of us. Dance floor's full, band is grooving, I am never thinking about my tone at that point. Play back a recording of a track I just laid, it's a primary concern.

Craig, I'd be happy to review your chapters on guitar setup if you like. I've been a luthier/guitar tech for around 50 years and made a wide range of guitarists happier with their instruments. PM if you want.


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I love the old Peavey Scorpion 12s, they roll off the highs like a greenback - and the little compact 4x12 they made in the flight case was an ultra convenient thing.


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Originally Posted by Anderton
[quote=The Real MC]' I was working on a song and wanted that Kenyan twin guitar vibe, which sounds like Strats going through something like a Twin. So I dialed up the stock Variax Strat sound, tweaked the string volumes in Variax Workbench...and then it went through the Studio One Fender Twin emulation. This gave the liquid lead-line sound I wanted to emulate.

What Kenyan artists are you into? I think of "Kenyan guitar" as being a rough acoustic sound, the rest of non-south Africa guitar I generalize as the Ali Farka Toure sound, which is kind of like a JC-120 thing?

The Tuareg scene I'm surprised hasn't become more mainstream.


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Craig, I'd be happy to review your chapters on guitar setup if you like. I've been a luthier/guitar tech for around 50 years and made a wide range of guitarists happier with their instruments. PM if you want.

I will definitely take you up on that when the chapters are done! Thank you.

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Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
What Kenyan artists are you into? I think of "Kenyan guitar" as being a rough acoustic sound, the rest of non-south Africa guitar I generalize as the Ali Farka Toure sound, which is kind of like a JC-120 thing?

There's a compilation album called Guitar Paradise of East Africa with artists like Daniel Kamu and Orchestre Super Mazembe. The song by H. O. Kabaselleh is a good example of what I wanted, although not quite as trebly. Overall the music isn't as polished as the more mainstream Afropop, but the guitars are distinctive and I love that sound. I also used that kind of guitar sound on the "Maladie Du Coeur" song from my Neo- album.


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Originally Posted by Anderton
The song by H. O. Kabaselleh is a good example of what I wanted, although not quite as trebly. Overall the music isn't as polished as the more mainstream Afropop, but the guitars are distinctive and I love that sound. I also used that kind of guitar sound on the "Maladie Du Coeur" song from my Neo- album.

I recorded a local DC area singer from Sierra Leone (the other side - West Africa), oh, must have been more than 20 years ago now, and he brought in a neighbor to play guitar on the recording. He had a cheap guitar and a cheap amp, I put an AKG D224 on it and away we went. His style was a lot like I hear on the African music radio programs here in Washington, and the guitarist said that (the local Pacifica radio station) was where he learned most of his playing style from. No such thing as regional styles any more, I guess. I kept telling him that his 5th string was a little flat, and the singer insisted that it was OK, "An African note" he said, "You're not used to hearing the scale we use." Next day, after listening to the mix at home, he called and asked when he could bring the guitarist back to re-do the solos. "You were right, he was out of tune" he said. All's well that ended well, except that one of the songs was about 15 minutes long, about a soccer game that his team lost.

Was that you singing in French? You should do more (though I'm not sure a native French speaker would agree). I liked the style and inflections better than the few of your songs in English that I've listened to. Maybe because I didn't understand most of the words, I was more focused on the delivery. Go figure.

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
.Was that you singing in French?

Yes, at one point in my life I spoke French better than English. So it's natural for me to write and sing in French. French is a great language for singing, and the rhymes are more fluid than English. You can sing "it's time to take out the garbage, I think the sun is setting and there's a car in the driveway" and if you don't know French, it sounds like the most romantic thing in the world smile

I also did the song Lilianna! in half Spanish/half English, because the storyline required it. I know a reasonable amount of Spanish, but musicians have an advantage with languages because they hear the nuances. So it's not hard to have an accent that makes people think you speak the language better than you do...

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I liked the style and inflections better than the few of your songs in English that I've listened to. Maybe because I didn't understand most of the words, I was more focused on the delivery. Go figure.

You just need to listen to more of my music smile There are a lot of variations from album to album, and even from song to song. But I also understand there are people who really, really like my music, and other people who couldn't care less. Fortunately I can make whatever music I want, because I don't have to depend on it for a living. It sure ain't Katy Perry, but it's not the Swans either LOL.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
[ Daniel Kamu and Orchestre Super Mazembe. The song by H. O. Kabaselleh is a good example of what I wanted, although not quite as trebly.

Ahh, yes. That's a more technically adroit style than people know I think - some of those guy's arpeggio technique is very advanced.

Are you familiar with Vietnamese street music? I reference that because I think the sound/timbre of the delay had character. The Vietnamese sound being dependent on a cheap Chinese karaoke reverb chip,


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Overall the music isn't as polished as the more mainstream Afropop, but the guitars are distinctive and I love that sound. I also used that kind of guitar sound on the "Maladie Du Coeur" song from my Neo- album.


Nice! Like a "more aggressive David Byrne side project".

The "Guitar Paradise of East Africa" record is interesting... sounds like it's all recorded on narrow format tape - cassette 4 track, half inch 8? Very soft high end, but all of it has a forward/dry percussive/dry drum machine element and a echoey or "distant" element... it's a production style that sounds like "late 80's U.S. television commercial production" but used to better artistic advantage.

That guitar on the Kabaselleh track is bright... Almost has a gurgly SPX-something chorus, it sounds like it's gone through an SPX90?

The Sukuma Bin Ongaro track has the same SPX tonality, but with a Bill Frisell warble... I like the Kilonzo/Kiliambogo Brothers guitar sound, the upfront non-euphonic recording sound but with a more "traditional Fender amp sound"...

The contrast in euphonic-woofy bass and ultra dry ostinato bits in that high-life style music is something that would be entertaining to hear enter into Western pop music, it's like some hip hop music is trying to do it but it isn't self aware enough to make it a blend, nobody is brave enough to stray too far from the 808 providing the euphonic low end...


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Craig, I am curious about how you were at one point speaking French better than English?

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