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Old 11-20-2011, 11:35 PM   #2105
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 642

@hiphophippy - Good advice, no doubt. Perfect if one is looking to be completely original. If I follow you, you're basically saying find something that works and use it.

Problem is, we've got a huge catalog out there of music that has defined how folks now here the various pop/rock genres. Ain't sayin' there's no new sounds to be found. Surely that's not true. But things that used to be new have now become golden oldies and are accepted standards of "tone" for lack of a better word.

So there's a bit of a conundrum that goes, "Ya wanna be original, but it has to sound 'pro'", LOL!

And the guys that know how to take a band from "sounds like down at the club" to "Sounds like FM radio" are of course the folks in demand, speaking from an engineering/producer standpoint, no? (E.g Mutt Lange et. al.)

I don't think there's any doubt that even the "brand names" often don't sound like thier recordings, live. The exceptions being bands with recordings that really were aimed at catching thier live sound (AC/DC and The Who come to mind), and those bands that blow lots on things like offstage engineers, and even offstage musicians (U2 comes to mind).

At some point a divirgence happened between "performing artists" and "recording artists". And studio craft (seems to me) is what largely separates that two. And hence my argument that said discussion does belong herein. (However, it's clearly pissing against the tide of opinion herein, LOL! Yep would like to separate the recording and the "sound", but I'm not sure that's possible. Many "name brand" artists have made statements that some of thier sounds wouldn't exist but for the studio. And with amp sims and the like being plugins in the DAW, the two are now more fused that ever, I'd think.)

Considering that most of us fell in love with music from a recording on a radio, and that it was likely a studio recording, that studio craft is part and parcel of shaping the tone many shoot for. I think it is fewer that say, "ah I heard SRV live and had to sound like that". More is the number that say, "I heard Led Zep IV...".

Oh BTW, we're not the same age, I'll be 50 this year. For me this isn't about becoming a "star" or even getting into the biz. It's just wanting to get the sounds I'm after, reliably, cost effectively, on demand for personal projects. No delusions about joining the guitar or songwriter glitterati in this lifetime.

As to the fingers thing. Heck, I'll never deny that it's important. But geez, when the examples I trying to cite are not from the virtuoso crowd, that falls on it's face.

I mean really, consider this track I use as an example:

(My apologies for the Vevo ads.)

There's no super-duper playing mastery in there. Just competent playing and pro production, or so it seems to me. No guitar/amp combo I've ever heard live sounds like those sounds.

Heck consider same band live:

In this case it *is* close, because it's essentially pop/punk. But, screw guitar... even more telling... the vocals aren't there, nor are the drums.

In this case, seems one difference is that "crystalizer" effect or perhaps it's a keyboard pad, isn't present.

When I dis the fingers thing, it's because I'm talking about the actual *sound*... one lousy quarter note or chord splash, not performance gestures, not composition... The soundwave, the overtones present... what the equipment produces in response to input X.

As to Eruption... I've analyzed it with a spectrum analyzer and matched it. as best is possible with what I have and my tooling. Doesn't quite match, but I know the EQ curve in my sleep, LOL! Flat with about a 45 degree cutoff at 5.2khz, LOL!

So to the extent that my instrumentation let's me analyze, I learn. Analysis of the tracks of Dave Lee Roth out there taught me a bit about vocal EQ to be sure.

But let's face it, even EVH says he can't get his sound from that era anymore. (Though seems a number of cloners out there come pretty close.)

Here's a dude that certainly has the talent in his fingers... but he can't overcome this guitar... LOL!

What would be telling, would be for Landee to take the sound track from that video or close mic the guy and work it over and see what the difference is. At ther every least the sound of the pick hitting the strings would likely be gone.

Clearly the guitar one side, delay/verb other side isn't going on as well.

In any event though, since it's an EVH track, it *is* one of the one's that relies more heavily in virtuosity, unlike some power pop tune. EVH after all, brought "show off level" virtuosity to the masses, LOL!

Aside from being thick headed, I think my biggest problem is that I expect the same sort of knowledge and tolerances some of my other hobbies involve. (Measurments to 0.001 inch, weights to 1/10 of a grain, etc. "Real" engineering. When I consider that electronic parts back in the day have tolerances in the 5% range, I guess it's nutz to expect reproducibility in something so art oriented.

True story, lived in SoCal for a number of years... good players are around... was in Guitar Center one day. Young guy, great blues player... using a Laguna Guitar and Fender Cyber Twin... we took the very next Laguna off the rack... set the second Cyber twin to same settings... the sound wasn't there...)

So on some level I'm making the mistake of expecting reference level specs in something that back in the heydey was probably being done inebriated, LOL! I 'spose more than one classic recording was really a happy accident. (In a gadda da vida comes to mind, LOL!)

So ya, have to go with a plea of "guilty of expecting too much" I guess.

P.S. Some eye candy for thought...

Last edited by flmason; 11-20-2011 at 11:40 PM.
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