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 Post subject: Tone: Rhythm Plus Lead
PostPosted: 090313 08:24 
Legendary Overfiend
Legendary Overfiend
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Joined: 090226 11:19
Posts: 527
Location: Terminal Dogma
So I have this groovy new pedal the Stickman gave to me (as a hand-me-down) - the Zoom 505 - which has a good 24 or so different custom guitar tones. You can even modify them, though I haven't fooled around with that yet. The various tones seem to come in three general flavors - distorted, soft, and funky. The distorted tones are generally good for stinging leads, the softer tones for rhythm (chords), and the "funky" tones are the ones that have weird fx - which, I guess, are best for experimental music and novelty acts.

So, with another Open Stage coming, I have to decide what I'm going to play. In the past, I'd usually wait till the last moment, but now that I have this pedal, I need to have some idea of what songs I'm gonna play, because different songs sound best with different kinds of tones - or, more importantly, different songs sound terrible with different kinds of tones. For example, you can't play a nice acoustic piece with a heavy distorted lead tone. I'm not saying you can't electrify an acoustic song, but if you just throw a ton of distortion over the chords it'll just be a mess of fuzz - and if I wanted to play a mess of fuzz, I wouldn't bother with the song in the first place.

So anyway, at the very least, I have to have a handful of songs for which I know which tone(s) they sound good with. The trouble with picking out a tone for a song though is that a particular tone'll be good for one thing, but bad for another (within the song). The most prevalent example of this involves chords vs. riffs (and leads). Take the song Love Like A Man by Ten Years After, for example. The main riff sounds best with a nice crunchy tone, but the chords for the chorus need something sweeter and cleaner. If it's too distorted, the chords sound muddy and you don't get the effect of the chorus. If it's too sweet, then the main riff suffers, and the song doesn't have the same "kick". The problem is, there's not really a happy medium. The "sweet enough for chords" and the "distorted enough for leads" areas do not overlap.

Is it too much to ask for a tone that can simultaneously make individual notes sound as rough as rusty nails, while making chords sound sweeter than buttermilk? I suppose it is. There was a period where I experimented with using two amps simultaneously - one with distortion, and the other clean. The best of both worlds. And it worked fantastically at times. Although at other times I had trouble tweaking the levels for the right effect. And, plugging into two amps is significantly more work, particularly when it means hauling another amp to an Open Stage and spending more time setting up for a measly two or three quick songs.

So I dunno, there's always the option of using multiple tones in a song, and switching between them. But that's tricky, and if you don't do it really smoothly, you can ruin the continuity of the song.

"You're just a stupid girl, you've really got a lot to learn..."

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 Post subject: Re: Tone: Rhythm Plus Lead
PostPosted: 090314 05:04 
Deserter
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Joined: 090226 22:52
Posts: 103
I don't know nothing about that but tone sounded good tonight. The vocals on LLAM were particularly good though.

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