How Is It Possible?

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by frankv, Dec 28, 2016.

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  1. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    A serious discussion here fellas..

    We have all been playing guitars for years.. Well, most of us anyway.. We all sit in front of our rigs while practicing and play away. 30 minutes, an hour, 2 hours or more. How is it that when a player only has one amp (fill in the model) he can stay motivated and inspired throughout that practice session?

    If you are a heavy rock or metal guy.. Do you not get tired of all that distortion? Desire a break sometimes? If you are mostly a clean player, do you sometimes get bored playing and hearing the same tones?

    We often hear guys say.

    "I'm happy with my one tone. I don't need anything else"

    But can that possibly be true? Are they really happy with that one tone or is it that when they get tired of that one tone they stop playing.

    What's your take on this? Cause for me, I go from distorted to clean to whatever all practice session long.
     
  2. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    my take on this is more likely i'm working on arrangements and that can't be boring whatever the amp is :thumb:
    mainly song, singing and arrangment will take care of the tone than my desire of the perfect tone cause anyways that doesn't exist outside the band mix. when i see smiling faces or nice mood after the session or concert i know it was good whatever the guitar tone was, simple as that.
     
  3. Frogfur

    Frogfur Senior Member

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    Happy New Year Frank !

    For me, i went thur all that in the sixties. Today i am pretty much a clean player, although i do use a few effects, i find less is more often enough.
    These days if i were to use some form of distortion, it might be as a drone in the back ground. The sweet spot for me is with a baffle in front of an amp to record. (Thanks Buzz..)
    I'm gonna follow this if it grows legs.
     
  4. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Yeah, I miss Buzzhaze

    Happy New Year Froggy
     
  5. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

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    Hi Frank. An interesting question, especially for me.

    I guess I come from the other side of the question. For me, I have no desire to play anything other than hard/old school heavy. I used to be of the philosophy, "it can never be TOO heavy" but I don't feel that way anymore. Geez, I've been hooked on the stuff I listen to since 1977 and it's really only been in the last few years that I don't skip over some :)laugh2:) songs that are acoustic (UFO "High Flier" for example off one of my all-time favorites "Force It"). There's always been an acoustic song or 2 that I liked (Sabbath's "Solitude") but they were the exception but I find that there are some more that I actually like.

    However, if I have a 2 channel amp (Laney Lionheart, Marshall SL5) I never ever put it in the clean channel, so the clean channel is just a waste for me. I always just play that "one tone" and never with any pedals. Every song I play on guitar is hard/old school heavy rock without exception. I don't even own an acoustic. Whenever there's a cleaner part (say like on Judas Priest's "Victim of Changes" where he sings, "Once she was beautiful") I'll either roll the volume down a bit or just hit the strings lighter. To me, those parts are just a slight mood change, and then I can't wait to start in with the hard/heavy stuff again.

    Although I elucidated more than I planned to, I guess the bottom line to your question is that it is indeed possible because that's the sound I love.
     
  6. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    My practice moves between three modes. Each requires a different approach, and is why I have had modeling technology since the late 90's. While I have recently become VERY vocal about the awesomeness of the Helix, I STILL use a POD Pro and a Bass POD Pro on an almost daily basis. It is also why I went through a small phase where I had a ton of tube amps (which mostly sat). Anyway, here's the modes of practice:

    1. Running through my band's set list. For this, all I need are my pre-programmed patches in the Helix for each song. I practice playing, switching snapshots, and scrolling. I have a live recording of one of our gigs that I use as a backing track, and I run the set exactly like a show.

    2. Song-writing. I have a band that doesn't perform live. All we do is get together and write/record fresh material and release it via bandcamp or CD baby. This band is kind of a Southern Rock/Country Rock band. I use Gretsch guitars and totally different types of tones than my performing band. I also tend to plug into the POD Pro because the tones it gives for this project are better - go figure.

    3. Technique. Sometimes I just pull up jam-tracks and practice playing in different keys and genres. I do session work for people - often local singer/songwriters who want some lead guitar on their songs - and it is good to stay on top of my game. For this I will find a track, listen to it a couple times to figure out what type of tone and guitar I want to use, and then get to work. I will work out a melodic piece that I can play all over the neck. I have found that by using different tones and guitars, I am better prepared for some of the calls I get. Sometimes I am given vamps to play over that are NOTHING like I would write myself. I often am asked to use sounds/guitars that I don't regularly play. It's one of the reasons I varied my guitar collection from shredders to being more "recording" based.

    When I was ONLY focused on playing live, I had one tone. As I branched out, having access to more sounds was a good thing. It helped me think outside my box and improved my technique. It became a necessity once I started doing sessions. Not everything is going be showing up with screaming OD and face-melting 64th notes.

    In the end, I don't so much change tones on the fly, it just depends on which mode of practice I am in. Sometimes, I will practice 3-4 hours, and I will do all three. Sometimes it's only one. But, the only time I am using a "stock" tone is when I am rehearsing for the live band.
     
  7. Ph03n1x

    Ph03n1x Senior Member

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    I don't play as much as many people here. For me 1 amp with a good clean tone and a really good pedal board gives plenty of flexibility. I would love a bigger amp collection but I feel like I already own too much gear for the amount I play. Also, I've tried lots of software amp sims and a few digital modellers and found they never did it for me. That being said, I would like to try out the amplifire, valvulator and a few others.

    I have a buddy that "needs" stereo amps, chorus, verb, distortions as his base tone. He is a better technical player than me but it doesn't sound good.
     
  8. Who

    Who Who is not here. Please leave a message.... Premium Member

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    Acoustic players don't have this problem. ;)




    As for me, the answer is... I suck. Changing my toanz is the last thing that matters, and a place I will never get good enough to put real thought into.
     
  9. TheX

    TheX Voice of Reason

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    Of the three hours a day (or so) that I play most is acoustic (nylon). Most of my electric playing is VERY clean, Fenderish lately. If I had to live with one amp a Deluxe Reverb would keep me happy. I'm glad I don't have to, but I could if required.
     
  10. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Just to point out, your 1 amp with a good clean tone and a good pedal board is effectively a 'modeler'. You are a prime candidate for modeling tech. BUT, you need to try some good modelers.
     
  11. LeftyF2003

    LeftyF2003 Premium Member

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    One word my friend - pedals :thumb::laugh2:

    In all seriousness, the tone from my Ceriatone in particular is so good I don't find myself saying "gee, I'm bored with this sound I'm getting from this amp". I can get anything I want from that one amp and a few pedals, and its not just one sound but many. But I'm happy for you finding what you like. I remember your NAD posts with amp after amp that just didn't do it for you. If I didn't have my DRRI and the Ceriatone I might me using a modelling head just to work out what it was I was looking for. But now that I have found those sounds in spades with the gear I have I'm good. :thumb:
     
  12. Who

    Who Who is not here. Please leave a message.... Premium Member

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    One pedal my friend - a modeler! :laugh2:

    [​IMG]

    In all seriousness, this is the only pedal I use. Because it has all the pedals in there already.
     
  13. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Frank,

    FIRST, I don't think there are as many folks that are happy with just one tone, as let on. I refer to the POLL I DID. 51% of respondants had at least 5 amps at some point, with 21% having over 10 at once. 90.62% had/have 3 or more amps.

    That doesn't seem like happy with one tone to me. OR it is, but need multiple amps to get that one tone at different volume levels. But, I think it is more, different toned amps.

    However, I am with you. Some days, I like a good, marshall crunch. Other days I want to get that Social Distortion tone. Another, I play clean. Another day, I might want that blues 'hair' of an almost broke up amp. And, sometimes, I like a pushed amp, with that o tube thing going on. And when working on technique (which I damn well need), I like certain kind of cleans and warm cleans, so as to not mask/hide slop.

    PRIOR to the Kemper, that was done with a bunch of dirt pedals, primarily 3 amps, and an attenuator. The last part is not to be overlooked, the attenuator (Badcat Unleash). Only way to get some of that at a reasonable volume. A pushed Fender DR is loud, my friends.

    Now, It is just pick a different Profile/rig, easy peasey, lemon squeezie.
     
  14. LeftyF2003

    LeftyF2003 Premium Member

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    Yea, I have to say I tried one of those and it is BAD A$$!
     
  15. TheX

    TheX Voice of Reason

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    I agree, the M13 has a LOT of solid effects.
     
  16. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Fair enough. I felt as you did, not all that long ago. 68 Custom DR and a bunch of pedals, and I thought I had it all.

    I was wrong. I am still not saying you are, just that I was.

    I can say, you may still be missing one thing. Well, actually several related, things.

    Problem, I had, with that Fender amp and pedals, along with my Orange Head, and Peavey 6505 (my 3 primary), but particularly that fender, was I was never in the amps' sweet spots. To whit, a certain volume level, that has the output tubes working at a point, that you get a special note bloom, reaction and feel. Oh, to be sure, they all sounded good at home volumes. I didn't get an amp that couldn't do that. But, I NOW know what I was missing at those low volumes with those amps.

    I guess that is what some are talking about, though they may not know it, with lower end and older modelers.

    I used my badcat Unleash to get that. But frankly it is a PAIN, to have to unhook it from one amp, move it to another. And it does have fan noise. Annoying.

    But, I have that with my Kemper. Oh Lordy do I. I also get that cranked feel et al when I want it, at any volume. In fact, I play the kemper, typically at lower volumes than I was with the Fender and pedals, the OR15 and the 6505 MH, with better tone (and feel).

    To sound good, in my room, I ran those other amps at 94-96 db, sometimes MAYBE at 90db. That is, those levels at 8-12 ft away. In reality, that limited my playing time, as at those levels, any more than an an hour, and you risk some damage. Plus, I often got ear fatigue.

    Now, with the Kemper, I can get better tone (and feel, etc) at levels in the mid to high 80s at 2 ft from the monitors (or at 8-12 ft if I want, as well). I can go for hours at these levels.
     
  17. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    Helix, tubes, solid state, pedals, it's all good to me. I don't think there's any right or wrong in playing music.
    I'm in a cover band right now, so the Helix is perfect. But last night I ran through our set list with my SS Blues Cube Artist and an OD and delay pedal, and had very fun session.
    I'm going to a jam night at a local bar tonight. No way I'm dragging my Helix and FRFR with me. I'll walk onstage with my guitar and plug into what ever amp is there, and rock out.
     
  18. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Who says anyone is limited to only one tone?

    My two main amps for 25 years were both single channel amps. I was not and am not limited to only single tones out of each. At worst, I have clean rhythm and lead tones for each. That doesn't scratch the surface of being able to dial them in for swirling psychedelia, rockabilly, classic rock, classic pop, multiple flavors of fuzz, and so forth.

    Add a couple of different inspirational guitars into the mix and the horizons expand even further.

    That said, almost all of my playing is variations of 3 or 4 basic tones. Yep, I have a modeler and have had it for several years. It expands my tonal possibilities into areas I would not have explored previously; I would not have bought a Fender Twin or Deluxe Tweed because they are covered by my Champ and Alamo Reverb tank. A lot of tones still get ignored.

    It is fun to play with different tones, but I don't need too many to be inspired to play my guitar.

    My guitar playing renaissance started in about 2008 after a 9 year break from serious playing. The first few years were spent plugged straight into my Marshall, no pedals, playing the most basic classic rock tones. That was something I did not do during my gigging years. That tone is still almost unmatched.

    Only a trip to jam with Tim Fezziwig reignited my interest in garage-y pawn shop tones out of my Champ and my interest in my old Maestro Fuzz, again. The inspiration came from old Silvertone amps, one with Tremolo/Vibrato and a single Fuzz Face.

    I have 3 absolutely astounding (to me) guitars, and a couple of other old favorite guitars. Each brings its own inspiration to the mix.

    Nothing brings more inspiration than practice and good music.
     
  19. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    pretty much the reason I've had modellers - the variety (plus the late night headphone practice)

    thinking about it...the only amp I've ever owned was a Peavey Bandit (still have it) but would never play without my Digitech RP10 (still have it) being hooked up. I called the Digitech an effects unit but I suppose it's just an early modeller - you could use it without an amp

    BUT if i'm locked in to practice mode it's unlikely I'll be changing sounds very often if at all
     
  20. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

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    Truthfully when I sit down to play I am usually writing, and when I am writing one time is plenty. When I go into record mode then I quit about my tones, but even then I usually dial in one tone for the left, one for the right and then some color tones. But the majority of my time is spent wiring and coming up with riffs which is all done for hours with one tone.
     
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