to Effect or not to Effect

Guitar and bass FX discussion

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thejay
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to Effect or not to Effect

Post by thejay » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:13 am

I used to have many pedals, then downsized.... and by downsize I mean picking up some Eventides :D I love the pedals but I find myself moving away from effects in general because the tone of amp + guitar just sounds so much more appealing lately.

Do you effect? Do you not effect?
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topcat0399
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by topcat0399 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:23 pm

thejay wrote:I used to have many pedals, then downsized.... and by downsize I mean picking up some Eventides :D I love the pedals but I find myself moving away from effects in general because the tone of amp + guitar just sounds so much more appealing lately.

Do you effect? Do you not effect?

About 10 years ago I did away with all of my stomp boxes and digital processors. Hated it at first because I was without my crutches that masked my inabilities.

After I got used to it; I play better, have better tone with more BODY; and far less hassle. The amp alone in a stage mix sounds far better, not washed out and lost.

I've become somewhat of a cork sniffer now - we are auditioning for a new guitar player and guys always show up with all these digital effects and stomp boxes. I blow them all away every time with the clarity and pure tone of guitar-amp only.

One guys showed up with 2 amps; 2 boss digital floor processors; and all the BS that goes with it. Good player but I was unimpressed with his thin spacey sounds. I asked him to play a simple AC/AD type power chord. He couldnt do it because his stuff wasnt "programed". sheesh.

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Jackie
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by Jackie » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:00 pm

With the band I only use subtle effects on clean tones (just enough reverb so it's there and some chorus to make it swirl). Nothing in front of my amp, everything I need (as in BOSS GT-6) in the loop so I can enjoy amp drive goodness when I don't need it.

At home when I'm fooling around I just dial up what I need (delay for solo tones, flange/phase when I need it). But that's more for fun than for real.

I think FX are a good thing but they must be used as added value, not the main thing of your tone.
GUITARS: heavily modded Epi Goth Explorer; Jackson KVMG Pro; Yamaha SG2000; Gibson SG '61 Reissue; Squier CV Tele
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elvis
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by elvis » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:22 pm

I agree and disagree. For certain, it is easy to fall into the effects trap, and many players can't play well without them, and can't play all that well WITH them, either. And I agree that they can cause the guitar to get lost in the mix, mostly by killing off the mids.

However, with a good player, effects can be a wonderful addition. I think that practicing as much without effects as with can allow a player to be competent, with or without effects. Effects can be used to great... ummm... effect by a good player.

Then there are players like Dave Navarro and the guy in Incubus who use over the top effects in a way that defines the song. Listen to "Run Like Hell". The song would be good without the effects, but great with them.

I play about 90% of the time with some echo and maybe phaser, mostly relying on my playing. But in the right setting, some deep, swirly delays or heavy flange are the bomb.

I think the real problem is the uber-multi-FX boxes. They are a pain to control, and never really get good tone. So players struggle with them. They tend to sound pretty decent at home, but in a band setting, I often see players totally caught by surprise by the random volume jumps, tone problems, and inability to turn stuff on and off, or modify the effect (too little/too much). I really like my pedals for this, because I can always turn a knob on the fly. I also have a G system, and for that I have to do a lot of homework, and still give myself a couple of easy-to-get-to minimalist patches just in case.
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zachman
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by zachman » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:36 pm

It's a case by case decision, for me. Ultimately, I like having the options because I'd rather have more and not need it, then to need more and not have it. Just because one has a ton of stuff, doesn't mean it MUST be utilized all the time. Just my $.02

That said, when it comes to gigging, knowing the logistics is an important factor.
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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
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SonicProvocateur
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by SonicProvocateur » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:34 pm

zachman wrote:It's a case by case decision, for me. Ultimately, I like having the options because I'd rather have more and not need it, then to need more and not have it. Just because one has a ton of stuff, doesn't mean it MUST be utilized all the time. Just my $.02

That said, when it comes to gigging, knowing the logistics is an important factor.
Well said. I have a Wah I trust, but barely use. I mostly rely on (1) a trusty delay that I can manipulate for long or short delays. Sometimes I'll run 2 if I need one for a psychadelic or rhythmic sound and one for leads (2) a spacey flange. Some might prefer their perfect chorus pedal here. (3) Like the wah I will also rarely run a overdrive (mainly an octave down fuzz), but occasionally something different. The last one is more like a wild card pedal. I figure minimalist is the best way to go and let the amp and guitar tone shine through everything, letting the pedals color here and there when necessary.
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zachman
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by zachman » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:53 am

SonicProvocateur wrote:
zachman wrote:It's a case by case decision, for me. Ultimately, I like having the options because I'd rather have more and not need it, then to need more and not have it. Just because one has a ton of stuff, doesn't mean it MUST be utilized all the time. Just my $.02

That said, when it comes to gigging, knowing the logistics is an important factor.
Well said. I have a Wah I trust, but barely use. I mostly rely on (1) a trusty delay that I can manipulate for long or short delays. Sometimes I'll run 2 if I need one for a psychadelic or rhythmic sound and one for leads (2) a spacey flange. Some might prefer their perfect chorus pedal here. (3) Like the wah I will also rarely run a overdrive (mainly an octave down fuzz), but occasionally something different. The last one is more like a wild card pedal. I figure minimalist is the best way to go and let the amp and guitar tone shine through everything, letting the pedals color here and there when necessary.
For me...

Sometimes it's just an acoustic guitar, solo or duet gig.

Sometimes it's a pub gig w/ a small stage- playing blues, classic rock or jazz (head and 1x12 cab, or combo, and a MXR Dyna Comp, TU3 tuner, and an Rocktron Intellifex in the loop)

Sometimes it's a medium sized Rock, Blues, or Funk/R&B gig: (Head and a 4x12 cab-- and a MXR Dyna Comp, TU3 tuner, and an Rocktron Intellifex in the loop)

Sometimes it's a studio session gig (sometimes I know the client, sometimes I don't) If I don't know the client, I talk to the Studio manager and find out what they have, and get some info on the client's requirements-- to determine what I should bring

Since around '09 thru this past September 2011-- I've mostly been playing larger gigs (Concerts, Festivals), and have been using a huge, w/d/w multi-amp (4) Rig

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ALL gear are tools. I LOVE GOOD tools, and having access to a variety of them.
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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
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swbo101
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by swbo101 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:03 pm

Been playing for almost 40 years and was never really into effects. I own a wah, phaser, vibrato effect. Used to have a chorus and a delay. To me, and it's just me, it detracts from the sound of the guitar and playing. Used in moderation its great, but I couldn't always have something running. I spend too much time trying to get just a guitar and amp to sound right, to me the raw guitar sound is too good to cover up. If I have to spend all that energy trying to get a whole bunch of effects going and figuring the settings, it would make playing secondary, but that's just me.

Whatever gets you to that sound in your head is what its all about.
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zachman
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by zachman » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:32 pm

swbo101 wrote:Been playing for almost 40 years and was never really into effects. I own a wah, phaser, vibrato effect. Used to have a chorus and a delay. To me, and it's just me, it detracts from the sound of the guitar and playing. Used in moderation its great, but I couldn't always have something running. I spend too much time trying to get just a guitar and amp to sound right, to me the raw guitar sound is too good to cover up. If I have to spend all that energy trying to get a whole bunch of effects going and figuring the settings, it would make playing secondary, but that's just me.

Whatever gets you to that sound in your head is what its all about.
That's the beauty of a w/d/w rig. The core guitar amp tone is always present, unmolested, and accessible. The wet part of the rig is in parallel w/ the dry amp, so it doesn't screw up your pure amp tone.

Re: the effects detracting from your playing

I never looked at it that way. To me, the production side of the equation isn't a distraction from playing, nor does it take away from my playing time. I make time for that, because I have always been adventurous when it comes to getting my guitar to sound it's best.

Besides, it NEVER hurts-- knowing the tools of the trade, how to use them, and how to use them efficiently and effectively. At least that's the way I see it. At some point, the knowledge and skill is very useful, in a studio environment, both as an Engineering facet as well as a Production facet.

Bottom line ALL gear, are mere tools available to get a job done. Obviously, not all jobs have the same requirements, so it's best to know what one intends to do, so one can best determine what one needs.

Having Great gear doesn't guarantee Great results, only the promise of a potential for a variety of results-- reliant upon the users ability to know the tools of the trade, so they can select them appropriately, know how to use them, and how to use them efficiently and effectively, and to have access to them (usually the quest of the tone chaser).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zGmkYZ-Vng
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
- Aristotle

benjamin801
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by benjamin801 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:55 pm

I effect...sometimes.

All my effects come from the Nova System in the loop of my Mark III. 85% of the time, it's bypassed completely. But it's nice, when it's time to take a solo, to be able to stomp one button and get some (great-sounding) delay, reverb, and a 6db boost. Or pull in a little flange or phase to color things up occasionally.

ifailedshapes
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Re: to Effect or not to Effect

Post by ifailedshapes » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:09 pm

I agree with the person who said that just because you have effects, doesn't mean that you always have to use them. I like having options, but I'm finding that my sound relies on a good overdrive pedal and a nice delay. I don't play U2 covers or anything, but I love how you can play a delay almost as if it were an extension of your instrument, and not just an effect. I used to have a Nova System, but all I ever really used was the delay section, so I sold it.

We're all different artists, though. At the end of the day, it's about what puts a smile on your face, and not what some 16 year old kid says about you on YouTube. ;)
Guitars --> Pedals --> Amps

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