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Author Topic: Can't see the wood for the trees!  (Read 874 times)

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Smash

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Can't see the wood for the trees!
« on: April 01, 2013, 01:14:33 PM »

Anyone else have this? I spend a load of time fine tuning a patch only to find when I go back to it, it doesn't sound right at all so I rework, then I think I've nailed it and then it all goes round in a circle again. I'm now on my 5th version of a Kings X patch and with every prior version I swear I thought I'd nailed it!

I've had a lot of this recently - chasing my tail on an acoustic patch as well. Please tell me it's not just me, lol!
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Elantric

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 01:21:20 PM »

You are not alone-

Its very common for you to "wear out your hearing perspective"  - after many many long hours, your hearing will change and your sensitivity and audible frequency range will no longer be "flat response" from your own personal perspective. 

This phenomena explains why last nights awesome sounding patch or Music Mix you worked on for hours, often sounds terrible when you audition it with fresh ears  the morning after. This is very common in Audio Engineering.

Also its the nature of stumbling onto sonic nirvana (but entirely not suitable for what you are pursuing) while attempting to build new patches with lots of high tech gear. 

I'm reminded of this popular John Lennon phrase:

"Life is what happens while you were planning something else"


Back in 1974 after I heard Jeff Beck Blow by Blow - I HAD to have a Strat, so I began searching all music stores in a 100 mile radius from my house, and thats when i stumbled on my Tobacco Brown sunburst '73 Gibson Les Paul Standard i simply had to buy. 
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=82.0
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 03:33:08 PM by Elantric »
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papabuss

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 01:57:41 PM »

Smash, if it's a GR55 problem follow these steps:
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 02:01:35 PM by papabuss »
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shawnb

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 02:03:00 PM »

PLUS...  There are the issues where your assigns go away on the GR-55, and this can dramatically alter your sound...   (See papabuss' doc above...)

PLUS...  Despite careful putzing, on all devices, the different 'output settings' help a tad, but still it NEVER sounds at playing volume the way it did at home, at night, when the spouse & kids were asleep, when you made the patch.   The ONLY way to guarantee a match is to finalize the patch AT PLAY VOLUME, ON YOUR TARGET RIG...

PLUS...  Different amp & gear volumes produce massively different results.  On all gear.  If you made a patch with your VG99/GR55/whatever... at low vol, and your amp/PA at high vol, but play it later with your device at high vol and your amp/PA at low vol, IT SOUNDS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...   

PLUS...  I have occasionally found re-arranging patches with Librarian ONLY MOVES THE PATCH TITLE, destroying the patch...  Now I test after each move... 

The gear tries to work against you too often!

« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 02:07:02 PM by shawnb »
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aliensporebomb

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 03:05:12 PM »

I've found:

-Different string gauges/brands/materials/coatings
-Different guitars with different scale lengths
-Different GK pickups (GK2A versus GK3)
-Different neck construction types (set-neck versus neck-thru-body versus bolt on)

Can all drastically modify and alter an intended sound to one of three things:
1 "I didn't want this at all and won't ever like it!"
2  "STOP!  Save what you're doing, this sounds GREAT even though it wasn't what I was looking for".
3  This is about what I expected but how can I improve it, maybe by leaving it alone?

There's tons of possibilities.
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Smash

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 03:42:03 PM »

This phenomena explains why last nights awesome sounding patch or Music Mix you worked on for hours, often sounds terrible when you audition it with fresh ears  the morning after. This is very common in Audio Engineering.

^ THIS - Exactly this!!! Driving me nuts - I need an ear reset button.

No GR55 here just VG99.

I will check to see whether Kings X v5 sounds remotely in the ball park tomorrow. Doesn't help trying to simulate lace sensor pups, MBX tone control, L5 amp's mysterious "multi-filter" (6 band comb filter apparently) and attempting to get it to sound authentically double tracked L&R - ARGH!!!!! I will post it up as soon as I'm happy.....but that could be some time!
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Elantric

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 03:57:13 PM »

Ive played through several "Lab L5" amps - back in the day.

Remember these same amps were used by everyone from B.B. King to Ronnie Montrose.
http://www.rru.com/~meo/Guitar/Amps/Lab/


The interesting feature of these amps for me was the built- in Compressor, that was enabled the more you turned the compressor knob "counterclockwise".


But back to "wearing your ears out" - many working sound professionals I know understand their own ear's changing frequency response as a result of fatigue, hours, and decibel level. 

It might help if you can locate a set of calibrated test tones and use flat response near field monitors to create your own personal hearing test.

The idea is test your personal relative frequency response of your own hearing at the start of the session. Then perform a retest of your personal relative frequency response of your own hearing at the end of 2 hours of mixing, then after 4 hours of mixing, then again after 6 hours of mixing.

I know a few professional sound mixers,  who can manually compensate the mix they are currently working on for hours on end,  based upon the length of total time they have already been working on the same project.

They know how their own hearing gets fatigued and looses response at specific frequencies, and know how to boost / cut these frequencies so they can deliver a good product to customer, even when their own ears are fatigued and not to be trusted.


 
 
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 12:46:25 PM by Elantric »
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aliensporebomb

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 05:13:33 PM »

Remember too that Ty Tabor's sound in the "Gretchen" period was achieved by some special active pickups in the Fender Elite Stratocaster that were only available with that model.  Fender wouldn't even let you order those pickups either - they were only available with the guitar which has become a highly sought after instrument due to the association with Tabor.

Here's one on ebay for an eye popping price of north of $2000:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-RARE-1983-Black-USA-Fender-Strat-Elite-Guitar-Hardshell-Case-Candy-WOW-/261185216032?pt=Guitar&hash=item3ccfda1e20

Also owing to the fact they didn't make many of them it means they're real hard to find and.....

In fact, later on he had the active circuitry rackmounted from one of those guitars so he could use it with other guitars then went out from this rackmounted box into the L5 amps.  I've heard he still has this rackmount in his rig too.

Later he realized the Elite/Lab setup was an unwieldy monster that didn't work most of the time.  It sometimes worked but seemed beset with inconsistency when he was running with regular effects and in live situations. 

He later had Bruce Egnater build a module in one of their new amps (that allowed up to four custom preamp modules to be installed) to replicate that sound but I still feel it doesn't really sound like the "Ty with an Elite Strat in Dropped D tuning into an L5 Lab amp" sound but it's a good controllable setup for him.

The funny thing is Fender should have said "Hey, we'll release a signature model under your name" but King's X was just getting started and nobody knew about that band except the first fans of the group at that time.  By the time they started getting known Fender had discontinued the model in 1986 I think and he later endorsed Zion, Yamaha, and Hamer in addition to some other instruments.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 05:25:30 PM by aliensporebomb »
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Elantric

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 07:43:46 PM »

Quote
The funny thing is Fender should have said "Hey, we'll release a signature model under your name" but King's X was just getting started and nobody knew about that band except the first fans of the group at that time. 

The real problem was that in the early 1980's , Fender had much larger  / tougher problems to solve first.

Its important to know some history about Fender, Gibson in the mid 1980's, that led to their current ownership by "new owners".

After 1983 both of these USA Guitar giants were forced to change ownership due to the poor sales of the Guitar, as Keyboards and MIDI took bulk of the new Music Gear purchases. I have a friend in LA who in 1986, did an even trade of his 1952 Gibson Les Paul with Trapeze tailpiece,  for a 1983 Roland Juno-60, and he was very happy at the time.
   
The 1983 Fender Strat Elite with active electronics was among the "last of the USA built Fullerton Fenders" - I know the guitar well, as I once worked on rebuilding this specific model for Buzz Feiten, as he was still doing gigs with Rickie Lee Jones at the time. 

http://www.music-trade.co.jp/Fenderjapanserial.html

1982: Fender Japan starts production with Fujigen Gakki having the manufacturing contract.
The "Made in Japan" (MIJ) logo is used.
1984: CBS sells Fender to its current owners and while waiting for a new USA factory
to begin production, Fender Japan models and leftover USA stock were mostly sold
in the USA for a few years.



==
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/john.blackman4/history.htm
The Fender Japan Story

The Fender Stratocaster is arguably the most popular electric guitar design ever. Almost certainly it is the most copied. The copies had always been considerably cheaper than the 'real thing', but by the early 1980's they were also often of a high standard. Bad news for Fender who, under CBS ownership, had let standards slip. Fender's reputation and market share were waning.

In 1981, a new management team largely recruited from Yamaha's American operation, decided on a two pronged attack. They would address quality control via a programme of reinvestment and staff training in the US, and at the same time hit the copyists in their home market by producing Fender guitars in Japan.

Following negotiations with two Japanese distribution companies, Kanda Shokai and Yamano Music, Fender Japan was established in March 1982. Fender held 38 percent of the stock, occupied three of the six board seats and, of course, owned the all important product licenses. Fuji Gen-Gakki, best known for building  Ibanez brand guitars, were chosen  to build Fender Japan instruments.

Back in the USA, in an effort to rediscover what had made Fender's reputation, the company went to vintage dealers and took measurements from pre-CBS production instruments. They even spent $5600 on buying a '57 Precision bass, '60 Jazz bass and a '61 Strat. Both the US factory at Fullerton and Fender Japan set about producing vintage reissues- in fact the Japanese were the first to succeed and the superb quality of their instruments resulted in the famous quote by Dan Smith, Director of Marketing, Electric Guitars at the time :"Everybody came up to inspect them and the guys almost cried, because the Japanese  product was so good - it was what we had been having a hell of a time trying to do."
.

Originally the idea had been for Fender Japan to produce guitars for their home market. However, when Fender's European distributors called for budget Fenders to compete with the flood of oriental imports effecting their sales, a range of lower price guitars was launched under the Squier brand. Squier guitars are outside the scope of this site- suffice it to say that they are a good buy for the price, with early Japanese made instruments being of particularly good quality.

In 1984 CBS decided to get out of the musical instrument business and sold Fender to an investment group led by Bill Schultz, the incumbent President of Fender Musical Instruments. The Fullerton factory was not part of the deal and US production ceased in February 1985. Towards the end of that year a new factory was established at nearby Corona, but for a while the 'new' Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)  pretty much relied upon Japanese production. In fact it has been estimated that as many as 80% of the guitars sold in the US between late 1984 and mid-86 were sourced from Fender Japan.

Although Fender Japan still exists, their guitars (aside from a very few special models which do not conflict with the existing US/Mexican range) are no longer officially exported to the US or Europe  Those markets are catered for by FMIC's US and Mexican factories. However, because of their justly deserved reputation for quality, the many Japanese instruments floating around on the secondhand market, particularly the Stratocasters, are becoming sought after. The point of this site (if it could be said to have one)  is simply to look at the range of different Stratocasters produced in Japan for export and, perhaps, answer some of the questions that may arise when confronted by a Strat bearing a  'Made in Japan' or 'Crafted in Japan' label.'


Gibson is another  - but similar story or poor sales, and then being purchased by Henry J and Dave Berryman

« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 11:31:04 PM by Elantric »
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Now_And_Then

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 08:03:41 PM »

I'm reminded of this popular John Lennon phrase: Life is what happens while you were planning something else"

 Not originally Lennon's; see http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/05/06/other-plans/.
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Kevin M

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2013, 08:31:55 PM »

You are not alone-

Its very common for you to "wear out your hearing perspective"  - after many many long hours, your hearing will change and your sensitivity and audible frequency range will no longer be "flat response" from your own personal perspective. 

This phenomena explains why last nights awesome sounding patch or Music Mix you worked on for hours, often sounds terrible when you audition it with fresh ears  the morning after. This is very common in Audio Engineering.

Also its the nature of stumbling onto sonic nirvana (but entirely not suitable for what you are pursuing) while attempting to build new patches with lots of high tech gear. 

I'm reminded of this popular John Lennon phrase:

"Life is what happens while you were planning something else"


Back in 1974 after I heard Jeff Beck Blow by Blow - I HAD to have a Strat, so I began searching all music stores in a 100 mile radius from my house, and thats when i stumbled on my Tobacco Brown sunburst '73 Gibson Les Paul Standard i simply had to buy. 
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=82.0

Yep!  This has happened to me on patch creation as well. My songwriting partner and I have adapted the 'next day test' for our work, in fact - it has to sound good the next day or we go back to the drawing board. I'm reading a handful of mixing guides now and the authors say you have to take breaks.
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aliensporebomb

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 07:56:08 PM »

I used to own a strat I called the greatest sounding/playing strat I owned in my life.  It was a contemporary strat I bought in the mid 80s that ended up getting destroyed.  Of course, this was a strat produced by those Fujigen years since it had a black painted headstock cap and a MADE IN JAPAN emblem.

Great guitar.

A few years later I encountered this guitar that had a similar magic feel:


I've owned it for 23 going on 24 years and it is a Heartfield EX-2 that also was produced by the Fujigen factory in Hirooka Japan back in May of 1989 and two months later it was mine and I've had it ever since.  Heartfield was a short lived brand experiment by Fender where they tried to sell guitars that didn't traditionally appeal to Fender "core customers".  There are very few of them around.  There's a http://www.heartfield-central.com/ website that owners talk about their rare prizes.  Only 19 owners of the EX-2 instruments have showed up at that site and it appears the other models comprised no more than 1000 Heartfield guitars (you'll see the Talon, RR and Elan models far more).



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Smash

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 10:01:46 AM »

Well I'm still tweaking this bloody Kings X patch, lol! Have gone back from v5 to v4 and spent another couple of weeks messing with it and I think I'm there finally. I can't believe I thought V5 was there and then I left it for about 4 days, went back to it and oh god, that is SO not right!! I have never, ever in my life spent so long pfaffing around with a patch on anything - oh the depths of the VG99!
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aliensporebomb

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2013, 10:50:58 AM »

Ty's sound seems deceptively simple.  Now if you could get some of the "Gretchen" guitar tracks solo'ed without the backing tracks that would be helpful!
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Smash

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 12:42:18 PM »

I'll post up a "sanity check" audio snippet a bit later (when cubase is behaving) - would appreciate your thoughts on it. I am truly snow blind on this one now!
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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2013, 03:22:36 PM »

OK - sanity check please. One patch does 4 alternate tunings - GK vol acts mid boost control off Elite Strat, Exp cycles the tunings, Exp 2 gain from cleanish to dirt, Exp 2 switch is solo mode and CTL 1 switches guitar model for Dogman sounds. I've been really struggling to get that characteristic "thrust" of Ty's sound but I'm chasing my tail. Is this close?

3 song snippets: Prisoner, It's Love and Dogman - each one I dip my guitar track out to show that 99% of Ty has been removed and you're just hearing the VG99. The dogman sound ditches the strat in favour of P90 and also demos the solo setting (centre panned as opposed to the double track simulation of the main sound). It seems to sound better the louder you play it, lol!

https://soundcloud.com/smashmashups/kings-x-ty-tabor-vg99-patch?in=smashmashups/sets/vg99-patches
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 03:25:31 PM by Smash »
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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2013, 11:22:25 PM »

Smash; impressive - is it ready for release?  It sounds darn close.  I even listened on tiny iPad speakers and it still sounded as close as you would be likely to get.  Interesting hearing it in the Dogman title track since Ty had moved onto Mesa Rectifiers by then but I prefer the Ty/Lab sound on that track for some reason.  Bravo, you put in a heck of a lot of work on this one!
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Smash

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Re: Can't see the wood for the trees!
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2013, 04:33:39 AM »

Hi Mate - sorry for tardy reply - snowed as they say. Cheers for kind words.

Yep - happy to release and hope you guys may help fine tune/perfect. I'll stick it on the patches board in next day or so.

There's a couple of riders with the patch - it's designed to run in stereo specifically - two git emulations panned hard left and rigth for the Ty double tracked verse thing and then the solo mode pans centre with one dominant chain as Ty's lead always seems to go mono and centre in those early mixes. Also you can't run this patch without a FC300 - end of.

there's a lot of explanation to do so I better start drafting, lol! not sure if anyone has run out of control assigns before but I used a lot!!
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