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Author Topic: Oh, THAT again...  (Read 196 times)

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Kim

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Oh, THAT again...
« on: Time Format »

...The "Gear Honeymoon is Over" stuff.   :(

I go through these weird phases where I am just stunned and floored by the way my gear sounds, and then later on I feel disappointed and annoyed that something's not quite right about it.  It doesn't help when things start acting up here and there either.  Bad cables, dodgy jacks, mismatched Levels, old and finicky gear all play a part.  I wish I could stay happy with my sound.  I've changed so many things in the last few years, (mostly preamp Voicing, Drive, and EQ settings in the MP2) only to just have that nagging feeling that something just isn't quite right.  My Live/Rehearsal speaker cab (straight Sonic 4x12 with V30s) seemed...."off".  Just for kicks, I brought my JSX 4x12 over to replace it and that made a big positive difference by itself.  But still felt like not right.  So then I dragged over the JSX head and hooked that up to the cab, and completely bypassed the entire guitar section of our rack.  No MP2, no fx processor, no Midi control.  Better?  Mmmm....not sure.   I threw a dirt pedal in front of the amp and then it started to get more interesting.  I have a bunch of different drive pedals, and I picked the Ibanez Smash Box simply because it had a built-in Gate function.  Turns out, that function didn't really help at our rehearsal volume but the sound was plenty beefy.  It has so much Distortion available (and will not make a Clean Boost even when the Drive is turned all the way down) but I kept that pretty low because my tastes are "less distortion, more definition".   Last week, I found a too-good-to-pass-by deal on a pair of pedals from a local ad and picked those up: the much-maligned Boss Metal Zone and also an MXR FullBore Metal.  Well, the MXR has a built-in Gate so that was automatically favored.  I actually spent a few hours doing a shootout with all my drive/dist/fuzz pedals at gig/rehearsal volume and settled on that MXR.  It also has a ridiculous amount of Distortion available, but I turned that all the way down and gave my attention to the EQ tweaking on it.  The Gate in the MXR works heaps better than the one on the Ibanez.  So, it seems like I have something I like again (for now, right?)  ;)  but we'll have to see how it sounds with the rest of the band.  I may have to do more experimenting, which at this point is becoming quite maddening.   

I don't understand why I seem to feel this way.  I don't understand why I can't seem to dial my rack in anymore so that I'm pleased with the sound for more than 10 minutes.  I want to avoid directly copying someone else's sound, but I can't seem to be happy with my own either.  I also don't have loads of money to keep trying different pieces of gear; the amount I've spent in the last 5 years is downright shameful.   :facepalm: 
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RIG OF FIRE:  ADA MP-2, Rocktron Xpression, Peavey Classic 120, Gator pedalboard, Rolls MidiBuddy, Dunlop 95Q wah, D'Addario Pedal Tuner, 4x12 cab w/Celestion Vintage 30s.
Mellotron/organ section:  EHX Mel9, EHX C9, Boss PH-3, Saturnworks A/B switch, Vox V860 volume, ADA MP-2, Musysic poweramp, 4x12 cab with EHX/B-52 speakers.
UPDATED DIAGRAMS
HOME/STUDIO/COMBOS/STUFF:  Peavey JSX halfstack, Peavey Transtube Supreme, Carvin 4x12, Crate G60XL, Saturnworks Saturn Fuzz, ProCo Rat, EHX Soul Food, Ibanez Smashbox, MXR Full Bore Metal, Boss Metal Zone, Saturnworks buffered splitter, Morley Tremonti wah, Peavey PV6, Korg DTR-1000, ADA MPC, Mr Black Bloodmoon.
GUITARS:  Jackson KE3-DiMarzio Breed/PAF Pro, Jackson KE3-DiMarzio Breed/PAF Pro/nickel covers, Silvertone P-bass, '70s Gretsch Dorado acoustic.
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rnolan

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Re: Oh, THAT again...
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Hey Kim, I hear you.  My journey over the years has been to simplify, these days I only use 3 or 4 sounds.  The best thing I ever did to my MP2 was to go with the Mullard long plates, that really worked for me and how I play.  The other big change was to use the less distorted voicings, e.g. 5 Vintage or whatever and I even started vol pot rolling and playing with the tone pots a bit.  Like you I've always run up my own sounds, I'm not fussed about sounding like anyone else.  Most of the sound though (as you know) is from your fingers.  Also as we get older, maybe we like different things (and our ears are wearing out, getting waxed up etc).  Maybe try combining the JSX set up with the MP2 rack rig and do a chow ming with an A/B A + B switch on the input(s).
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

Dante

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Re: Oh, THAT again...
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

Preach.

I'm doing the same thing as Richard, simplifying things. I found myself really only using 3-4 tones with my rack gear, and my rack gear is not getting any younger, so I looked for an alternative. I got the Viper, thought it would solve everything, but I couldn't get my G-system or my MS-3 to switch channels in it....so it still added another pedal to the board. Dammit.

So, I figured the Viper was only two channels, and I could get by with that by having different EQ settings and getting the same 3-4 'patches' if you will. I bought a 2-channel head and hooked the G-system to it. Once I got the MS-3, the G-system was too big to carry. FFWD to today, I'm running NO rack gear.

I have my MP-2 in a 2u rack with a Boss GX-700, for a 'fly rig' of sorts. However, it's a bit noisy....I'd rather use my Classic, but it has some sort of fuzz issue right now, so yeah. I'm running into a 2-channel head. It's simple, small, sounds brutal. But, you know, there are times when I'm endlessly fiddling with it. And, I've gone through a good deal of dirt pedals in search of a good 'classic sounding' crunch. I settled on the MojoMojo, but I admit I use the amp's dirt more than anything. It really reacts great to picking attack and volume knob-rolloffs.

I think Richard makes a good point about aging. Tastes change, your ears get worn down on the edges, shit sounds different. Go with it. It's not the destination, but the journey, don't get lost. Stay on the path ;) Never know what you'll find.
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ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Peavey Classic 20mh head into the matching 1x12 speaker cab, using my Boss MS3 via 4CM.

Zilthy

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Re: Oh, THAT again...
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

I hear ya and understand.   I ended up purging everything I built up last year and finally went with what I originally intended.

2 channel head, 1 eq, 1 boost, and delay.  Just as God intended. :D

Been really happy with that, play it a lot more than I ever did all the rack and programming setups.  I think I am just done with programming.   I program all day at work.  When I play, I just want it to sound good, if something's off, just turn a quick dial.   I got my one sound and I'm happy.  If I need clean I can roll off the volume, not like I play much clean anyway.

That being said, I did just get another amp.  But this time, it was a deal just too good to pass up on, instead of GAS.   That was kind of a novel experience.
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