Unpopular opinions on gear

Jon Pearson

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I kind of get the point. However, later in the chain means it has a bigger effect when you swap it out for something different.

But if there is some aggravating nuance that appeared way earlier in the chain, there's a solid chance no amount of macro changes fixes that. I've had many times where I tried and tried to get a sound I liked, tweaking amps, cabs, pedals, etc. only to ultimately swap out guitars and boom! There was the tone.

Don't get me wrong, I love my amps and cabs specifically because of how much they impact the sound, but in some situations the smallest thing can be holding up the whole production.

may be worth a non-scienctific survey of the sso crew to see which piece had the greatest tonal shift to “that’s what I was after this whole time”, even :idea:

I'd be interested to read the experiences! I know right now for instance, I've been working on this album and the other guitar player cannot get the sound she's wanting out of this one guitar, no matter which tones we use. What's more interesting, she has another of this same model, that one sounds great on record.
 

Emperoff

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But if there is some aggravating nuance that appeared way earlier in the chain, there's a solid chance no amount of macro changes fixes that. I've had many times where I tried and tried to get a sound I liked, tweaking amps, cabs, pedals, etc. only to ultimately swap out guitars and boom! There was the tone.

Don't get me wrong, I love my amps and cabs specifically because of how much they impact the sound, but in some situations the smallest thing can be holding up the whole production.

I agree. My approach to gear is that I don't like things that get in the way. If I forget something exists, then it's good. If I notice it's there, it's not.

For example people tend to call the SD Pegasus pickup "bland" or "characterless" because it doesn't have any frequencies standing out. To me is probably the perfect pickup as it is clear and tight enough, sounds fantastic no matter the application and any adjustment I require just needs very tiny touch-ups. OTH, I can't fucking stand whenever I switch from the neck to bridge in my BKP Juggernauts. They are so terribly balanced that leads go from full and sweet to jangly and thin. No cab or amp can ever fix that, whatever Glenn Fricker says :lol:
 

c7spheres

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Unpopular opinion. People don't actually like real guitar tones. Real guitar tones have bass and treble in them. Stop Low and High passing literally everything. Everyone is basically afraid of low end these days. Yes, your tone is thin and shitty. You're overloading the input of the amp, high and low passing everything, have almost no gain on it, play with your strings slammed against the fretboard buzzing out with thin strings and are picking it as hard as you can, but it's the amps/guitar's fault. lol. Low end has energy in it, which is why your tone doesn't have any.
 

drb

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Unpopular opinion. People don't actually like real guitar tones. Real guitar tones have bass and treble in them. Stop Low and High passing literally everything. Everyone is basically afraid of low end these days. Yes, your tone is thin and shitty. You're overloading the input of the amp, high and low passing everything, have almost no gain on it, play with your strings slammed against the fretboard buzzing out with thin strings and are picking it as hard as you can, but it's the amps/guitar's fault. lol. Low end has energy in it, which is why your tone doesn't have any.
But cutting frequencies has little to do with preference and is more about not having guitar taking up the whole frequency spectrum. It helps it sit better in the mix without it getting crowded. Unless I'm entirely missing your point.
 

budda

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Unpopular opinion. People don't actually like real guitar tones. Real guitar tones have bass and treble in them. Stop Low and High passing literally everything. Everyone is basically afraid of low end these days. Yes, your tone is thin and shitty. You're overloading the input of the amp, high and low passing everything, have almost no gain on it, play with your strings slammed against the fretboard buzzing out with thin strings and are picking it as hard as you can, but it's the amps/guitar's fault. lol. Low end has energy in it, which is why your tone doesn't have any.
Is it that or do people just think the tone they dialled in to sound great alone is the same one they should use for every application?
 

Jon Pearson

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Unpopular opinion. People don't actually like real guitar tones. Real guitar tones have bass and treble in them. Stop Low and High passing literally everything. Everyone is basically afraid of low end these days. Yes, your tone is thin and shitty. You're overloading the input of the amp, high and low passing everything, have almost no gain on it, play with your strings slammed against the fretboard buzzing out with thin strings and are picking it as hard as you can, but it's the amps/guitar's fault. lol. Low end has energy in it, which is why your tone doesn't have any.

I mean, guitars just kinda sound gross by themselves anyways - bass guitars, in comparison, can sound fantastic with almost no processing or very moderate EQing. A guitar is just all gross jangly bullshit without major treatment, regardless of what that treatment is.
 

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As somebody cleverly said when analyzing guitar spectrums:

"A distorted guitar is not a midrange-centric instrument like most people believe, it's literally a shotgun of broadband noise."

How do you tailor that noise to sit in the mix is up to you and the sound your band is looking for. Not every guitar has to sound like a djuck to be able to be heard in a mix (thousands of great sounding records prove it).

Which takes me to my hot take for today: Guitarists nowadays are fucking obsessive with cutting through the mix. I wonder if they ever wonder about not cutting through everything and staying in the background for once. Last show I attended the guitar was quite low on the mix, but the overall sound was fantastic and I didn't miss it at all.
 

Jon Pearson

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As somebody cleverly said when analyzing guitar spectrums:

"A distorted guitar is not a midrange-centric instrument like most people believe, it's literally a shotgun of broadband noise."

How do you tailor that noise to sit in the mix is up to you and the sound your band is looking for. Not every guitar has to sound like a djuck to be able to be heard in a mix (thousands of great sounding records prove it).

Which takes me to my hot take for today: Guitarists nowadays are fucking obsessive with cutting through the mix. I wonder if they ever wonder about not cutting through everything and staying in the background for once. Last show I attended the guitar was quite low on the mix, but the overall sound was fantastic and I didn't miss it at all.

Hard agree
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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Thats why I like slightly scooped tones rather than super midrange heavy djent honkathons.
Like, look at Periphery. I fucking hate Periphery I's tone to death. It's so nasally. Then Periphery II comes out and they bumped down the mids a bit and boosted the treble a little. They stuck with that sound with later albums and they've had peak guitar tones since then.
Heck you want a cool mix? Give the guitars a little scoop then bump the mids on the bass a bit.
 

budda

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As somebody cleverly said when analyzing guitar spectrums:

"A distorted guitar is not a midrange-centric instrument like most people believe, it's literally a shotgun of broadband noise."

How do you tailor that noise to sit in the mix is up to you and the sound your band is looking for. Not every guitar has to sound like a djuck to be able to be heard in a mix (thousands of great sounding records prove it).

Which takes me to my hot take for today: Guitarists nowadays are fucking obsessive with cutting through the mix. I wonder if they ever wonder about not cutting through everything and staying in the background for once. Last show I attended the guitar was quite low on the mix, but the overall sound was fantastic and I didn't miss it at all.
The real issue is a lot of guitarists and musicians are “me me me”. All instruments should fit in the mix. The band should sound like a band not X number of people playing something together. All depends on the view of the band members and who calls the shots.

If thats a hot take though, damn. :lol:
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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The real issue is a lot of guitarists and musicians are “me me me”. All instruments should fit in the mix. The band should sound like a band not X number of people playing something together. All depends on the view of the band members and who calls the shots.

If thats a hot take though, damn. :lol:
That reminds me;
Neal Schon is like, the fucking egotistical primadonna, says the guitar shouldn't be the focus of a mix. The fucking leader, nay, TYRANT of Journey, and the fucking guitarist, says "turn your shit down dumbass". :lol:
 

BenjaminW

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That reminds me;
Neal Schon is like, the fucking egotistical primadonna, says the guitar shouldn't be the focus of a mix. The fucking leader, nay, TYRANT of Journey, and the fucking guitarist, says "turn your shit down dumbass". :lol:
I mean if you watch his Instagram videos, you can like barely hear him anyways. So technically he's not wrong!

I will say though that I don't like how Neal's tone and the mix of the new Journey record sounds.
 

Spaced Out Ace

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Thats why I like slightly scooped tones rather than super midrange heavy djent honkathons.
Like, look at Periphery. I fucking hate Periphery I's tone to death. It's so nasally. Then Periphery II comes out and they bumped down the mids a bit and boosted the treble a little. They stuck with that sound with later albums and they've had peak guitar tones since then.
Heck you want a cool mix? Give the guitars a little scoop then bump the mids on the bass a bit.
I love a little scoop or a little honk, but like anything, it can turn into a total joke. It shouldn't sound like a car horn, but it also shouldn't sound like a garbage disposal.

With some circuits, there is a rather wide range of usability between scooped and boosted midrange that sounds usable. However, with other circuits, that range is much slimmer. There are various reasons, but I am sure most get the idea.
 

c7spheres

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But cutting frequencies has little to do with preference and is more about not having guitar taking up the whole frequency spectrum. It helps it sit better in the mix without it getting crowded. Unless I'm entirely missing your point.
Sorry if to long.
I'm gonna start a band called 'Paragraphs' lol. sorry. TLDR below;

I'm just saying people should make their tone how they actually like it first and foremost, then if there's to much low end in the mix cut some out from the mixer/daw etc, not from the rig if at all possible. Sometimes it's best to cut from the rig but I'd argue not usually. If you want low end your tone should have low end in it.
- Make the tone you like best first then adjust from there. Don't think about the mix or how it'll translate. That comes later. Do not sclupt tone with the mix in mind at first.
- The guitar does take the entire specturm for the most part. People can have their big fat overloaded tone and make it translate well too.

- I look at capturing with a mic or recording etc as capturing what was already created, rather than trying to recreate what was created and thinned out, then using a plugin to try adding it back in etc. If the basic's are done right then there's no need. LP/HP are better reserved for PA/recording application, imo.- By cutting before tracking it free's up headroom but the tone just isn't there to begin with if you want big fat tone, but even then it becomes a levels game. - All I'm saying is try not to cut anything at the rig itself (if at all possible) other than extremes maybe). Example; Cut the lows to clean up things but then want it back in the mix = bad. Don't cut lows and don't want as much in the mix = better. It's easier to subtract what's there than to add something that's not.

- What people don't usually realize or know is that even though you can't hear certain frequencies in a tone that they're still there once you cut out some lows, but if you already cut them and don't hear them then they usually aren't even there. The slopes of Eq's and stuff like that still affect the entire spectrum, so low end affects high end and entire signal at the same time etc regardless of what the eq graph or meters say. - Even if you cut the low end after the rig the high frequencies/notes are still left with some of the 'weight' imparted by that low end, even after it's cut out. If it's cut out first it just isn't there, even in the high end. - Example, if you mess with high string notes and adjust the low end on the amp you can hear it affect the high notes, there's a weight there to the note. If you cut it out the weight isn't there. You want that weight to still be there for the high notes but maybe not for the low notes is normal. That's why cutting after the rig/core tone can be better. If you want thin djenty binky tones then it may not matter much, but if you want a fat blues solo tone or thick lead tone maybe don't cut so much out. - People can try adjusting their high end and low end using the opposite control to get a better feel for their amp and what's happening to the tone as an experiment. - All that said, sometimes LP/HP can be great when used as a mix level utility in a rig and not as a tone shaper. It kills me to see all these mix ready IR's just killing the lows and high with steep LP/HP filters obviously on them at time of capture etc. When you compare that to a real mic without it you don't get that extreme roll off. That's either due to LP/HP being abused or lack of mic ability to pickup the frequency, bad amp level during capture etc. - Think about it. If the goal is to capture a real speaker cab then you want all the crap with it too just like the real thing. Making idealized versions of things should be for personal convenience and project specific tasks, not stock in the box. If you include the junk then cut it out it's better than to cut it out and not include it to begin with because cutting if first affects things you don't want cut as well. This is why people with Axe FX or big rack rig like me using eq's can get away with it more though if used properly and in the right location in the chain. I guess that's really more what I'm getting at is using LP/HP as level correction than tone shaping. What I keep seeing is people without thinking just slapping them on there. What I keep hearing is thin binky tones with no wieght behind them no matter what amp or modeller used. It just destroys it imo.

tldr.
Don't cut frequencys you still want to hear is the gist of it, but also realize when you cut lows you're also cutting highs too, even if the Eq and meters say you're not.


Is it that or do people just think the tone they dialled in to sound great alone is the same one they should use for every application?
Probably. I like mix ready tones even if they must have LP/HP on them. I can see some working for almost every application but man put the low end in there. I will admit there is a balance or sweet spot between guitar./rig and DAW/PA input. Once it's dialed in it should work for basically every application with very minimal tweaking regardless of fat or thin tone. Obviously AxeFx has these tools to achieve this the proper way, but I really think most people are doing it wrong, tbh. because they don't usually think like audio engineers.
- As you probably know, the idea with mix ready is for a studio or venue to be able to calibrate the system to unity gain, then when you plug in that's pretty much the best it's going to get minus a few quick balancing tweeks here and there. If someone is calibrating their tone around a unity gain concept then by all means HP/LP to hearts content, but if you're just playing your rig then make it sound the best you can by itself and let the enginner worry about translating it to a mix. If you like big fat flubby overlaoded Rectos' then go for it but don't thin it out and expect fat like you never cut it out to begin with. - Each stage is critical (as you obviously know). The rig stage of the tone is where the tone happens, not the mixing etc. I know there's different approaches as well.

tldr;
Make the rig and tone sound and respond how you want then mix afterwards it is basiclaly all I'm saying. If you're an engineer or know stuff about gain staging, Eq, etc then mess around with mix ready tone or else it could make your tone worse.
The easiest way to explain it is the same reason nobody should LP/HP everything right in the front of the signal chain. Doing so can quickly kill tone.
 
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c7spheres

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Get a great bass tone and kick tone and everyone’s gonna think its the guitars ;)
I thought everyone just turned down the bass guitar all the way and the kicks have become plastic bucket tones. lol. JK. I like fat tones like in the past I guess. Come to think of it. Everyone is afraid of snare drums now too for some reason (because they're hard to deal with maybe) What year did everyone start turning off the snare wires? That a thing now too. I say bring back the mixes of late 80's early 90's (pre loudness wars versions) I like those best on average. I like looking at waveforms of songs when referencing. It's amazing how much more dynamic they are too. IT's cause of the low end. hehe.
 

budda

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Theres a 90s revival in the rock scene it seems. What’s an example of the fat tones you’re thinking of so we all have a reference?
 

c7spheres

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Theres a 90s revival in the rock scene it seems. What’s an example of the fat tones you’re thinking of so we all have a reference?
The usual suspects, Sound Garden, AIC, GNR, Queensryche, Tesla. later WASP, Ozzy later stuff, Floyd , Sabbath etc. Come to think of it. Those are kinda thin tones too, but not by todays standards, and that's because they recorded to tape, I'd guess. Maybe I'm remembering wrong but I don't think so. Definately not Pantera.
 

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'Fanned frets improve intonation' - Should be an unpopular opinion but way too frequently requoted, when it's about tone and string tension. Intonation is set by the fret position and sometimes by the micro adjustments at the bridge, but not by fanned frets...

*And outttt... :)
 


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