#1
My tone really quite sucks. Both chords and lead. It sounds shrill, and just not.. well, beautiful and warm.
Do you guys have any advice on this? What should I do to get a better tone? Any techniques to apply? Are there any tone problems in my playing that you recognise? If so, can you tell me how you fixed them?

For an example of my tone, there's this cover of an intro that I made yesterday:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/robinlint/music/
Last edited by robinlint at Oct 11, 2009,
#3
I'm listening on some pretty bass-heavy headphones, so it sounds okay to me.

What's your setup? Guitar, amp, pedals, recording etc.
#4
Get a nice amp if you don't already have one, turn up your mids and bass and turn your treble down. You need more presence too.

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#5
I would up your mids, and bass and take off some tremble, you lead tone was thin, and your rythem was harsh. Its not your playing, just tweek your amp till you get it right. What kind of amp are you using and what kind of distorion?

Plus, the tone thread would be alot more help than me.
#6
Quote by ethan_hanus
I would up your mids, and bass and take off some tremble, you lead tone was thin, and your rythem was harsh. Its not your playing, just tweek your amp till you get it right. What kind of amp are you using and what kind of distorion?

Plus, the tone thread would be alot more help than me.

I'm using a Line 6 Pod Studio UX1, with the presets "Warm and Clean", and for the lead I think I used "Rock you like a hurricane". The Line6 Pod Studio is linked to an amp (VOX DA5), and the sound it outputs may be adjusted.. So I hear it different than what is being recorded.

Wow, a lot of people told me to up my mids and bass.. I guess i'll try that out.

I almost always play rhythm sections with the pickup switch to the left. Is that the neck pickup? I agree that often, I hit the strings too hard. But how hard should I hit the strings, then? If I hit them too softly, it is barely hearable. And how hard should I hit the strings with chords and how hard should I hit the strings with lead?
Last edited by robinlint at Oct 11, 2009,
#7
Quote by robinlint
I'm using a Line 6 Pod Studio UX1, with the presets "Warm and Clean", and for the lead I think I used "Rock you like a hurricane". The Line6 Pod Studio is linked to an amp (VOX DA5), and the sound it outputs may be adjusted.. So I hear it different than what is being recorded.

Wow, a lot of people told me to up my mids and bass.. I guess i'll try that out.



You have a good set up, I dont know anything about the Line 6 pod studio UX1, is it kinda like a DI box and a program to process it? If you can, try to do a direct Input from your amp into your computer(do not use the amps line out for a cab), it will sound much better than trying to process the amps signel through your software, it will give it a more natural sound, I personallly perfer mics, even though I only use a crappy USB voice mic, I can still get decent sound, which sounds alot like my amp.

But bass and mids pertty much shape your basic tone, and tremble to me is like a finisheing tone shapeing. But you need all to be at the right levels.
#8
About hitting the strings, if you can only hear them when hitting them hard, then you need to raise your volume or change your settings to something more pronounced, raising the mids usually works but can sound nasally at first.
#9
Quote by ethan_hanus
You have a good set up, I dont know anything about the Line 6 pod studio UX1, is it kinda like a DI box and a program to process it? If you can, try to do a direct Input from your amp into your computer(do not use the amps line out for a cab), it will sound much better than trying to process the amps signel through your software, it will give it a more natural sound, I personallly perfer mics, even though I only use a crappy USB voice mic, I can still get decent sound, which sounds alot like my amp.

It is a DI box, it connects via USB. I use Pod Farm to process it, and there is an analog out on the Pod Studio UX1, which is connected to the amp. It sends the processed tone to the amp, but I think the amp adds a little distortion and gain, so I think what I hear is not the same as what is being recorded.


But bass and mids pertty much shape your basic tone, and tremble to me is like a finisheing tone shapeing. But you need all to be at the right levels.

I've never customized bass and mids.. care to tell me more? I play mostly on acoustic guitar, and don't know much about tuning my gear to get a good tone. Care to link me to a few threads and websites with information on this?
#10
Quote by robinlint
It is a DI box, it connects via USB. I use Pod Farm to process it, and there is an analog out on the Pod Studio UX1, which is connected to the amp. It sends the processed tone to the amp, but I think the amp adds a little distortion and gain, so I think what I hear is not the same as what is being recorded.


I've never customized bass and mids.. care to tell me more? I play mostly on acoustic guitar, and don't know much about tuning my gear to get a good tone. Care to link me to a few threads and websites with information on this?



I'll explain it best I can then I'll like you to the tone thread.

Your bass is for your low frequencys, like low end growl, and that thump you get when hitting a heavy palm mute, your mids shape the tone the most, since mids is what the human hearing can hear the best, you put your mids at 0 then its going to sound thin, you put them at 5 then it cuts thourgh and gives it a more balaenced sound, you put it at 10 and its going to sound very thick and annoying. Your tremble is your high frequency, it shapes your higher pitch notes, like pinch harmonics, and your higher strings, it allows them to be heard. But thats your basic EQ on most amps, some amps have a presence, which futher shapes the tone buy adding in missing frequencys I think, havent had much experence with it.

But one good rule of recording, you never need as much gain as you might think, turn your gain down and it will clear up, you want to boost your gain in your recording program by doing something called double tracking, which is duplicating one track exactly, and having two of the same tracks, which boosts your gain and tone, while makeing it louder. You can also pan them out either side of the speakers to make more clairty.

Another rule is you want lots of mids, since if you dont have mids, then your guitar wont cut through the mix.

But heres the tone thread, Mark_G and Disturbed will help you, and you can read through there instruction for recording and getting tone.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1176864
#11
Get a spider III :lol:

But seriously, I would say turn down the treble on your amp. Or adjust the tonal control on your guitar (with the knob(s) and the pickup switch).
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#12
As far as technique goes, try playing with a more legato feel (sustaining each note untill you hit the next note). It will give the impression of better tone and while it's not easy to do at first, it greatly improves your sound
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#13
Quote by QuantumMechanix
As far as technique goes, try playing with a more legato feel (sustaining each note untill you hit the next note). It will give the impression of better tone and while it's not easy to do at first, it greatly improves your sound

You mean playing EVERYTHING with hammer-ons/pull-offs? Or only sometimes?
#14
Quote by Junior#1
Get a spider III :lol:

But seriously, I would say turn down the treble on your amp. Or adjust the tonal control on your guitar (with the knob(s) and the pickup switch).

Thanks for the tips on treble

This is my guitar:
http://cachepe.samedaymusic.com/media/quality,85/brand,sameday/MH-401QM_STB-996b13d0a53bcba40dd021595b4162fd.jpg

It has two knobs for tonal control, and a pickup switch with three settings. Which knob adjusts what?
Last edited by robinlint at Oct 12, 2009,
#15
Quote by ethan_hanus
I'll explain it best I can then I'll like you to the tone thread.

Your bass is for your low frequencys, like low end growl, and that thump you get when hitting a heavy palm mute, your mids shape the tone the most, since mids is what the human hearing can hear the best, you put your mids at 0 then its going to sound thin, you put them at 5 then it cuts thourgh and gives it a more balaenced sound, you put it at 10 and its going to sound very thick and annoying. Your tremble is your high frequency, it shapes your higher pitch notes, like pinch harmonics, and your higher strings, it allows them to be heard. But thats your basic EQ on most amps, some amps have a presence, which futher shapes the tone buy adding in missing frequencys I think, havent had much experence with it.

Thanks, very helpful


But one good rule of recording, you never need as much gain as you might think, turn your gain down and it will clear up, you want to boost your gain in your recording program by doing something called double tracking, which is duplicating one track exactly, and having two of the same tracks, which boosts your gain and tone, while makeing it louder. You can also pan them out either side of the speakers to make more clairty.

Thanks, that's very helpful


Another rule is you want lots of mids, since if you dont have mids, then your guitar wont cut through the mix.

Okay.

Thanks for your thorough explanation of tone
#16
Line 6 is your problem...all their stuff is digital and really not good. It produces mechanical, computerised sounds.

Where to start with thicker, warmer tone?

Hmm.

Decent amp. Pick near the neck. Use a thick pick. Thicker strings. EQ settings. Neck pick-up....

And then you could try a nice warm overdrive pedal like a BB or summat.
Last edited by Ikonoklast at Oct 12, 2009,
#17
The distortion can be cut back.
mids up, treble down. i sometimes use 6, 7, 4.
Tone on the guitar is quite important, if you use all the tone its pretty thin but if you put it all off you get a more chunky blues eric clapton feel.
The pickups matter alot too, i rarely use the bridge pickup. the middle or neck pickup can be chosen all to your choice.

its all about experementing. Of course if you don't have decent equipment its pretty hard but once you fool about alot you eventually find that sound that you like whether its thick, thin, distorted, clean, etc.

I do not know if its your amp thats sort of "buzzy" and "unwarming" so mabye if you have the time and money, go jamming with people you know really well and go to practice rooms, they should hopefully have stacks of marshalls or peavys you could use to mess about with.

If its your guitar, you could go to guitar shops and test them out if they allow you to. But just for your sake, test alot of makes; fender, gibson, ibanez, vintage, anything! Again then its just the case of experementing, seeing how different it may sound to your guitar and one that signifys your playing.
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#18
Quote by Ikonoklast
Line 6 is your problem...all their stuff is digital and really not good. It produces mechanical, computerised sounds.


lolbandwagon.

Wrong, line6 make a LOT of very good gear but you do need to know what you're doing when tweaking your tone and you do need to spend a bit of time experimenting and tweaking but there are some good tones to be had in there. As long as you don't buy a spider.
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#19
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
lolbandwagon.

Wrong, line6 make a LOT of very good gear but you do need to know what you're doing when tweaking your tone and you do need to spend a bit of time experimenting and tweaking but there are some good tones to be had in there. As long as you don't buy a spider.

Lolbandwagon?

Do you need me to take photos of all my Line6 stuff? Look at my PGM401 photo, you can see it on there. They make a PGM sound shít, but me like a dick bought a new guitar without a new amp. So i'm stuck for now.

EDIT
As long as you don't buy a spider.

:O LOLBANDWAGON. And your profile doesn't even say you own a spider!
Last edited by Ikonoklast at Oct 12, 2009,
#20
Quote by Ikonoklast
Lolbandwagon?

Do you need me to take photos of all my Line6 stuff? Look at my PGM401 photo, you can see it on there. They make a PGM sound shít, but me like a dick bought a new guitar without a new amp. So i'm stuck for now.

EDIT
:O LOLBANDWAGON. And your profile doesn't even say you own a spider!


I have owned a Spider and got rid of it because it was crap, also do own a Line6 Studio POD GX (although when I bought it they were still calling them "toneports"). I have also heard a few bands using much higher end line6 gear like the Vetta II heads and the HD147s... they sound pretty good and if we're talking about sheer versatility then I have never seen an all-tube amp that can match them.

I repeat: line6 do make some perfectly good gear as long as you don't buy a Spider.
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#21
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I have owned a Spider and got rid of it because it was crap, also do own a Line6 Studio POD GX (although when I bought it they were still calling them "toneports"). I have also heard a few bands using much higher end line6 gear like the Vetta II heads and the HD147s... they sound pretty good and if we're talking about sheer versatility then I have never seen an all-tube amp that can match them.

I repeat: line6 do make some perfectly good gear as long as you don't buy a Spider.

Ahhh i see, i can only have an opinion of the lower end stuff...but if i was buying on experience i'd never buy a Line 6 product again because of how ****e the spider is. Lifeless tone. Muddy. Horrible.

I dunno anything about the expensive stuff but if the stuff he's using is low end then he needs to revise his gear, because no matter what you do with a spider (OBV in my opinion) you won't get a really decent tone out of it. The only half decent tone i can get is when i put reverb and delay on.

Ps, nice skills man. Were they recorded via pc mic or some sort of program?

I had Cubase uploaded to my pc and a Zoom pedal for recording onto it with.....until my computer broke. I need to get my 'skills' section uploaded but i don't think my mini-notebook's built-in mic would cut it.
#22
Quote by Ikonoklast
Ahhh i see, i can only have an opinion of the lower end stuff...but if i was buying on experience i'd never buy a Line 6 product again because of how ****e the spider is. Lifeless tone. Muddy. Horrible.

I dunno anything about the expensive stuff but if the stuff he's using is low end then he needs to revise his gear, because no matter what you do with a spider (OBV in my opinion) you won't get a really decent tone out of it. The only half decent tone i can get is when i put reverb and delay on.

Ps, nice skills man. Were they recorded via pc mic or some sort of program?

I had Cubase uploaded to my pc and a Zoom pedal for recording onto it with.....until my computer broke. I need to get my 'skills' section uploaded but i don't think my mini-notebook's built-in mic would cut it.


Most of the stuff on my profile was recorded with the aforementioned Toneport and the Line6 gearbox modelling software The only things that weren't are most of the backings that I soloed over and the Rubina Jam which was the crappy mic on my, now broken, webcam.

The cover of The Groove is the one that I did most work on, the only thing that I didn't do on that myself is the drums which I got a friend to do with DFH I think it was.
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#23
Quote by robinlint
You mean playing EVERYTHING with hammer-ons/pull-offs? Or only sometimes?

Well I don't mean literal 'true' legato. More like what some people call "legato picking". Just hold the notes right up untill you hit the next note and it will sound much more fluid. It's not true legato, but if you master it, it will almost sound like it
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