#1
Hey all. Just wondering if there are any companies or ideas around that are pushing the boundaries of what sounds can be made with just a guitar and amp. Not necessarily something that sounds totally unexpected (although that would be cool to hear as well) but just ways in which the sounds of electric guitar are evolving and so on. Midi and effects do not count.
#2
Not really. Best I can think of is brands like Krank and possibly Engl, which have a pretty unique sound, not just based on the big names.

I guess you could say Randall and Egnater with their modular designs. But the modules themselves are just clones, so no innovation tonally.
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#3
Quote by tyle12
Hey all. Just wondering if there are any companies or ideas around that are pushing the boundaries of what sounds can be made with just a guitar and amp.
Guitars are expected to sound in a certain way.

Biggest evolution I've heard lately is djent, but the sound still is that one.

There's some advance in tech (kemper PA for example) but the sound is still - and will remain - more or less the same.
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#4
Part of the reason the sound is still the same is that as a group, guitarists have become stultified themselves.

Tube technology pretty much hit a dead end forty years ago (my apologies to Bruce Egnater, who's done about everything there is to do with them), and tube manufacturers are dwindling quickly.

Modeling technology and IRs offer extensive ways to modify sounds, but are largely used to copy popular (but existing) amps and cabs. The same goes for modeling guitars like the Variax, which are mostly copying existing stringed instruments. There's some wiggle room, in that you can "redesign" and tweak the various components of the guitars that are modeled with the Variax editing software.

I think Line6 has pretty much defined the modeling genre, with some other folks extending it into the boutique realm where amps are concerned. So far no one has come close to the guitar modeling technology in a Variax.

Keyboards and synths are where pioneering sound has been (and still is) seeing the greatest advancements. It's not a surprise to see huge selections of computer-based sounds showing up. After all, my Korg Kronos keyboard is simply a PC motherboard with a hard drive internally. Wander over to the Native Instruments site for a very small insight into what's available to do whole movie scores while sitting in your spare bedroom. Listen to the samples and you'll realize you've heard many of them before while sitting in a theater.

The lack of innovation in the guitar realm is no small part of the reason why guitar bands aren't in the top 10 of Billboard Artists. Those artists are largely one-name female singers (Taylor, Katy, Beyonce, Ga-Ga, Adele, Bieber, Arianna, Rihanna, etc.) with a few scattered hip-hop artists (L'il Weiner) tossed in, and guitars are no more a part of their sound than any other instruments, with synth sounds leading the way.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 26, 2015,
#5
amps not so much. FX pedals are where you go for the different sounds. pedals like EH's Sitar and Organ simulators for guitar are fairly innovative. amps that make sounds that are to far off the norm would most likely have a very limited appeal to the average guitar player. from a business standpoint that isn't good.
#7
Im having a hard time imagining how you would even change the sound of a guitar further, without using effects and modeling. A string vibrating on a wood frame with a magnetic pickup has a certain sound, and the amps just amplify it to heareble levels. Besides higher ammounts of gain and cutting or bosting of certain frequencies, i cant even imagine what else you would do with the amp. Its just the nature of the instrument to sound this way i guess. Anything further, you need to use effects.
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#8
While I'll agree that much of what can be done on a guitar has been "mined out" I don't think that's a problem.

Y'see, people LIKE how a guitar sounds (or at least a lot of them do).

Even if the sounds are limited, we don't have a comprehensive racial memory, so what was old can always be new again, given enough time.

In short,so what?
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#9
Honestly, at least for me, I think the reason guitar/amplification have not changed much over the years is that it doesn't need to. Why mess with a good thing?

Most of the music I like is heavily guitar driven, and I really can't imagine trying to change what I like listening to. To me, Eddie Van Halen pushed rock music about as far as I personally can handle with his 'synth crossover' tones and I say that with EVH being one of my top fav guitarists ever.


Quote by dspellman
Part of the reason the sound is still the same is that as a group, guitarists have become stultified themselves...

...The lack of innovation in the guitar realm is no small part of the reason why guitar bands aren't in the top 10 of Billboard Artists.

Most of what you said is pretty spot on, but I disagree with this part. Again, why change what works? Just because guitarist have not been considered as innovative as others in the currently popular Pop/Hip Hop genre is not the reason they are not in the Billboard Top 10. Music comes in waves. Rock guitar will be back. *crosses fingers*


Edit ^ +1
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jan 26, 2015,
#10
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Honestly, at least for me, I think the reason guitar/amplification have not changed much over the years is that it doesn't need to. Why mess with a good thing?

Most of the music I like is heavily guitar driven, and I really can't imagine trying to change what I like listening to.


Most of what you said is pretty spot on, but I disagree with this part. Again, why change what works? Just because guitarist have not been considered as innovative as others in the currently popular Pop/Hip Hop genre is not the reason they are not in the Billboard Top 10. Music comes in waves. Rock guitar will be back. *crosses fingers*


Almost everything you've said, non-guitar-specific, has been applied to every genre of music since mandolin bands (what, mandolin bands aren't back yet?). Ragtime will be back. The Charleston will never die. Jazz is the music of the young generation. Swing is IT, baby. Be-Bop is the thing, daddio. If it ain't rock and roll, it's square. Love them Beatles. Drop out, tune in, get psychedelic. 80's rock/90's rock/metal/whatever. Fred and Ginger, Patti Page, Patsy Cline...

"Why change what works?" "The big band era, now that was music." "The Coconut Grove will last forever!" "Shake it off."

Truth is, the current generation has no music. Better put, it has all kinds of music, but everyone has his own sound track on his own MP3 player and there's almost no consensus. except for the aforementioned chick singers, who currently rule the music industry. Someone yesterday said, "Taylor Swift IS the recording industry." Judging by her numbers and consistency, they're right. Other than that, everyone puts out a record. Someone's hot on iTunes for thirty minutes, big on YouTube for a million views, that's it.

The baby boomer generation was the last to grow up with a shared soundtrack. That included a whole ton of guitar. The following generations? Not so much.
#11
Quote by Arby911
While I'll agree that much of what can be done on a guitar has been "mined out" I don't think that's a problem.

Y'see, people LIKE how a guitar sounds (or at least a lot of them do).

Even if the sounds are limited, we don't have a comprehensive racial memory, so what was old can always be new again, given enough time.

In short,so what?


+311
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#12
Quote by dspellman
Almost everything you've said, non-guitar-specific, has been applied to every genre of music since mandolin bands (what, mandolin bands aren't back yet?). Ragtime will be back. The Charleston will never die. Jazz is the music of the young generation. Swing is IT, baby. Be-Bop is the thing, daddio. If it ain't rock and roll, it's square. Love them Beatles. Drop out, tune in, get psychedelic. 80's rock/90's rock/metal/whatever. Fred and Ginger, Patti Page, Patsy Cline...


You're talking about music genres, not guitars...

The guitar has been around a very long time, and it's not likely to go anywhere in the reasonably foreseeable future for the simple reasons of convenience, portability and accessibility to almost anyone. Perhaps the only instrument more ubiquitous than the guitar (in some form) is the drum, and I suspect drums aren't disappearing anytime soon either.
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#15
Same guys who made the AssBlaster, right?
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#16
Quote by Arby911
While I'll agree that much of what can be done on a guitar has been "mined out" I don't think that's a problem.

Y'see, people LIKE how a guitar sounds (or at least a lot of them do).

Even if the sounds are limited, we don't have a comprehensive racial memory, so what was old can always be new again, given enough time.

In short,so what?


Best post I've read in a long while. I have always loved the sound of electric (and acoustic, if I really think about it) guitar. I seek those sounds in most of the music I buy. I don't really need any more than that.

I couldn't care less about what is 'current' or 'popular' (I prefer black metal to anything else, hehe). To argue that guitar music can't move forward without new technology, new sounds, new tones, etc. reeks a little of "everything that can be invented has already been invented." (I forget who said that, but he said it in the early 1900s if I'm not mistaken.) You take other instruments such as piano and violin, for example. How long have those been around, and how long have they provided basically the same tone? Yet people continue to write new music with them that others enjoy.
Last edited by KailM at Jan 26, 2015,
#17
Quote by Spambot_2


Biggest evolution I've heard lately is djent, but the sound still is that one.

.


I agree with that 100%. It's not an evolution I particularly care for, but it is one nonetheless. I don't think it has seen its full development yet either. It will be interesting to see.
#18
Quote by KailM
I agree with that 100%. It's not an evolution I particularly care for, but it is one nonetheless. I don't think it has seen its full development yet either. It will be interesting to see.


+3.1415 there will be more. i don't care for it either though.
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#19
seems like amps don't need to advance past getting better quality sound when you come down to it. they are made to reproduce the sound put into them. where the "evolution" needs to take place would be either the guitar or fx. at this point electric guitar offers a wide palette of sounds it's up to you to use them in a different way.
#20
Quote by dspellman
Truth is, the current generation has no music. Better put, it has all kinds of music, but everyone has his own sound track on his own MP3 player and there's almost no consensus...
The baby boomer generation was the last to grow up with a shared soundtrack


i would make the argument that radio didn't become prominent until about 1920, and recorded music wasn't prominent in the home until at the earliest the late 1800's. so the idea of a 'shared soundtrack' is a relatively new phenomenon that maybe 3 or 4 generations can even claim. i am unsure if you are trying to make it sound like 'until now everyone listened to the same thing', but i find it to be more like "a little over 100 years ago it became possible for a large amount of people to listen to a single performance, before that you had to show up to a concert to hear music"

i don't know much about the current generation, but i would definitely argue that there are just as many high selling albums in the Gen X and Gen Y generations. almost half of this list (which has it's problems, but still gives a good idea of what is going on) is from albums from 1990 or later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_albums

basically what i am getting at is find your claims misleading and/or dubious. beyond that, i really don't know what either of those pieces of information has to do with your conclusions. it ties together nicely in concept, but it just seems like false authority to me.

Quote by dspellman
The lack of innovation in the guitar realm is no small part of the reason why guitar bands aren't in the top 10 of Billboard Artists. Those artists are largely one-name female singers (Taylor, Katy, Beyonce, Ga-Ga, Adele, Bieber, Arianna, Rihanna, etc.) with a few scattered hip-hop artists (L'il Weiner) tossed in, and guitars are no more a part of their sound than any other instruments, with synth sounds leading the way.


well, in truth i wouldn't look in the top 10 billboard artists for anything innovative, innovative music doesn't sell units. but i thoroughly disagree about innovation. i find an incredible amount of innovation in the electric guitar since it's invention less than 100 years ago.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Jan 27, 2015,
#21
The main advance in amp tech I expect to see will be the improvement in "tube emulation" in cheaper and cheaper amps.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#22
Quote by dannyalcatraz
The main advance in amp tech I expect to see will be the improvement in "tube emulation" in cheaper and cheaper amps.


I'm hoping it goes past that.

I submit that we will have near-perfect tube models in the reasonably near future (we aren't that far away now, naysayers to the contrary) and what I'd like to see is an interactive "tube" designer, where you could not only select from the response characteristics of the common pre and power tubes, but could actually tweak the characteristics to your liking without any significant technical knowledge.

Want more responsiveness/sag/attack/clipping/harmonic attack etc?

Fine, just dial it in.

Want another gain stage, drag and drop. Want 6 of 'em? No problem.

Want 3 12ax7's into 2 12au7's with an AT7 PI and a combined El34/Kt88 power end? No Problem!

Imagine being able to select the characteristics and the permutations without limit.

Once the modeling gets perfected, THEN things start to get cheap and interesting!!
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#23
I think the quest for better tube emulation in cheaper amps will be the main push. Solid state amps already outsell tubes- once that sound quality becomes essentially indistinguishable, tube amps will be only in the highest end amps catering to the audiophile market. That translates into real savings as production lines get increasingly streamlined.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!