Originally Posted by: stephen82
Thank you for your great response as always. I am OK with using the gain and volume to get the sustain.
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Can you describe this a little more? It sound kind of backward to me! Typically playing through a amp, well, amplifies whatever you are playing. :) I've noticed that even just a small amount of unamplified vibrato sounds huge through an ampflier.
You are right - It seems counterintuitive. I play an Epiphone ES339. If I just pick it up and play, my vibrato is really clear - particularly the vibrato on my bent notes. When I plug it in and play through my amp the vibrato is not as pronounced. That had me thinking that maybe that "feedback loop" I am creating with volume and gain for sustain is flattening things out. Having said that, I understand that vibrato is changing the pitch and not volume.
Maybe I am just playing my vibrato a bit differently when amplified. Perhaps subconsciously I am reacting to the additional noises it can create with the higher volumes? I will certainly keep practicing to improve my technique.
How much overdrive are you using? Amp plus pedal? Taking a queue from Chris and using volume andtone knobs on the guitar, it can be due to the equipment or settings. When I read this, I'm not sure it is a volume issue but a clarity issue. If you have any overdrive pegged, what happens when you dial that back? What people often don't realize when they hear that awesome tone on a recording is that it is frequently less overdriven than it seems.
The ES339 is a pretty nice guitar and I'm assuming that it's got the Epi Classic Pro and Classic Pro Plus pickups with coil taps. Meaning that you probably have a pretty mice instrument with a nice set of 57-styled pickups.
How much do you mess around with your tone and tone settings?
I'm am a chronic knob twiddler. I don't stop until I get what I want to hear. Also, I can get get tone out of nearly any amp. I don't want to make that sound like 'look, I'm cool...' kinda thing. It's not. 'Back in the day'(in the 80's), I used to annoy the heck out of the local store by hanging aroundand only buying picks, strings and magazines. So they'd put me to work trying out some gear to get my opinion (which was actually really cool). One of the folks at thats store just came out and said, 'you seem to get tone out of everything'. Even some amps that weren't exactly tone monsters.
The point isn't about me and some magic skill. I'd just screw around til I got something I liked. Chris and I have often joked about having nearly identical 'junk' rigs in the 80's but we both agreed that our 'junk' rigs sounded great. No one would look at these 'junk' rigs and even consider them as tone monsters before playing. We made it work.
Sustain and vibrato....why is all the tone talk important? If you get a nice vibrato 'acoustically', then something in your plugged in signal chain is masking it. It's your job to get the mud out. That means tweaking and twisting knobs until you get what you like.
Literally when I try (tried) new amps, I zero everything out. I'll add a bit of gain but won't peg it. Then for the amp tone knobs, I will start dialing up the Treble/Hi (I think of it as the tone clarity knob). It usually ends up somewhere between 1 and 3 o'clock. Then I dial up the Bass/Low knob (the 'beef' knob). That seems to end up between Noon and 2. Then I dial up the Mid (this is the 'flavor to taste' knob). I find that the mid gets the least amount of dial up but a little can add a lot of body.
This is just how I do it. You don't have to follow this but there is a thought behind it in that you're allowing frequencies to pass through the knob and the more you turn up that knob, the more of that frequency you're letting through. This allows you to clean up your sound by hearing what you're letting through in a 'formal' process. Then, once you've dailed up something nice, add a little more overdrive if you wish. You'll probably tweak the tone a little more after a little more overdrive but by having a nice amp tone setting to start, it helps you see how much overdrive you really need.
In doing so, you might find that you're vibrato was masked under the tone. My thought for the day.....