Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby jeager » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:43 pm

Oh, I most completely agree with the idea that the rig needs to be tweaked for the room, if I am understanding your point correctly... of course it does. I also agree that the suggested settings are really helpful as a starting point, now that I have them I can attest to that fact...I never saw the memo on 100% treble, but if I dial back the already bright guitar tone a tad (maple neck/fret board single coils) and boost treble at the preamp it works like a charm. It wasn't so obvious to me as I figure audio devices are generally set up to work best in in the middle of the adjustment range in my experience, nut of course electric guitar amps are a whole different story.

Sorry if offended anyone with my "blah, blah, blah" comment and my off topic ramblings.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:08 pm

jeager wrote:... It wasn't so obvious to me as I figure audio devices are generally set up to work best in in the middle of the adjustment range in my experience, nut of course electric guitar amps are a whole different story....



Jerry's setting was extreme and unusual. In general when I see "normal" guitar players playing Fender amps, I often see bass around 4, mid around 5, and treble around 6.5. Jerry made his rig an extreme bass dumper and treble booster.

It's VERY awkward to dive into this setting as a guitar player. Kimock said that when he tried Jerry's rig, he just couldn't do it. It takes tremendous touch control to tame that beast. Jerry's fat pick and light, consistent, and controlled touch was a big part of how he could get a "warm" tone out of such a bright rig. For anyone new to the tone settings, I say dive in and noodle around for at least 20 minutes. Dont' expect to like what you hear at first. It's very humbling. At some point your brain and touch will begin to adapt and you can actually coax warmth and fullness out of it. Then that brightness becomes an aspect that's available to you if you choose to make that sound happen, but it's not necessarily always that bright. This again points to how very much picking touch is the heart of any guitarist's actual tone.

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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby hippieguy1954 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:40 pm

Well Brad, you always seem to hit the nail right on the head! :smile: :smile: :smile:
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby waldo041 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:44 pm

Jon S. wrote:On the merits, while I continue to disagree w/you as explained previously, folks now have two options they can try ("set 'em & leave 'em"; "set 'em & tweak 'em").


i can agree with this statement, that said, i do have some examples as to my "set'em and leave'em" approach after acquiring the correct gear, mods and settings can give one who is searching for the sound.

here are a couple examples of what my approach can offer in the right hands:






and here is where you can get the info.
http://wald-electronics.com/preampmods.html




peace,
waldo
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby helio » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:52 pm

I'll add to this as a relatively newly converted believer in the "dump the bass, crank the treble, play with the mids" camp. Not too long ago I DID NOT believe in this method. Like others on this post, I thought "100% treble... you've got to be kidding." Tried it a bit here and there, and thought it sounded awful. Left that idea to Jerry, and moved on.

Then I heard/read about two others... Jeff Beck and someone else (can't remember... Jimmy Page maybe?) who do the same thing. There's a video where Beck's tech says the first thing Beck does on any amp in walk up, dump the bass, boost the treble, and control the girth with mids.

So I'm then thinking... OK... not a lot of tonal similarity between Beck and Garcia. Very different rigs and styles. Must be something to this. So I revisited it and BOOM... I GET IT! Here's what turned me around on the concept:

- The amp really, really comes alive. I'm dumb about technical language to describe this. It just seems like you're setting the amp to where notes want to jump out of it. Great new energy in everything coming from the amp. Too much, really, until you do the next two things...

- Alter pick attack: Others have said it better, but from a newbie... my perspective is this: I always admired Jerry's dynamics... the runs of softer, barely-there notes, followed immediately but sharp peak notes that really punctuate his solos. Try this with an amp at "standard" settings, and it's hard to get there. You really have to beat the strings to get those peaks, and then you're losing nuance. But when the amp is treble-charged and ready to bark, you can get all the softer notes you want... by keeping your picking really, really relaxed. Then the slightest extra emphasis from your fingers is matched by terrific emphasis from the amp. Really opens to door to a relaxed picking hand, and opens one's eyes to the benefits of careful pick attack nuance.


- ACTIVELY USE YOUR GUITAR TONE KNOB(s): This is painfully obvious to many. But I suspect many more folks were/are like I used to be... set the tone knob to 10 and forget about it. Change pickup selector and guitar volume, of course, but never the tone knob. Why? Because most of us are starting from a fairly dark amp setting. But crank the amp's treble, and for much of what you'll play, you'll likely want to dump some from the highs from the knob on your guitar. But, now you've opened a greater degree of control from the guitar. Your new middle-ground is lower on your tone knob. You've got room to move in either direction as the situation calls. Bonus benefit: now you're set to compensate for any treble roll-off with lowered guitar volume. The amp wants to stay on the brighter side, and you've got headroom to play with, compensate with if you want, on your guitar's tone knob.

Sorry to babble. Just sharing my 18 cents as someone who's a new but complete believer in the settings as Brad and others above describe them.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby redeyedjim » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:59 am

WOW, helio -thanks so much for stepping through that! That totally makes sense, and if it weren't 2 in the morning I'd jump up and give this a try right now. I'll give that a shot next time I play, but I expect to be thoroughly humbled.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby Chuckles » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:04 am

heh heh heh.. love me a little RUKind debate... lots of parties offended and lots accused of offending... of course, I'd never ne a party to that stuff :roll: :roll: :roll:

I tend to agree all around. Waldo's right; with the exact right equipment, it should work effortlessly. But, alas, most of us don't have that. Sooo, we forge ahead and deal with the "crap" Jon spoke of. :-)

I absolutely LOVE my SMS > MosValve > K120 setup, but it's a walnut/maple/walnut guitar rather than coco, and it's me, not Jerry (or any of the guys that can come close to replicating his touch). I play with the Adamas picks too, but I've had some real problems with it being way too bright and ice-picky (recordings have bourne this out), so I keep tweaking (in a good way) and searching for the sound. We played a very big-deal gig for us last month that ended up sounding great, but I'm not sure if that was because we actually had a real, live sound guy working the slides or if maybe I was on to something. But, it's a process... and I'm happy to say I'm getting there.

Helio's got it well summed up, though. Kill the lows and crank the highs... the mids are your playground. What I'm finding is that getting the baseline sound from which you can roll up or down the guitar's tone is the issue. You can dial in a great tone with one particular setting, but you may not have very good options to roll up or down from it. That "neutral" setting is the one you want to go for... the rest is the gravy that makes the meal.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby Jon S. » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:19 pm

Two months later, I'm back to say that although occasionally I can be strident on a topic :oops: , thankfully my admitted flaws do not include being closed to trying different approaches and experimenting. In that spirit, the posts and info. in this very thread led me, over the past couple of months, to push the envelope with my own gear along the lines of the suggestions folks have made here to great benefit. My band also finally found a permanent replacement bassist (we lost our prior one nearly 8 months ago to an overseas deployment and were struggling ever since). He's a wonderful Phil-ish player and a super nice guy who fits in musically and personally with everyone so I couldn't be feeling more grateful than now. :-)
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby caspersvapors » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:41 pm

helio wrote:I'll add to this as a relatively newly converted believer in the "dump the bass, crank the treble, play with the mids" camp. Not too long ago I DID NOT believe in this method. Like others on this post, I thought "100% treble... you've got to be kidding." Tried it a bit here and there, and thought it sounded awful. Left that idea to Jerry, and moved on.

Then I heard/read about two others... Jeff Beck and someone else (can't remember... Jimmy Page maybe?) who do the same thing. There's a video where Beck's tech says the first thing Beck does on any amp in walk up, dump the bass, boost the treble, and control the girth with mids.

So I'm then thinking... OK... not a lot of tonal similarity between Beck and Garcia. Very different rigs and styles. Must be something to this. So I revisited it and BOOM... I GET IT! Here's what turned me around on the concept:

- The amp really, really comes alive. I'm dumb about technical language to describe this. It just seems like you're setting the amp to where notes want to jump out of it. Great new energy in everything coming from the amp. Too much, really, until you do the next two things...

- Alter pick attack: Others have said it better, but from a newbie... my perspective is this: I always admired Jerry's dynamics... the runs of softer, barely-there notes, followed immediately but sharp peak notes that really punctuate his solos. Try this with an amp at "standard" settings, and it's hard to get there. You really have to beat the strings to get those peaks, and then you're losing nuance. But when the amp is treble-charged and ready to bark, you can get all the softer notes you want... by keeping your picking really, really relaxed. Then the slightest extra emphasis from your fingers is matched by terrific emphasis from the amp. Really opens to door to a relaxed picking hand, and opens one's eyes to the benefits of careful pick attack nuance.


- ACTIVELY USE YOUR GUITAR TONE KNOB(s): This is painfully obvious to many. But I suspect many more folks were/are like I used to be... set the tone knob to 10 and forget about it. Change pickup selector and guitar volume, of course, but never the tone knob. Why? Because most of us are starting from a fairly dark amp setting. But crank the amp's treble, and for much of what you'll play, you'll likely want to dump some from the highs from the knob on your guitar. But, now you've opened a greater degree of control from the guitar. Your new middle-ground is lower on your tone knob. You've got room to move in either direction as the situation calls. Bonus benefit: now you're set to compensate for any treble roll-off with lowered guitar volume. The amp wants to stay on the brighter side, and you've got headroom to play with, compensate with if you want, on your guitar's tone knob.

Sorry to babble. Just sharing my 18 cents as someone who's a new but complete believer in the settings as Brad and others above describe them.


I honestly still think that unless youre going playing under similar circumstances as Jerry, diming the Treble is crazy. I personally dont like going above 7 on my Pro Reverb and anything higher it gets incredibly harsh.

BTW the other name you might be thinking of is Derek Trucks, he sets his treble high and his bass pretty low. However the thing about Jeff Beck and Trucks is that theyre not using picks, theyre using the fingers which is a HUGE difference. Playing with youre fingers instantly cuts the volume and the highs so I think they turn it up a lot to compensate for that difference.

I dont know how you dudes who use picks are setting your Fender amps on 10 in small club/bar venues.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:36 pm

The thing about the treble knob on a Fender circuit is that it's the one "interactive" control in the circuit. As you move the treble knob, you also move the midrange dip or crossover frequency. It actually changes the midrange "voicing" character of the amp. A setting of 7 (with an audio taper pot) is really at halfway or 50% of the sweep range. I agree that without all other elements right, a treble setting of 10 can be harsh. BUT, it IS how Jerry voiced his midrange and treble tone. I've found that even changing from one onboard buffer to the Tiger buffer (Waldo) can make a big difference in this harshness issue. Some other buffers seem to have a gritty, harsh high-treble character where the Waldo Tiger buffer clone is a higher-fi, cleaner, more silky and natural tone. If the speakers aren't right, the highs can be brutal. If the amp circuit components aren't right, it can also be harsh. But when you pull all the key elements together, this treble-on-10 setting is the mojo.

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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby Jon S. » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:23 pm

That's all interesting!

I have a CAE-1 in my 1st J-caster and a Waldo in my 2nd. They're not identical by any means but both are 25 1/2" scale with a middle Super 2 and mostly mahogany body (the 1st with a rosewood top, the 2nd with a cocobolo top and back. Looks like it's "back to the tone lab" for me!

And, so far at least, I'm still keeping a bit of bass on my SMS Classic Jerry. Maybe it's my other gear I use with it or my technique or that my grail tone is simply not identical to Jerry's but I still am wanting to hear some bit of bass in the notes.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:41 pm

Funny you mention that.

I find that when going for the Jerry setup and tone that I can get away with the treble on 10, mid 4.5-6.5, and bass off only if the speaker cabinet and room are right. The one knob that I do adjust sometimes is the bass knob, maybe just around 1 to 1.4 or so, just to bring in a hint of fullness. But I find this is only necessary when using smaller cabinets or cab's that seem to be weak in the low end response. We have to consider that this tone setting worked for Jerry when using his wide-open-back 4-12" or 3-12" cab. That's a lot of volume to generate a thicker sound compared to a 2-12" or a 1-12". So to compensate and adjust for various smaller cab's, I do find I need a hint of bass. But then sometimes if it's at a gig and things are loud, that fullness can be found with the midrange knob alone and the bass can be off.

But it's an interesting point and makes one consider the wide variability from speaker cab to speaker cab as well as cabinet placement, ie. distance from the floor or rear wall or even the height of the ceiling above a stage. All this stuff affects bass response and perceived bass energy. I think the key with the Jerry tone is we simply don't want any deep bass, the low fundamentals say of the E string or low notes. But we do want warmth and body an octave above that so it feels ballsy and chunky. Just no mud, no subby thumpy stuff. That "bassy" stuff is just is not present in Jerry's tone, ever.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby mijknahs » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:52 am

caspersvapors wrote: I dont know how you dudes who use picks are setting your Fender amps on 10 in small club/bar venues.


Here is an example of me with my band (using an Adamas pick) playing in a VERY small bar with a Fender Twin with Treble on 10, Mid on 6 and Bass off (Mcintosh MC100 and 2x12 JBL E120s):

Last edited by mijknahs on Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby caspersvapors » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:30 pm

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:Funny you mention that.

I find that when going for the Jerry setup and tone that I can get away with the treble on 10, mid 4.5-6.5, and bass off only if the speaker cabinet and room are right. The one knob that I do adjust sometimes is the bass knob, maybe just around 1 to 1.4 or so, just to bring in a hint of fullness. But I find this is only necessary when using smaller cabinets or cab's that seem to be weak in the low end response. We have to consider that this tone setting worked for Jerry when using his wide-open-back 4-12" or 3-12" cab. That's a lot of volume to generate a thicker sound compared to a 2-12" or a 1-12". So to compensate and adjust for various smaller cab's, I do find I need a hint of bass. But then sometimes if it's at a gig and things are loud, that fullness can be found with the midrange knob alone and the bass can be off.

But it's an interesting point and makes one consider the wide variability from speaker cab to speaker cab as well as cabinet placement, ie. distance from the floor or rear wall or even the height of the ceiling above a stage. All this stuff affects bass response and perceived bass energy. I think the key with the Jerry tone is we simply don't want any deep bass, the low fundamentals say of the E string or low notes. But we do want warmth and body an octave above that so it feels ballsy and chunky. Just no mud, no subby thumpy stuff. That "bassy" stuff is just is not present in Jerry's tone, ever.


do you know about when Jerry started adopting the Treble 10, Bass 0 approach? Because when I listen to him in 1969 and 1971, his tone has plenty of bass to it. But that could be due to him using humbuckered/darker voiced guitars in those years.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:58 pm

caspersvapors wrote: I dont know how you dudes who use picks are setting your Fender amps on 10 in small club/bar venues.



First off, I must say that I think it's nearly impossible to use this kind of tone setting if you use "normal" guitar picks. Heavy, medium, or lighter picks will "snap" the string and set off a pretty brutal ice-picky trebly note that's just way too harsh and bright with a treble10 setting. But with the Jerry 2mm pick, that fat rounded nub when used properly (ie. lightly and carefully) will give a full and rounded and clear tone. Snapping the string with a pick will indeed be TOO bright. Jerry's pick is essentially a "jazz" pick, and the fatness of it removes the crisp pick-snap. If you try to use the Jerry-pick with a normal snappy technique, it just won't be happening. Jerry kind of rolled across the strings for the most part and occasionally would drop in a harder pop or snap, but only occasionally for accent. The technique required for using this treble10 setting is not a quick or easy thing to do. It takes time to develop. I've been messing with it for 25 years and still suck at it.


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