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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #159595  by MattMan
 Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:57 pm
FranklinsTower wrote:
MattMan wrote:
FranklinsTower wrote:Also would you feel the same about sending a 5000.00 dollar violin through a digital reverb pedal? or on that case would you rather go with an analog pedal in that case? Thanks again.
Regarding the digital pedal, for a long time now, Lexicon digital reverb is the studio engineer's preference. I'd say for violin you probably want the control of a digital reverb over say an analog plate reverb with springs. But for Jerry tone guitar, plate is what you're looking for. Same with vox which tend to need the control of a digital reverb. I personally like the control of a digital delay pedal that has some analog algorithms that I can manipulate. To each her own.

Forgive my ignorance if this sounds like a dumb question. Is it the mix of wet dry that makes using a digital pedal or any pedal really OK? What I am saying is that is it not true that there is BOTH the sound of the real violin AND the sound of the digital effect coming through?

Otherwise I guess I cant imagine sending a high quality instrument through a pedal that instantly changes the sound and not in a good way.....

We dont know this yet because we have been totally focusing on playing well and there is only one pedal in the whole band and its a MOOG analogue distortion pedal.
Yes it is true. You're looking for that sweet spot where the natural sound of the instrument is not colored too much by the effect. Certainly if there's too much effect the sound can be too artificial regardless of the effect processing being digital or analog (i.e., when talking about effects pedals or rack effects, the effect can be generated using a digital algorithm and circuitry or using analog circuitry). When the dry to wet effect is well-balanced, I'd say its quite hard for the average person to distinguish between an effect that has been generated using digital or analog processing (although us gear heads can be very sensitive to noticing the difference).

I think a pretty good baseline approach is to say the only effect in GD music that is going to be "on" all the time is the Jerry parts--reverb is on all the time (and the effect is quite unique to Jerry's sound--its a plate reverb--probably 60-70% dry to 30-40% effect). Bass should be dry. Keys dry too. Rhythm guitar should essentially be dry, but occasional chorus effect, or mild delay, maybe some mild overdrive. My favorite Bobby tone is that bright, dry, tone from the 80's, but Bobby used a bunch of effects on different songs to add sonic texture. The Bobby in my band only uses a touch of plate reverb from the amp along with a touch of overdrive at the amp as well.
 #159601  by Jon S.
 Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:53 am
I'm with Duke Ellington: "If it sounds good, it IS good."
 #159606  by playingdead
 Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:58 pm
I think you're missing the forest for the trees ... if the guitar (or whatever instrument) sounds good to whomever is playing it, it makes no difference if it's digital or analog processing.
 #159614  by hieronymous7
 Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:06 pm
I've been thinking about this a lot!

One way to look at it is: if your violinist & guitarist can each find their own sound with the gear (digital or analog), then no problem.

I worry a little about just using "digital vs. analog" in a general sense. I think it depends at each step of the gear chain, and it also depends on the specific gear in question. Boss - yeah, it wouldn't be my first choice but maybe wait and see what they can do with it? It might sound really good! Or it might sound like crap, but if they can’t hear that, then maybe they’re not the right musician for the part.

I kind of feel your pain - finding musicians of like temperament who you want to make music with is an interesting process to say the least. Ideally, everyone grows with the music and everyone grows together, but relationships are complex. My guitar player is interesting - he is into cheap stuff - guitars, amps, pedals - but it's kind of cool. And to be honest, it's pretty much all analog lol - ok, I get it!

There is kind of an aesthetic aspect as well - maybe it sounds "good enough" but if you look at a Variax and every time you can't forget that it's a digital, modeled approximation of reality, then that's entering into realms outside of the technical. It might even sound good but your visual and conceptual perception of it can't help but intrude on your hearing. We hear with more than just our ears, our various levels of consciousness are always making judgments (positive, neutral, negative) without our realizing it.

Remember too, sometimes people make amazing music with instruments that we might otherwise be biased against. Pushing whatever instrument is at hand to the limit, being able to coax good sounds out of it - that's the true test, isn't it?
 #159616  by Lephty
 Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:45 pm
To paraphrase something Trey Anastasio said in his "rig rundown" video from a couple of years ago, it's not about having the "best" gear. It's about knowing how to use your gear really well. So if someone gets a decent sound, who cares how they're getting it?

I don't usually admit to this but I get my primary sounds from a Boss GT-10 (though I do get my overdrives from analog pedals). I'm not going for a "Jerry sound" per se, but IMO it sounds pretty good and I don't think it sounds "digital" at all. Best part about going digital is that it pretty much sounds the same every time I plug it in. No effin' around.
 #159621  by aiq
 Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:33 am
I recently got a 1965 Deluxe-Amp, no reverb, and I have a '68 Bassman modded to BF.

I use a couple of digital reverb pedals, Specular2 and MXR. I like the clean, dryer verb.

Both work great with those two amps.

As people go to modelers I guess I am going the other direction, sixties Fenders. The set is completed by the 67 Vibrolux.
 #159644  by flyingheelhook
 Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:57 am
FranklinsTower wrote:Thanks for the reply on sound quality. I am curious what instrument you play that is digital unless you only meant pedals.

Also would you feel the same about sending a 5000.00 dollar violin through a digital reverb pedal? or on that case would you rather go with an analog pedal in that case? Thanks again.
Sorry for the misunderstanding. I meant that my entire signal chain post-guitar cord, is digital. I play a Kemper profiling amp that handles all of my amp, tone and effects. I play a '71 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe and an '85 Ibanez AR305 through it. I would gladly play any guitar through the Kemper. It offers versatility, consistency, and tonal palettes that I could not get without hauling tons of expensive vintage gear around with me. It allows me to free myself from worrying about my rig and tone to focusing on the what is really important to me - the music.

As to your question, as far as I am concerned, I don't care what you are playing through as long as you like the tone and are focusing on the music. All I was saying with my previous post is to let your ears decide, not your bias.
 #159675  by zambiland
 Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:25 am
This is an interesting issue. I've spent a lot of time with gear, especially as a recording engineer. I've listened to a ton of it. So, in the bands I've been in, I haven't really dictated what gear people use in order to get them to sound the way they want, but have helped people get closer to sounding the way they want. Of course, a lot of times, that coincides with what I like, but everyone ends up happier. Gear is fun, but it should, like the rest of the music, be a collaboration if that's where people want to go. It's certainly worth discussing everyone's sound so that everyone knows where they can exist. Sonic arrangement is as much of a factor as the song arrangement. OTOH, sometimes people do some surprising things and that's cool, too. Like every other aspect of music, listen more than you play!

The biggest move my current band has made is to our own IEM system, which is all digital, so ultimately what we all listen to is digital and it all sounds great to us (Metric Halo has fantastic converters and processors).

I used to have a huge assortment of analog pedals along with Lexicon digital boxes. I then went to a Lexicon MPX G2, which did everything I needed out of the analog boxes and then some, with much greater repeatability and I've now started experimenting with the Fractal FX8 as the G2 is getting a bit long in the tooth. So far, I'm loving it.