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Anyone else notice that the older you get the less gain you use/like?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by mojazzmo, May 16, 2011.

  1. mojazzmo

    mojazzmo Member

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    I'm talking about using gain in your personal use. I hear plenty of cats with singing, gainy tones I like but lately I keep dialing the gain back and digging more of just the gtr/amp tone. Case in point is my new Alpha Drive pedal. When I first got it, I was setting the gain at about 1030 and then did my first gig with it with the gain at about 10 o'clock. I recorded the gig, listened back and thought....too much gain. I'm now down to about 9 o'clock on the gain which is pretty clean but there is a sweet spot between the rich harmonics of the clean gtr/amp and just a bit of od to push the amp a little and add some color and tone shaping. Am I officially becoming an old man of overdive?? :huh

    BTW, I,m playing jazz influenced funky blues. Maybe that tone just suits my style.
     
  2. shane8

    shane8 Member

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    it's pretty common that noobs use too much gain as i did when i was starting out - mostly these days i use a crunch tone that comes from crankin the clean chan
     
  3. 59refin

    59refin Member

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    I'm finding I'm coming out on the other end of that. When I was a kid, it was everything on 11. As I got a little older, articulation and punch was it. But today, at the ripe old age of 54 I was in a shop really enjoying the OD1 channel on a Marshall JVM410. It felt like home. Could I effectively use that much gain at most of my gigs? No, but it sure was fun.
     
  4. xjojox

    xjojox Tardis-dwelling wanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Hopefully we all get better in terms of being more expressive as we age, I mean mature as players... And more dynamic tones suit a more dynamic touch.
     
  5. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Supporting Member

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    Not me, while I've gotten better at playing faster cleaner, I"m using as much gain, if not more now than I ever did.
     
  6. partsocaster

    partsocaster Member

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    I find that with certain pedal arrangements (for example stacking my green rhino or OCD into my CAL Holy Fire), I can get this huge range of tones just using my volume knob. Whereas I love the gain, really love it, I am enjoying the nuances a lot more as I get more time on the instrument. I have been playing for 28 years now so when I started, I just wanted that crushing gain and over the years, my hiding behind my gain became articulating that gain a lot better, cleaner and faster playing (as Shiny Beast said) but in the last ten years, listening to guys like Rory Gallagher or Beck who don't really pour it on that heavily, I found some solace in lower gain and higher dynamics. I don't think it's necessarily a sign of age as it is a sign of maturity on the instrument, more avenues open, et al. (BTW, I am not saying high gain makes you immature as my favorite pedal is the OKKO Dominator which is just slightly high gain)

    Good post.
     
  7. Funky54

    Funky54 Member

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    Good open dynamic, touch sensitive, low gain is growing in popularity. So it may seeem that way as your get older.
     
  8. shane8

    shane8 Member

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    ah yes - riding the vol knob
     
  9. SteveGaines

    SteveGaines Member

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    I run Gain on my Marshall JCM 800 at about 6...The Volume on 1 or 2...Use the same for my Paul and my Strat...Just roll off the volume knob. I want the audience to "HEAR" I've changed guitars....Some players go from single coils to humbuckers and they have so much distortion, everything sounds the same...LIKE CRAP!
     
  10. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    For a while yes. But i'm seeing now that I do want high gain in my tonal arsenal. I got away from it for 10 years or so but I find that high gain brings a different style of playing I enjoy and i'm good at. I mean, if you can roll with it, why not figure it into your bag of tricks? Why play with only one level of gain, or have a gain limit?

    And I don't buy into the idea that high gain covers slop. That can be true to a degree, but there are skills involved with any kind of playing no matter what the gain level is. I just see it as another option that brings out a different style of playing from me, and it's appropriate for some music I play.

    The big question is...what is high gain?? To some a JCM 800 dimed is more than they care for...to others, thats just getting started. Someone posted a Billy Gibbons clip recently and I think it's a pretty high gain sound. But it's far from being what many think of as a typical high gain tone.
     
  11. Peeb

    Peeb Member

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    I sold my (only) distortion pedal in favor of overdrive a few years ago, as I felt that it was too gainy.

    Was listening to a recording of the distortion tone last night, and it was a nice tone. Think I'll add a little gain to a few new recordings.
     
  12. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Urban legend. I use as much gain and rock harder than I ever did.
     
  13. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    Also known as...

    The better you get, the less you need to rely on heavy distortion.
     
  14. GerryJ

    GerryJ Member

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    Jeff Beck sure has dialed back the overdrive recently.
     
  15. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    i think i might be considered to be a relatively accomplished guitarist, somehow.
    i'm 58 yrs old;
    still working, still playing, still recording w/all sorts of musicianly peoples.

    sometimes tasteful, polite and/or idiomatically acceptable are "correct";
    sometimes, they might appear to me to be a musically-unsuitable "easy way out";
    imo, ime.

    i play whatever type of sounds i feel are suitable for the music i'm playing:
    no distortion,
    some distortion,
    much distortion,
    completely "over-the-top" distortion w/a fuzzbox or two or three,
    hi-fi,
    lo-fi,
    impossibly long reverb,
    no reverb,
    a variety of looping effects (or, not),
    filtering & re-sequencing (or, not),
    and etc etc etc etc etc.

    i practise the electric instrument straight into an amp,
    and separately w/gobs of amp-distortions & other distortions &/or fx,
    as well as my looping techniques.

    everyone is certainly free to draw whatever "lines of division" they wish to see & hear;
    ymmv.

    dt / spltrcl
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  16. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    Well, when I was young, the gain was always cranked as I was playing metal. Now, I don't often play heavy, so my overdrive tends to be more dynamic, but I certainly still enjoy cranking it up every now and then,
     
  17. tonegangster

    tonegangster Silver Supporting Member

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    :agree
     
  18. prsflame

    prsflame Member

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    Yes, I was just joking about this the other day with a friend of mine. I used to have the gain maxed out on my Bogner Shiva all the time....Now it's dialed way back to slightly below 12 O'clock. I have also started to favor Strats/Tele's/Jaguars and Single coils over humbuckers...another sign of aging. :D
     
  19. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    I'm going the other way - I started out playing blues and soul so my target tone was that dynamic smooth edge of breakup OD. Now I'm playing a lot more rock and so the gain have increased. Not metal tones by any means but I do like me a good classic rock crunch
     
  20. Marc Roy

    Marc Roy Member

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    I set my gain to a classic rock crunch type of thing (think Audley Freed on the first Cry of Love album or David Grissom with Storyville). That's about as much as I ever need.
     

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