Creating superior sound thoughts and question:

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by tubetone74, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. tubetone74

    tubetone74 Supporting Member

    Jul 24, 2004
    I was just reading the new book Recording the Beatles and got more insight into why their records sound so awesome. They really were a studio band!! I knew they had top producers and engineers, but learning about their use of the Fairchild 660 limiter and the EMI RS127 “Presence Box” was very enlightening. So I am thinking given this what live “tools” i. e. pedals, could do similar magic for live work? I am thinking on the top of my head perhaps the TWA Triskellion as it can get some neat midrange tones, or EP Booster??? What I am looking for is not as much an "effect" as say a “tone enhancer” for lack of a better definition. Any thoughts on this?
  2. chervokas

    chervokas Member

    Feb 16, 2008
    Well, two things to keep in mind. First, studio tricks for recorded sound don't always translate to or work in a live context. For example, that drum sound Geoff Emerick got on those Beatles records with the compressor in part worked because he was working with limited tracks and compressing the drums as a whole so when Ringo hit a crash and kick together the compressor would clamp down in response to the kick and then release as the cymbal sustained with the result being that huge cymbal sound on Revolver, for example. That's an example of a studio trick born in part of the tech limitation of working to 4 track that doesn't necessarily translate to a live environment.

    Second, it's important to remember that it's not really that important how your tone sounds in the abstract in a band context but how it sits with what else is going on with the band and the arrangement. That's a lesson that does translate from the studio. A lot of times the eq and effect stuff that might work when you're at home tweaking your tone isn't what is going to sit best in the live environment.

    For better definition w/ your guitar tone in a live context a lot of times it's not so much added effect but reduced effect -- less distortion which can give you a lot of harmonic energy that can create a guitar sound that's less distinct when bass and cymbals are going off all over the place -- or sometimes a different cab or speakers... 10s seem to work really well for guitar in a band context when you want the guitar to cut where they might sound a little bass shy on their own. But if you do want to try some Beatlesy compression tricks with the guitar an optical compressor -- which is the sort of compressor the Fairchild is -- is probably worth playing with, something like the Joe Meek optical compressor in a stomp box is good one to try.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  3. speedemon

    speedemon Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Azusa, CA
    Interesting question. Sage advice above.

    One of my favorites is the Boss GE-7, can take care of most of my Mesa problems when I am stuck with one. (there is no cure for the Crate malady tho!)Did wonders on a valvestate amp I used to play as well. It is also a great lead boost! Sorry, I am not a Beatles guy, so I can't help you with their sound.

    If you like the sound of a compressor, there are lots of good ones, the Keeley is popular, and I had the Pigtronix Philosophers Tone, which was a nice comp, and had the bonus of letting you blend in some od on the pedal, giving a nice 60s brit vibe.

    Vintage effects are good for those old sounds too. MXR dist. + (its a germanium based dist.) and Maestro phaser will give you that vibe in spades, just keep the dist. + settings below noon.

    Lastly, a touch of reverb IMO adds a little "studio" quality to a live amp, that nice depth. Similar effect can be had with delay, but it will not have that same 60s quality. If you have the coin, tube reverb units are out there, otherwise good pedals abound too. I picked the Earthquaker Devices.

    Good luck!

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