I'm So Confused

vashondan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,859
I'm a newbie when it comes to pedals and especially when it comes to overdrive. I've bought and sold a few because I could never get the sound I heard in demos. A few minutes ago I was watching a Pete Thorn demo of the Dude and thought I never come close to that kind of sound (a little bit of breakup and edge, which I like). I really get confused about the interaction between the pedal/amp/guitar and the settings thereof. I have a Katana Blues Overdrive and an Collaccia id. The amp I'm using is a Carvin Nomad and right now using my Vela for the most part but have a strat as well.

Can anyone help me sort this out or point me in the right direction?

Thanks!
 

Flatscan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,010
Copy the pedal settings from the demo. Use the same guitar/amp, if possible.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,917
The problem is that recording an amp doesn't sound like the amp in the room. Not only does the EQ and the distortion change, but Youtube compresses the heck out of the audio so you lose dynamics... So, I would not go chasing the sound you hear in a demo video. The character of the overdrive, like the ability to balance on the edge of crunch, should translate well BUT it also depends on the pickups (single coils vs hum buckers, hot vs cool output, vintage vs modern wiring of the tone control circuit, active vs passive) and the amp (a hard edged amp like a Mesa set clean, or a Twin is going to interact less with the pedal than an amp that's already close to break up like say a 5w Champ). Does that help? What guitar are you using?
 

DexterT

Member
Messages
614
Just so I understand your question, you're confused as to why you cannot get the same sound out of a pedal as on a demo? There's a few things to consider when watching a demo of a pedal. The first thing is the player. The demo guy will sound like the demo guy and you will still sound like you. The second thing is the other gear they used. If they demo an overdrive pedal with a tele and a vox and you play a les paul through a fender when you get the pedal the results will be different. Also think about how the sound was recorded. Pete Thorn's demo's are so well recorded and he is so good that everything he plays sounds good (notice also how most overdrives and distortions he demos sound very very close to one another).

I like to watch really crappy iphone recordings of someone who doesn't really know how to play since I also don't really know how to play it gives me a better indication of the sound of whatever it is I am hearing. The crappy iphone recording also tells me what it sounds like in the room not what it sounds like to a microphone right up against a speaker.

Be careful using demos as a basis for your purchase. They are fun to watch and I spend a lot of time watching pedal demos but the one thing that I have noticed is after watching one person for a long time every pedal (within it's type) starts to sound the same. Mike Hermans is one of the best demo guys out there but his style is so different and unique that it all sounds the same after listening to him for years. He could play a klon, tubescreamer, bd-2, and whatever else and it will still sound just like him and it will still sound great. Pete Thorn sounds like Pete Thorn no matter what he's using. Every time I watch a wildwood video and I see Greg Koch doing some wacky country thing I think I need a wildwood spec fender custom shop $9,000 tele and I can do that! Then I remember I can't.
 

vashondan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,859
Hey, Thanks for your responses. I'm not chasing tones from the videos. I already have my pedals. The problem for me is how one calibrates or aligns the settings one has on your amp vs the pedal etc. Also, what gain/levels settings push the amp to breaking up and what relationship would those settings have to the volume on the amp. It seems like theres a kazillion permutations which only gets magnified by stacking two pedals. Make sense? Right now i'm using both a Strat and a PRS Vela.
 

DexterT

Member
Messages
614
Hey, Thanks for your responses. I'm not chasing tones from the videos. I already have my pedals. The problem for me is how one calibrates or aligns the settings one has on your amp vs the pedal etc. Also, what gain/levels settings push the amp to breaking up and what relationship would those settings have to the volume on the amp. It seems like theres a kazillion permutations which only gets magnified by stacking two pedals. Make sense? Right now i'm using both a Strat and a PRS Vela.
This is what makes it fun. There are an infinite number of possibilities. Every pedal, amp and guitar is different.
 

wrathfuldeity

Member
Messages
1,831
i don't remember who...maybe robben ford?...anyway start with the amp and just dial it up to the turn-on threshold and then repeat: Listen for the "turn on" threshold in kind of this order
1 amp volume to where it starts...you will hear it "turn-on",
2 then the amp tone stack...start with bass, mid and treble or just the tone know....to where you hear it turn on
3 the last od pedal in the chain right before the amp...level, then gain, then tone knobs set to noon
4 then the next furthest od pedal in the chain from the amp
5 lastly the guitar pu, vol and tone...then you can use the git vol and pick attack to go from clean to break up sweet spot. ime its a place to start, and often surprised to find the level and gain knobs are often fairly low for my needs. anyhow the axiom is that you can't add less...only more..."so shoot low boys... there's ridin shetlands"
 

WillLane

Member
Messages
2,037
Set your amp so that it breaks up just a tiny bit. Adjust the preamp volume for the grit, master volume to taste.

Use bridge pickup positions for high-gain tones. Use neck/middle pickups for low-gain tones.
 

vashondan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,859
Ok, good stuff. I'll work on it. Interesting about the neck vs. bridge. Today when I was messing with it I got a sound that I kind of liked and then noticed I was on the bridge. Changed to neck and big difference. Like Dexter says, all in good fun!
 




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