Is John Mayer right?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by nicolasrivera, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Will Chen

    Will Chen Member

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  2. guitarbilly74

    guitarbilly74 Supporting Member

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    Coming from you, I believe it 100% LOL

    Ok but... what if my perception is altered? Let's say "it's just in my head". So what? Who do you think I buy gear for? If I feel it's not there, the reason why is not important.

    Now let's say I do the blind test and can't tell the difference. Wow completely fooled me. Then I take the thing to practice and I can tell the difference in that scenario - for whatever reason. What is the purpose of the blind test then? It's still going out the door and quickly.
     
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  3. Vaibhav Joshi

    Vaibhav Joshi Member

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    The same reason I trust opinions on these forums. Never went wrong. ;)
     
  4. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic Supporting Member

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    If you don't care to dwell on why you might like it in some scenarios but not others, then I default back to my "run what ya brung" statement.

    Personally, I'd be curious as to why the difference between environments existed.
     
  5. Elric

    Elric Supporting Member

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    Do what I do. Trust yourself.
     
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  6. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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  7. captaincoconut

    captaincoconut Member

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    That always gets me in trouble.
     
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  8. Vaibhav Joshi

    Vaibhav Joshi Member

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    I also think this could be the case, comparing it to an amp in the room.
    But to me that is the best sound/feel I could have as well though it is only limited to practice time. For all other applications including recording & low volume practice, modelers make a lot of sense. I switch to neck single coil at night.
     
  9. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    Like it or not his opinion carries more weight than this whole sub-forum. :D

    And realize that he's been using the modeling stuff for a relatively short time. But he's using it. It would be really interesting if the guys at Fractal were able to work with him to see if there is a way to narrow/close the gap?

    It's hard for many people in general to defer to expert opinions, especially when it goes against our own personal observations. And while I respect the idea that each of us has our own subjective and personal evaluations...it doesn't make them equivalent in terms of knowledge or even accuracy.

    The best musicians I know hear differently. I bet the top recording engineers do as well. It's hubris to put rate your own skills as being automatically equivalent because everyone has ears.

    Here's an anecdote outside of music that stands out to me on why you shouldn't trust your own perceptions quite so much.

    Years ago I worked for a software company automating aspects of the autobody refinish market. I'm riding around for the day with a mfg. rep from PPG (one of the top brands in the world). We are in his brand new pickup truck and he's frustrated because the factory paint job on the bed and the cab don't match and it's really bugging him. I've been riding around for 5 hours in and out of the truck - he's even mentioned it earlier and I just can't see it. It looks identical to me.

    Later in the day we dropped by the dealership so he could talk to the General Manager to see what can be done about it.

    The mgr. at the dealership comes out and basically has the same reaction I do. It looks great to him and he isn't really sure what the problem is. But then the PPG guy starts to point what to look for. And sure enough...you see it...the paint color is two different shades from the same overall family - but clearly not the same color. Like when you look at a paint chip display and there's 20 shades of vanilla/cream/etc. and they all are different. The bed and body were actually two different colors. And they were several shades apart...painfully obvious once you saw it. One was a golden brown, the other a reddish gold...and really not that very close to each other. But you had to be standing next to him and paying attention to it before you could recognize the issue.

    I don't see this discussion being much different. That PPG rep had decades of experience with autobody paint refinishes at a level most people have no clue about. And he didn't consider himself as particularly expert at even seeing this stuff compared to the customers we worked with. Experienced paint refinish guys see color and finish in a way more nuanced fashion. And within their ranks there's a major difference between the average working pros and the top guys.

    Similar to guitarists - what drives those refinish guys is how easily and consistently they can get the outcome they want. They are complex systems that require a lot of skill to use. And they are just as tribal about what paint lines do that. There are people who swear by PPG, others it's Dupont, etc. And the more actual experience they get overall and with a particular brand - the better results they get over time. But they are fierce loyalists based on what works best for them.

    And 25 years ago (maybe even now) there was a raging battle with the new paint formulations developed to reduce chemical emissions/pollution. People swore the new stuff could never, ever match what the old stuff did so easily, if at all. And as experts - I'm inclined to think they were probably right. But it didn't matter - because it was regulatory and they had no choice. Just like catalytic converters on cars. It's a change and it takes time to adapt...

    I see the whole tube vs. digital in a very similar light. Except there's no regulation forcing the change so people don't. But many playing situations the ability to play relatively silently is the right fit. So the digital is here to stay and it's perfect for those environments.

    What's funny is I don't get the sense that any of the developers think their tech has reached it's ultimate form. Just that it's a very complex subject and easy to draw inaccurate conclusions about it.

    My $.02...
     
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  10. Vaibhav Joshi

    Vaibhav Joshi Member

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    True that.
    And squeals + whammy bar (down) gives you chills ;)
     
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  11. mikefair

    mikefair Supporting Member

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    Want to get a lot of reaction to your post on The Gear Page? Just put John Mayer in the subject line. Man, people come out with blood in their eyes!
     
  12. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    Yes. Generally accurate observations from a Black Box perspective.

    When he says "tube" I take it to mean "tube amp" because some of the things he describes are due in part to things beyond strictly the tube's behavior (eg speakers and power.)
     
  13. crosse79

    crosse79 Member

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    For me the logic is simple.

    Millions of guitarist in the world have access to a digital tool (modeler) that is light, compact, precise, has tonnes of features, effects, mimicks all sorts of amps, relatively cheap and can be updated (upgraded) over the internet

    and

    yet they still choose a cumbersome, back breaking, totally opposite of all the really cool features above? Who's stupid enough to do that? Are we all still using keypad phones? We're living in the age of technology revolution. Maybe, just maybe that modelers have not reach the mark of what's truly important and basic to a musician: Sound and Feel.

    It's like this, if it was that easy to become an entrepreneur then everyone would be one and no one would be working for others. If it was that easy that modelers are like amps, then everyone would be using a modeler. However the truth is inconvenient isn't it?
     
  14. Elric

    Elric Supporting Member

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    Eric Johnson actually claimed at one point that the orientation of a pedal on a board can affect its tone, IIRC. Notice the cockeyed tube driver.
    [​IMG]
    Michael Wagner claimed the MIDI firmware update to his legendary MP-1 changed it’s tone, etc. Brilliant people believe all kinds of goofy stuff.

    That said, these guys are very high profile pros who care about their tone and have every right to believe what they want but it may be steeped in any kind of ass backward ideas based on their own personal experiences.

    I do think they are truly sincere. But I don’t think they are immune to psychology. They could also have golden ears for reals. You just gotta judge for yourself. If it takes JM or someone else to tell you how you feel about something, you’re doing it wrong. And lots of pros are switching to modeling at least for live applications. It’s interesting to read, just don’t get emotionally wrapped up in some other dude’s belief system.

    In the end they only have one data point: their own experiences regardless of whether they are a legend or an average joe.

    Also, I think if I were designing these products, I would listen to what these folks have to say and try to see if there is some merit. At a bare minimum it highlights what really renowned players are looking for...

    I think this is why Fractal never sleeps. This is why the Atomic guy responded. It’s good to be as critical as possible. That part of it is science. Always assuming you are approaching emulation asymptotically.
     
  15. frqd92

    frqd92 Member

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    I would bet a lot of money that in a proper blind test, not John or any other guitarist could tell the difference between the high end modelers like Axe and Kemper to real tube amps..
     
  16. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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  17. hippietim

    hippietim Member

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    The one thing I'm certain of in this thread, there is a whole lot of TLDR content being produced.
     
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  18. MojoRisin

    MojoRisin Member

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    At this rate this thread might surpass the Helix thread in # of posts before sundown.
     
  19. hippietim

    hippietim Member

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  20. guitarbilly74

    guitarbilly74 Supporting Member

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    Well, I care about scenarios that are actually useful. If we're discussing stage vs. studio environment, sure, I care about that.


    But blind tests are not even a musical activity, this stuff is for product engineers.. as a musician, the gear has to sound right in my work environments, not theirs...
     

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