Modeler vs. The Message

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by hobbes1, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Friday night, I played a concert at our church which featured Tommy Walker as the headliner. if you don't know who he is, check this brief summary: http://www.tommywalker.net/about.html

    He's a smoking guitar player, songwriter and just a nice guy. Turns out, along with his sweet custom Tyler guitar, he was playing a POD HD 500. He was running it direct to PA (our church has ~50K watt, line array, state of the art quality A/V system, monitors are EAW wedges onstage). I had a couple of minutes to talk to him about his setup. When I looked at his patch on the POD HD500, it had no amp, just set up for stereo delivery of his guitar to the PA. he used his onboard looper a fair amount of time and for his part of the performance, it was just Tommy and the gear. He told me he has a Fishman in the Tyler for the acoustic sounds and can blend them back and forth with the regular pups. In sound check he really showed off his chops and was very impressive!
    Now, I mention all this as background for the following realization. It's been said here, once in a while, that all the gear is just tools to do the job. It really hit me, watching this guy perform, how true that is. He needed no band, no special amps, no complex effects rig; nothing but a POD and (granted, an excellent) guitar because what was important was what he was saying and singing about. I think this really holds true no matter whether one is in a religious concert, blues band, recording studio or whatever. The tool you need to do your job is whatever works. While he was sick that night and much of his voice was gone by the end of his part, he pressed on, did the job, used the tools at hand and said what he had to say. It was very inspiring to me in a variety of ways, but also, to think less on the tools and more on the message I want to say with music.
    YMMV...carry on :)

    p.s. i wish i had asked him how he managed to get his looped rhythms to play back at just a little less volume than the leads he played over top of them, so that they blended perfectly. not something i've had much luck figuring out :)
     
  2. scotchtape800

    scotchtape800 Member

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    It's a setting for the looper.
    It's in the manual, something about decay or feedback, controls the volume of subsequent loops.
     
  3. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    thanks scotch. missed that when i RTM before :)
     
  4. HolyMuffDiver

    HolyMuffDiver Member

    Messages:
    419
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    No amp in the patch? I don't get it. Why use a POD if not for the amp models and effects? I'm assuming it wasn't an acoustic he was playing, so he was just amplifying his guitar with the PA?
     
  5. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    right. no amp. he was using just the sound of the guitar magnetic pups and the fishman to switch and blend between them, direct to the PA. sounded good. no complaints from any of the other musicians there :)
    he was using a Tyler guitar...i think it might have been the studio elite but had a blend knob for the fishman. it was, i think a custom job from Tyler.
     
  6. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
  7. rufedges

    rufedges Member

    Messages:
    1,132
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Tommy actually came out here back in May or June of 2011.....my worship leader got a bunch of us together to learn a bunch of Tommy's songs so we could be his back-up band for his one night visit to the Church......was pretty difficult,...didn't even know what songs he wanted to do.....a definite new experience having to play backup for someone you have never even met......went pretty good considering,...they showed up late, he seemed a little frustrated, and our Bass player's (not a true bass player) skills were less than desired on a few songs,...but overall, was a success. He is a really good guitar player and singer as well. He's got a pretty big bag of tricks, really good chord/lead chicken picker too. He did plug the POD 500 straight into the house....been doing that myself, sounds really distanced and digital.
     
  8. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

    Messages:
    13,383
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    Agreed 100% with the OP. As for the no-amps sound, Gilmour and others have used that a bunch in the studio (for some reason I'm thinking Les Paul might have pioneered that), but it's rare to see it used live.
     
  9. Eli

    Eli Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Mayberry, CA
    I consider myself fortunate - my home church is where Tommy leads worship regularly. I've also helped him create his POD HD500 presets so I can provide a little more insight about some of his "no amp" tones:

    His Tyler splits the piezo and magnetic pickups over a Y cable, with mags routed to the Guitar In and piezos routed to the Aux In. Both inputs are then split into two parallel paths which have their own EQ and Compressor blocks with different settings. We used the mags side to go for the "body" that is missing from most piezos. We used the other side to get more string articulation and approach the "acoustic" tone traditionally provided by piezo only equipped guitars. If I recall we used a single Reverb after the mixer - maybe there's a subtle delay in there that he can turn off and on.

    I believe Pietro has outlined a similar approach to getting acoustic tones from an electric with a POD HD500.

    Tommy also has many presets that do employ a variety of amp models when he's not going for an acoustic tone. He's pretty much always going direct so if you hear anything that doesn't sound like an acoustic tone you can be sure he's got an amp model going.

    IMHO this approach can sound better than most acoustics that only have piezos plugged in direct. He is interested in checking out the JTV to get even better acoustic tones through his POD HD500.

    I couldn't agree more with the mentions of his great chops and great attitude.

    Just wanted to provide some details around why, when, and how he uses tones without amp models.
     
  10. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Thanks One Shot. there was little time to talk to him (others wanted to talk about More Important Things, if you know what i mean, and he had a raging cold) but i was a little surprised when i walked up and looked at the patch he had just finished using. I wish I'd had more time to hang and discuss but your elaboration filled in the gaps nicely :)
    He did mention that Tyler and Line6 were teaming up to make him something special. Can't wait to hear that :)
     
  11. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

    Messages:
    16,413
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    Maineville, OH
    this is, in fact, one of the real beautiful features of the HD 500. I generally use an amp tone on the electric signal, but I've done what you describe, too.

    And I have to say, you can get a SMOKIN' direct to PA sound out of an HD 500 if you really want to.
     
  12. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Pietro: did you in fact, have a more in depth how-to posted here already as was mentioned by OneShot? I must have missed that but would really like to read it if you wouldn't mind pointing to the link? I'm wondering if i can do something similar with my JTV69 and would like to experiment some with that.
    edit: maybe that's the link in your sig. can't access it right now but will check it later. thanks! :)


    rufedges: i know what you are saying there. i have been in that situation a few times where there is a visiting artist that my drummer (he is a professional drummer) and i (me on bass = not a professional bassist :) were asked to back up, usually at the last minute. it's a little nerve wracking to be emailed or handed a chart at the last minute in say Nashville # system or some homemade variant you've never seen before and be expected to pick it up on the spot. It's actually cool though as it's really a growing experience and has made me a better musician to get tossed in the deep end once in a while. It helps too that the people we perform with in the Christian music scene, no matter how advanced they are in their craft, are IME always very supportive and helpful to share tips and tricks for improving one's own musicality.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  13. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

    Messages:
    16,413
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    Maineville, OH
    It is the link in my signature. I'm hoping to totally revamp that article with info about the Variax in the next couple weeks, though.
     
  14. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006

Share This Page