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Pros and dirt

jtwang

Member
Would you say that, in general, pro players have fewer dirt pedals on their boards than the typical bedroom player/hobbyist/weekend warrior/TGPer? Although there are plenty of exceptions, I would say clearly "yes". So many pros seem to be perfectly content with a drive or two + a fuzz, whereas hobby players (like myself) think they need 8764729 flavors of dirt - I know I do. I wonder why.
 

somedude

Member
I know that for myself, when I'm doing originals I don't really care too much about nailing this sound or that sound since it's my sound in the first place. However, when I'm playing a cover I feel more inclined to want to sound truer to the original... which in many cases is assisted by having a broad selection of dirt.
 

Alter

Member
Would you say that, in general, pro players have fewer dirt pedals on their boards than the typical bedroom player/hobbyist/weekend warrior/TGPer?
on a given gig board, maybe. but back at home, probably not.. that is, if someone is into pedal od (cause many pros use amps for drive)..
 

re-animator

Senior Member
I think it depends generally on the player.

The thing with pro guitarists is that generally they are interested in carving out a tonal niche for themselves. Think of all the guitarists that are really known for their OD tones. SRV, Jimi, Eric Johnson, Brian May, Santana, etc.

Basically they only have 1 or 2 main overdriven sounds, and they get variance by shading them with dynamics. There's no point in trying to produce a ton of different sounds with pedals because the only thing that's important is "your guitar sound" and its role in the band. Bedroom guys tend to be more indulgent in producing many different tones for their own edification rather than one or two great ones that are awesome with a band.
 

mojoslide

Member
I think the varying shades of OD, distortion, fuzz, etc are much more noticeable at the bedroom level. On a stage in a noisy environment with crowds, sound guys, etc all battling your playing, these minute differences disappear. I play in an originals band, but we still do cover tunes at long shows. I just always use my sound no matter what. I don't really care to approach the original tone - I won't use gain for a clean part of anything like that though...But I spent time getting good tone with a setup that really works for me - that's what I'm gonna use. That's just my way and I've gotten nothing but compliments of my tone.
 
I've always been surprised by the number of dirt pedals on the boards of the big acts. If I was playing stadiums, I'd be cranking the snot out of my Plexi's or Vox's. But lots of guitarists who play big venues use a few dirt pedals. I don't get it.
 
I've always been surprised by the number of dirt pedals on the boards of the big acts. If I was playing stadiums, I'd be cranking the snot out of my Plexi's or Vox's. But lots of guitarists who play big venues use a few dirt pedals. I don't get it.
:agree I think a lot of it has to do with the size of a gig and crew. If I could easily transport a few different amps and a switcher, I'd probably only have two dirt boxes... but I don't have roadies :(
 

KBN

Member
I wonder why.
As long as we are speaking in generalized terms... The main difference between a pro player on the stage and someone from an internet forum in their bedroom is that one is a leader and one is a follower. Creator vs. Reproducer. It is not about what you use, it is about what you do. If you have a decent amp, a couple of overdrives and a fuzz, and a tone knob on your guitar, and most importantly, know how to use your gear you will have the history of rock n roll at your fingertips. If you don't, you will have a dozen tubescreamer clones on your bedroom floor.
 

Lt_Core

Member
I think the varying shades of OD, distortion, fuzz, etc are much more noticeable at the bedroom level. On a stage in a noisy environment with crowds, sound guys, etc all battling your playing, these minute differences disappear. I play in an originals band, but we still do cover tunes at long shows. I just always use my sound no matter what. I don't really care to approach the original tone - I won't use gain for a clean part of anything like that though...But I spent time getting good tone with a setup that really works for me - that's what I'm gonna use. That's just my way and I've gotten nothing but compliments of my tone.
+ 1

I've been in a cover band for 4 years and I used to try to get the same tone as the songs we played. Total pain in the butt, especially since 99% of the people couldn't recognize slight shifts in overdrive/distortion/etc. Now I have a clean sound, light OD, medium and high gain by using a few pedals but mostly my Rivera amp.
 

Pat Healy

Member
I think the varying shades of OD, distortion, fuzz, etc are much more noticeable at the bedroom level. On a stage in a noisy environment with crowds, sound guys, etc all battling your playing, these minute differences disappear. I play in an originals band, but we still do cover tunes at long shows. I just always use my sound no matter what. I don't really care to approach the original tone - I won't use gain for a clean part of anything like that though...But I spent time getting good tone with a setup that really works for me - that's what I'm gonna use. That's just my way and I've gotten nothing but compliments of my tone.
Absolutely right.
 
As long as we are speaking in generalized terms... The main difference between a pro player on the stage and someone from an internet forum in their bedroom is that one is a leader and one is a follower. Creator vs. Reproducer. It is not about what you use, it is about what you do. If you have a decent amp, a couple of overdrives and a fuzz, and a tone knob on your guitar, and most importantly, know how to use your gear you will have the history of rock n roll at your fingertips. If you don't, you will have a dozen tubescreamer clones on your bedroom floor.
That is definitely true of many artists.

However, you also have the example of the pro player/hired hand who is touring as a bandmember for an artist. In many cases, they are not in the "creator" role since the artist who hired them expects them to reproduce the sounds on the album.

And, there are also instances when an artist "creates" so many different sounds from one album to the next that they need many options at their feet when the time comes to play live. I am thinking of the Edge in particular. He likes to be able to faithfully cover all the sounds of their past albums live.

Having said that, there are lots of artists who don't follow this approach and simply try to get "close enough".

Terry
 

pacomc79

Member
Space and complexity of use are the main issues. They change out stuff all the time. It's nice to not have to look down and find which dirt box you're trying to step in between 13 pedals.

More often than not if the amp is good, the tone will be too.
 
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pros can crank their amps in studios/on stage to get their tone...no one is gonna walk up to evh and ask him to turn down a bit...and im sure the pro's home studios have some sort of sound isolation...

now on the other hand my wannabee non-pro basement warrior self has a different situation...even if my bride leaves for the day, I cant crank my amps loud enough to get a good natural breakup without the neighbors getting angry...so I have 8764728 flavors of dirt on my boards :)
 

re-animator

Senior Member
I've always been surprised by the number of dirt pedals on the boards of the big acts. If I was playing stadiums, I'd be cranking the snot out of my Plexi's or Vox's. But lots of guitarists who play big venues use a few dirt pedals. I don't get it.
Good pedals add to your cranked amp sound, not walk all over it.
 

iggs

Member
I've always been surprised by the number of dirt pedals on the boards of the big acts. If I was playing stadiums, I'd be cranking the snot out of my Plexi's or Vox's. But lots of guitarists who play big venues use a few dirt pedals. I don't get it.
Because that's what they like and are too busy living a dream to worry about what people on the internet forums think is the right thing to do ... :dunno
 

Ronsonic

Member
More or fewer pedals, can't say. Certainly much less distortion overall than the amateurs.

The real guys never run as much crankage as people seem to think.
 

Dashface

Member
I'm in a pro cover band - a Floyd tribute act. When I first started, I had 10 different dirt pedals I was using to cover everything on the albums... Slowly but surely I've whittled it down to five. But those five are all pretty different (muff vs tubedriver vs fuzz, for example).

I guess it just depends what you need. When I gig in the originals act, I literally use a FullDrive 2, a Tonebone Hot British, and my volume knob.
 

Pat Healy

Member
Just get a freaking Fulldrive II and be done with it. Seems like 75% of the pro boards you see have that pedal on them. For the life of me, I don't get it. I've bought and sold that damn pedal three times. I can't get a tone out of it that doesn't sound like an AM radio.
 


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