Why are volume/tone knobs considered such a 'revelation' now?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Eveningtheme, May 22, 2020.

  1. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    I started rolling back my volume for clean when I first started gigging. I don’t like the super drastic change when switching from a clean channel to a dirt channel (and vice versa.) I learned to roll the guitar volume making the transition smoother and I typically don’t use a super squeaky clean tone anyway.

    I’m a genius. I should get a trophy. Thank you.
     
  2. Firepie Uno

    Firepie Uno Silver Supporting Member

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    I think that pot quality has partially affected players thoughts on volume/tone controls through the years. Gradual cost cutting measures by manufacturers made onboard controls virtually useless 300K factory pots on Gibson’s? Come on, man!

    Before I learned about pots and caps, I pretty much gave up the knob fiddling approach; but after getting a really good set of controls (resistance, torque and taper all play a factor), I find the knobs indispensable.

    Keep in mind that I plug a Gibson straight into a Marshall or Satellite. If I had a more ambient approach, onboard controls would probably matter a lot less to me.
     
  3. Pano-dilzapp

    Pano-dilzapp Member

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    ...people have stopped thinking for themselves, that Rick Beato video about string
    thickness was a revelation !!!
     
  4. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    This same thread pops up on guitar forums every year. The only thing that's changed is now there's YouTube content to go along with it. Which is a good thing.
     
  5. xmd5a

    xmd5a Member

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    My take, being influenced by 90's alt rock, guitar was not subtle, it was forward in the mix. All the tone knob did was serve to hurt your chances of getting a record deal. Now that guitar has gone back to being more of a supporting player, not being subtle has the opposite effect, it could cost you a recording deal.

    As for the volume knob specifically, the 90's was all about clean -> distortion -> clean -> distortion , no in between, so you either channel switch the amp mid song, or step on the OD, no volume rolling or volume pedals. Pretty much every other genre of music benefits from having a guitar that is not in-your-face, and the control knobs are essential to sitting it back a bit, but still having the option to move it forward when the song hits the crescendo.
     
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  6. TreeHugsBam

    TreeHugsBam Member

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    if like me, you self taught and grew up on hair metal, there's lots of "obvious" things about music in general that you're just catching up on now.

    Or maybe I'm just slow
     
  7. TreeHugsBam

    TreeHugsBam Member

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    Actually, this makes much more sense. I wrongly blamed the 80's. It's totally the 90's fault.

    But I still really like the totally clean verse, dirty chorus thing

    I also don't like rolled down dirty tones. I need to install treble bleeds on all my guitars
     
  8. xmd5a

    xmd5a Member

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    When I think about, there are lots of examples of art following technology, rather than the reverse. I think the reason the 80's / 90's did that clean/distortion thing was simply because two channel amps allowed for it and it was a new trick up the sleeve, but people get ear fatigue, the Christians are no longer intimidated, and have co-opted it.

    Another obvious example is all of hip hop owing it's origins to the TR-808, which wasn't meant for hip hop, but ended up defining hip hop. A later trend was synth-rock bands hitting the scene when the microKORG came out in 2002, bands like The Killers, because it was so cheap and light weight. You'd often see the lead singer with it set up beside him on stage. I don't know if that trend has died or not, I don't pay much attention any more.
     
  9. TreeHugsBam

    TreeHugsBam Member

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    You are more right, again. Technology. The real real reason I like the pristine clean / dirty thing is that I'm a chorus whore. I blame boss.

    Guitar music is dying because a kid today with a $30 no name keyboard from Amazon and a hand me down pc they use for homework anyway has more firepower than entire production studios did not too long ago. If my girls said they're tired of guitar and asked for a dj table, I'd get it for them. Better than them quitting music.

    A lot of the tgp dinosaur crowd find this threatening. nevermind that old fogies before them found electric guitar threatening to their small definition of society
     
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  10. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

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  11. Pointy Headstock

    Pointy Headstock Member

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    I'm going to be the (or one of the) didn't read every previous post guy in this thread. My immediate thoughts:

    * Trends are towards lower wattage amps, smaller cabs, and lower club volumes. The accentuated frequencies from the old days (often from brute force db on the ear drum) aren't the accentuated frequencies of current days.

    * More recent music tends to have loops, samples, keyboards etc that needs space made for it in a mix - especially in the top end.
     
  12. deepcove17

    deepcove17 Supporting Member

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    I grew up playing guitar fun the 80's and 90's when there were plenty of pedals, rack gear and channel switching amps. Playing with the volume / tone knobs was not really required when you could get an assortment of sounds from other aspects of your rig. Also some guitar / amp / pickup combinations respond much better to volume roll back for cleaning up than others...
     

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