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Thread: Trapped in guitars, amps and specific gear?

  1. #1
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Trapped in guitars, amps and specific gear?

    Are you? Do you feel like you NEED to keep certain gear for things?

    For me, I feel like I need to have certain amp tones and effects with my band. I have some specific effects settings for certain songs. Some songs were created and built from those specific effects and tones and the song just feels "wrong" without those things there. I run a large rig with 2 4x12 cabs, a head, an Axe-FX with all my stuff programmed to a Ground Control Pro/GCX. Some time based effects, etc. Maybe it's just because it's a lot of work on my part(rewiring, programming) to change stuff out of my rig to obtain these things. Then, add to that of keeping some doubles of things in case a piece of gear goes down. I don't have exact duplicates of everything. But have a spare head, back up effects and such and a few guitars that can all easily do the same thing. I sometimes have GAS for some things and can't go after them because of A) my gear spending ceiling B) I have to keep some of this stuff to "do what I do". Interestingly, I don't overuse and have a billion fx and whatnot going at all times. I have a basic, dry distorted rhythm tone, a lead tone that are used for the bulk of things.

    Now, I've been fortunate enough to only have something malfunction and down my rig 2 times in 10 years playing hundreds of shows. I've played a couple shows on a single channel with no effects. The shows went fine and everything, despite me feeling a little off. I know I can live without it all and get through the shows just fine. But I'm detailed. I'm picky. Maybe neurotic

    I have gas for a Friedman Dirty Shirley head, a slew of PRS, some Strymon effects. Most of it I probably won't get because of my disorder
    But...it does have me considering simplifying some things. And it sometimes makes me long for the days of just having a simple 1 amp, couple pedals on the ground set up.

    I don't really have this issue so much with guitars. As long as I have a PRS stoptail guitar. I can make it work. I do prefer to have 2 volume knobs though

  2. #2
    I've got specific gear that I absolutely must have, and feel lost without. No question. Some of it's studio gear, and some of it's guitar gear. Not that I feel trapped, but I am highly dependent.

    In fact, over the years I've sold specific pieces of gear and tried to replace it with something else, only to sell the "something else" and re-buy the gear I replaced.

    From time to time, a piece of new gear evolves into something I know will be part of my permanent rig; the HXDA is that way for me after only a few months. I've also learned from hard experience that I should hang onto a guitar that's working for me in the studio, because certain ones have the magic and are irreplaceable. I've made the mistake of selling a few of those, and while I haven't had duds, I've had some that were very good but just not for my style.

    In the studio, I'm very used to certain mics (Neumann, Blue, Royer and Shure come to mind), preamps, and monitors (I find that Genelecs are the best reference for scoring to picture as they're an audio post studio standard). I need a fast Mac, my whole workflow depends on using certain software that is Mac-based, and I understand how the system software works very well, so I can troubleshoot, etc.

    Yes, I can make lots of things work, but knowing my gear is part of the workflow, and reinventing the wheel is a real time-waster.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 01-18-2013 at 08:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    One thing the led to this is the value knob on my Axe-fx has stopped working. Gotta send it out. Another is, while it is an incredible piece of gear, it takes me a long time to dial up new settings for a specific sound I hear in my head. In the middle of band rehearsal, that can be a pain...taking away from the creative process. So I tend not to do it. I'm not a programming guy by nature, more of a knob twister. I'm considering taking it out to use it for my home use.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by vchizzle View Post
    One thing the led to this is the value knob on my Axe-fx has stopped working. Gotta send it out. Another is, while it is an incredible piece of gear, it takes me a long time to dial up new settings for a specific sound I hear in my head. In the middle of band rehearsal, that can be a pain...taking away from the creative process. So I tend not to do it. I'm not a programming guy by nature, more of a knob twister. I'm considering taking it out to use it for my home use.
    I completely get that. There's an immediacy to twisting a knob, finding what you like, and moving on to the different creative needs of the project.

    It's one of the reasons I like to record with an analog tube amp and pedals. I know to how program multi-effects, and I have no problem making them do what I need them to do, but in the heat of a project I need to get on with the creative process quickly, get the ideas down, etc.

    Mixing and mastering can be another story; there I don't mind tweaking and that sort of thing, provided I have the time. One thing you might consider if you like the Axe for certain things is using a direct box to split your signal between a DI track and the amp itself. That way you can "re-amp" the signal when you have time to tweak it, and choose between the real amp and the Axe, or blend the two tracks when mixing. Obviously the Direct box needs to have a parallel output capability for this to work, and the ability to lift signal ground if necessary.

    Just a thought.

  5. #5
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Well, I have it set up as being the wet/stereo/special effect side of my rig. I also have it wired/programmed so that input 1 is just that(it's own amp) and input 2 is it's own separate effects chain that runs into the front of my head, which handles the bulk of my effects.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    When I was playing heavy rock stuff I was way more dependent on specific gear choices, but fly-in dates and rented gear kinda changed all that. Now I'm bummed if I have to haul an amp, and I settled for a somewhat "inferior" multi-efx unit just for the sake of convenience... nobody has said anything negative about it yet.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    I recently scaled down quite a bit selling the gear that gave me option paralysis. The moment I had to tweak I found myself uninspired so the scale down really helped me.

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