How do you set your tone?

itchyfingers

Roadie
Messages
478
I'm definitely not asking where the tone comes from! :rofl

I'm looking for responses about when you get a new guitar or amp, how do you setup your controls, and what comes first...

a) the amp? No EQ and roll in to taste? Start from noon and work from there? Everything dimed and roll off to taste?

b) on the guitar? Neck / middle / bride pickup setting? Volume and Tone knobs on full or somewhere else?

Or some back and forth combination thereof?
 
On the guitar, it's on full 98% of the time, occasionally rolled back a bit if a clean passage has a bit too much top end.
On an amp, since I've been a Mesa guy for a long time, I'll usually start with the bass low, but from there I go back and forth with the BMTP until it sounds right, since they all seem to affect each other. That's on my DR. In the Axe Fx, using Mark series amps, the bass gets brought back in in the GEQ.
 
On the guitar, I usually start with everything full up and adjust from there as needed.

On amps where I start depends on what kind of amp I'm working with.

Fender Blackface style amps:
Bass: 3
Mids: 4 (if it has mids)
Treble: 6
(bright switch off if it has one)

Vox style amps:
Bass: 10:00
Treble: 2:00
Cut: off

Marshall style amps:
Bass 2:00
Mids: 12:00
Treble: 12:00
Presence: 10:00

Mesa amps:
Bass: :eek:
Mids: :columbo
Treble: :banana

Any unknown amp:
Everything at noon.

Fender Tweed style amps:
... it's been too long, I don't remember.
 
On the guitar, it's on full 98% of the time, occasionally rolled back a bit if a clean passage has a bit too much top end.
On an amp, since I've been a Mesa guy for a long time, I'll usually start with the bass low, but from there I go back and forth with the BMTP until it sounds right, since they all seem to affect each other. That's on my DR. In the Axe Fx, using Mark series amps, the bass gets brought back in in the GEQ.
Long time Mesa guy also. In addition to what @TSJMajesty said (and you may already know this), dial it in using your ears, not your eyes. Even if "nobody in their right mind sets the mids to 2", but it sounds good for you and the mix, go with it.

Once I get it dialed in, the guitar volume can serve as a simple kind of "treble cut" as needed. When I turn the volume down on my SG, it cleans up a bit, but not a true clean tone (not like the clean channel on a Mark IV). If I cut it from 10 to 8, the volume doesn't change much, but it loses some of the hair (the "treble cut" I was mentioning).
 
Most tone knobs have 2-3 points on the sweep where you can clearly hear it adding something to those frequencies. I just make a quick pass on each dial finding those specific spots and setting each to the highest spot before being boomy, (bass) boxy, (mid) fizzy. (treble) Then I come back and use presence/depth to fine tune what are often imperfect sweeps on the BMT stack. With gain I just try to find the bare minimum spot where it can still get nasty with an OD. Too much gainz wrecks clarity and note separation.
 
Guitar on full blast. Gain and master up till that place where the body of the tone starts to bloom. Usually too much treble and presence because I love the sizzle :chef
 
Volume and tone on guitar around 7 or 8 so I have somewhere to go. This has
been a past 10 years discovery for me. If I am running my guitars wide open
then where do I have to go apart from hitting a Boost of some kind.

Also, the Gain goes back a few degrees from where I think it should be set.

The other thing is I NEVER dial in tones with just the guitar alone. I'll play
along to a recorded track, a loop, or something like that, and then dial in the
amp that way---which usually means less Bass, and more Mids than I would
dial in if I were simply aiming for a tone in isolation.

The other thing I have learned over time is to notch around the 1K area because
that is where the vocals tend to sit, and I don't want to be stepping on them. So
anywhere from about 800Hz to 1.5Khz I'll use a PEQ and notch a dB or two in
that area.
 
Volume and tone on guitar around 7 or 8 so I have somewhere to go. This has
been a past 10 years discovery for me. If I am running my guitars wide open
then where do I have to go apart from hitting a Boost of some kind.

Also, the Gain goes back a few degrees from where I think it should be set.

The other thing is I NEVER dial in tones with just the guitar alone. I'll play
along to a recorded track, a loop, or something like that, and then dial in the
amp that way---which usually means less Bass, and more Mids than I would
dial in if I were simply aiming for a tone in isolation.

The other thing I have learned over time is to notch around the 1K area because
that is where the vocals tend to sit, and I don't want to be stepping on them. So
anywhere from about 800Hz to 1.5Khz I'll use a PEQ and notch a dB or two in
that area.

Good call, especially if you don't have treble bleeds. If you dial in your sounds at 7 there's a little treble roll off, and going up to 10 will boost the volume and the treble a bit for cut. That said I still run on 10 most of the time...
 
I'm definitely not asking where the tone comes from! :rofl

I'm looking for responses about when you get a new guitar or amp, how do you setup your controls, and what comes first...

a) the amp? No EQ and roll in to taste? Start from noon and work from there? Everything dimed and roll off to taste?

b) on the guitar? Neck / middle / bride pickup setting? Volume and Tone knobs on full or somewhere else?

Or some back and forth combination thereof?
The only time I’ve ever used a guitar tone knob was by accident.

As for the amp, it really depends on the amp and the feature set. As stated upthread, Mesa amps are kinda involved to dial in because some of the knobs affect other values too. Most of the time I’m favoring treble and presence. I want to see how harsh those can get. Then the bass knob. You can absolutely ruin great tone on a Mesa amp with too much bass (or in some instances, ANY bass). Friedman stuff can’t seem to get enough. Bass close to or on 10 works a lot of the time for me.

So the answer is…..it depends
 
I'm definitely the weirdo on this. I basically only play at my computer through an fm3, so I actually dial in tones visually a lot by plotting the spectrum and playing something on a loop. Then I'll tweak it with my ears to make it more pleasing.
 
I'm definitely the weirdo on this. I basically only play at my computer through an fm3, so I actually dial in tones visually a lot by plotting the spectrum and playing something on a loop. Then I'll tweak it with my ears to make it more pleasing.
I use the looper to pick IRs. The best way AFAIC.
 
I don't set my tone with the knob. It's in the fingers.
I have a lot to learn about getting the tone out of my fingers. I just held my fingers up to my ears and didn't hear anything. I even accidentally cut one today, but no tone leaked out.
 
I have a lot to learn about getting the tone out of my fingers. I just held my fingers up to my ears and didn't hear anything. I even accidentally cut one today, but no tone leaked out.
Fingers are made of meat and tone is in the fingers, therefore eat lots of steak to improve tone. #guitarlogic. Also, tone gets significantly better as you position the guitar lower than optimal playing position. Think "ballsy tone". Keep the guitar near your balls and you'll be doing it right.
 
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