Helpful ReplyGuitar questions

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electrodome1
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2017/12/24 15:59:38 (permalink)

Guitar questions

Any guitarists do this?
 
1.  record just a click track and electric guitar track to start off a project...I've got MidiGuitar2 which helps populate a midi track with notes...I'm thinking of using it to drive the kick drum and adding bass and drums after the fact.
 
2.  Do a rough mix of a project before laying down guitar tracks
 
Last question:  
3.  Is there any reason to buy a PRS when I use mainly Gibsons and Fenders? And I don't mean the $3500 ones - I mean one of the cheap ones.
 
 

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tlw
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Re: Guitar questions 2017/12/24 23:52:19 (permalink)
1. Yes.
2. Yes.
3. Only if you specifially want a PRS for some reason, or want/need another guitar and a PRS matches what you want. There are other guitar makes in the same sort of price range also worth thinking about, like the Gretsch Electromatics, ESP, Ibanez, Schecter....

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electrodome1
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Re: Guitar questions 2017/12/25 16:13:50 (permalink)
I appreciate the response...Believe it or not, I'm trying to break out of a mindset that limits my creative side.  As far as the PRS, I've heard so much good stuff and raves from friends, but when all is said and done, I always go back to my Strat.  

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mettelus
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Re: Guitar questions 2017/12/25 22:56:09 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby burgerproduction 2018/01/31 15:53:36
I live in "PRS country" since I went to school where the factory was originally located (it was on Virginia, Ave in Annapolis, MD). It has since been moved about 10 miles east to Kent Island, MD. PRS is an interesting company, and also an interesting man. Much of his focus has been sustain in the instrument, and one of his consultants was Ted McCarty from Gibson (whom he named a guitar model after). He uses art students from the local college for a lot of his finishing work, so is very involved in the community and highly respected. Not a lot of Gibson usage that I have seen around here, it is mostly PRS and Fender.
 
That said, a great deal of a guitar boils down to mechanics (is the guitar rigid enough, and adjustable enough to fine tune parameters) and the electronics (how the pickups are constructed, their type, the quality of the components and what does the wiring "do"). For most guitars, the mechanical is the "limit" is some ways, but the electronics are fair game to those with the wherewithal and desire to modify them. A great deal of things boil down to your personal preferences and style, and whether "out-of-the-box" is your thing, or if you are a tinkerer.
 
Sad anecdote, and testimony to what type of person PRS is... when I bought my first guitar I stopped by PRS' shop when it was still in Annapolis and spoke to one of his employees for about 30 minutes outside (he was heading out of work and took the time to sit down and talk to me). At one point he said "You have unfortunate timing... PRS used to let the general public come in here to work on their guitars for just the cost of materials." When I asked him what happened, he turned and pointed to a sign on the front door that said "Reward $50,000" and a picture of the first "Dragon" inlay prototype that PRS himself had done. Apparently someone had come in to work on their guitar but walked out with his. I am still upset that someone would betray the kindness of others, but that seems to get more common as years pass by.

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Slugbaby
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Re: Guitar questions 2017/12/27 15:14:03 (permalink)
1. No.
2. No.
3.  Maybe.
 
1.  I wouldn't use a click track, exactly, but a very basic MIDI pattern that hopefully won't sway what I'm playing on the guitar but still give me a groove to get into.  Once i've got the main guitar part down, I'll program the drums to fit whatever is in my head.
2.  Why create a rough mix?  Just add more Audio Tracks to the project, Mute what you don't want to hear, and play whatever comes to mind.  Eventually you'll have lots of parts to build the song.
3.  I'm a life-long Fender guy.  Had a couple of Gibsons, but they were always brief distractions.  Picking up a Tele again just felt right.  I've never played a PRS - they look good, but just have never been important enough to buy.  If I can afford another guitar, there are others that catch my eye before I get to PRS.

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jude77
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/09 22:56:39 (permalink)
1.  No
2.  Sometimes
3.  I've only played one PRS and it was an amazing instrument, but I'll probably never buy one since I'm a single coil guy.

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Voda La Void
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/10 13:39:44 (permalink)
1.  No - did that once and learned my lesson.  Clicks aren't drums.  Drums impart groove, clicks don't.  Never sounds or feels as good and fluid when you finalize the drum production with guitar parts that were recorded to a click.  
 
2.  Not a rough mix, but I do a stripped down "fundamental" drum track where I just play overly simplified, to capture the groove and provide timing for all the instruments.  Recording each instrument one at a time to a simple drum track creates opportunity to "fill the space".  Then I go back and record the actual drum part, and when everything is finally mixed together it's a little more exciting.  If you're hearing all of your parts together already, you have a tendency to back off as you record each instrument because there's no "space" to fill there. 
 
3.  I know nothing of PRS.  Been playing guitar for 30 years and I'm about as ignorant as a newbie on guitar quality and all that.  Never had the money in order to have the option to talk about quality, ha ha.  I pick it up in the store, play a little of everything and go home with what sounds the best to me. 
 
I'm about as unsophisticated as they get.  Like a redneck metal head.   

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electrodome1
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/28 20:19:33 (permalink)
Hey thanks!  I'm with you, Voda...that's pretty much the way I've worked in the past...it's more time-consuming, but I think my old stuff had some better groove to it.  Cheers.

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MakerDP
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/28 21:48:12 (permalink)
When songwriting/recording at the same time, I will usually record one or more scratch guitar tracks with a click-track. Then I focus on getting the drums right and scratch vocals. Then I go and record bass. then I go back and redo the guitars and vocals.
 
The important thing for me is to not let "getting it perfect" right out of the gate get in the way of creativity. There is time for "perfection" (like I ever acheive that anyways... lol) after the song structure/feel/etc is finalized.
 
As far as PRS goes, I am a totally a PRS fan, but my PRS guitars are 15+ yrs old by now. When I bought my first PRS (a 2001 single-cut 10-top) I went into my local music store ready to drop up to $3500 on a Les Paul. After being so totally disappointed with everything on the wall (bad fit-n-finish and even playability) I picked up this PRS and fell in love with it. The fact I saved about $1500 didn't hurt either. After a switch to Duncan Pearly Gates pickups and a total refret last summer, it remains to this day my #1. I also have a 15 year old McCarty Standard (solid mohagany body) that is a great guitar as well. I experimented with some Phat Cats in that one but I will probably either go back to the original McCarty pickups or put the #7's from my SC back in it. It needs new frets too though. The other guitar player in my band has two more recent PRS SE P90-equipped guitars that he loves. They sound great.
 
However, I have discovered some really nice lower-priced guitars from G&L and Godin that have been getting a lot of love from me too. Sometimes a new instrument sparks some creativity. If you want to try something new, go to reverb.com and get a nice used one that you can sell for what you paid for it if it doesn't spark your flame.
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Slugbaby
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/29 14:04:42 (permalink)
MakerDP
Sometimes a new instrument sparks some creativity. If you want to try something new, go to reverb.com and get a nice used one that you can sell for what you paid for it if it doesn't spark your flame.

I keep meaning to do this - buy used so that you avoid the depreciation.
Or see if your local chain store has anything for rent...

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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/29 14:38:04 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jude77 2018/02/04 21:17:23
I usually describe it this way:
Fender = violin;
Gibson = viola;
PRS = viola with a violin tuning, or vice versa.
In the end of the day we tend to use just violins and violas the way they were designed.
PRS are beautiful, masterfully crafted guitars, that somehow lack a distinct character. YMMV.

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TheMaartian
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/29 14:41:15 (permalink)
MakerDP
... 
However, I have discovered some really nice lower-priced guitars from G&L and Godin that have been getting a lot of love from me too. Sometimes a new instrument sparks some creativity. If you want to try something new, go to reverb.com and get a nice used one that you can sell for what you paid for it if it doesn't spark your flame.

I have 2 G&L guitars. The tribute ASAT was a little rough (fret ends needed polishing), but the tribute Ascari GTS was terrific right out of the box. Next, I'm looking at their new MIA Doheny. Schweeeet!
 
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MakerDP
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/29 17:19:27 (permalink)
That is a gorgeous guitar Maartian! I have a Tribute ASAT that i really like but the pickups are hotter than your typical tele... kinda like a tele pickup and a P90 got together and made some babies. I also have a Tribute bass. Good stuff. 
 
G&L and Godin are smart in the way they cut costs on their lower-end guitars. It is my understanding that the G&L tributes use the same pickups and hardware and of course are imported from Asia. For Godin, they use all the same components too but the finishes are thinner and satin. That alone shaves at least $250 to $300 off the price because all those shiny deep finishes are very labor-intensive and take a long time to cure (and many people hold the opinion the thinner satin finishes are actually tonally superior.) Another way they save a little is the all-maple neck on my Session does not have a skunk-stripe. They also make ALL of their wood parts in Canada but they export the assembly... to NEW HAMPSHIRE of all places... lol. So you can honestly say a bottom-end Godin is an all-American guitar! 
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TheMaartian
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/29 20:53:37 (permalink)
Here's my actual Ascari. It's the MF-exclusive tri-pup version. Bought it on a SDotD for $350. Except for a pinhole-sized void in the inner finish on the bottom of the head stock (took me a couple of weeks to even notice it), the guitar was flawless. For the money, I feel like I stole it. I would not have been unhappy to pay list for it ($600 iirc). Amazing sustain for an Indonesian axe.
 



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TheMaartian
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/29 20:58:36 (permalink)
The 5-way switch is wired this way. Lots of different tonal possibilities. As do most, it suffers from a level drop when coil tapped. So, I've got 20 different choices: 10 with the buckers and 10 coil tapped. Wish I was good enough to make true use of all of that. 
 

 

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tlw
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/30 03:05:35 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby TheMaartian 2018/01/30 20:59:02
MakerDP
Another way they save a little is the all-maple neck on my Session does not have a skunk-stripe.


I’ve a couple of relatively recent (post 2000) Fender Teles without skunk stripes, one a 60s reissue with a rosewood board and one with a maple neck and separate maple board.

The reason Leo Fender put the stripe in was to save money. A truss rod had to be slotted into a solid one-piece maple neck/fingerboard somehow or other, and the alternative of drilling a long hole was more complicated to do and presumably more expensive. So instead his design took a length of maple, machined a slot out of it, fitted the truss rod into that then plugged the slot with a contrasting length of (I think) walnut. After which the neck went to be band-sawed, machined and sanded into shape.

When Fender moved to rosewood fingerboards in the early 60s the skunk stripe disappeared because on a neck with a seperate fingerboard the truss rod slot could be covered by the fingerboard so the stripe wasn’t needed.

Leo Fender was a genius at working out what was really needed for performance, what was the least expensive way of doing things at the factory and then combining the two into a solid marketable product.

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MakerDP
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/30 19:51:05 (permalink)
Interesting history lesson tlw! Thanks for that.
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Slugbaby
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/31 14:39:26 (permalink)
And Leo wasn't even a guitarist!

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burgerproduction
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/01/31 15:58:24 (permalink)
1) Yes
I used to submit music to Taxi and I remember one of the 'regulars' there telling me, in response to a similar question to yours, that if I couldn't play to a click-track, I didn't deserve to be making music (that told me). I'm with Voda though. I prefer a drum, but if I use a click I keep the volume way down so that it doesn't turn my performance 'mechanical'.
2) Yes
Sometimes I start with piano; sometimes guitar; sometimes just voice. I rarely use the first mix/writing mix as the final project - I prefer to re-record everything when I'm happy with the song structure.
 
Mettelus, that's a sad footnote to your post. :(

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tlw
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/02/01 01:51:56 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Slugbaby 2018/02/01 14:05:40
Slugbaby
And Leo wasn't even a guitarist!


Ah, but he talked to lots of guitarists and listened to what they had to say about what they wanted and why they wanted it.

And he turned apparent negatives into positives. That weird maple bolt-on neck not only used less wood but was obviously far quicker and easier to machine and assemble than a traditional dovetailed glued joint. When it was introduced, attached to a guitar-shaped flat slab of ash, it attracted some criticism from the “traditionally” minded (and still does).

But Fender pointed out it had a big advantage over his rival’s mahogany glued-in necks:-

1. Maple is much stronger than mahogany to start with.
2. The in-line head provides enough string angle over the nut without the head having to tilt backwards or be scarfed on.

So when your Fender falls over, unlike those fancy G****n L*s P**l mahogany dovetailed necks with their tilted-back headstock that everyone is paranoid about snapping, that straight length of maple might dent but it won’t break. And if you do ever manage to snap the neck, the fix is easy, cheap and quick. Just order a replacement neck and bolt it in.

The man was truly a genius.

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Slugbaby
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Re: Guitar questions 2018/02/01 14:06:09 (permalink)
I wish more companies would spend time thinking as, and talking to, their customers!  

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