Trying to prepare myself warming up a little tonight for worship practice tomorrow. For various reasons I've been playing either guitar synth or acoustic recently, but for the songs we're going to practice and because I don't have to play Thursday for the church meeting I decided to get a strat out, plugged in through an old Korg AX30G processor into a valve amp.
Tuned up, volume set up, 'home' patch and hit the first chord.
Honey, I'm home.
It's big and fat, there's sparkle and snap in the top end, a thickness about the lower mids that's clean yet almost sound like it's overdriven and the compressor in the patch keeps each note sustaining and sustaining, even though I'm playing at acoustic levels in my livingroom. The more you hit the guitar the bigger and deeper it all gets, and I smack the strat in a way my Godin can't handle. It's a sound that I used for over a decade with tweaks occasionally, in various worship bands, and it's just a fabulous tone. It'll fill a room in a great joyful wash, but also sharpen up and narrow down when the treble strings are selected, to either funky quack or precise chord stabs. Over-processed? Sure, just like a Def Lepard studio album, and it hits the spot beautifully.
So I fiddle about with Matt Redman's Her For You, then mess about with some fills and runs before dropping into a favourite pattern in A, double stops up & down the neck, back to the A, hammer ons and it's all sounding huge and juicy. Arpeggios jump from the fingerboard - I'd almost forgotten what a joy it was to play a guitar that responded instead of held you back.
I love this combination: a strat and the processor, the amp not so much because it's not overwhelmingly good and it's running a bit quiet to open up, but it's great to be 'home'.
Do you ever get that "honey, I'm home" feeling?
Yea, I do get it. It's not always easy to get there, but the right combination sometimes really feels tasty. For me, it came into existence when I first used my Jetter Vibe into my Allen 6G2 amp with all knobs turned down on the pedal. Up to this point, this amp was a midrange monster that liked to be turned into breakup and beyond - it likes to rock. But the cleans weren't so great. But I knew that vibe was somewhat midrange scooped, so I tried it and it was wonderful. It has a nice fat but blackface tone. I also got this feeling when I plugged my Ibanez AR300 into my Blackface amp and had my Keeley set just right along with the Raw control on the amp at about 9 o'clock. Instant Rolling Stones.
Off topic, but you like the Korg?
I have one of the acoustic version (AX10A), I bought it used for a song, but I don't find it I like that much. Maybe the amp models are just too subtle in the acoustic side.
Could be my guitar too. I usually play it with my Godin Acousticaster for the same reason you love your strat, the fast neck! I'm not using a typical fuller guitar, like a dreadnought body.
I found effects even too sublet. Probably too many years of Line6 in-your-face stuff.
Sadly I think I'm too programmed to go to my PODXTLive.That's my go to. One of a few Tele's (Custom w/ P-90s, Custom w/ Burstbuckers, LiteAsh with Duncans or MIM mod to be like Andy Summers...) and the POD. I guess over the years I just got to a point where I know how to get the sounds (relatively) that I need or want during a set. Won't fool the audiofile, but just enough that it gives that 'colour wash' of what I'm thinking. You just get used to crap... probably what it is... Probably better out there... but it feels comfortable, like an old "Barcalounger" you got. There are nicer, newer, leather, but it's nice and familiar, etc etc...Feels "appropriate".
Just me getting set in my ways... probably site on my porch and yell at young kids listening to rap music soon... *haha*
p.s. I realized, many years ago I listen to music on AM channels with $10 radios. Maybe I'm just used to some songs being played in that quality sounds too. I mean it's only lately people are paying $400 for headphones for their iPhone right?
$400 headphones to listen to MP3s? Rolls eyes.
The AX30G isn't a modeller like the AX10A (I had one briefly) but instead is like a programmable set of digital stomp boxes. The way this behaves and sounds is very different to any modeller I ever tried, working with a guitar amp to shape tones with the kind of control you'd have expected from rack gear made around the same time. It has one of the best compressors I've ever used and this is part of why it's such a joy to play at low volumes.
I had that this morning. I have Mondays off so I go in to church to run through our practice sched for Wednesday night rehearsal. And I even used a couple of pedals! I played the SG -> Pro Co Rat with my soft clip mods -> Boss CH-1 -> my JTM build. Played Revelation Song among a few others, and while backing off the attack gives that warbly clean, when laying into the chords a bit I get a big growly hit decaying into a soft swirling finish. If only a full church on Sunday had the same lively reverb as that big empty space on Monday. Then I unplugged everything and ran straight in clean, and played through that 4/4 thumbpicking version of "Family of God" that I've worked up. Yes, sometimes it just feels good like that.
Always it feels good like that. I think most people on here like the Marshalls and Vox's, and I'm truly agnostic in that respect. But I somehow ended up with Fender circuit-ed amps from Dave Allen and I have to say, Fender amps are superb in worship settings. One of these days - a JTM build of some kind would be my next most desired amp.
Wow quite some poetry here :)! yeah, but I really know what you mean! Sometimes its so good to go Back to the roots!
Cheers guys - glad that works for other people too.