#159441  by FranklinsTower
 Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:55 pm
Hey all fellow deadheads!! I am a huge fan of the Dead and late in life decided to start a band inspired by them. We are NOT trying to play or sound like them but just want to emulate the authenticity and humility and respect and love for music that they did. We also use a jam band approach even though we are not very good yet. We have two drummers, one on a kit and one using only percussion instruments, a violinist and a rhythm?lead guitar and a bass player.

I have a question about sound quality and digital effects pedals and built in guitar effects. When I started the band I specifically asked that people try to stick to analog effects pedals and such as I think that digital negatively effects the quality of sound overall. Recently my violinist bought a multi effects processor from Boss-- its all digital and my guitarist bought a digital guitar-- its a Variax Standard- line 6, so that it can sound like many different kinds of guitars.

My initial reaction (I have not said anything) is very negative towards these moves. From the beginning I wanted our band to not make compromises for sound quality.

Am I being prudish or overly picky about not wanting to introduce these things into the band?
Last edited by FranklinsTower on Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #159442  by TI4-1009
 Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:38 pm
I'd say yeah.
 #159450  by strumminsix
 Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:40 pm
Dictating other people's gear is a sure fire way to lose bandmates. Unless you are going for a straight up tribute and everyone comes in agreeing to that direction.
 #159451  by FranklinsTower
 Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:06 pm
I am definitely not in danger of losing band mates. Money is not an issue either for any of them. What I am asking about is sound quality.
 #159454  by jefkahn
 Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:35 am
Ask a hundred people about sound quality and you'll get a hundred different opinions. I personally don't think that the difference between digital and analog is enough to make me appreciate music any more or any less. It's the heart and soul (and chops) that go into one's playing that make the difference.
 #159468  by FrettyBoy
 Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:28 am
"We also use a jam band approach even though we are not very good yet."

With respect, if this statement means "in general", then the fine tuning, and attention to detail is better directed at the playing than analog vs digital. Worry about the nuances of gear later. And I would also say it's dangerous territory to require players to use gear that must be approved by you. Again, all stated with respect. Good luck on your quest!!
 #159471  by MattMan
 Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:18 pm
It sounds to me like your use of the word "digital" means you want folks to play their instruments and to not get lost in the effects pedals. However, playing live music tribute to the Grateful Dead is extremely wide open tonally when you consider their entire history--acoustic, no effects electric, classic effects pedals, midi, amps, no amps, etc. To be sure, the name of the game is to have fun, play the songs with passion, and give the audience a good time. See ya.
 #159479  by flyingheelhook
 Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:10 am
Digital technology has come a long way. Its one thing if in a blind test you can pick out the digital vs. the analog and something completely different if you are just trying to assert your bias. My rig is 100% digital (well, except for speakers) and while there is a learning curve and a lot of work in getting things set up the way you want them, it offers a lot of return on the investment.
 #159485  by FranklinsTower
 Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:49 pm
flyingheelhook wrote:Digital technology has come a long way. Its one thing if in a blind test you can pick out the digital vs. the analog and something completely different if you are just trying to assert your bias. My rig is 100% digital (well, except for speakers) and while there is a learning curve and a lot of work in getting things set up the way you want them, it offers a lot of return on the investment.

Thanks for the reply on sound quality. I am curious what instrument you play that is digital unless you only meant pedals.

Also would you feel the same about sending a 5000.00 dollar violin through a digital reverb pedal? or on that case would you rather go with an analog pedal in that case? Thanks again.
 #159486  by FranklinsTower
 Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:52 pm
MattMan wrote:It sounds to me like your use of the word "digital" means you want folks to play their instruments and to not get lost in the effects pedals. However, playing live music tribute to the Grateful Dead is extremely wide open tonally when you consider their entire history--acoustic, no effects electric, classic effects pedals, midi, amps, no amps, etc. To be sure, the name of the game is to have fun, play the songs with passion, and give the audience a good time. See ya.

Thanks for the reply man I really appreciate it. I can see your point but will say that in the later years when there was more digital stuff going on in the band I could hear it and it DID turn me off. Some of the drum sounds were from digital electronic drums and some keyboard stuff that went on was pretty terrible in that sense for me personally but it IS obviously all just a matter of taste.
 #159489  by playingdead
 Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:47 am
That's an outdated point of view. Both guitars in this clip were played through 100 percent digital rigs -- Fractal AX8s -- direct to the board ... the digital equipment today is leaps and bounds from what it was in the 90s when the Dead were experimenting with it. Even huge bands -- Metallica -- are using it live without amps on stage at all these days. Heck, the keys are all digital too. Only analog amp we use on stage is a bass rig now, everything else is full range monitors. Skip to 5:00 or so to hear more of the guitars.



Concentrate on the musicianship and play through whatever you have until the band gets good, that's the important thing.
 #159491  by MattMan
 Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:44 am
FranklinsTower wrote:Also would you feel the same about sending a 5000.00 dollar violin through a digital reverb pedal? or on that case would you rather go with an analog pedal in that case? Thanks again.
Regarding the digital pedal, for a long time now, Lexicon digital reverb is the studio engineer's preference. I'd say for violin you probably want the control of a digital reverb over say an analog plate reverb with springs. But for Jerry tone guitar, plate is what you're looking for. Same with vox which tend to need the control of a digital reverb. I personally like the control of a digital delay pedal that has some analog algorithms that I can manipulate. To each her own.
 #159499  by FranklinsTower
 Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:41 pm
playingdead wrote:That's an outdated point of view. Both guitars in this clip were played through 100 percent digital rigs -- Fractal AX8s -- direct to the board ... the digital equipment today is leaps and bounds from what it was in the 90s when the Dead were experimenting with it. Even huge bands -- Metallica -- are using it live without amps on stage at all these days. Heck, the keys are all digital too. Only analog amp we use on stage is a bass rig now, everything else is full range monitors. Skip to 5:00 or so to hear more of the guitars.



Concentrate on the musicianship and play through whatever you have until the band gets good, that's the important thing.
Does your openness to digital effects pedals also extend to digital guitars? In my OP I mentioned this guitar specifically the Variax line 6. What do you think about these?
 #159500  by FranklinsTower
 Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:41 pm
playingdead wrote:That's an outdated point of view. Both guitars in this clip were played through 100 percent digital rigs -- Fractal AX8s -- direct to the board ... the digital equipment today is leaps and bounds from what it was in the 90s when the Dead were experimenting with it. Even huge bands -- Metallica -- are using it live without amps on stage at all these days. Heck, the keys are all digital too. Only analog amp we use on stage is a bass rig now, everything else is full range monitors. Skip to 5:00 or so to hear more of the guitars.



Concentrate on the musicianship and play through whatever you have until the band gets good, that's the important thing.
Does your openness to digital effects pedals also extend to digital guitars? In my OP I mentioned this guitar specifically-- the Variax line 6. What do you think about these? I ask because on some discussion boards people were saying that you can make very subtle changes in the way you pluck the strings on one of these and it makes NO difference to the sound that comes out.


Also the last line you said about concentrating on playing musicianship until we get good. Did you mean to imply that then digital would not be a good match once we get good or what did you mean?
 #159501  by FranklinsTower
 Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:54 pm
MattMan wrote:
FranklinsTower wrote:Also would you feel the same about sending a 5000.00 dollar violin through a digital reverb pedal? or on that case would you rather go with an analog pedal in that case? Thanks again.
Regarding the digital pedal, for a long time now, Lexicon digital reverb is the studio engineer's preference. I'd say for violin you probably want the control of a digital reverb over say an analog plate reverb with springs. But for Jerry tone guitar, plate is what you're looking for. Same with vox which tend to need the control of a digital reverb. I personally like the control of a digital delay pedal that has some analog algorithms that I can manipulate. To each her own.

Forgive my ignorance if this sounds like a dumb question. Is it the mix of wet dry that makes using a digital pedal or any pedal really OK? What I am saying is that is it not true that there is BOTH the sound of the real violin AND the sound of the digital effect coming through?

Otherwise I guess I cant imagine sending a high quality instrument through a pedal that instantly changes the sound and not in a good way.....

We dont know this yet because we have been totally focusing on playing well and there is only one pedal in the whole band and its a MOOG analogue distortion pedal.