Fwd: Effects was Re: [Harp-L] Jason's organ
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- Subject: Fwd: Effects was Re: [Harp-L] Jason's organ
- From: Buddha <groovygypsy@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 15:02:05 -0700
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Whoa Whoa Whoa....
First of all, I didn't even want to do the seminar but after a bit of
prodding I agreed. The reason I didn't want to do it because I didn't
want to deal with the transport of my pedal board - points for
Richard's case and the Digitech. I never meant the seminar to be
anything else other than an effects seminar and certainly NOT as a
The amp I used is owned by Jason Ricci and was the only amp that was a
available to me. I would have plugged into a PA or anything else but
I only had one option. SPAH didn't provide an amp nor keyboard for me
as I was expecting. My effect would have sounded even better using
Slim's bass rig as its something I normally use. I have a 60w GK amp
I use for small clubs and a 800w bass rig for larger clubs. There
wasn't much I could do about the volume of the amp - I even blocked
the front of it.
The Digitech unit is something I have toyed with for years and decided
the best sound comes from dedicated pedals. The digitech as
demonstrated by Richard performed exactly as I expected. Richard does
wonders with the unit and gets more out of it than I ever could.
Despite the volume I could still hear the "thinness" and limitations
of the until. There is an overall 'harsh" and digital quality to the
sound. Much of it can be EQ'd out but to me in my experience it simply
doesn't stand up to dedicated pedals.
Russ, I never said anything about digitech vs Boss. I was commented
on the the fact the Boss DM-2 is considered the holy grail of analogue
delay pedals and almost everything thing that comes after it tries to
copy the sound of the Boss DM-2. I like digitech, I like Boss, I like
EHX, I like BBE etc....they all have their gems and dogs. To me, the
real deal is always better than an emulation.
The most convincing comment that settles it for me is when Richard was
demonstrating his amp modeling choices "Pretty convincing sound eh?"
(not a direct quote but close) No convincing is needed when you have
the real deal.Right? That said, Richard's sound was pretty good and
fairly convincing to those with closed eyes. If you have a digitech
until it would serve you well to buy the RP Patches that Richard has
This discussion is a little like tube amp vs solid state and the true
answer to the debate is whatever YOU like best. My approach is to use
what works and sounds the best for ME. I don't use a solid state amp
for playing blues and I don't use a tube amp for my jazz/rock
inflected fusion when I use the pedals. There is a place for
everything, my pedal board and Richard's digitech unit included.
Sorry I was so loud at the seminar, I blame those that weren't able
to attend SPAH but still wanted to hear it across the globe.
I'm flattered, of course, that Chris seems to think it so important to
vanquish little old me and my gear choices. It's also nice to see
what Chris really thought this demo was about. "More is more."
"Bigger is better." Are you sure this discussion is about your
harmonica gear, Chris?
Let's talk about how carefully the deck was stacked in this session,
starting with the amp. As I noted in my previous post, Chris showed
up at the SPAH demo with an amp that I now see was chosen from the
start to overwhelm the room--a Bassman RI with 50 watts of power and
four 10" speakers. That is massive, massive overkill for a 20'x30'
room, where a 5-watt amp with an 8" speaker could easily have been
loud enough to make people uncomfortable. With the volume set to
2--the lowest we could get it without making the sound
inaudible--Chris's amp was loud enough to force many people in the
room to put earplugs in. I am certain that no one reading this would
ever show up for a gig in a 20'x30' room with a 50 watt amp in tow,
and it's interesting to ponder the question of why Chris thought so
much power was necessary. It seems likely to me that the amp was
chosen by Chris precisely because he knew it would be orders of
magnitude louder than anything else at this demo, given that I had
publicly asked SPAH for a small PA system or keyboard amp. As every
recording engineer knows, a louder sound is automatically perceived by
any audience as a "better" sound. That is the exact reason why every
new pop or rock record has been compressed and volume-maximized to
within an inch of its life--every producer wants to make sure that his
or her record is the loudest record on the radio.
To finish this point about volume, note that the Digitech, like any
other amp modeler, and also like the pedals Chris brought with him,
has no amplifier of its own. Its volume depends entirely on the power
of the system it's plugged into--just like Chris's pedals, which don't
make a sound until they're plugged into an amp. So it's nonsense, not
to mention purposely misleading, for Chris to claim that the Digitech
(and other amp modelers) are only "suited to a small venue". If you
want a louder sound, you plug it into a bigger amp, just like you do
with any other pedal. Period. I use a 65 Watt keyboard amp, with a
line out to the PA, for loud gigs for precisely that reason.
Chris was very clever to turn this effects demo into a contest based
on the size of the amps in the room, to make sure that he brought an
amp much bigger than the one I planned to bring, and to claim, when
all is said and done, that there's only one way to get a good
sound--his. Of course, I've heard the same story from lots of other
players over the years. It's never about the same gear, of course,
but that doesn't stop them from claiming that there's only one way to
Nice working with you, Chris. Looking forward to the next time.
Sincerely, Richard Hunter
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