The absolute beauty of tape based echo units lies in the fact that tape itself is analogue – moving the tape across a tape head polarizes the magnetic domains in the tape in proportion to the fluctuations in the audio signal. The granular nature of the magnetic material adds noise to the signal and because the magnetic characteristics of tape are not linear tape exhibits a characteristic hysteresis curve, which causes unwanted distortion of the signal. Any measured analog signal must theoretically have noise and a finite slew rate. It`s the imperfection in tape that makes the sound so delicious.
Paul has written in asking about the best practices in replacing the vacuum tubes in his amp. I`d try and replace old tubes with the same models from a new manufacturer simply because these tubes were more than likely built into your amp in the first place and from a part of the amplifiers response, although experts can probably help with using different tubes to gain differing tone characteristics. Here are two great places to buy replacement vacuum tubes and find out more, including how they work.
I said yesterday that I`d write about Robert Johnson; there`s a lot of hoodoo wrapped up around the man, in particular that he sold his soul to the devil down in Clarksdale. Originally, Son House suggested, Johnson was not regarded as a good musician but after the trade with Satan he returned with the blazing skills and blues mastery of a demi-god.
For those of you out there who are keen on Pink Floyd I thought I`d write a little post that positions Pink Floyd within a certain part of guitar history and associated style. At the beginning of their career Pink Floyd werea quintessentially English band led by songwriter and folk singer Syd Barrett who had named the band after two Piedmont Style blues players Pink Anderson and Floyd council. It`s interesting to note that the early manifestations of the band
An analog recording is one where the original sound signal is modulated onto another physical medium or substrate such as the groove of a gramophone disc or the iron oxide surface of a magnetic tape. A physical quality in the medium (e.g., the intensity of the magnetic field or the path of a record groove) is directly related, or analogous, to the physical properties of the original sound (e.g., the amplitude, phase, etc.)
the Dark Fire which although comes equipped with a humbucker, a single-coil and a bridge-mounted piezo acoustic pickup is DIGITAL through and through. The Chameleon Tone Technology claims to emulate very single guitar sound of worth ever, comes with a firewire connector and a midi adaptable hex connector too, a robot interface pack and Ableton Live 7 plus Guitar Rig III.
Kia Ora Jake here. I just wanted to write a quick post in response to a few questions about guitar effects pedals. A boutique guitar effects pedal is most usually a hand built or a limited edition pedal built by electronic enthusiasts, or a modded (modified) pedal. Many people mod their Boss units for example. There`s a whole new world of quantum manipulation opportunities out there once you start buying some of the crazy and often deranged units. Obviously there`s time and a place for everything but if you want to continue along the consciousness bending, sonic roads of Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Tom Morello, Jonny Greenwood, Robert Fripp, Alan Holdsworth, Steve Hillage, Reeves Gabrels here are a few links to help you get really weird.
Music is mathematics. Yes, it sounds scary but it`s true. If you are looking to mess with time and space simply try playing a few octave sequences. Consider your open E string, the halfway point is at the twelfth fret and this is why intonation, the fine tuning of the string length is crucial to playing tight and true notes at higher frequencies! Basically when the string is played open it is twice the length (space) than if played at the twelfth fret but vibrating at half the speed (time).
Jon and I were talking about bike riding this morning and we think there are great parallels between bicycle design and development and that of guitar. I think the Sunday Times ran a think tank amongst a series of leading experts, gurus and scientists who felt that the greatest invention of the last 250 yearswas the bicycle. Basically any great design doesn`t need radical design improvements but more innovation in materials. Like they say you just can`t reinvent the wheel but you can improve the drivers, sprockets, braking, geometry for different applications. Anyway this what we`re seeing in modern guitar design right now. Of course underlying the construction of the guitar are some fundamental mathematics which I`m going to have a quick look at tomorrow and we`ll find out exactly how you can juggle time and space – the easy non transcendental way.
Meanwhile have a listen to Frank Zappa’s “Watermelons in Easter Hay”
The future of the guitar – what is it? We`re still using designs that are around 60 years old: Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, Flying V, Explorers, Jaguar, Firebird etcetera. Commonalities include double or single cutaways, magnetic pickups, tone selectors, strings, tremelo arms, bridges, frets, tuning pegs.