Will the real tube tone please stand up?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Scali, Jul 10, 2009.

Which do you think is 'tube tone'?

  1. Clip 1

    27 vote(s)
    56.3%
  2. Clip 2

    16 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Both

    5 vote(s)
    10.4%
  4. Neither

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Scali

    Scali Banned

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    I'm presenting two 20-second clips of the same song, recorded by two different guitarists, each with their own sound.
    Now, a friend and I both agree that one sounds like a real tube amp, the other doesn't... The thing is, we disagree on which is which!
    Apparently the concept of 'tube tone' means something different to different people.
    Now I'd like your input on this poll... I'd like to see if the majority thinks that one clip is the true 'tube tone'... Or maybe you think we're both wrong, and they're both real 'tube tone'... or maybe neither?

    Anyway, here are the clips:
    http://bohemiq.scali.eu.org/Sample1.mp3
    http://bohemiq.scali.eu.org/Sample2.mp3
     
    All_¥our_Bass likes this.
  2. xtrustisyoursx

    xtrustisyoursx SS.org Regular

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    2nd one sounds tubier to me, but it's tough to say when I'm listening to a clip through laptop speakers.
     
  3. HammerAndSickle

    HammerAndSickle Guitar Comrade

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    It's definitely the first one. Depending on the settings of course one can sound like the other, but the first is smoother, and the second has a bitey pick attack.
     
  4. TomAwesome

    TomAwesome I LIKE JUICE!!!

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    It's hard to tell with these clips and these speakers. If one is tubes and one is modeling, I'm going to guess that the second one is more likely to be real. I thought it might be the first clip at first since the second clip sounds harsher, but then I noticed the background guitar on the first clip. I can barely hear it, but what little of it I can hear has a stiffness that I generally associate with modelers. I think the settings are making a much bigger difference than the actual gear that was used, though.
     
  5. Scali

    Scali Banned

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    Well, I should say that the focus of the debate is the lead tone, not the backing. The backing is a Total Guitar backingtrack, if I'm not mistaken.

    At any rate, the posts so far seem to illustrate that 'tube tone' indeed means different things to different people. I wonder if there will be some kind of consensus as the topic progresses.
     
  6. ccc187307

    ccc187307 ss.org Irregular

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    I'm wit da Hammer on this one.
     
  7. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD ERG Drummer! Contributor

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    Forced to pick one over the other, I'd have to choose Clip 2. And I can't tell you why. :lol:

    No, it's just that it sounds... thicker, somehow? In my store, the tube amps all share a... well, hell, how do you describe it? Warmth? Organic-ness? It's hard to say, but when I hear a Peavey Vypyr, then hear a Vox VT30, I can tell the difference, even though the modeling sounds very very similar (the Vox has a tube power section). The tube amps generally have less clarity, but more blendedness, than the solid state amps we have.

    I agree with Tom, though, that the settings and outboard gear make such a difference that it can be very very hard to differentiate.
     
  8. Lucas Crowe

    Lucas Crowe Lovely Boy

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    I think that Clip 1 is the real thing. Just sounds like it to me.
     
  9. All_¥our_Bass

    All_¥our_Bass Deathly Chuuni

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    :agreed:
    My exact thoughts, though I'm no expert on tube tone.
    They both sound excellent though, very Satch-esque.:yesway:
     
  10. ddtonfire

    ddtonfire SS.org Regular

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    I went with the first option. It sounds warmer.
     
  11. Ruins

    Ruins SS.org Regular

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    to me they sound both tubby. the first one though sounds much more like a traditional one though.
     
  12. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    yep, my vote goes with #1.
     
  13. TomAwesome

    TomAwesome I LIKE JUICE!!!

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    Are we going to eventually get a reveal for what each is, or were you just bringing us in on the discussion between you and your friend?
     
  14. Scali

    Scali Banned

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    My primary goal for the poll was just to see if there is a common idea of what 'tube tone' sounds like. If most people pick the same clip because it sounds more like 'tube tone' to them, then apparently whoever picked the other clip has a rather unique idea of 'tube tone'... because that's what I thought of him when he brought up his ideas of why one sounded like 'tube tone' and the other didn't. And he probably thought the same of me. Maybe we just call it 'tube tone' whenever we think it sounds better, and it doesn't really have anything to do with tubes at all. Maybe we just can't really tell anymore.

    I think it's interesting to see people mention the aspects that make it sound 'tube' to them, like 'smooth', 'warmth', 'thickness', 'traditional' etc.
    And on the opposite you have 'bitey', 'stiffness', 'clarity'...

    I know how one clip is recorded, and maybe I can find out how the other was recorded aswell, so then I can reveal them.
     
  15. flexkill

    flexkill Vodka & PentaTonic

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    The first few licks on the first one have that "Glassy" sound to it....so I would think it clip one! It could possibly be clip two.....but do to the great feel of both players....that makes it even tougher!!!! You can never under estimate the power of the almighty fingers!!!!! Great players can make just about anything sound anyway they want!!!!:agreed:

    LOL...I just had to add.....players vibrato on clip 2 is facking incredible!!!!!! That first bend is like woo woo woo woo!!!!! HUGE sweeping motion!!!!!!:hbang:
     
  16. Hawkevil

    Hawkevil Toast Wiper

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    I also think the first one has more of a tube feel to it. It could obviously just be the production but it seems like the second clip has a slight harshness to it. Like some EQ spike that adds a kind of digital layer over the whole sound. Obviously this is subjective to me but thats what my ears are telling me haha.
     
  17. sevenstringj

    sevenstringj Banned

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    This is a really bad comparison. Were they both recorded direct? Were they both mic'd? Was one mic'd and the other direct?

    You also need to get rid of all the reverb and effects.

    Also, are we talking preamp or power amp tubes? Solid state pre with tube power section?

    Finally, these clips don't address the area where tubes really excel--the brown sound, so to speak. Varying the amount of saturation by pick attack and volume control alone. Always cranking the gain and playing with absolutely no dynamics kinda defeats the purpose.

    Anyway, I think 2 sounds like Sansamp. 1 sounds a little more like a real amp, or Line6 recorded exceptionally well. Either way, whoever recorded 1 did a much better job on his tone. And that's really the point--if you know what you're doing, you can get tube, solid state, or digital to sound great.
     
  18. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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  19. Scali

    Scali Banned

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    Yea, I agree.
    I guess the question is which SOUNDS like 'tube tone'. It doesn't necessarily have to be actual tubes.
    If that happens to be a modeler, even though the other recording may be a real tube amp... that just means that whoever used the modeler knew what he was doing and was able to capture those 'tube tone' qualities... while the guy with the tube amp messed up.
     
  20. drmosh

    drmosh Sir Paul of the Mosh Contributor

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    i don't really think I could tell from those clips, they sound like totally different mixes
     

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