As a result of my recent guitar updates see here, I’ve been playing my guitars quite a bit more. It’s something I’m doing for the fun of it really, I don’t have any definite plans as to what I might do regarding recording or making a ‘some kind of a guitar album’.
In fact, I only use the guitar rather sparsely in my ambient work. I used it predominantly on my last album ‘Lyra’ and less so on ‘Satu’, ‘Flicker’ and ‘Jazz-electric’ (which was mostly ‘fake’ guitar).
The playing that I have been doing is pretty much just ‘noodling’ really. When I was younger, I used to play the guitar up to six hours a day – such was my enthusiasm to get good at it. I’m now very rusty, but I’m trying to get a bit of ‘fluidity’ back, by building things up. 99% of what I’m doing is pretty uninspired, but the 1% stuff that is pretty decent encourages me to keep at it. It’s amazing how much repetition I’m finding in my playing – I’m still playing some of the same heavy rock licks that I did twenty years ago !. I think that’s why I decided to play less in the past, I wanted to move on and go more into production and sound-design.
Anyway, the Tokai is sounding very good and I’ve done the last mod that I intend to for the time being (really !). I put some telecaster dome knobs on, I thought they look rather swish (I’m a sucker for anything shiny) and they have a pointer dot which I find to be very useful as I’m altering the pickup volumes much more than I used to.
My current ‘guitar sound’ starts with an overdriven patch that I programmed into my Zoom G2.1U multi effect unit:
I then load up FL Studio and use Nebula with one of the Ownhammer speaker cabinet libraries (I think these are the best ‘software cabs’ that I’ve come across and really add to the overall sound. As I said, I’m experimenting more with backing of the pickup volume controls to get a variety of tones.
I’m intending to make some guitar playing videos, to put up on the tube. The idea is to use my Sony HX5 to record the video whilst recording the audio on the computer at the same time, so I can strip out the horrid audio from the Sony and replace it with the recorded audio, synced to the video. I’ve some drafts and they sound good and look decent. I’m planning on doing some ebow playing, vibrato techniques etc.
24/08/2012 Update – more shiny things !
More chromey shiny things now added – chrome pick-up surrounds, Gretsch chrome knobs (actually very functional for a Les Paul type guitar) and a chrome 3 ways elector toggle switch. All cosmetic, but that’s the fun of modding I guess !