AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - February 20, 2014

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At tonight's AES Student Chapter Meeting, Michael King and Robert Bryant showed us how to find different guitar tones, including funk, country, and metal. Mike started out by talking about the different things that affect guitar tones such as pickups, strings, the design of the neck, hardware, amps and even cables.

He showed us how much noisier single coil pickups are than humbucker pickups, which are pickups that were created to cancel the noise produced by single coils. Next he talked about nickel versus brass strings on your guitar. Nickel is overall the most popular choice and best selling, however brass strings provide a brighter, more cutting tone.

Some claim that a bolt-on-neck versus neck-through produces more sustain, but others disagree saying this is just a convenient part replacement option in case the neck is damaged. Most people would not think about the hardware affecting the guitars tone, but chrome versus powder coated does make a difference with the vibrations coming from the guitar. We are all aware of the impact amps and all their options have on a guitars tone.

The player can use a combo or head and cabinet configuration, as well as a wide array off effects such as reverb or distortion. Mike brought a Schecter Diamond Series C1 Plus, a Jackson dK2, a Squire Affinity Strat, and a Fender Mustang 3 amp. Rob Brought 2 Dean Razorbacks, a Simon and Patrick 12 String Acoustic, an Ibanez ART300, an Ibanez 150H Toneblaster Halfstack, and pedals. Both displayed examples of many genres of music and the effects, amps, and guitars used to achieve the sounds associated with those genres. Something Mike pointed out was that gold tipped instrument cables are not good to use in tube amps because when the amp heats up, it will cause the gold to expand and your connector will be hard to remove.

The end of the presentation wrapped up with Mike opening his equipment up for people to carefully experiment with while answering students' questions. The meeting was a great success and the students walked away with a basic knowledge of guitars , which they can use throughout the rest of their careers.

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