Hey guys - I've never done much with effects but lately I've decided I really need distortion. The thing is that I really hate it when it's overdone, and I literally know nothing about the difference between different pedals, what they do, and what I need. I just know the sound I DO want and don't want. So anyway I was listening to some stuff on Jeff Miles' website (sounds really great too - you should check it out if you haven't heard his stuff) and I was wondering if anyone could give me any hints as to what he's doing to get the sound he's got, effects-wise. I'm specifically interested in the sound he's getting on the track "Instead of You excerpt." It sounds a lot like Kurt's sound to me but maybe even a little cleaner. Any tips on how to get that sound? This is the type of thing that Kurt gets a lot on the Remedy as well. I've been lusting after that sound for a while now. Haha. Thanks for any help you guys can give me.
Specific distortion tone(19 posts)
ProCo RAT. I like the old one myself. A Fender Twin can't hurt either ;).
Also, where are Jeff Miles' tour dates?
Sounds like a rat to my ears too ..
Awesome guys - that's what I was hoping you'd say. I'm going to buy one today. Haha. What kind of settings would you use to get that kind of sound? I'm now using an H20 Echo pedal and T-Rex reverb, with a Route 66 Compression pedal as well.
I'm really clueless when it comes to this stuff. I appreciate your help.
Ben Monder uses a Rat, too.
Just experiment with it, because every player will sound the same no matter when.
Jeff hasn't recorded yet - he graduated from Berklee just a couple years ago. He was a senior when I was a freshman. He won the Montreux guitar competition a couple years ago though! He's incredible. Keep your eye out for him in the future. I think there is a show with him on it in the smalls archives though. You might be able to find it there.
Might be an inappropriate place to ask this, but what's Berklee like? As a guitarist who hopes to one day be a musician, it looks like a very fine school.
Hey nate, to come back on the distortion topic.
the rat has a lot of distortion and the way i like to set it is
distortion low, i'd say around 9 or 10 oclock. enough tone to keep ringing highs, but low enough to lower the growl it gives when too high. volume is adjusted after that according to your clean volume, it mainly depends of the amount of distortion you set.
i easily get the singing lead tone of modern guitar players, but it still breaks up a little too much for me when i hit chords with the distortion on.
I've tried the mxr distortion III and cutsof shop gt-overdrive and thought they also provide a really cool sound, even if it can be a bit muddy..
i'd try these too if i were you.. good luck choosing :)
Speaking about Monder, what Ive heard he uses a modified Boss distortion, but everyone seem to have a RAT as well (Frisell, Scofield, Kurt etc.). I would also recomend MXR Distoriton III, I have it and I like alot. It is very priceworthy. You might also check out Jonathan Kreisbergs distortion, Voodoo Sparkle Drive. I think it sounds fantastic as well. The solo starts at 07:50.
Hey nateroberts.. I'd like to hear about berklee too, so you can use this forum. You can start another thread or just use this one. AMaybe you could talk about : what it's really like to be there. Does it worth the money? What you got out of this experience etc...
Well, just anything that you think that might interest people who'd like to get there.
Okay! Well it's kind of a huge topic because I spend two years of my life there, but I'd be happy to answer any specific questions. I have since transferred to a small college in the midwest called Hope College. I should be clear that I didn't leave Berklee because I was unhappy there. It was a personal decision.
As far as the teachers and students go - I don't think there is anywhere else in the world that would offer what Berklee does. Studying with Mick Goodrick was incredible - he's one of the best teachers in the world I think. Incredibly knowledgeable and easy to get along with. I also studied with Jack Pezanelli - who is also an incredible player, and has played with Jaco and tons of others. Also, there's absolutely nothing like the scene at Berklee. There are just hundreds of other players that are always around and wanting to play and jam 24 hours a day. It's incredible. There are always people to push you, no matter how hot of a player you are. This can also kind of be a problem because actual performance opportunities are almost non-existant (one of the main reasons I left - I wanted to get a chance to play out more).
I actual entered Berklee as a mandolin performance major, and ended up double majoring in mandolin and guitar performance. Berklee was great with that because I have very diverse musical interests - and I was able to not only take classes in many different styles, but participate in ensembles from modern jazz to celtic music to bluegrass to gospel. The classes are incredibly specialized - I took a class called "The comping style of Jim Hall" as well as the "Kurt Rosenwinkel lab" and participated in the "Wes Montgomery ensemble." It's also one of the best places for networking that I can imagine, because you get to know SO many other young musicians and after you leave it is very possible to maintain those friendships and connections. And to be realistic, Berklee IS very expensive, but so are most other schools, and Berklee isn't that much worse than other private schools - plus they're very good at giving scholarships. I received a very generous scholarship that made it quite affordable. Like I said, though, Berklee has its shortcomings. With Berklee, Boston Conservatory and NEC all in the same area, it's very difficult to find gigging opportunities. Also, I think that while Berklee produces incredible musicians, there is not as much one-on-one faculty attention there, and it is easy to feel anonymous. Unless you're in the top 2 or 3 guys per instrument, it's pretty difficult to get much touring and performing experience. You do get a LOT of playing and jamming in though. If you wanted to you could play all night every night. I think it's also important to prioritize, because the homework can pile up just like any other school - and if you're there to get good grades, you can lose a lot of valuable practice time. That can be important for many majors, but being a performance major, I had to settle for lower grades to have enough time to feel satisfied with my practicing.
What was your audition piece?
wow. thx nate !
I have lots of questions :
here are some ->
1. what's a typical day in Berklee? I mean you talked about prioritizing what you need to do but how many hours of classes, jamming, practicing did you get there?
2. speaking of grades : what are the classes that take time and that you think you could save time for practicing and jamming?
Ok, so basically I got the idea that Berklee is for meeting and playing with other musician and the time spent there should be focused on that.
Thanks for that Nate, I will be heading there in the fall an appreciate any insights.
To clarify - I'm not saying that it's not a perfectly valid choice to go to Berklee, study hard, get good grades and get a degree IF you are there for something (music ed, music therapy, recording, academia) that requires a good resume and transcript. For performance though, it just seems like a waste.
For my audition pieces (as I said I was a mandolin and guitar student) I did, for mandolin: Chris Thile's caprice #1, When Mandolins Dream, which you can see a youtube video of at
I played it at about 3/4 tempo - I'll never have the chops Thile has! For my guitar audition I did Giant Steps and Bach's Prelude from partita No. 3 in E Major for solo violin. I think they want to see technique, but they also want to hear good phrasing (which has always been a struggle for me, coming from the classical world) and the ability to play over changes well. I've heard for a few of my friends who were relying too much on the rhythm section or accompaniment track, the auditioners asked them to play a few choruses with just a metronome to show that they really knew the form and could suggest the changes well without hearing them.
In terms of a typical day at Berklee, it really depends. I scheduled light semesters (14 rather than 16 credits) to give me more time to practice. For a performance major you do a lot of ensembles and lab (in-class playing) type classes, so I didn't have as much homework, and I did probably 3 hours a day practice during the week, and 4-5 on the weekend, with about an hour a day jamming or maybe 2 hours on the weekends. Some guys do less, some guys do a LOT more. I tried to find some moderation and not get caught up in the obsessive practicing to the point where I was always feeling like crap. Also it's important to keep in mind that though berklee is a 4-year program, they offer a lot of opportunities to test out of certain classes. For example, I tested out of ear training 1-3 and straight into 4, and the same with theory, so that was 6 semester long classes that I passed out of right from the get go, and with transferring in a few academic classes from high school, that put me on track to graduate a year early. Unfortunately, Berklee classes are very specialized so they don't transfer out very well. Haha. You can find the performance curriculum grid with classes by semester here:
Just click the degree/diploma link and you can download it as a pdf. I pretty much didn't do any homework for the academic type classes at all, other than the main projects required to pass the classes. Like I said I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to anyone, but I would just say that it's important to decide where your priorities lie and not get caught up in the need to get all A's and do all your assigned work if it's not relevant to your future career.
I'm glad to help guys - and good luck to those of you who are heading there in the future. It's a great place and I'd be glad to help with teacher/class selection and stuff when you get there. I got to know most of the guys in the jazz and guitar areas. Also, just as a reassurance - I would say that if you guys are listening to Kurt already as high school seniors you're definitely on the right track, and probably way ahead of where I was my freshman year.
Sorry for such a long post! I'm just trying to be thorough. Also feel free to email me if you have any more specific questions that don't necessarily need to be answered on the forum.
If you're looking for that 80s RAT sound, like Kurt's, the closest thing that I've found is either the Willard Reinhardt distortion, or the Rattler by Jam.
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