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Anyone interested in collaborative tone creation?
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-09-26 19:37:37

So, I think it would be great if we could get a few of us to start working on developing Pod HD tones collaboratively. We could set up an email list or a subreddit, vote on a project every week (or month, or whatever), and throw our .h5e files around until we get a result as good as possible, then we can post that somewhere online (as well as on CustomTone) for everyone's enjoyment. I am thinking not just creating tones based on specific guitarists' sound, but also "weirder" stuff like synth tones, bass tones, vocal tones, etc.

Here are a few examples that I would like to get people to work on together:

- A guitar-based vocoder, modeled after Paul Masvidal/Cynic

- The synth lead sound from Muse's Uprising

- An excellent acoustic emulation tone

- A go-to vocal toolbox with all the most commonly used vocal effects set up and ready to go in one tone

- Adrian Smith's guitar tone from the Somewhere In Time album (very elusive for me so far...)


For reference, I play Ibanez guitars, my RG570 has DiMarzio pickups (D-Sonic, True Velvet, Liquifire), and my ART100 has the stock Ibanez pickups, so generally on the higher-output end of passive pickups. My mic is a Shure Beta 58A. I run these through a Pod HD500. I already have a library of tones I've created to emulate specific guitarists/songs which I haven't shared yet, but I intend to use some of these as the starting point for some of these ideas (e.g. the Iron Maiden tone I mentioned above).

Re: Anyone interested in collaborative tone creation?
by meambobbo on 2012-09-28 06:44:03

I think this is a good idea and have wanted to do something similar.

Let me point out a couple obstacles and possible resolutions.

1) Everyone has different gear. Even people with the same gear are likely playing in different rooms.  So you'd potentially have people going back on forth on how they set EQ/filters, etc.  To make this worthwhile, you'd have to have multiple people offering feedback on each patch.  You couldn't have 2 or even 3 or 4 people alone - they all might be hearing something different.  So you need a large sample size, and you'd need to specify if we were shooting for a live patch with ___ kind of external gear or a direct patch.

2) Patches have no built in versioning/notes to keep track of all the updates.  We would need a proposed file naming convention to take its place.  My suggestion is author_patch_date[.version].  So an example might be "maB_MuseUp_0928.1"  That would be meambobbo - Muse Uprising - 9/28 - version 1.

3) There are 5 different Pod HD's, and patches don't easily convert from one to the other.  Without some kind of automated patch conversion, this could potentially be a lot of manual work that deters people from contributing.

I think for this idea to have the most success, you need to limit it to one patch at a time over the course of 2-3 weeks per patch, and keep the targeted patches as very popular tones to have maximum involvement.  For instance, while I like your idea, I don't think I really want 4/5 tones you posted above.  Start simple, such as EVH and Petrucci, etc.  Build momentum before moving to the more ecclectic tones.

Re: Anyone interested in collaborative tone creation?
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-09-29 05:04:31

Annnnd replying is back! Sweet.

Edit: Never mind, this is the only thread I can reply to.

So, thank you very much for your input, you have some great points.

- People having different gear: I think this is something that we can deal with in a "smart" way. We should build into each tone an easy, one-parameter way for each user to quickly adjust for their own equipment. E.g., if all our guitar patches have a hard gate at the start of the chain, then it should be easy enough for each person to re-tweak that for their respective guitars/pickups. We'd have to do that anyway for our own different guitars. Then, for the other end of the chain, we could have a simple, easy-to-use EQ set up so that people can adjust it for their "ears". We would attach simple instructions with each tone so that any user could load it up, spend 2 minutes tweaking, and then be able to achieve a tone very close to what the creators intended. The fact that we'd have several people creating these tones would be perfect for this - we'd be able to double-check each other and make sure the tones were easily transferable between different equipment. Alternatively, we could make a couple of different versions of each patch, e.g. a live version and a studio version.

- Versioning and annotation: I like your idea for file naming. I am always a fan of at the very least attaching a date to things, but author name and version number would be ideal. We could then keep a wiki where everyone could record their changes for each revision number.

- I really think at this point we should stick to .h5e files, so HD500, HD Desktop, and HD Pro. If people want to then undertake porting these over to the "lesser" Pods, those would be separate projects. The non-.h5e Pods are just too restricted for such an ambitious project.

- I agree on having only one tone going at a time for maximum involvement. However, if, for example, we are all working on a guitar tone, and 3-4 of us also are interested in working on a vocal tone, then that could be a separate project since it is pretty much a totally different approach to tone creation. But yeah, in general we should stick to one project and set deadlines, although that would depend on how many people are involved. If we manage to get at least 5 people actively involved, I'd say we give it 2 weeks per tone, i.e. whatever we have in 2 weeks (provided it is at least acceptable) will be "released" and we can move on to the next tone. That way we can keep the ball rolling and keep people interested. If someone wants to improve an already released tone on the side and publish a newer version, that would also be cool.

I think making a subreddit would be perfect for this. We can have a separate thread for each project and it would be fairly easy to track voting and development. Revision changelogs can just be edited into the first post of the thread. We'd then just need file hosting for the patches, although Dropbox would be ideal for that since everyone would be automatically synced.

Hopefully now that once the forum is working again, people will show interest in this project.

Re: Anyone interested in collaborative tone creation?
by fenders74 on 2012-10-01 05:06:03

I'm very intereseted expecially for acoutic tone for the JTV family that at the moment I feel not so true....

Re: Anyone interested in collaborative tone creation?
by meambobbo on 2012-10-01 07:46:23

Good points, and I think this may work; we just need to drive some interest.

I think it'd be best practice to develop both live and direct versions as mentioned, at least for the standard guitar ones.  From what I can gather, users are split 50/50 for their main use case, and many run things both ways depending on a situation.  For other patches, like vocal/acoustic/just plain weird, it may only make sense to do direct patches.

We should assume no other need for external gear.  No external IR's, wah pedals, EQ's, etc.  If we can't fit everything we want into a patch, we should just drop the least desirable effect(s) from our specs.  If someone wants to add it back in using external gear, that's fine, but our patches shouldn't RELY on it.

The big variables are going to come from guitar.  Scale length, action, string gauge, tuning, body type, pickup type (humbucker vs. single-coil), pickup model, etc. are going to have some effect on tone.  I always tend to think it's a good idea to make some sort of filter one of the first items in the chain, whether that be an actual EQ effect or a Distortion effect used mostly to EQ the tone.  As the process starts, we'll begin to familiarize ourselves with each other's gear and how it corresponds to differences in tone and start to compensate.  For instance, I dialed in all my patches on one guitar, and I have to suck out some bass for them to sound right on my other guitar, which has darker pickups.  I'm in the process of changing out some pickups, so all my guitars fit a wide profile of versatility.

I also think we should stick to .h5e, but to retain compability with .hbe and .hre, the ground rule is never use "Variax" or "Line" inputs - only Guitar and Mic (which should replace Variax for any null Input 2 choices), and no FX loop.  If we follow these guidelines, it should be as easy as changing a single character in the extension to make the patches compatible across all 3 devices.

I like the idea of having different sets of patches occurring simultaneously where there's no overlap.  Maybe even divide this into genres.  So like "classic rock" would be working on SRV - Texas Flood while "metal" works on Pantera - Domination, etc.  Then metalheads wouldn't lose interest when this month's patch is Clapton and vice versa.  I think maybe the best idea would be just "low-gain", "medium-gain", "high-gain", "acoustic/other guitar", and "vocal".

like the idea of using dropbox, subreddit, etc.

Re: Anyone interested in collaborative tone creation?
by fenders74 on 2012-10-12 06:35:03

I'm still looking for 'best' acoustic tones for rythm guitar  (acoustic 6) not for PA sistem.

JTV 59 -----> VDI cable -----> POD HD 500

Re: Anyone interested in collaborative tone creation?
by kc_pod on 2012-10-12 08:41:56

Hey! I've always thought this was a great idea! I set up a website years ago with this type of collaberation in mind.

Youcan create an account and create projects, post patches, sound clips and the gear used to create the patches. Other users can vote and comment on the patch projects. The web technology is a little outdated now, but it does work. I'd be willing to upgrade it and continue to host it if there is some interest.


Re: Anyone interested in collaborative tone creation?
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-10-15 04:21:38

Wow, that would be fantastic! Your website looks like it would be perfectly suited for this. Keep us updated as to whether you are working on it!

Re: Anyone interested in collaborative tone creation?
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-10-15 04:24:04

I'm good with all of that, apart from one thing. The null Input 2 choice should be Aux, not Mic. I actually do use mic input frequently, in many cases together with guitar, so I often have a mic plugged in and that could end up quite ugly if it's monosummed on a high gain tone...

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