"ready-made" feedback guitar?

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kaliyuga
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"ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by kaliyuga » Sat Jul 26, 2003 9:24 pm

Hello all, first post here.

I've got an old, beat up lotus electric guitar that I paid $10 for, used mainly as a noise/feedback source. I want to "doctor" this thing so that I can generate feedback at a lower volume than usual; to create a "ready-made" feedback guitar of sorts. In other words, I don't want to have to crank my amp loud enough to where it drowns out the other musicians with whom I play. Our stuff is usually all live, recorded on 1-2 mics in our living room (lots of intentional bleed and room noise), and the instruments (both acoustic and electric) vary considerably. A guy at a local music shop recommended putting the pickups in the oven for a time, then in the freezer, in order to make them more microphonic. I haven't tried this yet, though it sounds interesting. Any suggestions?

J.
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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by brakeshop » Sat Jul 26, 2003 11:11 pm

The easiest way to get feedback is to run the guitar through a distortion stompbox or a maxed compressor.

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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by wardshorsehead » Sat Jul 26, 2003 11:13 pm

I never heard that one! Removing the wax, or at least some of it, that the pickup is potted in is another way to make it more microphonic. Maybe some higher gain pickups? How about a preamp, i.e. MXR MicroAmp before the OD/DIST pedal into the amp?

I'm interested on what others would do as well...

Frank

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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by transmothra » Sat Jul 26, 2003 11:30 pm

the Seymour Duncan Invader is great for getting feedback early. it's got polepieces about as big as your freakin' THUMB! only problem is that it's so damn hot that it also tends to dampen sustain a bit, so it's a bit of a surgical operation to tweak the pickup/polepiece height just right, so you get a decent ratio of sustain/output.
...do you believe that?

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kaliyuga
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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by kaliyuga » Sat Jul 26, 2003 11:43 pm

Oh yeah, I should have added that all I am using right now is the guitar direct through the amp - I don't own any pedals, compressors, or preamps outside of my mixer (yet) so that's all I have to work with. Besides, I sort of like the idea of modifying the guitar, however shoddy it may turn out. I am in constant search for the DRONE, and controlled feedback really works for me in that department! Oh yeah, re: the pickups and the wax, I think this method (oven to freezer) was suggested in order to remove some of the wax. How do extreme temperature changes affect pickups?
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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by stillafool » Sun Jul 27, 2003 2:25 am

You might want to try some kind of contact pickup on the instrument itself. These feedback (usually in an uncontrollable way) at a low volume; might be less of a problem with a solidbody. Hollowbodies tend to feedback at lower volumes. If you really want feedback, try putting a pickup on an acoustic (there's a picture of a guitar like this on one of J.J. Cale's records).

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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by black mariah » Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:48 am

The pickups most likely weren't potted to begin with. Cheapass guitars have cheapass components. One of the most cheapass things to do is to skip wax potting the pickups.

Without any pedals it's going to be tough to get more feedback. The best I can recommend is to just pick up a cheap distortion pedal and be done with it. The Boss DS-1 would probably be good. Plenty of gain and the tone control actually controls the tone for the most part. :D They're about $40 new.

You might also want to check out a guitar equipped with a sustainer system. The Jackson DK2S has one, so do some Fernandes. You can get COMPLETELY controlled feedback for as long as the battery lasts. :D
Heurh!

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inverseroom
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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by inverseroom » Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:56 am

This is a fun thread! Okay, how about this: you take one of those cheap miniature amps, like the Fender or Dano ones, and rig up the guts of it so that the little speaker is hovering about the bridge pickup, so that the guitar is constantly screaming at itself? You could split the signal, one out and one to the mini-amp circuit.

Or alternately you could put a contact mic on the speaker of the mini-amp, and generate the feedback THERE, and then have that fed to the real amp.

I think I know what this question is about. You don't want just a normal guitar with a pedal that makes feedback, you want this completely insane-looking homemade noise device that you can pick up and strap on at some point in the show. I am totally with you on this.

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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by todd » Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:36 am

hey kaliyuga,
do you play out in atlanta? what's your band's name? what are you guys about?

thanks,
todd

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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by gone » Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:50 am

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Last edited by gone on Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by stevemoss » Sun Jul 27, 2003 8:46 am

The idea of using a small practice amp to generate feedback is a pretty good one - I've tried putting my Smokey mini amp against the headstock of some of my guitars, and it will generate feedback. The only thing I've noticed is that the feedback vanishes the second you pick the strings - it then needs to get them vibrating again on their own before feedback recurs.

One thing you might try is Fernandes' Sustainer system. It's a set of replacement pickups/transducers and a circuit board that magnetically keep the strings vibrating. You can easily get drone effects that way. The only downside is that the system costs about $250... 25 times what you paid for the guitar.

Perhaps there's an easy way to create a feedback loop within your amp, so that any guitar you plugged in could feedback?

kaliyuga
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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by kaliyuga » Sun Jul 27, 2003 8:51 am

Wow, lots of ideas to toy with here! Thanks for all the suggestions. Inverseroom - that is exactly what I'm going for - something I can just plug in that will "scream at itself" - but now I am considering some of these pedals and whatnot. And the idea of drilling holes in the body sounds fun.

Todd - our group is called Hunting Humans. The three of us (my 2 roommates and I) all played in a variety of "structured" bands in Auburn, AL. for a few years. One night we got trashed on whiskey and jammed on instruments that we didn't normally play, recorded it, forgot about it, and later discovered that we loved the loose, raw element to our improv approach. This used to be a side-project of sorts until we moved to Atlanta, and now we're trying to do something "real" with it. Anyway, I've developed this theory of sorts that the less preparation and planning that goes into a performance, the more pure that performance is. So we sometimes play instruments that we don't normally play, or even know how to play, in many different environments (I love recording outside), record EVERYTHING on any medium we have at our disposal (usually a mic/mixer/computer setup, but sometimes a microcassete recorder), and best of all - THERE ARE NO RULES (and no "mistakes")! This is the main reason that this project exists - nothing is written out, so nobody's ego is being imposed on anyone else. I played drums for 3 different bands and loved it, but I was still subject to the songwriter's perspective, and this helps me express myself in a better light. It all adds up to fun, fun, fun! Damn, this is long, sorry! So, we haven't played anywhere yet (just moved here), but we may try getting involved in the Eyedrum improv scene, although our stuff is a bit more psychedelic/noise/folk whatever (think Sun City Girls/No-Neck Blues Band/etc.) whereas they seem to reside on the jazzier end of the improv spectrum (nothing wrong with that). We are interested in expanding this thing and would love to meet others who would be interested in playing with us. I just posted a reply to the "favorite recording right now" thread that may give you an idea of what sort of stuff I'm into. We live downtown, a few blocks from the Eyedrum actually. Let me know if this sounds like something you, or someone you know would be interested in. One of my roommates is trying to get a large ensemble of electronic musicians together to make a whole lot of racket. We've been experimenting a lot lately with a no-input mixer, a Roland Pro One synth, etc. Okay, enough rambling for me - Thanks to all who replied. Jason
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kaliyuga
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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by kaliyuga » Sun Jul 27, 2003 9:04 am

Stevemoss - The fernandez system sounds cool, but ouch is it pricey! I would like to counteract the loss of sustain when the strings are touched. In fact that is exactly my problem - having to beat this thing (literally) in order to get the strings vibrating when the amp volume is being compensated for acoustic instruments in the same room. On a side note - Anyone here a Black Dice fan? I saw them a few months ago and the guitarist would strum one chord one time and the sustain was incredible - sounded like a keyboard being played. Of course, they have a shitload of outboard gear at their disposal. Oh well :)
"Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so."

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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by joeysimms » Sun Jul 27, 2003 9:52 am

if you want a DRONE, tune them strings all to the same tone. Or, tune 'em really really slack. The get some pedals set up, lay your guitar against the amp so it rumbles. Play yer feedback, with the pedal controls, with turning the tuning keys, with the amp knobs, with stuff other than a pick, etc.. have fun!

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Re: "ready-made" feedback guitar?

Post by inverseroom » Sun Jul 27, 2003 9:58 am

kaliyuga wrote:One night we got trashed on whiskey and jammed on instruments that we didn't normally play, recorded it, forgot about it, and later discovered that we loved the loose, raw element to our improv approach. This used to be a side-project of sorts until we moved to Atlanta, and now we're trying to do something "real" with it.
Isn't that always the way? I was in a "real" band in college for three years, but the band everybody remembers was the one called Bundtcake Vesuvius, which was supposed to be a joke--we only played three gigs, and we were absolutely REQUIRED to write all new songs for EVERY SHOW, and do so in the week before that show, and then never play them again.

Or my friend's band, Hooper--everyone in it was in other bands (in the greater Tuscaloosa, AL area), but this one, the concept band that ONLY PLAYED SONGS ABOUT THE BURT REYNOLDS MOVIE "HOOPER," is the one people talk about.

Structural experimentation=memorable music.

[usually]

John.

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