This is a re-post of an article from 2010. Thought you might like reading it again if you saw it the first time around, or for the first time if not!
With the overwhelming demand for quality guitars, manufactures had to come up with ways to meet this demand. Over the years many things have changed, and guitar building had to keep up with this ever increasing hunger for quality instruments. These are some of the things that evolved both good and bad.
Quality Tone Woods
Years ago there was a huge stash of aged woods suitable for instrument building. Many instruments were built with woods that were aged 50 years and more. There is no substitute for fine tone woods. As demand increased the supply diminished. As tone woods became scarce, manufactures used artificially aged woods to keep up with the demand. Martin, probably America’s leading acoustic guitar manufacturer is now using sustainable woods on many of their recent guitars. Brazilian rosewood, which is considered by most to be the finest tone wood for flat top guitars, is in very short supply. In 1969 there was an embargo on this wood. Aged Brazilian rosewood is getting close to being nonexistent. Other substitute woods such as Indian rosewood and Madagascar rosewood are currently being used on many higher end models in replacement of Brazilian.
I recently interviewed a famous producer who said they love to use Roger Mayer’s RM58 limiter, and they mentioned that they wished it came in plug-in form so everyone could enjoy it. But as Roger is one of the pioneers of analog music technology and is dedicated to preserving the full sonic glory of the analog audio signal, somehow I don’t see that happening. Roger has supplied the following application note explaining his discoveries on digital and its deficiencies compared to analog.
DIGITAL MODELLING AND PLUG-INS
By Roger Mayer
The claims and performance of digital modelling and plug-ins have several basic flaws, which are conveniently forgotten in the hype and description of their use.
Information in the original sound source:
The fact is that you are trying to simulate or emulate a sound using a sound source that differs in one or more ways from that which you wish to emulate. Your starting source of information might or probably does not contain within itself the necessary information you are trying to simulate. It is not possible to accurately extrapolate information from any sources that do not contain it.
The following is a guest post by Jacob Mannik. Thanks Jacob!
What happens when you decide that you want to get the same guitar as one of your favourite guitarists? Stick around and I’ll tell you the story of how I got my latest guitar in my collection.
It started one day when I was in my flat with my guitar, playing along to my Reel Big Fish DVD, admiring the guitar work of Aaron Barrett, as always wondering who made his guitar and where I could get one. That day I decided to investigate and I quickly found the Aaron Barrett Wikipedia page. Within that document it listed his guitar as a Gordon-Smith Graduate. I had never heard of Gordon-Smith, so off to our friend Google I went and in short order found myself on the company’s website. What I found was a guitar company who have been around a long time making all the usual Fender and Gibson styles with a few of their own style designs thrown in. The ‘About’ section on the main page read as follows:
THE MAKING OF MY LATEST SINGLE, ‘ALMOST WITH YOU’
By Joe Matera
The decision to record a cover of The Church classic Almost With You was something that dates back a few years. Prior to joining my previous and last band Geisha, Ash Naylor – who many will know from Melbourne indie pop-rockers Even as well as Paul Kelly’s Band – and myself performed for a number of years around Melbourne in an acoustic duo under the moniker of Radio City. One of the songs that was included in our set was Almost With You, a track that remains a firm favorite of mine from many of Australian band The Church’s brilliant catalog.