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  1. #1

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    Has anyone found a "poor mans" way to get the Pat Metheny tone with out using 3 amps and multiple digital delays?

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  3. #2

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    I just run my archtops (for example) into a Lexicon MPX 100 which I purchased for less than $100.00 used. It has a dual effects function where I can apply a slight amount of chorus with some reverb...I then run THAT through an old Delta Labs Effectron II digital delay, and MAN, it's close to what Pat gets. I don't have the money for a couple of used Lexicon PCM 90's (which would probably set me back $15-1600.00). All of the above goes through either a Roland JC 77, or a Fender Blues Jr. Just my two cents...I'd be curious to know what others are doing.


    "Poor Mans" Pat Metheny Sound?-lexicon-mpx100-jpg

  4. #3

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    I'm happy with using a chorus and delay to dial up a PM sound.

  5. #4

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    I like Pat's playing, but who else here would like him to get a style makeover? Lose the chorus and get a haircut?

  6. #5

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    I read an interview with Metheny years ago in which he said--if I recall correctly--that he doesn't use a chorus effect. Said he doesn't like how they alter the pitch. Instead, he's using multiple delay boxes set to different delay times, and sent stage left and right and maybe center.

    Please take that with a grain of salt. It's been quite a few years. Anyone know for sure?

  7. #6

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    No, Metheny doesn't use chorus. It's the effect of the multiple amps with different delay settings.

    Also, the tone he uses now live at least is much dryer and more acoustic like. I like his sound always, but the times I've seen him live lately was the best sound he's had imo.
    Last edited by Jake Hanlon; 04-22-2010 at 07:45 AM.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Hanlon
    No, Metheny doesn't use chorus. It's the effect of the multiple amps with different delay settings.

    Also, the tone he uses now live at least is much dryer and more acoustic like. I like his sound always, but the times I've seen him live lately was the best sound he's had imo.
    Not quite. What he is doing is going into 2 seperate delay lines. He's modulating the actual delayed signal in each unit by sweeping a sine wave of low depth and frequency. Internally in each unit, the delay/modulated sound is blended back in with the original sound.He THEN goes to two seperate amps, adds his reverb, EQ and stuff.
    Which, in effect, IS what a chorus pedal does. It's like a stereo chorus, but one that he has huge control of the parameters of. The difference to a stereo chorus pedal is that the 2 delay and pitch-shift-affected sounds are blended together, and various components of the sound are sent to seperate channels-wheras he keeps them totally seperate.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by billkath
    Not quite. What he is doing is going into 2 seperate delay lines. He's modulating the actual delayed signal in each unit by sweeping a sine wave of low depth and frequency. Internally in each unit, the delay/modulated sound is blended back in with the original sound.He THEN goes to two seperate amps, adds his reverb, EQ and stuff.
    Which, in effect, IS what a chorus pedal does. It's like a stereo chorus, but one that he has huge control of the parameters of. The difference to a stereo chorus pedal is that the 2 delay and pitch-shift-affected sounds are blended together, and various components of the sound are sent to seperate channels-wheras he keeps them totally seperate.
    Chorus is kind of a combination of delays anyway...Metheny is able to control the amount of delays by adjusting the timing in milliseconds. Unfortunately, that's what you pay for with Lexicon PCM series, and I don't have that flexibility, soooo...I just use the chorus function on my MPX 100 with a little reverb and delay...a poor man's Metheny set up

  10. #9

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    There is a way to get the PM sound, but you do need a stereo amp for best results. Not like a guitar stereo amp, where the signal is split-I mean a true stereo amp.
    But you can do it with just one amp-just not get the full stereo effect.-you'd need 2 digital delay pedals, 2 mono chorus pedals, a three way splitter, and a mini mono mixer.
    First- Put the guitar into the splitter.

    Splitter line 1 output-to delay pedal 1. Set Delay 1 to 14ms, No feedback, 100% wet. Feed that to chorus pedal-Low frequency rate-low depth-100% wet. Feed that to input 1 on the mini mixer.

    Splitter line 2 output-to delay pedal 2. Set Delay 2 to 22ms, No feedback, 100% wet. Feed that to chorus pedal-Low frequency rate-low depth-100% wet. Feed that to input 2 on the mini mixer.

    Splitter line 3 output---Direct to mini mixer.

    Output of mono mini mixer to input on your amp. Blend the two effected inputs to the mini mixer to taste with the clean signal.(that's the bit Pat doesn't do-he goes to three amps, and sets their volumes accordingly).
    Of course-you lose the wide stereo field-but it's a compromise.

    A better way is to find a single stereo effects unit that lets you use Dual mono processing of 2 chains of delay and chorus and gives you access to the parameters via midi. The cheaper Lexicons-even the MPX110- let you do this, if you know how to use Sysex over MIDI. Through sysex you'd be able to easily change the internal parameters of the delay and chorus algo's--the things that need to be changed, like rates, feedback, resonance, that are not accessible any other way.That'd let you have a mono in-stereo out just like Methany has his set up, just go into an amp that has 2 channels, or a mono out, even.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Hanlon
    Also, the tone he uses now live at least is much dryer and more acoustic like. I like his sound always, but the times I've seen him live lately was the best sound he's had imo.
    I saw Metheny last night

    His tone is different now as Jake says. He has two guitar chords (at least from my distance - about 20th row they looked like guitar chords) out of his electric - two seperate jacks.

    The sound, it sounds like an electric jazz box mixed with a microphone on a jazz box.

    Could he be doing that with his regular pu plus something like an acoustic piezo pu and blending the two?

  12. #11

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    Yep-maybe a built in condensor mic with his humbucker. Some excellent little condensors out there for just that. Or perhaps he's doing what Townsend does with his Strats, and using Graphtech Ghosts, along with his Strat PU's. Townsend doesn't use 2 cables-just one "stereo" cable- one conductor for the Strat, and the other from the Ghosts. The Ghosts don't give that quack that regular piezos have-I use them on my Variax 700HT.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by billkath
    There is a way to get the PM sound, but you do need a stereo amp for best results. Not like a guitar stereo amp, where the signal is split-I mean a true stereo amp.
    But you can do it with just one amp-just not get the full stereo effect.-you'd need 2 digital delay pedals, 2 mono chorus pedals, a three way splitter, and a mini mono mixer.
    First- Put the guitar into the splitter.

    Splitter line 1 output-to delay pedal 1. Set Delay 1 to 14ms, No feedback, 100% wet. Feed that to chorus pedal-Low frequency rate-low depth-100% wet. Feed that to input 1 on the mini mixer.

    Splitter line 2 output-to delay pedal 2. Set Delay 2 to 22ms, No feedback, 100% wet. Feed that to chorus pedal-Low frequency rate-low depth-100% wet. Feed that to input 2 on the mini mixer.

    Splitter line 3 output---Direct to mini mixer.

    Output of mono mini mixer to input on your amp. Blend the two effected inputs to the mini mixer to taste with the clean signal.(that's the bit Pat doesn't do-he goes to three amps, and sets their volumes accordingly).
    Of course-you lose the wide stereo field-but it's a compromise.

    A better way is to find a single stereo effects unit that lets you use Dual mono processing of 2 chains of delay and chorus and gives you access to the parameters via midi. The cheaper Lexicons-even the MPX110- let you do this, if you know how to use Sysex over MIDI. Through sysex you'd be able to easily change the internal parameters of the delay and chorus algo's--the things that need to be changed, like rates, feedback, resonance, that are not accessible any other way.That'd let you have a mono in-stereo out just like Methany has his set up, just go into an amp that has 2 channels, or a mono out, even.
    Besides the MPX 110 what else would do the job? Would a MX200 work?


    "Poor Mans" Pat Metheny Sound?-lexicon-mx200-jpg

  14. #13

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    I'm not sure. It's set up differently, as it has 2 seperate processers, and doesn't seem to have presets for chains/Dual FX. However-you could make a job by setting one "side" as a multi tap delay, and the other "side" as a chorus. By midi CC or sysex you should be able to control the delay times seperately, if the are 2 tap, and then feed them into the chorus-should be close enough.

  15. #14

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    Pat Metheny said: Like the [Acoustic Model] 134 [amp] always was, the output of the Digitech [2101 DSP guitar preamp] is run into 2 Lexicon Prime-Time digital delay lines, one on my left at 14 MS delay, one on my right at 26 MS delay. Each delay has a very slight “pitch bend” controlled by the VCO — sine wave — inside the Prime-Time. This is what gives it the “chorused” thing that I guess I would have to say I was the first to use extensively in jazz, and that seemed to have influenced a lot of other guys to do the same. Only thing, I HATE the way “chorus boxes” sound. My sound is mostly the “straight” 134/Digitech line, which is behind me with NO PITCH BEND, which gets blended IN THE AIR with the two DISCRETE delay pitch bends, which are much softer than the “straight” amp volume, to get a bigger sound. I HATE when I hear the “pitch bend” and the straight mixed together and coming out of the same speaker. It drives me crazy.
    Pat Metheny when he does this is creating a chorus effect, a sophisticated one but by definition a chorus, he is delaying the signal and slightly altering the pitch for his left and right speakers.

    So it seems true that he didn't use a 'chorus box'; but he did use chorus as an effect.
    Last edited by fep; 04-22-2010 at 12:41 PM.

  16. #15

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    Exactly.

    He's just not mixing the straight sound with the Chorus'd sound. Also- The delay times he's using are so slight that the effect of them is to thicken, not delay.

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by billkath
    I'm not sure. It's set up differently, as it has 2 seperate processers, and doesn't seem to have presets for chains/Dual FX. However-you could make a job by setting one "side" as a multi tap delay, and the other "side" as a chorus. By midi CC or sysex you should be able to control the delay times seperately, if the are 2 tap, and then feed them into the chorus-should be close enough.
    thanks for the info. I better just look for a used mpx 110 sounds like the way to go

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuau
    thanks for the info. I better just look for a used mpx 110 sounds like the way to go
    If you like. But-the one you mentioned will probably work just as well, and you also get the benefit on your one of using it as a VST effect on your computer DAW. Think long and hard before investing. Borrow, if you can, different bits of kit to see which suits your needs.

    Another way to do it is to just get a digital delay pedal and a chorus. Or even-just a bloody good stereo chorus-even better.

    See-Methany is only using the delay component to thicken his sound so that he doesn't need to use as much of the VCO controlled pitchshift. He is really making his own stereo chorus pedal, though he doesn't see it that way(or perhaps he does). As you won't be seperating left, right and clean, there NO reason to be going exactly his route.

    Remember-he has his set up so that he hears the non-effected sound behind him. You-the listener? You just hear a chorus. So-Think on before throwing money away!!!

  19. #18

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    I'm a poor man, and using one amp, a chorus and delay will get as close to his older signature sound as some expensive set up.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuau
    thanks for the info. I better just look for a used mpx 110 sounds like the way to go
    I have the MPX 100 in my rack for guitar effects, however, prior to using that, I was using (and still use) an MX 200 in my studio rack and was getting great Metheny type sounds! I think the MX 200 can be found used for about $100.00 also. I also have an LXP 15 that I'm still trying to figure out...it was a little more expensive (and for some reason, probably my fault, seems to make more noise than the other two...). This is a good thread...some great ideas are coming out of here. My latest thing is trying to find a Yamaha UD stomp pedal (developed to get that very unique Holdsworth chorused sound) very rare apparently (expensive too ...I'd like to use this with my solid bodies....

  21. #20

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    Yep-you'll find a preset program group on most of the Lex M series called Detune. There's a good few Detune presets. Detune is like a very mild pitchshifting of a delay-exactly what you are looking for.

  22. #21

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    Detune is Mike Stern's signature sound.

  23. #22

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    The only thing might be if you just use one amp with a lot of chorus, iit might become muddy.

    I suggest you use a separate amp for a clean sound then another one or two for the chorus sound. This way, it doesn't get muddy because the clean sound is a 'real' sound even though there might be a lot more chorus. You still get the definition this way

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Pat Metheny when he does this is creating a chorus effect, a sophisticated one but by definition a chorus, he is delaying the signal and slightly altering the pitch for his left and right speakers.

    So it seems true that he didn't use a 'chorus box'; but he did use chorus as an effect.
    Yes, after reading here and googling around a bit, I agree about the chorus effect. I suppose what he must have said was that he wasn't using a chorus pedal--but as you describe, he is essentially creating the effect since there is an element of pitch bending involved (in addition to the temporal delays).

    I saw him Monday night doing the Orchestrion thing at Disney Hall in L.A. (which he described during the show as his favorite venue to play in the world!)

    I'm not sure if it was the hall or a refined rig, but his sound was excellent, imho. Probably the best I've ever heard him. Even better than with his trio in the same hall several years ago.

    I'm still trying to digest the whole Orchestrion thing.
    Last edited by Flat; 04-23-2010 at 02:04 AM.

  25. #24
    Thanks for all the responses and ideas, I have to concur with FLAT,
    I saw Pat play last Saturday in Mesa, AZ, his sound was amazing, best I have ever heard, I think he is at the top of his game now and plays with such conviction and confidence.

  26. #25

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    TC Electronic's Nova System might get you in the ballpark for small $. Hook up two amps. Dual delay times - mix so that one delay gets mostly sent to one amp and the other goes the other way. Attach an expression pedal and control both the shorter of the of the two delays with that and control the longer one via taps on the Nova. You'll have 3 guitars blending together in glorious stereo. A lot easier than having two units and two different paths.


    "Poor Mans" Pat Metheny Sound?-tc-electronic-nova-system-jpg

  27. #26

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    Hi to you all!, I've found this old discussion very interesting so I've signed up to join this cool forum.
    I'd really like to recreate (I already know that Pat magic touch cannot be cloned) the cool Methenyesque chorused tone like the one you can hear in the "Travels" tune (and in a bunch of other tunes from the old Metheny era) from Pat's Travels double CD.

    I've been told that newer MX series are totally rubbish when compared to PCM80 or 81 units.
    Given the sky-high price of PCM units I'd like to know if someone in here has managed to nail this wonderful Pat tone using an MX200/300/400.
    Any mp3 or Soundclouds samples?.

    Thanks a lot!

    Charlie.


    Toys: SPX90II, Quadraverb, Verbzilla, Digidelay, Magicstomp, X3Live, Behringer CC300 & yellow chorus, Zoom G3.

  28. #27

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    I never understood the quest for Metheny's tone being on the gear route. I can get that for Rosenwinkel or Mike Stern, but I think Metheny's tone is much more based on his approach to guitar than gear - get a flat / dark "jazz amp" and do the two delays thing, add a little reverb from any good pedal and you're done.

    The hard part comes from light pick, light attack, tons of downstrokes, tons of legatto, light strings (011)... lots of slides also. Transcribe some of his solos and you'll get his sound.

  29. #28

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    Thanks for your quick reply!.

    What I'm looking for right now is this neat dual sine VCO modulated delay of the former Metheny which is the one I love the most.

    For ex. his tone in "TRIO 99->00" CD is not so "revolutionary" (even if his chops and taste are extremely refined).

    It may seem a piece of cake but is not that simple even using two dd's & rev to nail his vibe.

  30. #29

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    I agree his tone on trios records is usually less elaborate than his group sounds. The "dual sine" might not be easy to get but I still think his core sounds comes much more from the things I mentioned than from that... But I heard the song you said and I guess it's not easy to get that specific very 80s sound. Maybe a good chorus pedal could nail it?

    BTW I think his "Trio Live" is his best record (basically the live version of the CD you mentioned).

  31. #30

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    Sounds to me that Pat started getting away from the "chorused" sound in his PMG recordings starting with First Circle back in 1984.....not that he ever actually used a chorus. He still uses delay and reverb but the modulation part has pretty much gone.

    As far as his hair....that's his business.

    Somebody mentioned that he needed a makeover. Seems like he's always been making his musical self over just from the variety of musical situations he puts himself into. There certainly is a difference between Phase Dance, The Roots of Coincidence, 80/81, Offramp and Letter From Home, to name a few.

    As far as really trying to recreate it, try finding a couple of Lexicon Prime Time units...I doubt that you will.

  32. #31

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    Since this thread started in 2010, the Line 6 Pod HD series has appeared in which you can process two signals in parallel. So the whole "two delays and modulations" thing should be quite easy to do in the one box without having to buy multiple pedals.

    After listening to some of Jim Soloway's clean sounds from a Pod recently (hear them in a different thread), the idea of using a Pod for modern, "clean but with subtle effects" jazz tones, has become a lot more appealing.

    If anyone can nail the Pat M sound, how about Ulf Wakenius ?

  33. #32

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    I like Wayne Krantz' remark about this stuff...."why would a grown man want to sound like somebody else?"

  34. #33

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    I understand that Krantz sentence and I agree with it BUT it's not bad to try to get stuff from your heros as long as you don't sound like a clone. I always loved the way Rosenwinkel uses delay and reverb and I am glad I can get that present sound he has. I also love how Kreisberg plays everything stacatto but can still swing and hide the pick attack, working a lot on that.

    I don't know what's the goal of the guys asking things here but stealing small portions of a guys sound it's not bad. Trying to sound 100% like another guy is bad (true for sound or for improvisation content)

  35. #34

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    I have always found his sound to be "cheesy"- clearly he's a great guitarist, and a serious musician, and of course matters of taste are subjective etc, but to me it just sounds so processed and quite "of its time"- ie the 1980s/90s
    Last edited by Ob Com; 04-29-2012 at 06:45 AM.

  36. #35

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    I'd love to hear Pat plugged straight into Jim Hall's old Gibson GA-50.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02
    I'd love to hear Pat plugged straight into Jim Hall's old Gibson GA-50.
    I bet he would sound pretty close to what he sounds trough his rig.

    Pat gigs with an Henriksen on small clubs according to an interview on GP some years ago, would like to hear him trough that amp.

    By the way the Jim Hall amp is modded by Harry Kolbe to be quite darker than the stock one.

  38. #37

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    My TC Nova can get near to "that" sound,but even playing with a good chorus into the parallel effect loop of an amp,so you can mix between the amount of wet and dry signal,can do as well

  39. #38

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    Pat talks about his guitars in the Feb 2016 issue of Vintage Guitar, including Les Paul's prewar ES-150 [supposedly previously owned by Charlie Christian] and his new Slaman 250 copy.

    He also says his famous ES-175 still has the original frets [how the heck is that possible?]

  40. #39

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    I'm wondering if you meant his custom 16" cutaway Slaman, of which Richard (Eddie Lang) and I own "Sisters," or one of the new CC 100 year commemorative models that Daniel Slaman recently finished. I was told that Pat had an angle on one of those in addition to his custom Slaman guitar.

  41. #40

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    he mentions the 150/250 w/cutaway that he played w/Ron Carter recently. I think you said it's a 16" wide guitar, no?

  42. #41

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    Yes, it's 16" with a cutaway. That's the custom instrument he discussed with Mr. Slaman before a concert in the Netherlands back in 2014. It came to fruition early this year, and Daniel made four "Sisters" of the same model. Three are blonde like Pat's, and one is black.

  43. #42

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    Hi,

    From my own discussion with DS, 16" apart, Pat was also after a 17'' Commemorative Charlie Christian 100th anniversary series. Of that I am sure, because Daniel was expecting the 17" model Pat would choose before he could certify I would get mine. Fortunately for me Pat chose a guitar different from the one I personaly selected.

    So Pat should have a 16" plus a 17" model.

    Cheers.

    Fred

  44. #43

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    Here's a picture of Metheny from Detroit Jazz Festival this past summer with his Daniel Slaman.

    "Poor Mans" Pat Metheny Sound?-pat-cc-jpg
    Last edited by docbop; 12-11-2015 at 04:59 AM.

  45. #44

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    I didn't know his strong affection for ES 150 pre-war guitars. I thought it was something new for him, at least that's what I understood after extensive talk with Daniel Slaman. But obviously he has been after CC sounds since his high school years. Yet another CC addict...

  46. #45

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    Hello

    My name is Sauro from Italy, I am a passionate guitar player, I am a lover of the sound of Metheny and although I know that its sound depends a lot on its plaiyng, I would still try to get a little closer to it.

    I have an Ibanez AG95 with its original Super58 pickups but they have a very different sound than what I would like to optain.

    I was thinking of getting a PM2 but I don't know how much it's worth and how much difference I can hear between PM2 and AG95.

    Unfortunately my shop doesn't have it, so I don't have the chance to try it.

    An alternative could be to replace the made in China Super 58 nech pickup with a Super58 Deluxe version

    but it is not easy to understand which version is closest to the Super58 for example of the PM200.

    Can any of you give me advice? Is it better to upgrade my AG95 or replace it with PM2?


    Thank you very much.

  47. #46

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    A lot of PM's sound is in his signal chain- two amps with different degrees of delay, etc. EQ wise there is an emphasis on midrange and de-emphasis on treble (yet this is less true with his recent acquisition of a Slaman with Charlie Christian style pickup). A lot can be done with EQ. Also his unique/arguably odd picking style is also central to his sound (thin Fender pick held between thumb and two fingers, bent).

    One of the Gibson VOS 1959 ES-175 reissues would probably be a good platform to start from. The PM-2 is allegedly aimed at sounding along those lines- PM says he can't tell the sound of his Ibanez from the sound of his ES-175 (e.g., both were used on Secret Story and nobody gets it right as to which guitar is on which track).

  48. #47

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    I don't think you'll like this answer, and I don't know whether it will help.

    If you handed your AG95 to Pat Metheny, with your amp and all your accessories, when he played it he would sound exactly like ... Pat Metheny.
    If Pat Metheny handed you his guitar and the rest of it, when you played it you would sound like you.

    Don't look to your equipment for tone salvation. Practice more. As you practice you will find various tweaks to your playing that you can implement to help you sound more like what you're striving for.

    On the other hand, if you want a new guitar, get one. Just don't expect it to change your sound much. What it might do is to inspire you to practice more, which could lead you to figure out how to achieve a change in your sound.

  49. #48

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    I think the PM2 has the same pickup as yours .. I have a PM100 .. sounds very Metheny like except previous owner replaced the japanese Super58 with a SD Benedetto A6

    My point is that if you put flats on that guitar and roll down the tone then I'm sure you're very close to the old school Metheny sound.

    Honestly how you pick and hit the strings is more important than pickup and guitar

  50. #49

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    yeah, agree with the previous people, put some flats on a hollowbody, and transcribe and rip off as much as possible, for me Pat is one of my favorites of all time, but his tone is something I am not super fond of.. his music is a different story and has brought me incredible pleasure, especially the old PMG with Lyle Mays... for tone, there are lots of other guys who I love so much more

  51. #50

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    I liked his early tone on the first 2-3 PMG records on ECM. I have a hard time with his later sound with multiple delays, etc. Too spongy and it's hard to actually hear what he's playing.