New Band - Different Tuning per song

  • Morning all,


    I'm auditioning for a new band, and the rhythm player is using a Helix. He mentioned that they play each song in the tuning on the record, and he has a performance slot for each song. So most things are standard E tuning, some might be Eb tuning, and there's one in C# tuning.


    What I'm thinking is that I would do the same on the Kemper, and use the rig option to detune the entire chain (apologies, I cannot remember the exact name of the function).... but I'm a bit wary that it can sound 'warbly'; is there a better way to manage this (aside form having one guitar for each tuning!)?


    Thanks!

  • but I'm a bit wary that it can sound 'warbly'

    I've done that with some Eb songs. I didn't notice any warbly-ness, the tone sounded good to me.


    I did feel the latency to the point that it was a distraction. However, that's an individual thing as a lot of folks don't mind it at all.

  • yes you can either apply it to a rig or as a stomp, and morph if needed like a whammy ( works really well for Killing in the name of.. etc.).


    I think its fine for the occasional song and its better than the Helix drop effect ( I believe) and as good as a drop pedal...but all drop effects suffer from :


    latency

    "other" tracking artifacts


    I think its good enough although because we play a few songs in D, I carry a second guitar as that is preferable.


    I did use to play in a band with multiple tunings and I balanced that across 2 guitars and re-learnt some songs in a different tuning to minimise the number of songs "dropped", so it just requires a bit more planning.


    BTW I agree to try and play the songs in the same recorded key, some songs just sound odd in a different key. Motley crue sounds wrong in anything other than D.

  • Another option is to use a Line 6 Variax.
    It has an alternate tuning function that can be applied to all of the internally modeled guitars.

    So if you are cunning and are quick with your hands, you can switch the model on and off, moving between standard tuning (or any other that is your main stay tuning) to drop D or C# or whatever.


    I expect you could pick up a second hand JTV fairly reasonably. I have a 59 and use it for all kinds of different tunings from open D to odd C# tunings and straight Eb and drop D etc.


    The Workbench programme lets you assign your own tunings so you can even have a go at emulating mandolins. You can store these on the guitar and arrange in order if you so wish.

    Some models work better than others but with a bit of tweaking and testing you can get in the ball park for almost anything. There can be a little warble on lower notes but this is offset by the convenience of not bringing four guitars and constantly changing during a set.

    I find there is less latency than the Kemper’s de-tuning feature (which is very good by the way and I have used at other times) and I add coded notes to my remote screen to remind me which model and tuning to select before each song.


    This is not a cheap or immediate fix for you but as a working tool, it does a good job. I have even used the acoustic models with alternative tuning for a duo act. This is acceptable if I play carefully and keep the EQ closely matched to the model so that it smooths out a little.


    Good luck, I hope you find a solution.

    Cheers

    Pre-Amp

  • So the Variax can be used on a non line 6 software product with no issues?

  • So the Variax can be used on a non line 6 software product with no issues?

    Yes it can. Adding something like a Helix to that gives you the added ability to change tunings when you change the patch. The Variax will still function on its own to change tunings and tones. Here are the tunings listed on their website


    • Standard (E A D G B E)
    • Drop D (D A D G B E)
    • 1/2 Down (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb)
    • Drop Db (Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb)
    • 1 Down (D G C F A D)
    • DADGAD (D A D G A D)
    • Open D (D A D F# A D)
    • Blues G (D G D G B D)
    • Reso G (G B D G B D)
    • Open A (E A C# E A E)
    • Baritone (B E A D F# B)
  • Yes it can. Adding something like a Helix to that gives you the added ability to change tunings when you change the patch. The Variax will still function on its own to change tunings and tones. Here are the tunings listed on their website


    • Standard (E A D G B E)
    • Drop D (D A D G B E)
    • 1/2 Down (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb)
    • Drop Db (Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb)
    • 1 Down (D G C F A D)
    • DADGAD (D A D G A D)
    • Open D (D A D F# A D)
    • Blues G (D G D G B D)
    • Reso G (G B D G B D)
    • Open A (E A C# E A E)
    • Baritone (B E A D F# B)

    Awesome! How do you like the Variax with the kemper? My band also plays some songs standard and some Eb (which I think is a pain, just do them all in Eb) and even with the Kemper trying to switch patches with transpose I still make mistakes lol. The variax might be the solution here since we have quick transitions.

  • performance slot for each song

    I would not do that, it is an overkill in my opinion.


    I play in two bands, one where play in standard tuning, the other band always uses a half tone down tuned. (Well, and in both bands, sometimes I turn A string down to G). Using a few rigs, I just made copies of them and used rig settings with -1 transpose. Works good, and I never had any problems with latency.

  • I would not do that, it is an overkill in my opinion.


    I play in two bands, one where play in standard tuning, the other band always uses a half tone down tuned. (Well, and in both bands, sometimes I turn A string down to G). Using a few rigs, I just made copies of them and used rig settings with -1 transpose. Works good, and I never had any problems with latency.

    And you fit this all within one performance? How exactly does the transpose work within rig settings? I didn't know that was possible. THought it had to be an effect. It gets trickier when you have songs that use a tap tempo. I have two songs that use a tap tempo and are set to different BPM's. And another song thats transposed up a half step. If it weren't for these three songs, I could have everything in one performance haha.

  • Awesome! How do you like the Variax with the kemper? My band also plays some songs standard and some Eb (which I think is a pain, just do them all in Eb) and even with the Kemper trying to switch patches with transpose I still make mistakes lol. The variax might be the solution here since we have quick transitions.

    I could not tell you, I do not have a Variax, I was thinking about getting one over the summer but decided against it.

  • How come?

    I decided not to for two reasons, first was that I do not use many alternate turnings. Standard, Eb, D tuned and drop D is about all I use and the Kemper does Eb and D tuned well leaving only drop D to worry about. Second and most importantly I play a Les Paul Standard and a PRS CE as my main guitars and didn't want to buy a guitar and be disappointed in the feel. None of the stores near me have a Variax to try either.

  • I decided not to for two reasons, first was that I do not use many alternate turnings. Standard, Eb, D tuned and drop D is about all I use and the Kemper does Eb and D tuned well leaving only drop D to worry about. Second and most importantly I play a Les Paul Standard and a PRS CE as my main guitars and didn't want to buy a guitar and be disappointed in the feel. None of the stores near me have a Variax to try either.

    My problem is I sometimes forget I switched to an Eb patch when i start an E standard song. It is something I am still getting used to. The guitar would make going between E, Eb and Drop D much easier IMO. But youre right theyre hard to track down just to play. Better off just trying to find a real good deal used just to see if you like it and then if you dont just try to sell it and break even.

  • Personally, I think I would probably just tune the guitar to Eb and slap a capo on the first fret for the standard tuning songs and remove it for the Eb ones, which leaves only the C# tuning to worry about a software solution for.

  • And you fit this all within one performance? How exactly does the transpose work within rig settings? I didn't know that was possible. THought it had to be an effect. It gets trickier when you have songs that use a tap tempo. I have two songs that use a tap tempo and are set to different BPM's. And another song thats transposed up a half step.

    First: Transpose is a Rig parameter; you have to set it for each of the slots of a performance (if needed). I'm using one performance with 5 slots for most all of the songs. Then, for those few songs, which don't fit, I have 3 other performances. You might do it like me, or just try as you best like it.

  • When I had a baby (see avatar), I spent a few years writing songs in my studio and enjoyed writing in different tunings- really inspirational in different ways. When it came time to create a live band, I quickly realized that not having a road crew and a fleet of guitars was going to make this ridiculous.

    I don't like transposing pitch shifters- I can feel the vibrations and don't want that to be a major 2nd away from what I am hearing, you know? Plus the tone is simply not as good (though Kemper is impressive). My solution was to pick 2 tunings: I chose drop C and a 7 string in dropA. They can each quickly go to standard D and standard B, plus the 7 has E inside of it. If I had to do it again, I might consider dropAb instead as I could throw a cap oonto the 4th fret and cover the dropC stuff with the fretmarkers in a normal sequence in case of string breakage.


    This doesn't help the OP as he has to blend into an existing band, but if you are starting a band, be aware of how miserable this can be trying to make 8 different tunings come to life on stage!