On September 1st, we will start adding a good amount of pickup related content. Not sure what a pickup is? Well there’s a huge wealth of explanations but the simple version is that they are the things under your strings that “pick up” the vibrations.
Pickups are hugely important to your tone and when it comes to home recording, a clean signal can make a world of difference in your guitar and bass tones which in turn will help your mixes. This to me is even more crucial with amp sims because I find they are even more reliant on getting at least a strong signal.
Amp sims are designed to be like real amps right? Well, like real amps, amp sims are designed with a clean signal in mind. If you aren’t feeding your gear the best signal you can, you will not get the best out of your gear. Nice gear can’t cover bad pickups.
You could take a very expensive custom guitar, put crappy pickups in it and it would sound expensively crappy. There’s no mythical “tone wood” on earth that will save or cover up bad pickups and yet you can put a nice set of pickups in a passable guitar and end up with crushing tones.
I’ve also heard the old “It’s the player, not the pickups” and to a certain extent, I will agree because good pickups don’t cover bad playing, if anything it’s the other way around. Good pickup will actually expose bad playing. A good player can make due with bad pickups in a live setting but for recording, it’s another story.
When you record a bad, weak or low-quality signal, first, the gear taking in the signal can’t do it’s job, instead it ends up enhancing the wrong parts of the signal. Every component ends up getting the same poor quality signal until post processing. In post, you end up having to work a lot harder than you should to get where you want to be tone wise if you get there at all.
The pickup market is gigantic and it can be confusing to navigate for even some experienced players. We will try and recommend quality pickups for all genres and styles while also hoping to explain some of the numbers language you might see often when researching pickups. It’s hard to really figure out what you like and don’t like or need in a pickup so we truly hope everyone finds this content useful.
It’s a fact, any tone is easier to achieve with better pickups and the better a signal is, the easier it is to mix / master. It’s a myth that great pickups are expensive, so we will also try and create a really great roadmap to buying, trying and selling used pickups. It’s a lot more affordable to do than you think with the used and low-cost markets.
Anyone that tells you pickups don’t matter is full of crap, I couldn’t be any more blunt on this. Let’s have some fun, learn about pickups and why a couple after market mods and a good setup could have your $500 guitar recording tones and playing as good or better than many higher priced guitars.
Lastly, we will also be adding a little bit of DIY mod, wiring, set-up and repair tips. Nothing insane because we aren’t licensed techs but we can teach you more than a few ways to cut costs and save money while modding your instruments as often as you’d like.
Whether it’s helping you find better tone by spending on a huge budget or by staying on a tight and rock solid budget, there will be something for everyone. See you in September!