Steve having intonation problems?

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Vaism
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Did anybody else notice this on Sound Theories, or is it just me? I own the cd and I have seen the videos and I've noticed on a lot of tracks, Vai's guitar sounds slightly out of tune at certain spots in certain songs (FTLOG, Answers, Lotus Feet from the video). Additionally, a lot of his bends seem to be out of tune especially on FTLOG. At first I thought maybe the guitar was out of tune from the start because of whammy bar stuff. This is a very unusual problem for Steve to have. IS IT JUST ME?!?!?!?! :?
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Mr Clark
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someone made the same objection some time ago.. as far as i can recall the answer is: he's in tune, it's the sustainer giving the odd sound :wink:
Coroner
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Well, anyone with a musical ear would have noticed this way back on the Live at the Astoria London DVD. :roll: It does contain a surprisingly sloppy performance, and Steve's guitar IS out of tune on several occasions. (Side note: I have played guitar for 21 years, and I believe I have quite good musical ear too).

But what is extremely irritating on that particular DVD, is that Steve tries to cover-up the out-of-tune by playing certain fast licks so it should sound in-tune. Not even the greatest of guitar players can pull that off! :x

But to get to the bottom of this: I believe EVOs bad condition is often to blame more than Steve, because we all know that guy can play like Hell..! :twisted: It's just a pity he's chosen that guitar on several live DVD/CD recordings, since those out-of-tune parts are not possible to edit out (after release, that is). :roll:

Anyway, I would be insane if I'd criticize his musical ear... :lol:

Veye
Last edited by Coroner on Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jared2720
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By their very nature, guitars are impossible to tune perfectly. Regardless of what you do, your guitar is going to be slightly out of tune somewhere on the neck. As far as Steve's Sound Theories performances are concerned, his guitars are as in tune as they can be; it's just that when contrasted with orchestral instruments, the inherent tuning imperfections of the guitar are only made more apparent to a good ear.
Shade
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Yeah, but a certain part that should have been a divine moment of guitar ecstasy causes me to cringe.

ex- right after the fast run in FTLOG where it's like DEEEEEEEE DE DE DEEEEEE!!! DAAA DAAA DOOO BAAA BEE DUmmMMMM... DA DOOOOo!

If that made any sense.

Most other stuff didn't seem to bug me. But that always sat bad with my ears.

Nothing else has really stuck out to me though.

I'm not sure if it's a tuning issue necessarily though, too many factors to take into account.
Jet444
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It's times like these when I am glad I am practicaly tone deaf! Most of the time when I listen to those performances you guys say are out of tune I'm thinking, "Man I wish I could bend in tune like that!" :lol:
Honestly though, the only mistake I've noticed on Sound Theories is when Steve's sustainer broke down on 'Gentle Ways' and that just made me laugh! :P
Jet :D
guitarman13
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Yeah I noticed parts that were slightly out of tune also; it's not a huge deal though. His Legacy sounds different on this album too. I think it's the way that they miked the speaker cabs. His tone has more treble and more sizzle to it then normal.
fyrie
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Jared2720 wrote:By their very nature, guitars are impossible to tune perfectly. Regardless of what you do, your guitar is going to be slightly out of tune somewhere on the neck. As far as Steve's Sound Theories performances are concerned, his guitars are as in tune as they can be; it's just that when contrasted with orchestral instruments, the inherent tuning imperfections of the guitar are only made more apparent to a good ear.
Agreed
Coroner
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...and 1 more thing: I believe Steve's extreme whammy bar usage, easily make the guitar out-of-tune (at least EVO). Plus the fact that he hold/lean his hand on the whammy bar very often, probably create an out-of-tune type sound (even though the guitar may be in-tune).

Veye
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ZappaIrl
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i think notes that land just shy of "spot on", add a fantastic tension that is all the more fantastic when it becomes resolved! i think steve is the master of tension and release.... thats what gives you the rollercoaster ride!
martijnb
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:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I can't believe what I'm reading here. Veye, are you saing that Steve isn't able to hold tune when playing live? That he with his 25+ year experience of live shows isn't able to hear when he's out of tune? That the most critically acclaimed gutar player on this planet (and perhaps other planets too) is basically out of tune each time he plays Evo? Do you realise how silly your comments are? i want to say something else but I don't post here a lot and I don't want to get into a flame fight or anything,. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

And another thing, i saw the aching hunger shows live, and he was using his Flo guitar, not Evo. Plus I've read many times that Evo has been replaired long ago and since he's got it on tour right now, don't tell me that Steve would use a broken out of tune guitar.

i got the new record to and I think it's the best thing that he ever made. I like disk 2 better than disk 1 but not because it's out of tune because it isn't. But I like it when someone goes beyond what he normally does and isn't afraid to go for that. Besides, the music is not of this world.
cosmic ape
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I'm gonna go with the guitar in an orchestra setting theory... It does make sense... And even though I haven't bought the CD yet, I did feel some odd notes when I listened to FTLOG on Steve's myspace...

Guitars are after all very imperfect instruments, tuning wise that is...
Coroner
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martijnb wrote::shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I can't believe what I'm reading here. Veye, are you saing that Steve isn't able to hold tune when playing live? That he with his 25+ year experience of live shows isn't able to hear when he's out of tune? That the most critically acclaimed gutar player on this planet (and perhaps other planets too) is basically out of tune each time he plays Evo? Do you realise how silly your comments are? i want to say something else but I don't post here a lot and I don't want to get into a flame fight or anything,. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
Oops, I guess I did not clearly specify what I mean. :? Of course I meant that Steve's guitar was out of tune, not Steve himself! I would never question his abilities.

On that particular DVD that I mention, it is easy to tell (at least for a guitar player) that when Steve hear that his guitar is out-of-tune, he plays some fast licks to try and cover-up the out-of-tune guitar. But of course it is not his fault that the damn guitar is out-of-tune! :roll:

About EVO: Everyone knows that guitar is basically a wreck, and that it was/is hard to keep in-tune due to the cracked body.

Peace.. :wink:

Veye
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prman
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I`ve also noticed Steve`s intonation problems since Alive In An Ultra World. First I thought: "OK. So he played a couple of bad notes, not a big thing!". Then it seemed to emerge everytime he released some live material and now it`s getting annoying at times. Still I understand the fact that Steve`s live playing is sometimes compromised when he`s doing the show antics.
cosmic ape wrote:I'm gonna go with the guitar in an orchestra setting theory... Guitars are after all very imperfect instruments, tuning wise that is...
I believe Steve started to use The Buzz Feiten Tuning System to avoid tuning problems when playing with other instruments. Does it work and do Evo & FLO have it? I don`t know.

Well, this ain`t the biggest thing in the world and doesn`t ruin the enjoyment I get from his music. It`s a good discussion though.
slash89
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People make mistakes. Yes, even Steve Vai :wink: That he is bends to high or low from time to time makes him human. Not saying that every false note is caused by him, since the guitar obviously is out of tune here and there, but like all people he can also be sloppy. A thing about Steve that is so great is that this seldom happens. All those who have seen him play live will agree on that.
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