What is TonePedia? TonePedia is an interactive platform for finding, testing and comparing guitars and related gear, using high quality demos recorded in a neutral environment.
Why TonePedia? Because the world of musical instruments is bigger than ever and still rapidly growing. While more and more products are being released to the market, us, guitar players, have less locations where we can test them, let alone compare them.
You mentioned something about “Neutral Environment”, what do you mean? There are many things that can influence sound. From room size and treatment to the equipment used in the recording. We have invested countless hours and resources into designing and treating recording rooms, testing and comparing recording gear, from power banks to cables, preamps and microphones, until we reached the point where the interference of our recording environment came to be as little as possible with the sound of the recorded products.
Interesting, so what gear do you use? a lot of gear! and different one for the different guitar types (electric, acoustic, bass). Soon we will add a page to the website with the entire chain explained. Until then, here is a list of companies you will find gear from in our studios: Antelope Audio, RME, CAL, Neumann, Shure, Earthworks, Beyerdynamic, Royer, Sennheiser, EV, Dynamount, Cordial, Furman, ADAM Audio, KRK.
But still, it’s not as playing the guitar in real time, right? Right, and we urge you to play instruments by yourself! That being said, using TonePedia gives you an extremely good impression of the instrument you're reviewing (we don’t say that, our users do). How? Comparison!
Comparison? Yes! Just as it is much easier to identify a color more precisely by reviewing it next to a similar color, it is easier to understand the characteristics of an overdrive pedal effect for example when comparing it to a second overdrive pedal effect. Our demos are made in a way that keeps all elements BUT the demoed product in exactly the same setting, so a true comparison will be possible.
But what about the guitar player, doesn’t he influence the sound? You are right, he does. When recording, we always listen to our guideline-instrument-recording and try to record the new instrument with the same feeling as the one with which this guideline instrument was recorded. It is also important to remember that different guitars do make the player play differently, so in order to keep things real, and since we are not computers but human beings who love playing guitar, some emotions do find their way into the demo and that is totally fine, cause it’s actually the guitar influencing us. But really, we try hard not to enjoy ourselves… (-:
Why am I hearing level differences between different instruments? Because
I compare two products and I do not hear much difference, is something wrong? Not necessarily, it can be that for your ears two products sound similar (especially if they are from the same manufacturer and share similar characteristics). Remember that part when we spoke about every-ear-hears-differently? Same case here, no need to visit the ear doctor just yet.
How do you choose what settings to record? It depends. Some are fixed settings which all demos share (like the VOX’s mid level setting on guitar demos and the gain settings on the pedal on “gain demo” playing style) while others are set based on the instrument (like the VOX’s low level setting on guitar demos which is set to deliver a clean signal of the guitar or the repeats of the delay on “delay demo” playing style). We do this so you could compare products on the one hand, while on the other experience the different characteristics of a specific product.
I have more questions, what’s now? Fantastic, send them over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org We update the FAQ section regularly based on user questions, so don’t be shy and send us an email.