Welcome to the Loud Panda Studio – over the next several months we’ll look at the entire process of making sound with your guitar, from setup and playability adjustments through to how you can change the sound of your guitar with amplifiers, effects, and the tone controls.  We’ll use “guitar” to mean either a regular 6-string guitar or a bass, but we’ll be sure to point out particulars specific to either instrument.

Over the next several months we’ll break down your “sound chain” into four parts:

  1. A Full Setup: changing strings, tuning up, intonation, string action, neck adjustments, and overall playability
  2. Made Loud To Play Loud: pickups, active and passive electronics, tone control, and amplifiers.
  3. Try This At Home: using your computer as a mixer or amplifier, how to hear yourself and your practice songs better, and tools to slow down those complex passages.
  4. In Search of The Perfect Tone: changing the sound of your guitar through effects pedals (stompboxes) including filters (distortion, fuzz, and wah-wah), time effects (flanging, delay, and reverb), and pitch effects (chorus and pitch shifting)

This is just a rough outline — of course, we want to hear from the students, parents, future guitar techs, luthiers, and anyone else interested in the science of sound.  If you have questions, comments, or ideas, please comment on these posts!

Who is the Loud Panda?  I’m a So I Heard adult student, an electrical engineer by training, and have been playing and crafting music for more than 50 years.  I’ve played clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, and bass, and outside of my day job I’ve been a radio DJ, radio ad producer, roadie, stompbox builder, and repair tech.

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