What do you want from demo videos?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Guimdonatron, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Note: Edit below containing audio track to reference quality

    Hey there,

    I know, I know, someone else doing demos for pedals? Good grief...

    Well, I have been dissatisfied with pedal demos for a long time. Don't get me wrong, there are some killer videos out there with killer cats showing off some killers pedals (this sentence just kills, right?). Juan's Pedals and Effects is a pretty great source for pedals and has some wonderful information. There are also some great demonstrators for the more obscure/boutique guitar pedals out there, but for the most part demo videos are lacking. It seems that a lot of videos have demonstrators that are simply not playing styles that really fit pedals, such as hearing stock blues riffs on a glitch pedal or a synth fuzz or something along those lines. Don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to what they enjoy playing, but with pedals you can't just turn any pedal on and play any old riff. You have to get to know the pedal and drop music that takes advantage of the pedal in a creative manner. Maybe I'm totally off base and I simply have a skewed interest in music (which I do), but I know I would appreciate seeing someone do what I'm wanting to do.

    So... since I have a huge passion for pedals and I realize this, I thought, "You know, I should just get out there and start doing demos on my own." That being said, I wanted to check in with the Talkbass crowd and see what you guys are interested in seeing in demos.

    I have some ideas of my own and I intend to do multiple videos demonstrating both bass and guitar (and potentially other sources), but one of the main problems that I see with demos is... it's always the pedal by itself!! I almost NEVER run a single pedal. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand hearing a pedal by itself and the quality of that, but to have such few demos of cats running a chain is crazy. One of the biggest things is with fuzz pedals. As someone that is more into synth bass (think John Davis), my first reaction is, "Well, how would this sound with an OC-2 (or something similar)?" Considering how popular synth bass has become, I don't see this as a ridiculous request.

    Anyways, if you guys could let me know what you would like to see in pedal demos (or even tell me, "HEY! WE DON'T NEED MORE DEMOS, MAN!!!!!") that would be stellar.

    EDIT: I see that a lot of you cats are stating the need for solid quality. Here is a demo to show you what you can expect quality-wise.

    X-Files Arrangement

    It will probably always be a DI recording, because I'll be recording at my teaching studio, which hasn't been treated yet. Once that happens I'll probably venture into throwing mics on the recording(s).

    I'll have the potential to run three different basses and all of them have active/passive pulls.

    One Jazz style bass by Noguera with Thomastik Flats
    One custom single cut by Greyman with soaps
    One Tom Clement fretless with Barts

    The head will be a TC Electronic RH450 (gets a clean tone) that is solid state.

    So far the biggest mentioning has been slapping, and well, I don't really slap. It's not an interest of mine, so expect to mostly hear finger style and maybe some picking.

    The next thing mentioned seems to be "talking." I cannot stand talking in demos, ESPECIALLY when it has nothing to do with the pedal. I don't intend to talk at all unless I need to explain the context of something or a pedal has an odd set off knobs. Most of these pedals will be obscure, so I doubt anyone who stumbles on them needs me to explain what a "gain" knob does...

    I appreciate the feedback! It's great. I expect to have a video up by the end of March (hopefully much sooner than that), and Talkbass will be one of the first places to know about it! When it is posted, definitely give feedback!
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
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  2. LSMFT6

    LSMFT6 We brake for nobody Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    -Less talk, more playing
    -Keeping in mind that most people watching the demo are familiar with pedals and don't need an explanation of what every knob and jack does
    -Explore the full range of knobs, rather than just picking three or four settings and playing those the whole time
    -Vary your techniques, don't slap the whole demo and leave fingerstyle guys high and dry as to what the pedal sounds like with fingerstyle, or vice versa.
  3. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Record both a direct feed and also a mic'd cab (or simulator) and either duplicate the video with the alternate audio or split the video into two halves. Don't pan each channel left and right as not everyone has a pan control on their output.

    Also play at least one traditional passive P or J, and one modern active bass, both with pick and fingers (and slap but only if absolutely necessary!)
    crapusername likes this.
  4. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    That about sums it up dannybuoy!
  5. nico485


    Sep 10, 2010
    Arkansas, USA
    I find the most helpful demos the ones where there's a good quality sound first off. And then show me your clean tone, then run through the pedal and ALL its settings. As mentioned above, twist those knobs. Having a loop of the bass line going or having one person play while another person messes with the pedal is also nice. Those are the best ones to me.
  6. What I want from demos....

    1 less talking more playing

    2 different basses. This one kills me because you go looking for a new fuzz for example and every video you find is with a p bass. Yeah we all know p basses work well with fuzz pedals. but come on less p bass and more jazz or stingray
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    1) More than one bass using more than one setting on each bass.

    2) Something other than slap.

    3) Blend. Most guys who run pedals do it with a blended clean sound.

    4) Multiple settings on the pedal. Not just one sound. And certainly not just the most extreme sound.

    5) A glance of the guts so we can see the quality of workmanship.

    6) Record straight to the board and through a cab and compare.

    7) The ultimate if you are any good at graphics would be to have digital graphic labeling of the video so you can skim to the parts you care about. In other words, if you are going to test the pedal with a Stingray and P and I only own the Ray, it would be awesome if the words "Stingray through cab" or something like that was displayed on the screen so I could skip or stop at that part.

    A good video would be fairly long but easy to skip to the parts you care about.
  8. Use Scott Whitley as a blueprint. this is a demo of a bass not a pedal, however it is a good pattern to follow. He plays both pick and finger style and gives you a lot of sound to hear how it sounds.

    Here's what I would want to hear for a given pedal;
    pick & finger style
    guitar and bass
    active and passive

    I personally don't care about direct vs mic vs which mic positon vs which cab orientation but I do want to at least know. Most videos are good about that; however knowing what amps are going to give dirt when a lot of times 'here's the clean tone' is played in a way that won't drive the amp anyway. This is not something a lot of people would know to listen or look for without a very broad experience of different equipment out there.

    AND yes something other than slap would be nice.
  9. NoxNoctus

    NoxNoctus The Crushinator

    May 9, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    I'd love for most people to realize that not everyone plays finger-funk style or slap. I don't care what the distortion pedal sounds like when you're slapping it with your lukewarm hotdogs, get a pick in there!

    Cell phone audio is only acceptable if you're reviewing the cell phone or making a vlog.

    Using pedals with more than a direct out signal. How's it interact with other pedals?


    May 4, 2006
    Courtenay, BC, Canada
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  11. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Remember to alternate between clean tone and affected tone often to give a frame of reference. Don't just give us the clean tone at the beginning of the demo, especially if the demo is fairly long.
  12. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Lots of good suggestions here so far. Here are some of mine.

    1) High quality audio. No video camera or cellphone video audio. Mic a cab or use a DI, and mention how it's being recorded.
    2) Keep the preamble/talking to a minimum. Go ahead and explain the pedal, what it is, what it does, anything unique or interesting, but I don't need a full 360 degree visual description of every last little thing.
    3) Go back and forth between clean and effected tones. Show a wide range of settings.
    4) Use a few different techniques. Fingers, Pick, slap (if you must). I don't slap much personally, so I find most bass demo vids that are just slappy wanking painfully useless to watch. It doesn't really tell me anything except that you like to slap.
    5) Demos of the pedal in a rough little mix would be awesome. Some simple drum and guitar loops would be enough to show how the pedal sits "in context".
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  13. There is a lot of good insight in here. I addressed some mentioned concerns in the original post under the "EDIT" section. Keep your thoughts flowing, guys! Thanks!